Skip to content. Skip to navigation

Faculty Development

You are here: Home / Improve Your Lecturing / Top tips

Top tips

Plan your overall framework carefully

  • Use the ‘Rule of Threes’:
    • Tell the audience what you are going to tell them
    • Then tell them it
    • Then ask something about it that shows you that they understand
  • Avoid making rash assumptions about knowledge retained from previous teaching
  • Don’t try to cover too much material in your lecture, leave time for activities and discussion


Make sure you are familiar with the technology and room set up

  • Arrive well before the lecture begins to check the equipment
  • Have a back-up in case technology fails
  • Work out where to stand or walk and how best to use the room to engage the audience and without standing in front of the screen
  • Don’t be afraid to move equipment so you feel comfortable

Get the beginning right

  • Introduce yourself
  • Outline your expectations
  • Provide explicit learning objectives

The beginning of your lecture should do some of the following:

  • Engage
  • Prepare
  • Encourage curiosity
  • Challenge
  • Create expectations

The first five minutes of attention form the ‘Golden Window’, where you build rapport and make a meaningful link with the audience. Depending on your personal style, some of the following may help you ‘hook’ the audience.

  • Start with a story from personal experience
  • Link back to something the learners have recently done
  • Use humour – a joke or cartoon on the screen (not too many and take care over the sort of humour you select)
  • Set a challenge
  • Give a two-minute test or quiz; you might use clickers or mobile technologies for this
  • Don’t be too predictable


Work on your presentation style

  • Your job is not to entertain — but you don’t have to be boring
  • Think about how you use your voice for emphasis, contrast, exaggeration, negation, etc. Your voice is a tool for gaining and holding attention
  • Participants in any part of the room should be able to hear you clearly. Avoid:
    • Speaking in a monotone
    • Looking or sounding bored
    • Using vocalised pauses (‘you know’, ‘okay’, etc.)
    • Distracting gestures such as fiddling with glasses, hair or jewellery or waving your hands around
    • If you are using a microphone, make sure it is placed so that it provides a consistent volume


Engage with the audience

  • Sprinkle your lecture with analogy, metaphor, clinical examples, illustrations to help the audience make connections
  • Value the audience: monitor reactions, seek contributions – they are an integral part of your lecture
  • Use impact language to ‘headline’ your key points, e.g.  ‘the vital factor’ rather than ‘the important factor’


Leave them with a message

Lectures should have a planned ending – not just a last word for that day (or worse, just running out of time). Your ending should include:

  • A summary of the main points
  • A recap of the key questions posed/answered
  • The ‘exit thought’ you would like your learners to take with them
  • A signpost to future learning, follow-up reading or activities


Print module to PDF

Save a PDF of this module, so you can print it and read it in your own time.

Email your comments

Let us know what you think about this module or give us your feedback.

Further information

More information about this module, further reading and a complete list of glossary terms.

Learning activities

Read about the recommended learning activities for this module.