When One Teaches, Two Learn

Matt shares his teaching approach – from interest to refined speech or presentation.

We think that really effective learning happens when you have to explain ideas to others, and this is enhanced when there is the addition of some real-time pressure to perform. In-person coaching demands expediency in feedback. Teaching concepts to clients in conversation forces the coach to have a good grasp of the subject matter. Being introduced to this material beforehand and contemplating it is an obvious aspect of learning, but putting this information in your own words and teaching someone on the spot is an excellent way to retain and develop your knowledge base.

Working through ideas while explaining them to others helps you solidify your understanding of the topic. Areas of weakness or fuzziness in your understanding or rationale for a particular approach become readily apparent while teaching someone else. Also, if you’re having difficulty conveying information to others, it forces you to rephrase the information in simpler or creative ways. This can be a great way of taking your comprehension of material to a new level.

Here is how Matt Reynolds—CEO of Barbell Logic Online Coaching—approaches the process of learning:

Bullet Point Notes

Matt likes to dive deep into a subject that interests him. He researches it on the internet and finds books and other material on the subject to really immerse himself in. While perusing through all of this information, he takes notes. These could simply be bullet points on his phone or more formal notes on a computer or notepad. These notes act as landmarks and reminders he can return to once he feels he has researched enough to grasp the entire topic.


Then he organizes these notes into some logical order of succession. This organizing will likely reveal some gaps in the information that need clarifying, so it’s worthwhile to spend some time with these notes and let them digest. This goes a long way toward formulating the ideas and concepts for him.

Say It Out Loud, Write It Down

Next, he speaks it out loud—preferably under some level of pressure. This could be explaining or presenting to a friend, family member, or even just saying it to himself. With this more refined version, he can be comfortable presenting to a larger audience, knowing the information will be more concise.

Often, just reading material isn’t enough to fully understand it. It can be very helpful to explain it out loud or write it down in your own words. This engages different regions of the brain and makes for a more comprehensive experience. Depending on how you naturally process information, this covers all of your bases. The added element of pressure is a powerful focusing tool, and being able to teach others guarantees the concepts are simple and functional.

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