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Presentation Myths - Managerial Communications

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Introduction

Presentation Myths Al Henry Managerial Communications COM/515 Brian E. Polding, Ph.D. September 4, 2003 Presentation Myths This paper, discusses the key points from the article, "Presentation Myths", written by Becker & Keller-McNulty. The article was written, to address complaints the American Statistical Association (ASA) was getting about the quality of presentations at their annual meetings. The authors, solicited suggestions from attendees at an ASA meeting on "common presentation techniques that impede rather than facilitate, communication with audience" (Becker & McNulty 1996). From the suggestions, the authors discuss a few of their favorite "presentation myths" and ask readers to avoid the common pitfalls. The single most important observation is that the objective of communication is not the transmission but the reception. The whole preparation, presentation and content of a speech must therefore be geared not to the speaker but to the audience. The presentation of a perfect project plan is a failure if the audience does not understand or are not persuaded of its merits. ...read more.

Middle

Some of the advantages of transparencies are: Their effectiveness in a fully lighted room; audience can follow handouts or take notes. They facilitate face-to-face contact with the audience; eye contact is possible so the speaker can pick up verbal and nonverbal cues. Additionally, the sequence of the material can be modified during the presentation; the speaker can abbreviate or extend sections of the presentation. In Myth 4, hands written versus computer-generated transparencies are discussed. In Myth 5 the article explains why tabulated data, when used, can be confusing, rather than informative, especially if it cannot be seen by those further back and the same point is made concerning graphical displays in Myth 6. The point made about how not to "overestimate the audience interest" Becker and McNulty (1996) in your presentation or cause is well taken. The starting point in planning any speech is to formulate a precise objective. This should take the form of a simple, concise statement of intent. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no substitute for rehearsal. A presentation should be carefully planned and although well-designed visual aids may enhance the presentation, there is no substitute for a well rehearsed and executed oral delivery. Future presentation modes were also examined. Two in particular were multimedia presentations and computer graphics. The reader is warned that consideration be given to a back up plan, in the event something goes wrong. A final word of caution, no amount of technology can compensate for a poorly delivered oral presentation. Amusing asides are also useful in maintaining the attention of the audience, and for relieving the tension of the speech. If this comes naturally to you, then it is a useful tool for pacing your delivery to allow periods of relaxation in between your major points. In conclusion, although the article did not cover a great deal about some of the more modern technologies available to presenters, such as MS Power Point, white boards or digital projection, I found the article to be very useful and entertaining. The suggestions could easily be adapted to any presentation mode. ...read more.

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