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  • 1. Presentation Skills<br />These are the facilitator notes for the Presentation Skills workshop. There is also an associated handout. <br />Prior to the presentation, make sure you have download links for the following:<br />
    • Student Handout
    • 2. The Learning Commons Critical Thinking Study Toolkit
    • 3. The Online Workshop Series Survey
    Workshop Outline<br />Learning OutcomeActionPurposeTimePre-workshop Push the handout and poll the students about their background.Explain that the handout serves as a basis for taking notes during the presentation5 minIntroductionIntroduce yourself and the topicGives a clear statement of the purpose of the workshop.2 minOutcomesOutline the learning outcomes for the workshopProvide students with a clear idea of what to expect in the workshop2 minSelf-AnalysisPoll students about critical thinking strategies.Identify and analyze group levels of presentation skills4 minA Short History of PresentationDefine common principles of presentations over time and how they have evolved. Give students a clear set of terminology to employ when analyzing presentations7 minCharacteristics of Speeches and PresentationsDescribe with visual aids how speeches and presentations flow as hills or heart monitorsShows students the purpose of visual aids and have them consider how bullet points can aid or abuse a presentation.5 minSelf-reflectionAsk students to identify good aspects of presentations that they have attended. Shows students that they already have a previous body of knowledge of good presentation skills.6 minPreparing a presentationIntroduces aspects of authority, audience, and outlining.Give students a set of criteria to address before they begin making their presentation5 minBreaking up the storyGive students the same set of facts as a bullet slide and as visual aids.Allows students to visualize how they may want to design their own visual content.6 minDiscussionAsk students what the goal of a good presentation is and how bullet points can aid or hinder that goal. Provides students with an opportunity to discuss and justify their use of text on presentation slides.6 minTools and tipsDisplay tools and tips for giving a good presentation including analyzing location, presenter tools, and audience engagement. Introduces the impact of technology and room design upon presentation design.5 minDiscussionAsk students about any further concerns that have not been met in the presentation.Allows organic discussion around actual participant needs. 5 minPollAsk students to come up with two tools or ideas that they will take away from the workshop.Allows students to reconsider what has been covered in the workshop and to prioritize what works for them3 minExitShow the students the Learning Commons Study Toolkit pageProvides further resources for students2 min<br />Select the Presentation Skills Workshop<br />It is recommended that you log in to the Learning Commons classroom at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the workshop. When you first log in to the classroom, you will need to select the Presentation Skills Slides from the Content dropdown menu. Once you have selected them, click on Go. <br />Series Slide<br />Use this slide to greet the students. Push the handout to them as a download link. If students are having technical troubles, please try to troubleshoot them early on. <br />Student Poll<br />Encourage students to share a little bit of their background with you. This helps to personalize the encounter and may help you see the breadth of experience in your classroom. This step should be completed prior to commencing archiving. <br />This is a good time to explain that student names are not attached to the polls.<br />Title Slide<br />After you switch to the title slide, remind students that the presentation will be archived. After you click on the Archiving button, wait for the Archiving announcement to complete. You will also notice that there are now two new listings in the participants representing the archive and encoder. You can ignore these.<br />Introduce the workshop for the benefit of the archive record. Remember that this will be the first slide seen by later viewers. <br />Facilitator Slide<br />Introduce yourself as the facilitator for the presentation. If you have some special insight or background, make sure to share it with the class.<br />Learning Outcomes<br />Identify the learning outcomes for your workshop. This workshop is designed to provide a deeper understanding of presentation skills and present a core set of values about designing good presentations. In the final part of the presentation, strategies for more effective presentations will be considered. Encourage students to consider their own personal presentation preferences throughout the presentation. <br />This presentation is designed to draw heavily upon student feedback. It is important to encourage students to consider and share their own experiences throughout the presentation. Take the opportunity on this slide to encourage participants to use the text chat to raise questions, seek clarification, or further discussion during the workshop. <br />Student Poll<br />Poll students about their presentation background. This will help them open up and share their experience. It will also allow them to see that others share their difficulties and experience.