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Effective Presentation Skills

Hints And Tips For Better Presentations

Presentations Writing It Out


April 18th, 2009

One area where people dont agree is whether to write out your presentation completely or to just put the main points on cards. If you write the main points on cards you will probably sound more natural, interesting and confident. However, you may blank completely during your talk and forget what you are trying to say. You need to make sure that your cards contain enough words to help you if you lose your train of thought. Tips to using cards well: Use postcard-sized cards. Write neatly, clearly and in big characters. Number your cards. Write on only one side of the cards. Practice with the cards several times until you feel confident. If you write out your presentation completely, you wont sound as natural without a lot of preparation with a voice coach. However, its a good solution if you are extremely nervous. You may also need to write out your presentation if the exact wording is vitally important or if you are required to give out a handout of your talk. Tips to writing it out well. Use short sentences. What you want to produce is good speaking not good writing. Write on A4 paper. Dont put too much on each page and make sure no paragraph runs over onto the next page. Use a large typeface, at least 16pt. Number each page. Dont attach the pages.

Basics of Presentation Skills


Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision. Leaders make presentations to a wide variety of audiences, for example, Board members, employees, community leaders and groups of customers. Usually there is a lot that can be quickly gained or quickly lost from a presentation. A little bit of guidance goes a long way toward making a highly effective presentation. Note that meeting management skills are often helpful in designing an effective presentation. Also note that the following guidelines are intended for general presentations, not for training sessions where your presentation is to help learners to gain specific knowledge, skills or attitudes in order to improve their performance on a task or job. Basic Guidelines For Designing Your Presentation 1. List and prioritize the top three goals that you want to accomplish with your audience. It's not enough just to talk at them. You may think you know what you want to accomplish in your presentation, but if you're not clear with yourself and others, it is very easy - too easy - for your audience to completely miss the point of your presentation. For example, your goals may be for them to appreciate the accomplishments of your organization, learn how to use your services, etc. Again, the goals should be in terms of what you want to accomplish with your audience. 2. Be really clear about who your audience is and about why is it important for them to be in the meeting. Members of your audience will want to know right away why they were the ones chosen to be in your presentation. Be sure that your presentation makes this clear to them right away. This will help you clarify your invitation list and design your invitation to them. 3. List the major points of information that you want to convey to your audience. When you're done making that list, then ask yourself, "If everyone in the audience understands all of those points, then will I have achieved the goal that I set for this meeting?" 4. Be clear about the tone that you want to set for your presentation, for example, hopefulness, celebration, warning, teamwork, etc. Consciously identifying the tone to yourself can help you cultivate that mood to your audience. 5. Design a brief opening (about 5-10% of your total time presentation time) that: a. Presents your goals for the presentation. b. Clarifies the benefits of the presentation to the audience. c. Explains the overall layout of your presentation. 6. Prepare the body of your presentation (about 70-80% of your presentation time). 7. Design a brief closing (about 5-10% of your presentation time) that summarizes the key

points from your presentation. 8. Design time for questions and answers (about 10% of the time of your presentation). Basic Guidelines About Presentation Materials You might be handing out supplemental materials, for example, articles, reports, etc. along with making your presentation. You might also be handing out copies of your presentation, for example, handing out copies of your slides that you will be referencing during your presentation. You might be using transparency slides or showing slides from a personal computer onto a project screen. 1. If you plan to project your slides from a computer onto a projection screen, then be sure to check out the computer system before people come into the meeting room, if at all possible. 2. Use a consistent layout, or organization of colors and images, on your materials. 3. If you use transparencies on an overhead projector, then allocate one slide for every 3-5 minutes of your presentation. Include 5-8 lines of bulleted phrases on each slide. 4. If you provide the supplemental information during your presentation, then your audience will very likely read that information during your presentation, rather than listening to you. Therefore, hand out this information after you have completed your presentation. Or, hand it out at the beginning of your presentation and ask them not to read it until you have completed your presentation. 5. If you hand out copies of your slides, be sure that the text on the slides is large enough that your audience can read the text on the table in front of them without having to hold the handouts up to their faces. Be sure to leave space on the handouts for the audience to make notes on them. Basic Guidelines About Your Delivery 1. If you're speaking to a small group (for example, 2-15 people), then try to accomplish eye contact with each person for a few seconds throughout your delivery. 2. Look up from your materials, or notes, every 5-10 seconds, to look into the audience. 3. Speak a little bit louder and a little bit slower than you normally would do with a friend. A good way to practice these guidelines is to speak along with a news anchor when you're watching television. 4. Vary the volume and rate of your speech. A monotone voice is absolutely toxic to keeping the attention of an audience. 5. Stand with your feet at shoulder-length apart. 6. Keep your hands relatively still.

