Preparing for Passionate Presentations

April 25, 2016

Some of you are well underway on your passion projects, while some of you have barely scratched the surface of what you might learn and do. But this week you will begin preparing your presentations to be given next week, starting Wednesday, May 4.

We will watch some sample presentations to give you an idea about hooking your audience, transitioning between points, using slides as visuals and not text-holders, engaging your audience, and closing up.

You will each prepare a slide presentation, preferable from Google Slides, but if you want something different, talk to me. According to the requirements you helped me decide, you will have 4-10 slides that include 3-10 images (photos, charts, drawings, videos). The slides should be made for visuals and not be too text-heavy. Consider a title slide, slides for your points and sub-points, and a closing slide.

You will prepare a speech to last 2-5 minutes. You may use an index card with key words on it. Try to memorize most of it so that you do not rely on reading from a script or from text-heavy slides. Begin with a “hook” to engage your audience, then move with transitions between your points to your conclusion. Points to consider covering include how you chose your project or subject area, the steps you took to reach your goal, obstacles you encountered along the way, who you chose as a mentor and how that person helped you and what you learned about the subject area, about the tools you used, about yourself.

As far as actually presenting, practice will help a lot. Go over what you plan to tell us and in the order you plan to tell it. Little stories make it more interesting for the rest of us. If you can make us laugh or think more than usual, that’s a bonus. Look at each of us. Make sure your voice carries across the room. Avoid leaning on anything but your two feet. Avoid using unusual speech mannerisms like “um…”, or “I dunno….” or “like, …” If you feel such sounds coming on, try closing your mouth and saying them in your head. A quick moment of silence is less distracting than repeated vocal mannerisms. Avoid making any repetitive movements like waving your hands too much or tapping your fingers on the table.

You all have chosen some very interesting projects and some creative ways to go about imparting your learning to the rest of us, and I am looking forward to seeing what you have to show us.

 

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