How I learned to be a successful lecturer

1. Never take your students for granted. Perhaps they don’t want a lecture. Try taking in a case of merlot and some cheese biscuits; they may prefer these.

2. A lecture is not an archaeological dig; you don’t have to wear old clothes. Put on some make-up, a dab of perfume, and a pretty top. Female lecturers might care to do something similar.

3. Don’t feel guilty about finding it all too difficult. Everyone does. If you don’t want to lecture them, tell the students that you’re not going to. They may then help you think of a plausible excuse to tell your employer.

4. Keep the lecture hand-outs in attractive, matching, storage boxes.

5. After a long, stressful day, have a soak in a bath, light some candles, drop in some aromatherapy oil and have some quality time for yourself. Depending on your age and gender the students may care to witness this. Consider a web-cam.

6. Embrace new technology by all means, but be alert. It is better to remember what you last stored on your memory stick five minutes before you lend it to a student, rather than five minutes after.

7. It’s really not acceptable to have a relationship with a student. If you must ensure that the student is over 50 and collects engine numbers.

8. If you have to award a poor mark do be sensitive. Saying: “all those who have passed the exam can now leave – where the hell do you think you’re going Smith” is not good practice.

9. Fill your lectures with allusions to the classics by all means, just remember that for students under thirty a ‘classic’ is a comic novel with more than 10 pages.

10. Remember that language is a precision tool. Incorporating into your lectures words like: ‘specious’, ‘elegiac’ and ‘insouciant’ can have a sensational effect. Words like ‘bar’ and ‘my round’ can be equally successful.

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