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Thread: How to ace oral presentations

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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Lightbulb How to ace oral presentations

    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Mei. The three most important elements which I believe are vital for any successful oral presentation are found within the preparation, practice and presentation stage. The following advice applies not only to oral presentations in English subjects, but essentially to any subject that includes oral presentation assessments. Rather than fearing the prospect of oral presentations, as I am so often inclined to observe when students get an oral presentation assessment, I hope by following some of the advice below, they can come to embrace and enjoy this experience.

    If you have any tips that is not covered by this thread that you could like to share on acing oral presentations, feel free to reply to the thread below, if you have any questions on oral presentations that is not covered sufficiently in this thread, feel free to ask below, and lastly, if you have any comments about this thread-i.e. whether you have found it to be helpful or not, feel free to comment on this thread. It is by getting feedback can I ensure that this thread will be the best it possibly can be in assisting students in acing oral presentations

    PREPARATION:
    1). When you are given a question or a topic to respond to, make sure you deconstruct the given question thoroughly and answer it as completely as possible. Remember, the more relevant your answer to the question, the more marks you will earn. Read over the marking criteria-if one is given, and make sure you try to adhere to its requirements as much as possible.

    2). Make sure you know how many words you can speak at a medium pace in one minute, it is important to know this because often oral presentations will have a time limit, and when you are writing your speech up, knowing what is the approximate number of words you can express your answer is in becomes very useful. Make sure you take into account the maximum time over the time limit that you can have without being penalised when writing your speech.

    3). Remember to accumulate and organise the MOST RELEVANT information to answering the question. For an English speech, for example, this will often mean finding the best quotes and techniques to answer the question, careful selection is EXTREMELY important because of limited time you have. Make sure you don’t cram too much information into your speech because this will just tire/bore your audience (this will include your marker(s)-the teacher(s)) and you do not want to do that since you will be losing marks if you do.

    4). Make sure you have an engaging introduction and conclusion. Although the customary, ‘Good morning’ may be acceptable, however, it is not the best speech opening you can have. Try to use rhetorical devices to your advantage, whether it is rhetorical questions, jokes, interesting analogy, significant quotes, regardless of what your introduction and conclusion is, make sure they play a significant role in enhancing your answer and you can link it to the body of your speech. You want to engage your audience within the first 30 seconds of your speech to get the best marks.

    5). Make sure you revise your speech content several times. You need to make sure every single word and every single sentence is relevant to answering the given question. Don’t have a single wasted sentence.

    6)Make sure you use rhetorical devices throughout your speech to engage your audience, whether it be repetition of an important point, an invocation of an immersive visual imagery, the use of an analogy, alliteration, assonance etc.-remember, your speech is written to be heard, not written to be read. However, keep in mind use rhetorical devices in moderation to ensure they enhance your points, not diminish them.

    7) To maximise your chance of writing a good speech, make sure you start writing and collecting relevant information as soon as you get the question to give you enough time to revise and be advised of any adjustments that needs to be made.

    PRACTICE:
    1). You need to practice making your speech in front of either a mirror (preferably a full length mirror), in front of friends, or family members, or you can record your speech. The importance of practising is paramount-it is through practice, that you can get feedback on how to improve the dynamics of your presentation and make sure that all the nuances are perfected as much as possible before the actual assessment date. Recording yourself speaking has the added benefit of knowing how long you are speaking, and by hearing your own voice, often you are able to find more things to improve upon, i.e. a changing a monotonous tone, pitch, mispronunciation of words, speaking too fast etc. Remember to practice and constantly evaluate your own performance, and by repeating this process, you will maximise your chance of success. Try to replicate the actual assessment conditions as much as you can, e.g. you can practice with your school uniform on and with palm cards.

    PRESENTATION:
    1).Before you make your speech, make sure to take deep breaths, and smile at your audience. Smiling is infectious and it will help your audience and you to relax.

    2). Make sure your physical appearance is clean and neat, when you are presenting your speech, don’t keep walking from one end of the room to another, if you do this frequently without a definitive purpose, your audience will feel a sense of dizziness and will find it difficult to concentrate on what you have to say. Just stay upright and in most instances, stand still while you are making your presentation (particularly if the time limit is short).

    3). One of the most powerful weapons that you can use to engage your audience is through the use of eye contact and hand gestures. Make sure you are making eye contact with your markers as well as the rest of your audience. make sure that your hand gestures are measured and every time you have a hand gesture, it is to accentuate a point you are making rather than just randomly fidgeting about. You should assert a confident persona.

    4). To reduce the distraction of your palm cards to your presentation, avoid having very large palm cards, the best palm cards should be concealable by the palm. The most ideal situation would be to have practiced the speech enough times that you can memorised it off by heart and don’t need palm cards (although even in this instance, you should still hold palm cards in case you have a stage fright and forget points). Hand written or typed up palm cards are equally fine-just choose which one is best for you.

    5). If you happen to make a mistake or stutter over a part of your speech, never apologise for that mistake, just move on. Your teachers will understand that sometimes due to nervousness, it is natural to have a stage fright-even a mini one.

    6). The power of pause cannot be undermined-it is so powerful that it warrants a separate point to be made. Use suitable pauses within your speech to make an impact, for example, right after your introduction, pause for a second or two to allow the audience to absorb the impact of it, before you introduce your thesis points in detail. Sometimes pauses are much more powerful than cramming more information in. Furthermore, when you have forgotten a point, instead of apologising, make sure to pause, review your palm cards quickly, and continue with your speech as before.

