Working with Different Types of Students

The instructor needs to have a basic understanding of what kind of person attends his seminars and why those people chose the given seminar format. Most of the information given out can be gleaned from books or various videos that are freely available in great number online or can be bought in stores. Meanwhile, people sometimes fly in from the other side of the country and spend a lot of money and time to take part in a live seminar. Why? Knowing the answers to this question will help you to better meet the needs of your audience. Reasons might include:

– they want to be in a down-to-earth atmosphere with like-minded people

– they want to obtain more motivation and desire, as well as be psychologically jolted into action by the instructor

– they want personal help from the instructor

– many dislike reading books

– it’s easier and simpler for them to learn the techniques from somebody else than to spend a lot of time learning something on their own

– it allows for quicker progress since fewer mistakes will be made during attempts

– they want new information instead of antiquated material from books and videos

– somebody wants to meet you and talk with you personally

– many people simply like to go to various seminars as a form of entertainment and personal development

– somebody wants to get first-hand experience of a seminar before holding his own

– somebody just happened to tag along or is taking the place of a friend who couldn’t go

– some people simply don’t know that all this information is freely available

As you can see, people rarely attend for learning’s sake alone. They need something else, and the instructor should always keep that in mind. Don’t be surprised when a very experienced practitioner who knows the techniques better than the instructor himself still attends seminars and obtains much satisfaction from doing so.

Most attendees are no problem at all to teach. However, there are some typical characters who are nearly always encountered in the audience and who you should know how to deal with so as not to harm the general atmosphere or make things difficult for yourself or those characters themselves.

The Skeptic The skeptic will try to cast doubt on almost everything you say. He will often do this in a way so that everybody or at least his neighbors can hear him. It’s never, ever worth it to get into a discussion with him. You should politely ask him to keep quiet and hold his questions for the question-and-answer session. He will quiet down on his own if you ignore him after that. His neighbors will often help him to do so.

The Gullible Some people are so open to new information that they will take every word of yours to be the God-given truth. The problem is that it’s hardly likely that it’s your personal powers of suggestion that are so convincing. What’s more likely is that they approach everything in a similar manner, and so their heads might be full extraneous garbage that would seriously interfere with their practice. All of their "knowledge" will usually mix together with the unadulterated procedures you give them, and no good will come as a result. You usually have to talk to them one-on-one to warn them of the problems that they might run into.

The Know-It-All This type of student attends lessons and yet for some unclear reason stubbornly does everything in the way that seems right to him, which is often the exact opposite of the instructions he was given. Politely ask a know-it-all to follow your instructions, and only your instructions, during the seminar, and then do things any way he wants after the lesson. Let him know that you can’t help him until he follows the procedure he was taught when making attempts.

The Motor-Mouth You need to be very careful when asking this type of student a question and even more careful when giving him the floor. Instead of a clear answer, you might get a 5 to 10 minute speech about everything and nothing. Immediately nip it in the bud. There usually isn’t enough time during the lesson for what’s most important. Moreover, other attendees don’t really want to listen to motor-mouths either, as they came to listen to you.

The Wallflower If you notice people who sit as far back in the room as they can and participate as little as possible in everything, put them in the front row on day two. Involve them in the process and ask them more questions, as otherwise there’s the risk of them ruining your rate-of-success due to lackluster and unfocused attempts.

If somebody constantly gets sidetracked, simply ask him questions more often during the lesson. In critical situations you can always ask a disruptive person to leave the classroom so that he doesn’t interrupt the lesson. You should do so politely and give him a full refund if it happens on the first day. However, such situations are quite infrequent.

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