Guidelines for Lecture Presentations

By Dr. David Laton  •   3 min   •   Topic: Teaching Adults

 
Offline

A lecture is a common technique used in most Bible class presentations. It can range from a formal, one-way presentation or an informal presentation where questions are encouraged. An effective lecture does more than simply present a batch of information in a specified location and time. The following information is provided to assist in developing and presenting lectures that engage learners.

Preparation

Preparing for a lecture, as with any presentation is foundational to excellence. The better the preparation the better the delivery, and the better the results. Focus should be on:

  • Developing a lesson that focuses on desired learning outcomes.
  • Create an outline of main points and subpoints to include graphic support and examples.
  • Practice the presentation, and if possible, practice in the area of delivery.

Keep Focused

It is easy to get sidetracked into related topics, especially if a question is asked. To help stay on track:

  • Limit the number of key points to 3 or 4, depending on scope and complexity to the lesson. If more points are required, determine a logical breaking point and cover the additional material in a follow-on lecture.
  • Develop and share an outline or note-taking guide for students.
  • State your objectives and key points at the beginning of the lecture. This helps students keep focused as well.

Presentation Techniques

You will improve your presentation with practice. Here are some techniques to enhance your lecture:

  • Avoid reading your lesson. There are times when you do read from notes and text but these should be kept to a minimum.
  • Make general eye contact but don't just scan back and forth. Engage learners but hold the eye contact for no more than 4 or 5 seconds. It is acceptable to hold eye contact with a student asking a question but continue general contact if the answer is more involved than a quick response.
  • Speak clearly but not too rapidly. If students are recording a key point, allow time for them to write.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Engaging Students

  • Gain student's attention by using a quote, video, story, or other such material that is relevant to the topic. This not only gains attention but forms the foundation for the main points.
  • Incorporate materials that meet various learning styles. Most students are visual learners so integrate visual aids and demonstrations as appropriate.
  • Link new material to previously presented lectures.
  • Show relevancy to students. Most adult learners are looking for relevancy of the material to their learning needs.
  • Be enthusiastic about your subject. Don't just talk. Be relaxed, vary voice inflection and rate.
  • Give students time to respond if you ask questions.

Handling Questions

Lectures are mostly one-way communication. It is acceptable to allow questions, but limit them as appropriate so key points can be presented and individual students don't dominate the lecture.

  • Let students know that questions are allowed, especially if the topic is complex or further clarification is needed.
  • Questions are a way to evaluate student learning so genuinely encourage questions.
  • If a question is not related to the topic, make a note of the question and let the student know you will get an answer to him/her personally, or discuss it at a follow-on time.
  • Make certain you understand the student's question before answering.
  • Keep your response focused on the question and don't dwell too long on it.
  • It is acceptable to admit you don't know the answer or need to research a response to give a better answer.
  • Consider relaying the question to the students to formulate a general response from them.
  • Consider relaying the question back to the student to ask them what they think might be an acceptable response.