Jacqui meet Udemy, Udemy meet Jacqui
Since my last post I've discovered a platform which you've not doubt been aware of for a long time, but which I stumbled upon almost by accident - Udemy. And this discovery has resulted in every spare moment of my time being consumed in course creation - a veritable bulk download of knowledge from the past nine years of training, converted into a polished series of training courses offered on the fabulous Udemy platform.
It wasn't easy. And that was the strangest thing. As you know I train for a living, I talk to people, impart knowledge, share, learn, gauge, react. Soft skills are the bread and butter of a trainer and I'd like to think I've got these in spades. But despite the experience as well as a background in theatre and performance (plus that short-lived stint as a radio host back in the mid 1990s), I found the process daunting. Stage fright! I suffered stage fright, staring into the cold, unblinking eye of my webcam. Perhaps that's what it's like looking into a Dalek? Sorry, I digress.
Perhaps it's the "blankness" of it all - in not knowing to whom you're speaking a void opens and you hear your voice echoing in nothingness. Doubt creeps in - who are you to be talking about training, about ESL, about competencies, about... anything, really?
Since those early days I've had numerous conversations with other Udemy instructors, all amazing people, leaders in their fields and competent in so many ways yet they've all also mirrored my experience. That of The Void.
So let's flash forward to today, where I have four courses - all doing well; two targeted at trainers and two at English learners - up on Udemy. How did I conquer The Void?
Easy. In my "Arbeitzimmer" I have a photo of a dear group of mine, Plauen Volkshochschule students with whom I travelled to London for a weekend. The photo was taken on our last day in London, outside our accommodation near St John's Wood station. The sun's shining, we're all smiling, satisfied after having conquered the English capital (rather a feat for my students who 18 months prior had spoken no or very little English). This is a photo of conquerors. Language heroes. And it was to these students - photo placed behind the camera - I spoke. The Void closed and I was back in my "safe" training space, a space where I'm the boss. And funnily, this made a difference.
Udemy offers me a platform on which to offer courses I cannot teach in person. But beyond that, it has offered me - through an associated Facebook group - access to a network of amazing women (Udemy instructors) who support, encourage, share, butt-kick and inspire. We may live in different timezones and countries, have vastly different skills and backgrounds, but we are, in the immortal words of Ben Folds, "all in this together".
So, you're a trainer thinking about offering your expertise on the world stage, and don't know where to go? Take it from me. Go Udemy. And when you're looking into The Void? Don't forget to breathe.
Find me on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/u/jacquelineseidel/