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Presentation skills

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Presentation skills

  1. 1. OBJECTIVES  to develop your skills to communicate clearly, effectively and confidently with a range of audiences in a range of different contexts;  to improve your research and design skills, and strengthen your delivery techniques;  to enhance your use of different support electronic and other visual tools;  to reinforce your performance skills (verbal and non-verbal);  to increase your confidence level in interacting with audience and control your nervousness;  to promote critical and reflective thinking by dealing with feedback on your presentation skills.
  2. 2. Scope  Decide what you want to achieve.  Decide whether a formal presentation is the best way to achieve this objective.  If you decide to go ahead with the presentation, decide what form it should take.  Prepare a script (in whatever form suits you best).  Design and prepare your visual aids and handouts.  Rehearse.  Do it!
  3. 3. Presentation Strategy  Organize  Lack of organization is one of the major causes of anxiety.  Visualize  Imagine walking into a room, being introduced, delivering your presentation with enthusiasm, fielding questions with confidence, and leaving the room knowing you did a great job.  Practice  Many speakers rehearse a presentation mentally or with just their lips. Instead, you should practice standing up, as if an audience were in front of you, and use your visual aids (if you have them.)
  4. 4. Presentation Strategy  Breathe  When your muscles tighten and you feel nervous, you may not be breathing deeply enough. The first thing to do is to sit up, erect but relaxed, and inhale deeply a number of times.  Focus on relaxing  Instead of thinking about the tension—focus on relaxing. As you  breathe, tell yourself on the inhale, "I am" and on the exhale, "relaxed."  Release tension  As tension increases and your muscles tighten, nervous energy can get locked into the limbs. This unreleased energy may cause your hands and legs to shake.
  5. 5. Presentation Strategy  Move  Speakers who stand in one spot and never gesture experience tension. In order to relax, you need to release tension by allowing your muscles to flex.  Make eye contact with the audience  Give your presentation to one person at a time. Relate with your audience as individuals Look in peoples' eyes as you speak. Connect with them. Make it personal and personable. The eye contact should help you relax because you become less isolated from the audience, and learn to react to their interest in you.
  6. 6. Aanxiety  Anxiety is a natural state that exists any time we are placed under stress. Giving a presentation will normally cause some stress. Don't worry! If you have any of these symptoms before or during a presentation, you are normal.
  7. 7. Introductory remarks  Plan the exact words you will use for the opening, the transition points, and the conclusion. Practice them again and again. If you are anxious, write on cards the introductory and concluding sentences. Make more notes if you need them
  8. 8. Context of the presentation  who are the audience, and what are their interests?  how big will the audience be?  how long is the presentation to be?  what equipment is available for visual aids?  what about time for questions?
  9. 9. Topic  Decide on your topic.  Think carefully about the main point or points that you want to communicate. You should be able to write these clearly in one or two sentences.
  10. 10. PRESENTATION  This will be influenced by the general context and aim of your presentation and the expected audience. You may need to decide between a big picture approach and one that selects a smaller area with more detail. As you develop your knowledge of the topic, you will feel more confident about what to include and what to exclude. Identify the key messages. Three or four main points are normally sufficient for a presentation of up to a half-hour. You should choose carefully examples to provide interest and improve understanding and think where to place them in the structure of the content. Use such things as examples, stories, statistics, quotes from expert sources, or research findings. (Cameron S., 2010)
  11. 11. Organize the content  Structure the content. Most people begin with an unordered collection of ideas, and then put them into sequence. Then decide on the relative weight of each section of the talk
  12. 12. Listeners Interest  Think of ways of catching the listeners’ interest by providing:  examples,  anecdotes,  Impressive statistics, and  interesting quotations.
  13. 13. INTRODUCTION  Apart from introducing yourself and subject of your presentation, you should plan carefully about what point of entry will stimulate your audience and at the same time, form a springboard into the main topics of your delivery. When thinking about your openings, keep your audience and their ‘needs’ very firmly in mind. A good beginning can make the presentation; a poor, inappropriate one can seriously undermine it. Many people tend to fail to have a proper introduction that contextualises the topic.
  14. 14. FORM OF LANGUAGE  Use correct language and proofread (words used appropriately; correct spelling and punctuation). It is essential to check your work for errors. Also follow general principles: avoid gender stereotyping; avoid racist and racism stereotyping; avoid being aggressive, swearing or obscenities; use the language that can include everybody (Pritchard, A., 2008), (Drew,
  15. 15. Visuals  Professor Albert [Mehrabian]... studied social communication and discovered that communication happens on three levels:   Visual – 55% (body language)   Vocal – 38% (tone of voice)   Verbal – 7% (words)  By far, visual communication is the most powerful of the three types.
  16. 16. Preparation of rough draft  It is useful to ‘rough-draft’ visual aids at the initial stage, because they can help making the sequence of points more clear and logical. Think about whether some information should be put into handouts
  17. 17. Presentation length  Check overall length, and the relative weight of sections. A little too short is better than even a little too long. As a rough guide, allow about one minute for every 100 words, plus time if necessary for changing transparencies. One A4 page, double- spaced, takes about 3 minutes of speaking time.
  18. 18. Visual aids  Finish preparation of visual aids. If you are using PowerPoint data projection, slides on transparency are a useful back-up in case of last-minute technical problems.
  19. 19. Handouts  Prepare handouts, if you want them. Make copies.
