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A Lecturer should exert his utmost efforts to gain completely the mind and attention of his audience and irresistably to make them join in his ideas to the end of the subject. He should endeavour to raise their interest at the commencement of the Lecture and, by a series of imperceptible gradations unknown to the company, keep it alive as long as the subject demands it. No breaks or digressions foreign to the purpose should have a place in the circumstances of the evening; no opportunity should be allowed to the audience in which their minds could wander from the subject or return to inattention or carelessness.Faraday believed that the ideal lecture would last about an hour, and would be given at a deliberate pace. His usual practice was not to write out his lectures, but to verbally improvise from a page or two of notes on the main topics, cross-referenced to a list of the experiments and demonstrations carried out to illustrate specific points. The six essays of Chemical History are not scripts that Faraday read from but transcriptions from notes made by shorthand experts at the lectures themselves.
Posted March 10, 2012
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