3260-Lecturing Creatively

There are effective ways to make lectures interesting and interactive.

Brookfield challenges teachers to make lectures “enlivening and critically stimulating”.

Brookfield’s techniques include:

  • Deliberate silence to help encourage reflection
  • Adding a social media component
  • 15 minute lecture and take a break (at least 2 minutes)
  • Use pre and post questions
  • Introduce viewpoints that challenge thought process
  • One of the best ways to assess a lecture is by video taping, or have someone attend for the purpose of assessing you

I would add:

  • Interesting visual aids
  • Case problems
  • Examples and analogies

You should always find ways to improve upon, your own lecturing. Cognitive information can be taught actively using cooperative-learning techniques.

As Bob Pike said, “If you want to shift from lecture-based learning (or lack of it) to participant-centered (with plenty of transfer), then 101 Ways to Make Training Active belongs in your library.”

What makes training active? When training is active the participants do most of the work.

Remember active training takes time:

  • Start on time
  • Give clear instructions
  • Prepare visual information ahead of time
  • Distribute hand outs quickly
  • Do not let discussions go for too long
  • Obtain volunteers swiftly
  • Quicken the pace of activities from time to time
  • Elicit prompt attention


Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Lawson, K. (1998). The trainer’s handbook. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.