This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Investeşte în oameni!
Formarea profesională a cadrelor didactice din învăţământul preuniversitar pentru noi oportunităţi de dezvoltare în carieră
PRACTICAL COURSE IN PUBLIC PRESENTATION
Codruţa Maria Cornelia GOŞA
Program de conversie profesională la nivel postuniversitar pentru cadrele didactice din învăţământul preuniversitar Specializarea ENGLEZĂ Forma de învăţământ ID - semestrul II
Effective communication: an introduction Unit outline Unit objectives 1. Assessment of your work 6.3.8 What makes communication effective: plan.3 The audience 2.1 Introduction 2.11 Some possible answers to As-You-Go Activities 9-26 9 9 9 12 13 15 15 16 17 17 17 18 18 19 21 21 23 24 26 Unit 2.2 Communicating through body language 22.214.171.124 Eye-contact 1.1 Why is it important to know your 27-38 27 27 28 28 30 i .4 Non-verbal aspects 1. Structure of this course 5.4.3 Effective communication: non-verbal.126.96.36.199.1 Voice 1. Planning your presentation: housekeeping and audience Unit oultline Unit objectives 2.4 Body language 1.1 Understanding body language 1. practice. References Pages 1-8 1 1 1 2 4 6 7 8 8 Unit 1.4.1 Effective communication: an introduction 1. About this course 3. Is this course for you? 4. A rationale for this course 2.2 Effective communication: the format 1. About bibliography 7.2 Housekeeping 2.9 Pulling the strings together 1.10 Send-Away Assignment 1 1. perform 1. prepare.2 Appearance 1. verbal and visual areas 1.7 Mannerisms 1.5 Creating an impression 1.Contents of the Course CONTENTS OF THE COURSE UNIT Introduction Outline of Introduction Objectives of Introduction 1.6 Humour 1.
Contents of the Course
audience? 2.3.2 What do you need to know about your audience 188.8.131.52 Who are they? 184.108.40.206 What do they do? 220.127.116.11 What are their interests? 18.104.22.168 Why are they there? 2.4 How can you get to 'know' your audience? 2.5 Pulling the strings together 2.6 Send-Away Assignment 2
31 32 33 33 34 34 35 37 37
Unit 3. Planning and preparing your presentation: content
Unit outline Unit objectives 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Getting started 3.2.1 Deciding on the topic 3.2.2 Setting your objectives 3.2.3Thinking around the topic 3.2.4 Judging the duration 3.3 Drafting your presentation 3.3.1 Putting your thoughts in order 3.3.2 Writing something down 3.3.3 Creating your main message 3.4 Structuring and preparing your presentation 3.4.1 The overview 3.4.2 The body 3.4.3 The summary 3.5 Pulling the strings together 3.6 Send-Away Assignment 3
39 39 40 40 40 41 44 45 46 46 47 48 49 49 51 52 54 54
Unit 4. Preparing your visuals
Unit outline Unit objectives 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Visual aids 4.2.1 Why use visual aids? 4.2.2 Choosing your visual aids 4.2.3 Designing your visual aids 22.214.171.124 Types of visual aids 126.96.36.199 Audience-friendly visual aids 4.2.4 Preparing the audience for a visual 4.3 Pulling the strings together 4.4 Send Away-Assignment 4 4.5 Answer to As-You-Go Activity 4.4
55 55 56 56 57 58 59 59 63 63 64 65 67
Contents of the Course
Unit 5. Practising and performing
Unit content Unit objectives 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Practising your presentation 5.2.1 Why should you do it? 5.2.2. When and how should you do it? 5.3 Performing on 'the big day' 5.3.1 Dealing with stress and anxiety 188.8.131.52 How stressed are you? 184.108.40.206 Identifying the sources of your stress 220.127.116.11 Techniques for stress and anxiety management 5.4 Dealing with your audience 5.4.1 What can annoy your audience? 5.4.2 How can your audience 'talk' to you? 5.4.3 Handling questions 5.5 Pulling the strings together 5.6 Send-Away Assignment 5
68 68 69 69 70 70 72 72 73 74 75 77 78 80 82 84 84
Outline of Conclusions Objectives of Conclusions 1. Final summary 2. Final Send-Away Project Assignment Appendix
86 86 86 89 90
the ability to communicate is seen as the single most important factor in your professional 'toolkit'. is an integral part of most 'modern' professions. A rationale for this course 2. The people who have marked history were all good communicators: they could move audiences. all these people need to have studied presentation skills if they want to be successful in their careers. from teachers to tourist guides. From business persons to politicians. 1. speaking in public.Introduction INTRODUCTION Outline of Introduction Page Objectives of Introduction 1. No one likes doing it and few of us believe that we are really good at doing it. have seen how this course is structured. or giving presentations as this complex 'activity' is better known in the Anglo-Saxon world. 1 . have understood why this course is useful for you. 4. For example. Nowadays. you inspire others. in a word: you make a difference. The reason for this lack of confidence is usually the fear of failing in public. 2. Structure of this course 5. win minds and hearts and get people to take action. 3. However. References 1 1 2 4 6 7 8 8 Objectives of Introduction By the end of the Introduction you will: 1. from human resources officers to talk-show moderators. Is this course for you? 4. A rationale for this course Why is it that we can land machines on Mars and design microphones smaller than pinheads but still have difficulty in coming up with a 'winning formula' for overcoming the fear of speaking in public? Nearly each of us will mention speaking in public as one of the most disliked aspects of our work. Assessment of your work 6. About bibliography 7. have become aware of the philosophy underlying this course. for 'losing face' by making a fool of ourselves. About this course 3. if you are a good communicator you get promoted more easily. have become familiar with the organising principle of this course.
2.Introduction (Whether these actions were beneficial or damaging is highly arguable but not very relevant to the argument. wherever much friendlier and definitely more successful. telephone or one-to-one conversations) the one that gives you the greatest chance to make a powerful impact is the presentation given in public. This may range from a job interview to explaining to your colleagues why you think some drastic changes in your organisation are inevitable. knowledge of the subject. About this course In this course. the discipline to go through the whole process of presenting. It might be more useful for you at this point to stop reading my presentation of what might be considered a presentation and do something instead. higher and higher demands are made on us to perform to a high standard in any communication circumstance. in a presentation a speaker addresses an audience (be it made from one or more people) with a certain purpose. the term presentation is used to describe any situation in which you have to talk to other people and get some kind of message across (except for casual conversation). In other words. It may be comforting for you to know that there is no such thing as 'a natural born' orator. a disciplined sense of timing. Because communication is the key concept in this new millennium. 2 . There may be natural born performers (I'm sure you can think of a number of actors who were born talented and didn't need much schooling to become famous) but not natural orators. Being able to perform is just one side of the story. but it will equip such a person with a 'presentation skills toolkit' which in its turn will make the job of presenting whenever. This course won't transform a shy or apathetic person into a 'shiny' performer overnight. read haltingly (or speedily) from a script and think 'that'll do' because it won't.) Of all the ways you communicate (by letter or e-mail. No longer is it acceptable to shuffle on to a stage. or even the right amount of 'brains'. There's much more to it than that: having the right content.
deal with visual aids. deal with humour. 3 . control stress and anxiety.Introduction As-You-Go Activity 1 A.1 Try to identify as many types of presentation situations you were part of. both as a presenter or a member of an audience. deal with voice problems. you are going to read more about this a little later in this Introduction. List them in the table below. I just want to tell you that in this course I will share with you some of the 'secrets of the trade': what professional speakers use to impact dramatically on the audience and to make a memorable impression. For now. Nonetheless. manage your audience. deal with mannerisms. I'm even more certain that you definitely included in the list the most common presentation situation for a Romanian teacher: • • as a presenter: your every day classroom situation as member of an audience: a student in a classroom or an auditorium After this activity it may have already become evident why I preach how important it is for you to have presentation skills. This course will show you how to: • • • • • • • • plan. write and time a presentation. Write your answer here: • As a presenter • As a member of the audience I'm certain that you were able to list many situations. have the appropriate appearance.
Therefore. In this way people can adopt and adapt what seems to function in particular contexts with the particular individuals they work with. we as teachers need to have presentation skills if we want to be successful in whichever presentation situation. In our profession (I too am basically a teacher of English) we need to speak publicly (and assess public speaking) in all sorts of familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The second reason why I believe you need presentation skills is more individual or human-nature-related. We do it on a regular basis in our classrooms as teachers (and. a recipe on how to deal with disruptive students) which can successfully be applied to obtain the desired results. I also want to make it clear that it is not my philosophy that knowledge necessarily comes in chunks or rules that are to be read. They are aimed at making you aware of where you are and what you want to achieve (and how) as presenters. but why is it so important for me to study presentation skills?' I believe that this course is definitely for you for two main reasons.1). It is for the same reason that the activities and assignments that you'll get. 3. memorised and then regurgitated for the teacher to measure what has been learned.g. The first reason is profession-related. yes. 4 . lessons are definitely a presentation situation. to reflect on these issues and on how fellow professionals approach them. However we also do it less frequently and on less familiar occasions: from oral exams for the 'definitivat' and defending the 'Gradul I' paper to 'lecţii deschise'. Nor do I believe that when dealing with people one can offer and receive recipes (e. It is for this reason that my unit objectives are not always 'measurable' and do not always contain 'action verbs'. Is this course for you? In this section I'm trying to anticipate a legitimate question coming from you: 'you may be right in what you've said so far. I believe that people need to become aware of a trade's most important issues.Introduction As you go through the course you will find lots of practical pieces of advice and examples to help you become a better presenter. from meetings with parents to papers presented at various conferences. as you have seen in A. require answers of a more subjective nature (not the right or wrong kind of answers).
Similarly. • You think you are competent but you want to be better.2 How do you feel about speaking in public (Giving presentations)? Write your answer here: This course is definitely for you if you have any negative feelings about giving presentations. If any of these points sound familiar. this course is for you. • Your audience never seems to be able to read and understand your visual aids. • Your audience always seems to be bored and inattentive. So. • The equipment for your visual aids always turns into an enemy by not functioning properly and ruining your presentation.Introduction As-You-Go Activity 2 A. read on! 5 . this course is for you if: • When you have to do it you are often dry-mouthed and tongue-tied.
the mere fact that you’ve done them served their purpose. You’ll be advised to do so whenever the case in the five units of the course. However.. For example. I chose to structure this course around these four stages.) Visual (. Gilgrist 1996: 5 (original bold typeface) similarly states that: To convey your messages you will need to perform competently in three areas simultaneously: (..Introduction 4. Unit 1 presents some general aspects of effective presentation.) Nonverbal (. I found most useful the four-stages approach suggested by Wingenbach: 1999. Structure of this course There were many organising principles I could have chosen for this course. Consequently I had to choose and adapt what they had to offer. In this case. For this reason not all your As-You-Go Activities have a suggested answer.. Therefore. As you’ll see. I tried to include many As-You-Go Activities which will draw on your experience as presenters and participants in presenting situations.. Consequently. They also have the role to help you get to know yourself better. I found a number of books or world-wide-web sites dealing with presentation skills. The course has five content units. They are Plan. they can normally be found in the text immediately after them. I do refer to all these factors in the course. as I believe it illustrates better what a presenter should do during the presentation stage of the presentation process. All were business related. Many of these activities have mainly the role of making you reflect on what is involved in the presentation process and on how you can best develop and adjust your abilities to do your best. more exactly to housekeeping and getting to know your audience. an Introduction and a Conclusion.. you may want to get feedback on such activities too. content and performance. Dickinson 1998: 25 says: Giving an effective presentation is reliant on three interdependent factors: audience. If the As-you-Go Activities have suggested answers...). The answers to such activities depend on your own individuality and experiences.. unless you are specifically told where else to look for them (occasionally at the end of the unit). He calls them 'the four Ps of better presenting'. Unit 4 deals with the Planning and Preparation of the content while Unit 5 focuses on the Practice and Performance stages. as they best reflect the idea of process (which I definitely consider presentations to be). Unit 2 refers to the Planning stage. However. When I searched some of the literature on presentation skills.) Verbal (. please bring them to one of the tutorials where your answers can be discussed with your tutor and your fellow students. 6 . Considering that this course is a practical one. Practice and Present. Prepare. I also decided to call the fourth stage the Performance stage.
the target reader is positively impressed and convinced by your performance): 2 points In addition to the mark. try to use the spaces provided (the blank boxes) without exceeding them. a project assignment with a summative value is set. taking into account the feedback. you will receive feedback (explaining how and why that particular mark was given). after a summary of the main points discussed in this course. The SAAs and the Final Project Assignment should be sent to your tutor either by snail-mail or by e-mail (if you have the possibility to do so).e. You can collect all your tasks in a portfolio and discuss them in more detail with your classmates and tutor during the tutorials. In Conclusions. To this end.Introduction 5. the following criteria and marking scheme will be employed by your tutor: • • • • • Content (inclusion of relevant content points): 4 points Range of grammar and vocabulary (choosing the appropriate words and grammatical structures): 1 point Style and register (choosing a style and a register appropriate to your target audience in terms of formality or informality): 1 point Accuracy (correctness of the language used): 1 point Effect on the target reader (i. Since it is impossible to mark your assignments objectively (there is no ‘right or wrong’ answer to any. To be more specific. For both the activities and the SAAs set. Thus you will have to send to your tutor six assignments: five unit Send-Away Assignments and a Final Project Assignment. the answers being all of a subjective nature). The SAAs will represent half of your final mark. Your SAAs will be averaged and the resulting mark will be averaged with the mark you get for your Final Project Assignment. 7 . all your assignments will be marked in accordance with the Romanian marking system (from 1 to 10). The Final Project Assignment will represent the other half. each unit concludes with a Send-Away Assignment which will be marked by your tutor. you can also ask any questions and request any further clarification concerning your marks or the course. Assessment of your work I adopted both formative and summative forms of evaluation. On these occasions. If you’re not pleased with the mark received you can re-do and re-send the respective SAA. The address and deadlines will be communicated by your tutor.
com/presentation4.. your own experience of going through this course and doing what you’ll be asked to do will be equally important an rewarding. Enjoy the course and become better presenters! 7. http://www.. Cluj. I know that you’ll be very busy and have lots to read and do while participating in this programme. 1999: Additional Presentation Skills. However. if you do chose to use them. You can find all these books in the British Council Libraries around the country (Bucharest. Iaşi and Timişoara). Dickinson.Introduction 6. the mere fact of browsing through them and discovering what might be useful for you will be a useful discovering experience. 1998: Effective Presentation. with Davies. London: Orion Business Books 2. Gilgrist. I deliberately didn’t include any sections of these reference materials in any unit bibliography because. However. R. S.toxperformance. 1996: Winning Presentations.J. London: Piatkus The books mentioned in the References section below also constitute valuable supporting materials for this course.html 8 . G. Hampshire. I assume that it won’t be very easy for you to get access to them. References 1. C. About bibliography I’d like to keep the recommended supporting readings as minimal as possible for two reasons.. Firstly. Wiengenbach. Secondly. D. I do recommend the following book: Stuart... for this course it is not compulsory for you to read any supplementary materials. 2000: Speak for Yourself: the complete guide to effective communication and powerful presentations. should you wish to read more. Vermont: Gower 3. Consequently.