Resume writing can seem like an intimidating task, but its actually easier than you think. Your resume only has one job to do: It must pique the interest of your potential employer. Thats it. It doesnt have to tell your life story and it doesnt have to answer every question a potential employer might have. Here's How: 1. Start by researching the companies that interest you. Next, read publications or websites directly related to your target industry. Are there particular requirements that are frequently mentioned? If so, use these requirements as keywords throughout your resume. Detail your previous experience. Think about your background and past experiences. Take what you learned in business school and apply it to the job you seek. Emphasize relevant skills and related accomplishments. If you have degrees, certifications, or specialized training, note it. Try to include any related unpaid work that you have done, such as internships. Whatever you do, don't list your hobbies unless they directly apply. Concentrate only on what demonstrates your value; leave everything else out. As you are writing, try not to use the same words over and over. Avoiding repetition will make your resume more exciting. Drop in some of the following action words to jazz things up a bit:

2.

3.

4.

Accomplished Achieved Attained Completed Created Delivered Demonstrated Enhanced Expanded Improved Increased Managed Obtained Performed Produced Secured Succeeded Surpassed Next, make sure everything is neatly typed and spelled correctly. Your resume should be eye-catching without being flashy. Above all, it should be easy to read. If you need ideas for layout and structure, find resume samples online or go to the library and study a book. Both outlets will offer many examples of professionally written resumes. (A great online place is: jobsearch.about.com) When your resume is finished, read it over carefully and make sure that it properly demonstrates your value as an employee. If so, you have written an effective invitation to employers. All you need to do now is sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

Role Plays in the ESL Classroom by Lynne Hand Instructions to the English teacher It is not enough merely to provide students with opportunities to speak in English, as teachers we need to encourage students to speak in a variety of different situations, and hence help them to learn to speak with confidence. The ideal would be to travel to different locations and carry out different tasks, the next best thing however is to enact those situations in a classroom. However, many teachers and students in an ESL class dread the words role-play. Even though there is little consensus on the terms used in role-playing literature. Just a few of the terms which are used, often interchangeably, are "simulation," "game," "role-play," "simulationgame," "role-play simulation," and "role-playing game" (Crookall and Oxford, 1990a). The effective use of role-plays can add variety to the kinds of activities students are asked to perform. It encourages thinking and creativity; lets students develop and practice new language and behavioural skills in a relatively safe setting, and can create the motivation and involvement necessary for real learning to occur. Effective Role Plays Unlike skits, role plays shouldn't be scripted out in detail, instead you should give the student a general scenario with different elements and suggested ideas for complications to occur. Role play cards can be a very useful tool here. For example:-

Student A

You are booking into a hotel.

Elements

Book in to the hotel - you have a reservation.

Complications

You are on your own.

You want a shower. You want breakfast in the morning. You have an early meeting and must not be late.

Student B

You are a hotel receptionist.

Elements

Welcome the guest. Find them a room.

Complications

You can't find their reservation. You only have a double room with bath available.

Before asking them to perform a role play you should prepare the students by asking questions. The questions should incorporate the major parts of the role play and the vocabulary/idioms involved. After the question answer session the students should be comfortable with what they need to do. Allow them a few minutes to study the role cards and work out some key sentences. Give help where needed. Each role play should be performed at least twice with the students changing roles. In group situations have the stronger students act out the role play to the whole class. You as the teacher can take one of the roles if you need to. Avoid making corrections until the role play is finished. Recording or videoing role plays can be a very useful tool for giving feedback, but only if the students are comfortable with this.

WRITING AN EFFECTIVE RESUME


Your resume is a personal selling document. A good resume promotes your job skills, experience and training and acts as your door opener. General Tips

If you send a resume before seeing someone, its purpose is to act as a personal selling document - one that will get you invited to an interview or for a meeting. A resume is not always the first step in the process to hiring someone - it may be your door opener but you may also use it as a follow-up tool after seeing someone. People who receive resumes often use them for screening you out rather than in. Be aware that the first person to look at your resume for a specific job is not likely to be the person who will do the interviewing; the person screening out inappropriate resumes may only have a list of criteria to match. Your resume will have to get beyond this point to ensure you are considered for an interview. When you get to the interview, your resume can act as the agenda for your discussion, giving the interviewer a springboard from which to launch the inquiry. Yes, it is acceptable to keep it in front of you but only refer to it as, and when, you need to.
Build a winning resume Hudson offers two options to build a winning resume. Choose between our full Resume Writing Service, where we write a resume for you, and our Resume Workshop, where we give you the skills to write your own resume. Resume Writing Service Hudsons professional resume writers can help you create a winning resume. The service covers:

