К А Ф Е Д Р А И Н О С Т Р А Н Н Ы Х Я З Ы К О В
У Ч Е Б Н О – М Е Т О Д И Ч Е С К О Е П О С О Б И Е
П О П О Д Г О Т О В К Е
К У С Т Н О М У В Ы С Т У П Л Е Н И Ю – П Р Е З Е Н Т А Ц И И
Ненашева Н.А. Учебное пособие по подготовке к устному выступлению-презентации.
Данное учебное пособие предназначено для работы со студентами 3 курса отделения «Прикладной политологии» факультета менеджмента в рамках дисциплины «English for Specific Purposes». Пособие стоит в программе первого модуля.
Основная цель пособия – развить у студентов навыки подготовки презентаций в сфере их научных интересов и снабдить их лексическими средствами, необходимыми для устных выступлений.
В конце 3 курса Вам предстоит сдавать итоговый государственный экзамен по английскому языку. Он состоит из двух частей: письменной и устной, и проходит в два этапа. Важной составляющей устной части является презентация, которую Вам предстоит сделать на английском языке. Как делаются презентации? С какой стороны подойти при подготовке к этому заданию? Какие ошибки следует избегать? С этими вопросами мы постараемся разобраться на страницах этого пособия.
Пособие состоит из 2 частей (sections) и приложения. Section 1 содержит общие рекомендации и практические советы как делать презентацию. Она имеет четыре раздела. В первом разделе (Preparing for the Presentation) рассматриваются вопросы, связанные с подготовкой к презентации, начиная с выбора темы и заканчивая проговариванием вслух того, что у Вас получилось. Далее, раздел «Structure» предлагает ознакомиться со стандартной структурой презентации, некоторыми особенностями этой формы интерактивной коммуникации, а также фразами, которые позволяют устному выступлению быть связным. В разделе «Packaging» представлены способы, как сделать наше выступление более наглядным, доходчивым и запоминающимся. Последний раздел первой части (Human Element) содержит любопытные советы о том, как себя вести (или не вести) во время выступления.
Вторая часть содержит дополнительные тексты для самостоятельного чтения. В Приложении Вы найдете банк ситуативно-обусловленных фраз, которые окажутся крайне полезными при подготовке не только презентаций, но и при работе с текстами на устной части экзамена.
Выдержка из «Программы итогового государственного экзамена по английскому языку» за 2009 год
Требования к презентации.
Помимо беглости речи, уверенности, лексической и грамматической корректности, богатства словарного запаса при оценивании презентации учитывается навыки реферирования, обобщения, формулирования собственной точки зрения по теме, умение вести беседу по смежным темам, использование наглядных материалов (видеоряд, схемы, таблицы, графики) и аудиоматериалов. Презентация выполняется устно, причём студент должен предоставить все материалы, которые он использовал при её подготовке. Это может быть сделано двумя способами: 1. Папка с текстом самой презентации, подбором газетных статей, ксерокопий необходимых выдержек из источников и другими материалами и/или 2. В электронном виде текст самой презентации, выполненной, например, в программе Power Point, и документы в формате Word со ссылками на все использованные материалы. Для получения отличной или хорошей оценки при подготовки презентации должно быть использовано не менее 3 источников, для получения удовлетворительной оценки достаточно 1-2 источников.
Примерные темы презентаций к государственному экзамену по английскому языку:
2. Systems of Government. State and Society.
3. UN (History, Activities)
6. Healthcare. (Drugs, Family Planning)
7. Environmental Protection.
8.Population Issues. Census. Diaspora.
9. Religious Issues.
10 баллов -
Студент демонстрирует отличные навыки реферирования, обобщения, формулирования собственной точки зрения по теме, умение вести беседу по смежным темам. Презентация основана не менее чем на 3-4 источниках, по возможности, используются наглядные материалы (видеоряд, схемы, таблицы, графики) и/или аудиоматериалы. Высказывание развёрнутое, связное, паузы естественны. В речи отсутствуют ошибки. Презентация представлена блестяще.
9 баллов –
Студент демонстрирует отличные навыки реферирования, обобщения, формулирования собственной точки зрения по теме, умение вести беседу по смежным темам. Презентация основана не менее, чем на 3-4 источниках, по возможности, используются наглядные материалы (видеоряд, схемы, таблицы, графики) и/или аудиоматериалы. Высказывание развёрнутое, связное, паузы естественны. В речи допускаются незначительные лексические и грамматические неточности.
8 баллов –
Студент демонстрирует отличные навыки реферирования, обобщения, формулирования собственной точки зрения по теме, умение вести беседу по смежным темам. Презентация основана не менее, чем на 3-4 источниках, по возможности, используются наглядные материалы (видеоряд, схемы, таблицы, графики) и/или аудиоматериалы. Высказывание развёрнутое, связное, паузы естественны. Есть недочёты по структуре и организации презентации, но в целом презентация сделана на высоком уровне. В речи допускаются незначительные лексические и грамматические неточности.
7 баллов –
Студент демонстрирует хорошие навыки реферирования, обобщения, формулирования собственной точки зрения по теме, умение вести беседу по смежным темам. Презентация основана не менее, чем на 3-4 источниках, по возможности, используются наглядные материалы (видеоряд, схемы, таблицы, графики) и/или аудиоматериалы. Высказывание развёрнутое, связное, паузы естественны. Есть недочёты по структуре и организации презентации, но в целом презентация сделана на высоком уровне. В речи допускаются негрубые как лексические, так и грамматические ошибки, не затрудняющие понимание. В целом презентация сделана на хорошем уровне.