3.1 Voice 1.4 Body language 1.4.1 Understanding body language 1.3 Effective communication: non-verbal.2 Communicating through body language 1.11 Some possible answers to As-Yo.4. know more about yourself in relation to the presentation process.4.5 Creating an impression 1.10 Send Away Assignment 1 18.104.22.168 What makes communication effective: plan.9 Pulling the strings together 1. identify how non-verbal aspects can influence a presentation. understand the role of humour in a presentation. 4.4. practise.Effective Communication Unit 1 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Motto: Every long journey begins with one short step. perform 1. prepare. list the aspects which are to be taken into account in the presentation process.2 Effective communication: the format 1.7 Mannerisms 1.4 Non-verbal aspects 1. 9 .Go Activities Page 9 10 12 13 15 15 16 17 17 17 18 18 19 21 21 23 24 26 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you will be able to: 1.6 Humour 1.3 Eye-contact 1.4. 2 categorise these aspects according to the areas they refer to.1 Effective communication: an introduction 1.2 Appearance 1.4. Unit Outline Unit objectives 1. 5. verbal and visual areas 1.
A.1 Write your answer here: 10 . be it in your every day classroom context. The following is an activity which is meant to get you into 'a presenting mood'. All of these aspects are not directly related to the content of a presentation. to a certain audience’. Now try to answer these two questions: • What were the presentations given for? As-You-Go Activity 1. appearance. (Remember our definition of presentations in the Introduction: ‘any particular instance where you need to speak about a certain topic. I will refer to some general issues relevant to you when presenting. verbal and visual but we will focus on the non-verbal aspects.1 in the Introduction? It is time for you to recall again some of the presentations you attended. In this unit I'll briefly refer to the areas that you will need to take into account for effective communication: non-verbal. they are very important in any presentation situation (including your every day classroom practise or in less familiar circumstances such as presenting at conferences).Effective Communication 1. or in any other context which might require your presentation skills.1 Effective communication: an introduction In this unit.. if the case. Nonetheless. the use of humour and avoidance of mannerisms. etc. can be found either immediately after your own answers or at the end of each unit . body language. only as members of the audience this time.) Take note that some possible answers to the As-You-Go Activities.1.1 Rememeber A. I'll discuss voice. More precisely.
you may consider all your answers correct .2 11 .Effective Communication • Were all the presentations you attended successful? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As this activity is based on your own experience and is meant to set you in a presentation-related mood. Consequently. However. should you wish to discuss this activity (and the answers you gave) with your tutor and your fellow students. A. what makes a presentation successful? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 1. please bring it to the tutorial).1. it doesn't seek to obtain right or wrong answers.2 In your opinion.
4 How do you make sure that you managed to get your message across in your presentation? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 1. go to the end of this unit. under the circumstances. it is the main purpose of this course to 'give you a toolkit' for becoming better presenters. A.2 Effective communication: the format A. As seen in the Introduction.4 12 . in our profession it is impossible to avoid presentations. There are many reasons why this happens and if you want to see what experienced presenters identify as the most common causes for unsuccessful presentations. why don't some presenters manage to deliver successful presentations? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 1.3 I hope you agree with me that it is not very often that we attend successful presentations.1. 1.1. Unfortunately. that many people really dread having to make presentations.3 In your opinion. once again go to the end of this unit.Effective Communication If you want to check your answers and see if they are similar to what experienced presenters expect from a 'good' presentation. It is understandable.
or you risk carrying out neither part successfully. visual. Keep the two parts distinct: avoid questions during the formal presentation. To convey your messages you will need to perform competently in three areas simultaneously: • • • non-verbal. Your mission here is to dispel any negative evaluation of your message(s) and not to allow your message(s) to be side tracked. 13 . that general audiences have a very narrow attention span. Ideally. Research has shown that the average adult attention span is about 10 minutes. This is seen as the most obvious sign that their presentation didn't communicate well or it wasn't tuned in to the audience's needs. It gives you clues to what people have understood from your presentation and if it had the desired effect. Experienced presenters consider that their presentation was a complete failure if no questions were asked at the end. So aim to communicate simplified messages (some presenters call them points) up to a maximum of three. standard presentations at conferences are scheduled to last 20 minutes for actually delivering the talk and 10 minutes for questions from the audience. The question-and-answer session is at least as important as the formal session. TIPS 1.Effective Communication Let me assume that your answer could be something similar to: 'have people from the audience ask questions about my presentation' and I couldn't agree more. they can't take in very many facts and details. However.3 Effective communication: non-verbal. are structured into two distinct parts: a formal presentation followed by a question-andanswer session. as far as the format of a presentation is concerned: • • • • Make sure you have a question-and-answer session. Don't leave the question session to chance. Some presenters also call it 'crowd control' because most presentations are won or lost during this stage. in general. Additionally. In brief. verbal and visual areas I've already mentioned in the previous section. For this reason presentations. it is as important as the formal one. It is generally believed that the formal part should not be longer than 15 to 20 minutes. the same amount of time for the question-and-answer session should be allowed. Don't prolong the formal part and shorten the question session. verbal. especially if wrapped in a complicated jargon.
the visual support of your presentation: handouts. how you speak. Verbal: Visual: 14 .Effective Communication As-You-Go Activity 1. Good presenters can't do without them: they always have some written support to accompany their presentations because it enables the audience to see what is being said while hearing it. the actual content of your presentation. Non-verbal: public-speaking techniques which are not content-related.1. verbal and visual areas? Write your answer here: • non-verbal • verbal • visual Here are some answers. slides. because they can really help you deliver effective presentations. Compare them to your own answers. OHTs PowerPoint computer slides. These aspects are also considered as aids.5 What aspects would you include in the non-verbal. what you do with your hands and how you establish and maintain eyecontact. The design and format of your visual aids (as they are also called) will be discussed in Unit 5. In the remaining part of this unit I'll focus on areas belonging to the non-verbal area of the presentation process.5 A. This and the strategies you may use to produce the content will be discussed in Unit 4. etc. These comprise how you stand.
g. slumping and keeping his/her eyes cast while briskly pacing the room without stopping and continuously waving his/her arms.the power you want to give to an idea or concept (e.the pace (e. Here are some tips for you: • TIPS • Project your voice and make sure everybody in the room can hear you (yes.g. avoid this by paying attention to: . even the people in the back!). appearance. only a few experienced presenters know how to really exploit their voices to obtain optimal results.1 Voice Every presenter agrees that voice is very important when presenting.Effective Communication 1. Ask a friend to help you. start deep down.the pitch (e. it should be clear that voice. pause now and then to gain attention and to collect thoughts).4. eye-contact. However. humour or body language can contribute to the success or failure of a presentation. Don't bore people with a monotonous voice. Do you think that such a person could be a successful presenter? Why (not)? Write your thoughts here: Imagine No matter what your answer might be.4 Non-verbal aspects Imagine a presenter dressed in multi-coloured boxer-shorts and vest who whispers something. drop your voice if you want to emphasise a point). . 1. modulate it between high and low). by sitting in the far corner and listen to your voice.g. 15 . .
you need to take two issues into account: your audience and what you have to say. here is something to help you and your common sense make the right decisions. How would you dress and why? Imagine Write your thoughts here: This question can’t possibly have a single ‘right’ answer. you may let your common sense guide you when choosing your appearance. Being aware of these issues.4. You'll find out more about knowing your audience in Unit 3. The topic of his presentation was humour in the classroom. Keep on the side of being conservative. • TIPS • Dress as you know your audience will do. please bring it to the tutorial and we’ll all discuss it. the majority of the presenters do not get away with 'breaking the rule'. after all you want to show that you are one of them. Your appearance should complement what you have to say.Effective Communication 1.2 Appearance Imagine that you are to give a presentation at a local teachers' conference. If you want to see what other ‘initiated’ people think of your answer. and a jester's hat with tiny bells attached to it. Once you have identified your audience. on the other. Therefore. He was wearing a conservative three-piece dark suit on the one hand. Don't be shabbier or smarter because you risk offending them and turning them against you. This anecdote illustrates the second issue you need to take into account when deciding on your appearance: the content of your presentation. 16 . Appearance refers not only to the clothes you are wearing but also to how you want to be seen by the audience. His presentation was a huge success. you will need to ask yourself: 'What will my audience think of me if I wear these clothes?' Once I attended a plenary presentation given by a person who was considered a very good speaker. In addition.
3 Eye-contact All successful presenters agree upon the importance of eyecontact which should be maintained throughout the presentation. Here is a short list of tips of what kind of messages you could transmit to your audience by using eye-contact.4. What we do with our bodies sends particular messages. There are no rules. nevertheless. but I'd definitely recommend that you stand throughout your presentation: it shows confidence and gives you control over your audience. Remember that the first impression that you make is of utmost importance. you are not speaking for that person only).4.4 Body language People should be aware that it's not only words that help us communicate. 1. Do avoid.4. • TIPS • • Direct gaze and broad smile shows friendly attention and empathy.Effective Communication 1. For these reasons I'm going to discuss body language with special reference to creating a first impression. but at least you should try to choose several friendly faces and maintain eye-contact with them. Moreover.1 Understanding body language Presenters often ask themselves whether to sit or stand when giving a presentation. 1. As follows you'll see how body signals can be interpreted or used in presentation situations. our entire bodies participate while communication.4. others may need to be made aware. 17 . what you do with your body reflects what you think about yourself and 'talks' to your audience. I'll also mention how you can 'talk' with your body. Indirect gaze is evasive and shows lack of confidence. Some people are able to use or interpret body signals instinctively. Ideally you should seek and maintain eye-contact with as many people in your audience as possible. However this is quite difficult. Direct gaze shows attention. gazing continuously at only one person in the audience: it could be embarrassing for the person and offensive to the rest of your audience (after all. especially when you are at the beginning of your career as a presenter.
Look relaxed and enthusiastic (see the following section which deals with posture). • Needing reassurance: . • Paying attention: .pen biting or ear-pulling.using a hand to gesture emphatically. • Emphasising a point: . The initial 5 seconds are more important than the next 5 minutes.2 Communicating through body language There are three kinds of messages you can communicate to your audience: positive. Start the presentation properly with one of the following: TIPS 18 . 1.body leaning forward shows alertness and readiness to assist the speaker. Slight slumping and closed posture (arms crossed) show lack of confidence.Effective Communication 1. Body turned away signifies rejection to what the other person is saying. Positive Body facing front and open posture (don't cross your arms) shows confidence.5 Creating an impression First impressions are very important. Relaxed arms and legs show a lack of tension.4.one hand around the neck and the other around the waist. Here is a possible scenario: You are in front of your audience.4. make all your actions deliberate ones. Hand on hips indicates determination and ability to take control. Think very carefully. not just of what you are going to say but of how you are going to say it and of what you are going to do with your body. neutral and negative. Make sure you are in a position to move and address all of your audience. Smile gently. Look at the following ways in which you can give certain signals to your audience by using your body: TIPS Neutral Negative • Creating empathy: .slight tilt of the head or nodding while somebody is talking. • Showing uncertainty: .
a few words of welcome such as 'Thank you for coming to my presentation today'. As we will see in the next unit. if you want to create a friendly rapport with any audience. some practical details: when the session will end. For example. he took off his hat and only put it on several times during the presentation. A. I'm here to talk about death. When he started his presentation. When he put it on. you may start with a joke. a short summary of what the presentation is about. 1. this is considered to be a certain way to ruin your presentation. he jingled the bells and said: 'joke time'.6 What is your opinion about using humour in a presentation? Are there any advantages or disadvantages? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 1. 19 . when you will answer their questions. Humour is a useful ingredient in almost any situation. arrangements to follow.1. because it will create resistance and negative feelings towards you. if used appropriately. The death of an old idea''. But this joke must be carefully chosen because I assume that you don't want to offend anyone in the audience.Effective Communication • • • • • a short 'thank you' to the person who introduced you.6 You can compare your answer to what you can find in the Advantages and Disadvantages bullet-point suggestions below.6 Humour Do you remember my anecdote about the presenter who was wearing a jester's hat? It might be useful to tell you more about his presentation. some kind of dramatic opener: 'Ladies and gentlemen.
I hope that after doing this activity you now understand why. especially by inexperience presenters. • It lightens up heavy material. you need to avoid jokes that could be offensive in terms of gender. Use it sparingly. • It helps emphasise points and ideas. Secondly. race or ethnic group. you need to be aware that: • • • • It may turn out to be culturally offensive.Effective Communication Imagine how would you feel if you were a blonde in the audience and the presenter started his presentation by making a joke about how stupid blondes are? Imagine Write your thoughts here: My guess is that no matter what adjectives you used to describe your feelings. so I'm going to refer to both the advantages and disadvantages of using humour in your presentation. Here is some advice for you. • It makes you more likeable. Advantages First you'll look at some advantages: • It helps you connect with the audience. if you want to play it on the safe side. • It arouses interest. Disadvatages Humour can very easily turn out to be offensive to your audience. • It keeps attention. The best humour is that which appears naturally generated. You've seen that humour can be both useful and damaging in a presentation. These are some reasons why caution should be exercised. • It disarms hostility. 20 . as we have already mentioned. This is why. It may turn out to be gender offensive. humour can act against you if you overuse it or if it is disconnected from your presentation because it can 'stray' and dilute your message. • It makes information more memorable. It may turn out to be racially offensive. • It helps paint pictures in the audience's mind. It may turn out to be individually offensive. they probably are negative. as far as using humour in a presentation is concerned: TIPS • • • Always link humour to your message. as it is frequently based on ridiculing stereotypes.
