You know without question that presentation is everything. You dress the part. You buy the trendiest music. You execute each move to enviable perfection. But without stong delivery skills, you may still fail to “win the hearts and minds” of your students. Here are a list of simple presentation techniques that you can use to make sure you get your message across loud and clear.
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s a cliche for a reason. The more you practice, the better your delivery skills will be and the more confident you will be about your classes. It can be surprising to hear your own voice over the speakers for the first time. Likewise, it can be unnerving to talk about a subject out loud that you have only mulled over in your head. Practice saying the motivational and form cues that you intend to deliver. If there is a particularly tricky move you intend to perform, rehearse how you will teach it so that you avoid tripping over your words and confusing your class. If you have a tendency to stutter or lose your train of thought, you’ll be amazed at how a few rehearsals can help you come off with more polish.
Start On the Right Foot
First impressions are made instantly, but it will be the first two or three minutes of your class that your students will decide whether or not they are glad they came. Your students want to like you, so don’t miss the opportunity to capture their affections. Many of us fail here by rushing to get our classes started, fussing about our equipment, and skirting through the warm up. Instead, arrive early to every class, and take the time to connect with your students even before you enter the room. Get to know your students names. Introduce yourself and let them know a little about the class and what you have prepared for them. Smile and make eye contact. Take the time to put together a warm up that is energetic and exciting. Use the opportunity to be a cheerleader and get your class jazzed about the work they are embarking upon. If you get the energy flowing from the get go, you’ll find you have much more willing participants.
Keep it Simple
Your students live in a world that has reduced the events of our time to sound bites and media clips. They are used to being given the point quickly and concisely. Simplicity can be a challenge for many instructors, because we have so much valuable information to share! Not only that, but we have been exposed to some amazingly cool moves that we cannot wait to pass along. However, our students are not the fitness gurus we are. If they were, chances are they’d skip class and get a workout in to their exact liking, or teach the class themselves. Take the time to prepare your thoughts and the messages you want to get out during your class. Tailor the complexity of your moves to the level of all your students, not just the elite standing in the front. Deliver the cues with as much brevity as you can and give the class adequate time to absorb what you have said. Try to say too much too fast and you risk being ignored or misunderstood.
We are just getting started on all the wonderful ways you can improve your skills as a group fitness instructor by working on your delivery. Some are easy, some require thought, but all will give you the confidence you need to get up front and teach the best class you can. Now go on and make a good first impression. And don’t forget to check in again for more great tips to Unleash your Power.