<br />Rules<br />The first rule about giving a good presentation is that there aren't any rules for how a presentation should be made.<br />The second rule for giving a good presentation is that there aren't any rules for how a presentation should look.<br />The third rule is that anyone who tries to tell you that there are rules for making a good presentation probably just made them up.<br />That doesn't mean that there aren't good practices to follow, just that we shouldn't get so caught up in trying to follow rules that we lose sight of what will make our presentation better and more effective.<br />History<br />Of course, it may help to look at a short history of presentations. <br />Until very recently, all presentations could be classified as speeches. You know what a speech is. It's what politicians give. It's what generals give to inspire their armies. It's what CEO's give to their shareholders. Speeches are carefully crafted to convince the audience about some important point and to persuade them to the point of view of the person giving the speech. <br />Rhetoric<br />The art of giving a good speech had pretty much remained consistent since the invention of democracy in ancient Greece. They called this rhetoric and it was an entire course of study much like we major in Biology or Engineering. There were three main skills that the ancients tried to instruct their students: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. These three principles of persuasion were combined by ancient orators to tell compelling stories. The most compelling speaker would convince the audience to their point of view. <br />The fact that all it really took to make a successful speech was to convince the audience may seem incredulous to us now. We're used to checking facts and holding people accountable for things that are said. But it's only very recently that we were able to do this. Before the invention of the internet, it was opinion that ruled the day, not fact. And it still remains important to sway opinion to our side when giving a presentation.<br />Ethos<br />Ethos is perhaps best described as character appeal. Why is the presenter credible? <br />Think about the start of any presentation you've ever seen. Somewhere in those first few slides, undoubtedly there was a list of credentials. This can be very important in a presentation that has multiple sides or points of view. Why should we believe one side more? Most often, it comes down to how credible they are. Sometimes this may take a negative cast with attacks against opponents deconstructing their credentials. <br />Logos<br />Logos is an appeal based on logic or reason. This is the fundamental principle of most scholarly presentations. A presentation without facts is less compelling to the audience. Why should they believe what you say unless there are concrete reasons.<br />Logic-driven presentations will present information, but it's still up to the presenter to show how that information is relevant to the arguments being made. Orators work hard to ensure that their interpretation of facts remains the most persuasive. <br />Pathos<br />Pathos is the emotional appeal of the speaker. Pathos is the hidden influencer of a presentation. It's never directly represented in visual material or slides. Pathos comes purely from the art of delivery and the choice of words used by a presenter. Words that excite an audience or help them relate to our presentation stem from pathos. <br />Most academic presenters shirk their responsibility to pathos in their presentation relying on their credentials and facts to carry the day. Unfortunately, this often leaves presentations dry and boring. <br />You can try to seize on pathos by creating a real tie between our visual aids and our words. Think about a speech given by a politician at a war memorial. The very site of the speech excites the audience with emotional ideas. This is also how advertisers work to convince us that their products are better than their competitors when in fact they may be exactly the same. Advertisements combine images with their products to influence us to <br />What Changed?<br />So for thousands of years, speechmakers depended upon the combination of credibility, logic and emotion alone to carry the day. <br />The slide projector changed the game. Suddenly, pictures flooded presentations where previously words alone sufficed. A world of visual aids flooded into the classroom and presentation halls. There was no need to mince long words when a picture would suffice. Some presenters began to rely on the impact of images to carry the day and paid less attention to their words. <br />The Digital Revolution<br />The final evolution in presentations happened with the digital revolution. Computers allowed everyone to put together visuals. You no longer needed to think about images, you could just put up words or talking points. Presentations became slides full of bulleted points. Presenters began to over-rely on logos to carry the day. Slides mirrored speech instead of