  20. 20. Practice  REHEARSE your presentation, as often as necessary.  Do not omit this step!  You can practice alone, or ask a friend or colleagues to listen to you.  With practice, you will become more fluent and at ease.  Make sure you speak simply, but in academic not conversational style.  Project your voice across the room.  You will find this slows your speech.  Check the timing carefully and make adjustments if necessary.  Mark a time reference at one or two points in the presentation.
  21. 21. Anticipating questions  Think about the questions the audience may want to ask you. Plan how you will answer them.
  22. 22. preparations  On the day of your presentation, be calm and organized. If you are unfamiliar with the location, go beforehand to plan where you will stand and where you will put your papers, and to see how the projection works. Arrive in good time for your presentation. Remember to take all your visual aids, notes and papers!
  23. 23. POSTURE  1 Stand straight but not stiff.  2 Balance your weight evenly on both feet.  3 Standing well allows your diaphragm to move more easily to control your breathing and voice production. So you feel better, sound better, and look better.
  24. 24. MOVEMENT AND GESTURES  1. Too much movement is distracting; no movement at all is boring and uncommunicative.  2. Use movements and gestures to signal transition points or to stress points of importance.  3. Avoid meaningless gestures and repetitive movements. Don't wave your left hand about in circles or wave the pointer about. Use the pointer only when necessary, and with a firm movement. If you have a laser pointer, keep your hand close to your body when using it; don't hold it at arm's length like a gun.
  25. 25. FACIAL EXPRESSION  1. Your facial expression must match your message. If you claim something is interesting, look as if you find it so.  2 Relax your facial muscles. If you look nervous, the audience will not be comfortable.  3 In the ten minutes before you start, make sure your tongue is relaxed and not raised tensely against the roof of your mouth. If you can discreetly yawn widely once or twice, this will help to relax your facial and throat muscles and to feel less tense.
  26. 26. VOICE  1. Speak a little louder than you think is necessary. Project your voice to the back of the room. Use your diaphragm to do this, not the muscles of your throat. Keep the muscles of your throat and mouth relaxed. Otherwise your voice loses resonance and power, and is less pleasant to listen to.  2 Speak a little more slowly than you normally do, especially if you feel nervous. This will help you sound and feel more confident. A useful rule- of-thumb is: the larger the audience, the more slowly you should speak.  3 Use your voice as a communication tool. Vary the speed -speak more slowly in the introduction and the conclusion. Use stress for important points and contrasts. A short silence can also serve to emphasize a point or a transition. All these techniques contribute greatly to making a presentation interesting to listen to.
  27. 27. EYE CONTACT  1. Eye contact creates a relationship between the speaker and the audience. It encourages the audience to listen. It helps to relax the speaker. So look at people.  2. Start and end with direct eye contact, looking round the whole audience. During the talk, don’t gaze over people’s heads or out of the window. Look at your visual aids (and notes if you have them) as much as is necessary, but don’t stare at them and talk to them. Look at the audience as much as you can.  3. Don’t look always at the same section of the audience or, even worse, at one ‘victim’. Don’t dart your eyes about quickly, or sweep your gaze round like a searchlight. Focus on one person or group for 1-2 seconds; then look at another person or group, then
  28. 28. DEFINITIONS  Group and individual presentations for a given topic as part of a module assessment.  Seminar presentations giving a paper to an academic or your peers for the purpose of teaching or showing evidence of your understanding of the topic.  Providing an overview of some research carried out by you or your group.  Demonstrating the use of a piece of equipment or software such as PowerPoint to show that you have developed the essential skills to use it appropriately.  Dissertation-related presentations and Vivas to demonstrate your ability to manage a research project.  A job interview where you have been asked to present for several minutes on a given topic. (Chivers B., Shoolbred M., 2007)
  29. 29. PREPARATION  What is the main aim of the presentation and what message you want to deliver to the audience in the time limit set?  What is the current knowledge level of the audience and what new knowledge or awareness do you want the audience to have gained from your presentation?  What is the most effective way to
  30. 30. CONCLUSION  You need to summarize your points, again using visual aids to reinforce them if possible. Always leave your audience with something memorable, say a powerful visual or a convincing conclusion, with a key idea, a central theme to take away and want to reflect on later. It is also good practice to thank the audience for their patience and to invite questions or discussion. (Cameron S., 2010), (Ellis, R., 2010).
  31. 31. TIMING  In most presentations, it is usually better to deliver less content at a reasonable pace, than too much content at a faster pace that may leave the audience feeling overwhelmed and confused. You should fit the topic into the allotted time and plan time for breaks, asides, questions. This means you should think clearly about what to include and exclude from the final version of your presentation.
  32. 32. PowerPoint presentations  Avoid clutter slides at all costs  Select a clear font such as Arial or Helvetica.  Use bold rather than underline and avoid italics;  A dark background (deep blue or black) and light coloured text (white or yellow) for contrast will make your words stand out (Use of colour that detracts from the main content of the slide, or that makes reading the text difficult.)  Use a font size of 20 or over: use a 36 point for titles and a 28 point for body text  Spelling and /or grammar mistakes  Use pictures and icons and beware of the special effects, e.g. spinning words or sound effects  Keep the presentation consistent, e.g. background and style. Do not suddenly switch fonts half way through. You may not notice but your audience will  Less than 30 words per slide, 5–6 words for headings a maximum of five bullet points per slide  Keep the number of slides down to one per minute or even one per 40 seconds (Malthouse, R., Roffey-Barentsen, J., 2010), (Craig, C., 2009)

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