Classroom Selling

 | October 01,2010 02:42 pm IST

At times in classroom discussions, we face the dilemma of waiting for the right time to make our move. By the time we say something, either the topic of discussion takes a different direction or the words do not hit the class to the degree we expected.

We are left with our own thoughts with nobody to listen and lose the track of the topic of discussion. We keep thinking of ways to overcome this barrier in the next session. Hence we have zero learning from the session.


Do we really know the method of attending a classroom session in a B-school? Where do we lack? Most of the time we find that others are discussing a relevant point and we can add to it. But why can't we make our move? Do we really understand the objective of attending a B-school? Is management study similar to the study at the under graduate level? What's so special about FMS and IIM's when the course curriculum is same as being followed in other B-schools?


There is no one-line answer to so many questions like these. In fact each person has his own style of managing and analyzing things. There is nothing right or wrong about it. My experience at B-school has taught me that there are only suitable or unsuitable moves. Each of our moves can be planned in such a manner that it strikes the right note at the first instance. We can have a strategic orientation to gain more from classroom discussions and get noticed for our efforts.


Some of the following tools would be of help:


Classroom Preparation

1- We should clearly understand the topic of discussion and prepare ourselves accordingly.

2- The key to success is not in reading exhaustively but in reading the right material. At this level we should try to address the purpose the topic serves in practical life based on our experience and interests.

3- We can have a better understanding of the topic by analyzing the same in our respective groups. Remember to finish all your group discussions outside the class and enter as an individual with an agenda of discussion.

4- We can also write a summary of the points to be discussed and queries to be solved.

5- We can make our contributions more presentable by putting them on OHP sheets or PowerPoint slides to make the point more interactive for discussion.


How to conduct in Class

1- Try to sit in a place accessible to all the corners of the class so that you can be easily seen and heard when you make a point.

2- Remember that you are here to learn the application of the concept and not for speaking for the sake of speaking.

3- A classroom is similar to a boardroom where no comments should be made at the personal level. Everything should be discussed in the context of business or topic.

4- Engage in aggressive listening and try to find out the impact of other's opinion on your perspective.

5- Try to put forward your points of discussion from the summary sheet that will help the class discussion to build up.

6- Build a rapport with the teacher and share your experiences for in depth learning.

7- You can also help the class by concluding the topic on points of learning.

8- There are no perfect answers in management. Each manager has to relate the classroom discussion with his own viewpoint to arrive at a conclusion.

9- Remember that the height of discussion depends on the depth of homework you have done for your class preparation.


Hence the quality of learning is each individual's responsibility.