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Thursday, July 2, 2009


There are two parts to this assignment. In part one covers two aspects. First, write a speech for an oral presentation. Secondly, it discusses the stages that a presenter will have to undertake or go through before facing an audience to give a presentation. we have discussed the topics related to making early preparations for an oral presentation.

Before encountering an audience to present a paper, it is advisable that presenters do their home work. This would range from investigating on the audience, researching and writing the topic to presenting in front of audience members, and interacting with them. It is very important for the presenter to make the initial preparations such as analysing the audience, determining the purpose, gathering materials, organising and writing main ideas,and preparing visual materials.

In this part, have covered aspects related to making early preparations for presentation. Aspects that have been touched were completing a profile of the occasion, audience and location, determining the purpose and objectives of the presentation, collecting materials and structuring your presentation. We also have gone through an interesting component, that is the use of visual aids.

In part two, it provides information with respect to what the presenter would have to know when presenting orally.

we covered tips related to a presenter having to stand in front of the audience and to make a verbal presentation. Areas that have been covered are preparing an oral presentation, approaching an oral presentation, principles of effective presentation and tackling questions



According to speaking consultant Lilyan Wilder (1999), two of the greatest myths about delivering oral presentations are that you’re better off “winging it” and that good speakers are “naturals.”

In order to give an effective presentation, it is necessary to prepare and practice, practice, practice. Despite the need to prepare, one of your goals still should be to sound spontaneous and comfortable while delivering your message in a clear, organized, and stimulating fashion. The information below should help you achieve this goal ( oral.html)

According to OUMH 1303 (2005), It is very important for the presenter to make the initial preparations such as analysing the audience, determining the purpose, gathering materials, organising and writing main ideas,and preparing visual materials.

As a presenter, one would need first and foremost to profile three factors:
• the occasion for the speech;
• the audience whom the speech is intended; and
• the location where the speech would be made.

Completing this profile would enable the speaker to be better prepared and also improve his/her focus, and hence would prevent him/her from delving into other irrelevant aspects.

Once a presenter knows the occasion, the audience and the location, he/she is then ready to set the aims and objectives of the presentation. For instance, the speaker might want to convey, inform, relay, relate, influence, persuade, appease, encourage, motivate, illustrate, clarify, appeal, to name but a few.

After determining the purpose, the speaker can then determine the topic. If the purpose is to motivate, then the speaker would need to come up with a topic that suits the purpose.

Collecting material related to the topic of presentation would be one of the most important initial steps in preparing an oral presentation. If the content area that the speaker has been requested to talk about is unfamiliar to him/her, starting from scratch should be the practice.

The speaker should be aware from which sources to obtain the materials. Materials can also be in the form of drawing from one’s experiences. Materials obtained need to be adapted so as not to go beyond the limitation of the content and also the time allocated for the presentation.

The manner in which the oral presentation is structured must reflect clarity and smoothness. The speaker should bear in mind that the audience is a listening audience and not a reading one. They do not have the opportunity to go back to certain information if they do not comprehend certain issues. It is therefore important for the speaker to frame his points systematically so that the presentation paper could be effectively delivered.

After developing a structure, the presenter can proceed with writing. The writing process can be a lot smoother if the presenter adheres to the outline. The speaker is at a stage where he/she has most of the materials ready. There are two aspects that a presenter should bear in mind when writing: first is language use; and second is style.
Lastly, sentences constructed should be grammatically acceptable so that clarity and comprehensibility would be the outcome.

The utilisation of visual aids is important in any form of presentation or speeches. A speech without visual aids will make it less effective compared to one using visual aids. If the speaker wants to achieve his/her goals that have been set, visual aids should be used. Visual aids would contribute to a good speech and are significant if the main aim is to sell a product or to attract audience or students to enroll in a private college. The presenter can make use of several kinds of aids. He/She can utilise a combination of aids if the need arises. This can add variety to his/her presentation.

Having made preparations for most of the written aspects of the presentation, the presenter now has to make preparations mentally and physically so that he/she is ready to give an effective verbal presentation to a live audience. Embarking on a mock presentation using notes would help to build up confidence. Apart from that, the presenter has to employ other strategies such as elements related to approaches of delivery, principles of effective presentation, and dealing with questions.

