Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How good a lecturer are you? Guidelines

Dr Abe V Rotor  
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  

 Einstein is the greatest scientific lecturer of all times. He delivered hundreds of lectures all over the world on modern day physics. He is shown in a Brussels conference of the greatest scientists of the world in 1929.

Great movies - (left) Professor Keatings played by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and Mr Holland's Opus, played by  Dreyfuss, portray the power of effective lectures that inspire students in "dull subjects" like poetry and humaniies or the arts.   

Powerful lecturers:  Martin Luther King, martyr activist against racism in the US; and Lyndon Johnson, former school teacher, who became US president. 

This is a checklist to evaluate yourself as lecturer, guest speaker, resource person, professor, TV or radio lecturer, or simply one given the task to talk before an audience. (Score each item using the Likert Scale: 1 very poor, 2 poor 3 fair, 4 good, 5 very good)

I. A good lecturer 
  1. Must have a mastery of his subject, 
  2. Is truthful, unassuming, and humble, 
  3. Shows enthusiasm in his subject matter,
  4. Responds to the state of mind of his audience, 
  5. Is calm, relaxed, and confident, 
  6. Dresses properly to suit occasion,
  7. Is groomed to enhance pleasant personality,
  8. Sticks to his prepared outline, uses notes, but does not read from them,
  9. Uses technology, such as PowerPoint, for effective delivery, without depending too much on it,  
  10. Uses simple language, injects wit and healthy humor, 
  11. Speaks clearly and fluently,
  12. Modulates his voice for emphasis and variety,
  13. Avoids unpleasant mannerisms and gestures,
  14. Avoids unpleasant remarks, intuitions, criticisms,
  15. Is aware of upholding human rights, and respect of human dignity,
  16. Stimulates thinking and analysis but never leaves audience "hanging,"
  17. Is aware of his allotted time, as well as actual time, as this affects his audience's  comfort and attention,  
  18. Leads towards the end of the lecture a sense of advocacy from the audience,
  19. Makes each member of the audience feel that the lecture is meant personally for him, and
  20. Welcomes questions from the audience, finds open forum an opportunity to  further enrich his lecture.
  • Rating: 90 to 100 Outstanding lecturer (You are exceptional, a model)
                   80 to 89  Very Good Lecturer (You are also a model)
                   70 to 79  Good (You can be a better lecturer)  
                   60 to 69  Average (60 percent of lecturers belong to this rank)  
                   50 to 59  Poor lecturrer. Master these guidelines.                        
                   40 to 49  Give more time to master these guidelines.
II. I find these guidelines equally valuable.  
 For this second part, just check those you practice, and put an X for those you don't.  Each check is equivalent to 1 point, 7 is passing. 
  1. Have a dry run of your lecture before colleagues and friends, also members of your family.       
  2. Arrive ahead of the lecture time and meet the organizer, and the fellow to introduce you. 
  3. Don't decline to attend cocktail after your lecture, it is good chance to feel the pulse of your audience, so to speak. It is good PR.
  4. Do not repeat your lecture previously delivered before another group. Make your audience feel it is originally designed for the occasion.
  5. Have a ready copy of your lecture - soft and hard copy.  Your host will simply love it. 
  6. Make your lecture publishable - technical or popular, print or electronic - as may be the case.  Take advantage of the Multiplier Effect. 
  7. Prefer to use first person, and experiential approach, if feasible.  
  8. Don't overload your audience, keep pace with their rate of comprehension.  Don't over simplify either. And use motherhood statements sparingly.
  9. Remember KISS  - Keep it (lecture) short and sensible; Keep it sane and systematic; Keep it sound and sunny.  
  10. Don't proselytize, don't sound moralistic. Don't presume to be an emissary of  God. Be humble, be real, be human.  Be yourself.          
P.S. Don't forget to recognize your hosts, guests, and participants before your talk. Don't be lavish to the point of praising them. You may recognize them collectively as well.  Mention those you may have failed to recognize earlier, but not to disrupt your lecture.    

Standing ovation is a mark of speaking excellence

Socrates, father of philosophy, teacher of Plato and many young intellectuals. His philosophical thoughts live to this day as the foundation of philosophy. 

 Demosthenes practicing by the sea with pebbles in his mouth to correct his pronunciation and diction; bust of the greatest Greek orator.  
Some internationally acclaimed speakers:

  1. Mikhail Gorbachev - former USSR president and Nobel Laureate 
  2. Arch Desmund Tutu, Nobel Laureate
  3. Muhamed Yunus, Nobel laureate, Bangladesh
  4. Joyce Banda, president Malawi
  5. Oscar Arias, president Costa Rica, Nobel Laureate
  6. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
  7. Michio Kaku, theoretical physics scientist
  8. Mary Robinson, president Ireland
  9. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate Syrian lawyer
  10. Supachai Pantichpakdi, Sec-Gen Unctad
  11. Gro Harlem Brtundtlad, Dir-gen, WHO
  12. Stanley Fischer, World economist

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