Being Understood!

Having entered the final two weeks in Kenya I wanted to write about some of the challenges that I’ve experienced in the “classrooms”.

The first has to do with the way I speak. Naturally, I talk really fast and I have been told that I also sound “very nasal!” To overcome this problem I am spending much more time before sessions thinking about what I am going to say and then in class I focus on speaking at a much slower pace and being precise. As the weeks go by I am finding myself better understood so it seems my hard work is paying off!

Another problem that I have noticed is that when teaching the varied business models the terminology used is sometimes too complex for some members of the groups to understand, especially those that speak very little English. To overcome this challenge I have thought about easier ways to explain the models we teach, in particular changing the words used to much simpler ones.

For example, I noticed that when I was trying to explain a certain model that we refer to as the Business Model Canvas the terminology wasn’t widely understood. One of sections is called ‘Customer Segments’ which is essentially a fancy way of saying ‘Who are your customers?’ Similarly another section is called the ‘Value Proposition’, which I simplify to be ‘What is your idea, what is your unique selling point and why will your customer choose you over your competitor?’ I have found the results of this teaching method to be very successful when I test the groups the following week on what they have learnt.

I am sure that in these last 2 weeks I will experience many more challenges but I hope that my ability to think fast on my feet and react quickly (a skill that has been developed and fine tuned throughout my years growing up with three siblings suffering with varied Autistic Spectrum Conditions) will enable me to overcome these problems and help my groups start businesses.