The appeal of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (New York: Hyperion, 2008) is universal and longstanding. It was on the bestseller list for many months and has received great critical acclaim.
Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. At the time he gave the lecture that this book was based upon, he had been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. The lecture focused on living, not dying. His preface to the book states, “with thanks to my parents who allowed me to dream, and with hopes for the dreams my children will have.” The lecture and book discusses achieving your childhood dreams, overcoming obstacles, and how to seize every moment that you have while you are living.
I am requiring this book in my communication courses this fall. When students give their persuasive presentation, I want them to imagine that it is their “last lecture,” and deliver their topic with the passion that resontates with this book.
Think about how you would sound if you were giving your last chance to make an appeal to change someone’s mind or call people to action. Your last.
What do you think?
Let’s talk about it this week!