Sitting at my desk ruminating on a talk I had heard by Elizabeth Shown Mills entitled “Maximizing Our Use of Indexes”, I found myself staring at the handout when I was struck by an interesting fact, her headings gave a rather interesting formula to construct a lecture on a large number of topics. Looking for patterns and using patterns in new ways is an interesting way to expand your repertoire of teaching and organizational strategies. Here are four headings Elizabeth had on her handout:
- Basic Principles
- Basic Problems
- Specific Strategies
- Helpful Study (followup reading)
So here’s how it might work. You have decided to do a lecture on death records. You give it a title, “The End Game: Maximizing our Use of Death Records” ( ok, its a bit lame, but its an example). and you include among the various sections of the presentation, the above four sections: basic principles for research death particulars; basic problems with records of death; specific research strategies; and helpful study ,followup readings on researchig death particulars. Of course that’s not enough to build a lecture outline. What else would you include besides these four sections?
I am not promising you’ll be as polished and entertaining speaker as Elizabeth, but after you put in 50+ hours researching, writing, illustrating and rehersing it, you’ll begin to appreciate how much work is involved. Have fun!