I attended a banquet this week. The speaker had been promoted and advertised but not someone I was overly eager to see or hear. When we learned he was speaking BEFORE dinner and would have to wait over an hour to dine, I was even more skeptical. He was standing between us and our meal and it was already 6:00 p.m.! So, when he held my attention for over an hour and delivered valuable learning, I left pondering-What were they key elements of his “lecture” that were effective and captivating? How can this help teachers who need to deliver content to students? Here is what I found:
- He started with a STORY. Stories have long been proven to impact learning. They are relatable and create strong connections. A little humor (not sarcasm) sprinkled throughout never hurts either.
- He connected the story to why what he was about to share should matter to ME. This speaker works with professional athletes and Olympic champions. Yet, his information that evening was crafted in importance to a common citizen in a small town. He spent time on the HOOK to create a purpose. Remember, he stood between us and dinner!
- Next, the content was delivered. We even had notes to take. He provided a handout with part of it filled out and blanks to fill in as he provided the information (an effective note-taking strategy). It was visually simple and easy to understand. KEY POINTS were highlighted. He even MODELED the note-taking on stage using a whiteboard with examples that were also crafted into a story. He shared 7 main points with examples from his own life, as well as stories both old and new. The learning had a compelling WHY it was important to my life. He gave us very relatable “hooks” to hang the learning on to help us remember the message.
- How did he close? A quick review of the highlights of stories shared, the big ideas in the lessons imparted and a “why” this past hour mattered to me the listener. We were imparted with a “go do” that was meaningful and simple, yet complex in thinking. (I’m still thinking about it.)
And then it was time for dinner.
P.S. Even though he was the expert, his lecture wasn’t about him or what how much he knew. “I” was used very little, unless it was to poke fun at himself or bring a realistic perspective to his message.
Here are a guide and resource for planning “lecture” days.