Objectives of the lesson: The objective of this lesson is to help students be able to:
1. Develop self-confidence while presenting. 2. Use body language effectively
3. Know the importance of rehearsing presentations
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Presentation skills are important as presentations are frequently used as a means of disseminating information and influencing people. The way in which you communicate by speaking will determine how successful you will be during your life. Therefore, it is imperative that you enhance and develop your presentation skills in readiness for future employment. Some of the assessments for your programme of study may involve giving a presentation. This could take the form of an individual presentation or a group presentation. Thus, it is worthwhile spending time preparing for and delivering presentations so that you will be to develop useful skills for the workplace and for your career.
1. Preparing a presentation
Analysing the presentation. This involves answering the following questions.
• Who is the audience?
• What is the objective of the presentation? • What is the topic?
• How long is the presentation?
• What audiovisual aids will you use, for example, PowerPoint presentation.
2. Researching the presentation
This involves identifying the main elements of the presentation title and identifying key topics or themes.
3. Planning the presentation
This involves working out the order of your presentation. One frequently used presentation
structure is as follows.
• Introduction. You. The topic. The presentation – its structure and organization.
• The reasons why the presentation is important or relevant to the audience. • Implications for practice (if appropriate).
• Thank the audience for listening.
Using this structure, it is worthwhile identifying what is essential information and what is additional or supporting information. This can be looked at as essential ingredients and decorative ingredients. This is helpful as if you find that you are short of time then you can stick to the ‘essential ingredients’ and if you find that you have some ‘spare’ time then you can develop the ‘decorative ingredients.
4. Making it interesting
In addition to the factual content of your presentation think about ways of making it interesting. Think about ways of illustrating the main points: use quotations, images (charts, diagrams, ….), stories or anecdotes. Beware of trying to present a lot of numerical information since this can be very boring; detailed information is perhaps best presented using a handout.
Make the presentation more interesting by providing summary or basic information using PowerPoint. You can also use these facilities to present a graph, cartoon or a picture containing information that is most easily presented as a visual image. Don’t present too much information on each slide. A general rule is that each slide should contain no more than seven lines of information and seven words per line.
5. Getting organised
Once you have structured your presentation according to the permitted time schedule and create any additional presentational material, you can write the main points of it on plain postcards or use the notes feature of PowerPoint. Postcards look more professional than the use of A4 paper or a notebook, they are also easier to follow, as you can use one postcard for one point. People sometimes lose their place during a presentation and have to spend what seems
2like minutes finding the section they were up to – by using postcards this problem is unlikely
to occur, as you are not looking at a great deal of information on any one sheet. Break your talk into segments or manageable sections, each one with its own heading, and jot down the main points of your talk accordingly on each postcard. Remember to number the postcards for ease of reference. Check the facilities in the room that you will be giving your presentation. If your PowerPoint presentation is on a disk, CD or USB memory stick then double check that the appropriate facilities are available and that you know how to use them.
6. Group presentations
If you are preparing for a group presentation then ensure that the team works together. If
individuals go off to complete theirsection without any interaction with the otherteam members this can result in a disjointed presentation that would appear to the audience in exactly the way in which it had been prepared. You must work together. Prepare your PowerPoint presentation or handouts in the same style and ensure that each member uses a similar form of language. By all means split the researching responsibilities between the group, but check each section carefully to avoid overlap or gaps in the information provided. All group members should speak for an equal amount of time with perhaps one person opening and closing the presentation. Dress appropriately if you are giving a formal presentation.
It is very helpful to rehearse your presentation. This means that you can become comfortable with your material and also your presentation aids. It also means that you can check and adjust your timing. Ask someone to watch it and give you constructive feedback.
The more time you put into preparing your presentation then the more successful it is likely to
be. If you are giving a group presentation then it is particularly important to rehearse and make sure that your presentation is integrated and well organised. In particular you may find it helpful to practise the handovers from one student to another student.
8. Giving a Presentation
• Prepare yourself. Have a good night’s sleep. Eat a proper breakfast or lunch. Arrive in plenty of time.