    7). If possible, ask if you can see the clock/stop watch when you are being timed. It is absolutely essential that you don’t go over the maximum allowable time limit because you don’t want to be penalised for speaking too long. NEVER GO OVER THE UNPENALITISED TIME LIMIT!

    8). Make sure you pay attention to your tone, pitch, speaking speed, volume of your voice, clarity of your pronunciation, this is to ensure you maximise audience immersion with the content of your speech as well as with the aural tools that can be utilised to engage the audience. Remember, whenever possible, say a simple Thank You to the audience at the end of your speech. Being polite will help to form a good impression.

    Lastly, and most importantly, remember your audience wants you to succeed; they don’t want to see you fail, so embrace those butterflies in your stomach and enjoy the experience. Best wishes for acing your oral presentation
    Last edited by strawberrye; 10 Feb 2014 at 12:44 AM.

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    not dead iJimmy's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    damn u deserve a cookie

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    Member J280's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Very well written thread, will be very beneficial for students like myself who struggle in speeches
    Thank you so much for this thread Mei
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    'Alpha' female ;) justem's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Brilliant Mei! You're a jewel
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Awesome advice!

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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Amazing like the rest of your guides for English. Thanks heaps
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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Thanks guys for the incredibly kind comments-if you have any questions about oral presentations, feel free to ask!
    "DEFINE your own results, don't let your results DEFINE you"
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Just wanted to emphasis one thing-make sure you don't practice blindly, but that every time you practice, you evaluate upon your own performance/or ask others to evaluate on your performance, and you improve upon these comments.
    buckskinbrumby likes this.
    "DEFINE your own results, don't let your results DEFINE you"
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    Junior Member IcyRain's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    I have an English speech in a fair few weeks. How would I go about structuring a speech about the concept of belonging between our prescribed text and a related text? (Have no rubric because the speech is still a while away)

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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by IcyRain View Post
    I have an English speech in a fair few weeks. How would I go about structuring a speech about the concept of belonging between our prescribed text and a related text? (Have no rubric because the speech is still a while away)
    The best way to structure any speech is to answer the given question-what was your speech question? How long do you have to speak? What are the dominant concepts of belonging that you are finding between your prescribed and related text? By giving more details, it will allow us to help you further

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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    The best way to structure any speech is to answer the given question-what was your speech question? How long do you have to speak? What are the dominant concepts of belonging that you are finding between your prescribed and related text? By giving more details, it will allow us to help you further
    At the moment we haven't gotten any information about the speech except that it is on belonging and we'll be using the prescribed and our own related text. Will post back once I have more detail/information.

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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by IcyRain View Post
    At the moment we haven't gotten any information about the speech except that it is on belonging and we'll be using the prescribed and our own related text. Will post back once I have more detail/information.
    Well, in this case, make sure you have read your prescribed and find and read your related text and understand them pretty thoroughly in terms of the MAJOR belonging concepts they explore

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    Junior Member IcyRain's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    Well, in this case, make sure you have read your prescribed and find and read your related text and understand them pretty thoroughly in terms of the MAJOR belonging concepts they explore
    Will do. Thanks

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    Dont.msg.me.about.english nerdasdasd's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Double bump^
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    Junior Member IcyRain's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    I got my assessment question.
    Analyse how the composer of ONE related text represents their ideas about belonging
    Compare this representation of belonging with that of the set text.

    So should it be structured like this?
    Intro
    Related Text
    Set Text
    Conclusion

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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by IcyRain View Post
    I got my assessment question.
    Analyse how the composer of ONE related text represents their ideas about belonging
    Compare this representation of belonging with that of the set text.

    So should it be structured like this?
    Intro
    Related Text
    Set Text
    Conclusion
    How long is your speech? I would definitely advise you change your structure around-remember whether it is for a speech or essay, you should always talk about your set text first before you talk about your related text.

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    Junior Member IcyRain's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    How long is your speech? I would definitely advise you change your structure around-remember whether it is for a speech or essay, you should always talk about your set text first before you talk about your related text.
    It is supposed to be no longer than 4 minutes. Okay i'll talk about my set text first, thanks.

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    Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    ,,,,,
    Last edited by unforlornedhope; 16 Feb 2014 at 12:47 PM.

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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by unforlornedhope View Post
    ,,,,,
    What does so many successive commas mean?

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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    What does so many successive commas mean?
    I'm bumping your post
    Bump again for such a helpful person!

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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by unforlornedhope View Post
    I'm bumping your post
    Bump again for such a helpful person!
    Thanks for your kind praise-I wish you all the best for your university studies and beyond

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    ~~~~ Miss Cricket ~~~~ enigma_1's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Strawberrye!! As always your threads are amazing! Thank you! I do the walking thing because I get nervous and I didn't know it makes people feel dizzy hahah cheers!
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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyper_bole View Post
    Strawberrye!! As always your threads are amazing! Thank you! I do the walking thing because I get nervous and I didn't know it makes people feel dizzy hahah cheers!
    Thanks for the kind compliment. As long as you don't walk too often and you walk with a purpose to enhance your point, I am sure it didn't make people feel as dizzy as you thought it would. Best wishes for you to ace any future oral presentations you will need to do

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    ~~~~ Miss Cricket ~~~~ enigma_1's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    No worries! Yay thanks!!
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    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to ace oral presentations

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyper_bole View Post
    No worries! Yay thanks!!
    Any time, any questions, just ask

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