Ever had that moment? A student walks up and tells you that they thought your talk last week was hilarious? Or the game was intense and really great?
And then you ask them what the point of the message was, and they have no clue?
I’ve learned that I need to spend just as much time thinking about how I’m going to drive my point home as I do trying to figure out what my point is. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. Concrete Ideas: Give your students something to DO. As soon as the message is over if you can. Spell out very clearly for them what living out what you just spoke on looks like. Show them. Illustrate it. Tell them in five languages if you have to. Be very, very clear with your students about what they can DO with what you just told them.
2. Short and Sweet: Get the point of your message down to 120 characters. Why? Two reasons: so your students can remember it and so you can tweet it after the talk. In fact, tweet it multiple times throughout the week, just to make sure they remember it. Even better: put a picture with it. Visuals change lives (I just made that up and have no research to back it up with).
Live It : Whatever you just told your students to do, make sure you are doing it, have done it, and will do it too. You do damage to your message every time you act differently than what you just presented. Think your students will forget your message? You’re right. But think your students will forget your actions? Not a chance.
These things won’t guarantee that a student will remember your talk from last week. But boy they help out!