Teaching a topic not only makes you a stronger subject matter expert, but also helps you develop better communication and presentation skills.

Have you ever heard the saying, “you’ll learn more by teaching” than most other options? I can vouch for this first hand.  I am President of the APICS Inland Empire Chapter (#1 trade association for supply chain and operations management professionals), and we offer highly respected and sought after certifications in the industry.  Thus, we have several instructors teach courses on the fundamentals of manufacturing and distribution – and on advanced topics such as lean manufacturing.  I have team-taught our CSCP (certified supply chain professional) classes, and I guarantee you learn more by teaching!  Teaching can be hard work – the best instructors make the sessions interactive, provide real-world examples, engage the audience etc.

The same is true with my clients.  I have taught a session or one-on-one far more often to implement a particular best practice with a client than I have in a group setting like APICS classes.  Either way, the class will ask questions and poke holes in your concepts.  Thus, you have to be on your feet, experienced and able to think in the moment to be a successful teacher.  It is well worth developing your skill set in teaching.  You’ll be surprised by what you lean.  Try it out with your colleagues – pick your best topic and teach it.  Ask your colleague to do the same.  Ask for feedback.  Adjust as it makes sense.  Go to a class on communication and presentation skills.  For example, in APICS we offer train-the-trainer courses and ask our instructors to re-take the class every few years.  Ask for a mentor.  Results will follow.