Monday, July 5, 2010

Presentation Structure & Equipment

Presentation Structure
A well organized presentation with clear structure is easier for the audience to follow. It is therefore more effective. You should organise the points you wish to make in a logical order. Most presentations are organised in three parts, followed by questions:
Beginning = Short Introduction = Welcome your audience
                                                            Introduce your subject
                                                Explain the structure of your presentation
                                                                 Explain rules for questions

Middle = Body of presentation =   Present the subject itself

End = Short conclusion =                    Summaries your presentation
                                                                 Thank your audience  
                                                                 Invite questions

 Questions and Answers
When you give your presentation, you should be - or appear to be - as spontaneous as possible. You should not read your presentation! You should be so familiar with your subject and with the information that you want to deliver that you do not need to read a text. Reading a text is boring! Reading a text will make your audience go to sleep! So if you don't have a text to read, how can your remember to say everything you need to say? With notes. You can create your own system of notes. Some people make notes on small, A6 cards. Some people write down just the title of each section of their talk. Some people write down keywords to remind them. The notes will give you confidence, but because you will have prepared your presentation fully, you may not even need them!
Rehearsal is a vital part of preparation. You should leave time to practise your presentation two or three times. This will have the following benefits:
•    You will become more familiar with what you want to say
•    You will identify weaknesses in your presentation
•    You will be able to practise difficult pronunciations
•    You will be able to check the time that your presentation takes and make any necessary modifications
So prepare, prepare, prepare! Prepare everything: words, visual aids, timing, equipment. Rehearse your presentation several times and times it. Is it the right length? Are you completely familiar with all your illustrations? Are they in the right order? Do you know who the audience is? How many people? How will you answer difficult questions? Do you know the room? Are you confident about the equipment? When you have answered all these questions, you will be a confident, enthusiastic presenter ready to communicate the subject of your presentation to an eager audience.


Easily your most important piece of equipment is...YOU! Make sure you're in full working order, and check your personal presentation carefully - if you don't, your audience will!    
Overhead projector (OHP)
Overhead projector (OHP) displays overhead transparencies (OHTs or OHPTs). It has several advantages over the 35mm slide projector:
•    It can be used in daylight
•    The user can face the audience
•    The user can write or draw directly on the transparency while in use
White Board 
The whiteboard (more rarely blackboard or greenboard) is a useful device for spontaneous writing - as in brainstorming, for example. For prepared material, the OHP might be more suitable.
The duster is used for cleaning the white board. It is essential that the duster be clean to start with. You may consider carrying your own duster just in case.
Markers are used for writing on the whiteboard (delible - you can remove the ink) or flipchart (indelible - you cannot remove the ink). They are usually available in blue, red, black and green. Again, it's a good idea to carry a spare set of maker in case you are given some used ones which do not write well.
Flip chart
flip chart consists of several leaves of paper that you 'flip' or turn over. Some people prefer the flip chart to the whiteboard, but its use is limited to smaller presentations
Slide projector
Slide projector - which must be used in a darkened room - adds a certain drama. Some slide projectors can be synchronised with audio for audio-visual (AV) presentations. These projectors are typically used for larger presentations. The majority take 35mm slides or transparencies (as seen here), but projectors for 6x6cm slides are also available.
The notebook computer is increasingly being used to display graphics during presentations. It is often used in conjunction with an overhead projector, which actually projects the image from the computer screen onto the wall screen.
Handouts are any document or samples that you 'hand out' or distribute to your audience. Note that it is not usually a good idea to distribute handouts before your presentation. The audience will read the handouts instead of listening to you.                                                             

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