6 баллов –
Студент демонстрирует навыки реферирования, обобщения, умение вести беседу по смежным темам, однако затрудняется в формулировке собственной точки зрения по теме или недостаточно развернуто отвечает на вопросы экзаменаторов. В речи имеются ошибки в употреблении сложных грамматических структур и в лексике. Есть недочёты по структуре и организации презентации (например, слишком много текста в слайдах).
5 баллов –
Студент демонстрирует некоторые навыки реферирования, обобщения, однако часто презентация сводится к пересказу текстов. При подготовке презентации использовалось менее 3 источников. В речи имеются ошибки как при употреблении сложных грамматических структур (не более 4 ошибок), так и на базовом грамматическом уровне (не более 2 ошибок), а также лексические ошибки. Высказывание неразвёрнутое и не всегда связное, паузы естественны, но многочисленны. На возникшие вопросы со стороны экзаменаторов после пересказа студент затрудняется ответить точно, ясно, полно. Какие-то вопросы экзаменаторам приходится объяснять, но студент справляется с ними.
4 балла –
Замедленный темп речи, неуверенность, многочисленные паузы, ограниченность словарного запаса, упрощённые конструкции, предложения нераспространённые и простые. Или при нормальном темпе речи, уверенном владении материалом студент использует только 1 источник, т.е. не демонстрирует навыки обобщения, реферирования. Высказывание неразвёрнутое и не всегда связное, паузы неестественны и многочисленны, иногда препятствуют пониманию. На возникшие вопросы со стороны экзаменаторов после пересказа студент затрудняется ответить точно, ясно, полно. Какие-то вопросы экзаменаторам приходится объяснять, студент не всегда справляется с ними.
3 балла –
Неуверенность, лексическая и грамматическая безграмотность. Не продемонстрированы навыки реферирования, обобщения, нет собственной точки зрения на проблему. Неумение провести беседу на смежные темы, неумение отвечать на вопросы экзаменаторов, возникшие в процессе презентации, отсутствие источника.
2 и 1 баллов –
Презентация представляет собой не осмысленный доклад по данной теме, а материал базового учебника. Студент не представляет никаких материалов, использованных при подготовке презентации.
Presentations and reports are ways of communicating ideas and information to a group. But unlike a report, a presentation carries the speaker's personality better and allows immediate interaction between all the participants. A good presentation has:
- It contains information that people need. But unlike reports, which are read at the reader's own pace, presentations must account for how much information the audience can absorb in one sitting.
- It has a logical beginning, middle, and end. It must be sequenced and paced so that the audience can understand it. Where as reports have appendices and footnotes to guide the reader, the speaker must be careful not to loose the audience when wandering from the main point of the presentation.
- It must be well prepared. A report can be reread and portions skipped over, but with a presentation, the audience is at the mercy of a presenter.
- Human Element
- A good presentation will be remembered much more than a good report because it has a person attached to it. But you still need to analyze if the audience's needs would not be better met if a report was sent instead.
1. PREPARING THE PRESENTATION
Can you name the 3 most important things
when giving any presentation?
Number 1 is . . . Preparation
Number 2 is . . . Preparation!
Number 3 is . . . Preparation!!
PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING!
After a concert, a fan rushed up to famed violinist Fritz Kreisler and gushed, "I'd give up my whole life to play as beautifully as you do." Kreisler replied, "I did."
To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.
With good preparation and planning you will be totally confident
and less nervous. And your audience will feel
your confidence. Your audience, too, will be confident. They will be confident in you
. And this will give you control
. Control of your audience and of your presentation.
WHY ? WHO? WHERE? WHEN? HOW? WHAT?
WHY ? Objective
Before you start to prepare a presentation, you should ask yourself: "Why
am I making this presentation?" Do you need to inform, to persuade, to train or to sell? Your objective should be clear in your mind. If it is not clear in your mind, it cannot possibly be clear to your audience.
am I making this presentation to?" Sometimes this will be obvious, but not always. You should try to inform yourself. How many people? Who are they? Business people? Professional people? Political people? Experts or non-experts? Will it be a small, intimate group of 4 colleagues or a large gathering of 400 competitors? How much do they know already and what will they expect from you?
am I making this presentation?" In a small hotel meeting-room or a large conference hall? What facilities and equipment are available? What are the seating arrangements?
WHEN? Time and length
am I making this presentation and how long will it be?" Will it be 5 minutes or 1 hour? Just before lunch, when your audience will be hungry, or just after lunch, when your audience will be sleepy?
should I make this presentation?" What approach should you use? Formal or informal? Lots of visual aids or only a few? Will you include some anecdotes and humour for variety?
should I say?" Now you must decide exactly what you want to say. First, you should brainstorm your ideas. You will no doubt discover many ideas that you want to include in your presentation. But you must be selective. You should include only information that is relevant to your audience and your objective. You should exclude all other ideas. You also need to create a title for your presentation (if you have not already been given a title). The title will help you to focus on the subject. And you will prepare your visual aids, if you have decided to use them. But remember, in general, less is better than more (a little is better than a lot). You can always give additional information during the questions after the presentation.
When you give your presentation, you should be - or appear to be - as spontaneous as possible. You should not read your presentation! You should be so familiar with your subject and with the information that you want to deliver that you do not need to read a text. Reading a text is boring! So if you don't have a text to read, how can you remember to say everything you need to say? With notes
. You can create your own system of notes. Some people make notes on small, A6 cards. Some people write down just the title
of each section of their talk. Some people write down keywords
to remind them. The notes will give you confidence, but because you will have prepared your presentation fully, you may not even need them!
