You heard the lectures from your parents growing up. And then you went to school and heard even more lectures. And once you arrived to college, you were just about lectured-out. But now you teach (or you make presentations as part of the work you do), and you do what you know best. You lecture! Okay. Perhaps you do not, but when I know when I first stepped into the college classroom in 2002, that’s what I did!
Regardless of whether lecturing is the focal point of your teaching (or presentation) or not, remember the points herein to help you work toward achieving your goals while inviting student participation during the session. If you do so - if you try these tips - then your students will walk away tuned in and having actually learned, and you will leave class with a sense of accomplishment in having achieved new heights in student engagement! (And you'll notice "presentations" keeps sneaking into this article; these tips are applicable to anyone who's standing before an audience and who wants to make it a captive one, leaving everyone wanting more. So if you present in any capacity, replace "lecture" or "class" with "presentation," and charge on!)
You are in the middle of an incredible presentation - actually, it's a DYNAMIC presentation if you do say so yourself! - and it happens. An audience member does the unthinkable and asks a question. Well ... let's be honest; it's not so unthinkable, but it interrupts your flow and makes that "thing" happen to your throat, in your stomach, around your chest, to the palms of your hands ... Here is what you do to expertly take on the toughest of audience questions.
My time spent over the last several years teaching in higher ed and providing professional, faculty development, and educational technology strategy for a content provider - you know ... we called them publishing companies before the digital evolution - uniquely positions me to view sales from both sides of the desk.
Educators want what will impact learning, and sales force members are ready and willing to provide just that. However, if a professor has been teaching a certain way for decades or if even for only a few short years, change can be uncomfortable.
This post is prompted by a Fall 2015 conversation with an edtech sales professional. I shared these three ideas with her to which she repeatedly responded with a contemplative "Interesting ...." Let's see if you have a similar reaction.