Asking the participants to summarize the key points from a lecture is an effective way to strengthen their understanding and recall. My friend Regina Rowland and I recently designed an interactive lecture on the emerging discipline of biomimicry. In this design, we went beyond merely summarizing the key ideas to appealing to different types of audiences.
To summarize the key points in a lecture to appeal to different audiences.
Maximum: Any number, divided into 4 or 6 teams
Best: 12 to 30
30 to 60 minutes
Make your presentation. Keep the length of your presentation short: from 10 to 20 minutes.
Organize the participants into an even number of teams. Each team should have at least two and up to seven members. The total number of teams should be 4 or 6.
Assign different types of audience to each pair of teams. The types of audiences should reflect the people to whom the topic is relevant. You need a different type for each pair of teams.
The content of Regina's interactive lecture was relevant to a wide variety of audiences. Here are the different types that we specified:
- 7-year old children
- Aeronautical engineers
- Corporate trainers
- Peace Corps volunteers
- Product design engineers
Ask the teams to prepare a presentation suitable for the assigned audience. Assign the same type of audience for each pair of teams. Ask the teams to work independently to prepare a 3-minute presentation on the key points from your presentation. Encourage the teams to use appropriate language and examples that will communicate the message clearly to the selected audience.
Ask each pair of teams to make their presentation. Randomly select one team to make its presentation. If you prefer, you may ask the members of the competing team to wait outside the room to prevent their incorporating elements of the other team's presentation. Ask all other teams (who were assigned other audiences) to listen to the presentations from both teams.
Ask the other teams to select the better presentation. At the conclusion of both presentations (on the same topic), ask the other teams to quickly select the team whose presentation was more appropriate for the selected audience. Congratulate the winning team.
Repeat the procedure. Ask the next pair of teams to take turns to make their presentations. Ask the other teams to select the more appropriate presentation.
Conclude the game. Thank the teams for their contribution. Quickly recall the key features of the message.
Only two teams? If you don't have enough participants to organize four or six teams, go with two teams. At the end of the presentations, you act as the judge and select the team that made the more appropriate presentation. Alternatively, ask each team to identify the effective presentation techniques used by the other team.