NEW ZEALAND TARANAKI

Presenting to the Public - seminars and speeches

Most of us don't like to talk to large groups of people....even us teachers. But with a little practice, and by following some simple steps, you'll easily win friends and influence people....


IN A NUTSHELL...

Use visual aids to help you and your audience. Have one over-head transparency (OHT) or PowerPoint slide for each major section outlined below. Even a Scientist can use humour at appropriate points but don't get carried away!

1. TITLE. You need an audience. You'll need to attract people to come and listen to you. Something like "G.E spells D.E.A.T.H. for us all" may pack them in but we want enthusiasm for our topic, not sensationalism. You might like to use a graphic to jazz things up (photo, cartoon, etc) but be careful it doesn't make you OHT or slide too cluttered or "noisy".

2. INTRODUCTION. Use bulleted or numbered points to outline the problem you are addressing.

  • Why is this subject important?
  • What do we already know?
  • What gaps are there in our knowledge that you are trying to fill in?

3. MATERIALS AND METHOD. Use bulleted or numbered points to outline the way you gathered information.

  • What processes did you go through (recording frequencies or distributions, calculating probabilities, surveys, etc)

  • What base line data did you gather for comparison (what controls did you use)

  • What were the limits or conditions or your method (we must remember that what occurs under laboratory conditions may be different from what happens in nature)

4. RESULTS. Don't show tables of results. These are what we call raw data. We want to look for a pattern or trend in a picture of numbers - a graph. Remember the usual rules for drawing graphs.

5. DISCUSSION. Use bulleted or numbered points to list the main trends or patterns you have observed in the results. Point out any sources of errors in your work - be honest about this as others will depend on you having accurate and reproducible data. Remember to tell the audience that your observations hold true only under the conditions you ran them under.

6. SUMMARY. Use bulleted or numbered points to list the main conclusions of your work. Where will you go on from here? Are you requesting resources (equipment, money, people) to help carry on with the next stages in your project? Thank those that have assisted you (sponsors, associated organisations, colleagues, etc)

 

What to say at Question Time?  Acceptable answers to questions:-

  • "I don't know"

  • "That will be the subject of the next investigation"

  • "Other researchers are investigating that problem"


SECRETS OF THE STARS....GOOD PRESENTERS...

1. NO MORE THAN 4 OR 5 POINTS ON ONE PAGE. USE A LARGE CLEAR FONT FOR ANY TEXT.

2. Each OHT or slide (and its points / pictures / graphs / flowcharts) should now serve as a cue card. You will appear to have a spontaneous, relaxed, and professional manner as a teacher (oh no; you're one of them!).

3. Body language:-

  • Dress to suit the occasion - be professional! Wear your ID Card.
  • Keep eye contact with the audience - you can smile even!
  • Walk around the front of the room a little as you talk - you can see if every one is still paying attention!
  • Vary the tone of your voice and use pauses to punctuation your speech
  • Use a pointing device to highlight areas on graphs, etc, or to help keep your hands still and not fidget.

4. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE your talk so you can use the OHT's/slides as cue cards.

5. Remember the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid!


FIND OUT MORE:

  1. Here are some of the talks (addresses) and workshops we have delivered over the years.
  2. Need to present a professional looking poster too? Use Powerpoint for that special occassion.
 

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