The presenter can be said to be all set to deliver if he/she gives himself/herself some time to practise. Practise should be accompanied by the use of presenter’s notes. Many presenters do not resort to these practises because they do no have adequate time. Presenters should allow themselves room for such practises as they can provide them with more confidence in tackling difficulties that may be encountered on the actual day.

3.1.1 Presenter’s Notes
The presenter’s notes can be in the form of white cards measuring 15cm by 10 cm. What the presenter needs to do is to include the key words and the detailed points pertaining to the content. If the presenter is not comfortable with just including the main points, he/she can include the detailed points with longer sentences or phrases written on the cards.
The main aim of having the cards is to ensure a smooth delivery. One can forget easily what one is talking about, when one is in front of so many pairs of eyes. If there are no cards, there is nothing that a presenter could fall back to if he/she forgets in the midst of the delivery

3.1.2 Mock Delivery
The presenter can practise alone or with his/her peers. The presenter can audio or video record his/her delivery. The presenter should practise presenting with visual aids in mind. Further, it is not enough to practise delivering the content;

The obvious reason for having a mock is to be adequately prepared mentally and physically.After the mock, if the presenter feels that he/she has gone over the time limit then the content and probably the visual aids need to be adjusted and reduced according to the stipulated time. The practise would heighten the presenter’s confidence because the feeling of panic could be avoided and the feeling of nervousness could be controlled. For instance, practicing switching on the visual equipment may seem unnecessary and trivial; however, if the presenter encounters this problem on that day, this can add to his nervousness and this would not be a
good start for the presenter.

During the presentation, there are certain key points that a presenter should bear in mind. These points constitute presentation skills and if closely adhered to and well applied and displayed would result in successful delivery

3.2.1 The Opening
Since this phase is the most important stage in a presentation, the presenter should do something interesting to arrest the audience’s attention because if this is not done it might be difficult to capture their focus after the presentation has started.

3.2.2 Use of the Voice
The presenter needs to speak in a clear voice; the words need to be pronounced clearly. The voice needs to be projected and not swallowed. Presenters should avoid from speaking in monotone. Lively, friendly, expressive and enthusiastic intonation would make the presenter sound more convincing. The speed of the voice production should be appropriate. The presenter should not speak so rapidly as to leave the audience restless, neither should he/she speak so slowly as to cause boredom.

3.2.3 Non-verbal Elements
Nonverbal elements such as physical appearance and body movements can convey certain meanings to the audience. Body language could also enhance the listeners’ understanding and provide a better interpretation of what the presenter is trying to say. This shall be discussed in terms of physical appearance, body posture, gestures and facial expression.

3.2.4 Eye Contact
Establishing eye contact can improve rapport with members of the audience. Eye contact would also improve our voice projection because it forces us to raise our heads. Besides, maintaining eye contact also would give some clues of whether the audience is still with us or has gone adrift. The presenter should move his eyes all round the audience and not just glue his/her eyes to a particular person or just a particular group in the audience

3.2.5 Overcoming Nervousness
Feeling nervous and anxious is natural for anybody who is going to face an audience in a public speaking situation. For some individuals the entire body would shake, but for others the hands and fingers could be seen shaking, and yet there are others who would produce trembling voice. It is impossible to get rid of this feeling but it is possible to reduce it so that the presenter can have good control of the situation. There are some strategies that the presenter can employ to minimise fear, anxiety, uneasiness and nervousness.

3.2.6 The Ending
The finishing part of a speech is another phase that is important. The audience should be made to feel that the speech is worth listening. A good conclusion should leave an impact on the audience. Some of the ways to end a speech is by asking thought-provoking questions, reciting a short poem, reading a brief philosophical phrase, and by showing a brief summary of the presentation on visuals.

It is advisable that the presenter adheres to some principles that can guide him/her to produce a successful delivery. These constitute strategies that can promote communicative effectiveness and prevent communication disruption. Senders and receivers display differences in beliefs, attitudes, values, experiences and perceptions. Messages tend to be interpreted differently by different groups of people. Hence, principles such as being credible, clear, accurate, appropriate and enthusiastic can help increase presentation effectiveness and reduce communication barriers.

