Oral Presentations Developing A 5-7 Minute Presentation
Speaking in Public
According to a well-known Gallup Poll, most Americans fear public speaking more than dying!
Overcome this fear by:
Knowing the material thoroughly
Organizing the presentation effectively
Preparing effective visuals and notes
Sharing the task
Planning for contingencies
Practicing in front of a mirror; timing yourself
Delivering by interacting with the audience
Knowing your Material
The best way to prepare any presentation is to know your material.
Make sure you thoroughly understand the information you have researched.
Become familiar with the information in your sources so you can reference them in your presentation.
Common ways to organize types of presentations are as follows:
Problem, Need, Solution
Preparing your Slides
Always prepare both your PowerPoint slides and a speaking script, which will differ. (More on the script in a minute.)
Perform the following tests on your slides:
White Space Test
What are these tests?
Performing a Floor Test
Floor test: this is a presenter’s trick. Print one sample slide. Place it on the floor at your feet. If you can read it easily, without “ocular” assistance, your audience can probably read your slides, too. No one likes to sit in a presentation in which the slides have text that is too small to see.
Never use a font smaller than 20 point! The font sizes 24 point or greater are even better.
Remember, one point is 1/72 of an inch.
When creating a group presentation, make sure that everyone on your team uses the same font style (PowerPoint’s default font, Arial).
Performing a White Space Test
White Space Test: this test checks for slides that are too busy either with text or with complicated graphs or charts.
Limit the text on slides to bullets—short phrases that provide key information only.
Never put the entire text of a report or everything that you will say in your presentation on the slides.
You want the audience listening to you, not reading!
Performing a Color Test
Color Test: this is a test to ensure that color perceptual difficulties that audience members may have do not interfere with being able to read your slide.
In general, combinations like dark blue backgrounds and light blue text are off limits. They may look great on your screen, but some audience members can’t see them.
Team members need to use the same slide design or background color, but the exact choice should be based on topic and occasion.
Learning about Color Perception
There are degrees of color perceptual problems, but because it is inherited, boys are more likely to have them than girls.
There are websites that can show you examples so you know what audience members who are color challenged will see. Go to http://www.vischeck.com and click Examples.
Planning for Contingencies
Make the presentation clear and simple.
You can use slide transitions and custom animation for bullets, if you want to; however avoid letting these “bells and whistles” overpower your information. Avoid linking to websites or audio files unless you are certain of a high-speed connection.
Planning for Contingencies
When presenting, if website modeling is required, open an Internet connection outside of your presentation that, if not working, will not affect your presentation because of “technical difficulties” which are not acceptable in a presentation.
In addition, set up the presentation so that you can “punt” if needed. This means embedding “screen shots” as hidden slides for use when there is no connection, like the example on the next slide, which is a “screen shot” of the site I mentioned before.
This can be done using the Print Screen key on your keyboard to capture the image that is on the screen and then selecting Edit > Paste to put the image on a slide (cropping and resizing if you wish).
Practicing for Length
In an online class, you are not required to present orally.
Still, you should be aware of how long information will take to present, using time effectively: see the chart in chapter 16 of our textbook.
Interacting with the Audience
Introduce your team members/reintroduce yourself as you present and as you say thank you to personalize the presentation.
Look at each audience member at least once during the presentation.
Avoid looking at the screen or turning your back on the audience.
Avoid leaning on the furniture; avoid pacing or using pockets.
If you lose your place, stay composed and finish; don’t be afraid of a brief pause.
If you are the final presenter, ask for questions at the end of the entire presentation.
Start your presentation after you reach the front and when the slide presentation is ready.
Finish your comments before leaving the front/returning to your seat!
Make sure everyone can see the visual and hear you. Enunciate!
Relax and have fun.
Fulfill your promises!!
Noticing Faulty Text Size
Slide Tests Reminder:
Did you see how busy the previous slide was—even at 20-point font size?
Making Eye Contact
Both your slides and your note cards, when you present in person, should contain only talking points , not sentences that you or your audience must read. The content of the slides and note cards should differ .
The slides are for your audience.
The note cards are for you.
You cannot maintain audience contact if you read the slides and audience members can do that themselves, so avoid “reading” the slide content.
Your comments should enhance , not repeat the slide content. Recast the point on the slide into your own terms to discuss it.
Look at your audience rather than the screen. A team member can run the presentation, or you can use a remote device.
I made a promise earlier in the presentation when I stated, “more on the script in a minute.” That means I still owe you, my audience, key information about your presentation.
How did I remember this several slides later? I gave myself a visual cue—the butterfly. When I saw it again on the last slide, it tripped my memory so that I would give you some very important information about a requirement for this presentation.
You can use a visual cue like this, that only you recognize; you may not have a slide or you may have a “hidden” slide that you can decide whether to show when you see the cue.
Scripting your “note cards”
If you were presenting in class, I would require note cards to be made and turned in.
If note cards are not for you, you might consider typing a short script in at least a 14-point font that indicates what you plan to say about each slide.
Even if you don’t use it, you will probably be able to draw on the information you typed because you took the time to do so.
Presentation conclusions are done in a variety of ways:
Recap key points.
Describe the “next step” for the listeners. (For example, if you were delivering the information in a proposal through means of a presentation, if the audience is persuaded to say “yes” to the proposal, they would need to know what to do next.)
Always provide contact information.
Selecting a Final Slide
End effectively; field questions, of course, but don’t leave an active slide on the screen as you conclude.
Two options for finishing a presentation are modeled next.
Make your final slide memorable, such as using PowerPoint’s “Word Art” to thank the audience or
Use a blank slide.
Did you notice that I didn’t do that in the previous course lecture on documenting government sources? Did you wonder if you missed something? Final slides provide closure.