Rehearsal is a vital part of preparation. You should leave time to practise your presentation two or three times. This will have the following benefits:
- you will become more familiar with what you want to say
- you will identify weaknesses in your presentation
- you will be able to practise difficult pronunciations
- you will be able to check the time that your presentation takes and make any necessary modifications
So prepare, prepare, prepare! Prepare everything: words, visual aids, timing, equipment. Rehearse your presentation several times and time it.
A well organised presentation with a clear structure is easier for the audience to follow. It is therefore more effective. You should organise the points you wish to make in a logical order. Most presentations are organised in three parts, followed by questions:
- welcome your audience
- introduce your subject
- explain the structure of your presentation
- explain rules for questions
Body of presentation
- present the subject itself
- summarise your presentation
- thank your audience
- invite questions
Questions and Answers
As a general rule in communication, repetition is valuable. In presentations, there is a golden rule about repetition:
- Say what you are going to say,
- say it,
- then say what you have just said.
In other words, use the three parts of your presentation to reinforce your message. In the introduction, you tell your audience what your message is going to be. In the body, you tell your audience your real message. In the conclusion, you summarize what your message was.
We will now consider each of these parts in more detail.
The introduction is a very important - perhaps the most important - part of your presentation. This is the first impression that your audience have of you. You should concentrate on getting your introduction right. A good presentation often starts out with an icebreaker such as a story, interesting statement or fact, joke, quotation, or an activity to get the group warmed up. The introduction also needs an objective, that is, the purpose or goal of the presentation. This not only tells you what you will talk about, but it also informs the audience of the purpose of the presentation.
The following table shows examples of language for each of the following functions. You may need to modify the language as appropriate.
1 Welcoming your audience
- Good morning, ladies and gentlemen
- Good morning, gentlemen
- Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman
- Good afternoon, everybody
2 Introducing your subject
- I am going to talk today about...
- The purpose of my presentation is to introduce our new range of...
3 Outlining your structure
- To start with I'll describe the progress made this year. Then I'll mention some of the problems we've encountered and how we overcame them. After that I'll consider the possibilities for further growth next year. Finally, I'll summarize my presentation (before concluding with some recommendations).
4 Giving instructions about questions
- Do feel free to interrupt me if you have any questions.
- I'll try to answer all of your questions after the presentation.
- I plan to keep some time for questions after the presentation.
The body is the 'real' presentation. If the introduction was well prepared and delivered, you will now be 'in control'. You will be relaxed and confident.
The body should be well structured, divided up logically, with plenty of carefully spaced visuals.
Remember these key points while delivering the body of your presentation:
- do not hurry
- be enthusiastic
- give time on visuals
- maintain eye contact
- modulate your voice
- look friendly
- keep to your structure
- use your notes
- signpost throughout
- remain polite when dealing with difficult questions
The following table shows examples of language for each of these functions. You may need to modify the language as appropriate.
1 Summing up
- To conclude,...
- In conclusion,...
- Now, to sum up...
- So let me summarise/recap what I've said.
- Finally, may I remind you of some of the main points we've considered.
2 Giving recommendations
- In conclusion, my recommendations are...
- I therefore suggest/propose/recommend the following strategy.
3 Thanking your audience
- Many thanks for your attention.
- May I thank you all for being such an attentive audience.
4 Inviting questions
- Now I'll try to answer any questions you may have.
- Can I answer any questions?
- Are there any questions?
- Do you have any questions?
- Are there any final questions?
Keep cool if a questioner disagrees with you. You are a professional! No matter how hard you try, not everyone in the world will agree with you!
Although some people get a perverse pleasure from putting others on the spot, and some try to look good in front of the boss, most people ask questions from a genuine interest. Questions do not mean you did not explain the topic good enough, but that their interest is deeper than the average audience.
Always allow time at the end of the presentation for questions. After inviting questions, do not rush ahead if no one asks a question. Pause for about 6 seconds to allow the audience to gather their thoughts. When a question is asked, repeat the question to ensure that everyone heard it (and that you heard it correctly). When answering, direct your remarks to the entire audience. That way, you keep everyone focused, not just the questioner. To reinforce your presentation, try to relate the question back to the main points.
Make sure you listen to the question being asked. If you do not understand it, ask them to clarify. Pause to think about the question as the answer you give may be correct, but ignore the main issue. If you do not know the answer, be honest, do not waffle. Tell them you will get back to them...and make sure you do!
Answers that last 10 to 40 seconds work best. If they are too short, they seem abrupt; while longer answers appear too elaborate. Also, be sure to keep on track. Do not let off-the-wall questions sidetrack you into areas that are not relevant to the presentation.
If someone takes issue with something you said, try to find a way to agree with part of their argument. For example, "Yes, I understand your position..." or "I'm glad you raised that point, but..." The idea is to praise their point and agree with them. Audiences sometimes tend to think of "us verses you." You do not want to risk alienating them.
Questions are a good opportunity for you to interact with your audience. It may be helpful for you to try to predict what questions will be asked so that you can prepare your response in advance. You may wish to accept questions at any time during your presentation, or to keep a time for questions after your presentation. Normally, it's your decision, and you should make it clear during the introduction. Be polite with all questioners, even if they ask difficult questions. They are showing interest in what you have to say and they deserve attention. Sometimes you can reformulate a question. Or answer the question with another question. Or even ask for comment from the rest of the audience.
Easily your most important piece of equipment is...YOU
! Make sure you're in full working order, and check your personal presentation carefully - if you don't, your audience will!
