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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

2011

4 Non-verbal aspects 1.3 Effective communication: non-verbal. References Pages 1-8 1 1 1 2 4 6 7 8 8 Unit 1.3.1 Effective communication: an introduction 1. Is this course for you? 4.4.3 Eye-contact 1. prepare.8 What makes communication effective: plan.2 Housekeeping 2.3 The audience 2. A rationale for this course 2.2 Appearance 1. Structure of this course 5.4.4.1 Introduction 2.1 Voice 1.9 Pulling the strings together 1. perform 1.4 Body language 1.5 Creating an impression 1. verbal and visual areas 1. Assessment of your work 6.4.4.7 Mannerisms 1.10 Send-Away Assignment 1 1.2 Effective communication: the format 1.4.1 Why is it important to know your 27-38 27 27 28 28 30 i .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. About bibliography 7.1 Understanding body language 1.4. About this course 3. Planning your presentation: housekeeping and audience Unit oultline Unit objectives 2. practice.2 Communicating through body language 1. Effective communication: an introduction Unit outline Unit objectives 1.6 Humour 1.Contents of the Course CONTENTS OF THE COURSE UNIT Introduction Outline of Introduction Objectives of Introduction 1.4.

Contents of the Course

audience? 2.3.2 What do you need to know about your audience 2.3.2.1 Who are they? 2.3.2.2 What do they do? 2.3.2.3 What are their interests? 2.3.2.4 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

39-54
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 4.2.3.1 Types of visual aids 4.2.3.2 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

55-67
55 55 56 56 57 58 59 59 63 63 64 65 67

ii

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 5.3.1.1 How stressed are you? 5.3.1.2 Identifying the sources of your stress 5.3.1.3 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

68-85
68 68 69 69 70 70 72 72 73 74 75 77 78 80 82 84 84

Conclusions
Outline of Conclusions Objectives of Conclusions 1. Final summary 2. Final Send-Away Project Assignment Appendix

86-91
86 86 86 89 90

iii

From business persons to politicians. the ability to communicate is seen as the single most important factor in your professional 'toolkit'. 1. No one likes doing it and few of us believe that we are really good at doing it. for 'losing face' by making a fool of ourselves. all these people need to have studied presentation skills if they want to be successful in their careers. 1 . Is this course for you? 4. have understood why this course is useful for you. have become familiar with the organising principle of this course. The reason for this lack of confidence is usually the fear of failing in public. Structure of this course 5. Nowadays. in a word: you make a difference. 3. from human resources officers to talk-show moderators. you inspire others. 4. have become aware of the philosophy underlying this course. have seen how this course is structured. 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. from teachers to tourist guides. About this course 3. is an integral part of most 'modern' professions. However. win minds and hearts and get people to take action. For example. The people who have marked history were all good communicators: they could move audiences. References 1 1 2 4 6 7 8 8 Objectives of Introduction By the end of the Introduction you will: 1. if you are a good communicator you get promoted more easily.Introduction INTRODUCTION Outline of Introduction Page Objectives of Introduction 1. A rationale for this course 2. speaking in public. or giving presentations as this complex 'activity' is better known in the Anglo-Saxon world. Assessment of your work 6. 2. About bibliography 7.

higher and higher demands are made on us to perform to a high standard in any communication circumstance. This may range from a job interview to explaining to your colleagues why you think some drastic changes in your organisation are inevitable. 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. In other words. or even the right amount of 'brains'. 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. About this course In this course. No longer is it acceptable to shuffle on to a stage. 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). There's much more to it than that: having the right content. in a presentation a speaker addresses an audience (be it made from one or more people) with a certain purpose. read haltingly (or speedily) from a script and think 'that'll do' because it won't. but it will equip such a person with a 'presentation skills toolkit' which in its turn will make the job of presenting whenever.Introduction (Whether these actions were beneficial or damaging is highly arguable but not very relevant to the argument. a disciplined sense of timing. Because communication is the key concept in this new millennium. This course won't transform a shy or apathetic person into a 'shiny' performer overnight. 2. Being able to perform is just one side of the story. knowledge of the subject. 2 . wherever much friendlier and definitely more successful.) Of all the ways you communicate (by letter or e-mail. It may be comforting for you to know that there is no such thing as 'a natural born' orator. 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. the discipline to go through the whole process of presenting.

For now.Introduction As-You-Go Activity 1 A. 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. 3 . deal with humour. 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. write and time a presentation. manage your audience. control stress and anxiety. This course will show you how to: • • • • • • • • plan. both as a presenter or a member of an audience. deal with voice problems. List them in the table below. you are going to read more about this a little later in this Introduction. deal with visual aids. deal with mannerisms. Write your answer here: • As a presenter • As a member of the audience I'm certain that you were able to list many situations.1 Try to identify as many types of presentation situations you were part of. Nonetheless. have the appropriate appearance.

4 . 3. 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. It is for the same reason that the activities and assignments that you'll get. we as teachers need to have presentation skills if we want to be successful in whichever presentation situation. require answers of a more subjective nature (not the right or wrong kind of answers). as you have seen in A. yes. We do it on a regular basis in our classrooms as teachers (and. Nor do I believe that when dealing with people one can offer and receive recipes (e. The second reason why I believe you need presentation skills is more individual or human-nature-related.g. They are aimed at making you aware of where you are and what you want to achieve (and how) as presenters. memorised and then regurgitated for the teacher to measure what has been learned. The first reason is profession-related. 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. lessons are definitely a presentation situation. Therefore. In this way people can adopt and adapt what seems to function in particular contexts with the particular individuals they work with. It is for this reason that my unit objectives are not always 'measurable' and do not always contain 'action verbs'. a recipe on how to deal with disruptive students) which can successfully be applied to obtain the desired results. I believe that people need to become aware of a trade's most important issues. 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. to reflect on these issues and on how fellow professionals approach them.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.1). 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. 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'. from meetings with parents to papers presented at various conferences.

• Your audience never seems to be able to read and understand your visual aids. If any of these points sound familiar. • Your audience always seems to be bored and inattentive. read on! 5 .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. • You think you are competent but you want to be better. Similarly. this course is for you if: • When you have to do it you are often dry-mouthed and tongue-tied.Introduction As-You-Go Activity 2 A. So. • The equipment for your visual aids always turns into an enemy by not functioning properly and ruining your presentation. this course is for you.

Unit 2 refers to the Planning stage. However. the mere fact that you’ve done them served their purpose. Prepare. 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. I found a number of books or world-wide-web sites dealing with presentation skills.. In this case. they can normally be found in the text immediately after them.. He calls them 'the four Ps of better presenting'.) Verbal (. All were business related. more exactly to housekeeping and getting to know your audience. 6 . If the As-you-Go Activities have suggested answers. As you’ll see. Considering that this course is a practical one. I do refer to all these factors in the course... They also have the role to help you get to know yourself better. unless you are specifically told where else to look for them (occasionally at the end of the unit). an Introduction and a Conclusion. Practice and Present. Dickinson 1998: 25 says: Giving an effective presentation is reliant on three interdependent factors: audience.) Visual (. 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.). Unit 4 deals with the Planning and Preparation of the content while Unit 5 focuses on the Practice and Performance stages.. For this reason not all your As-You-Go Activities have a suggested answer.. Gilgrist 1996: 5 (original bold typeface) similarly states that: To convey your messages you will need to perform competently in three areas simultaneously: (.. content and performance. The course has five content units. Therefore. They are Plan. I chose to structure this course around these four stages. please bring them to one of the tutorials where your answers can be discussed with your tutor and your fellow students. I also decided to call the fourth stage the Performance stage.Introduction 4. you may want to get feedback on such activities too. For example.) Nonverbal (. However. When I searched some of the literature on presentation skills. You’ll be advised to do so whenever the case in the five units of the course. as I believe it illustrates better what a presenter should do during the presentation stage of the presentation process. Consequently. as they best reflect the idea of process (which I definitely consider presentations to be).. I tried to include many As-You-Go Activities which will draw on your experience as presenters and participants in presenting situations. Unit 1 presents some general aspects of effective presentation. I found most useful the four-stages approach suggested by Wingenbach: 1999. The answers to such activities depend on your own individuality and experiences.

Since it is impossible to mark your assignments objectively (there is no ‘right or wrong’ answer to any. 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). Your SAAs will be averaged and the resulting mark will be averaged with the mark you get for your Final Project Assignment. On these occasions. The address and deadlines will be communicated by your tutor. all your assignments will be marked in accordance with the Romanian marking system (from 1 to 10). 7 . To be more specific. after a summary of the main points discussed in this course.e. try to use the spaces provided (the blank boxes) without exceeding them. Thus you will have to send to your tutor six assignments: five unit Send-Away Assignments and a Final Project Assignment. In Conclusions. you can also ask any questions and request any further clarification concerning your marks or the course. the target reader is positively impressed and convinced by your performance): 2 points In addition to the mark.Introduction 5. the answers being all of a subjective nature). you will receive feedback (explaining how and why that particular mark was given). If you’re not pleased with the mark received you can re-do and re-send the respective SAA. Assessment of your work I adopted both formative and summative forms of evaluation. The Final Project Assignment will represent the other half. a project assignment with a summative value is set. You can collect all your tasks in a portfolio and discuss them in more detail with your classmates and tutor during the tutorials. For both the activities and the SAAs set. The SAAs will represent half of your final mark. To this end. taking into account the feedback. 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. each unit concludes with a Send-Away Assignment which will be marked by your tutor.

