How do I know when to stop talking?

A TechRepublic member asked how to balance lecturing with hands-on training during a Microsoft Office class. See how another member answered her forum question and won 100 TechPoints.

In the IT Trainer Republic Forums, Anne asked, "How do I avoid telling too much and not letting students practice?" She offered 100 TechPoints for a suitable answer.

She wrote, “Being new in the training business, I am overeager to tell the students everything there is to tell about the subject (in my case, Microsoft Office). This means I'm talking too much and don't have enough time left for the students to practice with the material.

“What is the best way to tell only the essentials?”

Pace your lecture
Anne accepted this answer from Kimberly R.

“One way to avoid having insufficient time for exercises is to let the students begin an exercise before you have finished saying everything you want to say (write a timetable for yourself). That way, you can walk around the class and put all those useful tips and tricks to better use by making suggestions when you see students having difficulty.

“More importantly, make yourself a list for each topic to be covered, including all the salient points you have been contracted to cover. Notes (try flash cards) will help ensure that you cover all necessary information—anything beyond that is icing on the cake.

“By not telling the class everything you know, you invite questions, ‘Isn't there a faster way?’ or ‘Couldn't I just...?’ which is a perfect invite for you to dazzle them with your MS Office prowess.”
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