Interactive lectures blend effective elements from the lecture method with training games. This hybrid technique facilitates two-way communication by incorporating game elements before, during, or after a presentation. Interactive lectures give complete control to the instructor and partial freedom to the participants.
Here’s a fast-paced interactive lecture called Keyword. This is a quick technique for reviewing a 5-minute presentation. If you are planning a longer lecture (please don’t) you may break it into shorter segments and conduct several game interludes.
The participants listen to your lecture and pair up with each other. They simultaneously yell out a keyword associated with your lecture. If the pair of participants yelled out the same keyword, they win. If the words are different, they continue yelling out keywords until they mesh with each other.
To identify the key point in a lecture.
Maximum: Any number
Best 10 to 30
10 to 20 minutes
Brief the participants. Announce the training topic and explain that you are going to make a presentation to explore this topic. Alert the participants to listen carefully and take notes because there will be a follow-up activity after the presentation.
Make your presentation. Deliver a crisp, concise, and clear lecture on the topic.
Pause for review. Tell the participants that you are going to pause for a couple of minutes to permit them to reflect on what they heard and to review their notes.
Think of keywords. Ask the participants to independently come up with a list of keywords related to your presentation. Instruct each participant to select the most important keyword that identifies the main point of your presentation.
Form pairs. Tell the participants to pair up with someone nearby and stand facing each other. Explain that you are going to count down from 3 (3, 2, 1, 0). When you reach the zero, ask all participants to yell out the selected keyword.
Conclude the task. If a pair of participants yelled out the same keyword, they win. If the words are different, they continue yelling out keywords If a pair of participants yelled out the same keyword, they win. If the words are different, they continue yelling out keywords (as you repeatedly count down from three). There is one restriction. During a round, the two participants may not repeat either of the two words they yelled out during the previous round.
Conclude the session. Repeat the count-down-yell-out step until you run out of time or the participants run out of patience.
Debrief. Recall the keywords supplied earlier during the activity and discuss their significance. Use this discussion to conduct a sneaky review of the earlier presentation.
During a recent session on the design of training games, I explained how the Keyword interactive lecture is conducted. This presentation used the content you read earlier. To practice what I preached, I followed up the presentation by conducting the activity on this content.
In the session, Andy and Janet yelled out the same word, “keyword” during the first round, immediately winning and watching the less telepathic pairs struggle for several rounds.
Lisa and Mark were not very empathic. Here are the words they used for six rounds before they meshed with each other:
1. Lisa: Single. Mark: Guessing.
2. Lisa: Word. Mark: Empathy.
3. Lisa: Guessing. Mark: Facilitation.
4. Lisa: Lecture. Mark: Training.
5. Lisa: Facilitation. Mark: Game.
6. Lisa: Single. Mark: Single.