ORAL PRESENTATIONS. Article by APU Student Services
This short guide is based on the materials used in the Oral Presentations workshop which forms part of the study skills workshops programme. The material included has been gathered and adapted from:
Developing Essential Study Skills Elaine Payne and Lesley Whittaker
Studying Successfully by Ray Baxter
Study skills handouts in the Student Centre.
University of Surreys on-line guide www.surrey.ac.uk/Skills/Pack/pres.html
"How not to give a presentation" http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7276/1570
WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION?
A good introduction
A good conclusion
Well organised material
Clear, logical progression
Good supporting information data, examples, illustrations
Retention of interest
Appropriate use of visual aids/handouts
Good rapport with audience
Appropriate use of language
Good voice control
GIVING A PRESENTATION MAIN STAGES
Before planning your presentation, consider:
Planning the presentation
Select and structure the main points and supporting information in a logical, coherent way
Practice makes perfect! Be familiar with your material, your venue and any equipment.
Effective delivery involves capturing and retaining the audiences attention, inspiring their confidence and developing their understanding.
The design and tone of your presentation will be affected by:
How much time have you been allotted?
How much can you get across in that time?
Have any content guidelines been set?
(e.g. title, fixed number of OHTs)
Is a common format/style required?
What do you want your audience to take away from the presentation?
Is your aim to explain, inform, persuade, debate or entertain?
Room size, layout, seating arrangements
Availability of audio visual equipment
Lighting, temperature, general comfort level
Who are they? What are their jobs/positions?
Why are they there? Are they there voluntarily or under pressure?
What is their likely attention span?
What do they already know about the topic?
How can you link new information to what they know?
Is their response likely to be positive or negative?
Will you need to win them over to a particular viewpoint?
Will anyone else be speaking for or against?
What level will you need to gear your information to?
You may need to avoid technical jargon and explain abstract concepts with clear, practical examples.
PLANNING YOUR PRESENTATION
Choose the main points (3 max. in a 10 minute presentation)
These should reflect your objectives and take
account of your audiences needs.
Arrange main points in a logical, structured way which is relevant to the subject:
e.g. chronological, cause/effect, problem/solution
Choose supporting information to:
add clarity - explain complex terms through concrete examples, illustrations; remind audience of supporting themes
add authority quote experts; make connections with other peoples work; offer evidence from research
add colour video clips/slides; practical examples; analogies
Decide best way to present this information.
Establish linking statements to show how main points fit together
Develop your opening:
capture the audiences interest, establish a relationship
say what you will be talking about and how
say what you hope to achieve
- say what you expect of the audience to
listen, take notes, ask questions (during, after?)
- inspire confidence
Develop your ending:
review the subject area
summarise the main points and the process
draw the points to a conclusion/judgement
leave a lasting impression
Does your presentation meet your objectives?
Is it logically structured?
Is it targeted at the right level?
Is it too long/short?
linear notes or index cards?
number and keep in right order
note main headings and key words as prompts
DELIVERING AN EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION
o smile, be welcoming
o check comfort levels
o look for non-verbal signs of confusion/boredom
o address audience directly, dont read from notes
o check understanding
o invite questions
o show confidence through posture and body language
o maintain eye contact
o use controlled gestures to welcome, include, emphasise, indicate ending
Use language that involves you with the audience, e.g. use "we", ask rhetorical questions.
Express ideas clearly:
o avoid jargon, clichι
o summarise regularly
o vary sentence length, openers, types (statement, command, question, exclamation)
o avoid messy, rambling endings or fillers
o use verbal signposts to direct listening
Use your voice to maintain interest, convey energy and enthusiasm:
o volume loud enough for audience to hear, but vary for effect
o pace speak slowly and clearly, use pauses to indicate change of direction or to emphasise a point
o pitch e.g. raise for questions
Practice makes perfect! Rehearse your presentation.
Be familiar with your material and equipment
Get a good nights sleep
Arrive early to check layout, equipment etc.
Have a warm drink beforehand to relax throat
Have a drink of water to hand
Take a few deep breaths before starting
Pause between sections, after questions, to allow comfortable breathing patterns
© Copyright for this article belongs to APU Student Services
This document was re-printed with the kind permission of Susan Butler. Original Source of the article is located here: http://web.apu.ac.uk/stu_services/essex/learningsupport/OL-OralPrsntatns.htm