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Do You Read from a Script?

How’s it going? I’ve been asked by students “Tim, do you read your nugget lessons from a pre-prepared script? Sometimes it sounds that way.” Let me answer this question definitively: I have never once used a script in the recording of my nuggets. To be sure, I have nothing against the use of scripts, per se; they just don’t fit into my personal course development workflow. Let me tell you why.

If you know your stuff, then you should be able to talk about it intelligently. Over the course of my career in information technology, I have done a lot of what is called “stand up” technical training. You know, classroom teaching. In this context, face-to-face with students, a trainer works “live without a net,” and if you don’t know your stuff, it is manifestly apparent to everyone in the room.

Accordingly, I perform a huge amount of research on my subject matter when I’m developing a CBT Nuggets training course. It also helps that my courses always reflect technologies with which I have practical industry experience. By the time I turn my recorder on and start teaching a nugget, I’m fully conversant in the material and teach as if you and I were, indeed, face-to-face in a classroom.

Teaching without a script promotes spontaneous discoveries. What I mean here is that because I don’t tie myself down to a script of what I’m going to say, my mind is free to spontaneously generate teaching moments like analogies, jokes, related concepts, and the like. I would also like to think that this free teaching style promotes a greater sense of intimacy between teacher and student. Let’s face it, computer-based training can seem like a lonely, impersonal business at times.

This is not at all to say that when I teach a nugget I am completely “flying by the seat of my pants,” as it were. No—that is what the whiteboard slides are for; these assets frame our discussion and structure the content cohesively. Between my slides and my advance preparation, my goal is to have the nugget material transition smoothly from topic to topic, gradually building to a crescendo and a summary at the end.

I want to have fun. My grandfather used to tell me, “Tim, you know that you have found a career instead of just a job when you look forward to going to work each morning.” I’m grateful to report that I LOVE (yes, with the capital letters and everything) technical training. The passion that you hear in my nuggets is 100 percent real; I thoroughly enjoy information technology, the educational process, and most of all imparting useful knowledge to my students. Somehow I feel that if I were simply to read my lessons from a prepared script it might sound a sour note in what I hope is an enlightening, entertaining learning process for you.

Thanks for reading, and happy studying!


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