14 Top Teaching Techniques For Helping People Learn Anything

14 top teaching techniques for helping people learn anything

In today’s internet age, you might be thinking about starting an online business. More and more entrepreneurs are going digital doing things like blogging, starting YouTube channels and selling digital info products.

But, what good is the information you teach in this content if your audience doesn’t remember it. No matter how good it is or how in-depth you go, if it’s hard to learn, people just won’t get much from it.

Not only is this bad for your audience but it can lead to more bad reviews, less sales and you eventually having to go back to a “real job”. And no one wants that.

Here 13 teaching techniques you can use to help your students or audience learn and remember what you teach:

 

 

 

1. Use metaphors and similes

Comparing concepts to more common instances that everyone can relate to is a great way to help them grasp the meaning better.

For example, if I say email marketing is like direct mail, but digital. It helps people kind of understand the concept of email marketing better by comparing it to an old way of marketing they may be more familiar with.

Otherwise, just giving the definition of email marketing might just confuse people even more without comparing it to something they already know.

 

2. Use different content mediums

You’ve probably heard people say a picture is worth a thousand words. The reason they say that is because the human brain actually processes images much faster than words.

Different people learn best in different ways because of the way our brains are wired, as well as our general preferences. Some people like audio books over physical books, for example.

Try creating multiple ways for people to consumer what you are teaching by using mediums like:

  • Videos
  • Audios
  • Images
  • PDFs
  • Books

 

 

3. Help them connect emotionally

Think about all your greatest and worst memories. Now, try to remember what you had for breakfast last Friday. How come you can remember events from 10 years ago easier than some that happened a week ago?

It’s because of the emotional connection you made to them. If you can use this with students or audience members, you can really help them remember the most important details of what you are teaching.

 

Related: The Canvas Strategy: How To Be Loved And Build An Empire

 

4. Use quotes

Quotes don’t just get thousands of shares on social media by accident. People really love them because of how catchy they are and how they can say so much with so few words.

Try looking up some quotes that really relate to what you are teaching and sum up the concepts in a few words. This will help people remember and understand material much better.

 

5. Tell stories

“Those who tell stories rule the world.”

– Plato

Think about what you and many others do when you’re not working. If you’re like most people, you probably reserve at least a little time once in a while for movies, TV shows or books.

Why is that so common? Because people love stories. You’ll notice that some of the greatest marketers, salesman and politicians are especially good at telling stories.

This helps people relate much easier to what you’re talking about by giving it a more human side to it. Just make sure the moral or lesson of the story is related to what you’re talking about.

 

6. Give exercises as they go

Ever notice how top self-help books from authors like Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill and Brian Tracy tend to have actionable exercises at the end of each chapter?

That’s because it helps you learn better and get results. When you get experience doing something instead of just reading about it, you really start to understand what is going on.

You can’t just teach everyone how to do everything and expect them to do it perfectly. No, they need experience doing it themselves. The lessons you give them will simply help them learn faster while doing it.

 

7. Help them set goals

“Success is steady progress towards one’s personal goals.”

– Jim Rohn

Without goals, how can anything ever get done? There would be no deadlines, no sense of urgency or any kind of purpose to our lives. People need a purpose. People need deadlines.

Without any of these things, we begin to procrastinate, become lazy and look up 20 years later wondering why we didn’t do anything with our lives.

 

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8. Help them know why they want to reach those goals

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

– Simon Sinek

Everyone needs a “why”. Why do you want to reach your goals? How will reaching them improve the quality of your life? How will these goals affect the people closest to you?

These goals can’t be given to you, you have to make them yourself. As the instructor, you need to help students make their own goals instead of just giving them one-size-fits-all goals.

To do that, dig deep. Ask them what they really want. If they say they want to be smart, ask them what being smart will get them. If they say it will help them make more money, ask them what the money will get them.

Then, they will start getting into the most fulfilling reasons for learning the new material like using the money to pay for their child’s schooling, go on more vacations with family or feed needy families in poor countries.

 

9. Set rewards for goals

Don’t work towards reaching a goal just for the heck of it. Give yourself something to really look forward to. As humans, we need to have a positive state of mind to be our most productive selves.

To get this positive state of mind, we have to have rewards to look forward to. Goals are great, but it’s the rewards of goals that really help us keep going.

