How Do You Engage 300 People for 2 Hours

I recently had a motivational talk to form Six Students of Our Lady of Africa – Mukono Campus around the issue of Preparing for examinations. It was a Tuesday afternoon, a public holiday and certainly not the time any student would want to be in class. Just before the talk, their Headteacher briefed me about their attitude to learning, which in his opinion was wanting. He told me this before them, so they knew what I knew. That presentation (read interaction) was one the best I have made. In fact, two hours later, the students still wanted me to continue. I share here some of the tricks I used to achieve that.

1. Planning : I had thought about how I would engage students on a day like that before I set off.  I put myself in the shoes of the students, asking myself what I would want to hear and do at what time. I switched slides, thought of the questions I would ask before hand, and designed the activities. I also ensured that my dressing was descent but not too formal. No suits! African Kitengi and nice pants just.

2. Realized that a Motivational Talk is not all Talk. Designed activities to include, such as quizzes and puzzles. As well, bought some candy for the class for those ho answered questions. I gave a few other rewards. Point is; think about it.

3. Love what you are doing: I love sharing with youths, and they sense you enjoy what you are doing. I guess that helps them to identify with you.

4. Make it Personal : Share personal stories. Things you have experienced both as a youth and as an adult. Allow them to share too. So you need to be very attentive their body language and the comments they make. Make it relevant to them.

Scroll to Top