They can be regarded as the four crucial stages in any presentation process. They will be then discussed in more detail in Units 2. So far you have focused on the non-verbal aspects that play important roles in the presentation process. these four Ps are the organising principle of this course and consequently I'll detail them in Units 3 to 6. I was not aware that (probably as a consequence of my profession: teaching) I had the habit of repeating (quite frequently and annoyingly) the word 'ok'. Practise and Perform have also been called the 'four Ps' of better presenting'. choose them carefully and 'try them on somebody' to see how people react to them. a colleague (and friend) made me aware of it.8 What makes communication effective: plan. 3. I'm going to briefly mention what each of these stages refers to. So you can give your presentation in front of a friend (you should practise/rehearse your presentation anyway. Prepare. as you'll see in Unit 5) and ask him or her to spot your mannerisms. One way to do it is to videotape our presentations and then check them for particular mannerisms. practise and perform As seen in the Introduction. I am very grateful to her. prepare. After attending some of my presentations.it is the 'safest' sort of humour . As also explained in the Introduction. They can turn out to be not only distracting and annoying for the audience but even funny. You will return to them in Unit 5 when on the actual presentation stage of the presentation process will be discussed (with special emphasis on building selfconfidence and stress control). 1.Effective Communication • • If you intend to use jokes. In the next and final section of this unit I'll briefly refer to the other very important aspects: the verbal and visual ones. However. and 4. It is better to use self-irony because: . this may be too difficult as you may not have the necessary equipment. 21 .7 Mannerisms Mannerisms are particular habits.it shows that you do not take yourself too seriously or feel superior to your audience. Plan. This is why it is important to try and spot them and then work towards eliminating them. There are many kinds of mannerisms that we can all have: from 'ers' and 'ums' to scratching noses. For example. Since then I have managed to get rid of my obnoxious 'ok'. 1. ways of speaking or behaving that we have but are not aware of. making us look silly.
• 22 .needs. .1. .7 A.goals.sell. . . are expected to do during these four stages. .knowledge.teach.7 What do you think presenters do during each of the stages mentioned? Write your answer here: • the planning stage: • the preparation stage: • the practise stage: • the performance stage: Here is what you.experience. as presenters. Compare your answers to the following: Plan • Try to know your audience: . Define the purpose of your talk (some possible variants): .persuade. .train.inform. . .motivate to action.Effective Communication As-You-Go Activity 1.
23 . . mirror. .clear key points. in this unit I discussed the most important aspects that need to be considered if you want to produce and deliver effective presentations. . • Hold the attention of the audience. 1. practise and review: . each unit is concluded with a SAA (Send-Away Assignment). .impact Practise • Perform • Make a positive first impression. non-verbal. I focused particularly on the non-verbal area: voice. Preparation. I also discussed humour and how it can influence a presentation. Prepare the closing. As mentioned previously. • Build rapport with your audience. Practise and Performance stages.a memorable closing.visibility. Create an opening. They can be divided into.Effective Communication Prepare • • • • • • • State the main ideas. video camera practise and review your visuals for: .results achieved. touched upon in this unit. Develop transitions (linking devices). mirror.a strong opening. Choose supporting information. • Rely on fundamentals. .possible mannerisms (try to eliminate them) . body language. eye-contact. Structure the main body.relevance. appearance. The other two areas: the verbal and the visual. verbal and visual. Before an audience. As specified in the introduction. will be explained in more detail in the following units which will be structured around the Planning. Before an audience. For this reason the lists mentioned above are not detailed and exemplified here.9 Pulling the strings together To sum up. .clarity. in this unit I only touch upon some general aspects that you need to take into account in the presentation process as I wanted to make the structure of this course as user-friendly as possible.logical flow. . video camera.
etc. for how long. a teachers' meeting.10 Send-Away Assignment 1 Send-Away Assignment! Your first SAA will be more of a self-awareness kind of test. (If you want. For example. Describe your audience: 24 . you may choose the following topic: 'school-family relationships'). elicit feedback from your audience as well. parents or children in one of your classes. a get-to-know-yourself kind of test. (If possible. It will be marked by taking into account the criteria presented in the Introduction. Observe your own behaviour while presenting.) and then reflect on what you found easy/difficult. namely Content. 3. Refer to the strengths and weaknesses of your presentation focusing on the nonverbal aspects discussed in this unit. with reference to the same aspects and include it in the comments. State the topic of your presentation: SelfAwareness Test 2.) Write your answers here: 1. Present your topic to any of the following types of audiences available: fellow teachers. 2. Record your comments in the table below. Focus on a situation which will involve you speaking in front of an audience (e. rather than look for right or wrong answers. The tutor will particularly focus on the content (more precisely for evidence that you’ve spent time in seriously dealing with the tasks set) and on the effect your assignment might have on him/her as a target reader.Effective Communication 1. Accuracy and Effect on the target reader. Think of a topic that might be of interest. a meeting with parents or even one of your classes). 4.g. Style and register. mention how you established and maintained eye-contact with your audience (who with. Range of grammar and vocabulary. 1.
Comment on your presentation with reference to and record what your audience said about: • your voice: • establishing and keepinging eye-contact: • impression you and your audience think you created: • the signals sent by your body language: • any mannerisms identified: • the presence or absence of humour: Any other comments that you would like to make: Please send your SAA 1 to your tutor.Effective Communication 3. 25 .
So.11. constantly apologise (e. As-You-Go Activity 1.Effective Communication 1. all the answers you gave to the activities can be considered ‘right’. I consider that some questions may be answered in more than one way. since the purpose of these activities was to make you reflect. learning something new. do not manage to convince the audience.2 • • • • being able to follow them through.g for being nervous or not having time to prepare). As-You-Go Activity 1. do not own the topic. being able to understood the message. have problems when manipulating equipment. misplace their their notes or visual aids.3 Presentations may not be succesful because presenters: • • • • • • • do not manage to get their messages across. do not manage to grab and maintain attention. Some possible answers to As-You-Go Activities As explained in the Introduction. depending on your personality and experiences. having a good time. 26 .
2.1 Who are they? 2.3. understand the notion of housekeeping in the presentation process. but the audience was a total failure.3.3.2.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience Unit 2 PLANNING YOUR PRESENTATION: HOUSEKEEPING AND AUDIENCE Motto: 'The play was a great success.6 Send-Away Assignment 2 27 28 28 30 31 32 33 33 34 34 35 37 37 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you will be able to: 1. understand the role of housekeeping and its role in the presentation process. 3. 4.2 What do they do? 2. identify appropriate ways to find out useful things about your audience.3 The audience 2.4 How can you get to 'know' your audience? 2.4 Why are they there? 2.' (Oscar Wilde) Unit Outline Page Unit objectives 2.2.2 What do you need to know about your audience 2.3 What are their interests? 2. 27 .3.3.1 Introduction 2.3.1 Why is it important to know your audience? 2.2 Housekeeping 2. identify what you might need to know about your audience to make your presentation more effective.5 Pulling the strings together 2.2. 2.
2 Housekeeping We cannot start planning a presentation without knowing who it is addressed to and the environment in which it will take place.g. They are dealt with in this unit. if the case is) such questions as: • • • • • • • • • • Where will I make my presentation (my own classroom.)? How long will my presentation be? Should I provide copies of my presentation? Do I need handouts to give to the participants? Will there be questions from the audience? Will there be any other presenters? Will I be expected to stay on after my presentation? Will there be any coffee breaks before or after my presentation (where I can meet and talk to members of my audience)? 28 . external contexts. sometimes I choose examples (to illustrate my points) both from contexts that you might be faced with on a regular basis and from what may be perceived as more formal. when speaking about presentations and presentation skills. an auditorium. seen as the crucial stages of the presentation process. while in Unit 1 I touched upon some more general aspects referring to effective communication. Housekeeping and audience and their importance are two crucial factors that need to be considered in the Planning stage. the equipment necessary (and available) and the format of a presentation. I refer both to what you need in your ordinary classroom context and other. I also believe that you can come up with more relevant examples from your classrooms than I could to illustrate some of the issues discussed and for this reason at times I choose to focus more on contexts that might be less familiar to you. etc. For this reason. It might be worth repeating that. etc. Before you start planning the content of your presentation you need to ask yourself (and other people involved.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience 2. Practise and Present).1 Introduction Remember that in the Introduction I mentioned that the organising principle of this course is based on the four Ps of better presenting (Plan. slide projector. Housekeeping refers to the place. video projector. Prepare. For this reason the following units will be dedicated to these four stages. OHP. less familiar presentation contexts. 2.)? Will I be able to control the seating in the room to make it correspond with my purpose? What kind of equipment do I have access to (e. flipchart. less familiar. another room. board.
the classroom layout lends itself to tutorial-type presentations. where you will probably have a desk or a table facing your audience. This might be ideal for teaching but not very helpful if you want to create a more intimate atmosphere. Imagine that you are invited to give a presentation in a school and when you arrive there you find out that instead of giving a presentation in a classroom you have to give it in an auditorium. the seating and the equipment available will determine the style of your presentation. U-shaped/horseshoe shape. However. there's only a blackboard available. How do you think that all these might affect your presentation? Write your thoughts here: Imagine Yes. Although you don't usually have much control over a seminar room or an auditorium. having to write on the board will definitely make you lose your audience's attention (when breaking the eye-contact). There are several options: • • • theatre style shape. It is evident that everyone prefers presenting in an already familiar environment. It is most likely though that a presentation will be ruined if people can't hear you. especially if you are not endowed with a strong. The horseshoe shape will be ideal for such a purpose. it will make you waste precious time to write on the blackboard). when you are invited to present in a different location you might be able to choose the type of seating for your audience. Thirdly. instead of the expected equipment. Secondly. resonant voice. For example. Once again if you want to show and discuss what you’ve written with your fellow students and your tutor. very often this is not possible and for such apparently meaningless reason a wonderful. On top of everything. 29 . your presentation may be spoiled in a number of ways that I’m sure you’ve mentioned. carefully planned presentation can be ruined. bring your answer to the tutorial. classroom shape. Each seating arrangement suggests something.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience The venue. apart from the panic that you might feel for not being able to use your visuals.
(and he did finish ten minutes before his allotted time) he invited questions. It is rude to the audience.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience Let the oganisers know in good time what you will need but be prepared not to always get it. you can think in advance about how you will create a more friendly atmosphere and show that you do not consider that you are superior to your audience. Audience is considered at least as important in the presentation process as the content of the presentation or the presenter's performance. 30 . It is equally important to know if a question-and-answer session will follow your presentation as you will have to try and anticipate the questions and prepare for them (we will discuss this in more detail in a later unit). He looked quite hurt and bewildered.3 The audience The dictionary definition for audience is: 'group of listeners or spectators'. even if the seating turns out to be confrontational. I hope that the anecdote above shows how important housekeeping can turn out to be for the success of your presentation (especially if your presentation takes place in a situation that is not familiar to you). you need to know well in advance how long it will be. selfironical joke or anecdote/incident that you can begin with just to show that you are not superior to your audience. For instance. was invited to give a one-hour plenary presentation at an international conference in Romania. and the entire audience could see that. It is equally important to find out that a question-and answer session is not scheduled. He was in the process of elaborating a new theory and was anxious to see how the audience would react to it. 2. His presentation was not very easy to follow because it was conceptually difficult and rather theoretical. I do believe it was mainly the organiser's fault for not allowing a question session (and I really can't understand why she did it since it had been the regular format for other presentations in the conference). At the end of his presentation. A very famous (in his field) British professor. in spite of the seating arrangements). To illustrate this point. Partly (and the presenter acknowledged it) it was also the presenter's fault for not making it clear right from the start that he specifically wanted a question-and-answer session. furniture or equipment can only become a real problem if you haven't thought about them in advance. (Maybe you can think of a nice. and even more so to the speakers who might follow you. The conference organiser stood up and told him there won't be a question-and-answer-session. He confessed afterwards that he had suffered quite a blow and that he felt awful not only because he thought he had looked like a fool but mainly because he couldn't assess his presentation and theory. bear in mind that room size. However. I will again use an incident that I witnessed. As far as the format of your presentation is concerned. if you do not keep to the time allotted.
if they don’t benefit from it? I.e. i. I am going to give some examples. She is logical and rational. very soon. Paul is a 'go-getter'. lost interest and got disconnected.1 Why is it important to know your audience? Think of the students in one of your classes. structured and precise. snappy and to the point. a 'carer'. must have an audience focus. Otherwise. He is inclined to get in touch only when he wants something. The classes consist of both boys and girls in different proportions. high-energy person who loves to get things done as quickly as possible. She is warm. He wants the presentation to be short. Maria.2. sincere and values relationships. have witnessed on numerous occasions in which a presenter seemed to believe that extensive demonstration of knowledge (very often 'wrapped' in jargon. You 'present your lesson'. wants to 'connect'. I felt annoyed because I couldn't extract the point of the presentation. to be touched in person by your presentation. be it done for teaching purposes or outside the classroom. She strives for 31 . She is naturally interested in people and wants to 'help' with her questions. So. A. for instance. Dana is 'analytical'.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience This is why your presentation. 'scientific' or difficultto-understand words) would make a wonderful presentation and elicit admiration from the audience.1 It is difficult for me to anticipate your answers or to come up with 'universally true answers' for such a difficult question. The result was that. He is an assertive. why should an audience be present during a presentation. They are all approximately the same age. Good presenters know that efficient presentations are audience and not presenter-oriented. She wants the presentation to be detailed.1 Do all your students react and behave in the same way? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 2. For example. 2.3. The syllabuses and textbooks they have been exposed are the same.
Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience
perfection and likes order. She thinks before she speaks and tends to be formal and distant. Peter is a 'socialiser'. He wants a presentation to be fun and entertaining and the presenter to be enthusiastic. He is openminded; he likes variety and surprise. He expects an easy-going relationship with the presenter. These are the four personality types. I'm sure you have examples of each in your classrooms. If you want your lessons to be successful, you have to somehow adapt your teaching to these four personality types. Consequently, if you want your presentations to be successful, unless you are able to detect a dominant type, you should: • • • • try to be to relevant and to the point; try to establish some connection with your audience; try to make your presentation logical and structured; try to be enthusiastic and entertaining.
