Giving a lecture the right way

So you’ve already prepared your lecture and have pages and pages of what you would like to say and how you will deliver it. But preparing for your lecture is just the first step. What’s more important is delivering ‘the goods’, as they say, in a manner that will grab the attention of your audience and help them learn from it as well.

The way you deliver your lecture is of particular importance, and this comes with practice when it comes to your skills in presentation. You are not only a teacher or lecturer – you are also a public speaker, and you have to strike a balance between your content and your rhetoric, with a particular focus on engaging your chosen audience.

Following are a few do’s and don’ts to delivering a good lecture and presentation:

Don’t engage in a monologue – transform it into a dialogue

Think about other lectures you have attended in the past and which have made an impact on you. What were the qualities of those lectures that made them stand out in your mind? More often than not, they were more of a discourse rather than a monologue by the speaker. Try to create a dialogue between you and your audience. You can do this with interactive tasks and activities which enable your audience to participate in your talk and get as much as they can from it.

Do get the conversation going

One thing you can do to present an effective lecture is to engage your audience even before the lecture begins. Try to arrive a few minutes earlier and simply have a chat with your audience about topics related to your lecture, or even topics that aren’t related. The important thing is to break the ice. Even a simple ‘How are you all today?’ can do the trick.

During the lecture, you should also set aside a time to respond to questions and other comments. And whilst you are answering the audience’s queries, deliver your answer to them and not to the overhead projector or board.

Do encourage your audience to converse with each other

So many lectures focus on the one speaking rather than on the ones listening. Set your lecture apart not just with more interactive tasks, but also by allowing – and encouraging – your audience to speak about their various responses and opinions with each other. Let them talk to each other and call on them to share with everyone else what they think. You can form your audience into groups to encourage them to discuss certain aspects of your lecture, but it is also important to reinforce the goals of your lecture and reinforce the necessity of this type of activity.

Don’t neglect your own speaking and presentation skills

As we mentioned earlier, it is also essential to pay attention to your delivery. For this, you should adjust your inflection and tone of voice. You can modify your voice’s volume from soft to powerful to emphasise a point, for instance, and pause to get the attention of your audience. Also, show some enthusiasm by maintaining eye contact with your audience, moving naturally and freely across the stage, and smiling and showing different facial expressions.

You can also use visual tools such as handouts, flipcharts, and projections to increase your audience’s understanding of your lecture. To make it even easier for you to have a successful lecture, have it transcribed and use this professional lecture transcription as a handout – this way, you are assuring your lecture’s broader impact and helping your audience remember exactly what message you wanted to impart.

Go for it!