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PREPARATION AND PLANNING
• ESSENTIAL PREPARATION AND PLANNING CHECKLIST
- What is the aim?
- Who am I speaking to?
- What are the main points I want to make?
- What do I want the audience to do after listening to my presentation?
PREPARATION AND PLANNING (Cont.)
- Where will it take place?
- Have I dressed appropriately?
- What equipment is there in the room?
- What time of day is it? What day is it?
- Will the audience be more or less receptive when listening.
- In relation to what the audience knows or time constraints, what can I eliminate if necessary
THE BEGINNING OR THE INTRODUCTION
It is important to greet the audience by saying something like: Hello ladies and gentlemen. Good morning, Good afternoon
- The beginning of a presentation is the most important part. It is when you establish a rapport with the audience and when you have its attention.
- Get the audience’s attention and signal the beginning.
Right. Well. OK. Erm. Let’s begin.
Good. Fine. Great. Can we start?
Shall we start? Let’s get the ball rolling.
Let’s get down to business.
THE BEGINNING OR THE INTRODUCTION
Introduce Yourself, (name, position, and institute)
Do this not only to give important information so people can identify you but also to establish your authority on the subject and to allow the audience to see your point of view on the subject
- Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce myself.
- Good morning everyone, I’d like to start by introducing myself. My name is…
- I am a student at.
- Begin with a joke, an anecdote, a statement made to surprise or provoke in order to gain the audience’s attention, to make people want to listen, to feel relaxed and even to introduce the subject.
- A good technique is to try to get your audience involved in your talk either by asking direct or rhetorical questions.
- Give the title and introduce the subject
What exactly are you going to speak about?
- Situate the subject in time and place, in relation to the audience and/or its importance. Give a rough idea or a working definition of the subject. I plan to speak about… Today I’m going to talk about… The subject of my presentation is… The theme of my talk is… I’ve been asked to give you an overview of…
- Why are you going to speak about it? I have chosen to speak about this because… I was asked to speak about X because…
- Have you set any limits on the scope of your talk? What won’t you speak about? It may be very useful to eliminate certain areas before you start so as to avoid confusion or deviation from your main task. It also protects you from criticism later for not covering certain aspects or issues.
- Have you estimated the time it will take? It is useful to give the listeners some idea of how long you will speak so as to maintain their attention better. I will not speak about… I have limited my speech to My talk will last about 15 minutes.
- Give your objectives (purpose, aim, goals) The main purpose of an informative speech is to have the audience understand and remember a certain amount of information. You should therefore have two purposes: a general purpose and a specific one. The former is to inform: to give an overview, to present, to summarize, to outline; to discuss the current situation or to explain how to do something or how something is done. The latter is what you want the audience to take away with them after listening to you, what you want them to do, what they should remember.
- EXAMPLES: My purpose in doing this presentation is to give you a solid background on the subject of oral presentation skills so that in the future, at the UE or elsewhere, you can deliver a successful speech in front of a group.
- What I would like to do today is to explain/to illustrate/to give you the essential background information on…./to outline…/to have a look at…
- What I want my listeners to get out of my speech is…
- If there is one thing I’d like to get across to you today it is that…
- Announce your outline. You want to keep the outline simple so 2 or 3 main points are usually enough. I have broken my speech down/up into X parts. I have divided my presentation (up) into Y parts. In the first part, I give a few basic definitions. In the next section, I will explain In part three, I am going to show… In the last part, I would like/want to give a practical example
- Questions and comments from the audience. You should also let the audience know at some point in the introduction when and whether they may ask questions.
- I’d ask you to save your questions for the end. There will be plenty of time at the end of my speech for a discussion. You may interrupt me at any moment to ask questions or make comments. Please stop me if you don’t understand anything I say but could you keep any specific questions until after I’ve finished.
- Make a transition between the introduction and the body.
- Now let us turn to point one. Let us now move on to the second part, which is, as I said earlier
During the Presentation
THE MIDDLE OR THE BODY
What information should you give in your speech?
Keeping the audience’s attention
- Give an unusual fact or statistic.
