• Dr Mike Howarth

Goodbye stress, Hello Clean English

Script for the video

45˚ Learning has its roots in teaching techniques in daily use by the BBC Education Department, where I developed my career from radio producer/writer to a PhD in Multimedia Design.

By implementing this set of rules and practices, 45˚ Learning can revitalise and evolve your engagement online. Simple to understand practices, such as the illusion of informality achieved by nothing more than positioning the laptop at an angle to the lecturer or student, or the creation of depth or ‘thinking space’ achieved through the placement of artefacts, each add to the impact and subsequent recollection of your sessions.


Academic lessons, for example, are traditionally recorded by a static camera at the back of the room. By adapting our professional video news journalism method, we set the standard higher. We help you understand the building blocks of how to deliver an imaginative, watchable lecturing event with lasting impact as a future resource.

These new communication skills all have one important aim: to enable you to captivate and engage with your audience. By using hard skills - operational and physical best practice, with soft skills such as speaking with confidence, we will give you the tools to master your online presence.

Sitting at a gentle 45˚ to your webcam, moving confidently between themes, stressing key points and making your voice work with pace, tone and cadence, will allow you stand out above and beyond everybody else.

You may not realise it yet, but engaging people screen to screen requires you to adopt a presence more in keeping with being five feet away rather than on-stage. Adapt your projection accordingly and make this work for you.

And forget your image on the screen. Keep looking at the camera, not yourself or the tiny image of the student in the corner of the screen. It’s difficult to do but remember you are full-frame on their computer, not a tiny blot on your own screen.


The 70:20:10 learning and development model by Lombardo, et al. (1996) model is the academic framework on which we base our services.

The great majority (70%) of our learning is experiential, grown from our tacit applied knowledge, while 20 percent is social interactions through peer-to-peer mentoring or feedback and comments between stakeholders.

The method empowers a lecturer to speak in an informal manner to each student. This is central educational value to student learning. It is communications training normally available to senior management, professional presenters and journalists is. It is time for Students and Faculty to learn to develop the ability to read aloud and rewrite written text, shift between informal speech and formal written English and back again with ease specifically used in School Radio. Actor Michael Caine describes similar applications used in film that are very relevant to online lecturing today, (Caine,1987). The lecturer who asks themselves, "What do I really want to say to my students?” and writes it in simple spoken English takes a step forward in their lecturing career.

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