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How to Plan and Prepare an Effective Presentation

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Introduction

How to Plan and Prepare an Effective Presentation The Communication Process The oral presentation is part of the overall communication process. The communication process involves a speaker who takes his/her thoughts and puts them into both verbal and nonverbal messages that are presented to a listener who tries to understand what the speaker said. The communication process is a two-way process. The speaker receives both verbal and nonverbal messages from the listener before, during, and after the presentation. The communication process is affected by a number of different influences such as the speaker's and listeners' cultures, the relationship between the speaker and the listeners, the location of the presentation, and the environment of the presentation. In addition, the speaker's nonverbal messages may hinder the acceptance of the verbal message by the listeners. These influences can become barriers causing the communication process to break down. The result is listeners that do not understand or accept what the speaker intended. Ref #15 The speaker has the primary responsibility to overcome these barriers if the message is to be understood and accepted by the listeners. An effective speaker starts with a good understanding of the communication and the listening process. ...read more.

Middle

The development of an effective oral presentation can be a demanding and time-consuming process. The steps for developing an effective presentation have been well defined in several books on public speaking and a number of Internet sites. The reader is referred to these resources for detailed information for developing and presenting effective oral presentations. A summary of the different presentation development steps, compiled from several of these references, is presented below: Planning the Presentation Determining the purpose of the presentation-One of the first things a speaker must do is determine the purpose of the presentation. The purpose or goal of the presentation will guide the speaker in the development of the presentation. The traditionally accepted types of speeches are to inform, to entertain, and to persuade. Many authors now agree that an effective presentation must do all three. Malcolm Kushner in his book Successful Presentations for Dummies stress that the primary goal of every presentation is to persuade. For example, the speaker in a presentation to inform the audience of some technical material must persuade the audience to accept his/her ideas and data. Selecting the topic-The most effective presentations are those that address the specific interest and need of the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

The preparation and use of visual aids are discussed by many of the referenced authors. Also included with this presentation is an outline for developing and using visual aids that was compiled from the referenced material. In addition, other material is presented with this paper on how to structure PowerPoint for supporting oral presentations and allowing dynamic, "on-the-fly" adjustment of visual aids during the presentation. Developing and using handout material-The use of handout material is an important part of the communication process and can significantly increase the effectiveness of the presentation. Jim Ptaszynski noted that his students had a tendency to try to write everything down. Ref #27d Some other educators also noted that students had a hard time keeping up with their notes in lectures that used PowerPoint visual aids. The development of handout materials requires special attention since the current reproduction technology restricts the printing of large numbers of handout material to black-and-white copies. Delivering the Presentation The delivery of the presentation in front of a live audience is the goal of all of the planning and preparation. An effective presentation is the result of the extensive planning, preparation, and most importantly, practicing. However, there are several tasks and suggestions that can make the delivery easier. An outline of Guidelines for Effective Presentations is presented in the attached material. ...read more.

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