- Use words like you, we, us, our.
- Illustrate with a real-life story or anecdote.
- Ask the audience direct or rhetorical questions
- Be brief and clear in giving the subject and purpose.
- Ask the audience to do something. “Raise your hands if you know.“
- The speaker’s attitude is important – knowledge, personality, openness.
- Be lively and enthusiastic.
- Use a variety of media sources. *Ask a Rhetorical question (A question that you ask without expecting it to be answered. Have you ever seen/heard What does that
The important thing to remember is…
The essential element is…
Stress verbs with your voice. We experimented with the concept over a period of three years. Add auxiliary verbs for emphasis. We did see a noticeable difference.
- Signposting or signaling where you are? Just as when you are driving along a road that you don’t know very well, you depend on signs to guide you, you need to guide the listener by using expressions to tell him/her where you are going. First announce what you are going to say (give an example, reformulate, etc.) and then say what you want to say. This is very like verbal punctuation. Indicate when you have finished one point and then go on to the next one. It is redundant in the text but very useful in oral presentations.
- Linking ideas, sections/making transitions Indicate the end of one section and the beginning of the next. That’s all I would like to say about… (subject of part A) and now let us turn to …. Now that we’ve seen… let us turn to…
- To be clear and concrete.
- Use examples, rephrasing, summaries etc.
After the Presentation
THE END OR CONCLUSION
The end or the conclusion of your talk should include four parts:
I’d be happy to answer any questions….
If there are any questions please feel free to ask…
Thank you very much for your attention and if there are any suggestions or comments…
Dealing with difficult questions?
- Make sure you understand the question.
- Ask a question to see if you understand
- Repeat the question in your own words to check that you have understood. if not, ask the questioner to repeat In answering:
- delay the answer (ask for time and/or repeat the question)
- Just a minute, please. What is a…?
- I’m glad you asked that question.
- That’s a good question/point/remark.
- Can I answer that question later?
- admit that you are not responsible.
- I saw that in the work of…
- agree but give an alternative point of view
- I agree with you but there is another way of looking at it.
What are the visuals?
What media are used?
- PowerPoint slides
- video projection/projector
- It is often a good idea to give out a paper copy, called a handout.
Why use visuals?
- To focus the audience’s attention
- To illustrate points easier to understand in visual form but difficult in a verbal form (e.g. statistics)
- To reinforce ideas
- To change focus from aural/oral to visual
- To involve and motivate the audience
- To involve all the senses
- To serve as logical proof
- To save time and avoid putting information on a board
- To avoid turning your back to the audience when writing on a board
- To help the speaker
- Size, layout, font (typeface) and size, colors. Size – A4 Layout should be pleasant and easy to read: horizontal/landscape layout is preferable
- Fonts: Ariel, Times New Roman
- Use CAPITAL LETTERS, boldface, italics, underlining, reverse (white on black) or shading to highlight
The golden rule is “Be natural and relax!”
• eye contact to keep audiences’ attention
Positive body language
posture – stand straight but relaxed (do not slouch or lean) movement – to indicate a change of focus, keep the audience’s attention · move forward to emphasize · move to one side to indicate a transition gesture · up and down head motion or other movements to indicate importance · pen or pointer to indicate a part, a place (on a transparency or slide). · shrug of the shoulders to indicate “I don’t know!” · hands – back and forth = two possibilities, more or less · arm – movement back, forth
Negative body language
• loss of eye contact: looking at notes, looking at screen, at the board, at the floor
VOICE AND PRONUNCIATION
• Correct pronunciation is important if one is to be understood correctly. Incorrect pronunciation is perhaps the first cause of communication breakdown.
• make sure you know how to correctly pronounce at least the key technical words or words that your repeat over and over again in your speech.
VOICE AND PRONUNCIATION
- The voice, or more precisely the qualities of the voice, should be used to its/their fullest. Qualities include loudness, speed (fast or slow), variety, pitch (high or low), silent moments, or pauses. The voice is important:
- To indicate importance, meaning
- To create an atmosphere and to avoid sounding monotonous and putting the audience to sleep!