When your lecture becomes old-school

Last month, I had to give three lectures. I was stressed because my English is not perfect at all, and because well… lectures obviously means speaking in front of a lot of people and like Lotte, I fear public speaking. It went well, but not exactly as I planned.

To put you into context, I took a class last year to learn to teach in post-secondary classes. I discovered that in order to retain the students’ attention, I have to make activities between my monologues.

So, I prepared well. I had three great PowerPoints with various activities, videos or images. I had my bullet points list of things to say. And a complete faith in technology. I went to McGill the first day with everything I need: a computer, my notes and my false-Mac adaptor that I use at home for my monitor.

Sadly, the room was used by another teacher until my own lecture. I had five minutes to put my PowerPoint on display. And it didn’t work. And the room’s phone didn’t work either. And time was ticking. Stress. Omg! OMG!

So without any visual support, my bad English and I started to give the lecture. It went well (I think). I used the chalkboard, a lot of gestures and some humour.

Finally, a technician came 5 minutes before the end of the class. It seems that my not-Apple-branded cable who worked fine at home was too cheap for a McGill classroom. Lesson learned: I borrow a real Mac adapter for my other lectures.

Adding to the other skills that I’m learning as a Ph.D. student (research, writing, vulgarization, etc.), there is now improvisation. That can’t be bad!

Do you have stressful-funny situations that happened in lectures or conferences?

Banner Photo by @subhobratadas // @gradlifemcgill

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