How to prepare an oral presentation?
Preparation is the most important part of a talk. If you haven’t done it, you will not have a chance to make a good oral presentation. Here are a number of crucial points to consider:
Before you begin to write your presentation, you must know its purpose. We generally communicate to produce a result. Ask yourself these questions to determine your objective: What is the subject of my presentation? Why is it this subject? Why am I giving this presentation? What are the goals of my presentation? What messages do you want your audience to take with them?
Whether one writes or speaks, the message must be adapted to the audience. Therefore, you should know who your audience is. Who will be listening to your presentation? How much do they already know about your subject? The more you know about your audience, the more effectively you can prepare your presentation. Research your audience if necessary so that you will be able to know its interests and individual qualities. If you prepare your presentation for an unknown audience, you risk not being able to make a connection with it.
Prepare the content of your oral presentation as you would do for an essay. The more you sweat in advance, the less you will have to sweat on stage. Collect facts, data and information relating to your central theme. Once you have completed gathering information, decide what is most relevant and appropriate. Be selective and do not try to present too much in your presentation.
Most presentations consist of an introduction, the body of the talk and a conclusion. The introduction prepares the audience for what you will say in the body, and the conclusion reminds them of your key points.
A good introduction does three things:
– captures your listeners’ attention
– states the purpose of your presentation
– presents the outline of your talk
The body of the presentation is where you provide the actual information, details and evidence to support your main idea or topic. Since it has the most information to convey, it takes up the majority of the time allotted for your presentation. The content should be divided into sections and presented in a logical order.
The end of a talk should never come as a surprise to an audience; it needs special consideration. The end or conclusion should include four parts:
– a reminder of your key points
– a short conclusion
– thanks to the audience
– an invitation to ask questions or make comments
– Visual aids
Visual aids must always be simple, clear, and pertinent. You should use them only as a support or illustration of what you are presenting. Accordingly, they must be carefully planned and properly integrated.
Take time to practice your presentation. This will give a chance to identify any weak points or gaps. You will also be able to make sure that you can pronounce any figures and proper names correctly and confidently. It will also allow you to test the timing.