According to a recent study, it only takes an audience six seconds to determine if a lecturer will be effective, even if he or she hasn’t uttered a single word. Sounds like a tough crowd, but Philip Resnick, M.D., said the study perfectly illustrates the importance of a lecturer’s nonverbal communication skills and body language.
Dr. Resnick travels the world presenting workshops on effective communication strategies. In today’s lecture, “How to Give a More Effective Lecture: Pith, Punch, and Polish,” he will provide practical advice for delivering effective psychiatric presentations. The four-hour session begins at 1 p.m. in Room 201B, Level 2, Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Dr. Resnick will stress the importance of preparation and presentation style. “Most people spend most of their time worrying about the content of their lecture,” he said. “But when students evaluate professors, 90 percent of their evaluation is focused on lecture style as opposed to content.”
Dr. Resnick will also discuss the effective use of slides, including text slides, picture slides, humorous slides and videotape, and will provide tips for preparing useful handouts. He will also talk about creatively titling the lecture, using the podium (“a tool of the devil,” as he calls it), and tips for organizing the lecture’s content.
“The most common error is trying to stuff too much into a lecture,” he said. “The professors who are rated best on campus are those who make fewer points with more examples.”
Dr. Resnick, who has given thousands of lectures, workshops and symposia, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is well known as a forensic psychiatrist, with expertise in the assessment of violence risk and the detection of malingered mental illness.
During today’s session, Dr. Resnick will give attendees the opportunity to present a three-minute talk, with or without slides, and then have their presentations critiqued by other workshop participants. He said he hopes attendees will walk away with a more organized, systematic way of thinking about lecture preparation.
“Rather than just do what they’ve seen other people do, they will be able to think about it systematically and be able to convey the major points of their content in a way that will stick with the audience,” said Dr. Resnick, who spends about 100 hours preparing for a one-hour lecture.
“To really do it very well takes a lot of preparation and organization,” he said. “Just because people make it look easy doesn’t mean that they have not done a lot of preparation.”