However, we usually enter into things with misconceptions and it is common for those misconceptions to meet with disapproval. So went my first experiences with cooking, so went my first experiences on stage, so went my first experiences with writing papers for university and so on. Like the podcast said, we learn from our mistakes - but most dramatically when we don't realize we are making mistakes. In those instances, it is our tendency to push back and resist against learning.
Keeping on topic with the art of presentation, I have long witnessed a pattern with DMs that centers around the need to impress players. The DM creates a big speech that the leader of the town gives, or gives maximum description through every combat of the way the swords swing or the amount of blood that gushes forth from the slain enemy:
Player: "I roll to hit."
DM: "You draw back your sword and with immense power you bring it CRASHING down on the head of the orc, causing the creature to scream in agony and sink to the ground, it's hands dropping its weapon as it cries out, 'Oh why did I try to fight against such magnificent heroes?' . . ."
And so on.
Do these efforts really impress people? Personally, I have a strong radar for people trying to impress me and my first thought is, "What are they trying to make me buy?" I inherently don't trust people who try too hard with such things. It's a tactic and a pretty piss-poor tactic at that . . . and I wonder why DMs feel it is such an important part of the game to impress the players.
Is this really the point of the game? Or is the point to facilitate play by describing things sufficiently? Presentation, I believe, is about communication, not pandering for respect: if players are going to impressed by a DM it will more likely come from the DM's cool, confident temperament than from the number of adjectives the DM can string together to describe things.
A class would want to emphasize this. A tutor would need to approach the resistance to this idea of needing to make things 'bigger' in order to be 'better' by communicating with the student and not at the student. This is what I tried to convey in the previous post: that while I did want the fellow to understand that his t-shirt wasn't winning any contests at the table, I wanted him to understand that from the point of view of someone that was self-aware - not someone who was shamed into a different behaviour.
Education must derive from two persons working together to solve a given problem - in the case given, the problem of presenting to the players to gain respect and legitimacy as a DM. Education should be a collaboration. The first step is to agree on the problem and the next, to solve that problem. So often, the difficulty is to be found in the first step, as the student enters the classroom with a sense that they already know what the problem is - "I don't know what I need to know" - and that the educator will somehow wave a magic wand and make that lack of knowledge go away.
With something like DMing, a thing that is deeply personal and deeply entrenched in one's prejudices, it isn't a matter of 'knowing' how to DM. It is much more a matter of recognizing how something tried and tried is or isn't working. I said this at the beginning of How to Run - it is a major theme in the book. In the beginning, I had some handle on when I was doing well as a DM; but I couldn't explain why I was doing well and I couldn't reproduce that effect when desired. DMing was totally hit or miss. It took writing the book to truly nail down why I could manage a table well and why players enjoyed my DMing.
That would be the purpose of every class I would give: Tell me what you're doing and I'll explain why this is working and why this isn't. If the student can then accept that (largely on faith, as one would from an instructor), then we can work to change to a strategy that will work, every time.
That's not easy. It requires a willingness to break with past behaviour. That is why the most esoteric of classes cost so much money: it is always presumed that the more open your wallet is, the more open your mind is probably going to be.