An initial meeting to determine your career objectives, history, skills, qualifications, work experience and achievements to date Producing the first draft of your resume Any revisions to your resume based on your feedback Producing the final draft of your resume
Professional fees for this service are as follows:

New graduates and those with < 3 years work experience $450 Experienced candidates with > 3 years and < 10 years work experience $600 Senior and executive managers with > 10 years work experience $750
Attend our in-depth resume workshop To really write a winning resume, attend Hudson's in-depth three hour workshop and let the experts show you how. The workshop covers all areas of writing a professional resume that will open doors for you including:

Responding to job advertisements and writing application letters Principles of an effective resume Identifying what the reader is looking for Do's and don'ts of resume writing The structure of an effective resume

Defining your career objectives Detailing your career summary Detailing your key skills and qualifications Outlining your key work experience and achievements

Current trends Alternative resumes Resume checklist Sample resumes

The workshop combines individual and group work so you receive the benefits of personalised attention as well as access to the groups experiences and resources. The aim of the program is to teach you how to write a winning resume, not to write it for you. This way, you develop the skills to enable you to regularly update your resume yourself rather than paying additional fees every time you need to update it. The fee to attend the three hour workshop is $199 per person (including GST), which also covers access to all work manuals. More information For further information on the resume writing service or the workshops in your State or Territory please call 1800 000 412 or email us at careerservices@hudson.com.

Writing Effective Emails Making sure your messages get read and acted upon Do people respond to your emails in the way you want them too? Or do they seem to ignore them, or miss important information? And are you sure that you're making the best possible impression with your emails? When you compose an email message, there are some simple rules that you can follow to ensure that your emails make a positive impression, and get you the response you want. We look at these here, and we'll illustrate the points we're talking about with both good and bad examples at the end of each section Subject Lines are Headlines A newspaper headline has two functions: It grabs your attention, and it tells you what the article is about, so that you can decide if you want to read further. Email subject lines need to do exactly the same thing! Use a few well-chosen words, so that the recipient knows at a glance what the email is about. If your message is one of a regular series of emails, such as a weekly project report, include the date in the subject line. And for a message that needs a response, you might want to include a call to action, such as "Please reply by November 7". Remember that everyone tries to reduce the amount of "spam" email messages they receive. If you make appropriate use of the subject line, you increase the chances that your email will be read, rather than mistaken for spam and deleted without so much as a glance. Of course, just as it would be ridiculous to publish a newspaper without headlines, never leave the subject line blank. Emails with blank subject lines are usually spam! Bad Example Subject: Meeting Hi Jim, I just wanted to remind you about the meeting we have scheduled next week. Do let me know if you have any questions! Best wishes, Mark This email is an example of poor communication for several reasons. Let's focus on the headline. As you can see, it's titled "Meeting". Why is this a bad headline? Well, there's no information about the meeting. If your calendar is full of meetings, you might even wonder which one Mark is talking about. And there's certainly no clarity about the subject, or when and where the meeting's being held.

What's more, the lack of specific information makes it look like a spam email. This email risks being deleted without being read! Also, the tone of the message is that of a friendly reminder. There's nothing wrong with that, but essential details are missing. If Jim hasn't heard anything about the meeting, or has completely forgotten about it, he'll have to write back for more information. Good Example Subject: Reminder of 10am Meeting Sched. 10/05 on PASS Process. Hi Jim, I just wanted to remind you about the meeting we have scheduled for Monday, October 5, at 10:00am. It's being held in conference room A, and we'll be discussing the new PASS Process. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch (x3024). Best Wishes, Mark See how specific this new headline is? The great thing about this headline is that the reader doesn't even have to open the email to get most of the relevant information. And the precise nature of the headline serves as a useful prompt. Every time the reader glances at his saved emails, he'll be reminded about that specific meeting. Make One Point per Email One of the advantages of email compared with traditional letters is that it doesn't cost any more to send several emails than it does to send one. So, if you need to communicate with someone about a number of different things, consider writing a separate email on each subject. That way, your correspondent can reply to each one individually and in the appropriate time frame. One topic might only require a short reply, that he or she can send straight away. Another topic might require more research. By writing separate messages, you should get clearer answers, while helping other people manage their inboxes better. If you do want to put several points in an email - perhaps because they relate to the same project consider presenting each point in a separate, numbered paragraph. This makes each point stand out, significantly increasing the likelihood that each point will be addressed. As with traditional business letters, each individual email should be clear and concise, with the purpose of the message detailed in the very first paragraph. Sentences should be kept short and to the point. The body of the email should contain all pertinent information (see our articles on Writing Skills and The Rhetorical Triangle), and should be direct and informative. Bad Example

