Adult Learning Principles

Speak Schmeak

Did you know that adults have special needs as learners? Times have changed, and teachers are more aware of learning styles now, and other issues that affect children's learning. But the principles of adult learning are still pretty new to most people. If you're a speaker, and you're doing any kind of education or training with the groups you're speaking to, this applies to you.

Adult Learning Principles, Part 1: Background

Speak Schmeak

This is part 1 of my series of posts on adult learning principles and how speakers can apply these principles when working with adults. Malcolm Knowles is considered the "father of adult learning", although the topic had been discussed and researched over a century earlier. In his book, The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy , Knowles opposes the view that adults are unable to learn: ".the

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Adult Learning Principles, Part 4: Relevancy

Speak Schmeak

Adult learning principle #3: Adults need relevancy in learning. It's important to adults that they are learning something relevant and applicable to real life, whether it's work-related or personal. Here's how to make learning relevant to your audience. Identify learning objectives and ask participants to share their goals.

Adult Learning Principles, Part 2: Autonomy

Speak Schmeak

And now for our first adult learning principle : Adults are autonomous and self-directed Adults want to decide for themselves what, when, how and why to learn. Speakers/instructors should allow adults to direct some of their own learning. Here are some ways to facilitate this: * Ask your participants what they already know about your topic and what they're interested in learning. Allow them to be responsible for their own learning. *

Adult Learning Principles, Part 6: Sensitive Egos

Speak Schmeak

Adult learning principle #5: Adult learners have sensitive egos Many of us, over the course of a lifetime, have developed a fear of appearing stupid or incompetent. As children, we were encouraged to explore, ask questions and learn about the world, but somewhere along the way, that was taken away from us. Many adults have mixed feelings about teachers, school, and structured learning.

Adult Learning Principles, Part 5: Motivations & Barriers

Speak Schmeak

Adult learning principle #4: Adults are motivated to learn by both external and internal factors When we were kids, many of us were not motivated to learn by anything other than our parents' and teachers' rewards and punishments. Understanding the motivations and barriers your participants face can help you as an instructor pinpoint how best to serve them, by increasing their motivation for learning.

Adult Learning Principles, Part 7: Problem-Oriented

Speak Schmeak

Today's post is the last in the Adult Learning Principles series. There's so much more information out there, but I just wanted to give a basic overview that can help any speaker, instructor or facilitator make a better connection with and create a better learning environment for your audience. At its most basic level, adult learning tends to be self-directed and based on the person's individual needs and life experiences.

The slide's the limit

Speak Schmeak

Or, to say it another way, people learn better with a multimedia approach as opposed to just viewing text. Pet Peeves Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Adult Learning Principles PowerPoint CommunicationDownload audio here. I worked with a client last week whose slides were packed with text. When I suggested to her that she take the multiple ideas on one slide and expand them out over several slides, she balked.

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The slide's the limit

Speak Schmeak

Or, to say it another way, people learn better with a multimedia approach as opposed to just viewing text. Tags: Pet Peeves Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Adult Learning Principles PowerPoint Communication Download audio here. I worked with a client last week whose slides were packed with text. When I suggested to her that she take the multiple ideas on one slide and expand them out over several slides, she balked.

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Move your audience to stimulate their learning

Speak Schmeak

Check out " Exercise -- Brain Rule #1 ," (no direct link to the video, but they're all listed on the page) for some thoughts on why the typical classroom and work environments are not conducive to learning or productivity and some fun ideas to turn that around. Tags: Brain Rules Training Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Adult Learning Principles Resources

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Write this down!

Speak Schmeak

If he's lost it, there's a reason, and he might want to explore his other speaking techniques before barking orders at me. Treat me like an adult; assume I'm able to make good judgements for myself based on my lifetime of knowledge and experience. Tags: Quick Fixes Pet Peeves Adult Learning Principles Communication One of my pet peeves with speakers is when they treat the audience like children.

Images are not fluff

Speak Schmeak

Cliff Atkinson's book, Beyond Bullet Points Garr Reynolds' book, Presentation Zen And let me remind you that the best way to help your audience retain information is to serve as many learning styles as you can. The more you can do to reach your audience members in the ways they learn best, the more likely they are to remember your message. The way we learn as children is still valid once we're adults.

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Make your presentation instantly successful

Speak Schmeak

Tags: Quick Fixes Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies The Business of Speaking Adult Learning Principles

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Cognitive load -- and overload

Speak Schmeak

Science and Scientists Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Research Adult Learning Principles Resources PowerPointGetting back into the swing of things today! It's nice to be home. I want to bring your attention to these slides from a talk by Dr. Chris Atherton from the University of Central Lancashire.

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Six ways to improve the training environment

Speak Schmeak

If the training environment is not conducive to learning, you're going to work twice as hard to make an impact. I learned this the hard way in my first day on the job as training coordinator, when my supervisor decided I didn't need a desk or office, gave me an org chart to memorize, then went on vacation for two weeks. There are many creative ways of integrating new hires, by connecting them with mentors or by giving them self-directed learning activities, for example.

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3 ways to avoid being the center of attention

Speak Schmeak

Ask the audience a lot of questions so they can share their knowledge and expertise and contribute to the learning of the group. As adults, we are responsible for our own learning, and we're going to learn better as audience members if we participate in the process rather than being spoon-fed a lecture. Tags: Quick Fixes Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety Adult Learning Principles

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Audience participation ideas

Speak Schmeak

It's easy for people who are shy to sit back and wait for the more outgoing members to speak up. For wrapping up at the end, you might hand out cards or pieces of paper with one-word concepts on them (I use "fear," "voice," "passion," "rules" and others related to public speaking), and ask participants to share something they've learned or will pursue regarding that concept.

Tough topics, tough audiences

Speak Schmeak

I came across the topic on two other public speaking blogs, so I decided to post a link to my own two cents. Tags: Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety Adult Learning Principles This seems to be the month to talk about difficult audiences.

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Write this down!

Speak Schmeak

If he's lost it, there's a reason, and he might want to explore his other speaking techniques before barking orders at me. Treat me like an adult; assume I'm able to make good judgements for myself based on my lifetime of knowledge and experience. Quick Fixes Pet Peeves Adult Learning Principles CommunicationDownload audio here. One of my pet peeves with speakers is when they treat the audience like children.

Gimme a break, part 2

Speak Schmeak

There were seven speakers scheduled during the 2 1/2-hour conference; each one spoke for ten to 15 minutes, with the keynote speaker last in line and speaking for an hour. Tags: Pet Peeves Training Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Adult Learning Principles General Comments I haven't talked about this for a while, so forgive me if you remember my post from last year about the same subject. It's worth repeating.

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