chapter  8
35 Pages


COMMENTARY A lecture is essentially a form of information speech, usually a long one, forty-five minutes or more. It is a relatively inexpensive and efficient way to convey information to groups of people. The lecture is a more personal means of communication than an essay or online posting because it is delivered in person to a live audience. The medium of a live speaker is intrinsically more interesting and engaging than other forms of communication. Nearly all college-educated persons can remember a teacher they had who was a great lecturer-someone who was interesting, organized, provocative, witty, and altogether unforgettable. We learned from these speakers and aspire to their standard of excellence. However, experienced speakers know that delivering a memorable lecture is much more difficult than it first appears. You might think that someone who knows a lot about a topic should be able to talk about that topic with some degree of success. After all, an expert has a plentiful store of material from which to speak and should do so with confidence. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Superior knowledge does not automatically lead to superior communication. The standard requirements of good speaking apply to lectures-careful preparation, clear organization, engaging delivery, strong introduction and conclusion, and so on. Failing to heed these standards is the most common cause of boring or ineffective lectures.