Teaching Essential Oil Classes

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Teaching Essential Oil Classes
 
 
Many people have considered teaching a class about essential oils at one time or another. Teaching classes about essential oils can be a great way to share your love for essential oils with others, and it can be a great way to introduce others to essential oils and possibly increase sales for those who sell essential oils.
 
From what we have learned from many people who have experience giving classes or participating in classes involving essential oils, there are three main keys for giving a successful class. These keys are:
  1. Gain knowledge and experience with what you are teaching about.
  2. Keep your class focused on a specific, simple goal.
  3. Plan to allow the class members an opportunity to interact—both with you, and with the oils.
Other key considerations are:
  • Have a specific goal in mind with what you want to accomplish during the class.
  • Make a plan for your class with that goal as the focus—and follow it.
  • Keep it simple—don't try to teach everything at once.
  • Love and have fun with what you are doing.
  • Share your own personal experiences.
  • Interact with people attending the class and try to connect with them.
  • Let people interact with the essential oils as much as possible.
  • Have books, handouts, and other information available for those who would like to learn more.
  • Know (and be prepared to act on) all pertinent safety information for any essential oil you use during class.
  • Don't try to fake what you don't know.
While there are many different possible subjects that can be taught about essential oils and aromatherapy, it is best to pick an area that intrigues or interests you. This will help ensure that you have enthusiasm for the subject, which will in turn help those in your class feel this same enthusiasm as well. While the following list is in no way comprehensive, it is a great starting point, and may help you generate some new ideas.
  • Introduction to Aromatherapy/Essential Oils
  • History of Essential Oils
    • Oils of the Bible
    • Oils in the Antiquities
    • Essential oils in Egypt
  • Everyday Uses for Essential Oils
  • Aromatherapy First Aid
  • Relaxing with Essential Oils
  • Seasonal Aromatherapy
    • Romantic Blends (valentines, anniversaries)
    • Christmas Blends
    • Essential Oils for the Cold and Flu Season
  • Aromatherapy and Pain Management
  • Essential Oils in the Classroom
    • Aromatherapy and Learning Disabilities
    • Disinfecting with Essential Oils
  • Essential Oil Anti-Oxidants
  • Cooking with Essential Oils
  • Aromatherapy and Weight Loss
  • Aromatherapy and the Emotions
  • Aromatherapy at the End of Life
  • Aromatherapy and Massage
  • Aromatherapy and Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy and Vita-Flex
  • Aromatherapy and Raindrop Technique
  • Essential Oil Crafts
  • Essential Oils and Gardening
  • Essential Oils for Pest Control
  • Essential Oil Cleaning Products
  • Soap Making with Essential Oils
  • Aromatherapy at the Office
  • Aromatherapy and Animals
  • Essential Oil Blending
  • Aromatherapy and Beauty
  • The Aromatherapy Home Spa
The following ideas were compiled from a few of the responses to a survey we created looking for ideas on ways to teach essential oil classes.
  • "I teach classes in my community based on the book, Healing Oils Healing Hands by Linda Smith. The book covers what essential oils are, where they come from, the difference in perfume grade and therapeutic grade, how oils work in the body, mind and spirit. The book also covers the use of oils during Bible days and modern times. It is a great beginning text!" -Edee
  • "I have to admit, the "classes" I've been to locally have been kind of wandering and unfocused. And there wasn't really a lot of interaction. We were told to hold all questions or we couldn't cover the material (these were supposed to be informal, casual, home party type classes). I know for me, I learn sooooo much more if there is participation." -Deanna
  • "I teach about the essential oils with a lot of fun and hands on. First of all I explain what the essential oils are, and how they work through the olfactory system. Then I explain the 8 ways of using essential oils: smell, diffusing, local application, hot/cold compress, massage, tenting, eating, and misting. I then talk about how harmful the petrochemicals in our environment are and how they block our pores and slow/diminish blood flow and oxygen to the brain, thereby causing dis-ease. I take a styrofoam cup and use it as a demo dropping a few drops of clove, orange, cinnamon, grapefruit, or bergamot and allow everyone to watch how the cup dissolves. I explain how we use the single oils and blends while going through the pages of the Essential Oils Desk Reference, and I show everyone, in the book how we can help each other by using the oils and improving health. By the time I am done with all the above, 2 hours have gone by quite quickly!" -Chaya
  • "I have taught a Dr. Mom class going through the oils that are helpful from head to toe. Giving examples for ear aches, acne, headaches, cough, sore throats, chest congestion, stomach aches, pain issues, sore muscles, sore feet, and foot fungus, etc. It is easy to remember the oils you use for the various ailments. People are very appreciative as it is very useful information. You can demonstrate sprays, lotions, and direct inhalations." -Barbara
  • "To help everyone learn and retain information, I did a simple "Bingo" game. Made and copied simple bingo cards to pass around with the names of each oil...As I went through each oil in the kit and passed them around to sample, each person marked their bingo card. As their cards filled up and "Bingo" was called out, they could pick a small gift (oil bath soak packets, small soaps, or oil gel room fresheners, etc.) Had a great class! And, everyone went home with a small gift." -Christine
  • "I taught spa classes for 4 years. The students LOVE making bath salts, skin products they can use. Also loved making repellents for outdoors. They love DOING, not just listening to lectures." -Coni
  • "I have taught 1 to 2 monthly classes and at least 2 dozen other workshops on oils during the past 8 years...The major keys that make my classes successful are 1) knowing what outcome I intend to get and keeping the class on course, 2) making them fun and 3) doing activities that allow attendees to get their hands on the oils so they can have a direct, personal experience. Other "rules" are to "interact with" rather than "teach to", ask participants to share their current and/or past experiences with oils...,avoid overwhelming people with too much information, and follow-up within the next 1 to 3 days." -Jan
  • "Being able to smell the oils; application demonstration on a willing volunteer; written material with allergy warnings; suggested application processes; question/answer session." -Teresa
  • "I have taught classes using essential oils in "homemade" cleaning products. I provide simple recipes for what we will be making, an essential oils personality and profile sheet, and the ingredients for the products we will be making in class. Those that enroll in the class pay a small fee and are asked to bring glass jars with lids of certain sizes to put their final product in. Every class I've had has been a success! We usually make scrubbing powder, a jar of bath salts and/or body polish. I provide recipes for a couple more things they can make at home." -Traci
  • "Center the topic around holidays or events taking place either locally or nationally. We focused on problems and issues taking place around Christmas, using essential oils for spring cleaning instead of harsh chemicals, romance for Valentine's Day, and oils of the Bible for Easter. And one of the most fun things is to have the oils you are talking about available to pass around for the attendees to smell. This gets them involved quicker than anything else we do at our lectures." -Rachel
  • "The class interviews someone and selects one of their health concerns, then using what they learned in the class, puts together a suggested blend for that person." -Barbara
  • "Be yourself and let your passion and faith in oils shine. So many people are in such want and need of clear accurate information." -Ceora
  • "I just finished a class in my home where I taught making your own cleaning supplies...I had my own products that I made up to have them try or smell, such as window cleaner, liquid soap, countertop spray and kitchen and bathroom cleansers, etc. I handed out recipes for making their cleaning stuff and also I used the...cards with...samples on each to give...A spray bottle for room deodorizing was given out as a gift..." -Alice
 