References 1. About bibliography I’d like to keep the recommended supporting readings as minimal as possible for two reasons. I assume that it won’t be very easy for you to get access to them. http://www. Enjoy the course and become better presenters! 7. the mere fact of browsing through them and discovering what might be useful for you will be a useful discovering experience. Firstly... for this course it is not compulsory for you to read any supplementary materials. Consequently. if you do chose to use them. Iaşi and Timişoara). Vermont: Gower 3. London: Piatkus The books mentioned in the References section below also constitute valuable supporting materials for this course. I know that you’ll be very busy and have lots to read and do while participating in this programme. R. with Davies.html 8 . Gilgrist. S.. 2000: Speak for Yourself: the complete guide to effective communication and powerful presentations. G. 1996: Winning Presentations. However. 1998: Effective Presentation. Hampshire.toxperformance.. I deliberately didn’t include any sections of these reference materials in any unit bibliography because. Cluj. However.J. C. Secondly. I do recommend the following book: Stuart. Wiengenbach..Introduction 6. should you wish to read more. D. You can find all these books in the British Council Libraries around the country (Bucharest. Dickinson. London: Orion Business Books 2. 1999: Additional Presentation Skills.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.

perform 1.8 What makes communication effective: plan.4.4.4.7 Mannerisms 1. 4. 5.3 Eye-contact 1.1 Effective communication: an introduction 1.4 Non-verbal aspects 1.4 Body language 1.4. know more about yourself in relation to the presentation process.2 Effective communication: the format 1. 3.1 Understanding body language 1.4.4.11 Some possible answers to As-Yo.3 Effective communication: non-verbal. practise. 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: 1.9 Pulling the strings together 1. 2 categorise these aspects according to the areas they refer to. understand the role of humour in a presentation.6 Humour 1.5 Creating an impression 1. list the aspects which are to be taken into account in the presentation process.2 Communicating through body language 1.Effective Communication Unit 1 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Motto: Every long journey begins with one short step.1 Voice 1. prepare. Unit Outline Unit objectives 1. verbal and visual areas 1.4.10 Send Away Assignment 1 1.4. identify how non-verbal aspects can influence a presentation.2 Appearance 1.

be it in your every day classroom context. More precisely. In this unit I'll briefly refer to the areas that you will need to take into account for effective communication: non-verbal. can be found either immediately after your own answers or at the end of each unit .) Take note that some possible answers to the As-You-Go Activities.. to a certain audience’. The following is an activity which is meant to get you into 'a presenting mood'.Effective Communication 1.1 Rememeber A. I'll discuss voice. etc. if the case. verbal and visual but we will focus on the non-verbal aspects. only as members of the audience this time. (Remember our definition of presentations in the Introduction: ‘any particular instance where you need to speak about a certain topic. the use of humour and avoidance of mannerisms. body language. appearance.1 Effective communication: an introduction In this unit. I will refer to some general issues relevant to you when presenting.1 Write your answer here: 10 . A. Now try to answer these two questions: • What were the presentations given for? As-You-Go Activity 1. Nonetheless. they are very important in any presentation situation (including your every day classroom practise or in less familiar circumstances such as presenting at conferences).1 in the Introduction? It is time for you to recall again some of the presentations you attended. or in any other context which might require your presentation skills.1. All of these aspects are not directly related to the content of a presentation.

2 In your opinion. should you wish to discuss this activity (and the answers you gave) with your tutor and your fellow students.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. please bring it to the tutorial). what makes a presentation successful? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 1. A. it doesn't seek to obtain right or wrong answers.1. you may consider all your answers correct . However.2 11 . Consequently.

go to the end of this unit.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. why don't some presenters manage to deliver successful presentations? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 1.4 12 .Effective Communication If you want to check your answers and see if they are similar to what experienced presenters expect from a 'good' presentation. Unfortunately.3 In your opinion.1.3 I hope you agree with me that it is not very often that we attend successful presentations.2 Effective communication: the format A. once again go to the end of this unit. 1. in our profession it is impossible to avoid presentations. it is the main purpose of this course to 'give you a toolkit' for becoming better presenters.1. A. It is understandable. As seen in the Introduction. 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. under the circumstances. that many people really dread having to make presentations.

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. 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. verbal and visual areas I've already mentioned in the previous section. It gives you clues to what people have understood from your presentation and if it had the desired effect. are structured into two distinct parts: a formal presentation followed by a question-andanswer session. 13 . the same amount of time for the question-and-answer session should be allowed. Ideally. Don't leave the question session to chance. It is generally believed that the formal part should not be longer than 15 to 20 minutes. The question-and-answer session is at least as important as the formal session. they can't take in very many facts and details. Don't prolong the formal part and shorten the question session. in general. Keep the two parts distinct: avoid questions during the formal presentation. TIPS 1. verbal. it is as important as the formal one. Experienced presenters consider that their presentation was a complete failure if no questions were asked at the end. Research has shown that the average adult attention span is about 10 minutes. So aim to communicate simplified messages (some presenters call them points) up to a maximum of three. Additionally. as far as the format of a presentation is concerned: • • • • Make sure you have a question-and-answer session. However. standard presentations at conferences are scheduled to last 20 minutes for actually delivering the talk and 10 minutes for questions from the audience. For this reason presentations. Your mission here is to dispel any negative evaluation of your message(s) and not to allow your message(s) to be side tracked. In brief. To convey your messages you will need to perform competently in three areas simultaneously: • • • non-verbal. or you risk carrying out neither part successfully. visual.3 Effective communication: non-verbal. that general audiences have a very narrow attention span. Some presenters also call it 'crowd control' because most presentations are won or lost during this stage. especially if wrapped in a complicated jargon.

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 visual support of your presentation: handouts. verbal and visual areas? Write your answer here: • non-verbal • verbal • visual Here are some answers.5 A.1. OHTs PowerPoint computer slides. In the remaining part of this unit I'll focus on areas belonging to the non-verbal area of the presentation process. The design and format of your visual aids (as they are also called) will be discussed in Unit 5. These comprise how you stand. This and the strategies you may use to produce the content will be discussed in Unit 4. the actual content of your presentation. slides. what you do with your hands and how you establish and maintain eyecontact. Compare them to your own answers. etc.5 What aspects would you include in the non-verbal. how you speak. Non-verbal: public-speaking techniques which are not content-related. Verbal: Visual: 14 . These aspects are also considered as aids. because they can really help you deliver effective presentations.Effective Communication As-You-Go Activity 1.

g. only a few experienced presenters know how to really exploit their voices to obtain optimal results. it should be clear that 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. Don't bore people with a monotonous voice.Effective Communication 1. even the people in the back!). 15 . modulate it between high and low).the pitch (e.4. pause now and then to gain attention and to collect thoughts).the pace (e.g. avoid this by paying attention to: . 1. However. Ask a friend to help you. start deep down. slumping and keeping his/her eyes cast while briskly pacing the room without stopping and continuously waving his/her arms.g. eye-contact.1 Voice Every presenter agrees that voice is very important when presenting. by sitting in the far corner and listen to your voice. humour or body language can contribute to the success or failure of a presentation. appearance. . drop your voice if you want to emphasise a point).4 Non-verbal aspects Imagine a presenter dressed in multi-coloured boxer-shorts and vest who whispers something. Here are some tips for you: • TIPS • Project your voice and make sure everybody in the room can hear you (yes. .the power you want to give to an idea or concept (e.

the majority of the presenters do not get away with 'breaking the rule'. here is something to help you and your common sense make the right decisions. you may let your common sense guide you when choosing your appearance. • TIPS • Dress as you know your audience will do.2 Appearance Imagine that you are to give a presentation at a local teachers' conference. His presentation was a huge success. Appearance refers not only to the clothes you are wearing but also to how you want to be seen by the audience. and a jester's hat with tiny bells attached to it. Once you have identified your audience. He was wearing a conservative three-piece dark suit on the one hand. If you want to see what other ‘initiated’ people think of your answer. after all you want to show that you are one of them. 16 . you need to take two issues into account: your audience and what you have to say. Your appearance should complement what you have to say. Keep on the side of being conservative. How would you dress and why? Imagine Write your thoughts here: This question can’t possibly have a single ‘right’ answer. In addition. 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.Effective Communication 1. Being aware of these issues.4. on the other. Don't be shabbier or smarter because you risk offending them and turning them against you. please bring it to the tutorial and we’ll all discuss it. This anecdote illustrates the second issue you need to take into account when deciding on your appearance: the content of your presentation. Therefore. You'll find out more about knowing your audience in Unit 3. The topic of his presentation was humour in the classroom.

• TIPS • • Direct gaze and broad smile shows friendly attention and empathy. Moreover. Do avoid. There are no rules.3 Eye-contact All successful presenters agree upon the importance of eyecontact which should be maintained throughout the presentation. Ideally you should seek and maintain eye-contact with as many people in your audience as possible. what you do with your body reflects what you think about yourself and 'talks' to your audience. nevertheless. 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. Some people are able to use or interpret body signals instinctively. Here is a short list of tips of what kind of messages you could transmit to your audience by using eye-contact. Remember that the first impression that you make is of utmost importance. For these reasons I'm going to discuss body language with special reference to creating a first impression.4. As follows you'll see how body signals can be interpreted or used in presentation situations. you are not speaking for that person only).4 Body language People should be aware that it's not only words that help us communicate. especially when you are at the beginning of your career as a presenter.1 Understanding body language Presenters often ask themselves whether to sit or stand when giving a presentation. Indirect gaze is evasive and shows lack of confidence.4.4. others may need to be made aware.4. our entire bodies participate while communication. 1. What we do with our bodies sends particular messages. but I'd definitely recommend that you stand throughout your presentation: it shows confidence and gives you control over your audience. I'll also mention how you can 'talk' with your body. 17 . Direct gaze shows attention. but at least you should try to choose several friendly faces and maintain eye-contact with them.Effective Communication 1. 1. However this is quite difficult.

• Emphasising a point: . Look relaxed and enthusiastic (see the following section which deals with posture). • Needing reassurance: . neutral and negative.one hand around the neck and the other around the waist.4. Make sure you are in a position to move and address all of your audience.slight tilt of the head or nodding while somebody is talking. Here is a possible scenario: You are in front of your audience.using a hand to gesture emphatically.Effective Communication 1. Body turned away signifies rejection to what the other person is saying. Look at the following ways in which you can give certain signals to your audience by using your body: TIPS Neutral Negative • Creating empathy: . 1. 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. Smile gently.5 Creating an impression First impressions are very important. Relaxed arms and legs show a lack of tension.body leaning forward shows alertness and readiness to assist the speaker. Positive Body facing front and open posture (don't cross your arms) shows confidence.pen biting or ear-pulling.2 Communicating through body language There are three kinds of messages you can communicate to your audience: positive. make all your actions deliberate ones. Start the presentation properly with one of the following: TIPS 18 . • Showing uncertainty: . The initial 5 seconds are more important than the next 5 minutes. Hand on hips indicates determination and ability to take control. • Paying attention: . Slight slumping and closed posture (arms crossed) show lack of confidence. Think very carefully.4.

As we will see in the next unit. Humour is a useful ingredient in almost any situation. When he started his presentation.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. For example. I'm here to talk about death. he took off his hat and only put it on several times during the presentation.1. But this joke must be carefully chosen because I assume that you don't want to offend anyone in the audience.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. arrangements to follow. if you want to create a friendly rapport with any audience. if used appropriately.Effective Communication • • • • • a short 'thank you' to the person who introduced you. because it will create resistance and negative feelings towards you. some kind of dramatic opener: 'Ladies and gentlemen. When he put it on. a short summary of what the presentation is about. some practical details: when the session will end. 1. a few words of welcome such as 'Thank you for coming to my presentation today'.6 You can compare your answer to what you can find in the Advantages and Disadvantages bullet-point suggestions below. 19 . The death of an old idea''. he jingled the bells and said: 'joke time'. you may start with a joke. this is considered to be a certain way to ruin your presentation. when you will answer their questions. A.

