As a public speaker, my most valuable tool is my voice. So when my husband caught a nasty cold a few weeks ago, I immediately grabbed the antiseptic spray and cleaned everything in sight. I avoided kissing him (after 30+ years of marriage, we can survive a brief hiatus) and took lots of Vitamin C. Unfortunately, I caught the cold anyway and quickly developed laryngitis. My doctor prescribed cough medicine and reduced speaking.
“Reduced speaking! Impossible!” was my first thought. However, sitting quietly for several hours had me rethinking this assignment and realizing that some good things might come from it. My mission in life is to improve the quality of instruction for learners of all ages. While I have very valuable lessons to share, I don’t always have to share them with my voice. And, if I reflect on the best learning experiences I have facilitated, I can see that the common strength is hearing the learners’ voices as much as my own.
So how do you determine the right balance? Here are 3 sure-fire signs that you are talking too much.
Thankfully, my laryngitis is now gone. But I am also thankful for the time to reflect on my speaking practices and remember the power of learners’ voices.
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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