Terrible lecture

I’ve just given a terrible lecture. I had worked hard at it but I just didn’t know the material well enough and didn’t think it was interesting enough. Perhaps it was interesting, but it was the second time I had given it, so it felt kind of second hand. It was certainly interesting to me and I’d spent ages on the figures, but when I came to give the talk, the information in the figures just fragmented and overwhelmed me. I wanted to communicate a holistic vision of the subject but it fragmented into small meaningless bits. I usually rely quite heavily on figures in my talks rather than lots of text, so when this happens and the figures swim before my eyes I am lost – its like one of those dreams when you realise you are naked. The present moment crushes me.

I managed to struggle through, but I could not get the words and sentences out well. It felt like I had wool in my mouth and I could not articulate my tongue. The students were kind. I was sure they felt sorry for me.


Self Sabotage

Something I do a lot. Especially now: beautiful new lab and office and I’m frozen with fear.. What if I never have a good idea again and cannot raise funds? Do I even really want this now? I should put some pictures up in my office and make it look lived in. Yesterday I locked my office when I went out to get a sandwich. Why did I do that? What have I got to steal? From now on the office door stays open.

Anyway, here is a good page I found on this subject:

The most useful reminder for me from this was:  early failure is very different thing to early quitting.


Relearning how to Lecture

I thought I was a natural teacher but only got mediocre reviews to last years lectures. Maybe I have a lot to learn and its not so easy after all.

I decided to re learn how to give lectures and attended one by a colleague

Wow. I think I know what I’m doing wrong. I try and pack in way too many slides. She only showed around 20 slides and she went into detail with each one giving a calm sense of how we can break down things and understand them

I’ve just looked at my last two lectures. 50 slides in the first one, 45 in the second one!

She also :

showed a lot of videos, said what she was going to say before saying it, mapped information to diagrams, broke things down and categorised them, nice animations of processes that she spent sufficient time on explaining.