Things become even more complicated if you are not at all familiar with your audience because, besides belonging to one of the four personality types discussed, people come to presentations: • from different backgrounds; • with different expectations; • for different reasons. In what follows, you will look at issues such as who the members of your audience might be, what they might expect to find out, and why they might be there.
2.3.2 What do you need to know?
Imagine that you are invited (or sent by your school) to an international conference to present the problems a rural school, such as yours, is confronted with. You want to make your presentation as effective as possible. What do you think you might need to know about your audience? Write your thoughts here:
Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience
Your answers should reflect what experienced presenters consider to be one of the 'golden rules' of presentation skills: 'The more you know about your audience in advance, the more effective your presentation will be'. For this reason it is very important to try and find out as much as possible related to: • • • • who they are; what they do; what their interests are; why they are there.
In the following sections these issues will be discussed in more detail.
22.214.171.124 Who are they?
First you may want to know the identity of the persons who will be in your audience: their gender, ethnic group, nationality, or why not, even race. Who they are and where they come from may influence what they know and how they feel about the topic that you are going to speak about. For instance, if you want to present to a group of parents why it is important to form a parents – teachers association in a school, you may need to 'tailor' your presentation differently if mostly mothers (rather than fathers will be present), or if more than one ethnic group is represented. You will particularly need to think carefully of the type of examples you will use to illustrate your points, if you want them to be relevant to the parents in your audience.
126.96.36.199 What do they do?
In a similar way, what the members of audience do for a living, their educational level and experience are also relevant. It might be that in the audience there are people who know more than you do. Or, on the other hand, you may have people who will not understand you if you use complicated language or abstract unfamiliar ideas (they may not have the necessary background knowledge to do it). In any case, one valuable piece of advice can be offered in this respect:
Do not 'talk down' to your audience, or in other words, do not, in any way, try to show that you are superior to them (it will definitely ruin your presentation).
We will come back to this issue and you will find out more about how you can manage your audience when you present in Unit 5. 33
Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience
188.8.131.52 What are their interests?
Your expectations of your audience depend on what they want to find out and why they are present in your audience. For this reason, it is better not to start by asking yourself 'What do I want to tell them?' Instead, ask yourself, 'If I were in their position what would I want to hear?'. In this way you anticipate what their interests might be (also taking into account their identity and background) and try and address them in your presentation. Even so, your audience's expectations might be different from those anticipated, mainly because people might be present in your audience for other reasons than the one most obvious to you, because they are interested in what you have to say. We are going to discuss several possible reasons next.
184.108.40.206 Why are they there?
People attend presentations for many reasons. A.2.2 Think of the presentations (remember that we agreed that we will use 'presentations' as an umbrella term which refers to any kind of speaking that involves a person talking to a certain audience) you have attended. Can you list some reasons why you were in the audience? Write your answer here:
As-You-Go Activity 2.2
Some possible reasons are listed and then briefly discussed below. Obligation At some time in our lives, many of us are required to attend presentations (e.g. lectures, seminars or meetings) to which we were forced to go and take a passive role. This is likely to trigger some resistance: if we didn't have to be there, we could be doing something better or more entertaining. An intelligent speaker will know this, may acknowledge it and try to 'win' his/her audience. 34
To impress You mustn't be surprised if several members of your audience use the occasion of your presentation not to listen and learn but as an arena in which to be noticed and show off. However. as in the previous case. How to handle such a situation is discussed in more detail in Unit 5. Try to surprise such a member of your audience with your presentation and don't forget to entertain.4 How can you get to 'know' your audience? I think that by now you have come to understand how important your audience is in the presentation process. then think of an old maxim: 'if in doubt. If so far you have looked at some of the most important things that you need to know about your audience. this 'getting to know your audience' may turn out to be easier said than done in many cases. Attending a presentation might be a nice way to pass the time. can work to your advantage because the audience is interested in what you have to say. if you are genuinely afraid that you have some wonderful idea that could be stolen. To network Anyone who has attended conferences knows that presentations are seen as important (or sometimes less important) as the opportunities to meet important people might help them in the future. such game doesn't become clear until question time. for example. Fortunately. Knowing who they are. in a sense. in the final section of this unit you will look at some of the means you can use in order to find out what you need to find out about your audience. try to do your best with the presentation and at the same facilitate networking. most often. what they expect from your presentation. can you come to know your audience if you present at an international conference? 35 . To pass the time Every potential speaker likes to think that an audience is there only to listen to her/him. what they already know. 2. Only let it out if it is protected by copyright laws. In this case.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience To learn Half the battle is won if you know that your audience is hungry for information. leave it out'. may get you halfway through a successful presentation. How. To 'burgle' ideas This reason. However. Unfortunately this is not always the right motivation. You only need to be intelligible and clear (a bit of entertainment might help even more) to be completely victorious.
the primary school teacher of those particular children might give you priceless information on who the parents are and how you can approach them successfully. in as many ways as possible.g. Interviewing. I'm just going to tell you now the means that are generally used by presenters to get to know their audiences. For instance. a closed environment (e. please bring it to the tutorial. if your audience comes from an environment that you are already familiar with. Talk to your audience If possible. so that you may compare them to your own ideas and possibly use (some of) them in the future. for instance. What strategies do you think you would use to get to know your audience in order to make your presentation effective? Write your thoughts here: TIPS It is difficult to anticipate your answers or to give recipes in this respect. the village you work in) you may try interviewing another teacher. the background of your audience. for example. the children in your class and the families these come from. you will also make your audience appreciate your thoroughness and concern. Besides finding out what you need to know. If you want share your answer and discuss it.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience Imagine Imagine that as a form teacher ('diriginte') you are going to have your first parents' meeting in which you want to discuss the importance of a close relationship between the school you represent. If. Do some research This would mean trying to investigate. Let's for instance refer to the parents' meeting that you imagined before (organised` for the first time since becoming a form teacher). Interview a third party Talking to people who already know something about your audience (especially if they got to know your audience under similar circumstances) may prove fruitful. try to speak to as many members of your audience as possible before the presentation. you are 36 .
It is crucial. Remember that you also get two points for effect on the target reader. 3. Your target reader is your tutor in this case. List the most important three housekeeping aspects. the last thing you want to do is to offend your audience. the content of what you’ve written is very important. Now you are going to have a short SAA (and hopefully an easy one) with only two items. what their interests and backgrounds might be). no matter what ways you use. As mentioned before.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience going to present at a conference. please go through Sections 2. 1.2 and 3. 37 .3 once again.5 Pulling the strings together To conclude. 2. and explain why you consider them important. you could ask the organisers. which for a long time has been affected by 'the Securitate syndrome'. Though there is no objective right answer. 2. you should avoid offending your audience in any way. There may be other useful ways to get to know your audience that you thought of. Consequently. As explained in the Introduction. especially if you try to find information from a 'third party'. to send you the list of the participants (plus where they come from. if possible. clear argumentation and relevance are obligatory for receiving the four content points. in this unit we dealt with the first steps of the planning stage: housekeeping and audience. to bear in mind that. After all. I wouldn't want you to regard these as the only ways available. though.6 Send-Away Assignment 2 Send-Away Assignment If you find it difficult to do this SAA. When dealing with these items successfully. you will have advanced on the road to become a better presenter. 2. the content of your answer represents 4 points out of the maximum of ten. in your opinion. This could turn out to be potentially dangerous particularly in our society. so try to be convincing and make a good impression. Write your answer here: 1.
38 . Please send your SAA 2 to your tutor. 2. List at least three things that you consider are most useful (in your context) to know about your audience and explain why you consider them important.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience 2. Present your list and reasons here: 1. 3.
decide what to include in your presentations.1 Introduction 3. 39 .2 The body 3.1 Deciding on the topic 3.4 Judging the duration 3. 3.2.1 The overview 3.2. know how to structure your presentations in a clear and logical way.3Thinking around the topic 3. know how to start preparing your presentation.3.4.2 Writing something down 3.4 Structuring and preparing your presentation 3.3 The summary 3. 2.3 Creating your main message 3.2 Getting started 3.3.5 Pulling the strings together 3. decide on the objectives of your presentations.2. 4.3.3 Drafting your presentation 3.1 Putting your thoughts in order 3.4. Unit Outline Unit objectives 3.2 Setting your objectives 3.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content Unit 3 PLANNING AND PREPARING YOUR PRESENTATION: CONTENT Motto: 'The most common reason for poor presentations is poor planning.6 Send Away Assignment 3 Page 39 40 40 40 41 44 45 46 46 47 48 49 49 51 52 54 54 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you will be able to: 1.4.2.
and how you can prepare to deal with timing during the performance stage. Think of what you're going to do and why. the system of education in Canada).1 Introduction If in the previous unit you dealt with the audience and its importance in the presentation process. too. also taking into account the time allotted. you'll discover that you need to think carefully about the topic.2. what you need to include or how you can organise your ideas. as it is the timing of each and every lesson in general. some of the issues dealt with in this unit may already be familiar to you (take. to more formal. unfamiliar presentation contexts.2 Getting started In this section I'll show you the preliminary steps you can make as far as the content of your presentation is concerned. setting the objectives) and consequently. 3. all you might need to do is to adapt what you already know. or each and every stage of a lesson in particular. Thus you'll see how you can begin to plan the content. I also want to emphasize again that I consider the issues discussed here very relevant for your regular teaching life. Imagine Write your thoughts here: 40 . in this unit you'll focus on issues related to the content of a presentation. For this reason.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content 3. and the ideas you might include in your presentation. In brief. for example.1 Deciding on the topic Imagine that you must teach about a culture and civilization topic that you are not very familiar with (for example. Lesson planning and preparing for the lesson are very important aspects of the teaching profession. 3. the reasons for choosing it. You'll also see how important time is.
if you have no way of doing so. and the audience is guaranteed to be responsive. it will influence the content. that the most fundamental thing in planning and preparing something is to have a clear purpose. the audience will 'read' you and will immediately know that you don't master the topic you're talking about. Why are you presenting? What is your goal? Once a very good presenter told me that giving a presentation without clear objectives is like flying a plane without instruments – you're going to need a lot of good luck to get out alive! In clarifying your objectives. a number of unpleasant things could happen to you: • The research will take too long and you may miss important points. 3. how can you begin the journey? It is essential that you are clear about what you can achieve. I'm certain. If you try to write and give presentations on a totally unfamiliar topic. your lack of confidence in your topic will make you read rather than talk. • Eye-contact with your audience will be minimal. what do you want them to: 41 . However you're very unlikely to get to talk about completely unfamiliar topics. unless someone in particular asks you to. However. think in terms of your audience: how you want to influence them.g. So let's assume you've accepted to talk to a group on a topic you're familiar with. let's assume that you understand the type of audience you'll have: e. So. • You'll be uneasy when answering questions. it's now time for you to set the objectives of your presentation. Even if you do research to find as many things as possible about the topic. appreciation of all these will guide you in the tone of what you say.2. you might want to consider dropping the whole idea: after all you don't want to make a fool of yourself by showing your audience that you don't own the topic. once again. you are taking a terrible risk with your professional reputation. Unless you know where you're going. Assuming all of the above. After your audience has listened to you. In short. and. what they already know or if they expect to be motivated. We've seen in the previous unit how important it is to know your audience: who they are and what their expectations are. They succeed for two reasons: the speakers know their topics of the speech well. for this reason. In Anglo-Saxon cultures some of the best speeches can be heard at weddings (you may have seen some in movies). • When you present. As you'll see later in this unit.2 Setting your objectives You already know. • The structure and writing of the script won't come easy. In this case it's better to decline politely and to offer to present another topic that you are more comfortable with.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content I believe that most of your thoughts referred to trying to find out as many things about this topic as possible. informed or entertained.
to feel ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ 3. Such objectives may be obtained through a number of ways. to think ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ 2.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content • • • think. after such a presentation I would like my audience to think that this sounds like a wonderful book. . the following are not objectives: • • I'm speaking because I'm participating at the conference. persuade (to make them do what you want them to do). I'm speaking because my school headmaster asked me to. entertain (in order to provoke certain feelings). they can also be seen as means through which the main objectives (some call them aims) can be achieved. I'm going to list some of these secondary objectives. but in my opinion. What I want my audience: 1. Think of the book or story you are going to present and write your objectives in the box below. feel. You want to present a book or a story that you think will benefit the members of the club. Some presenters call them 'subsidiary objectives'. the more helpful your objectives are going to be. do? The more specific you are with your answers. to empathise with one or more characters and to want to start reading that book/story as soon as possible. What is more important than labelling is to decide which of them you're going to use for your presentation. and you can decide what you want to call them. Here are some examples: • • • 42 inform (by means of which you may want your audience to think of something). For example. Imagine Imagine that you are running a literature club (something that we might know as 'cerc de literatură'). to do ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ If I were you.
Write your answer here: 1. Means: Because: 2. etc. explore (do). motivate (both to think and do something).1.Means Because: 43 .). provoke feelings (make them feel). Means: Because: 3. Means (in the box below): to inform (let them know about the plot. Example: Main objective (in the previous box): I want my audience to think: 'this is a great book'. Because: in this way I can transmit to them some reasons why I consider this book worth reading. influence behavior (make them do what you want).1 A. Which three of the above means (or possibly another) would you consider most appropriate to the main objectives presented in the answer to the previous Imagine activity? Why did you settle on them? An example might be necessary for you to better understand what you have to do. As-You-Go Activity 3.3. get support (think and perhaps do something). setting. characters. arouse curiosity (both feel and do something). stimulate new ideas (think).Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content • • • • • • • • sell (do something).
It is insufficient preliminary thinking work. Was I to write only about the 'technical' aspects of presenting or was I to include something on composition and structure as well? The first step was to write a sort of summary of what I wanted to share with you.2. Two words of advice: • TIPS • Your topic.3 Thinking around the topic Imagine that you are now supposed to design and write the presentation that you thought of in the previous unit: presenting a book or a story in one of your literature club meetings. What would be the first thing that you would consider doing? Write your thoughts here: Imagine Most experienced presenters will answer this question by saying something similar to: 'I'll start by thinking carefully and hard about the topic of my presentation'. summary and headings must come before you actually start writing the text of your presentation. Writers often speak about the paralyzing effect of a blank sheet of paper or a computer screen. Read the following 'tricks' which might help. Then I came up with a rudimentary plan: basically the headings of the units and some content bullet points. no staring at the paper (regardless of how long and hard you're doing it) will get your presentation written. 3. Unless you've really 'wrestled' with your topic. I think I managed to burn a good number of my precious brain cells trying to figure out what I am going to include in this course. For example. After discussing how you can set the objectives of a presentation. you'll now focus on creating the content of your presentation. Don’t forget to bring the answer to this activity to the tutorial to discuss it. 44 . It's not the blank screen that triggers this 'syndrome' (also known as the 'writer's block'). Don't panic. The mere fact that you have thought of setting objectives and the means to achieving them will benefit you a great deal.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content It is practically impossible to give you a 'right answer' to these questions. if you wish to do so.
