Leaders are always presenting their ideas to others. In this activity, many concepts are offered to enhance public speaking opportunities.
- To review proven methods that will edify presentations.
- To provide an opportunity to use these methods to deliver short presentations.
- Three colored signs with labels: Excellent, Better, and Good
- Five colored signs labeled Confidence, Organization, Introductions and Conclusions, Visual Aids, and Delivery
- Copies of the Take-Home Assignment attached and The Feedback Sheet for Public Speaking.
- Flipchart and markers
- Five tables
Chairs arranged in a circle, facing flipcharts
A leader will give many speeches and presentations throughout the span of his or her career, but they have only one opportunity to make a stunning impression. This is why it is so important to regularly review proven methodologies that make presentations meaningful and memorable. This activity is best carried out in two sessions – one to explain the concepts and a second to perform the speeches and get feedback.
Step By Step Instructions
Introduce the activity by explaining the importance of being able to deliver effective presentations and speeches. As a leader, one will give numerous speeches over the course of
their career—in their organization, as well as in the community. Presenters have only one opportunity to make an impeccable impression. This activity is a chance to take some time and review techniques that make presentations meaningful and memorable. You will learn how to add a bit of poise to all of your presentations. The first thing will be sharing your experiences listening to presentations that missed the mark and try to determine what we want to avoid. Then we
will examine what you already know about making a good presentation, and we will review any “tried-and-true” hints that will give life to your talks. Then, you will give participants an assignment to prepare a presentation that they will deliver to the group the next time you meet.
- Everyone has suffered through ineffective and boring presentations at some point in life. Can anyone remember an especially memorable one that went over like a lead balloon? Allow a few minutes for people to share experiences, and then ask what it is about some speakers that can turn an audience off? Make a list of things that speakers do wrong. Note a few observations on the flipchart, and then ask how many things on this list have anything to do with content. The participants should see that most mistakes have nothing to do with content, yet most of the planning time is spent on content. This focus of this activity is on delivery.
- Write the following facts on a flipchart page about where the real impact of a message comes from?
7% comes from your words.
38% comes from your tone of voice.
55% comes from nonverbal communication.
Discuss how participants feel about these research findings, and explain that when we communicate by phone, the percentages allocate above changes: tone of voice is said to make up 80 % of what is conveyed!
- Explain that you will now give people a chance to look at their own performances. Layout the three colored signs (Fair, Good, Excellent) on the floor, each 6 to 10 feet apart. Ask everyone to stand up and listen to a question posed by you. They should then move to the colored sign that most closely fits how they rate their presentation skills. Follow this same procedure for all five questions, and encourage them to keep a record.
The sample questions are:
How do you rate your :
– Level of comfort and confidence in delivering presentations?
– Ability to organize the content of a presentation?
– Ability to create an enticing introduction and a compelling conclusion?
– Use of visual aids to enhance your presentations?
– Energy during the delivery of your presentations?
- Now give people time to share what they know about presentations. Start by putting one of the colored signs at each of the five tables (Confidence, Organization, Introductions and Conclusions, Visual Aids, and Delivery). Tell each participant to decide to which of these five areas they will be contributing suggestions. Encourage people to select one of their highest-rated areas, but it is fine if they have ideas relating to areas in which they are weak. Let them chose the area. Participants should divide into small groups according to the area they have chosen to focus on and use the flipchart paper and markers to list the ideas the group will suggest. When everyone is finished, each group will present its suggestions. Embellish what they present with your own tips.
Here are a few tips on making good presentations :
– Enhance your confidence.
– Gather all the information you can about your audience’s knowledge of the content, the setting, and the equipment you plan to use.
- Now do some visualization. Ask participants to close their eyes and think of a very good speaker they know.
Ask, “What is the expression on their face? What gestures are being used? Does he or she move around while talking? Is there any use of visual aids? Move forward until the speech is done. What are the audience’s reactions? Keep your eyes closed. Now remove the face of this speaker and put yours on the body. Make your facial expressions animated. “Watch yourself making gestures. See yourself moving around a little, but not pacing. Lookout at the audience and see how well they are responding. Give a strong conclusion, and listen to the applause.”
Suggest that they visualize the process several times as they plan and practice their presentation skills. Tell them that closing their eyes prevents distraction.
- When it comes time to delivering presentations, get to the venue early. Check the equipment, walk around and do greet people as they arrive and chat with them.
Here are more tips:
Start planning and organizing as early as possible.
Review your outcomes and what you know about the audience and the venue site.
Create your outline to include:
Memorize your introduction and conclusion. As for your delivery, practice, practice, and practice more. Exercise just beforehand: Sit in a chair and press your hands together. Sit in a chair and push your feet to the floor. In the chair, put your hands on the seat, and push down-pull up. Use positive affirmations, such as “Today my message will impact others!”
The goal is to reverse the negative talk that our inner critic supplies. Stand, and you will get better results. Do not stand behind a pulpit or podium, however, stand to the side. Use cards to remind you of the important points. Move to a different location, such as back and forth between two charts or two flipcharts. Avoid the pacing around, because it is very distracting. Draw people in by making eye contact with them. Extend your eye contact so you connect with everyone in the room. Use gestures above the waist—no hands in pockets or behind your back. Watch actors on TV with the sound off, and get an idea of how they move.
Get and keep mental attention. Every nine minutes, a human being’s attention wanes. Here are some ways to hold their attention:
– Use people’s names when they ask a question.
– Give quizzes.
– Stop and ask them to compare notes with a neighbor.
– Refer to a well-known event, movie, quote, or person (or all).
– Use a “stand-up” poll.
– Tell audiences that you will be giving them a gift a little later. (Stick to your word.)
- Tips on Using Visual Aids :
– Keep them simple—six lines per screen, maximum.
– Use color.
– Stick to one subject per visual.
– Don’t reveal the aid until you are ready to use it.
– Use blank flipchart pages between pages you write on.
– Write notes to yourself in pencil on the flipchart page.
– Turn off equipment when not in use.
– Look at the audience—not the aid.
– Don’t read out loud what people can read themselves.
– Don’t pass things around during the presentation.
- Since you will be giving participants an assignment, each person can apply these tips when they deliver a presentation at a later time. Distribute the assignment.
- Conduct a follow-up of participant presentations. Set the stage by arranging chairs to simulate a meeting room. Draw straws to determine who goes when. Distribute a feedback sheet to each participant. Tell participants that they will evaluate the person who speaks just before they do. As the facilitator, you should evaluate each person. For each round:
– The presenter gives a six-minute speech.
– Provide time for listeners to complete feedback sheets.
– Lead a feedback session.
– Distribute the feedback sheet.
Take time shortly after conducting this activity to ponder on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Takedown notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity.