201310271158Making a Presentation – Part Two
So you have decided on the topic, you know how much to write, and you have made your notes, next we need to work out a plan for the presentation. You should break this down into at least three sections.
Tell your audience what you will be talking about and why you have chosen the topic. If it is a hobby, tell them how you got into it, where you take part, why you enjoy it.
If your topic is more serious then tell them why it means so much to you.
This is the section for the bulk of the presentation; it should contain all the main information, and facts and figures. For this section you need to sort through your notes, and pick the main points:
- Three main points for five-minute presentations
- Four main points for ten-minute presentations
- Five main points for fifteen-minute presentations
Discuss each point in detail; give as much information as you can about each one, but make sure it is relevant, make sure you stay on track. If you are presenting your own choice of argument then your time allowance is likely to be longer, so you will be able to fit in more information. When making your key points, you should give the points for the argument first and against the argument second.
If you have been presenting an argument then you wrap up with a conclusion on whichever side you agree with. If you have given both sides of the argument then just sum up what you have already said and leave the audience with plenty to think about and to make up their own minds about the conclusion.
If you have presented one side of the argument then give your concluding thoughts, using the information that you gave in the main part of the speech.
If you are talking about music, then maybe you could wrap up by suggesting songs or albums that you have enjoyed. If you have presented on a particular sport then you could suggest clubs where the audience can try or watch, and highlight any achievements that you have made, for example, taking part in or winning competitions.
It is important to remember not to add anything new to this final section.
So, you have decided what to say, now it’s time to decide on the best way of saying it.
Unless you are very good at drama or theatrical studies, then most audiences will get bored very quickly with someone that just stands at the front of the room and speaks. The trick to a good presentation is to make it as lively and as interesting as possible; to hold the attention of the audience.
So how do you do this?
Firstly, try not to have too many notes. Flash cards are far better for your own personal notes than standing there with lots of sheets of paper. But you also need to give the audience something to look at other than just you. It has been proven that information is remembered far more effectively by visual enhancement, by which I mean that diagrams will be remembered for longer than just text or speaking.
There are several ways to use visuals in your presentation. The most common classroom-based method now is PowerPoint. Using PowerPoint in a presentation will give people something to look at, and it will also help you remember what you are going to say next (plus the audience will be drawn to the images so the focus will be taken off you a little). If you don’t have the facilities to actually use PowerPoint where you are presenting then you could still make a presentation and print off the slides to give people as they arrive.
Another option is either a whiteboard which you could write key points on as they introduced or a flipchart which can be prepared in advance.
Perhaps you could take some props, such as something you use for a particular sport, samples of music, or medals/trophies that you have earned if talking about a hobby. There may even be a costume or uniform that would enhance your chosen subject-
This part of the presentation is often overlooked, but it really can be something that makes it all come together at the time and, of course, putting in that extra bit of effort will probably help with the final result.
Sharren L Bessant