These are some reasons why caution should be exercised. • It helps emphasise points and ideas. • It makes you more likeable. they probably are negative. as it is frequently based on ridiculing stereotypes. It may turn out to be gender offensive. • It lightens up heavy material. You've seen that humour can be both useful and damaging in a presentation. race or ethnic group. • It disarms hostility. so I'm going to refer to both the advantages and disadvantages of using humour in your presentation. as we have already mentioned. Secondly. It may turn out to be racially offensive. 20 . This is why. It may turn out to be individually offensive. The best humour is that which appears naturally generated. • It makes information more memorable. as far as using humour in a presentation is concerned: TIPS • • • Always link humour to your message. Advantages First you'll look at some advantages: • It helps you connect with the audience. • It helps paint pictures in the audience's mind. you need to avoid jokes that could be offensive in terms of gender. • It arouses interest. Disadvatages Humour can very easily turn out to be offensive to your audience. Here is some advice for you. • It keeps attention.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. if you want to play it on the safe side. I hope that after doing this activity you now understand why. especially by inexperience presenters. 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. Use it sparingly. you need to be aware that: • • • • It may turn out to be culturally offensive.

8 What makes communication effective: plan. So you can give your presentation in front of a friend (you should practise/rehearse your presentation anyway.7 Mannerisms Mannerisms are particular habits. these four Ps are the organising principle of this course and consequently I'll detail them in Units 3 to 6. However. prepare. choose them carefully and 'try them on somebody' to see how people react to them. a colleague (and friend) made me aware of it. After attending some of my presentations. and 4. There are many kinds of mannerisms that we can all have: from 'ers' and 'ums' to scratching noses. 1.it shows that you do not take yourself too seriously or feel superior to your audience. 3. Prepare. In the next and final section of this unit I'll briefly refer to the other very important aspects: the verbal and visual ones. I am very grateful to her. 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'. This is why it is important to try and spot them and then work towards eliminating them. They can be regarded as the four crucial stages in any presentation process. 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). As also explained in the Introduction. 1. They can turn out to be not only distracting and annoying for the audience but even funny.it is the 'safest' sort of humour . as you'll see in Unit 5) and ask him or her to spot your mannerisms. For example.Effective Communication • • If you intend to use jokes. I'm going to briefly mention what each of these stages refers to. Practise and Perform have also been called the 'four Ps' of better presenting'. They will be then discussed in more detail in Units 2. this may be too difficult as you may not have the necessary equipment. ways of speaking or behaving that we have but are not aware of. It is better to use self-irony because: . making us look silly. Since then I have managed to get rid of my obnoxious 'ok'. So far you have focused on the non-verbal aspects that play important roles in the presentation process. One way to do it is to videotape our presentations and then check them for particular mannerisms. Plan. 21 . practise and perform As seen in the Introduction.

teach.7 A. Compare your answers to the following: Plan • Try to know your audience: . .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.Effective Communication As-You-Go Activity 1.experience. . .persuade. Define the purpose of your talk (some possible variants): .needs. as presenters.sell. .motivate to action. . . are expected to do during these four stages.train. .goals.1.inform. • 22 . .knowledge.

body language.possible mannerisms (try to eliminate them) . • Hold the attention of the audience. Develop transitions (linking devices). Structure the main body. practise and review: . Create an opening. As mentioned previously. in this unit I discussed the most important aspects that need to be considered if you want to produce and deliver effective presentations.Effective Communication Prepare • • • • • • • State the main ideas. • Rely on fundamentals.impact Practise • Perform • Make a positive first impression. video camera practise and review your visuals for: .relevance. mirror.clarity. .a strong opening. . .9 Pulling the strings together To sum up. The other two areas: the verbal and the visual.clear key points. I also discussed humour and how it can influence a presentation. . Preparation. As specified in the introduction. will be explained in more detail in the following units which will be structured around the Planning. Prepare the closing. Before an audience. I focused particularly on the non-verbal area: voice. . 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. each unit is concluded with a SAA (Send-Away Assignment). eye-contact. They can be divided into. non-verbal.results achieved. • Build rapport with your audience.visibility. Practise and Performance stages.a memorable closing.logical flow. Before an audience. mirror. touched upon in this unit. . . verbal and visual. video camera. appearance. 23 . For this reason the lists mentioned above are not detailed and exemplified here. Choose supporting information. 1.

with reference to the same aspects and include it in the comments. a get-to-know-yourself kind of test.) and then reflect on what you found easy/difficult. 4. 3. namely Content. Record your comments in the table below. Style and register. mention how you established and maintained eye-contact with your audience (who with. Refer to the strengths and weaknesses of your presentation focusing on the nonverbal aspects discussed in this unit.10 Send-Away Assignment 1 Send-Away Assignment! Your first SAA will be more of a self-awareness kind of test. rather than look for right or wrong answers. 2.g.Effective Communication 1. State the topic of your presentation: SelfAwareness Test 2. Observe your own behaviour while presenting. 1.) Write your answers here: 1. parents or children in one of your classes. (If you want. For example. elicit feedback from your audience as well. Describe your audience: 24 . for how long. Present your topic to any of the following types of audiences available: fellow teachers. 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. you may choose the following topic: 'school-family relationships'). It will be marked by taking into account the criteria presented in the Introduction. Focus on a situation which will involve you speaking in front of an audience (e. a teachers' meeting. Range of grammar and vocabulary. a meeting with parents or even one of your classes). Think of a topic that might be of interest. (If possible. etc. Accuracy and Effect on the target reader.

Effective Communication 3. 25 . 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.

since the purpose of these activities was to make you reflect.Effective Communication 1. do not own the topic. Some possible answers to As-You-Go Activities As explained in the Introduction. do not manage to convince the audience. So.g for being nervous or not having time to prepare). constantly apologise (e. I consider that some questions may be answered in more than one way. having a good time.2 • • • • being able to follow them through. all the answers you gave to the activities can be considered ‘right’. misplace their their notes or visual aids. being able to understood the message.11. have problems when manipulating equipment.3 Presentations may not be succesful because presenters: • • • • • • • do not manage to get their messages across. do not manage to grab and maintain attention. As-You-Go Activity 1. 26 . As-You-Go Activity 1. learning something new. depending on your personality and experiences.

understand the role of housekeeping and its role in the presentation process.2.4 How can you get to 'know' your audience? 2.3. understand the notion of housekeeping in the presentation process. but the audience was a total failure.2 What do they do? 2.3.1 Who are they? 2.3.3 What are their interests? 2.2. 27 .Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience Unit 2 PLANNING YOUR PRESENTATION: HOUSEKEEPING AND AUDIENCE Motto: 'The play was a great success. 2.2 Housekeeping 2.2.3.3.4 Why are they there? 2.2.6 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: 1.1 Why is it important to know your audience? 2. identify appropriate ways to find out useful things about your audience.5 Pulling the strings together 2.2 What do you need to know about your audience 2. identify what you might need to know about your audience to make your presentation more effective.1 Introduction 2. 4.' (Oscar Wilde) Unit Outline Page Unit objectives 2. 3.3.3 The audience 2.

Housekeeping refers to the place. less familiar presentation contexts. when speaking about presentations and presentation skills. Before you start planning the content of your presentation you need to ask yourself (and other people involved. seen as the crucial stages of the presentation process. OHP.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience 2. etc. For this reason the following units will be dedicated to these four stages. slide projector. less familiar. Housekeeping and audience and their importance are two crucial factors that need to be considered in the Planning stage.g. 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. video projector. another room. For this reason.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. board. flipchart.)? 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. while in Unit 1 I touched upon some more general aspects referring to effective communication. Prepare.)? 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 . They are dealt with in this unit. 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. 2. if the case is) such questions as: • • • • • • • • • • Where will I make my presentation (my own classroom.2 Housekeeping We cannot start planning a presentation without knowing who it is addressed to and the environment in which it will take place. Practise and Present). etc. external contexts. It might be worth repeating that. the equipment necessary (and available) and the format of a presentation. an auditorium.

carefully planned presentation can be ruined. It is most likely though that a presentation will be ruined if people can't hear you. very often this is not possible and for such apparently meaningless reason a wonderful. There are several options: • • • theatre style shape. 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.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience The venue. especially if you are not endowed with a strong. resonant voice. bring your answer to the tutorial. Each seating arrangement suggests something. Thirdly. U-shaped/horseshoe shape. Once again if you want to show and discuss what you’ve written with your fellow students and your tutor. classroom shape. when you are invited to present in a different location you might be able to choose the type of seating for your audience. How do you think that all these might affect your presentation? Write your thoughts here: Imagine Yes. your presentation may be spoiled in a number of ways that I’m sure you’ve mentioned. Secondly. This might be ideal for teaching but not very helpful if you want to create a more intimate atmosphere. The horseshoe shape will be ideal for such a purpose. Although you don't usually have much control over a seminar room or an auditorium. For example. instead of the expected equipment. where you will probably have a desk or a table facing your audience. It is evident that everyone prefers presenting in an already familiar environment. However. there's only a blackboard available. apart from the panic that you might feel for not being able to use your visuals. the classroom layout lends itself to tutorial-type presentations. having to write on the board will definitely make you lose your audience's attention (when breaking the eye-contact). it will make you waste precious time to write on the blackboard). 29 . the seating and the equipment available will determine the style of your presentation. On top of everything.

Audience is considered at least as important in the presentation process as the content of the presentation or the presenter's performance. The conference organiser stood up and told him there won't be a question-and-answer-session. and even more so to the speakers who might follow you. in spite of the seating arrangements). It is equally important to find out that a question-and answer session is not scheduled. 2. (and he did finish ten minutes before his allotted time) he invited questions. It is rude to the audience. His presentation was not very easy to follow because it was conceptually difficult and rather theoretical. you need to know well in advance how long it will be. For instance. 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. He was in the process of elaborating a new theory and was anxious to see how the audience would react to it. 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). I will again use an incident that I witnessed. furniture or equipment can only become a real problem if you haven't thought about them in advance. As far as the format of your presentation is concerned.3 The audience The dictionary definition for audience is: 'group of listeners or spectators'. He looked quite hurt and bewildered. was invited to give a one-hour plenary presentation at an international conference in Romania. At the end of his presentation. (Maybe you can think of a nice. 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. even if the seating turns out to be confrontational. selfironical joke or anecdote/incident that you can begin with just to show that you are not superior to your audience. and the entire audience could see that. bear in mind that room size. To illustrate this point. 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). A very famous (in his field) British professor. 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. However.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. 30 . if you do not keep to the time allotted. 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).

if they don’t benefit from it? I. She is logical and rational. sincere and values relationships. for instance. high-energy person who loves to get things done as quickly as possible. The result was that.2. She wants the presentation to be detailed. Maria. to be touched in person by your presentation. He is inclined to get in touch only when he wants something. Otherwise. Dana is 'analytical'. 'scientific' or difficultto-understand words) would make a wonderful presentation and elicit admiration from the audience. A. lost interest and got disconnected. I felt annoyed because I couldn't extract the point of the presentation.1 Do all your students react and behave in the same way? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 2. i.e. She is naturally interested in people and wants to 'help' with her questions. be it done for teaching purposes or outside the classroom. Paul is a 'go-getter'.1 It is difficult for me to anticipate your answers or to come up with 'universally true answers' for such a difficult question. snappy and to the point. He wants the presentation to be short. Good presenters know that efficient presentations are audience and not presenter-oriented. He is an assertive. The syllabuses and textbooks they have been exposed are the same. For example. 2. They are all approximately the same age. must have an audience focus. I am going to give some examples. very soon. structured and precise. have witnessed on numerous occasions in which a presenter seemed to believe that extensive demonstration of knowledge (very often 'wrapped' in jargon. why should an audience be present during a presentation. The classes consist of both boys and girls in different proportions.3. wants to 'connect'. You 'present your lesson'.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience This is why your presentation. She is warm.1 Why is it important to know your audience? Think of the students in one of your classes. a 'carer'. She strives for 31 . So.

