The most common way to convey information in the university classroom is through lectures. It might be helpful to think about the lecture as a learning experience that connects the audience, content, and lecturer.
Lectures are preferred when the background information is not available or accessible to students, the issues or problems are conflicting or confusing in nature, the experiences of the speaker will contribute to the clarification of the issues or the best way to understand a topic is through oral presentation.
In many of our experiences the best lectures impart new information, clarify and organize difficult concepts, inspire a reverence for learning, breed enthusiasm and motivation for further study and can challenge beliefs and habits of thinking. However, the lecture can be seen as a passive method of learning which can sometimes not allow the opportunity for students to ask questions and provides only the instructor’s interpretation of the subject matter.
In order to maximize the best practices around lecturing there are a few things to keep in mind. First, focus on a single topic – know what your objectives for the lecture are. What three to five things do you want your students to come away from the lecture with? Second, synchronize slides (and images) to go with your verbal presentation. Select graphics that represent the ideas, concepts or words. Finally, know your lecture style and what you're comfortable with.
Further Reading & Resources:
The Preparation and Delivery of Effective Lectures, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Twenty ways to make lectures more participatory, Harvard University Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (document linked at bottom of page)