Australian Institute of Physics

South Australian Branch

Items for Consideration in Preparing a Public Lecture

The AIP-SA is very excited to have you present a lecture in our Public Lecture Series. To assist you in becoming familiar with a typical public lecture audience here in Adelaide, we have prepared a short list of items to consider in preparing your lecture, based on audience reactions. We would imagine you are already familiar with these ideas, and welcome any other guidelines you have found valuable in your experience.

Our venues are modern and well equipped with good facilities, including overhead projectors, video projection and slide projectors. It would be helpful if you notify us in advance of your requirements.

  1. The best received lectures are visually stunning. Consider colour diagrams, pictures and animations. Transparencies are best when they are electronically prepared in colour.
  2. People prefer to understand the physics concepts without working through the math, especially after 7:30 pm. Of course, an equation or two which are relevant and adequately explained can be quite enlightening.
  3. When considering the level try to place yourself in your audience's shoes by imagining that you are a senior high school student.
  4. If the audience understands 90% of the material they will call you an excellent lecturer.
  5. If you introduce an unusual or novel concept, try to illustrate it with a diagram or picture.
  6. If you teach the audience two or three things they were not aware of prior to the lecture they will leave delighted!
  7. Please plan the duration of your lecture to be about 50 to 60 minutes. We generally entertain about 15 minutes of formal questions and then adjourn to a light supper where you can meet with the audience.

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Page prepared by: Stewart V. Wright
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