The I Do, WE Do, YOU Do Teaching Model


Part 1: What “I Do” Can Do for You

 by David Clote

While some events solely intend to boost morale, most desire to leave attendees with new information, behaviors, or both by the end of their time together. These goals are not so different from a teacher with a class of students. Each must deliver new information, ensure the audience follows along, and eventually release students out into the world, hoping their time together was enough to get the information to stick. Clearly, the classroom and event space have more in common than meets the eye. Because of this, research-based teaching methods have much to offer event planners, from event structure, to presenter selection, to attendee follow-up.

One particular teaching model, designated I Do, We Do, You Do, stands out. Simple yet powerful, this model offers teachers (and, incidentally, meeting planners) a framework for structure and execution that begins with “leading instruction and finish[es] with students [or attendees] working independently” (Killian, 2021). The model follows three steps derived from its name. First, someone explains information or models a process (I Do). Second, they work with their audience to complete the process together (WE Do). Finally, attendees complete the processes independently (YOU Do) (Killian, 2021). In this article, we will discuss the first step in the model and how it integrates into your next meeting through quality presentations and event structure. While the content of your meeting will vary widely, there are some principles of I Do that multiply the impact of any event.

Set Expectations

First, it is vital that you, your MC, or your speakers set expectations for your attendees. By making clear where the event is heading, your attendees have a frame of reference as they move through the day(s), like a sort of table of contents. You should answer questions like “what is this event focused on,” “what does this event aim to accomplish,” “when will various topics be covered,” “how will those attending be able to apply this information.” Establishing a vision right from the beginning will allow the audience to be more engaged as presentations and activities ensue.

Give Background

After setting expectations for your event and its content, it is often helpful to give background. Research demonstrates that connecting your content to other concepts, issues, or people your audience is familiar with makes the information/process personally relevant and increases retention (Anderson, 1981; Van Kesteren, 2013). When organizing a medical policy event, for example, it would be advisable to lay out what new policies will be addressed during your event from the outset and relate those to policies attendees are already familiar with. This will not only assist your audience in connecting the new information to what they already know but will also create buy-in from your audience; they will likely be more interested in what you, your speakers, and your event have to say because it will be clearly relevant to them.

Keep it Simple

As you deliver your primary content, simplicity is supreme. Studies have shown significant correlation between student retention and clarity of speech, organization, and explanation (Fendick, 1990). When presenting, selecting speakers, and organizing your event, keeping simplicity and clarity at the forefront of your mind will set your attendees up for success. Studies have also suggested that redundance is the friend of retention (Moreno & Mayer, 2002). Consistently connecting verbal and visual cues back to initial event expectations will allow your attendees to receive steady exposure to the most valuable pieces of information.

Going back to our medical policy example, this may entail sticking to particular wordings of new policies, having logos that indicate which new policy is being discussed, or addressing each new policy’s implications in a particular order as the event progresses. Attention to the structural details of your event will make retention of your content a much higher likelihood.


Having a recap at the end of each presentation and/or your event as a whole provides one last opportunity for your audience to absorb your content and make the change you have worked so hard to inspire in them. This will inevitably round back to the expectations portion at the beginning of your event. Whether a process or information, recapitulating the main ideas of your event keeps fresh in your attendees minds the things you want them to take home. Returning to our medical policy example one last time, an effective recap would summarize the new policies discussed and deliver a simple and specific call to action directly relating to the implementation of the new policies in the attendees’ own medical spaces.


If you aim to inspire a change in your attendees by communicating a new process or information, I Do, WE Do, YOU Do is an excellent, research-based teaching model to adopt. The I Do portion of the model emphasizes connecting new content to existing knowledge, giving background information, prioritizing simplicity and clarity, and leaving students and attendees alike with the key principles or processes needed for change. Utilizing these insights from the model is sure to elevate presentations and structure at your next event.



David Clote is a contributing writer from St. Louis.




Anderson, John R. (1981). Effects of prior knowledge on memory for new information. Memory & Cognition, 9(3). 237-246.

Fendick, F. (1990). The correlation between teacher clarity of communication and student achievement gain: A meta-analysis (Order No. 9115979). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global; ProQuest One Academic. (303902268).

Killian, Shaun. (2021). The I Do WE do YOU do Model Explained.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2002). Verbal Redundancy in Multimedia Learning: When Reading Helps Listening. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(1), 156–163.

Van Kesteren, Marlieke T.R., Beul, Sarah F., Takashima, Atsuko, Henson, Richard N., Ruiter, Dirk J., Fernández, Guillén. (2013). Differential roles for medial prefrontal and medial temporal cortices in schema-dependent encoding: From congruent to incongruent. Neuropsychologia, 51. 2352–2359.

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