I am not sure what is normal in the US, but I run my own studio so I put up a white board just off to the side of where I teach. I put it up because I am a planner and a communicator and I like a good map. Do you do this too? On my white board I put up the "style" of class, or some hint of it. For example, last night I did a class I called "Hills and Flats" - In this class I say that when we're on the hills I am more interested in a good honest solid gear than leg speed and heart rate - it is a strength building moment, a building of tolerance for discomfort - gear matters, get strong. On the flats, my gear criteria was much looser - I was looking for adherence to cadence/pedal speed. We have monitors on all our bikes, so adhering to cadence parameters is super easy and not music dependent, though I am personally drawn to matching rhythm with cadence expectations - not stuck on it, but gravitate toward matching bpm/rpm. The expectation was that we would get to our 90-110 rpm and then try to keep that as we tacked on gear, but ultimately, save for the requirement that you have to have enough gear to prevent bouncing and so that you could push through the pedal stroke, I wasn't all that concerned with building strength through gear on the flats - just speed/muscle memory. At times I asked people to put their towel over the monitor and I turned off the music for a minute - we check in a minute to see if the cadence has stayed up.
Anyway - that was last night - every night is different, but my point is that I always map out a class for my participants or give them support information about what to expect. I rarely depict down hills on my graph. I almost always give a theme (the point of the class) and a motivational statement - sometimes I google something about oh, I don't know...honesty. playfulness. embracing work....whatever. pop up a little quip.
In this way, I do believe, that clients realize that I don't ride freeform. I know every song that is coming up because I carefully blend them - I know how long each songs is, what the mood and bpm is and what the profile looks like at 23minutes, etc etc.... If, like last night, the class is going to finish up with a challenging push that combines both the speed and strength work we'd been doing all class (power work) then they predict it - save for it and release their effort because they know it is their last shot. Do you do this? Is it standard to teach with the aid of a white board? I also use a music stand with a lecture light so i can see my profile/playlist.... I wonder how I would do without all my aids???