This week’s reading on presentations was very insightful and provided tips and suggestions for all aspects of the process; from planning and practicing, to actually presenting. The text offered several strategies for effectively preparing and delivering a presentation in a way that is not only informative, but also engaging for the audience. It is interesting to note that modern methods of presenting have evolved from the ancient Greeks and many of the same tools are used today including rhetorical devices as well as structure of the presentation.
The Greeks way of presenting focuses on telling a story and keeping the audience engaged. They rejected the conventional format of an introduction – tell your audience, what you’re going to say, then ...view middle of the document...
The Greeks used the conclusion to appeal to the audience for approval as well as present a plan of action as opposed to summarizing what had just been said.
Chapter 8, Show Time, is particularly effective and explores various factors that contribute to an engaging presentation. Some things seem obvious such as speaking clearly without reading notes directly, but also to avoid the use of jargon. It is important to understand your audience and cater your speech accordingly – technical terms will be largely ignored or completely misunderstood if the audience is unfamiliar with the subject matter. Ultimately confidence is the most important thing when giving a presentation and that only comes with practice and repetition, but there are a number of things the speaker can do in order to project a positive image to the audience. Posture is very important – standing up straight serves to increase confidence and give your voice greater volume. It is also important to maintain and control eye contact with the ENTIRE audience or if you are too nervous to focus on everything, direct your attention to individuals instead. Other suggestions regarding body language include not folding your arms, avoid putting your hands in pockets, and control your facial expressions in order to convey the proper message of the argument or point being made. One can proactively fight stage fright by being adequately prepared, anticipating questions, knowing the audience, practicing breathing techniques, and finally accepting nervousness as a normal feeling.
The final step of an effective presentation is the evaluation. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is a critical component and provides a valuable opportunity to see continuous improvements as well as make your super-hot, ultra-talented professor proud.