Lectures and Lecturing

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Early attention grabbers


Personal Experience or Story

Anecdotes or stories can be powerful ways of fixing a topic in someone's mind. That's why textbooks often have little vignettes or stories in a side panel. You can use the same technique in a lecture and it is often a good way of introducing the topic.

Mentioning a relevant experience that you have had in a workplace outside the University, or visiting a student on placement can be useful in relating the topic to the world outside the lecture theatre and the immediate demands of assessment. It doesn't have to have been your own experience, you can tell other people's stories as well. Keep such elements short and to the point and make sure you can move easily into the main part of the lecture. Even if you think that the group wants to hear a very long shaggy dog story about the time you tripped over a trailing wire in someone's office and knocked over the wastepaper basket which tipped up revealing a secret which should have been shredded and which thereby laid the company open to a major theft of one of its main unpatented ideas…..resist! It should only be an interjection to provide a link from one topic to the next or to provide an interesting introduction.

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