Oral Presentation is an important and effective way of communicating your ideas and plans to your target audience. Oral presentations are often used to present information, thoughts, lessons etc. at educational institutions, business organizations, government meetings, seminars, conferences and at scientific meetings, therefore, it is necessary to acquire some basic knowledge to be eligible for oral presentation to your target audience.
Normally, as a general perception, it can be difficult to speak in front of a group and it is especially hard for the first time. There may be some mistakes which are part of the learning process. It should be kept in mind that any questions that you are asked by the listeners or audience are not meant to take personally. So, don''t be afraid of questions, they are in fact intended to further the understanding of your presentation.
The presentation should be organized in the best possible manner similar to the scientific reports, with general categories for example Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, and Discussion/Conclusion.
In fact, a good oral presentation is an art that involves attention to the needs of your audience, careful planning and attention to delivery. Some basic questions to ask about an audience include:
Who is target audience?
What prior information they already have about my topic?
What will they further want to know about my topic?
What do I want them to know by the end of my presentation?
In an effective presentation, the content and structure are adjusted to the medium of speech. When listening, we cannot go back over a difficult point to understand it or easily absorb long arguments. A presentation can easily be ruined if the content is too difficult and complicated for the audience to follow.
As a general rule, expect to cover much less content than you would in a written report. Make difficult points easier to understand by preparing the listener for them, using plenty of examples and going back over them later. Leave sufficient time for questions within the presentation.
Always give presentation a simple look and logical structure. Include an introduction in which you outline the points you intend to cover and a conclusion in which you go over the main points of your talk.
There may be very few peoples having ability to speak confidently in public, but in usual, everyone gets nervous but in fact everyone can learn how to improve their presentation skills by applying a few simple techniques.
The main points to pay attention to in delivery are the quality of your voice, your appearance, your rapport with the audience, use of notes and effective and attractive use of visual aids. Voice quality involves attention to volume, speed and fluency, clarity and pronunciation. The quality of your voice in a presentation will improve dramatically if you are able to practice before final presentation.
Rapport with the audience involves attention to eye contact, sensitivity to how the audience is responding to your talk and what you look like from the point of view of the audience. These can be improved by practicing in front of one or two friends or videotaping your rehearsal or just standing in front of mirror like most of the actors do.
Good speakers vary a great deal in their use of notes. Some do not use notes at all and some write out their talk in great detail. If you are not an experienced speaker it is not a good idea to speak without notes because you will soon lose your continuity. You should also avoid reading a prepared text aloud or memorizing your speech, as this will be boring. The best solution may be to use notes with headings and points to be covered. You may also want to write down key sentences. Notes can be on paper or cards. Some speakers use overhead transparencies as notes. The trick in using notes is to avoid shiftg your attention from the audience for too long. Your notes should always be written large enough for you to see without moving your head too much.
Visual aids help to make a presentation livelier. They can also help the audience to follow your presentation and help you to present information that would be difficult to follow through speech alone.