By Eric Barker
May 23, 2014

Show More Enthusiasm

Professor Stephen Ceci taught his class the way he had for the past 20 years, replicating nearly everything imaginable:

Same book, same lectures, same exams… even the same student demographics.

Via The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are:

There was zero difference in the content.

The only change was this semester he presented more enthusiastically, gesturing with his hands and modulating his voice.

What happened?

His student ratings went up — in every single category, even those that had nothing to do with enthusiasm.

Via The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are:

He was seen as more knowledgeable, more tolerant, more accessible, more organized.

Via The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are:

Students said they learned more. They felt the grading was fairer. They even said the textbook was better.

And all he did was gesture more and modulate his voice.

Via The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are:

Next time you need to impress, it might be worth being a little more enthusiastic.

(Yes, I was slightly tempted to end that last sentence with seven exclamation points.)

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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