You’ve probably been told that you talk too much.
Teachers do talk a lot because they think they have to – “That’s what I get paid to do!”
When teacher talk dominates then pupils can’t get a word in edge-ways so use the WAIT principle and simply ask “Why Am I Talking?”
It could be that you are waffling. It could be that you are saying too much and giving too much. The more you talk, the less students will listen (and they will probably remember just the beginning and end of what you say anyway). Sometimes we just need to explain an idea in the fewest amount of words possible.
What teachers say matters and every word needs to be chosen carefully. This might sound like there is no room for spontaneity but you can still be consciously aware of what you are saying and press pause if you need to.
What about talking to colleagues?
The same applies. Some colleagues love to hear themselves talk and exhaust themselves in the process and the staffroom can feel competitive on occasions but sometimes you can say more just by listening.
Perhaps we should listen to @ryanfoland and his 3-1-3 principle. He helps people “whittle down what they say into the fewest and most powerful elements so that they can communicate more in a shorter amount of time all while sparking more interest.”
That sounds promising for the classroom, staffroom and CPD conference room. The idea is that we learn to express an idea in three sentences, then in one sentence, and then ultimately in three words.
Less is more.
Short, sweet and simple.
Using the 3-1-3 Method also allows the audience to ask questions thereby engaging them with your idea. You don’t have to offer all the details in a silver platter.
The 3-1-3 sandwich can work in education and is well suited to some contexts. It is especially useful for self-awareness and self-branding.
Our classrooms and CPD arenas need to be spaces for concise teaching and learning and the 3-1-3 technique is something to share with students too.
Another thing we can do when engaging in learning conversations is waiting. Mike Sturm (2016) suggests we wait 3 seconds after someone finishes speaking before we speak. This is great advice because it gives you time to structure a meaningful response and lets you put some distance it establishes “between your involuntary emotional reaction and your intentional action of speaking.”