3.3.1 Credible
Being credible is to be believable because trustworthiness is exhibited. What the presenter should prepare is a content that displays truth value. Just as the written presentation that has been prepared is credible, the presenter must also exhibit credibility when presenting. He/ She must be knowledgeable and well-versed in the subject that is being dealt with. If he/she is knowledgeable, confidence would appear. The ideas and issues forwarded should be backed by reliable and valid research findings conducted by the presenter or by researchers who are experts in the field.

3.3.2 Clear
The presenter should adhere to the standard language acceptable by the community as this can also promote credibility. Sentences should be grammatically and semantically acceptable while the vocabulary used should not include too much jargon. The verbal presentation must be clear and audible. The presenter needs to speak and pronounce his/her words clearly and correctly according to the standard language so that he/ she is intelligible.

3.3.3 Accurate
To be accurate, one needs to be precise and exact. The content of the paper presentation must be characterised by this quality so as to be more specific. There must be strong agreement between the message conveyed and the subject matter to which the message refers. The presenter should use words that exactly denote the intended meaning. For the description of colour, for instance, attempt to use words or groups of words that would give a better representation of the colour.

3.3.4 Appropriate
Appropriateness in context encompasses the suitability of the:
• content to the aims, occasion and audience;
• appearance and attire; and
• gestures.

3.3.5 Enthusiastic
Presenters must show real interest in their topics so that they can be lively, active and dynamic. In this way, the listeners’ attention and participation can be heightened. If not much interest is shown on the topic presented, the presenter will end up producing a very dull presentation.

3.3.6 Prevent Distractions
The listeners’ attention should be sustained so that objectives can be achieved. If the presenter is too fidgety, the concentration of audience members would be distracted. If the presenter overuses the term “OK” the listeners may end up counting this term instead of listening and paying attention. If the presenter always looks at the watch, the audience would show the eagerness to go home. This is why videotaping one’s presentation is very important so that one is more aware of the distractions that might appear in the delivery which need to be eradicated.

At the end of a verbal delivery, there would usually be a question-an-answer session. Listeners are often inquisitive. They should be given an opportunity to ask questions to clarify certain issues. There are some strategies that the presenter could employ to overcome this if they follow the rules of handling questions.

3.4.1 Anticipate Questions
Anticipating the right kind of questions is a good strategy. Not only must a presenter phrase out some expected questions, he/she must also prepare answers to the questions. The expected questions and answers can be written on the presenter’s notes. Thus, having questions and answers prepared on white cards can reduce panic. The presenter must also verbally practise answering to the audience’s queries.

3.4.2 Rules in Handling Questions
There are several rules that the presenter could follow when handling questions:
• Listen to the questions carefully and attentively.
• Ask the listeners to repeat the questions if they are not clear.
• Try to figure out appropriate answers while the questions are being asked.
• If audience members offer their point of view or suggestion, express appreciation.
• Always be courteous and do not lose your temper.

Speaking is a productive language skill. When we speak in public we are giving a speech or saying something in front of an audience. Many people believe that speaking in public is a terrifying task or a frightening piece of work to be done in front of a group of people. If possible, we would like to avoid this problem entirely but eventually we will need to speak in public to get a certain task accomplished.

To me, speaking in public is not a terrifying task. We are born positive but it is our attitude that makes our life negative. No doubt, the first thing that we usually face when speaking in public is nervousness. It’s normal to be nervous and have a lot of anxiety when speaking in public. Therefore we must understand our fear or nervousness and the only way to conquer fear is doing the things we fear to do. Face the fear and find ways to overcome it and always think positively. In order to over overcome our nervousness, we can always take a deep breath or even exercise such as running around the room or meditate before we speak in public can help us conquer the tension.

Lack of preparation or confidence is another problem that we usually need to overcome when speaking in public. In fact, confidence comes from early preparation. Therefore we need to be well prepared before speaking in public. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect’ and we must always remember that we are speaking for the audience benefit. We should organise our presentation as well as know how to connect it with our audience. Most importantly, we need to know the needs of our audience and match the contents to their needs.


Dodd, J. (Ed.). (1997)The ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors (2nd ed.)Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.

MALAYSIA, Open University (2005). OUMM1303 English for Oral Communicatio. Kuala Lumpur: UNITEM sdn. Bhd

Wilder, L. (1999) 7 Steps to Fearless Speaking New York: John Wiley & Sons

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