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.

TIPS

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:

Imagine

32

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.

2.3.2.1 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.

2.3.2.2 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:
TIPS

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

2.3.2.3 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.

2.3.2.4 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 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. Knowing who they are. try to do your best with the presentation and at the same facilitate networking. How to handle such a situation is discussed in more detail in Unit 5. 2. Attending a presentation might be a nice way to pass the time. such game doesn't become clear until question time. can you come to know your audience if you present at an international conference? 35 . then think of an old maxim: 'if in doubt. can work to your advantage because the audience is interested in what you have to say. To 'burgle' ideas This reason.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. If so far you have looked at some of the most important things that you need to know about your audience. To pass the time Every potential speaker likes to think that an audience is there only to listen to her/him. However. Try to surprise such a member of your audience with your presentation and don't forget to entertain. may get you halfway through a successful presentation.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience To learn Half the battle is won if you know that your audience is hungry for information. in a sense. leave it out'. 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. Fortunately. How. as in the previous case. if you are genuinely afraid that you have some wonderful idea that could be stolen. Unfortunately this is not always the right motivation. Only let it out if it is protected by copyright laws. You only need to be intelligible and clear (a bit of entertainment might help even more) to be completely victorious. this 'getting to know your audience' may turn out to be easier said than done in many cases. However. what they expect from your presentation. for example. what they already know. 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. most often. In this case.

try to speak to as many members of your audience as possible before the presentation. you are 36 . Do some research This would mean trying to investigate. for example. Talk to your audience If possible. Let's for instance refer to the parents' meeting that you imagined before (organised` for the first time since becoming a form teacher). the children in your class and the families these come from. the village you work in) you may try interviewing another teacher. 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. if your audience comes from an environment that you are already familiar with. so that you may compare them to your own ideas and possibly use (some of) them in the future.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. the background of your audience. 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. please bring it to the tutorial. you will also make your audience appreciate your thoroughness and concern. in as many ways as possible. For instance. a closed environment (e. Interviewing. for instance.g. I'm just going to tell you now the means that are generally used by presenters to get to know their audiences. 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. Besides finding out what you need to know. If you want share your answer and discuss it. If.

6 Send-Away Assignment 2 Send-Away Assignment If you find it difficult to do this SAA. Your target reader is your tutor in this case.5 Pulling the strings together To conclude. and explain why you consider them important. you will have advanced on the road to become a better presenter. As explained in the Introduction. 2. clear argumentation and relevance are obligatory for receiving the four content points. which for a long time has been affected by 'the Securitate syndrome'. There may be other useful ways to get to know your audience that you thought of. Consequently. Though there is no objective right answer.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience going to present at a conference.2 and 3. the last thing you want to do is to offend your audience. Write your answer here: 1. I wouldn't want you to regard these as the only ways available. As mentioned before. in your opinion. in this unit we dealt with the first steps of the planning stage: housekeeping and audience. List the most important three housekeeping aspects. if possible. especially if you try to find information from a 'third party'. 3. 1. 2. the content of what you’ve written is very important. 2. It is crucial. After all. you should avoid offending your audience in any way. to send you the list of the participants (plus where they come from. please go through Sections 2. to bear in mind that. no matter what ways you use. When dealing with these items successfully. so try to be convincing and make a good impression. though.3 once again. Now you are going to have a short SAA (and hopefully an easy one) with only two items. the content of your answer represents 4 points out of the maximum of ten. This could turn out to be potentially dangerous particularly in our society. 37 . you could ask the organisers. Remember that you also get two points for effect on the target reader. what their interests and backgrounds might be).

Please send your SAA 2 to your tutor.Planning Your Presentation: Housekeeping and Audience 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. 38 . 3. 2. Present your list and reasons here: 1.

4.2 Getting started 3. know how to structure your presentations in a clear and logical way.4.2.3 Creating your main message 3. 39 . decide on the objectives of your presentations. Unit Outline Unit objectives 3.2. know how to start preparing your presentation.2 Writing something down 3.3.4.3 Drafting your presentation 3.1 The overview 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. 2.6 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. 3.2 The body 3.3Thinking around the topic 3.1 Deciding on the topic 3.2. decide what to include in your presentations.2 Setting your objectives 3.4 Judging the duration 3.1 Introduction 3.3 The summary 3.2. 4.1 Putting your thoughts in order 3.4 Structuring and preparing your presentation 3.3.5 Pulling the strings together 3.3.

you'll discover that you need to think carefully about the topic. 3. too. what you need to include or how you can organise your ideas. and how you can prepare to deal with timing during the performance stage. for example. to more formal. the reasons for choosing it. Thus you'll see how you can begin to plan the content.2. unfamiliar presentation contexts.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content 3. 3. I also want to emphasize again that I consider the issues discussed here very relevant for your regular teaching life. the system of education in Canada). For this reason. You'll also see how important time is. and the ideas you might include in your presentation. Lesson planning and preparing for the lesson are very important aspects of the teaching profession. setting the objectives) and consequently.1 Introduction If in the previous unit you dealt with the audience and its importance in the presentation process. as it is the timing of each and every lesson in general. all you might need to do is to adapt what you already know. In brief. some of the issues dealt with in this unit may already be familiar to you (take. or each and every stage of a lesson in particular. Think of what you're going to do and why.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. Imagine Write your thoughts here: 40 .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. in this unit you'll focus on issues related to the content of a presentation. also taking into account the time allotted.

• Eye-contact with your audience will be minimal. We've seen in the previous unit how important it is to know your audience: who they are and what their expectations are. However. appreciation of all these will guide you in the tone of what you say. think in terms of your audience: how you want to influence them. In this case it's better to decline politely and to offer to present another topic that you are more comfortable with. Unless you know where you're going. and. They succeed for two reasons: the speakers know their topics of the speech well.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. unless someone in particular asks you to. what do you want them to: 41 . So let's assume you've accepted to talk to a group on a topic you're familiar with. what they already know or if they expect to be motivated. and the audience is guaranteed to be responsive.2. Assuming all of the above. After your audience has listened to you. • You'll be uneasy when answering questions. a number of unpleasant things could happen to you: • The research will take too long and you may miss important points.g. you are taking a terrible risk with your professional reputation. In Anglo-Saxon cultures some of the best speeches can be heard at weddings (you may have seen some in movies). Even if you do research to find as many things as possible about the topic. As you'll see later in this unit. your lack of confidence in your topic will make you read rather than talk. that the most fundamental thing in planning and preparing something is to have a clear purpose. it's now time for you to set the objectives of your presentation. • The structure and writing of the script won't come easy. In short. if you have no way of doing so. 3. So. once again. informed or entertained. let's assume that you understand the type of audience you'll have: e.2 Setting your objectives You already know. for this reason. • When you present. However you're very unlikely to get to talk about completely unfamiliar topics. 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. it will influence the content. I'm certain. If you try to write and give presentations on a totally unfamiliar topic. how can you begin the journey? It is essential that you are clear about what you can achieve. 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.

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. Some presenters call them 'subsidiary objectives'. but in my opinion. and you can decide what you want to call them. What is more important than labelling is to decide which of them you're going to use for your presentation. Here are some examples: • • • 42 inform (by means of which you may want your audience to think of something). entertain (in order to provoke certain feelings). You want to present a book or a story that you think will benefit the members of the club. 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. For example. Think of the book or story you are going to present and write your objectives in the box below. I'm going to list some of these secondary objectives. . persuade (to make them do what you want them to do). Imagine Imagine that you are running a literature club (something that we might know as 'cerc de literatură'). to do ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ If I were you. the following are not objectives: • • I'm speaking because I'm participating at the conference. I'm speaking because my school headmaster asked me to. What I want my audience: 1. Such objectives may be obtained through a number of ways. they can also be seen as means through which the main objectives (some call them aims) can be achieved. the more helpful your objectives are going to be. to think ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ 2. feel. to feel ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ 3.

provoke feelings (make them feel). Because: in this way I can transmit to them some reasons why I consider this book worth reading. characters. arouse curiosity (both feel and do something). As-You-Go Activity 3. Means: Because: 3.1. Example: Main objective (in the previous box): I want my audience to think: 'this is a great book'. influence behavior (make them do what you want).). stimulate new ideas (think).Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content • • • • • • • • sell (do something).Means Because: 43 . explore (do). Means (in the box below): to inform (let them know about the plot. Write your answer here: 1. setting. Means: Because: 2. etc. get support (think and perhaps do something). motivate (both to think and do something).1 A.3. 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.

The mere fact that you have thought of setting objectives and the means to achieving them will benefit you a great deal. 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. It's not the blank screen that triggers this 'syndrome' (also known as the 'writer's block'). It is insufficient preliminary thinking work.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content It is practically impossible to give you a 'right answer' to these questions. Writers often speak about the paralyzing effect of a blank sheet of paper or a computer screen. Then I came up with a rudimentary plan: basically the headings of the units and some content bullet points. Unless you've really 'wrestled' with your topic. 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. summary and headings must come before you actually start writing the text of your presentation.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. For example. 3. Two words of advice: • TIPS • Your topic. you'll now focus on creating the content of your presentation. 44 . After discussing how you can set the objectives of a presentation. Read the following 'tricks' which might help. Don’t forget to bring the answer to this activity to the tutorial to discuss it.2. no staring at the paper (regardless of how long and hard you're doing it) will get your presentation written. 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'. Don't panic. if you wish to do so.

you may be surprised how useful this technique can turn out to be.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content If you allow yourself time and space.2 A. The Queen of England speaks only for approximately five minutes in her customary Christmas message. issues or aspects that came to your mind? Write your answer here: 3. and you'll be able to shape them into a presentation. As-You-Go Activity 3. Many good ideas may come from this. Don't be afraid to let your mind wander. As a general rule. ideas will come. accepting an award) and up to 60 minutes (academic lectures). Tradition has established how long most types of speeches should normally be. Again.3. is 'brainstorming'.g.4 Judging the duration Before you begin drafting your presentation. As you saw in Unit 1. In general. which I'm certain you're familiar with and would use in the classroom. Anyway. you’ll already know how long your presentation 45 . for approximately three hours each day. no speech should be longer than 30 minutes. the most widely used format is (as shown in Unit 1. speeches can last for as little as two minutes (e. As far as presenting at conferences is concerned. humans cannot concentrate in order to absorb new information for a very long time. Another useful technique. 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. too) 20 + 10 (twenty minutes for presenting and ten minutes for answering questions). if you 'do your homework' properly and go through the housekeeping stage.2. Try to use techniques like the 'mental free-fall'. To finish this section.1 in this unit. This is something similar to day-dreaming. He addressed the legislation assembly and spoke for eleven days.3. In contrast.2 What were the things. For several minutes try to note down whatever crosses your mind when referring to your topic. try the brainstorming technique in connection to your presentation topic for the literature club referred to in the Imagine tasks and A.

to draft your presentation. Now it's time for you to start writing something down. 3. it's time for you to do it. and jotting down whatever comes to your mind. i. I came up with some ideas. Once you know how long your presentation will be. 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'. do take into account that speaking for more than thirty minutes could turn out to be another of the 'deadliest sins' of presenting.1 Putting your thoughts in order When putting your thoughts in order you should basically try and group them in some logical way (e. 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. try to take this into account when deciding what (and how many) ideas you are going to put into your presentation. By using the technique of brainstorming. you have the liberty to decide how long your presentation will be. If. under some broader categories) and decide which you are going to keep and which you are going to throw away. In the box below I arranged them under three broader categories.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content should be.g.3. on the other hand.e.3 Drafting your presentation I explained earlier techniques like mental-free fall or brainstorming. 46 . 3.

