Every great presenter uses what they refer to as a “hook.” The hook is what they use to grab their audience’s attention at the beginning of their presentations. What makes a great presenter is how quickly one captures their audience.
We can use this “hook” concept in the classroom. How we begin our classes has a huge impact on its success. As a matter of fact, you have about 60 seconds to capture student’s attention. Yep, 60 seconds. If we fail at grabbing their attention, regardless how interesting our lessons or the content may be, we will more than likely lose them. The real question is how are you using those precious 60 seconds? Are you still busy setting up your classroom? Do you simply tell your students to open their textbooks to a specific page? Or do you find yourself sitting at your desk sipping your morning coffee?
To help us get the true sense of how powerful our openings are, all you need to do is observe your students at the beginning of class. Do you have their undivided attention or are they still chit-chatting or falling asleep? You see, your student’s actions will be a good indicator how effective your “hook” is.
Try these helpful tips to help you grab the attention of your students:
Be enthusiastic, animated and energetic – It’s going to be impossible to hold anyone’s attention if you present a dull, uninterested attitude.
Be prepared- Begin your class on time and make certain you have all necessary supplies and equipment.
Be sincere and focus on your students- Take the focus off yourself and place it on your students. Make your learners #1!
Maintain eye contact- What better way to grab a student’s attention than by looking them in the eye? Avoid looking over your student’s heads or looking at your lesson plan. Move about the room and direct your attention to each one of your students to show that you are invested in your lesson.
Explain what they’re going to learn! – Give your students a general overview of the day’s lessons. Tell them what’s in it for them!
Direct student’s attention- Begin your lessons by asking them a specific question, or tell them an interesting story that relates to your lesson’s topic.
When you begin your lessons with powerful openings, you inform and excite your students. By gaining your student’s attention, you will see increased student retention of the material and continue to develop and build a sincere rapport with your learners.
Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team, where she currently serves as an Academic Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative trainings that not only inspire, but empower educators/trainers to create the most effective learning environments for their students.