For example, a well known wrestler and actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sets rewards for himself for eating healthy.

He will eat clean, healthy foods for maybe a month straight depending on what his latest projects are and would reward himself at the end with one day of eating whatever he wants.

setting rewards

Dwayne Johnson would eat things like a stack of pizzas, a plate full of brownies or maybe a 2 foot tall stack of pancakes. He looks forward to these days and it helps him power through when he needs to eat healthy.

 

10. Make them have to teach it

“In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”

– Phil Collins

One of the absolute best ways to get people to remember learning material is to put the pressure on them to teach it to someone else. This takes the selfishness out of learning.

Ever noticed how you or someone you know might look like a total slob around the house? A lot of us don’t care about our hair, wardrobe or anything else too much if we’re just home alone on a lazy day.

But, if that guy or girl you’re trying to impress is coming over, you go all out, spending extra time in the bathroom trying to make yourself look good.

This may not be the best example, but it shows how we care about what certain people think. It’s human nature for us to not want to get criticized or to let people down.

This is why learning by yourself isn’t nearly as motivating as having to teach it to someone else in need. Most people have a conscience. Use it to help them learn.

11. Have them record progress

One of the biggest motivators that can help your audience stick with the material you’re teaching them is to help them record their progress.

It’s depressing when you work on something for so long and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. This is one reason why a lot of people don’t stick with working out at the gym.

They go and want to see progress, but without tracking what they do, they get discouraged and quit. Don’t let your audience have that same problem.

 

12. Break up lessons into small chunks

Don’t try to teach people too much at one time. If a lesson is a 4 hour video, your students are going to get intimidated and probably put if off because of the huge time commitment.

Have you ever looked at a book that’s 500 pages long or more and just couldn’t get yourself to even start on it? It’s just such a commitment. The same applies to long articles, movies, tasks, etc.

Things like courses need to be divided up into smaller chunks to make it easier for people to get through a lesson at a time without having to make huge commitments of time.

 

13. Make the consequences clear

Consequence are one of the best motivators when it comes to making sure your audience follows through with something.

When I mentioned helping your students know their “why”, their goals, and rewards that come with completion of the material, that is associated with the pleasure side of learning.

But, there is also a pain side. If you can get people to associate pain with not learning what they set out to learn from you, they will be much more motivated to get started and stay with the program until the end.

This concept of pain and pleasure associations is something Tony Robbins, a world-famous performance coach, refers to all the time. We can associate pain and pleasure with whatever we choose if we focus.

“The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.

– Tony Robbins

The problem is, most people don’t know they can do so and end up associating pain and pleasure with the wrong things, resulting in fewer rewards and more consequences.

For instance, you might associate pleasure with something that brings quick relief like alcohol, but long term, it will only cause you problems if abused.

Or, you may associate pain with reading a book that could make you more intelligent because you think you reading is boring.

If you learned to use these powerful motivators in your favor, you could instead associate pain with abusing alcohol because it would bring long term side effects and harm to those around you.

Then, you could associate pleasure with reading that book that could make you more intelligent because it could help you make more money and enjoy life more.

These concepts can be applied to learning as well. Help students understand the consequences they would have to deal with later on if they didn’t follow through.

 

14. Give them examples

Last but not least, using examples is a great way to promote understanding of material. Without examples, it will be a lot harder for all your students to grasp the meaning of what you’re teaching.

For example, I gave the example above of what some people struggle with when it comes to pain and pleasure by referencing alcohol or reading books.

Rather than just giving the dictionary definition and leaving it at that, examples can really help people have that breakthrough where they really see how something applies.

The purpose of examples is to help other learn by showing the application of a concept instead of just the theory of it. It makes a world of difference.

 

Related: 13 Best Productivity Tips I Learned From Tony Robbins

 

Conclusion

What good are courses, blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc. if your audience doesn’t learn anything from them?

By using things like stories, similes, consequences, and progress recording, they can learn as well as understand the content much better.

What do you think is the best teaching technique for helping people learn and understand material?

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I’m an entrepreneur, fitness freak, artist, car enthusiast, sports fan and self improvement addict. My goal is to help people be their best and create incredible businesses that change the world.
About The Author

Justin Bryant

I'm an entrepreneur, fitness freak, artist, car enthusiast, sports fan and self improvement addict. My goal is to help people be their best and create incredible businesses that change the world.

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