Center for Faculty Innovation

The Art of Teaching: Using Performance Techniques for Improving Teaching (Workshop)

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Location: Rose Library room 5211; a light lunch will be provided.

Professional actors and teachers share two common objectives. Both desire to have their audience pay attention to them for as long as possible, and, for the audience to remember their words for as long as possible. Over the millennia, actors have developed hundreds of techniques to achieve these objectives. This workshop shares the techniques that actors use on stage to engage their audiences and demonstrates how they can be utilized for improved university classroom instruction. Participants will learn how to avoid nerves both before and while teaching. They will learn how to warm up and prepare their presentation instruments. They will learn how to use more effective body language and movement in the classroom to keep audience focus on the teacher. They will learn proven non-verbal behaviors and they will learn how to use their voice more effectively – all to keep focus on the teacher for longer periods of time and to help students remember the words spoken to them for longer periods of time.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these program outcomes:

  • Identifying the teacher’s three main instruments and learn how to warm up those instruments to avoid nerves,
  • Analyzing the presentation’s physical environment in terms of using the space more effectively when teaching, and
  • Demonstrating effective non-verbal body language and improved vocal skills in classroom teaching.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these teaching outcomes: 

  • Appreciating pedagogy—the art and science of teaching and learning--as a significant higher education endeavor, and
  • Identifying factors that influence pedagogical choices.


Greg Justice, M.F.A., Virginia Tech

If you require non-dietary accommodations to participate in this program, please email the CFI at or call (568-4846) immediately to convey your needs.  We will work with the HR department to provide you with reasonable accommodations, if time permits.

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