Saturday, 28 December 2013

Speakout Advanced p 89. Oral Presentation Skills. Extra Speaking



A good oral presentation is well structured; this makes it easier for the listener to follow.
Basically there are three parts to a typical presentation: the beginning, middle and end or (introduction, body and conclusion). We are going to look at the content of each part individually and the language needed to express its structure and content.
The beginning of a presentation is the most important part. It is when you establish a rapport with the audience and when you have its attention. More detailed techniques are to be found later.
Get the audience's attention and signal the beginning.
·    Right. Well. OK. Erm. Let's begin.
·    Good. Fine. Great. Can we start?
·    Shall we start?
·    Let's get the ball rolling.
·    Let's get down to business.
Try to get your audience involved in your talk either by asking direct or rhetorical questions. Ask for a show of hands for example in response to a question. Some of these approaches may not be appropriate in all countries. Ask yourself how things are done in your country together with regard to your own experience and adapt accordingly.
Greet the audience.
It is important to greet the audience by saying something like:
·    Hello ladies and gentlemen.
·    Good morning members of the jury.
·    Good afternoon esteemed guests
·    Good evening members of the board Fellow colleagues Mr. Chairman/Chairwoman
Introduce yourself
(name, position, responsibility in the company) Not only to give that important information so people can identify you but also to establish your authority on the subject and to allow the audience to see your point of view on the subject (you are a student, researcher, responsible for, director of, neophyte, layman).
·    Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce myself.
·    Good morning everyone, I'd like to start by introducing myself. My name is... I am a student at the INT where I am a doctoral candidate,
·    I am X. Y. from 3 Com. I'm the manager of…
·    I am a researcher from …
·    I've been working on the subject now for X years..and I've had wide experience in the field of ...
·    Good morning, my name is Lawrence Couderc. I am a student at the INT and I would like to talk to you today about some of my findings in I study I did on
Sometimes, especially when invited to speak, the host introduces the guest, gives the same information as above and then gives the floor to the guest speaker.
·    I am very pleased and proud to introduce …who is….
·    He/she is known for…
·    Now I'll turn the floor over to today's speaker. (take the floor, to have the floor, to give the floor to someone.)
In English-speaking countries it is not uncommon that the speaker begin with a joke, an anecdote, and a surprising statement to get the audience's attention, to make people want to listen, to feel relaxed and even to introduce the subject.
An illustration from real life can be useful here as this may be a way to present information in such a way that the audience can identify with.

Give title and introduce subject
What exactly are you going to speak about? 
Situate the subject in time and place, in relation to the audience, the importance. Give a rough idea or a working definition of the subject.
·    I plan to speak about...
·    Today I'm going to talk about...
·    The subject of my presentation is...
·    The theme of my talk is... I've been asked to talk to you about...
A cultural aspect may be important here; scientists want to demonstrate their work and findings while managers and humanities people want to share ideas and reflections with their audience. It may be the result of a desire to persuade and convince. It may be comparison of two or more products, plans or proposals. Why are you going to speak about it?
·    I have chosen to speak about this because...
·    I was asked to speak about X because...
Have you set any limits on the scope of your talk? What won't you speak about? It may be very useful to eliminate certain areas before you start so as to avoid confusion or deviation from your main task. It also protects you from criticism later if do not mention it in advance.
Have you limited the time? It is useful to give the listeners some idea of the time so as to maintain their attention better.
·    I will not speak about...
·    I have limited my speech to
·    I will speak for 15 minutes
·    My talk will last about 15 minutes
You may want to give acknowledgements here too. If you have been sponsored, supported or encouraged by a particular firm, organization, professor, etc. you may want to acknowledge their contribution. Your research and paper may have been the work of a collaborative effort and you should acknowledge this too and give the names of all the participants. At some point you should ask a question or somehow try to determine where the audience is. How do they feel about the subject? You will then have to modify the contents, as you never know exactly what to expect.
·    Have you ever heard of ...?
·    Every day you encounter.
To get the audience's attention and perhaps to find out where they are you could introduce the subject by saying:
·    Have you ever heard of/seen X?
·    You've probably seen countless times...
You may have wondered...
Give your objectives (purpose, aim, goals)
The main purpose of an informative speech is to have the audience understand and remember a certain amount of information. You should thus have two purposes: a general purpose and a specific one. The former is to inform: to give an overview, to present, to summarize, to outline; to discuss the current situation or to explain how to do something or how something is done. The latter is what you want the audience to take away with them after listening to you, what you want them to do, what they should remember.
·    My purpose in doing this paper is to give you a solid background on the subject of oral presentation so that in the future, at the INT or elsewhere you can deliver a successful speech in front of a group.
·    What I would like to do today is to explain...
·    to illustrate...
·    to give a general overview of...
·    to outline...
·    to have a look at...
·    What I want my listeners to get out of my speech is...
Once you have established your specific objectives you may go on to formulate your content.
Announce your outline.
You want to keep the outline simple so 2 or 3 main points are usually enough. Concerning grammar the headings of the outline should be of the same grammatical form.
·    I have broken my speech down/up into X parts.
·    I have divided my presentation (up) into Y parts.
·    In the first part I give a few basic definitions. In the next section I will explain In part three, I am going to show...
·    In the last place I would like/want to give a practical example...
Questions and comments from the audience.
You should also let the audience know at some point in the introduction when they may or may not ask questions.
·    I'd ask you to save your questions for the end.
·    There will be plenty of time at the end of my speech for questions and discussion.
·    You may interrupt me at any moment to ask questions or make comments

ORAL PRESENTATION SKILLS : The middle or the body

Here are a few possibilities for organizing your ideas:
chronological order;
from general to specific;
from known to unknown;
from accepted to controversial;
What information should you give in your speech? All your information should support purpose. In most cases you will have to limit the content, as time is usually precious!

