How to not sound like I'm trying to "educate" or "lecture" someone?

  • Thread starter TechieDork
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  • #1
TechieDork
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Whenever I try to explain something to some people. They often remark me I'm trying to "lecture" or "educate" them (they're all dean's listers).It surprised me because I thought they would be a quite open-minded folks. I tried to fix this by keeping my ego in checks , speaking in front of mirrow and record the way I talk (unfortunately, it's in Thai and my English speaking skill is quite underdeveloped) But it seems it doesn't help.
Have you ever been told you're trying to "educate" someones?
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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Understand where your audience is at so you can address their concerns or interests on the subject.
If they have no interest, you have to motivate their interest first (your introduction part). Without interest from your listeners, it will feel like lecturing (forcing people to listen to you rather than having them listen because they are interested).

Don't use jargon if it can be avoided. Jargon are special words often only understood by people in a select field. Using jargon will separate you from an uninformed audience and often produce the effect of you're lecturing.
 
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  • #3
DaveE
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Try as much as possible to be having a conversation with them, even if you will be doing most of the talking. Check into see if you are providing the information they really want and are delivering it at an appropriate depth or rate. I have often found that people don't always phrase their questions so that I understand at first what they really wanted to know. Don't try to explain the whole subject, just give an introduction/summary and then check to see if they want more details.

I suspect that this isn't really as much about how you are talking, more about the dynamics of the human interaction.
 
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  • #4
Klystron
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I lived and worked in Thailand with radar and electrical engineers for several years before writing and presenting a series of lectures and classes on radar science for the Air Force. Originally designed to instruct new and experienced technicians, senior officers usually electronic engineers began to attend and participate.

I adapted to the varied audience by encouraging and listening to questions in order to understand participants' level of understanding and grasp of fundamentals. Rather than plow through prepared material at a middle level, I might slow the pace and review introductory EM theory as needed, progress through the lecture topic then extend the discussion into wave mechanics, fields and dielectrics. Even advanced students appreciate appropriate review of fundamentals progressing from the subject at hand to more complex topics and theory while other listeners can understand there is always more to learn.

Tone of voice and delivery remain very important; a balance between formal and conversational, polite but erudite, flow and emphasis. Maintain eye contact and correct posture. Listen to yourself but concentrate on your listeners. Adapt these suggestions to less formal contexts where you may be educating peers while stimulating conversation and feedback.

Learn to develop a natural unaffected speaking style. It is fine and expected to speak in an educated manner but maintain an interactive flow of information. Practice your Thai inflections and word choice -- perhaps with friends and family -- to include others as equals and potential friends. Learn to smile and gesture in an inclusive manner. I remember King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Himself an engineer, speaking on American television and informally in Thailand. His polite soft-spoken manner and delivery remain good examples for public speaking.
 
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