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Top Tips From Introverted Instructors

If you’re an introvert who never dreamed you could be an effective instructor, you are not alone. Luckily, there’s a place for everyone at the front of the room. Even if you have made it over the initial obstacle of facing a crowd looking at you for direction, you may still encounter challenges. Here are some tips from successful introverted instructors on how to excel.

“Tell yourself that you only need to bring it to one person, and your mission is accomplished. As corny as it sounds, find a catch phrase that works for you and use it during your class.”

—Ben Sweeney, New York City

“Putting the student before yourself is most important. Remember that you are doing this because you want to share what you know about health and fitness to help others.”

—Ralph Keefe, New Milford, New Jersey

“Stretch yourself. Once you get comfortable in places you teach and everyone knows you, go somewhere else and try it out. This will challenge you, and the more you do it, the more confident you’ll become as an instructor.”

—Christine Gallagher, Philadelphia

“Being knowledgeable about health-related issues helps you be at ease when talking to clients. Being passionate about what I do helps me overcome my introversion and create a great exercise experience for my students.”

—Anastasiya Goers, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“In order to switch my dial from my usual mellow, laid-back persona to the energy I need to teach, I rely on music. And not just standard 32-count music on a generic CD, but my own carefully curated playlists. I make sure my music corresponds to the class and also gets me pumped.”

—Zawadi Barskile, Garner, North Carolina

“One way to let go of focusing on yourself and your performance worries is to tell students to close their eyes, depending on the pose, and then they’re not looking at you.”

—Jasmine Kaloudis, Philadelphia

“Make sure that whatever you need to do to recharge, you set aside the time to do it.”

—Drew Vanover, Tarrytown, New York

“Shout out that you love a song, then sing along and just pretend you’re in your car singing to an awesome tune instead of teaching in front of a class. Showing your own personality and being a little dorky or quirky can make your students more comfortable.”

—Maria Pontillo, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

To read the full article form the June 2014 issue of the IDEA Fitness Journal click here.

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