This week I’ll be traveling to Pretoria for my consulting work. So for the next few days I’ll be sharing some tips and lessons I’ve learnt from teaching/lecturing at UCT. I’ve taught as a tutor, an assistant lecturer and as a lecturer for 4 years. It’s been an incredible journey and I know that this is only the start.

Lecturing Lesson #2: Don’t over plan

The first lecture I ever gave in 2015 had 43 slides. The lecture was meant to last 2 hours. It lasted 30min.

The lecture I gave at the end of last semester had 3 slides. We spent 2 hours in full conversation and only made to slide number 2.

Lecturing for the first time was terrifying. I tried to make sure I had everything planned to the last word. Every slide was full and had notes on it. And the whole think ran like a high school public speaking event. Cringe.

As I’ve grown in confidence I’ve learnt that this kind of approach may be reassuring, but it ultimately limits your creativity and your ability to connect with the students. You end up excluding them from the conversation while you stand up and ramble your way through notes. And to be honest, they could probably learn more from a text book.

A simple framework 

Nowadays I plan my lectures very differently. I set up the outline of the lecture and the rest is designed to allow room for engagement and story telling. It’ll usually start with some admin and an overview of some of the content. And from then on I relate the content to the real world and to my own experiences.

And as I do I find that students are able to relate more and bring their own stories to the party. Suddenly the material becomes easier to understand and learning happens between peers as much as coming from me.

The real value in lecturing doesn’t lie in delivering the content. The real value comes from making it understandable, relating it to the students and bringing it alive.


Image is was taken this morning at Wonderboom National Airport. 

Song of the day: All Falls Down- Alan Walker
Thesis update: consulting in Pretoria :)
Blog 84/365.Read more about my #365of25 journey here

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