9 Ways to Master Cueing in a Virtual Setting
May 21, 2020
Author: Alisa Wyatt, NCPT, PMA Board of Directors
It’s a new world for us as Pilates teachers. Even if you never imagined yourself teaching in front of a camera - you’re doing it now.
Virtual teaching is awkward, and you might be struggling with feeling:
- Self-conscious and not liking what you look or sound like
- Disconnected from your clients on the other end of the screen
- Frustrated with clients who don’t commit to showing up
- Confused as to how to cue so your clients understand what you want
Trust me, you are not alone! The first video I made took 42 takes to get through the intro 😳. Now after 17 years of teaching both in-person and to a camera, I’m pretty confident I’ve made all the mistakes and have some tips that can help you master this skill.
1) Be a leader
It’s normal to feel self-conscious about how you look or sound. But whether your students are doing Pilates with you in person or on a device, they are showing up because they love what you have to offer and want you to lead them. Pilates class is a much-needed time when clients don’t have to make decisions. It’s your job to tell your clients what to do.
2) Plan your day
- Write down reminders for any tips that you need to practice.
- For a group class, have a list in front of you with everyone’s names, goals and issues.
- Have a rough outline of what you’ll teach and an idea for the next class so you can tell everyone what they can look forward to.
3) Check in at the start of class
Are there any new injuries, goals or requests? Ask while people are getting set up and coming in.
4) Look at the camera
It’s easy to forget that your audience is in that little green (or red) dot. I put a sticky note with a smiley face near the dot to remind me to look up there and to…
It signals your own relaxation response and makes your clients smile too.
6) Personal touch
Use everyone's name
and make it a goal to "touch" every student with an individual cue at least once.
7) Show appreciation
At the end, give thanks and tell them what's in store
for next class so they can look forward to coming back.
8) Keep your students moving, not watching.
This might sound counter intuitive but when you teach to a camera it’s important that your students don’t have to look at the screen to know what’s happening.
To achieve this, you need to use audio
cues not visual
ones. Visual cues force your students to stop and look at the screen, which is frustrating - especially if they have to rewind a pre-recorded video to see what you meant. Your cues need to be clean and clear so that your students can work out without having to look at the screen ever.
Here's a video example
And finally, the one thing I want teachers to take away from this post is this:
9) You MUST record yourself giving a class and then take your own class as if you are the client.
Doing this will teach you what mistakes you are making and what you’re doing well. You will immediately become a better teacher - guaranteed.
Good luck and enjoy!
Not yet a member of your professional association? Learn more
on how to become one.