The overhead projector
) displays overhead transparencies
). It has several advantages over the 35mm slide projector:
- it can be used in daylight
- the user can face the audience
- the user can write or draw directly on the transparency while in use
(more rarely blackboard
) is a useful device for spontaneous writing - as in brainstorming, for example. For prepared material, the OHP
might be more suitable.
is used for cleaning the whiteboard. It is essential that the duster be clean to start with. You may consider carrying your own duster just in case.
are used for writing on the whiteboard (delible - you can remove the ink) or flipchart (indelible - you cannot remove the ink). They are usually available in blue, red, black and green. Again, it's a good idea to carry a spare set of markers in case you are given some used ones which do not write well.
consists of several leaves of paper that you 'flip' or turn over. Some people prefer the flipchart to the whiteboard, but its use is limited to smaller presentations.
The Slide projector
- which must be used in a darkened room - adds a certain drama. Some slide projectors can be synchronised with audio for audio-visual (AV) presentations. These projectors are typically used for larger presentations. The majority take 35mm slides or transparencies (as seen here), but projectors for 6x6cm slides are also available.
Transparencies are projected by an overhead projector or a slide projector onto a screen
- in this case a folding screen which can be packed up and transported.
The notebook computer
is increasingly being used to display graphics during presentations. It is often used in conjunction with an overhead projector, which actually projects the image from the computer screen onto the wall screen.
are any documents or samples that you 'hand out' or distribute to your audience. Note that it is not usually a good idea to distribute handouts before
your presentation. The audience will read the handouts instead of listening to you.
Of all the information that enters our brains, the vast majority of it enters through the eyes. 80% of what your audience learn during your presentation is learned visually (what they see) and only 20% is learned aurally (what they hear). The significance of this is obvious:
- visual aids are an extremely effective means of communication
- non-native English speakers need not worry so
much about spoken English - they can rely more heavily on visual aids
It is well worth spending time in the creation of good visual aids. But it is equally important not to overload your audience's brains. Keep the information on each visual aid to a minimum - and give your audience time to look at and absorb this information. Remember, your audience have never seen these visual aids before. They need time to study and to understand
them. Without understanding there is no communication.
Apart from photographs and drawings, some of the most useful visual aids are charts and graphs, like the 3-dimensional ones shown here:
are circular in shape (like a pie).
can be vertical (as here) or horizontal.
can rise and fall.
Simplicity and Clarity
If you want your audience to understand your message, your language must be simple
Use short words and short sentences.
Do not use jargon, unless you are certain that your audience understands it.
In general, talk about concrete facts rather than abstract ideas.
Use active verbs instead of passive verbs. Active verbs are much easier to understand. They are much more powerful. Consider these two sentences, which say the same thing:
- Toyota sold two million cars last year.
- Two million cars were sold by Toyota last year.
Which is easier to understand? Which is more immediate? Which is more powerful
? #1 is active and #2 is passive.
When you drive on the roads, you know where you are on those roads. Each road has a name or number. Each town has a name. And each house has a number. If you are at house #100, you can go back to #50 or forward to #150. You can look at the signposts for directions. And you can look at your atlas for the structure of the roads in detail. In other words, it is easy to navigate the roads. You cannot get lost. But when you give a presentation, how can your audience know where they are? How can they know the structure of your presentation? How can they know what is coming next? They know because you tell them
. Because you put up signposts
for them, at the beginning
and all along the route
. This technique is called 'signposting
' (or 'signalling').
During your introduction, you should tell your audience what the structure of your presentation will be. You might say something like this:
"I'll start by describing the current position in Europe. Then I'll move on to some of the achievements we've made in Asia. After that I'll consider the opportunities we see for further expansion in Africa. Lastly, I'll quickly recap before concluding with some recommendations."
A member of the audience can now visualize your presentation like this:
- Explanation of structure (now
- Summing up
He will keep this image in his head during the presentation. He may even write it down. And throughout your presentation, you will put up signposts telling him which point you have reached and where you are going now. When you finish Europe and want to start Asia, you might say:
"That's all I have to say about Europe. Let's turn now to Asia."
When you have finished Africa and want to sum up, you might say:
"Well, we've looked at the three continents Europe, Asia and Africa. I'd like to sum up now."
And when you finish summing up and want to give your recommendations, you might say:
"What does all this mean for us? Well, firstly I recommend..."
The table below lists useful expressions that you can use to signpost the various parts of your presentation.
Introducing the subject
- I'd like to start by...
- Let's begin by...
- First of all, I'll...
- Starting with...
- I'll begin by...
Finishing one subject...
- Well, I've told you about...
- That's all I have to say about...
- We've looked at...
- So much for...
...and starting another
- Now we'll move on to...
- Let me turn now to...
- Turning to...
- I'd like now to discuss...
- Let's look now at...
Analysing a point and giving recommendations
- Where does that lead us?
- Let's consider this in more detail...
- What does this mean for ABC?
- Translated into real terms...
Giving an example
- For example,...
- A good example of this is...
- As an illustration,...
- To give you an example,...
- To illustrate this point...
Dealing with questions
- We'll be examining this point in more detail later on...
- I'd like to deal with this question later, if I may...
- I'll come back to this question later in my talk...
- Perhaps you'd like to raise this point at the end...
- I won't comment on this now...
Summarising and concluding
- In conclusion,...
- Right, let's sum up, shall we?
- I'd like now to recap...
- Let's summarise briefly what we've looked at...
- Finally, let me remind you of some of the issues we've covered...
- If I can just sum up the main points...
- First of all...then...next...after that...finally...
- To start with...later...to finish up...
4. HUMAN ELEMENT
The voice is probably the most valuable tool of the presenter. It carries most of the content that the audience takes away. One of the oddities of speech is that we can easily tell others what is wrong with their voice, e.g. too fast, too high, too soft, etc., but we have trouble listening to and changing our own voices.
