Speakers vs. teachers?

At AACC National conference in Branson this week. Good to see a number of old friends and colleagues. Have heard a few good ideas as well. At conferences like these there are plenary and breakout sessions where I can get continuing education. The plenary sessions include widely known individuals and the breakouts may also feature well-known counselors as well as “regular” people like me.

Here’s what I notice when I come to a place like this: there are speakers and teachers and usually a person is either one or the other. The speaker is someone who often displays a great sense of humor, knows how to tell stories, and can move and motivate the audience with information that may not be that new but is packaged in a captivating way. Teachers, on the other hand, tend to deliver new content, provide step-by-step description of interventions and give the audience some new way to think or act. Now, teachers can motivate and be humorous and speakers can deliver new content. But commonly these two types of speakers are very different in style.

Have you noticed this difference in conferences you attend and do you gravitate to one more than the other?


Filed under christian counseling, christian psychology

7 responses to “Speakers vs. teachers?

  1. Please could you tell me how to unsubscibe? Or could you please simply remove me from the mailing list. Many thanks! Yvonne

    • Not sure…I believe you need to remove yourself as I imagine you are getting this via RSS feed due to signing up for it. On my page there is a “follow” link in the upper left of the blog. You can “manage” that by unchecking receive by email. Or, If you use outlook, you can manage your RSS feeds that way. I will also look to see but I do not sign people up to this blog so I’m not sure how to unsubscribe them either.

  2. Marilynn

    Teachers, I definitely gravitate to teachers! I like to be entertained and motivated but I need to take something home. When I attend a conference/convention I want it to be more than R&R. I want to take home something in the goodie my bag for my soul. Something practical and useful like the fridge magnets, pens and note pads, that I can carry with me in my heart to help myself and others when the goodie bag seems empty.

  3. I prefer good teachers as the benefit lasts. Humor helps, with the exception of when the subject matter is Biblical/ Spiritual. I do not like listening to a preacher cracking jokes in the middle of Biblical teaching or preaching. The speaker becomes central and God becomes peripheral.

    • Marilynn

      Shona, I am in total agreement with you on this. Just re-read my comment and looks like I need to edit it, but can;t figure out how!

  4. Joseph Owuoth

    Ever thankful for your insights


  5. Andrew J. Schmutzer

    Speaking as an Old Testament professor, I have a hard time with jokes and wise cracks, especially when they’re done poorly. I always wonder: (1) if this is really what I paid to listen to, (2) often feeling patronized by their joking, (3) and just let down by my desire to learn and take something away. That said, I detest boring Bible teaching or lectures. I fight this stereotype a lot. Part of it is my missional philosophy I bring to the classroom: if a subject is worth knowing well, then I believe it’s worth communicating well, too! So for me, any droning speaker is a massive turn off. Taking voice lessons in college taught me not to “sit” on my voice, use breath support, and be conscious of how I articulate. If many speakers saw a manuscript of what they said, it might curb the “goofy-factor.” For a lot of speakers, I want to stand up and say: “Learn how to communicate!” or go teach a doctoral seminar where students pay so much to be there they don’t care. Oops, was that another stereotype?

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