At one time or another, we’ve all been spellbound by an engrossing and charismatic speaker. It is every teacher’s enduring fantasy to be such a person every time she stands in front of her class. To be sure, you will have those moments. They are cherished memories. But, to be fair, teachers and motivational speakers are not comparable. Unlike the speaker, you are not there to entertain but to demand performance. You represent something of a threat, in a way, since you are constantly evaluating their work and behavior. Also, the speaker almost certainly had a willing audience while you are standing before kids, many of whom would rather be somewhere else.
Nevertheless, there are ways at least to approach that captivating quality with your kids. First, you must have their undivided attention. After all, if you don’t demand that, you’ll be telling your students that what you’re about to say isn’t all that important. Then you must be enthusiastic about you topic. You find it fascinating, enthralling. Sell it.
You’re on stage. Move around. You might even want to walk completely around the room to be near the kids in the back on occasion. That has the added benefit of forcing those who would otherwise daydream to follow you by scooting around in their chairs. Be dynamic, expressive. Establish eye contact with one student then another, and another. If you’re up front, don’t forget the back row either. Watch their eyes to gauge the effect you are having. Don’t lose them in details or complexity. Paint mental images. Enjoy yourself and let it show.