One of the major criticisms of speakers is that they speak in a monotone voice. Listeners perceive this type of speaker as boring and dull. People report that they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to those who have not learned to modulate their voices.
There are four main terms used for defining vocal qualities:
: How loud the sound is. The goal is to be heard without shouting. Good speakers lower their voice to draw the audience in, and raise it to make a point.
: You can change the pitch of your voice. You can speak in a high tone. You can speak in a low tone. A voice that carries fear can frighten the audience, while a voice that carries laughter can get the audience to smile
: You can speak at normal speed, you can speak faster, you can speak more slowly - and you can stop completely! You can pause. This is a very good technique for gaining your audience's attention. Varying the pace helps to maintain the audience's interest.
: Both projection and tone variance can be practiced by taking the line "This new policy is going to be exciting" and saying it first with surprise, then with irony, then with grief, and finally with anger. The key is to over-act
. Remember Shakespeare's words "All the world's a stage
" -- presentations are the opening night on Broadway!
There are two good methods for improving your voice:
1. Listen to it! Practice listening to your voice while at home, driving, walking, etc. Then when you are at work or with company, monitor your voice to see if you are using it how you want to.
2. To really listen to your voice, cup your right hand around your right ear and gently pull the ear forward. Next, cup your left hand around your mouth and direct the sound straight into your ear. This helps you to really hear your voice as others hear it...and it might be completely different from the voice you thought it was! Now practice moderating your voice.
The important point is not to speak in the same, flat, monotonous voice throughout your presentation - this is the voice that hypnotists use to put their patients' into trance!
What you do not say is at least as important as what you do say. Your body is speaking to your audience even before you open your mouth. Your clothes, your walk, your glasses, your haircut, your expression - it is from these that your audience forms its first impression as you enter the room. Be aware of and avoid any repetitive and irritating gestures. Slouching tells them you are indifferent or you do not care...even though you might care a great deal! On the other hand, displaying good posture tells your audience that you know what you are doing and you care deeply about it.
Throughout you presentation, display:
- Eye contact
: This helps to regulate the flow of communication. It signals interest in others and increases the speaker's credibility. Speakers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern, warmth, and credibility.
- Facial Expressions
: Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits happiness, friendliness, warmth, and liking. So, if you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warm, and approachable. Smiling is often contagious and others will react favorably. They will be more comfortable around you and will want to listen to you more.
: If you fail to gesture while speaking, you may be perceived as boring and stiff. A lively speaking style captures attention, makes the material more interesting, and facilitates understanding.
- Posture and body orientation
: You communicate numerous messages by the way you talk and move. Standing erect and leaning forward communicates that you are approachable, receptive, and friendly. Interpersonal closeness results when you and your audience face each other. Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided as it communicates disinterest.
: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with others. You should look for signals of discomfort caused by invading other's space. Some of these are: rocking, leg swinging, tapping, and gaze aversion. Typically, in large rooms, space invasion is not a problem. In most instances there is too much distance. To counteract this, move around the room to increase interaction with your audience. Increasing the proximity enables you to make better eye contact and increases the opportunities for others to speak.
Most speakers are a little nervous at the beginning of a presentation. So it is normal if you are nervous. The main enemy of a presenter is tension, which ruins the voice, posture, and spontaneity. The voice becomes higher as the throat tenses. Shoulders tighten up and limits flexibility while the legs start to shake and causes unsteadiness. The presentation becomes "canned" as the speaker locks in on the notes and starts to read directly from them.
First, do not fight nerves, welcome them!
Then you can get on with the presentation instead of focusing in on being nervous. Actors recognize the value of nerves...they add to the value of the performance. This is because adrenaline starts to kick in. It's a left over from our ancestors' "fight or flight" syndrome. If you welcome nerves, then the presentation becomes a challenge and you become better. If you let your nerves take over, then you go into the flight mode by withdrawing from the audience. Again, welcome your nerves, recognize them, let them help you gain that needed edge! Do not go into the flight mode! When you feel tension or anxiety, remember that everyone gets them, but the winners use them to their advantage, while the losers get overwhelmed by them.
Tension can be reduced by performing some relaxation exercises. Listed below are a couple to get you started:
- Mental Visualization: Before the presentation, visualize the room, audience, and you giving the presentation. Mentally go over what you are going to do from the moment you start to the end of the presentation.
- During the presentation: Take a moment to yourself by getting a drink of water, take a deep breath, concentrate on relaxing the most tense part of your body, and then return to the presentation saying to your self, "I can do it!"
- You do NOT need to get rid of anxiety and tension! Channel the energy into concentration and expressiveness.
- Know that anxiety and tension is not as noticeable to the audience as it is to you.
- Know that even the best presenters make mistakes. The key is to continue on after the mistake. If you pick up and continue, so will the audience. Winners continue! Losers stop!
- Never drink alcohol to reduce tension! It affects not only your coordination but also your awareness of coordination. You might not realize it, but your audience will!
- And finally, one more tip: pay special attention to the beginning of your presentation. First impressions count. This is the time when you establish a rapport with your audience. During this time, try to speak slowly and calmly. You should perhaps learn your introduction by heart. After a few moments, you will relax and gain confidence.
We all have a few habits, and some are more annoying than others. For example, if we say "uh," "you know," or put our hands in our pockets and jingle our keys too often during a presentation, it distracts from the message we are trying to get across.
The best way to break one of these distracting habits is with immediate feedback. This can be done with a small group of coworkers, family, or friends. Take turns giving small off-the-cuff talks about your favorite hobby, work project, first work assignment, etc. The talk should last about five minutes. During a speaker's first talk, the audience should listen and watch for annoying habits.