To finish this section. for approximately three hours each day. humans cannot concentrate in order to absorb new information for a very long time. no speech should be longer than 30 minutes. As-You-Go Activity 3. there is one more thing you need to consider: how long you are going to speak? A Zulu leader has been entered in the Guinness Book of Records for having given the longest speech ever. speeches can last for as little as two minutes (e. Many good ideas may come from this. Again. if you 'do your homework' properly and go through the housekeeping stage. too) 20 + 10 (twenty minutes for presenting and ten minutes for answering questions). He addressed the legislation assembly and spoke for eleven days. is 'brainstorming'. Anyway.4 Judging the duration Before you begin drafting your presentation. As you saw in Unit 1. the most widely used format is (as shown in Unit 1. you may be surprised how useful this technique can turn out to be.2.1 in this unit. For several minutes try to note down whatever crosses your mind when referring to your topic. ideas will come.3. This is something similar to day-dreaming. accepting an award) and up to 60 minutes (academic lectures).g. The Queen of England speaks only for approximately five minutes in her customary Christmas message.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content If you allow yourself time and space. Don't be afraid to let your mind wander.3. In general. Another useful technique. which I'm certain you're familiar with and would use in the classroom.2 A. issues or aspects that came to your mind? Write your answer here: 3. In contrast.2 What were the things. Try to use techniques like the 'mental free-fall'. and you'll be able to shape them into a presentation. As far as presenting at conferences is concerned. As a general rule. Tradition has established how long most types of speeches should normally be. try the brainstorming technique in connection to your presentation topic for the literature club referred to in the Imagine tasks and A. you’ll already know how long your presentation 45 .
In the box below I arranged them under three broader categories. 46 .3 Drafting your presentation I explained earlier techniques like mental-free fall or brainstorming. under some broader categories) and decide which you are going to keep and which you are going to throw away. try to take this into account when deciding what (and how many) ideas you are going to put into your presentation. I came up with some ideas. and jotting down whatever comes to your mind. Once you know how long your presentation will be. you have the liberty to decide how long your presentation will be. it's time for you to do it.e. to draft your presentation. It's my turn now to imagine giving a presentation on 'do teachers need a course on presentation skills?' just to give you an example of what I understand by 'broader categories'. If. My list looks something like this: People doubts power-relations parents fellow-teachers questions difficult audiences Occasion noise classroom meetings conferences fidgeting exams Skills logic explanation attention voice relevance time-management stress-management body-language Imagine Having seen how I ordered my thoughts. i. 3. on the other hand. do take into account that speaking for more than thirty minutes could turn out to be another of the 'deadliest sins' of presenting.3.g. 3.1 Putting your thoughts in order When putting your thoughts in order you should basically try and group them in some logical way (e. By using the technique of brainstorming.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content should be. Now it's time for you to start writing something down.
3. Let me remind you that what is important here is that you to write freely and speedily without worrying too much about the language.3. Although it may look odd. formal or 'written-like' when you present. as long as you have a logical principle behind your categories and ordering system. You can revise what you've written and correct grammatical or lexical 'howlers' or blunders later.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content As-You-Go Activity 3. exclamation signs or even occasional 'liberties' with grammar. you may not want to sound too bookish. Then read it aloud.4 47 . don’t forget to take your answer to the tutorial to get feedback from your fellow students and your tutor.3. Write your answer here: Whatever answer you gave should be right. brackets. According to the time you have. If it sounds right and makes sense.3 A. As-You-Go Activity 3.2 in Section 4. you need to think carefully in order to select the issues that you really want to speak about. Your writing may be full of dashes.3. After all.2.4.3? Write your answer in the box.3 How would you group your ideas presented as an answer to A. Don't worry about the 'niceties' of writing: concentrate on what to say and just write.3. 3. you will have the makings of a good speech writer. In the following activity you are going to practise writing something down. A. • TIPS At this stage. this is the style you may want to adopt in your real presentation. Once again. write as you speak. Write about 150 words on one of your 'broader categories presented in A.2 Writing something down Now the real work begins.
3. Write your 'take-home' message for your presentation (the one on a book or story in your literature club).Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content Write your 150 words here: This simple exercise may also have helped you set the tone of your presentation. when earlier in this unit.3. Write your answer in the box. Take it to the tutorial and get feedback. 48 . It needs to be catchy. Do you remember. The term is self-explanatory: it is what you want to impress your audience with and what you most want your audience to retain from your presentation. easy to remember and thought provoking. I imagined giving a presentation on teachers and presentation skills? If I ever delivered such a presentation. It is the essence of your talk in a phrase or sentence. my take-home message would probably be: • If teachers all studied presentation skills in their training program.5.5 A. their pupils would be better and happier. The language will be yours and you won't sound as if you've borrowed someone else's script. As-You-Go Activity 3. If you had only 30 seconds to speak. what is the one thing you would want your audience to hear from you? This message should therefore be like a slogan for your presentation. 3.3 Creating your main message Experienced presenters call the main message of a presentation 'the take-home message'.
First. a summary. Second. I'll refer to each of these in the next sections. 49 .4 Structuring and preparing your presentation Once an expert presenter told me that a basic structure enables the presenter to tell the audience what you're going to tell them. the overview provides a brief outline of your talk. and then tell them what you've told them. a body. and for this reason it is like a blueprint or map: it helps the listener follow your presentation all the way through.1 The overview The overview is the introduction of your presentation and it is very important for two reasons. the opening is the time of maximum tension for you. Unfortunately few presenters appreciate how little an audience is able to absorb from a presentation. it is the time when you are getting the full attention of your audience. on the one hand and on the other. tell them what you want to tell them. 3. You're going to see 'a classical' approach to presentation writing: the three-section structure of a presentation: Thus. a presentation should have: • • • an overview. So both its design and delivery are critical to the success of your presentation.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content My take-home message is: 3. What is structure? It is a method to take you safely from your opening remarks to your conclusion. One word of advice before we begin discussing the structure of a presentation: remember that 'less is more'. It is the part that gives the audience an insight into its theme and structure.4.
you may say something like: 'My presentation/talk will give an insight into understanding/appreciation of.the device that you use in order to grab your audience's attention. the hook . followed by the promise that all will be revealed during the presentation).fear or threat (explain the consequences or penalties for not listening). .e. two or maximum three sub-topic headings that you'll be covering (each sub-topic will have a keypoint or message.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content Get it right by including the following: TIPS the purpose .mystery (a statement that arouses curiosity. . You may choose from: . if you want to inform or educate.6 Map (subtopics and messages) • • 50 . . Plan your overview for the presentation which you thought of in all the activities in this unit.a clear statement of what the presentation will do for your audience: For example. A.' the map .breath-taker (a startling statement or powerful rhetorical question that will immediately grab attention).an agenda of the one. i.6. Overview planner Purpose (what your presentation will do) and take-home message: As-You-Go Activity 3.opportunity (explain the benefits obtained from listening)..3. a book/story presentation for the literature club. Complete the format given in the box below. and three messages are the maximum that you audience can absorb)..
Use words such as: 'key'. TIPS 51 .Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content • Gain (why should they listen or the penalty for not listening) Hook (what attention grabbing 'device' you will use) Well done! You are now ready to move on to the body of your presentation..Use rhetorical questions such as: 'Ask yourself.. educational approach. arrange the subtopics in a step-by step sequence ranging from the simplest to the most difficult. research findings to prove views and opinions).' . 'critical'. 'crucial'. elaboration (examples.. When constructing your sub-topics you will need a mixture of: • • • • information (facts. Decide on the message of each sub-topic. Remember that the message is what you want your audience to remember.Use appropriate intonation. integration (by involving your audience and relating it to their situation and experiences).' or 'Just think for a moment. emphasis (various signals to ensure the impact of your message): . . anecdotes. opinions).2 The body For the informative. ideas. In order to ensure effectiveness of the subtopics you may need some tips. analogies.4. 'vital').Use summaries: after every key point and don't forget to summarize the message at the end of each sub-topic. 3. .. views.
are not very skilled at timing their presentations. As with the overview. You'll now continue with the summary.3. Complete the format given in the box below. This happens because the presenters. so they simply do not have time for the final summary. the one that you should make sure you plan. As seen earlier. You will only need to refer to one of your subtopics (even if you have more than one). However.3. summarizing can be used to emphasize the message of each sub-topic. 3. sometimes. very frequently presenters skip it. the summary is crucial in your presentation (as it establishes what the listener will take with him/her). In this section. who do so. Body planner • Sub-topic 1: Message: Facts/Views/Opinions: Elaborate by saying: Relate your talk to the audience by saying: Strategies to emphasise main points: Once again.4.7 A. talking speedily at the end. we will deal with the final summary.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content As-You-Go Activity 3. nevertheless. This is sad because this is generally seen as another 'deadly sin' of a presentation (the absence of the final summary can definitely ruin it). Now begin planning the body. 52 . In A. even rushing. you planned the overview of your presentation.7. well done! If you enjoyed this activity you can practise more by continuing with your other sub-points (in your free time).3 The summary It is useful to use the summary as a technique throughout your presentation. They take too long to present the body. prepare and perform at the end of the presentation.5.
emphasize the key message of your presentation (if possible by connecting to the gain or to the hook used in the overview). Finally write the summary plan of your presentation (the presentation for the lit-club).8. contain a 'catchy' memorable phrase which. complete the box below. A. ideally.8 Message of sub-topic 2: Message of sub-topic 3: Take-home message: Closing: Congratulations! You now have an almost complete planner of your presentation. is a time of full audience attention. The summary. 53 . the summary should: TIPS • • • repeat the main messages from each of the sub-topics. like the overview.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content To be effective. Summary planner Message of sub-topic 1: As-You-Go Activity 3. Remember that audiences retain best the first and the last things they hear. Once again.3. should connect to the 'gain' from the overview.
As for this unit's assignment.5. otherwise you won’t get the point allotted for accuracy (Go to Section 5 in the Introduction if you want to see the marking scheme adopted throughout the course). 3. I have a pleasant surprise for you. A.3. I hope that you've learned. Also. Again. since you worked so hard in this unit. so read on. You've done many activities. send your SAA 3 to your tutor. the body and the summary (that you've already done as Activities: 6.5 Pulling the strings together You have worked hard to complete this unit. 7 and 8 in this unit. if not new things. pay attention to the relevance of the content. Put everything together and. at least new tips and that now you feel more confident about what to include in a presentation. You’ll get feedback on A. A..6.3.6 Send-Away Assignment 3 Send-Away Assignment Have another look at your presentation plan: the overview. 54 .7 and A.3. make sure that the lack of accuracy doesn’t obscure comprehension.3.8 along with the mark. Be clear and logical and convince your tutor that you thought hard of what you’re doing and are able to adopt and adapt the suggestions presented in this unit. how to get started and how to structure a presentation.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content 3..
2. 4.3 Pulling the strings together 4.4 55 56 56 57 58 59 59 63 63 64 65 67 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you will be able to: 1.2. design audience-friendly visual aids. a bad one is a potent enemy. 2.2 Visual aids 4. decide on what visual aids you need for your presentation.1 Why use visual aids? 4.2 Choosing your visual aids 4. Unit Outline Page Unit objectives 4.3.1 Types of visual aids 4.2.1 Introduction 4.5 Answer to As-You-Go Activity 4.4 Preparing the audience for a visual 4.Preparing Your Visuals Unit 4 PREPARING YOUR VISUALS Motto: A good visual is a fantastic friend. identify ways to choose certain types of visual aids 3.2.4 Send-Away Assignment 4 4. know how to make your audience cope with your visual aids more easily.3 Designing your visual aids 4.2 Audience-friendly visual aids 4.3.2. 55 .2.
I'm going to focus on visual aids: what they are. For this reason. verbal and visual).2 Visual aids As you saw earlier in the course. Nevertheless. To put it differently. in addition to the previous one (Unit 3). For this reason. what types may be available and how to design them (in order to make them your friend and not your enemy). In what follows.1 Introduction I generally get annoyed when people deliver their presentations without any visual support (and even more so when a visual-less presentation is read throughout). As far as the four Ps of better presenting are concerned.Preparing Your Visuals 4. in Units 2 and 3 I dealt with the verbal aspects. in this section. this unit deals with the third P (which stands for Preparing). refers to the content of a presentation. is thus mandatory. This unit. This could be difficult to achieve if you rely too frequently on your notes (even worse if you read them throughout your presentation). 4. Visual aids (all written materials that can be seen both by you and by your audience during a presentation) may be just what you need. if in Unit 1 I referred to all aspects related to presentations (non-verbal. your audience is of the utmost importance throughout the entire presentation process. on which the organizational principle of this course relies (as you saw in the Introduction). you will need to think of ways (other than practicing what you want to say) which might help you to always keep in touch with your audience. I get equally annoyed when the visuals are misused. I do think that in such cases presenters demonstrate a lack of audience sensitivity to say the least (some might call it downright rude). 56 . you'll see in more detail why you need visual aids and what you might want to take into account when designing them. its role is crucial in the Performance stage: constant contact with it. while in this unit I will pay attention to the visual aspects.
2. Visuals are seen as serving a dual purpose: • They can help you with your presentation (by providing you with cues and notes). Moreover. 57 .clarity (they make a presentation easier for the audience to understand).4. .credibility (they make you look prepared and professional and help you create a more persuasive impact on your audience). by using visual aids in a presentation you can make sure that both people who have a predominantly audio or a predominantly visual memory (or even a combination of the two) are satisfied.1 Why use visual aids? A. as argued in the Introduction.1 Why do you (not) use visual materials in your lessons? As-You-Go Activity 4. presenters not only frequently use various types of visual aids but also find them indispensable.Preparing Your Visuals 4.interest (they add variety to your presentation and attract more attention). are ongoing presenters).retention (they make a more lasting impression on your audience).1 Write your answer here: Now compare your answer to what in general presenters do (and teachers for that matter. • They transmit your message(s) to the audience in a visual way and thus they increase: . So. . .