The following tips for people teaching classes for the first time were compiled from a few of the responses to a survey we created looking for ideas on ways to teach essential oil classes.
  • "Keep it to one topic...Keep it as simple as possible." -Lynn
  • "Love what you are doing and share with your heart. Have some great text books on hand for those that want to learn more. Keep holding classes and the people will come." -Edee
  • "If you're teaching essential oils 101, don't get too technical. Yes, we want to educate, but not overwhelm." -Deanna
  • "Stick to using a few oils and learn the specifics of those oils. People appreciate keeping it simple and using examples and samples to try. Don't overwhelm with too much information." -Barbara
  • "I do know you have to CONNECT!!" -Kate
  • "I would recommend that you do a class plan of what you want to cover and follow it. To this plan, I add one-liners to keep me on track or with factual information. Be organized and have fun. I always try to get people to ask questions—that way there is interaction and everyone including you learns while you are teaching. -Mary
  • "Always use the oils. Have handouts and prices available to those who will ask about them (if you use them, they will ask). Carry an inventory of at least a few oils...If you have them on hand you will allow others to use them easier." -Sue
  • "Get the Essential Oils Desk Reference, read the first 3 chapters and make notes, learn the application methods and safety precautions, get personally acquainted with the [oils] and start teaching/sharing from there." -Jan
  • "Know how to 'neutralize' the oils to be demonstrated. Have mixing (carrier/vegetable) oils on hand. Offer coffee beans to smell between smelling samples of oils. Allow time between smelling samples to avoid olfactory over-load. Know the contraindications of any oil being used/demonstrated." -Teresa
  • "Experiment and share your own stories. Speak from your heart and don't pressure sales." -Jan
  • "Limit your topic and be specific—don't provide too much information, but be prepared to answer questions and offer more information. I usually take a few books with me so the students can search for information on their own." -Traci
  • "Keep it simple, and don't pretend to know more than you really do...Recommend some great books where they can learn about the oils for themselves." -Rachel
  • "Plan, have hand-outs, have books and oils around" -Jo-Ellen
 