After the presentation, the audience should agree on the worst two or three habits that take the most away from the presentation. After agreement, each audience member should write these habits on a 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper (such as the word "Uh"). Use a magic marker and write in BIG letters.
The next time the person gives her or his talk, each audience member should wave the corresponding sign in the air whenever they hear or see the annoying habit. For most people, this method will break a habit by practicing at least once a day for one to two weeks.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a shy young girl who was terrified at the thought of speaking in public. But with each passing year, she grew in confidence and self-esteem. She once said, "No one can make you feel inferior, unless you agree with it."
In this section, you have learned:
- to allow plenty of time for preparation
- to ask the all-important question-words, why? who? where? when? how? and what?
- to structure your presentation into introduction, body, conclusion and questions
- to write notes based on keywords
- to rehearse your presentation several times and modify it as necessary
- to select the right equipment for the job
- to use equipment effectively
- to make use of clear, powerful visual aids that do not overload your audience
- to use clear, simple language, avoiding jargon
- to use active verbs and concrete facts
- to explain the structure of your presentation at the beginning so that your listeners know what to expect
- to link each section of your presentation
- to signpost your presentation from beginning to end so that your listeners know where they are
- to say what you are going to say, say it, and say what you have just said
- to overcome your nerves
- to establish audience rapport
- to be aware of your body language
- to understand cultural differences
- to control the quality of your voice
- to maintain interest by varying the speed, volume and pitch of your voice
- to deal with listeners' questions politely
- to respond to your audience positively
SECTION 2. SUPPLEMENTARY READING
1. The Seven Deadly PowerPoint Sins
PowerPoint® is the predominate presentation tool used in the world today. It can also be the most assured way to lose an audience's attention and kill your message.
Why? Because PowerPoint® is the most misused presentation tool used in business today.
When used correctly, PowerPoint® can enrich a presentation and make the message more memorable. The problem is most people don't use this terrific invention even remotely effectively.
Below are the top seven mistakes people make when using PowerPoint®. If you are guilty of any of these, make changes to your presentations immediately. Your reputation as a speaker will improve and your message will be more memorable.
1) Too much content on a slide. Use only a few key words or phrases on each slide. Think 4 X 4: No more than four words per line, no more than 4 lines per slide.
2) All words, no images. Use fewer words and more images. Use an interesting picture or a key word on a slide to launch your talk about each topic or message you want to deliver.
3) Too many slides. Do not use a slide for every point you want to make. The main focus should be on you, not the slides.
4) Wild and crazy animations. Swooshing sounds and flying words are distracting to the audience and weaken your presentation.
5) Using the slide presentation as the handout. Sorry, but that is the lazy way out. Prepare separate handouts with as much detail as you want. Use simple PowerPoint® slides to enhance your oral message, not serve as the leave-behind.
6) Reading from the slides. Don't turn your back to your audience and read the slides. Instead, maintain eye contact with your audience while delivering your key points in a conversational tone.
7) The Star Wars "laser saber" show. Leave the laser pointer home. The piercing red beam probably won't really take an aircraft down, but it will definitely kill your audience's attention.
Carmie McCook, the president of Carmie McCook & Associates, is a nationally recognized expert on effective communication skills, specializing in media interview, public speaking, presentation, crisis communications, and executive media training
2. Some Rules for Making a Presentation
Human attention is very
limited. Don't cram too much information, either in each slide, or in the whole talk. Avoid details: they won't be remembered anyway.
- Have a very clear introduction, to motivate what you do and to present the problem you want to solve. The introduction is not technical in nature, but strategic (i.e. why this problem, big idea).
- Don't put all the details in the talk. Present only the important ones.
- Use only one idea per slide.
- Have a good conclusions slide: put there the main ideas, the ones you really want people to remember. Use only one "conclusions" slide.
- The conclusion slide should be the last one. Do not put other slides after conclusions, as this will weaken their impact.
- Having periodic "talk outline" slides (to show where you are in the talk) helps, especially for longer talks. At least one "talk outline" slide is very useful, usually after the introduction.
- Especially if you have to present many different things, try to build a unifying thread. The talk should be sequential in nature (i.e. no big conceptual leaps from one slide to the next).
- Try to cut out as much as possible; less is better.
- Use a good presentation-building tool, like MS PowerPoint. Avoid Latex, except for slides with formulas (Leslie Lamport himself says that slides are visual, while Latex is meant to be logical). Good looks are important. If you need formulas, try TeXPoint, George Necula's Latex for Powerpoint.
- Humor is very useful; prepare a couple of puns and jokes beforehand (but not epic jokes, which require complicated setup). However, if you're not good with jokes, better avoid them altogether. Improvising humor is very dangerous.
- The more you rehearse the talk, the better it will be. A rehearsal is most useful when carried out loud. 5 rehearsals is a minimum for an important talk
- The more people criticize your talk (during practice), the better it will be; pay attention to criticism, not necessarily to all suggestions, but try to see what and why people misunderstood your ideas.
- Not everything has to be written down; speech can and should complement the information on the slides.
- Be enthusiastic.
- Act your talk: explain, ask rhetorical questions, act surprised, etc.
- Give people time to think about the important facts by slowing down, or even stopping for a moment.
- Do not go overtime under any circumstance.
- Listen to the questions very carefully; many speakers answer different questions than the ones asked.
- Do not treat your audience as mentally-impaired: do not explain the completely obvious things.
- Slides should have short titles. A long title shows something is wrong.
- Use uniform capitalization rules.
- All the text on one slide should have the same structure (e.g. complete phrases, idea only, etc.).