2 Choosing your visual aids As-You-Go Activity 4. emphasize a point to check that the audience fully understands. TIPS Once you have decided what you want your visual aids to do for you. Here are some possible ways in which visuals can help you in your presentations. You can use visuals to help you to: • • • • define terms or jargon. 58 . summarize your talk (or a section of your talk). provide an illustration or an example to show the audience precisely what you mean. secondly to know the strengths and weaknesses of each type of visual aids. I'll present the advantages and disadvantages of the most frequently used visual aids in the next section. and thirdly to take into account the equipment available.2 How do you decide on the choice of your visual aids in your lessons? Write your answer here: The secret in choosing the best visual aids is firstly to know what you want to achieve.Preparing Your Visuals 4.4. you need to start designing them.2. or explain a difficult idea. stressing the key points you want the audience to remember.2 A.
59 . • slides (slide projector and screen).4. • stick-ons (large sheets of paper which can be stuck or hung on walls).3 What types of visual aids do you normally use in your every day teaching? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 4.3 Here are some of the most frequently used types of visual aids. Both of these aspects will be discussed in the following sections.1 Types of visual aids A. High-tech visual aids (which require special equipment for projection) • overhead transparencies (OHP and screen). • PowerPoint slides (compute.2. • handouts (A4 sheets of paper which are handed out to every participant). • flipcharts (large sheets of papers on a stand that can be moved from one room to another). • videos (video player and TV set).3. They can be divided according to the type of technology they may require as follows: Low-tech visual aids (which don't require special equipment) • white/blackboards.3 Designing your visual aids Designing your visual aids will be dependent on two aspects: the type and the format.Preparing Your Visuals 4.2. 4. projector and screen).
texts. • you don't have neat handwriting: it can look messy.'. I am sure that you use them quite a lot in your regular teaching (as task sheets. in a recent Hornby dictionary. even though you may not call them 'handouts'. etc. though very frequently employed. and it is best to use them if you need to elicit thoughts from your audience. flipcharts and stick-ons share the same characteristic: you cannot design them in advance. even if you don't like this term. a set of exercises. • you are presenting in a more formal situation. you need to get used to it. For example.Preparing Your Visuals Each of these types of visual aids have their advantages and disadvantages. Boards. This label. examples. in this way. As far as the content is concerned. a handout is also defined as 'a document that is given to students in class that contains a summary of the lesson. • a detailed illustration of an idea.to write down anything you need to as you go. your presentation will have a more lasting effect). . meanings which lose their negative connotations.). Advantages They are especially useful when: • you are leading a brainstorming session. • you don't have too much time at your disposal: . Advantages Handouts are very useful because: • your audience will be able to look at them closely and take the information with them for later reference (and possibly. concept. etc. Handouts are written (handwritten or printed) pieces of paper (usually regular A4 sheets) that every participant in the audience gets.for the audience to reflect on the answers. Disadvantages Their use might pose problems when: • your audience is large (generally over 35 people) as they will be difficult to see from the back of the room. 60 . as it has gained other meanings as well. One dictionary defines them as objects 'that are given to a person who is poor'. • you want to get feedback from the audience. which the audience needs to examine individually. doesn't have a positive connotation. However. • you want to encourage a relaxed. informal atmosphere. etc. • you want people to come up with their own ideas. handouts are particularly useful if you want your audience to have a written record of: • a summary of your key points. • extra material that could not be included in the presentation (probably for time constraints). • a copy of your transparencies (slides).
etc. Overhead transparencies (OHTs) are probably the most popular visual aid in use today. ideas. displaying diagrams. OHPs are easy to use. etc. and they must be relevant to the point you are making. there are problems that the use of handouts in a presentation might raise: • • There is no guarantee they will be read.). but I'm going to give you some more details here. displaying key words or points to illustrate the structure of your presentation. figures. In short. It is the machine you need to display your OHTs (I believe many big urban schools in Romania have one nowadays). an enlarged image will be projected onto whatever lightly colored surface you have at your disposal (a screen. graphs. an overhead image is created by placing an A4 sheet of transparent acetate onto a light box. a white wall. This will avoid the class taking unnecessary notes. Advantages: OHTs are particularly good for: • • • keeping contact with the audience (by eliciting and writing down their thoughts. You probably know what an overhead projector (OHP = "retroproiector" in Romanian) is.). why and how you're going to distribute your handouts. tables. • TIPS You can avoid the distribution and distraction problems if you think in advance when. They can prove to be a distraction (especially if you have more than one and you give them out at the beginning of your presentation): instead of listening to what you have say. 61 . Once switched on. your audience could start reading all the handouts. • During the presentation Your handouts must be distributed quickly. Distributing them may also prove distracting when you do it while you are presenting. the most useful thing is that OHTs can either be prepared beforehand or they can be used spontaneously (written on with special pens). There are three alternatives: • Before the presentation Have the handouts in place when the audience enters the room. and this constitutes an advantage and accounts for their popularity. They were already referred to earlier in this course.Preparing Your Visuals Disadvantages As in the case of other visual aids. This will enable the people to read the handouts before you begin speaking and thus be ready to give you all their attention when you do start speaking. etc.. • At the end of the presentation During the presentation you should let your audience know that they'll receive handouts covering certain points. However.
62 . you may have big problems. too: • • • • They can look messy (especially if handwritten). Disadvantages: The main disadvantage (besides power failure or malfunction of equipment) is the following: • If you are not very familiar with computers and the PowerPoint software. While presenting.) PowerPoint slides require sophisticated technology: a computer (generally a laptop). waste precious time and practically ruin your presentation.2. There is a smooth and often imaginative transition between slides. They can be illegible (if the handwritten or printed letters are too small). (In Section 4. They might pose some problems. They can be a distraction if the image is directed away from the speaker or if the machine is too noisy. Advantages: Here are the advantages: • • • Your visuals can be as complex as you want them to be as they can incorporate sound and video images. you can check the visuals by looking at the laptop screen and not over your shoulder (or even worse.3.2. you will think about and see how you can make your visuals more 'reader-friendly'. Though the equipment is expensive and complicated. for example).Preparing Your Visuals • Disadvantages: displaying complex illustrations (by masking some parts and then gradually revealing them. and hence more likely to go wrong. a video projector and a suitable screen. They also tend to turn into the norm because they look professional and modern. PowerPoint slides are becoming more and more fashionable. They can act as a barrier between the presenter and the audience (especially if the OHP is big and blocks the audience's view). by turning your back to the audience).
4.Preparing Your Visuals 4.5 What do you generally do (or say) to introduce a visual aid in your lesson and why? Write your answer here: Now read what experience presenters generally recommend in this respect and compare your answer to their suggestions and see if you can adopt and adapt them in your practise.4 You can compare what you've written with what experienced presenters normally do. if you go to the end of this unit and look at some possible answers to A.2. 4.2. Preparing your audience for what they are going to see has two major benefits: 63 .4.2 Audience-friendly visual aids A.4 Think of how you can make your visual aids look more attractive and reader-friendly? Write your thoughts here: As-You-Go Activity 4.5 A.4 Preparing the audience for a visual As-You-Go Activity 220.127.116.11.
. Add other related information (which is not on the visual) in order to emphasize the points. Give interpretations and/or any comments. for . and starts fidgeting as I'm sure you've already observed while teaching). when commenting on your visual information try to: • • TIPS • • • Keep headlines and other information at a minimum...3 Pulling the strings together Before concluding this unit with your SAA 4 and moving on to the final unit in which I'll discuss the third and fourth Ps of better presenting. Practise using whatever equipment you intend to use – even a white/blackboard before the presentation.' 'For .g. TIPS 64 . Only point out the key features which you want your audience focused on.' 'The next OHT/slide/handout shows.. More precisely.' 'If we turn to the . here is a summary of the tips on how you can prepare 'perfect' visuals: • • Think carefully about what you want the visual to do for you (e. or OHTs.. Don't leave yourself with too much writing or drawing to do while you are speaking: it can distract your audience. I'll also explain the SAA for this unit. You have extra time to position your visual correctly. help you to define concepts or emphasize key points) before you start.. Briefly restate key facts from the visual (by paraphrasing) rather than read the information on the visual word for word (it will help you reinforce the information).' 'Let's move on now and look at the . However. Here are some useful expressions which might help you introduce your visual: TIPS • • • • • 'Now I'll show you the . prepare as much as you can before the event... Practise and Perform.. In the final section I'll summarize some of the key points made in this unit.Preparing Your Visuals • • The audience is alert and ready.. the situation is very different/similar. So far in this unit you have continued to focus on the third P which refers to the preparation stage of better presenting. 4. interrupt your presentation and create long pauses for your audience (who gets bored quite easily.. This helps your audience focus and in this way you can avoid being misunderstood. you saw how you can prepare visuals to help you and your audience when you present.' It is similarly important to explain to your audience what the visual shows. If you intend to use a flipchart..
structure. They can turn out to be tiring and unreadable. Texts should be clear. main message.to let your audience see what you are saying as they hear you say it. Make your key message(s) clear and think about the layout of each page: make it interesting to look at but not very flashy or difficult to understand. besides the content of your visual aid which has to be relevant and clear. If you're using PowerPoint software. PowerPoint slide (sent as a hard copy). you’ll need to pay particular attention to the appropriacy of the style and of your language used. complicated looking visuals. People don't expect to see a multimedia show in a presentation: they are there to hear what you have to say. Please send SAA 4 to your tutor.4 Send-Away Assignment 4 Send-Away Assignment Do you remember your SAA 3 (in Unit 3) where you had to send away your detailed plan for a presentation you designed? You had to think of presenting a book or a story to the members of a literature club that you imagined running. OHT. Similarly. Don't 'cram' too much on one sheet. accuracy is also very important if you want to achieve the desired effect on the target reader. easy to read (no matter if you use handwriting or hi-tech software). beware of using every bell and whistle available. and you'll be just fine. To put it differently. Just follow the KISS principle: Keep It Short and Simple. please go through the plan again and remember the objectives.Preparing Your Visuals • • • • • • Make sure the presentation looks as professional as possible and that the visual aids can be seen easily from everywhere in the room. When marking this assignment. Always speak while showing them. For your SAA 4 you will have to design at least two visuals to help you in your presentation. To help you further. You may choose any of the following: handout. on the next page you have an example of an OHT landscape format. To refresh your memory. Let your audience know what they are going to look at and don't just show them: talk them through your visual aids Remember the two essential functions of your visuals: . etc. 4. 65 .to help you by giving you cues and prompts and . Remember the six-by-six rule for OHTs and slides (six words per line and six lines per transparency or slide). Avoid flashy. which you may choose to fill in. of that presentation. for this assignment you need to observe very carefully all the criteria if you want to get a good mark. Don't use too many visuals – a long stream of visuals without explanations or enough time to absorb them will turn your audience off (no more than one visual every five minutes).
Preparing Your Visuals Title:_________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ 66 .
letters which are used to indicate a sequence.bullets which are used for a checklist with no priority or sequence value. if you use wordprocessing on computers.Preparing Your Visuals 4. • Use upper and lower case letters . .never use purely capitals as it makes comprehension more difficult.5 Answer to As-You-Go Activity 4. here are some guidelines: .4 Ways to make your visuals user-friendly as far as the format is concerned: In general: • Title your visual and save the audience the trouble of trying to work out what it is all about. .sparingly (too many colors can become distracting).numbers which are used to indicate a priority order. for example.for handouts use 12 point fonts.for transparencies and slides use at least 28 point fonts. Design your visuals in 'landscape' (horizontal format which gives you more symmetrical working area) rather than 'portrait' (vertical format which may entail. spreading the bullet point items over two lines).for each and every person in the room to read clearly. . and make sure that there is enough contrast between the background and text or image. • Separate the individual points on your visual by using: . • Use appropriate letter sizes/fonts . • Use colors . 67 . OHTs or PowerPoint slides: • • Use the six-by-six rule: six words per line and six lines per transparency/slide (excluding the title).
understand why it is important to practise your presentation.Practising and Performing UNIT 5 PRACTISING AND PERFORMING Motto: 'All world's a stage.4 Dealing with your audience 5.3 Techniques for stress and anxiety management 5.2 Identifying the sources of your stress 5. and all the men and women merely players.2. When and how should you do it? 5.3.1 What can annoy your audience? 5.. 2.1 Why should you do it? 5.4.1.'' (William Shakespeare) Unit Outline Page Unit objectives 5.3.1 How stressed are you? 5.6 Send-Away Assignment 5 68 69 69 70 70 72 72 73 74 75 77 78 80 82 84 84 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you will be able to: 1.3 Handling questions 5. 3.1 Introduction 18.104.22.168 How can your audience 'talk' to you? 5.3 Performing on 'the big day' 5.1 Dealing with stress and anxiety 5. 4. identify ways to deal with stress and anxiety..2.3. 68 .5 Pulling the strings together 5.1. where and how you might practise your presentation.2 Practising your presentation 5. decide when.4. to interpret and deal with the audience’s reaction during your presentation.4.2.
verbal and visual) and you paid particular attention to the non-verbal aspects (e.1 69 .1 Introduction In Unit 1 I introduced you to the aspects you need to take into account if you want to communicate effectively (non-verbal. For this reason. simultaneous role. These aspects are also relevant as far as the third and fourth Ps of better presenting are concerned (Practicing and Performing) which will be dealt with in this unit. is it necessary to practise (or. Finally I'll summarize the most important issues. as some presenters put it. A. Then you are going to focus on Performance. Let's see if there is anything else you can to do to turn such a presentation into a big success. In this unit you're also going to see how you can avoid pitfalls during the performance stage by practicing your presentation. and I'll set a SAA for you. please bear it in mind that. 5. all the three aspects mentioned play an equally important. namely on two issues which are very important when presenting: controlling your stress and anxiety (in order to project a confident self) and dealing with the audience (both during your talk and the question-and-answer session).4. to rehearse) a presentation? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5. when presenting.5. voice or eye-contact).2 Practising your presentation If you worked diligently and prepared the SAAs set so far in this course. before going on with Unit 5.1 In your opinion. Section 1.g. Similarly.Practising and Performing 5. it might be useful for you to revise Unit 1. you should now have a detailed plan and some of the visual aids for a presentation (SAAs 3 and 4).
