For many Americans, speaking in front of a large audience is a point of anxiety. However, for many teachers and lecturers, it is simply another aspect of their job. For those hoping to become a lecturer in the near future, public speaking is am important skill that must be learned in order to effectively connect with audiences. Dr. Leila Zackrison, a Lyme disease specialist and frequent medical lecturer, has spent many years lecturing for different audiences around the globe and understands the difficulties many face regarding public speaking. Today, Dr. Leila Zackrison will discuss some of the best practices for effective lecturing.
Structuring Your Lecture
It is important to properly prepare a few main points for each lecture to ensure audience members are not overwhelmed by the amount if information presented. Depending on the lecture time, teachers should expect to cover between three to five points. These key points should introduce new concepts, cover upcoming assignments, and help to clarify course readings. While it is essential that key points be covered during lectures, speakers should also be prepared for audience questions and encourage engagement. By being aware of an audience’s interest levels, lecturers will be able to adapt their presentation and engage audiences by answering questions and promoting a group dialogue.
It is common for a long lecture to lose audience interest during the latter half of the lecture. An experienced lecturer will recognize that mostattention spans will begin to waver near the 30-45 minute mark. In order to keep an audiences’ interest, lecturers are encouraged to break up the presentation by asking audience members questions regarding the material and their interpretation. Additionally, audiences are often expected to write notes throughout the lecture and may become confused if too much information is given too quickly. For this reason, lecturers should take frequent breaks and ask if audience members need clarification or additional information regarding key points.
While presenting, it is important to maintain regular eye contact with the entire audience. Eye contact creates a bond with the speaker and listener and causes the audience member to refocus their attention on the information being presented. In order to better maintain overall audienceattention throughout the lecture, it is important to frequently move around the room and lecture from different vantage points.