Are you Presenting or Teaching?

If you were asked by someone to explain the difference between presenting and teaching what would you say?

You’d probably suggest that there isn’t much difference, right?

Now if you were delivering training, would you know whether you presented or whether you taught?

Chances are you’d be wondering ‘Aren’t they the same thing?’

  • Devil in the Detail
  • ‘The Exchange!’
  • Knowing the difference

After all presenting and teaching have many similarities. Both involve the delivery of information. Both can be done within the same environment, to the same audience, and both can be ‘carried out’ by the same people [educators, instructors, etc.] and both can be done in many of the same ways.

So surely with so many similarities they are in fact the same thing! Your conclusion was correct . . . wasn’t it?

When it comes to two practices that are in fact so similar it could be said that to separate and define them would be either pedantic or that there should be some other good reason.

There is!

Devil in the Detail

But there is a very good reason. Small subtleties are what differentiate things, and presenting and teaching straddle either side of a fine grey line that separate the two.  

But the contrast between the two does get a bit more black and white at the extreme ends of the scale.

At one end presentations can be ‘one sided’ monologues while teaching at the other end can be a seemingly & completely improvised ‘dialogue’ between instructor and trainee, with incredible results.

And there is the thin grey line between the two.

‘The Exchange!’

Sometimes when it comes to teaching you can deliver training with almost no additional supporting aids, purely from experience and sometimes this is the best way. 

Supporting aids would need far too much preparation and would also be needlessly complicated. Going for it with experience and confidence is far more appropriate.

But what about the thin grey line? Differentiating between presenting and teaching at the extremes is simple, but do you know which you’re doing when you have the chance to do both … at the same time?

Related: 5 Factors that determine how fast you can teach

Knowing the difference

In Short the separation comes from the exchange.

Are the students involved, and if they are then you are ‘Teaching’ and the students part of your training are the biggest part of the learning.

Why is this difference so important?

Being an educator is an extremely powerful method behind active income and an effective way to boost business and achieve financial security and independence.

Knowing the difference between pure presenting and the teaching of students, is a critical factor that will determine the results you can achieve and also how your reputation as an educator in your field is formed.

Related: Why being an educator means you have no competition

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2 thoughts on “Are you Presenting or Teaching?

  1. If you have successfully taught something to a group of people well enough, you must have presented it right, i.e. you have engaged your audience. However, vice versa may not be correct, is that right?
    You are a great teacher by the way.

    • Yes, Thank you and I Miss some of our conversations.

      Learning can definitely be achieved from a presentation, whether audience engagement has been ‘designed in’ to the presentation or not. I think i might have said that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to teach or present, but from your experience as we both know, and also having delivered training, there are some presentations where the audience comes away with very little and others where the audience can come away with much more.

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