3. brackets. Write your answer here: Whatever answer you gave should be right. Once again.2. Write about 150 words on one of your 'broader categories presented in A.4 47 . write as you speak. In the following activity you are going to practise writing something down. If it sounds right and makes sense. Although it may look odd. After all. A. Then read it aloud.2 Writing something down Now the real work begins.3.3? Write your answer in the box.3.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content As-You-Go Activity 3. don’t forget to take your answer to the tutorial to get feedback from your fellow students and your tutor. you may not want to sound too bookish. Your writing may be full of dashes. Don't worry about the 'niceties' of writing: concentrate on what to say and just write.3 How would you group your ideas presented as an answer to A. According to the time you have. • TIPS At this stage. You can revise what you've written and correct grammatical or lexical 'howlers' or blunders later. you will have the makings of a good speech writer.3. exclamation signs or even occasional 'liberties' with grammar.2 in Section 4.3 A. Let me remind you that what is important here is that you to write freely and speedily without worrying too much about the language. formal or 'written-like' when you present. as long as you have a logical principle behind your categories and ordering system.4. this is the style you may want to adopt in your real presentation. As-You-Go Activity 3.3. 3. you need to think carefully in order to select the issues that you really want to speak about.

my take-home message would probably be: • If teachers all studied presentation skills in their training program. The language will be yours and you won't sound as if you've borrowed someone else's script.3 Creating your main message Experienced presenters call the main message of a presentation 'the take-home message'. Write your 'take-home' message for your presentation (the one on a book or story in your literature club). As-You-Go Activity 3.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. Do you remember.3. 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. I imagined giving a presentation on teachers and presentation skills? If I ever delivered such a presentation. easy to remember and thought provoking.3. Take it to the tutorial and get feedback. It needs to be catchy. their pupils would be better and happier. 3.5.5 A. It is the essence of your talk in a phrase or sentence. when earlier in this unit. 48 . Write your answer in the box. 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. If you had only 30 seconds to speak.

Second. You're going to see 'a classical' approach to presentation writing: the three-section structure of a presentation: Thus.4. What is structure? It is a method to take you safely from your opening remarks to your conclusion. it is the time when you are getting the full attention of your audience. a summary.1 The overview The overview is the introduction of your presentation and it is very important for two reasons. a presentation should have: • • • an overview. So both its design and delivery are critical to the success of your presentation. a body.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content My take-home message is: 3. the overview provides a brief outline of your talk. 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. and for this reason it is like a blueprint or map: it helps the listener follow your presentation all the way through. on the one hand and on the other. First. the opening is the time of maximum tension for you. I'll refer to each of these in the next sections. One word of advice before we begin discussing the structure of a presentation: remember that 'less is more'. and then tell them what you've told them. 3. Unfortunately few presenters appreciate how little an audience is able to absorb from a presentation. tell them what you want to tell them. It is the part that gives the audience an insight into its theme and structure.

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.6.an agenda of the one. a book/story presentation for the literature club. the hook . followed by the promise that all will be revealed during the presentation)..' the map . You may choose from: .e.opportunity (explain the benefits obtained from listening). and three messages are the maximum that you audience can absorb). . A. you may say something like: 'My presentation/talk will give an insight into understanding/appreciation of.mystery (a statement that arouses curiosity. Overview planner Purpose (what your presentation will do) and take-home message: As-You-Go Activity 3. .the device that you use in order to grab your audience's attention. two or maximum three sub-topic headings that you'll be covering (each sub-topic will have a keypoint or message.3..breath-taker (a startling statement or powerful rhetorical question that will immediately grab attention). Complete the format given in the box below.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content Get it right by including the following: TIPS the purpose . if you want to inform or educate.6 Map (subtopics and messages) • • 50 . .fear or threat (explain the consequences or penalties for not listening). i.

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. educational approach. views. analogies. Decide on the message of each sub-topic.. emphasis (various signals to ensure the impact of your message): .. 'crucial'.Use words such as: 'key'.Use appropriate intonation.' . Remember that the message is what you want your audience to remember.. TIPS 51 . . 'vital'). integration (by involving your audience and relating it to their situation and experiences). ideas. anecdotes.4. When constructing your sub-topics you will need a mixture of: • • • • information (facts. elaboration (examples.2 The body For the informative.Use rhetorical questions such as: 'Ask yourself.' or 'Just think for a moment.Use summaries: after every key point and don't forget to summarize the message at the end of each sub-topic. . 'critical'.. 3. arrange the subtopics in a step-by step sequence ranging from the simplest to the most difficult. opinions). research findings to prove views and opinions). In order to ensure effectiveness of the subtopics you may need some tips.

Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content As-You-Go Activity 3.7 A. As seen earlier. so they simply do not have time for the final summary. summarizing can be used to emphasize the message of each sub-topic. even rushing. 52 . the summary is crucial in your presentation (as it establishes what the listener will take with him/her). sometimes. You'll now continue with the summary.4. who do so. Now begin planning the body. well done! If you enjoyed this activity you can practise more by continuing with your other sub-points (in your free time). 3.3. In A. are not very skilled at timing their presentations. very frequently presenters skip it. However. 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. talking speedily at the end. you planned the overview of your presentation. You will only need to refer to one of your subtopics (even if you have more than one). the one that you should make sure you plan.5.7. 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). Complete the format given in the box below. They take too long to present the body. prepare and perform at the end of the presentation. In this section. As with the overview. nevertheless. This happens because the presenters. we will deal with the final summary.3 The summary It is useful to use the summary as a technique throughout your presentation.3.

should connect to the 'gain' from the overview.8. A. complete the box below. like the overview. is a time of full audience attention. emphasize the key message of your presentation (if possible by connecting to the gain or to the hook used in the overview). Remember that audiences retain best the first and the last things they hear. 53 . Once again.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. the summary should: TIPS • • • repeat the main messages from each of the sub-topics. Summary planner Message of sub-topic 1: As-You-Go Activity 3. contain a 'catchy' memorable phrase which. ideally. The summary.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content To be effective. Finally write the summary plan of your presentation (the presentation for the lit-club).3.

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. so read on.6 Send-Away Assignment 3 Send-Away Assignment Have another look at your presentation plan: the overview.8 along with the mark. pay attention to the relevance of the content.7 and A. Also. send your SAA 3 to your tutor. 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).6. 54 . at least new tips and that now you feel more confident about what to include in a presentation. You’ll get feedback on A.3. I have a pleasant surprise for you. Again. I hope that you've learned. A. the body and the summary (that you've already done as Activities: 6. if not new things.Planning and Preparing Your Presentation: Content 3. since you worked so hard in this unit. You've done many activities. 3.3.3.3. A.. As for this unit's assignment..5 Pulling the strings together You have worked hard to complete this unit. make sure that the lack of accuracy doesn’t obscure comprehension.5. 7 and 8 in this unit. Put everything together and. how to get started and how to structure a presentation.

design audience-friendly visual aids.4 Preparing the audience for a visual 4.2.2 Audience-friendly visual aids 4.Preparing Your Visuals Unit 4 PREPARING YOUR VISUALS Motto: A good visual is a fantastic friend.3 Pulling the strings together 4.3 Designing your visual aids 4.2 Visual aids 4. know how to make your audience cope with your visual aids more easily.1 Introduction 4. identify ways to choose certain types of visual aids 3.3.2. Unit Outline Page Unit objectives 4. 4.2 Choosing your visual aids 4. decide on what visual aids you need for your presentation.1 Types of visual aids 4. 55 .5 Answer to As-You-Go Activity 4.2.3. a bad one is a potent enemy.2. 2.2.1 Why use visual aids? 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: 1.4 Send-Away Assignment 4 4.2.

This could be difficult to achieve if you rely too frequently on your notes (even worse if you read them throughout your presentation). I do think that in such cases presenters demonstrate a lack of audience sensitivity to say the least (some might call it downright rude). 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. To put it differently. refers to the content of a presentation. As far as the four Ps of better presenting are concerned. in this section. in addition to the previous one (Unit 3). while in this unit I will pay attention to the visual aspects. your audience is of the utmost importance throughout the entire presentation process. 4. I get equally annoyed when the visuals are misused. In what follows. For this reason. This unit. 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. Nevertheless. on which the organizational principle of this course relies (as you saw in the Introduction). verbal and visual). For this reason. 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. 56 . is thus mandatory. in Units 2 and 3 I dealt with the verbal aspects.2 Visual aids As you saw earlier in the course. this unit deals with the third P (which stands for Preparing). if in Unit 1 I referred to all aspects related to presentations (non-verbal. what types may be available and how to design them (in order to make them your friend and not your enemy).Preparing Your Visuals 4.1 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). I'm going to focus on visual aids: what they are.

Visuals are seen as serving a dual purpose: • They can help you with your presentation (by providing you with cues and notes). Moreover.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. 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.interest (they add variety to your presentation and attract more attention). • They transmit your message(s) to the audience in a visual way and thus they increase: .clarity (they make a presentation easier for the audience to understand).1 Write your answer here: Now compare your answer to what in general presenters do (and teachers for that matter. So.4.retention (they make a more lasting impression on your audience). presenters not only frequently use various types of visual aids but also find them indispensable.Preparing Your Visuals 4. . . .credibility (they make you look prepared and professional and help you create a more persuasive impact on your audience).2. 57 . are ongoing presenters).

2. emphasize a point to check that the audience fully understands. summarize your talk (or a section of your talk). stressing the key points you want the audience to remember. or explain a difficult idea. and thirdly to take into account the equipment available. I'll present the advantages and disadvantages of the most frequently used visual aids in the next section. you need to start designing them. Here are some possible ways in which visuals can help you in your presentations. 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.Preparing Your Visuals 4. 58 .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.2 A. You can use visuals to help you to: • • • • define terms or jargon. TIPS Once you have decided what you want your visual aids to do for you.4.2 Choosing your visual aids As-You-Go Activity 4.

