Scalability means adapting to increased demands. As presenters and teachers, we must design our presentations to adapt to our audiences’ increasing demands for the right level of challenge in our seminars and classes.
To make a scalable class or seminar, your exercises should progress from highly structured to freer ones. Depending on how many concepts you are introducing, this can be done across the entire presentation, or the process can be repeated for each segment. The concept of a scalable presentation is best illustrated with this simple image:
In the beginning of your presentation, your audience gains the knowledge they need through your input and structured examples and exercises. By the end of the presentation (or segment), they should be capable of accomplishing the task that you have set out for them with minimal guidance and intervention.
For example, a business English class, titled “Discussing Company Performance,” might begin with eliciting key vocabulary and practicing model conversations. The middle of the class would have less structured exercises, such as role-playing activities. The last portion of the class would have students freely discussing real stock market data.
When you combine eliciting with scalability, you can determine how quickly you need to move through your material while ensuring that your audience is sufficiently challenged throughout the presentation. Check back next week for a case study that will tie all of this together with a real-world example of these concepts in action.