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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


 

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