Public lectures can provide a valuable opportunity for citizens to learn about new research. Researchers who are new to public engagement are often more comfortable engaging with the public in this way. Often this type of activity is more about giving, or disseminating information, but there can be time for feedback and debate if needed.
It can be difficult to attract an audience to a one-off public lecture as you must both identify the audience and undertake the marketing activities to bring them to the venue.
To save time and effort in organising and marketing your lecture, try the following:
- Tap into an existing lecture series or other opportunities for public speaking, for example at a university, science centre or museum, or local Café Scientifique (external website).
- Find out if you could speak at a meeting of an organisation, such as:
It is important to consider the potential audience for the lecture, both in terms of the lecture topic and their likely level of expertise. Although lectures are often less interactive than other forms of public engagement, you should still give the audience opportunities to participate through asking formal and informal questions. Ensure that the language and terminology you use will be understood by your audience.