• stick-ons (large sheets of paper which can be stuck or hung on walls). 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.3.3 Here are some of the most frequently used types of visual aids.Preparing Your Visuals 4. projector and screen).2. • slides (slide projector and screen).4. High-tech visual aids (which require special equipment for projection) • overhead transparencies (OHP and screen). • videos (video player and TV set). • 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). 59 .1 Types of visual aids A.3 Designing your visual aids Designing your visual aids will be dependent on two aspects: the type and the format. • PowerPoint slides (compute. Both of these aspects will be discussed in the following sections. 4.3 What types of visual aids do you normally use in your every day teaching? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 4.2.

which the audience needs to examine individually. . • you are presenting in a more formal situation. Advantages They are especially useful when: • you are leading a brainstorming session.). meanings which lose their negative connotations. your presentation will have a more lasting effect).to write down anything you need to as you go. though very frequently employed. One dictionary defines them as objects 'that are given to a person who is poor'. As far as the content is concerned. informal atmosphere. • you don't have too much time at your disposal: . etc. • you don't have neat handwriting: it can look messy. • a detailed illustration of an idea. a set of exercises. 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. and it is best to use them if you need to elicit thoughts from your audience. etc. I am sure that you use them quite a lot in your regular teaching (as task sheets. in this way. 60 . you need to get used to it. • extra material that could not be included in the presentation (probably for time constraints). handouts are particularly useful if you want your audience to have a written record of: • a summary of your key points. concept. doesn't have a positive connotation. • you want to encourage a relaxed. as it has gained other meanings as well. texts.Preparing Your Visuals Each of these types of visual aids have their advantages and disadvantages. in a recent Hornby dictionary. flipcharts and stick-ons share the same characteristic: you cannot design them in advance. etc. even though you may not call them 'handouts'. Boards. 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. a handout is also defined as 'a document that is given to students in class that contains a summary of the lesson. For example.'. However. Handouts are written (handwritten or printed) pieces of paper (usually regular A4 sheets) that every participant in the audience gets. • a copy of your transparencies (slides). even if you don't like this term. • you want people to come up with their own ideas. examples. This label.for the audience to reflect on the answers. • you want to get feedback from the audience.

Advantages: OHTs are particularly good for: • • • keeping contact with the audience (by eliciting and writing down their thoughts. your audience could start reading all the handouts. tables. It is the machine you need to display your OHTs (I believe many big urban schools in Romania have one nowadays). There are three alternatives: • Before the presentation Have the handouts in place when the audience enters the room.Preparing Your Visuals Disadvantages As in the case of other visual aids. there are problems that the use of handouts in a presentation might raise: • • There is no guarantee they will be read. Distributing them may also prove distracting when you do it while you are presenting. and they must be relevant to the point you are making. the most useful thing is that OHTs can either be prepared beforehand or they can be used spontaneously (written on with special pens). etc. displaying key words or points to illustrate the structure of your presentation. • At the end of the presentation During the presentation you should let your audience know that they'll receive handouts covering certain points. • During the presentation Your handouts must be distributed quickly. However. Overhead transparencies (OHTs) are probably the most popular visual aid in use today. ideas. This will avoid the class taking unnecessary notes.. an enlarged image will be projected onto whatever lightly colored surface you have at your disposal (a screen. etc. and this constitutes an advantage and accounts for their popularity. etc. figures. a white wall. OHPs are easy to use. but I'm going to give you some more details here. They were already referred to earlier in this course. graphs. displaying diagrams. 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.). why and how you're going to distribute your handouts. You probably know what an overhead projector (OHP = "retroproiector" in Romanian) is. • TIPS You can avoid the distribution and distraction problems if you think in advance when. Once switched on. 61 . an overhead image is created by placing an A4 sheet of transparent acetate onto a light box. In short.). 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.

you can check the visuals by looking at the laptop screen and not over your shoulder (or even worse. They can act as a barrier between the presenter and the audience (especially if the OHP is big and blocks the audience's view). 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. 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. 62 . There is a smooth and often imaginative transition between slides. you may have big problems. They can be a distraction if the image is directed away from the speaker or if the machine is too noisy.Preparing Your Visuals • Disadvantages: displaying complex illustrations (by masking some parts and then gradually revealing them. waste precious time and practically ruin your presentation.2. too: • • • • They can look messy (especially if handwritten). While presenting. They also tend to turn into the norm because they look professional and modern. for example).) PowerPoint slides require sophisticated technology: a computer (generally a laptop).2. (In Section 4. by turning your back to the audience). They might pose some problems. Though the equipment is expensive and complicated. a video projector and a suitable screen. you will think about and see how you can make your visuals more 'reader-friendly'. PowerPoint slides are becoming more and more fashionable. and hence more likely to go wrong.3. They can be illegible (if the handwritten or printed letters are too small).

2 Audience-friendly visual aids A.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. 4.4 Preparing the audience for a visual As-You-Go Activity 4.4 Think of how you can make your visual aids look more attractive and reader-friendly? Write your thoughts here: As-You-Go Activity 4.Preparing Your Visuals 4.3.5 A.2.4.2.4.5 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.4.4. Preparing your audience for what they are going to see has two major benefits: 63 .

' 'For . Give interpretations and/or any comments. You have extra time to position your visual correctly. If you intend to use a flipchart. So far in this unit you have continued to focus on the third P which refers to the preparation stage of better presenting.' 'Let's move on now and look at the .... However. or OHTs. you saw how you can prepare visuals to help you and your audience when you present. I'll also explain the SAA for this unit. 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. Only point out the key features which you want your audience focused on. This helps your audience focus and in this way you can avoid being misunderstood..' 'The next OHT/slide/handout shows. Add other related information (which is not on the visual) in order to emphasize the points. In the final section I'll summarize some of the key points made in this unit....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.' It is similarly important to explain to your audience what the visual shows.. Practise and Perform. the situation is very different/similar.. Practise using whatever equipment you intend to use – even a white/blackboard before the presentation.. help you to define concepts or emphasize key points) before you start. TIPS 64 .' 'If we turn to the . prepare as much as you can before the event.. for . Here are some useful expressions which might help you introduce your visual: TIPS • • • • • 'Now I'll show you the ..Preparing Your Visuals • • The audience is alert and ready. Don't leave yourself with too much writing or drawing to do while you are speaking: it can distract your audience. interrupt your presentation and create long pauses for your audience (who gets bored quite easily. 4. and starts fidgeting as I'm sure you've already observed while teaching).g. when commenting on your visual information try to: • • TIPS • • • Keep headlines and other information at a minimum. More precisely. 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).

PowerPoint slide (sent as a hard copy). For your SAA 4 you will have to design at least two visuals to help you in your presentation. OHT. Remember the six-by-six rule for OHTs and slides (six words per line and six lines per transparency or slide). Just follow the KISS principle: Keep It Short and Simple. beware of using every bell and whistle available. main message. 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. When marking this assignment. you’ll need to pay particular attention to the appropriacy of the style and of your language used. To help you further. which you may choose to fill in. of that presentation. please go through the plan again and remember the objectives. etc. 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: . If you're using PowerPoint software. You may choose any of the following: handout. accuracy is also very important if you want to achieve the desired effect on the target reader. besides the content of your visual aid which has to be relevant and clear. Similarly. 4.4 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. easy to read (no matter if you use handwriting or hi-tech software). for this assignment you need to observe very carefully all the criteria if you want to get a good mark. Avoid flashy.to help you by giving you cues and prompts and .to let your audience see what you are saying as they hear you say it. To refresh your memory. Texts should be clear. 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). Always speak while showing them. Don't 'cram' too much on one sheet. 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. They can turn out to be tiring and unreadable. and you'll be just fine. structure. 65 . on the next page you have an example of an OHT landscape format.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. To put it differently.

Preparing Your Visuals Title:_________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ • _____________________________ 66 .

sparingly (too many colors can become distracting).for handouts use 12 point fonts. . if you use wordprocessing on computers.Preparing Your Visuals 4.bullets which are used for a checklist with no priority or sequence value.numbers which are used to indicate a priority order. OHTs or PowerPoint slides: • • Use the six-by-six rule: six words per line and six lines per transparency/slide (excluding the title).for transparencies and slides use at least 28 point fonts.5 Answer to As-You-Go Activity 4. and make sure that there is enough contrast between the background and text or image. . • Separate the individual points on your visual by using: .letters which are used to indicate a sequence. Design your visuals in 'landscape' (horizontal format which gives you more symmetrical working area) rather than 'portrait' (vertical format which may entail.never use purely capitals as it makes comprehension more difficult. spreading the bullet point items over two lines). • Use appropriate letter sizes/fonts .for each and every person in the room to read clearly. for example. 67 .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. • Use upper and lower case letters . . • Use colors . here are some guidelines: .

4. to interpret and deal with the audience’s reaction during your presentation..1. and all the men and women merely players.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: 1.2 Identifying the sources of your stress 5.3 Techniques for stress and anxiety management 5.4.3 Handling questions 5.1 Why should you do it? 5.3 Performing on 'the big day' 5.2 How can your audience 'talk' to you? 5.1.3..4. understand why it is important to practise your presentation.2.2. 68 .5 Pulling the strings together 5.3.'' (William Shakespeare) Unit Outline Page Unit objectives 5.1 How stressed are you? 5.3.1.Practising and Performing UNIT 5 PRACTISING AND PERFORMING Motto: 'All world's a stage.4 Dealing with your audience 5.2 Practising your presentation 5. When and how should you do it? 5. where and how you might practise your presentation.1 Introduction 5. decide when.2. 3.3.1 Dealing with stress and anxiety 5.1 What can annoy your audience? 5.4. identify ways to deal with stress and anxiety. 2.