augmenting it. Worse still, people crafted their slides before they ever began to think about what they were actually going to speak. <br />The Gentle Hill<br />The anatomy of a speech changed dramatically over the last century. The ancient orators had depended on compulsion represented in a good story. There was an introduction, a lengthy build up to the main salient points, and a satisfying conclusion. The audience was accustomed to listen from start to end. It is best to think of this as a gentle hill where the journey is a continuous and satisfying arc. <br />The Stacatto Heart<br />But presentations crafted around slides tend to ignore the structure of the story. Every slide became it's own story with introduction, information overload, and outtro. Audiences now become flooded with information every time the slide changes. There can be new words, ideas, concepts, bulleted points...all flying at the audience at the same time as the speaker is attempting to continue to speak. <br />Instead of a gentle rolling hill audiences now experience multiple peaks and valleys during a presentation. A good visual for thinking about this is a heart monitor. What happens when your heart is stimulated? It beats faster and the the lines go up and down quickly. This represents the stress on your heart. Our brains react much the same way. <br />Bullets are Dangerous<br />Remember that each bullet point on a slide represents an individual point you want remembered. How many individual points can you remember in a presentation? Five? Ten? Most presentations have far more bullet points. Do you want to fire a bullet to get attention? Or are you declaring war on your audience with a hail of bullets? They'll remember both events, but only one favourably. <br />Focus on Delivery<br />Our goals need to reallign with making a good speech. This means that we need to think differently about how we give presentations. Humans are social creatures and we like our information delivered socially. How can we give a presentation that is more social? Do bullet points deliver a social message? No, they deliver facts. Facts have no inherent social value and have to be interpreted by the person delivering the speech or message. So we need to focus on delivering that message. <br />Discussion<br />What are some ways that we can focus on delivering a better message? What are some of the most compelling presentations that you've been to? What did they do differently?<br />Expertise<br />When you are giving a presentation, the first thing that you must remember is that you are the expert. You've spent weeks, months, and sometimes even years gather information and expertise in order to give your presentation. Think about the rhetorical skills. What mixture of credibility, logic and emotion are required for your presentation?<br />Analyze your audience<br />You need to have a clear understanding of your audience. Who are they? Are they a group of experts in your field? Are they your colleagues with only some understanding of your topic? Are they students looking to you to introduce them to a subject? This changes the purpose of your presentation and alters the way you need to craft your message.<br />Try asking yourself some questions about your target audience:<br />What do they know?<br />What do they want to know?<br />What do they need to know?<br />Why should they care?<br />Write First<br />Once you know who your audience is, try writing a speech about your subject without making any slides. <br />Try asking yourself some questions during this period:<br />What are your talking points? <br />How can you make your content compelling?<br />What stories are going to emphasize your message?<br />Just the facts<br />Brewing the perfect cup of coffee is dependent upon four factors:<br />1) Cleanliness: Coffee leaves a sediment of oils and carbon upon the surfaces of your equipment. If you let these build up, they can affect the taste of your coffee often making it bitter. <br />2) Freshness: Always use the freshest beans possible. Lots of coffee vendors are dealing in bulk and your beans may have been sitting around for months longer. Don't compound this problem by buying your coffee too far in advance and letting it sit in your storage for even longer.<br />3) Grind: Select the proper grind for your coffee equipment. A medium grind makes sense for the manual drip or french press coffee makers that most homes have, but if you're using an espresso maker, you'll want to get a very fine grind. Choosing the wrong grind for your equipment can lead to weak coffee or excessive sediment in your cup.<br />4) Measure: One six-ounce cup needs two tablespoons of coffee beans. Most people put too little coffee to the amount of water and end up missing out on the complexity of the flavour. <br />Tell a Story<br />Speeches and stories have a lot in common. People seize upon good stories and they remember more details. Good stories build up to a memorable point. <br />Let's consider the story of a cup of coffee. There are arguably few ways to describe how the coffee is brewed.<br />Clean<br />Make sure that your equipment is clean. Coffee can leave oily residue or carbon on your equipment that can lead to excessively bitter taste. Your coffee should taste like a fresh cup, not memories of yesterday's bad cup.