Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself in a lesson. Just don’t repeat yourself in the same way.

Much of what you teach passes through your students’ brains like water through sand. For that reason alone, some repetition is useful. It gives your material a fighting chance to be heard.

But there’s also a teaching opportunity that goes along with repetition, and this is the one that many people miss. That’s the opportunity to teach the same point a different way and thereby:

  • Improve the odds that someone will understand it.
  • Expand on the way someone understands it.
  • Expand on how much someone understands it.

Simply saying the same point again, the exact same way, numbs the student to the content.

But when you push your imagination so you explain your key points in two or three different ways, you awaken the student to the content.

Try this:

  • Work the new explanation into a demonstration.
  • Embed the point into a story.
  • Craft a fresh analogy.
  • Take the students through an application of the information.
  • Simply use new words; can you explain your concept or point without using a single word you used the first time? Or only words of one syllable?
  • Put the key points into an infographic.
  • Explain something backwards, working from the end result to the beginning…

Remember the character of Phil Collins in the movie Groundhog Day? He gets a “do-over” every day until he gets his life right. Think of restating your key points as your chance for a lesson “do-over.” Be as willing as he was to do whatever it takes to break through to the desired result.​

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Online Course Tip #34: Use Repetition to Your Advantage

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