Section 1. you should now have a detailed plan and some of the visual aids for a presentation (SAAs 3 and 4).1 In your opinion. Similarly. Then you are going to focus on Performance. verbal and visual) and you paid particular attention to the non-verbal aspects (e.g. please bear it in mind that. is it necessary to practise (or. Finally I'll summarize the most important issues.2 Practising your presentation If you worked diligently and prepared the SAAs set so far in this course. as some presenters put it.4. Let's see if there is anything else you can to do to turn such a presentation into a big success. A. to rehearse) a presentation? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5. In this unit you're also going to see how you can avoid pitfalls during the performance stage by practicing your presentation. 5. simultaneous role. voice or eye-contact). 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.Practising and Performing 5. it might be useful for you to revise Unit 1. before going on with Unit 5. For this reason.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.5. and I'll set a SAA for you. when presenting. 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). all the three aspects mentioned play an equally important.

you need to practise your presentations. 5. that you can't possibly practise your normal. Think of when you would choose to do it. Nevertheless. how you would proceed.1 Why should you do it? There are a number of reasons why it is useful to practise your presentation. • identify any verbal and non-verbal pitfalls (such as distracting mannerisms) and then work to avoid them. More formal or unfamiliar situations (such as conference presentations. 5. • identify any points you want to emphasise and decide how you'll do it: . or even lessons that you know will be observed by other fellow teachers). . Write your thoughts here: Imagine 70 . • time your presentation and see whether you need to leave out (or add up) some more material. if you want to be successful. By practising. being a teacher myself and constantly presenting (either in my lessons or in various other situations).Practising and Performing I am well aware. lesson presentations all the time.2. In other words: the more you practise. However. you can make the idea of speaking in public less intimidating. • get used to talking through your presentation.by changing the volume of your voice.2 When and how should you do it? Imagine you want to practise your SAA 3 and 4 presentation.by pausing. there are occasions when. and give reasons for your choice.2. the less anxious you will feel.by repeating the information. definitely require practice. you will be able to: TIPS • find the right pace for your delivery. I think the most important is that by practising your presentation. .

you may have to do it at a different location (possibly even your home). It is consequently of utmost importance to reflect whether you: TIPS • • • • spoke clearly (e. Ideally. Reflect on what you've done and collect feedback from your observer(s). you can find their suggestions below.g.Practising and Performing If you want to compare your answer to what experienced presenters say. when you do it you: • • • Check on your timing. 71 . used appropriate gestures (e. if you have the possibility. 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).you will learn so much from playing it back. in front of a mirror. 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. or pacing the room incessantly). However. Tell him/her what to look for and then ask for feedback. they say that it is best to practise delivering your presentation in the same room where you will be presenting. it's not only what you do during the practice that's important but also what you do afterwards. In other words. It might be equally difficult to then reflect on all these issues and try to improve. this might prove very difficult and consequently. if possible. not swallowing the words). through eyecontact. If you cannot record yourself talking. Try to observe yourself (or if possible have somebody observe you). kept constant touch with your audience. not waving your arms constantly. ask a colleague or a friend to act as your audience. This is why it's very useful. you should practise your presentations very close in time to your actual presentation day. If this is not possible either. to video-record your presentation . just do it by yourself. The previous day. etc. would be a perfect time to do it.g. smiled and looked enthusiastic. Wherever you do it. you need to make sure that. Similarly.

2 There are a number of different ways in which stress manifests itself. There are two main factors that you need to take into account: yourself and your audience.2 Have you ever experienced anxiety when you had to do something in front of an audience? If yes. Almost anyone who has to give a presentation will probably feel the same. as the success of your presentation mostly depends on these two factors. A.1 Dealing with stress and anxiety Stress is one of the most popular syndromes of the 'modern' world we live in. Indeed work is one of the most common factors to cause stress. 5. the most frequently met symptoms of stress.5. in its turn.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'. Anxiety is considered. One of the most famous British actors. Many presenters (even experienced ones) recognize that no matter how much time they have devoted to preparing and practising.Practising and Performing 5. please take the answer to this activity to the tutorial. Sir Lawrence Olivier. I myself have heard 72 .3. what exactly did you feel? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5. sweating palms and paleness. they still experience being 'ill with nerves' just before they start to speak. I deeply believe that there are very few people out there who haven't been touched by it (particularly if they're working people). Becoming aware of how to 'manage' yourself and your audience can be vital. The symptoms are depressingly familiar: a thumping heart. 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). If you want to share them with us. trembling legs.

3. I get very upset by problems during the school day. All these unpleasant sensations are side-effects of the body reacting to stress and anxiety. 1. 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 . This can explain why (if the case) you're experiencing some extreme (or mild) anxiety symptoms (before presenting or on other occasions). 6. I feel my work is affecting my health. Work seems to become more of a burden every day.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. 5. I feel work is affecting my home life. 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 feel I am overloaded and unable to cope with the demands made on me. I wake up at night thinking about problems at work. I get tense and frustrated by events at school. 9. 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'. 7. 2.Practising and Performing some interesting complaints. 3. 10.1. At the end of a school day I feel emotionally exhausted. 8. I find myself worrying a lot about problems at school. 5. I wake up in the morning feeling exhausted and dreading the workday ahead. 4.

so don’t forget to take your answer to the tutorial. sharing these things with your fellow students and your tutor might help you even more in dealing with your stress. Unfortunately. SelfAwareness Test 74 . the next step (which might help you deal with your stress) is to identify your sources of stress. Moreover.2 Identifying the sources of your stress List your top five sources of stress. 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. Start with the greater source of stress: 1. 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. _______________________________________________ 4. My greatest source of stress (as in the case of most working/career oriented people) is job-related.Practising and Performing Personally. Secondly. Congratulations if you managed to obtain better scores. you need to think carefully about how to deal with them in order to minimize their effects. I found out that I had to think hard and analyse my life deeply in order to see what worries me most. Whether you are experiencing high or moderate stress. if you feel like it.1. or just 'tips' in this respect. No matter what your biggest worries or sources of stress might be.3. _______________________________________________ When doing this. _______________________________________________ 5. _______________________________________________ 2. Still. 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. _______________________________________________ 3. this test shows that I am experiencing a high level of stress. But even the fact that you have been able to identify your sources of stress will help you deal with it. it is impossible to offer 'recipes'. 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. financial worries sometimes prompt me to commit myself to more jobs than I can 'handle' in a professional way. Further on maybe I can help by sharing with you what I and other presenters do to control stress before and while presenting. 5.

3 Techniques for stress and anxiety management So.3. write a positive statement which could allow you to manage each of the fears.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). But before that. Write your answer here: • before a presentation I: As-You-Go Activity 5. do the following activity which draws on your own experiences of dealing with stress.1.5. 75 . A.3 • during a presentation I: You can now compare your answers to the 'tips' provided below. General Experienced presenters consider that there are two 'golden' general rules that you can apply successfully in order to control your stress and anxiety. After you have completed the list. in this section you will see some techniques that you may choose to try and adopt to handle your anxiety caused by stress. TIPS • Mind your attitude Shifting your thoughts of public speaking from negative to positive can minimize the amount of nervousness you feel. I only need to share information with the audience – I can use my own style of communication'.Practising and Performing 5. 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. 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.

So do not mention your nervousness as an excuse: it does look unprofessional and you needlessly draw attention to this emotion. When you arrive. Continue this exercise for a few minutes. computer and projector. • Use deep breathing exercises When you are nervous your breathing becomes quick and shallow. • 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. 76 . • Talk to the audience Try to meet and talk to some members of your audience before the presentation. hold it for two seconds and then exhale for five seconds. It will help you feel more confident. • Use tension-relaxing exercises These exercises involve tensing each muscle in your body. Slower.Practising and Performing • Visualise Imagine yourself in front of the audience giving a successful presentation. and you may start sighing. and then slowly allowing your muscles to relax. Visualisation is commonly recommended by psychotherapists in any anxiety syndromes and can be effective in reducing your anxiety about speaking as well. • 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). pens or chalk) to make sure they are working properly. holding for ten seconds. Usually. 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. Before presenting Here's some more specific advice for what you can do before your presentation actually starts to control your stress and anxiety. Imagine a 'friendly' audience. Some friendly faces in the audience will help you relax a little. You also need some time to mentally prepare yourself. The audience won't be as critical of your presentation as you'll probably be. Your brain is not oxygenated properly. deeper breaths will increase the supply of oxygen which will help you relax and concentrate. 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). you are your own worst critic. Keep the glass of water nearby to keep your mouth from drying up.

Practising and Performing While presenting Even though after you start presenting. So don't let a simple mistake spoil the rest of your presentation.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. simply refer to your notes and keep going. If you remain calm and go on presenting. If you happen to have a memory lapse and can't remember a portion of your presentation. the audience is not likely to know you skipped anything. • Pick up a friendly face As you take your place in front of the audience. 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 should relax a bit. you'll focus on how to manage 'the other human half' of a presentation: your audience. By doing this. move on to the next point that you remember. However. In what follows. • Do not fear making a mistake Nearly all speakers make a mistake at some time. However. there are some techniques which can help you with some of the stress-related problems which might appear while you're presenting. don't overdo it – too much motion can prove distracting. pick up a few friendly faces and make eye-contact with them. the many faces looking back at you may be intimidating. the audience will be less intimidating if you remember that every audience is made up of individuals. You can reduce these effects by lowering your pitch and increase the volume that comes from your abdomen and lungs. 77 . • Deal with voice problems Your voice may crack or become shaky when you are nervous. nervousness can cause the pitch of your voice to raise. You will also be able to read and interpret the 'signals' they are sending to you. As you begin your presentation. Another way is to use gestures and movements which will help you to release tension and emphasize key points. Similarly. you will be able to understand and control your audience by avoiding to annoy or bore them. You have so far seen what you can do to manage yourself when you deliver your talk. 5. • Make your delivery appear relaxed You may simply do that by projecting confidence. not from your throat.

unclear presentations and starts showing it. 78 . • 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.' is one of the give-away phrases.. scratched and fidgeted my way through countless presentations.. If you don't know what you're doing. how can the audience be expected to follow? An audience quickly loses interests in unfocused.5. Having yawned. 'I see that we're running out of time and sadly I didn't even get to the main point. If you are there presenting.4 TIPS Just as almost everyone these days is a couch-potatotelevision-critic. 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.Practising and Performing 5. Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5. so all of us are able to judge the quality of a presentation. I have decided to 'tip' you with a list of habits or 'syndromes' (accompanied by brief explanations) which most audiences find irritating. Try to think what the things were that annoyed you the most.4 There were many occasions on which you were a member of an audience.4.1 What can annoy your audience? A. I'm very nervous' are not what the audience wants to hear. You can compare your answer to the list and see the similarities and differences.

dropping names or assuming that the audience is at best ill-informed and at worst stupid will surely alienate and insult your audience. 79 . If you really can't project your voice. • Inappropriate use of technology and visuals Audiences expect you to be able to use the technology chosen. make sure it works and know how to operate it. Speaking at the wrong speed is one of the quickest ways to alienate the audience. and they don't expect you to use it apologetically. So make sure that your presentation has been carefully constructed and that you've prepared and practised enough. • Absence of signposting If you. A 'soft' voice is not an excuse. Apart from that. Similarly. are not aware of the need to identify different parts of the presentation and signpost changes and key parts. the audience will consider it a sign of poor time management. 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. the audience will quickly become confused and they will switch off. probably watch you carefully waiting to see how you make a fool of yourself!) So. Similarly.Practising and Performing • Misjudgment of the audience The audience is there not for you to show off but to benefit from your talk. • Inaudibility This is one of the most frequent reasons for provoking audience displeasure. if you resort to 'rushing through' the presentation to make up for lost time or to cram as much information as possible. So parading intelligence and knowledge (by cramming the talk with difficult to understand jargon or obscure Latin quotations). Constantly looking for the 'right button' or placing OHTs upside-down suggest carelessness. • Deviation from the topic Presenters who keep 'straying' from the stated topic of their talk are not seen as 'professional'. (They will. it also shows bad manners. if you are going to use equipment. 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. nevertheless. In this way you won't be tempted to 'start beating around the bush'. the presenter.