Nevertheless.Practising and Performing I am well aware. • identify any points you want to emphasise and decide how you'll do it: . By practising. definitely require practice. how you would proceed. that you can't possibly practise your normal.2.by repeating the information.2 When and how should you do it? Imagine you want to practise your SAA 3 and 4 presentation.2. 5. Think of when you would choose to do it. you need to practise your presentations. • time your presentation and see whether you need to leave out (or add up) some more material. . you can make the idea of speaking in public less intimidating. I think the most important is that by practising your presentation. 5.1 Why should you do it? There are a number of reasons why it is useful to practise your presentation. there are occasions when. Write your thoughts here: Imagine 70 . • get used to talking through your presentation. More formal or unfamiliar situations (such as conference presentations. • identify any verbal and non-verbal pitfalls (such as distracting mannerisms) and then work to avoid them.by changing the volume of your voice. lesson presentations all the time. if you want to be successful. . and give reasons for your choice. In other words: the more you practise.by pausing. being a teacher myself and constantly presenting (either in my lessons or in various other situations). the less anxious you will feel. or even lessons that you know will be observed by other fellow teachers). However. you will be able to: TIPS • find the right pace for your delivery.
not waving your arms constantly. you should practise your presentations very close in time to your actual presentation day. used appropriate gestures (e. to video-record your presentation . kept constant touch with your audience. just do it by yourself. Ideally. would be a perfect time to do it. in front of a mirror. you can find their suggestions below. or pacing the room incessantly). 71 . not swallowing the words). However. this might prove very difficult and consequently. through eyecontact.Practising and Performing If you want to compare your answer to what experienced presenters say. This is why it's very useful. etc. If this is not possible either.you will learn so much from playing it back. Reflect on what you've done and collect feedback from your observer(s). you need to make sure that. It is immensely better than not doing it at all – after practising you are guaranteed to improve and perform much better 'on the big day' (which you'll be focusing on next). it's not only what you do during the practice that's important but also what you do afterwards. It is consequently of utmost importance to reflect whether you: TIPS • • • • spoke clearly (e. ask a colleague or a friend to act as your audience. Similarly. smiled and looked enthusiastic. they say that it is best to practise delivering your presentation in the same room where you will be presenting. Wherever you do it. It might be equally difficult to then reflect on all these issues and try to improve. when you do it you: • • • Check on your timing. Try to observe yourself (or if possible have somebody observe you).g. If you cannot record yourself talking.g. The previous day. In other words. if possible. you may have to do it at a different location (possibly even your home). It might be difficult to deliver your speech and watch out for both the verbal aspects (the actual words you use) and the non-verbal ones. if you have the possibility. Tell him/her what to look for and then ask for feedback.
3 Performing on 'the big day' In the next sections I'll refer to the Performance stage of the presentation process: to your real-life presenting on 'the big day'. I myself have heard 72 . Indeed work is one of the most common factors to cause stress. Almost anyone who has to give a presentation will probably feel the same.3. I deeply believe that there are very few people out there who haven't been touched by it (particularly if they're working people). If you want to share them with us.5. what exactly did you feel? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5.2 There are a number of different ways in which stress manifests itself. 5. One of the most famous British actors. sweating palms and paleness.2 Have you ever experienced anxiety when you had to do something in front of an audience? If yes. The symptoms are depressingly familiar: a thumping heart.Practising and Performing 5. the most frequently met symptoms of stress. Anxiety is considered. please take the answer to this activity to the tutorial. used to say that he was often physically ill before going on stage (and he did appear on stage frequently enough to be used to speaking in public). Sir Lawrence Olivier. trembling legs. Becoming aware of how to 'manage' yourself and your audience can be vital. they still experience being 'ill with nerves' just before they start to speak.1 Dealing with stress and anxiety Stress is one of the most popular syndromes of the 'modern' world we live in. There are two main factors that you need to take into account: yourself and your audience. as the success of your presentation mostly depends on these two factors. A. in its turn. Many presenters (even experienced ones) recognize that no matter how much time they have devoted to preparing and practising.
3. This can explain why (if the case) you're experiencing some extreme (or mild) anxiety symptoms (before presenting or on other occasions). 5. I wake up in the morning feeling exhausted and dreading the workday ahead. 5. 4. 8. 2. 10. I feel my work is affecting my health. I get very upset by problems during the school day. 6. All these unpleasant sensations are side-effects of the body reacting to stress and anxiety. I find myself worrying a lot about problems at school.1. 9. In the next section you'll go through a short self-awareness test which will help you become aware of your level of work-related stress. I wake up at night thinking about problems at work.Practising and Performing some interesting complaints.3. At the end of a school day I feel emotionally exhausted.1 How stressed are you? Measure your stress by doing the following scale-based test: SelfAwareness Test Explanation of scale: 0 = never 1 = sometimes 2 = often 3 = every day Circle the appropriate numbers and then add them up to obtain your score. I feel I am overloaded and unable to cope with the demands made on me. for example 'my mouth is as dry as the Sahara dessert' or 'my intestines are gurgling like the plumbing in my communist block of flats'. I feel work is affecting my home life. 7. 1. Work seems to become more of a burden every day. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 0 1 2 3 Your score: Interpretation of score: 0–4 = low level of work-related stress 5 – 15 = moderate level of work-related stress Over 16 = high level of work-related stress 73 . I get tense and frustrated by events at school.
1. Unfortunately. 5. _______________________________________________ 5. My other sources of stress are related to my family life: having to be a 'good' mother to a teenage son and not having enough time for my family also worries me. so don’t forget to take your answer to the tutorial. I found out that I had to think hard and analyse my life deeply in order to see what worries me most.Practising and Performing Personally. sharing these things with your fellow students and your tutor might help you even more in dealing with your stress. Still. Congratulations if you managed to obtain better scores.2 Identifying the sources of your stress List your top five sources of stress.3. _______________________________________________ When doing this. I scored 18 on this test which came as a bit of a surprise: I thought that I was able to relax and have learned to control my work-related stress level. SelfAwareness Test 74 . if you feel like it. or just 'tips' in this respect. Start with the greater source of stress: 1. No matter what your biggest worries or sources of stress might be. Moreover. financial worries sometimes prompt me to commit myself to more jobs than I can 'handle' in a professional way. But even the fact that you have been able to identify your sources of stress will help you deal with it. the next step (which might help you deal with your stress) is to identify your sources of stress. Whether you are experiencing high or moderate stress. Further on maybe I can help by sharing with you what I and other presenters do to control stress before and while presenting. it is impossible to offer 'recipes'. _______________________________________________ 2. you need to think carefully about how to deal with them in order to minimize their effects. _______________________________________________ 4. First I found out that having to work with people and having to project a 'professional' image both worries and gives me the most satisfaction. this test shows that I am experiencing a high level of stress. This might show that (especially in our profession as teachers and on-going presenters) there are probably very few people who experience no or low levels of stress. Secondly. My greatest source of stress (as in the case of most working/career oriented people) is job-related. _______________________________________________ 3.
I only need to share information with the audience – I can use my own style of communication'. General Experienced presenters consider that there are two 'golden' general rules that you can apply successfully in order to control your stress and anxiety.1.Practising and Performing 5. TIPS • Mind your attitude Shifting your thoughts of public speaking from negative to positive can minimize the amount of nervousness you feel. A. After you have completed the list. But before that. do the following activity which draws on your own experiences of dealing with stress. You can manage this fear by stating: 'my presentation does not need to be an incredible performance. For instance one of your fears could be that you believe your presentation will not succeed because you cannot give an outstanding presentation performance. in this section you will see some techniques that you may choose to try and adopt to handle your anxiety caused by stress.3.5. write a positive statement which could allow you to manage each of the fears.3 Techniques for stress and anxiety management So. The best way to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones is to make a list of all fears you have about giving a presentation.3 What do you normally do to 'control your nerves' before and during a presentation? (Write your answers in the box on the next page).3 • during a presentation I: You can now compare your answers to the 'tips' provided below. Write your answer here: • before a presentation I: As-You-Go Activity 5. 75 .
Some friendly faces in the audience will help you relax a little. You also need some time to mentally prepare yourself. So do not mention your nervousness as an excuse: it does look unprofessional and you needlessly draw attention to this emotion. You should start either with your forehead or your toes and progress up or down the rest of your body. Inhale as you count to five. check all your visuals and equipment (OHP. • Use tension-relaxing exercises These exercises involve tensing each muscle in your body. Keep the glass of water nearby to keep your mouth from drying up. holding for ten seconds. and you may start sighing. • Use deep breathing exercises When you are nervous your breathing becomes quick and shallow. deeper breaths will increase the supply of oxygen which will help you relax and concentrate. Continue this exercise for a few minutes. Your brain is not oxygenated properly. pens or chalk) to make sure they are working properly. hold it for two seconds and then exhale for five seconds. 76 . You should keep in mind that your nervousness isn't as obvious to your audience as you believe it to be (not to the extent you're feeling it anyway). Imagine a 'friendly' audience. • Arrive early Arriving at the place of your presentation early will give you time to set up your visuals and make sure your notes are in order. The audience won't be as critical of your presentation as you'll probably be. It will help you feel more confident. computer and projector. Before presenting Here's some more specific advice for what you can do before your presentation actually starts to control your stress and anxiety. • Talk to the audience Try to meet and talk to some members of your audience before the presentation. Usually. Slower. you are your own worst critic. and then slowly allowing your muscles to relax. When you arrive. • Take a (non-alcoholic) drink Drink little sips of water (not alcohol which can make things even worse as you may become careless and unfocused).Practising and Performing • Visualise Imagine yourself in front of the audience giving a successful presentation. Visualisation is commonly recommended by psychotherapists in any anxiety syndromes and can be effective in reducing your anxiety about speaking as well.
As you begin your presentation. However. the audience is not likely to know you skipped anything. You can reduce these effects by lowering your pitch and increase the volume that comes from your abdomen and lungs. Establishing contact with a few individuals will help you feel more comfortable and give you the confidence to deliver the rest of your message to all the individuals in the audience. you'll focus on how to manage 'the other human half' of a presentation: your audience. move on to the next point that you remember. So don't let a simple mistake spoil the rest of your presentation. 77 . not from your throat. You will also be able to read and interpret the 'signals' they are sending to you. • Pick up a friendly face As you take your place in front of the audience. the audience will be less intimidating if you remember that every audience is made up of individuals. simply refer to your notes and keep going. If you happen to have a memory lapse and can't remember a portion of your presentation. You have so far seen what you can do to manage yourself when you deliver your talk. there are some techniques which can help you with some of the stress-related problems which might appear while you're presenting. • Deal with voice problems Your voice may crack or become shaky when you are nervous. However. nervousness can cause the pitch of your voice to raise. 5. pick up a few friendly faces and make eye-contact with them.4 Dealing with your audience One of the most effective ways to avoid some of the 'classic' mistakes people make when speaking in public is to ask yourself what standard or level of competence you yourself expect when you are in an audience. the many faces looking back at you may be intimidating. By doing this. If you remain calm and go on presenting. Similarly. don't overdo it – too much motion can prove distracting. • Do not fear making a mistake Nearly all speakers make a mistake at some time. In what follows. you should relax a bit.Practising and Performing While presenting Even though after you start presenting. you will be able to understand and control your audience by avoiding to annoy or bore them. • Make your delivery appear relaxed You may simply do that by projecting confidence. Another way is to use gestures and movements which will help you to release tension and emphasize key points.
' is one of the give-away phrases. You can compare your answer to the list and see the similarities and differences. Having yawned. how can the audience be expected to follow? An audience quickly loses interests in unfocused. I'm very nervous' are not what the audience wants to hear. unclear presentations and starts showing it.4. Try to think what the things were that annoyed you the most.4 TIPS Just as almost everyone these days is a couch-potatotelevision-critic.. Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5.. scratched and fidgeted my way through countless presentations. you should have prepared and should have learned how to control your nerves! • Lack of preparation This most irritates the audience and it always shows.4 There were many occasions on which you were a member of an audience. so all of us are able to judge the quality of a presentation. • Apologizing from the start There is nothing more disappointing than a presenter who starts with an apology of some sort: 'I haven't had time to prepare' or 'I'm sorry. If you are there presenting.1 What can annoy your audience? A. If you don't know what you're doing.5. 'I see that we're running out of time and sadly I didn't even get to the main point. 78 .Practising and Performing 5. I have decided to 'tip' you with a list of habits or 'syndromes' (accompanied by brief explanations) which most audiences find irritating.
ask for a microphone! • Bad time management Starting late or overrunning reduces the audience's confidence in you as a presenter and what you have to say. A 'soft' voice is not an excuse. • Inaudibility This is one of the most frequent reasons for provoking audience displeasure. are not aware of the need to identify different parts of the presentation and signpost changes and key parts. if you resort to 'rushing through' the presentation to make up for lost time or to cram as much information as possible. Constantly looking for the 'right button' or placing OHTs upside-down suggest carelessness. Apart from that. and they don't expect you to use it apologetically. dropping names or assuming that the audience is at best ill-informed and at worst stupid will surely alienate and insult your audience. make sure it works and know how to operate it. • Absence of signposting If you.Practising and Performing • Misjudgment of the audience The audience is there not for you to show off but to benefit from your talk. Similarly. If you really can't project your voice. the presenter. if you are going to use equipment. probably watch you carefully waiting to see how you make a fool of yourself!) So. So parading intelligence and knowledge (by cramming the talk with difficult to understand jargon or obscure Latin quotations). Similarly. nevertheless. frantically searching for misplaced OHTs. or even using OHTs which cannot be read properly will make you look ridiculous and you'll lose the professional interest of your audience. • Deviation from the topic Presenters who keep 'straying' from the stated topic of their talk are not seen as 'professional'. So make sure that your presentation has been carefully constructed and that you've prepared and practised enough. (They will. 79 . In this way you won't be tempted to 'start beating around the bush'. the audience will quickly become confused and they will switch off. • Inappropriate use of technology and visuals Audiences expect you to be able to use the technology chosen. Speaking at the wrong speed is one of the quickest ways to alienate the audience. it also shows bad manners. the audience will consider it a sign of poor time management.
energy.5. In the next section you'll learn to read the signs that your audiences might send to you in any presentation context. In this section you have looked at the most important 'don'ts' as far as your audience is concerned. 5. For example. Similarly. audiences are not pleased by presenters who appear to have 'taken' their presentations 'off the shelf' and (maybe) 'dusted it off' a bit. • Lack of performance An audience. for the duration of the presentation. quite rightly.e. your students) send to you? What are they? Write your answer here: 80 . For this reason. You must leave an impression of spontaneity.5 A. Audiences can always 'tell' when this happens. s/he is looked upon as a performer. more entertaining. Remember. you should never assume that you can get away with simply reading a text.5 Have you managed to identify some of the 'signs' that your usual 'audience' (i. that it is just as disconcerting for the speaker who can't keep still and moves about like a caged animal.Practising and Performing • Lack of originality and regional reference Although everyone will accept that points being made in a presentation may have been made before. but the audience will quickly tire and begin to look for other. though. diversions. enthusiasm and passion for what you're doing (like any regular actors on the stage). One way of spotting such a recycled presentation is the absence of any regional reference. Anyone who accepts the challenge of being a presenter also has to accept that. an audience will react badly if you hardly bother to disguise the fact that you're simply recycling information. a talk about newly qualified teachers' needs which doesn't refer to the local teachers at all shows insensitivity to audience and lacks regional relevance.2 How can your audience 'talk' to you? As-You-Go Activity 5. it wants to be entertained. You might feel more secure by standing/sitting statue-like. Ideally. expects something in return for its participation.4.
