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Giving a Presentation.

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

These materials are designed to help you to prepare for a lesson on: Giving a Presentation.

Being able to give a convincing and professional presentation is an essential skill for anyone working in English. This requires a combination of good structure, signposting, emphasis and intonation to get your message across clearly and to keep your listeners attention.


Instructions:

  • Firstly, look at the preparation tasks that I have chosen to help you to develop this skill.

  • Then, look at the materials provided to help with your preparation tasks and in terms of your general understanding of this particular skill.

  • Lastly, complete the tasks prior to the lesson*. (Starting by having the student complete a preparation tasks gives me an understanding of the learners ability with this task to effectively ensure and build on their understanding of appropriate language and vocabulary, good use of grammar and clear communicational skills to communicate clearly, confidently and professionally in English).

*If it's not possible to complete the tasks outside of the lesson, then we can do this as part of a lesson. I prefer to give student the option of doing as much work in their own time as possible to be more cost efficient and to maximise learning.


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The Preparation Tasks


Your task has arrived via email below;


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The Materials


The reality of giving a presentation is that only a small proportion of what the presenter says will actually be retained by the listener – around 50% immediately after they have heard it, going down to around 10% a week later – this means that you need to be very clear as to which parts of the presentation you actually want the person to remember.


Watch this video below for some excellent advice around giving presentations.

The presenter sets a couple of main ideas which we will use;

  • High level bullet points: Write bullet points for the main things that you want to communicate in your presentation. The information in these bullet points are the 10% that you want your listener to remember.

  • Supporting details: Write out the details of the presentation under the bullet points.

  • Familiarization with the presentation: Practice going over the main bullet points and using your supporting details, this is the time to cut anything that doesn't support your main points. Ideally, you wouldn't need to read anything out when giving the presentation.

  • First and Last sentences: you need a good strong opener, partly to get the listeners attention, but also for your own confidence. The ending should also be clear, the listener should know that you have reached the end of your presentation without the awkward silence.

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The SAVER method: to really help you to draw attention to your 'headline' points that you want people to remember, try the following tools under the acronym SAVER;

  • STORIES: Stories stick. But make your stories have a purpose beyond mere entertainment: because they’re so memorable, it’s important that any story you tell supports your theme or one of your main points.

  • ANALOGIES: Familiar things are more easily remembered, and analogies make things familiar.

  • VISUALS: We’re all visual learners; pictures stay in our minds far more commonly than abstract concepts and words.

  • EXAMPLES: Examples make abstract things real.

  • REPETITION: Repeat your points, but avoid repetition: “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time—a tremendous whack.”

When you craft your presentation, first make sure you get your facts straight, but then go back and use SAVER as a checklist to make sure they pack maximum impact.


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Vocabulary for structuring and signposting: Outside of the content of the presentation, which could be different for every single person giving a presentation, it's generally necessary to be able to clearly transition between the different parts of the presentation. For a list of transitional sentences have a look at the article here - Signposts for Presentations.


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Putting it all together: lastly, let's watch what I think is a brilliant example of a presentation: it really worth watching this with focus on his presentational skills - which words he emphasises, how he uses analogies and stories to make the point, and how easy he is to understand. The actual presentation starts immediately, and lasts till 01:37 in the video - so is relatively short.



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Finished


Having looked at the materials and completed the preparation tasks, you are ready for the lesson. Send anything you have prepared to me if you would like me to look at it before the lesson - joel.white.english@gmail.com


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