How much information should you give? Enough to clearly develop your ideas. Don't forget to illustrate through examples. I.2.C

Sequencing your ideas.
Whatever sequencing you choose, the headings should be all of the same grammatical form. I.2.D Keeping the audience's attention The beginning and the end or the first and last parts are what listeners will remember the most. Think of ways you can keep the audience's attention throughout the rest of the speech. (See Creating Interest)
Signposting or signalling where you are.
Just as when you are driving along a road that you don't know very well you depend on signs to guide you, you need to guide the listener by using expressions to tell him/her where you are going. That is to say, first announce what you are going to say (give an example, reformulate etc.) and then say what you want to say.
This is very like verbal punctuation. Indicating when you have finished one point and go on to the next. It is redundant in text but very advantageous in oral presentations. It may be useful also to pause, change your stance and the pitch of your voice as you move from one part of your presentation to another.
Listing information
This can be
·    There are three things we have to consider: one, two, and three. A, B, C.
·    Now let us look at the first aspect which is ...
·    First of all,…
·    In the first place…
Linking ideas, sections/making transitions
Indicate the end of one section and the beginning of the next.
·    That's all I would like to say about .... (subject of part A) and now let us turn to ....
·    Now that we've seen ... let us examine more closely..
Outlining options.
If there are alternative ways of looking at a topic or proposal outline them to show you are familiar with different ways of dealing with the situation.
·    There seem to be two possibilities of dealing with this.....
·    We've looked at this from the point of view of the manufacturer but what about if we were to...
·    A number of options present themselves at this point....
If what you are dealing with demands a comparison of strengths and weaknesses indicate clearly the different aspects and underline the points you feel are important or secondary.
·    What exactly are the benefits?
·    On the plus side we can add....;
·    This is not the only weakness of the plan .........
·    We cannot ignore the problems that such an action would create......
Here are further examples of expressions that you can use in different circumstances
To give an example:
Now let's take an example.
An example of this can be found...
To illustrate this…
Let's see this through an example.
For example, for instance, e.g.
To rephrase:
Let me rephrase that,
In other words
Another way of saying the same thing
That is to say i.e.
To summarize:
To summarize
To sum up,
Let me summarize by saying
So that concludes my overview
In conclusion
Briefly said
In short,
What I've tried to show in this part...
To recap what we've seen so far.
To emphasize
What is very important is...
What is important to remember...
I'd like to emphasize the fact that...
to stress... to highlight... to underline...
What I tried to bring out....
What we need to focus on...
To refer to what you have said previously
As I have already said earlier...
As we saw in part one...
To repeat what I've said so far.
To refer to common knowledge:
As you all may well know...
It is generally accepted that...
As you are probably aware of.
To refer to what you will say:
We will see this a little later on.
This will be the subject of part 3.
We will go into more detail on that later.
For now it is suffice to say that..
suffice (it) to say (that)…
To refer to what an expert says:
I quote the words of ...
There is a famous quotation that goes...
In the words of According to....
Here I'd like to quote As Mr. X says in his book...

ORAL PRESENTATION SKILLS : The end or conclusion

 The end or the conclusion of your talk should include four parts

  • Give a brief reminder of what you tried to show in your speech and how you tried to do so
    You should briefly summarize your speech in a few lines to make sure the audience has retained the main points. Alternatives are to just simply: state the point of the speech; give the essential message to retain; list the main points and what you want the audience to remember; review informally or indirectly by using a quote, a comparison or example.
  • Present a short conclusion,
    That is to say you should give a message that logically comes out of the ideas developed in your speech. This could be a commentary, the lessons learned, some recommendations, or the next steps
  • Thirdly, thank the audience for attending.
  • Invite the audience to ask questions or open a discussion.
    If you choose the former, you put yourself in a superior position compared to the audience and should be considered as an expert. You will need to be very prepared intellectually and psychologically to give control to the audience and able to answer any questions. However, in the case of the latter, you put yourself more or less on equal terms with the audience and do not have to be the expert with all the answers! The audience may have some clear ideas or some practical knowledge about the subject themselves!
NB The end of a talk should never come as a surprise to an audience but needs special consideration.

Signposting the end of your talk.
This may take the form of a recapitulation of the main points.
·    I'd like to summarise/sum up
·    At this stage I would like to run through/over the main points...
·    So, as we have seen today....
·    As I have tried to explain this morning BT finds itself in........
or there may be recommendations or proposals that you wish to make;
·    As a result we suggest that.. In the light of what we have seen today I suggest that......
·    My first proposal is......
Above all when you conclude do not do it abruptly or as if surprised to get to the end of your talk.
·    In conclusion I would like to say that.......
·    My final comments concern....
·    I would like to finish by reminding everyone that......
You may at this point wish to distribute a vocabulary list or more detailed information that you wish to make available.
·    I've prepared a slim folder of the proposals...;
·    In the sheets that are now being distributed you will find a breakdown of the.........
·    And finally you may well have to deal with questions.
·    I'd be happy to answer any questions....
·    If there are any questions please feel free to ask.
·    Thank you very much for your attention and if there are any suggestions or comments

More ideas on how to deliver a monologue HERE

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