Remember that people behave differently in an audience from how they behave individually or in a small group. However. It is more difficult. on the other hand. however. Everybody who has ever presented. you're going to look at some of the most common warning signals. will get restless and you'll recognize their unease in the following four ways discussed below. moving their chairs or dropping papers. This sounds more like 'sabotaging' your presentation.'). They are not as obvious as the positive ones. watches or at each other. Do something to remedy the situation. • Throat clearing. • Restlessness When people start shuffling their feet. to read the 'warning signals' which your audience may send. An audience. and it is considered a 'drastic' sign. at their feet.Practising and Performing There are many ways in which your audience can 'talk' to you without using any words.g. Learning to read the warnings sent by your audience and trying to act on them may determine whether your presentation will be a success or a fiasco. knows that if the members of the audience look at you. if it collectively senses that it is not getting what it wants. TIPS 81 . They are giving you their full attention. Consequently. and they support you in your talk. they don't interrupt. • Withdrawal of eye-contact This is the first early-warning signal. Grab their attention again. coughing and yawning If the room starts sounding like a doctor's waiting-room during an epidemic. people will start gazing at the windows. Most people accept protocols of communication: e. it's time to start worrying and to do something about it. • Walking out The most obvious sign of tension or displeasure is when individuals start walking out on you and your presentation. and certainly don't walk out on someone. you may assume that they are no longer paying attention to you and your presentation. I've witnessed this on quite a number of occasions what may be called the ultimate expression of visual 'excommunication': a member of the audience sound asleep half-way through a presentation. this is unlikely to happen if you write and deliver your speech appropriately. or unable to follow (or in any other way made to feel uncomfortable). Beware. yawning is very catchy. smile and even nod. If not interested. but mind how you do it: the worst possible way is to offend them (for example by saying 'What's wrong with you people? I've never seen such an insensitive and uninterested audience in all my life.
You've also seen earlier in this course that at the Preparation stage you will need to try and anticipate the questions that the audience (you should have become familiar with) might ask you and try to prepare your answers to these questions. In this section. On the contrary. Before looking at some useful strategies for handling questions. it might be equally useful to look at some strategies to encourage questions.4. do you generally like to ask the presenters questions? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5.5. most experienced presenters (as it has been mentioned earlier in this course) look forward to this 'feedback' session. A. however the focus won't be on content-related issues.3 Handling questions In this section I'll conclude the discussion about the audience and its management during the Performance stage of the presentation process by referring to how to handle your audience's questions during the question-and-answer session. (It is embarrassing and awkward both for you and your 82 . You will need to resort to the various tips given throughout the course and especially in Unit 1 if you want to grab and maintain the attention of your audience.6 When in an audience.Practising and Performing Interpreting the warning signs sent by your audience will obviously not automatically trigger their attention. 5. to the person who wants to attract some of the spotlight or to the saboteur (who is always against everything and dislikes other people's success). This is when they may best judge whether their presentation had the desired impact or not. but on ways of handling and encouraging questions.6 The people who ask questions may range from those who are generally confused and need more information. You will need to be able to distinguish between these and respond appropriately. Many presenters dread this session as they fear being asked 'difficult' questions which they might not be able to answer (and appear foolish).
. Ask a question yourself: 'A question often asked is. Ask people to discuss with a partner any concerns they might have and share these points with you. Avoid one-to-one debates by postponing them for a later occasion.' argue with anyone.. • Put 'a plant' in the audience (someone who you ask in advance to ask the first question and get the ‘ball rolling’). answer the question to the whole group. divide the question into parts (if it is a complex question) and state what each is before you answer. during this conference. 83 . sip some water. repeat the question in your own words to ensure you have understood and everyone else has heard. superior or even by ignoring a question). bluff (by taking a risk to 'invent' an answer if you don't know the right one). no matter how strongly you feel about the issue or how 'right' you think you are. say 'I don't know the answer to your question'.) Members of the audience frequently express reluctance to ask questions because: • • They think that their questions might sound inappropriate. • • • Do Don't • • • • • One more word of advice referring to your entire presentation: never end it with the question-and-answer session. answer briefly. keeping to the point. check: 'Does that answer your question?'. embarrass the questioner in any way (by appearing patronising. look relaxed. They are too nervous to speak in public. Allow time to end with a brief summary and then finish with a positive closing statement.'. The following suggestions will make it 'safer' for people to ask questions: TIPS Allow time. • • • • • • • listen carefully to the question. uninteresting or even foolish. Finally here are some Dos and Don'ts (generally recommended by experienced presenters) which might help you to deal with the audience’s questions in a professional way. etc. relate your answers to points you have made in your presentation.Practising and Performing audience to have ten minutes for a question-and-answer session in which nobody wants to ask anything. be defensive and apologetic. use a euphemism: 'I don't have this information at hand but I'll provide the answer next class/later.
summative assignment.Practising and Performing 5. Finally you looked at audience-related issues: what may annoy them and how the various members can show this to you.5 Pulling the strings together In this final section of the last content unit of this course I'll remind you what was discussed in this unit and. Send-Away Assignment Write your answers here: • list the ‘positive’ signals identified (i. 5.e. Then in Conclusions I'll summarise the most important issues discussed in this entire course and explain your final. in Unit 5 you looked at the role of practising (or rehearsing) your presentation before actually doing it. what the negative used signals were. Then you focused on the actual performance when presenting and the two major factors affecting your performance: the presenter (yourself) and the audience.g. You were also shown how you might handle the audience and the questions coming from them during the question-and-answer session. once again I'll set an assignment to you. the new lesson).6 Send-Away-Assignment 5 In one of your ordinary classes. Try to identify the signals they're sending you (both positive and negative) while you're presenting something (e. what you did in response to those signals. In short. Then you saw some techniques that you could use to control your stress and anxiety. those showing that your audience was interested and attentive) 84 . try to observe your students more closely. Write down: • • • what the positive signals consisted of. You were also informed on how you can make this practice more efficient.
the marking. those showing that your audience was restless and not atttentive) • list the things you did to respond to the signals identified: Please send SAA 5 to your tutor.e. there rarely are any recipes you can use. drawing on your strengths and dealing with your weaknesses.Practising and Performing • list the ‘negative’ signals: (i. You need to pay attention to accuracy too. As I want to be consistent and do what I preach. I believe that as far as speaking in public is concerned. any answers that you’ve given in response to Send-Away Assignment 5 should be appropriate. Consequently. Getting to know yourself. learning to ‘read’ your audience. will focus on the content of your answer: its relevance and its clarity. All you need to do is see if and what you can adapt what you could read in this unit to your own situation when identifying and reacting to those signals. So. let me remind why there won’t be any set answers to the Send-Away Assignment in this unit. are your most important aids if you want to become better presenters. to prevent any misunderstandings which may obscure the meaning of what you intended to transmit. if they reflect your spending time in doing what I’ve asked you to do. 85 . in this case. being flexible and practising a lot.
Consequently. Final Tips Define the main objective(s) of your talk based on what you seek to achieve: educate. I consider that such a list might be more useful because you can easily copy it and take it with you to wherever you go to give a presentation. Prepare. teach. train.Conclusions CONCLUSIONS Outline of Conclusions Objectives of Conclusions 1 Final summary 2 Final Send-Away Project Assignment Appendix Page 86 86 89 90 Objectives of Conclusions By the end of this unit you will: 1. One of the things you've learned in this process is that every well-thought and wellstructured presentation should end with a final summary. sell. 1 Final summary We have now reached the end of this course. have a checklist of the take-away key issues discussed in this course. you probably expect the final summary. knowledge. etc. 86 . 2. persuade. The checklist. is organised around the four Ps of better presenting: Plan. Practise and Perform. needs. Plan The key things you need to do at the planning stage are: • Describe your audience's: • identity. I prefer to come up with a checklist of the key issues discussed. goals. However. like this course. be given your final SAA for this course. instead of briefly revising the five content units of this course.
dealing with mannerisms. Structure the overview. impact. practise and reflect on how you'll be dealing with the following: • • • • • • • • • • • a strong opening. handling equipment and visual aids. The steps you need to take are: • • • • • • • State the main ideas/topics/messages/points. most dramatic stage of the presentation process. visibility. Practise Before an audience. Choose supporting information. be relaxed. 87 . Prepare the closing. Develop transitions. be yourself. mirror. etc. Prepare your visuals paying attention to their: clarity. clear key points/messages. say 'we' not 'you'. a memorable close. Build rapport with your audience: be sincere. body language. eye-appeal. keeping eye-contact. relevance. results achieved. this is what you will need to do: • Make a positive first impression: • establish eye-contact. a clear voice. Perform During the final. a logical flow. Prepare an opening. the body and the final summary.Conclusions • Prepare Think of your 'take-home' message. credible evidence. relate to your audience. display confident body language. video camera.
Conclusions • Hold the attention of your audience: be enthusiastic. Just think of when you learned to swim or ride a bike. use appropriate body language. if you persevere and practise the skills introduced in this course you are going to become a better. So. follow the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple). • Rely on fundamentals: know your subject.remember you have a remarkable capacity to develop skills: • You learned to walk around on your first birthday without feeling any failure despite your falls and bumps. project your voice. express yourself clearly and concisely. If you want to judge the value of a presentation given by somebody else (or even know how your presentation will be judged) here's another checklist: Questions to ask after a presentation (as a member of the audience): • • • • • • What was the message? Was the presentation well prepared? How did I benefit from it? What did I enjoy? What was difficult to follow? What would I do differently and why? Finally. There are periods of stagnation and even despair. And why not start putting into practice what you've learned with your final SAA? 88 . sell to your audience the value of your talk. here's my final word of advice . more self-confident presenter. be logical. • You learned to communicate on your second birthday without grammar books or language classes. • You learned about 90% of the words you use daily by the time you were five. But also remember that when you learn a new skill you don't make steady progress. maintain eye-contact. Eventually you did get what you wanted.
I hope you found it useful and enjoyable and I’m sure you’re now a better. when you meet. I'm happy to show you the template that I have used for my presentations in the Appendix. as an example. if your tutor decides so) a presentation on a topic of your choice in a situation that you have chosen. However. I’d be very grateful if you could send me any comments and suggestions that you might have concerning this course. This will show if you planned for time and rehearsed your presentation properly. Good luck with all your presentations in the future. My e-mail address is: gosa@mail. structured in a clear and logical way). more confident presenter. You'll also need to send your accompanying visuals and explain how and at what point in your presentation you'll use them.Conclusions 2 Final Send-Away Project Assignment Your final SAA will be a project. You need to decide for yourself how much you are going to write. Remember that this is just a template and it doesn’t give you any clue as to how much you need to write (as was the case with the rest of the activities and SAAs that you had in this course). Let me remind you that when marking your final assignment your tutor will carefully observe all the following criteria and marking scheme: • • • • • Content (inclusion of relevant content points): 4 points Range of grammar and vocabulary (choice of the appropriate words and grammatical structures): 1 point Style and register (choice of a style and a register appropriate to your target audience in terms of formality or informality): 1 point Accuracy (correctness of the language used): 1 point Effect on the target reader (i.e. So. what you are going to say. I know that after going through this course you’ll be perfectly capable of devising a template for your future presentation. the target reader is positively impressed and convinced by your performance): 2 points Final SendAway Assignment Your tutor may ask you to perform your presentation having as audience your fellow students of this programme. You will have to send to your tutor the script of your presentation (i. be prepared… Send your Final Assignment to your tutor. You'll have to design (and present.ro 89 . Your tutor may also decide if your mark for your Final Project Assignment will additionally take into account your performance and the feedback that you get from your fellow students.dnttm.e. Thank you for your patience and hard work while completing this course.
..... 1 My main objective What I want my audience to: • think . 90 . • do .... Benefit(s) for the audience from listening to my presentation .. Anticipated questions and my answers . Background ..Conclusions Appendix: A template for planning and preparing a presentation Title .... Location .... Experience .. • feel .. Take-home message . Duration of presentation ....... Date .... Audience expectations .. 2 Audience Number of people .
........ Close by repeating the take-home message .. message of each sub-topic .. 91 .. for each sub-topic . 5 The final summary Planned duration… Summarise the message of each sub-topic by saying .. supporting examples.. No. of accompanying visual(s) . and use the following memorable phrase . Give overview of presentation by saying . .. 2 or 3 .. etc.... No... Draw attention to what the audience will gain (or lose by not listening) by saying . 4 The Body Planned duration… Write in detail about: sub-topics 1....Conclusions 3 The overview Planned duration Grab attention by .. of accompanying visual(s) for each sub-topic .
12. Cod poºtal 010176. Etaj 2.pmu.ro IS BN 97 8- 60 6- 51 5- 13 0- 7 . Spiru Haret nr.ro e-mail: conversii@pmu. Bucureºti Tel: 021 305 59 99 Fax: 021 305 59 89 http://conversii.Proiect cofinanţat din Fondul Social European prin Programul Operaţional Sectorial Dezvoltarea Resurselor Umane 2007-2013 Investeşte în oameni! Formarea profesională a cadrelor didactice din învăţământul preuniversitar pentru noi oportunităţi de dezvoltare în carieră Unitatea de Management al Proiectelor cu Finanţare Externă Str. Sector 1.