<br />Fresh<br />Always get the freshest beans possible. A fresh grind can make a world of difference. Don't be a squirrel and stockpile too much coffee. Remember, you don't know how long that coffee sat around in the store before you bought it.<br />Grind<br />Your coffee equipment has a preferred grind. Read the instructions to see if you need a medium or fine ground. Espresso machines tend to like it finer but your typical filter or french press is better off with a medium grind. <br />Measure<br />If you want the best of something, you need to appeal to science. Coffee specialists tell us that the best proportion are two tablespoons of beans to one 6 ounce cup. If you aren't getting that much coffee, you're missing out on all the flavour. Get a spoon out and taste the difference today!<br />Memory Ship<br />Your presentation is an encapsulated point in time. It can be useful to think of it as a ship. For the course of your talk, people will get on board your ship and tour the sights that you show them and then disembark at a location of your choosing. How are they going to best remember your presentation?<br />Bullet islands?<br />You don't want people looking at the roadmap, you want them remembering details.<br />Think about how to convey information:<br />-convey the facts<br />-use supportive images<br />-tell a story<br />Make a Memory<br />Or just show each island. The point of this one is to remind you that an island is a real place where we stop, look around, and take away the idea. <br />Which do you think your audience will remember? The photo memory or the bullet map? <br />Discussion<br />What is the point of a good presentation? <br />It is to convey information that makes sense.<br />It is also to make the audience remember it by delivering it in an interesting fashion.<br />Are bullet points completely unecessary? When would you use them?<br />Mind Maps<br />Great presenters know all the talking points about their subject and how they relate to one another. This allows them to create a good flow to their presentation. Before you start writing information into slides, try sitting down with a pen and paper and visually diagram your presentation. Chances are that some information may tie into your presentation in different ways than if you had just started typing right into PowerPoint. <br />Presenter Tools<br />Presenters rely on good tools. The most important of these is the presentation software. The most popular include:<br />The first three software packages are very standard. They allow us to break up our presentations into distinct slides or slices. You will want to Powerpoint, Keynote, or Google Docs if you are giving a presentation that relies heavily on the presentation of information or the ability to focus on distinct images or slides.<br />Prezi has drawn quite a bit of attention because it breaks free from the distinct slide. It's a great tool for when you want to visually display the relations between ideas. This is a good tool for people that think with a broad canvas and don't want to be constrained by individual slide limits. <br />Location<br />A good presenter knows the lay of the land and how to use it. Are there special technologies in the room like dual screens or wireless microphones? This can affect your options for delivering your presentation. How mobile can you be in the room? Great presenters make use of the space and don't hesitate to interact with the audience. Can you organize your audience into groups? Can you circulate easily and be heard from multiple angles? Study the room you will be presenting in and make use of it. <br />Engage<br />Many presenters stand up and talk at their audience. Lecturing is a great way to get a lot of information at your audience but it is not always the most memorable. How can you involve your audience? What interactivities can build into your presentation. Are there questions you can ask? Polls or surveys? Group exercises? Remember that your audience is social and they remember better by engaging with presentations. If you have to cut out material from your presentation, this may be a small sacrifice for getting your core message through.<br />The Last Slide?<br />Your presentation doesn't end on the last slide. The end of the presentation should be the invitation to further discussion. You may find that there are questions from the audience. Be prepared to listen and write down what they say. Not every comment is a question. Some are just giving you advice or new information. Make sure you give some avenue to continue the discussion after the presentation is over. Providing contact information such as your e-mail or website will ensure that you remain accessible for further conversation. <br />Discussion<br />What tips or tricks have you learned from presentations that you or your colleagues have given? What potential problems haven't been addressed?<br />Poll<br />List two things you'll take away from this presentation. <br />More help?<br />Push the link to the Learning Commons Study Toolkit page on Presentation Skills.<br />

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