Friday, 2 May 2008

Art of Presentation

Last week I was in Langkawi attending a course on Training of Trainers. The course is about how you train those under you, and one of the important skills that you must have is demonstrating a skill or presenting some information. The trainers, Darren and Amanda are using the Australian based structure for this course and they have promised by the time we finished the course we look at presentations with a different eye. How true the words are. I found myself grading my boss’s conduct during a meeting, with some technical improvements that he can apply during his presentation. Just to share about the things that I’ve learned during the course:

1. Plan your presentation
Do some research to get more info, and structure your presentation to make it more impactful.

2. Introduction is very important to capture an audience’s attention.
The first two minutes is very crucial in making or breaking your presentation. Do an interesting introduction to link the audience to the topic that you are presenting i.e asking questions to the audience on their existing knowledge on the subject or do a role play to catch their imagination. Lots of ways to do an interesting introduction.

3. Gauge your audience’s background and learning abilities
There are visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. A powerpoint presentation caters for all types of learning as it has written words and colours for the visual learners, the words that is spoken for the auditory learners and some movements in the PowerPoint itself that can catch the kinesthetic learners’ attention. Better yet, do a demonstration or activity to make the session fun and everyone involved.

4. Learning outcomes
Line out the outcomes that you want the audience to learn by the end of your presentation, so they know what kind of info to look out for in your presentation.

5. Present something which is close to your heart
You wont need a script if you present something that you are really familiar with. Some cue cards or pointers on the board/PowerPoint would b able to prompt you for the presentation. For my 10 minutes presentation, I did a demonstration on basic movements of Taekwondo, which I can do with my eyes closed, literally!

6. Proper body language and intonation.
Appropriate gestures to punctuate your words, should be controlled for more effects, instead of just nervousness. Too much gestures would distract attention to your presentation. Proper high and low tones to emphasis the points that you are making instead of just a monotone. People can get bored to death with monotone presentation. Check out death by presentation in YouTube.

7. Ending the presentation with future opportunities
Mention some of future opportunities to learn more about the topic with suggestions of book, websites or even contacting you (the speaker) directly.

I feel after attending this presentation, I would be able to plan and build up a proper structure for my presentation. I also feel that I’d be able to present confidently and effectively in the future.

1 comment:

MRS.CURMUDGEON said...

I wish that all academic courses ONLY have exams AND presentations counted.Because I abhor assignments (a waste of mind, energy and waste of paper usage).

Presentation is a platform to really express yourself clearly and passionately.That's why I'd choose presentation over essays any time!!

Although my weakness is that I tend to have 'sarcastic' remarks to the Q&A session.Alas, not everybody understands the beautiful mind *HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH*...angkat bakul time!

Miss you lah.