By Ashraf Al Shafaki
Fun can lubricate the learning process making it more palpable, memorable and effective. Fun can energize the spirit, elevate the soul and help students avoid fatigue. It makes students eager to attend the following session with an increased appetite.
Laughter can also be a spirit energizer and can have a strong positive effect on learners and the learning process as a whole.
Give students a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your teaching methods. Whenever you use a new technique to make them practice something tell them why you are using this technique in particular, what are the benefits of it and how and why it works.
This greatly helps build confidence of students in the ability of the trainer and helps them appreciate the training much more. As a result of this, students put all their heart into using this technique because they now understand and believe in its effectiveness after knowing how and why it works and why the trainer is using it in particular.
For instance, let's say you are training students in improving their fluency in a foreign language. You tell the students that listening to native speakers is an effective way for them to gain proficiency in speaking fluently in that language. You also tell them that repeated listening is key to improving their speaking ability. Then you go ahead and ask them to listen to a recording of a native speaker. You will find them listening attentively because now they appreciate the use of such technique. You go ahead play the same track again and again. They keep listening attentively every time because now they understand that repetition is a powerful technique for improving their proficiency. Had you not explained to your students beforehand the usefullness of such technique, they would probably not have been as attentive when you played the CD track for the native speaker and they would most have felt bored as you repeated the track again and again. Explaining the technique you are using before you actually use it makes students appreciate it and make full use of it during the class and afterwords.
If one of your trainees is absent, ask about him. When he shows up during the following class, ask him about himself letting him know you noticed his absence last time. This will make him appreciate your care.
If a student shows decreased performance, tell him that he is not performing as his usual high standard today. This will make him work like fire next time. He will strive to show high performance from then on. He will also highly appreciate your care.
Get closer to students, gain their trust and respect and build a strong and deep relationship with them by occasionally revealing to them some personal aspects about yourself. This will get students really interested and will build a strong bond between yourself and the students. This strong bond built between you and the students will not only make them like you but will make them happy and relaxed during class and in eager anticipation before every class. This warm connection will positively impact the learning process by creating a comfortable and keen atmosphere during the training sessions.
Sometimes it is necessary to move trainees towards some mental state or road of action. In such cases, moving trainees emotionally can be key to getting them to make such required actions by modifying their mental image through using emotions. Emotions of trainees can be affected through narrating real stories about incidents in the past that demonstrate emotionally moving situations. Do not try to talk in a sad tone or overdo a tragic act but rather you can speak normally and even in a slightly laughing tone or smiling manner. This will have a stronger effect on trainees as you narrate the real story that moves their emotions.
Quoting other people's words, specially those who played the tragic part in the real story you are narrating, is a very powerful technique to move the trainees emotionally. Remember to do so while putting a smile on your face rather than pretending to be sad. Trainees will be strongly moved as they visualize the real story you are narrating in vivid detail. Remember that the story you narrate must be real and must be told exactly as it happened without any decorative modifications.