- Put very little text on a slide; avoid text completely if you can. Put no more than one idea per slide (i.e. all bullets should refer to the same thing). If you have lots of text, people will read it faster than you talk, and will not pay attention to what you say.
- Don't use small fonts.
- Use very few formulas (one per presentation). Do not put useless graphics on each slide: logos, grids, affiliations, etc.
- Spell-check. A spelling mistake is an attention magnet.
- Use suggestive graphical illustrations as much as possible. Don't shun graphical metaphors. Prefer an image to text. Great presentations tend to have 80% of the slides with images.
- Do not put in the figures details you will not mention explicitly. The figures should be as schematic as possible (i.e. no overload of features).
- Do not "waste" information by using unnecessary colors. Each different color should signify something different, and something important. Color-code your information if you can, but don't use too many different colors. Have high-contrast colors.
- A few real photos related to your subject look very cool (e.g. real system, hardware, screen-shots, automatically generated figures, etc.). Real photos are much more effective during the core of the talk than during the intro. I hate talks with a nice picture during the introduction and next only text; they open your appetite and then leave you hungry.
- For some strange reason, rectangles with shadows seem to look much better than without (especially if there are just a few in the figure).
- Sometimes a matte pastel background looks much better than a white one.
- Exploit animation with restraint. Do not use fancy animation effects if not necessary.
- However, there are places where animation is extremely valuable, e.g., to depict the evolution of a complex system, or to introduce related ideas one by one.
- Use strong colors for important stuff, pastel colors for the unimportant.
- Use thick lines in drawings (e.g. 1 1/2 points or more).
- Label very clearly the axes of the graphs. Explain the un-obvious ones. Use large fonts or labels; the default fonts in Excel are too small.
And don't forget to have a bit of fun-you don't have
to be boring.
3. Intercultural factors when making International Presentations
Because English is so widely used around the world, it is quite possible that many members of your audience will not be native English-speakers. In other words, they will not have an Anglo-Saxon culture. Even within the Anglo-Saxon world, there are many differences in culture. You should try to learn about any particular cultural matters that may affect your audience.
Making a presentation in front of international audiences is not for the fainthearted. People from different cultural backgrounds with varying language skills are definitely more challenging than a homogenous local audience. Are international audiences any different from local audiences? From a biological point of view, there are almost no differences as all humans behave similarly in response to basic stimuli like hunger and heat. The differences become crucial when one considers cultural conditioning.
Let us take the classical example quoted in many places. If the world were a village of 1,000 people, it would include: 584 Asians, 124 Africans, 95 Europeans, 84 Latin Americans, 52 North Americans, six Australians and New Zealanders, and 55 people from the former Soviet republics. They would speak more than 200 languages and reflect an astounding mix of different cultures. Fortunately, you would most likely never get such a mixed audience. Remember, what works in one culture doesn't always work in another. How can you make your presentation a success among people from different parts of the world?
Many factors influence audience behaviour e.g., culture, profession, gender, age, reason for being in the audience, state of mind, time of day and year and general mood. In fact every audience is unique. An audience of insurance salesmen in Germany is very different from an audience of German chemical engineers. So whenever a typical behaviour is associated with certain nation states, you have to be extremely careful with these stereotypes.
The language barrier plays a very important role, both for the speaker and the listeners. Many people in your international audience actually have jumped over large chasms of language and cultural divides in order to be there in that very audience listening to you. "Can I understand everything that is spoken there as they are speaking in English and my English is very bad?" or "What if someone asks me a question and I can't answer it in French in this seminar held in France?" These are typical fears that many people have overcome before they turned up in the international gathering.
In mixed audiences the language used is bound to be a foreign tongue for someone, if not for the speaker. Deficient language skills might considerably limit their ability to grasp much of the presentation and they have no way of dealing with that frustration with themselves. The fear of losing face in front of other people is very common, more so in Asian cultures. Many people think in their mother tongue and speak with the help of simultaneous translation. Many ideas are very challenging to be put into another language. So the task of the presenter is to make sure that central ideas come across easily and even to people who are not natives to the language of presentation.
Culture influences how people in different countries prefer to receive information. How interactive a presentation is, depends much on the culture. Typically English speaking cultures like presentations to be lively and interactive. Paradoxically there are similarities among Far Eastern, Slavic and protestant cultures like Germany and Finland. There presentations are formal and there are few interruptions. Questions are answered either when the presentation ends or quickly as they arise.
Many Europeans, particularly Scandinavians and Germans prefer to receive information in detail, with lots of supporting documentation. They want their presenters to be systematic and build to a clear point within their presentation. The Japanese business audiences, where senior managers are more likely to hold technical or management degrees are very similar. American and Canadian audiences, on the other hand, like a faster pace. Many Asian and Latin cultures prefer presentations with emotional appeal.
Different cultures gather and process information differently, in a way that is unique to that culture. We assume that speaking Spanish is a safe option in all countries where Spanish is spoken, but Hispanic employees from different countries even have different words for the same thing, and this can create conflict. Sometimes logic or reason can evade us. For example, there is no concept of guilt in some Eastern cultures. There is no Heaven or Hell, but there may be karma and shame. The Chinese are very strict about Mianxi, not losing face. When a Chinese person doesn't understand something due to language problems, she still says, "Yes, yes it is clear." People from a western background often have difficulties understanding this.
Presenters use humour skillfully to relax the atmosphere. Another very powerful tool is telling personal anecdotes which reveal humaneness connecting the speaker with members of the audience. There must be a relevance to the topic or theme, as speakers who talk very much about themselves are often considered self-centred and even tiresome.
The response to humour varies greatly across different cultures. Humour based on making fun of someone else is not understood in many areas of the world and is considered disrespectful. In some cultures like Japan, laughing aloud is a sign of nervousness and is not appreciated.