audiences are not pleased by presenters who appear to have 'taken' their presentations 'off the shelf' and (maybe) 'dusted it off' a bit.e. For this reason. Audiences can always 'tell' when this happens.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.5 A. more entertaining. it wants to be entertained. an audience will react badly if you hardly bother to disguise the fact that you're simply recycling information. enthusiasm and passion for what you're doing (like any regular actors on the stage). You must leave an impression of spontaneity. expects something in return for its participation. 5.4. In the next section you'll learn to read the signs that your audiences might send to you in any presentation context.5. 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. that it is just as disconcerting for the speaker who can't keep still and moves about like a caged animal. but the audience will quickly tire and begin to look for other. You might feel more secure by standing/sitting statue-like.5 Have you managed to identify some of the 'signs' that your usual 'audience' (i. s/he is looked upon as a performer. One way of spotting such a recycled presentation is the absence of any regional reference. Remember. for the duration of the presentation. energy. In this section you have looked at the most important 'don'ts' as far as your audience is concerned. Similarly. Anyone who accepts the challenge of being a presenter also has to accept that. Ideally. your students) send to you? What are they? Write your answer here: 80 . diversions. though. you should never assume that you can get away with simply reading a text. • Lack of performance An audience. For example.2 How can your audience 'talk' to you? As-You-Go Activity 5. quite rightly.

g. to read the 'warning signals' which your audience may send. Most people accept protocols of communication: e. if it collectively senses that it is not getting what it wants. smile and even nod. This sounds more like 'sabotaging' your presentation. Remember that people behave differently in an audience from how they behave individually or in a small group. this is unlikely to happen if you write and deliver your speech appropriately.Practising and Performing There are many ways in which your audience can 'talk' to you without using any words. people will start gazing at the windows. Grab their attention again. yawning is very catchy. and they support you in your talk. on the other hand. TIPS 81 . moving their chairs or dropping papers. • Walking out The most obvious sign of tension or displeasure is when individuals start walking out on you and your presentation. 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. • Restlessness When people start shuffling their feet. coughing and yawning If the room starts sounding like a doctor's waiting-room during an epidemic. 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. knows that if the members of the audience look at you. An audience. however. and it is considered a 'drastic' sign. It is more difficult. They are giving you their full attention. Do something to remedy the situation. • Withdrawal of eye-contact This is the first early-warning signal. watches or at each other. If not interested. They are not as obvious as the positive ones. it's time to start worrying and to do something about it.'). However. at their feet. Consequently. 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. Everybody who has ever presented. will get restless and you'll recognize their unease in the following four ways discussed below. you're going to look at some of the most common warning signals. or unable to follow (or in any other way made to feel uncomfortable). they don't interrupt. and certainly don't walk out on someone. • Throat clearing. Beware.

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. This is when they may best judge whether their presentation had the desired impact or not. it might be equally useful to look at some strategies to encourage questions. 5.6 When in an audience. A.5. 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 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.Practising and Performing Interpreting the warning signs sent by your audience will obviously not automatically trigger their attention. (It is embarrassing and awkward both for you and your 82 . but on ways of handling and encouraging questions. Before looking at some useful strategies for handling questions. 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).4. however the focus won't be on content-related issues. most experienced presenters (as it has been mentioned earlier in this course) look forward to this 'feedback' session. In this section. On the contrary. Many presenters dread this session as they fear being asked 'difficult' questions which they might not be able to answer (and appear foolish). do you generally like to ask the presenters questions? Why (not)? Write your answer here: As-You-Go Activity 5.3 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.

answer briefly. use a euphemism: 'I don't have this information at hand but I'll provide the answer next class/later. relate your answers to points you have made in your presentation. 83 . bluff (by taking a risk to 'invent' an answer if you don't know the right one). uninteresting or even foolish. check: 'Does that answer your question?'. Ask a question yourself: 'A question often asked is. • • • Do Don't • • • • • One more word of advice referring to your entire presentation: never end it with the question-and-answer session. 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. look relaxed. sip some water. The following suggestions will make it 'safer' for people to ask questions: TIPS Allow time. They are too nervous to speak in public. answer the question to the whole group.'. repeat the question in your own words to ensure you have understood and everyone else has heard. no matter how strongly you feel about the issue or how 'right' you think you are. Avoid one-to-one debates by postponing them for a later occasion. be defensive and apologetic. embarrass the questioner in any way (by appearing patronising.. • • • • • • • listen carefully to the question. Ask people to discuss with a partner any concerns they might have and share these points with you. superior or even by ignoring a question). during this conference. • Put 'a plant' in the audience (someone who you ask in advance to ask the first question and get the ‘ball rolling’)..' argue with anyone. keeping to the point. divide the question into parts (if it is a complex question) and state what each is before you answer. Allow time to end with a brief summary and then finish with a positive closing statement.Practising and Performing audience to have ten minutes for a question-and-answer session in which nobody wants to ask anything. say 'I don't know the answer to your question'. etc.) Members of the audience frequently express reluctance to ask questions because: • • They think that their questions might sound inappropriate.

Then you focused on the actual performance when presenting and the two major factors affecting your performance: the presenter (yourself) and the audience.e. You were also shown how you might handle the audience and the questions coming from them during the question-and-answer session. those showing that your audience was interested and attentive) 84 .g. Finally you looked at audience-related issues: what may annoy them and how the various members can show this to you. what you did in response to those signals. Send-Away Assignment Write your answers here: • list the ‘positive’ signals identified (i. what the negative used signals were. Try to identify the signals they're sending you (both positive and negative) while you're presenting something (e.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. try to observe your students more closely.6 Send-Away-Assignment 5 In one of your ordinary classes. In short. the new lesson).Practising and Performing 5. Then in Conclusions I'll summarise the most important issues discussed in this entire course and explain your final. once again I'll set an assignment to you. Then you saw some techniques that you could use to control your stress and anxiety. You were also informed on how you can make this practice more efficient. summative assignment. Write down: • • • what the positive signals consisted of. in Unit 5 you looked at the role of practising (or rehearsing) your presentation before actually doing it. 5.

if they reflect your spending time in doing what I’ve asked you to do. 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.e. You need to pay attention to accuracy too. being flexible and practising a lot. 85 . learning to ‘read’ your audience. I believe that as far as speaking in public is concerned. will focus on the content of your answer: its relevance and its clarity. drawing on your strengths and dealing with your weaknesses. let me remind why there won’t be any set answers to the Send-Away Assignment in this unit. in this case. to prevent any misunderstandings which may obscure the meaning of what you intended to transmit. Getting to know yourself.Practising and Performing • list the ‘negative’ signals: (i. any answers that you’ve given in response to Send-Away Assignment 5 should be appropriate. the marking. Consequently. So. As I want to be consistent and do what I preach. 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. are your most important aids if you want to become better presenters. there rarely are any recipes you can use.

you probably expect the final summary. I prefer to come up with a checklist of the key issues discussed. 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. Final Tips Define the main objective(s) of your talk based on what you seek to achieve: educate. 1 Final summary We have now reached the end of this course. The checklist. teach. However. Prepare. like this course. 2. instead of briefly revising the five content units of this course. have a checklist of the take-away key issues discussed in this course. Practise and Perform. persuade. needs. knowledge. is organised around the four Ps of better presenting: Plan. goals. be given your final SAA for this course. Consequently. Plan The key things you need to do at the planning stage are: • Describe your audience's: • identity. 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. etc. 86 .

most dramatic stage of the presentation process. Develop transitions. credible evidence. relevance. a clear voice. relate to your audience. Perform During the final. Practise Before an audience. video camera. a logical flow. dealing with mannerisms. mirror. a memorable close. this is what you will need to do: • Make a positive first impression: • establish eye-contact. The steps you need to take are: • • • • • • • State the main ideas/topics/messages/points. Build rapport with your audience: be sincere. eye-appeal. Prepare an opening. handling equipment and visual aids. 87 . clear key points/messages. impact. be relaxed. display confident body language. Prepare the closing. keeping eye-contact.Conclusions • Prepare Think of your 'take-home' message. the body and the final summary. visibility. results achieved. Structure the overview. say 'we' not 'you'. Prepare your visuals paying attention to their: clarity. etc. body language. practise and reflect on how you'll be dealing with the following: • • • • • • • • • • • a strong opening. Choose supporting information. be yourself.

Conclusions • Hold the attention of your audience: be enthusiastic. Just think of when you learned to swim or ride a bike. be logical. But also remember that when you learn a new skill you don't make steady progress. And why not start putting into practice what you've learned with your final SAA? 88 . So. • You learned about 90% of the words you use daily by the time you were five. project your voice. • You learned to communicate on your second birthday without grammar books or language classes. Eventually you did get what you wanted. 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. here's my final word of advice . more self-confident presenter. sell to your audience the value of your talk. if you persevere and practise the skills introduced in this course you are going to become a better. follow the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple). use appropriate body language.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. maintain eye-contact. There are periods of stagnation and even despair. • Rely on fundamentals: know your subject. express yourself clearly and concisely.

as an example. be prepared… Send your Final Assignment to your tutor. what you are going to say. You need to decide for yourself how much you are going to write. So.e. I'm happy to show you the template that I have used for my presentations in the Appendix. I hope you found it useful and enjoyable and I’m sure you’re now a better. Thank you for your patience and hard work while completing this course. My e-mail address is: gosa@mail. You'll have to design (and present. However. when you meet. 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. more confident presenter.ro 89 . 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. 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. 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. 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). structured in a clear and logical way). if your tutor decides so) a presentation on a topic of your choice in a situation that you have chosen. This will show if you planned for time and rehearsed your presentation properly.e. I’d be very grateful if you could send me any comments and suggestions that you might have concerning this course. Good luck with all your presentations in the future.dnttm. I know that after going through this course you’ll be perfectly capable of devising a template for your future presentation. You will have to send to your tutor the script of your presentation (i.

Anticipated questions and my answers ..... Date . 2 Audience Number of people .. Benefit(s) for the audience from listening to my presentation ...... 90 . Background .... • do .. Experience .. Duration of presentation .........Conclusions Appendix: A template for planning and preparing a presentation Title .. Take-home message .. • feel .. Audience expectations . Location ... 1 My main objective What I want my audience to: • think .

.. 4 The Body Planned duration… Write in detail about: sub-topics 1.. 5 The final summary Planned duration… Summarise the message of each sub-topic by saying ...... Give overview of presentation by saying ... No... of accompanying visual(s) for each sub-topic ... No.. and use the following memorable phrase . 91 . for each sub-topic . 2 or 3 .. Close by repeating the take-home message . etc.Conclusions 3 The overview Planned duration Grab attention by .... of accompanying visual(s) . message of each sub-topic . .... Draw attention to what the audience will gain (or lose by not listening) by saying ... supporting examples.

Cod poºtal 010176. Sector 1.ro IS BN 97 8- 60 6- 51 5- 13 0- 7 .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. Spiru Haret nr.ro e-mail: conversii@pmu. Bucureºti Tel: 021 305 59 99 Fax: 021 305 59 89 http://conversii.pmu. 12. Etaj 2.

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