The following list of questions is by no means comprehensive, but it should get you thinking in the right direction as you plan, prepare for, present, and reflect on your class.

Planning -

  • What would I like to teach about?
  • What do I know about that topic, and what do I still need to learn about it?
  • What experience do I have with that topic?
  • How can I gain more experience with this topic if needed?
  • Do I want this to be a basic class for beginners, or a more advanced class for people familiar with the topic?
  • What specific goal would I like to accomplish with my class?
  • What do I want the class members to take away from my class?
  • What kind of atmosphere do I want for the class (i.e., lecture-interactive, formal-informal, structured-loose, large class-small class, fun-serious etc.)
  • Where will I teach the class?
  • When will I teach the class?
  • How long do I want the class to be?
  • Do I want (or need) to charge for the class?
  • Who do I want to attend the class?
  • Where can I find the people I would like to attend the class?
  • How can I get those people to feel that attending this class will be beneficial to them?
  • Do I want people to pre-register for the class, or just show up?

Preparation -

  • Do I have a specific goal in mind for my class?
  • Have I learned all that I can about the topic, and refreshed my knowledge so I can readily answer most questions?
  • Have I experienced enough with the topic, and have I refreshed my memory so I can readily share my experiences?
  • Do I have a specific plan for how to present my knowledge and experience in a way that helps achieve my goal?
  • Have I planned for opportunities to let the class members interact with both me and the topic?
  • Do I have a general timeline for how long each portion of my class will take?
  • Have I let the people I want to attend know about my class, and helped them realize how it can benefit them?
  • Do I have the location for the class picked and reserved for the times I want (including extra time before to set up, and extra time after to take down and clean up)?
  • Do I have the supplies ready that I will need, including visual aids, handouts, paper, pens, any equipment needed to make anything, audio-video tools, samples, door prizes, reference books, etc.?
  • Have I practiced my presentation enough that it is polished and professional?
  • Have I sought feedback on my presentation from friends or family members to help make it better?

Presenting -

  • Do I have my class presentation outline memorized or on note-cards so I can easily move from one section to the next?
  • Do I have all visual aids prepared, in order, and easily accessible so I will not have to spend time looking for them?
  • Do I have any activities or demonstrations set up and ready to go?
  • Have I made sure that no outside distractions will interrupt my presentation (including cell phones, pagers, bathroom breaks, etc.)
  • Have I made arrangements so I can focus completely on my presentation without other worries (including babysitting, issues at work, family problems, etc.)
  • Can people hear me adequately?
  • Do I have any equipment I need in place and working properly (including computers, projectors, music systems, microphones, etc.)

Follow-up -

  • Did I accomplish the goal that I had for my class?
  • If not, how can I improve my class for next time?
  • Did the people I wanted to attend the class come?
  • Did they take away from the class what I wanted them to?
  • Did I have enough time to prepare and set-up for my class?
  • Were there any questions I was not prepared to answer from my knowledge or experiences?
  • Did I have all of the equipment I needed on hand for the class?
  • Was the classroom the right size for the class?
  • Do I have a way to contact those who attended to follow-up on un-answered questions, or to let them know about future classes?
  • How can I improve the class for the future?
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