How audiences respond to presentations varies across cultures. In Japan, for example, it's common to show concentration and attentiveness by nodding the head up and down slightly-and even closing the eyes occasionally. Don't think that they are falling asleep. In Germany and Austria, for example, listeners seated around a table may show their approval by knocking on the table instead of applauding. Applause is accepted as a form of approval in most areas of the world but in the U.S, you might even get a few whistles if you have really made a great impression. If you hear whistles in many parts of Europe, you had better run because someone might start throwing tomatoes and eggs next. If you were finishing a speaking engagement in a Latin American country like Argentina and you waved goodbye, the audience might all turn around and come back to sit down. For them the waving gesture means, "Come back! Don't go away."
Ways of handling questions are very different across cultures. Brits or Americans almost always ask challenging questions. In Finland or in some Asian cultures, audiences are more likely to greet a presentation with silence or just a few polite questions. This is not always indifference but a show of respect.
Cultural differences can also be seen in body language, which we have just discussed. To a Latin from Southern France or Italy, a presenter who uses his hands and arms when speaking may seem dynamic and friendly. To an Englishman, the same presenter may seem unsure of his words and lacking in self-confidence.
As a presenter, you should have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it. The goal should be easy to understand - even to someone outside of your organization or industry. If you can't summarize your message, how can the listeners? When the audience is international, you'll need to step out of your own frame of reference and focus on making communication relevant for your target group. The aim is to "localize." By focusing on the audiences' own frames of reference, you acknowledge their importance and pave the way for them to come closer to you. If for example, you are using a metaphor about snow blizzards and sleet to sub-Saharan people, they might not get your point, as they have no experience of snow blizzards. The most vital thing to remember is that each and every member in your international audience is a fellow human being. If they feel treated well and get something for being there, they will appreciate your efforts. Good luck!
APPENDIX. Key Phrases for Making a Business Presentation
This outline provides a guide to giving a presentation in English. Each section begins with the presentation section concerned, then the language formulas appropriate to giving a presentation. Finally, each section has important points to keep in mind during the presentation.
First of all, I'd like to thank you all for coming here today.
My name is X and I am the (your position) at (your company).
Points to Remember
Try to make eye contact with everyone you are speaking to if possible. You can also smile at individual members of the audience to put them at their ease.
I'd briefly like to take you through today's presentation.
First, we're going to ...
After that, we'll be taking a look at ...
Once we've identified our challenges we will be able to ...
Finally, I'll outline what ...
Points to Remember
Make sure to indicate each point on your presentation as you introduce each topic. This can be done with a slide (Power Point) presentation, or by pointing to each point on the display device you are using.
Asking for Questions
Please feel free to interrupt me with any questions you may have during the presentation.
I'd like to ask you to keep any questions you may have for the end of the presentation.
Points to Remember
You can also request the participants to leave questions to the end of the presentation. However, it is important to let participants know that you are willing to answer any questions they may have.
Presenting the Current Situation
Presenting the Current Situation
I'd like to begin by outlining our present situation.
As you know ...
You may not know that ...
Points to Remember
'As you know' or 'You may not know that' are polite ways of informing those who don't know without offending those who do know certain facts.
Let's take a look at some of the implications of this.
Taking into consideration what we have said about X, we can see that Y ...
The main reason for these actions is ...
We have to keep in mind that ... when we consider ...
As a result of X, Y will ...
Points to Remember
As you continue through the presentation, often remind the listeners of the relationship between the current subject and what has been said before during the presentation.
Using Visual Aids
Using Visual Aids
As you can see from this graph representing ...
If you could just take a look at ...
Looking at X we can see that ...
Points to Remember
Use visual aids to emphasize your main points in a conversation. Fewer visual aids that are meaningful leave a stronger impression than using a lot of visual aids that might also confuse listeners.
Obviously, this has led to some problems with ...
Unfortunately, this means that ...
As a direct result of X, we are having problems with Y...
This also causes ...
Points to Remember
Always provide examples of evidence to prove your point.
Always provide examples of evidence to prove your point.
There are a number of alternatives in this case. We can ...
If we had ... , we would ...
Had we ... , we could have ... Do we need to X or Y?
I think we can clearly see that we can either ... or ...
We have been considering ...
What if we ...
Points to Remember
Use the second conditional form to consider present options and the third conditional for considering different outcomes based on past actions. Use hypothetical questions as a way of introducing considerations into the presentation.
Proposing a Solution
Proposing a Solution
The solution to X is ...
I suggest we ...
Based on ... the answer is to ...
If we keep in mind that ... , Y is the best solution to our problem.
Points to Remember
When providing your solutions to various problems, remember to refer to the evidence that you have previously presented. Try to make your solution a clear answer to what has been discussed during the presentation.
So, how does this all relate to X?
How long will this take to implement?
How much is this all going to cost?
Points to Remember
Use questions to introduce concerns that you know the listeners will have. Answer these questions clearly and efficiently.
Summarizing - Finishing the Presentation
We've discussed many points today. Let me quickly summarize the principal points:
I'd like to quickly go over the main points of today's topic:
Before we end, let me briefly recap what we have discussed here today.
Points to Remember
It is important to repeat the main points of your presentation quickly. This recap should be brief and, if possible, using different vocabulary than that used during the presentation. Make sure to focus only on the most important areas of the presentation.
Finishing the Presentation
Thank you all very much for taking the time to listen to this presentation. Now, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
I think that's about it. I'd like to thank you all for coming in today. Do you have any questions?
Points to Remember
Make sure to thank everybody and leave the discussion open for further questions from participants.