Tuesday, 4 February 2014

7 Oral Presentation Tips For Students

Hi all,

Today I'm focusing on you students who need to prepare orals in the next weeks and days. You may need to present for five minutes or longer to your peers or to a couple of assessors. The mark will count towards your results. So if you want to really succeed, follow these seven useful tips.

The majority of these orals will be based on an issue in the Australian media since Sept 1, 2013. So, look for one that excites you. Some of the issues that have grabbed my attention include: the compulsory immunisation of babies, the recent drinking laws in NSW. to restrict violence in the CBD, our boat policy, teen binge drinking, the East West link, drugs in sport, the number of women in government and who received honours on Australia Day, schoolies, violence on the streets, depression, raising the drinking age to 21 and cyber bullying. There are lots more, but those are some that would also interest the class and engage them and the teacher (s).

Direct Speech tips

1 Choose an issue that does interest and even excite you. The enthusiasm will be transferred to the class and teachers, because you will sound as if you care. You need to be passionate, but not melo-dramatic

2 Research it well and find arguments on both sides (or even more). You will support your side and refute the other side, but you need to show complexity.Make sure yo quote from the media.

3 Start with something interesting. Do not say," Hi, my name is... and I'm going to persuade you that...." Or "A recent issue in the media is..."  D B Dead Boring!  Start with a quote, a story, a statistic, some rhetorical questions, something the class (and teacher) can relate to

4 Make your structure clear. Summarise your points after the introduction. Make your topic sentences explicit and follow up with strong evidence and refute. Remember the seven best forms of evidence? Statistics, anecdote, analogy, quotes, precedence, logic and scenario. (If you need elaboration on these, go back to my blog on them.). Make sure you signal and signpost, especially the conclusion.

5 Rehearse about thirteen times, as if you are in front of the class and your assessor. You must look and sound confident. If you are allowed notes, have them hole punched and tied together. Only hold them in one hand so you can make natural hand gestures and so they do not get out of order.And tell yourself you are a great speaker!

6 Work on your body language and voice variety. They carry 90% of your message. Make sure you do not rush the oral. Speak at 120 word per minute. Pause for emphasis and breath. Look at your audience the whole time you speak. When you do make gestures, make them definite and clear. Otherwise, hands by your sides, relaxed. Smile, unless it is a serious issue. Make sure you know how to pronounce all the words. Use some humour, if appropriate. Use simple, clear words, metaphors and alliteration as well as rhyme (where useful).

7 Get my help. Enrol in my next course which is Melbourne on the evenings of 3rd, 10th and 17th March. Send me an email to judith@directspeech.com.au or, if your oral is later in the semester, have me come out to your school and help all your level do really well.

Finally, although these oral presentations will be part of your assessment, remember, speaking confidently, is a very important skill for life. As I have said in school presentations, you get the job. You get the chick or the guy. You get a life!

Good luck. Check out previous blogs of mine for more details on words, body language, voice, handling nerves and let me know if these seven tips helped.

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