A Beginner’s Guide To Giving Effective Lectures


Giving out lectures is one of the top methods used to partake knowledge to a certain group of individuals. This method is widely used in different schools and universities. Some organizations also specialize in holding lectures during workshops or training.  At first, it may seem intimidating especially if you are too concerned about what the students or attendees may feel about the lectures.

Well, it is time to stop worrying. “This tendency to remember our anxious moments in our mind’s eye, even if we never saw that perspective, is super common,” according to clinical psychologist Ellen Hendriksen. The more you think about the presentation or lecture, the more difficult it would be on your part to go through it. Below is a list of the proper steps to take for giving out effective lectures:

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Step 1: Determine the demographics of the audience.

Knowing the audience who will listen to your lecture is the first step to take. This will help you to determine the perfect way to engage with them. Take note that each type of audience requires a different approach or learning style. At the same time, it will also help you plan better strategies to keep up with the attention span of your possible audience. “That shift in perspective relieves you of the worry of how you will come across and focuses you on how to best get your message across,” according to Theo Tsaousides Ph.D.


Step 2: Create an outline.

Just like in all academic activities, make sure to develop an outline for the lecture. The outline will serve as a guide for the flow of your lecture. Arrange all the topics, doctrines or principles you want to discuss according to their importance.

It is also highly recommended to anticipate possible questions that may be asked after the lecture. By doing this, you will already be prepared for the question and answer portion.


Step 3: Use strategies to grab the attention of your listeners.

One of the greatest challenges that you may face is getting the attention of your audience. This can be difficult at first but once you use certain strategies, everything will go smoothly. You can start by sharing your personal experience or story. Just remember that it must be related to the topics of the lecture. Another option is to be witty by telling jokes or funny stories.


Step 4: Plan an activity that everyone can participate in.

At this point, you have to determine how long the lecture will be. If it is too short, then you can simply skip this step. However, if the lecture will take a long time, do not forget to give breaks that can last for five to ten minutes.

These breaks may be in a form of an activity wherein everyone in the audience can participate. A good example of this is asking the listeners to form groups to allow them to share what they have learned from your talk. The activity can also include an application of the theories mentioned in the lecture.


 Step 5: Always end with a good conclusion.

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Plan on how you want to end the lecture. Do not just end it with a quote or a word for the day. Instead, try to make it remarkable as much as possible. Before ending the session, be certain to give a summary of the important points about your topics.

An effective lecture is easy to achieve. All you have to do is to believe in yourself that you can do it. “And if you’re worried that your nerves will trip you up, remind yourself that a little bit of anxiety is actually a healthy thing, use that extra adrenaline to pump yourself up, not beat yourself down,” suggested Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.