Subject: Revisions For Sales Report Hi Jackie, Thanks for sending in that report last week. I read through it yesterday and feel that you need more specific information regarding our sales figures in Chapter 2. I also felt that the tone could be a bit more formal. The report is going to be read by our Executive Team, and needs to reflect our professionalism. Also, I wanted to let you know that I've scheduled a meeting with the PR department for this Friday, regarding the new ad campaign. It's at 11:00, and will be in the small conference room. Please let me know if you can make that time. Thanks! Monica Monica got a good headline in there, and she was pretty clear on the changes she wanted Jackie to make to that report. But what did she do wrong? Well, that second paragraph about the meeting is pretty important, and yet she lumped it into the email that detailed the revisions. If Jackie doesn't put it straight in her calendar, she'll have to remember that the meeting details were in the email titled "Revisions For Sales Report", which is not very logical. Combining those two important communications increases the chance that either the meeting or the revisions will be forgotten. Let's look at how she could have done it better: Good Example Subject: Revisions For Sales Report Hi Jackie, Thanks for sending in that report last week. I read through it yesterday and feel that you need more specific information regarding our sales figures in Chapter 2. I also felt that the tone could be a bit more formal. The report is going to be read by our Executive Team, and needs to reflect our professionalism. Thanks for your hard work on this! Monica AND Subject: Friday 10/9, 11am Meeting w/PR Dept Hi Jackie, I wanted to let you know that I've scheduled a meeting with the PR department for this Friday, 10/9, regarding the new ad campaign.

Writing and Public Speaking Speaking Effectively in a Group Discussion By:Jennie Gandhi A group discussion is essentially an arrangement wherein a group of individuals (generally applicants to professional degree courses or certain job profiles) are made to sit in a group (usually of ten to twenty) and asked to share their opinions on a certain topic of discussion and use rationale to conclude at the end. Speaking effectively in a group discussion is achieved by means of body language as well as public speaking skills. There are a number of ways to make ones performance in a group discussion effective and impressive. In terms of body language, the following are very useful tips to carry oneself in a group discussion:1. Sitting with a straight back and both hands on ones knees appears formal and confident simultaneously while also making one feel more confident. 2. Making eye contact with each individual in the group creates more room for communication. 3. Nodding shows receptivity. 4. It is important to be assertive yet humble while also being oneself during a group discussion. In terms of speech (a very important factor in a group discussion), the following points must be kept in mind:1. Its great to seize the opportunity to speak first if you have an understanding of the topic and a valid point to make. If not, it is advisable to wait for another to speak and step in for value addition. 2. Facilitate contribution from others. 3. Without aggression, be assertive, without submission, be humble. 4. No one is a personal friend during a group discussion. The tone of the discussion is impersonal and cordial. 5. Avoid creating a fish market as far as possible. If you find yourself in one, break it, by raising your voice just enough to be heard and making a very heavy point (such as facts and figures to support your stand). 6. Statistics and facts are very impressive but need to be real and backed up by references in case one is questioned. 7. Dont repeat a point, be lengthy or irrelevant. Intervene if someone else is going off on an irrelevant tangent. 8. Dont take to making one on one conversation. 9. Be simple in your speech and conclude objectively. In terms of mindset and behavior, one must remember:1. That ones skills as a team member and personality are being observed by the moderator at all times. 2. That one is mostly answerable for his/her actions during the group discussion in the personal interview which generally follows. 3. That being nervous will not help and being genuine will. 4. That leaders take a topic on its proper path. About the Author/Author Bio

Writing and Public Speaking Speaking Effectively in a Group Discussion By:Jennie Gandhi A group discussion is essentially an arrangement wherein a group of individuals (generally applicants to professional degree courses or certain job profiles) are made to sit in a group (usually of ten to twenty) and asked to share their opinions on a certain topic of discussion and use rationale to conclude at the end. Speaking effectively in a group discussion is achieved by means of body language as well as public speaking skills. There are a number of ways to make ones performance in a group discussion effective and impressive. In terms of body language, the following are very useful tips to carry oneself in a group discussion:1. Sitting with a straight back and both hands on ones knees appears formal and confident simultaneously while also making one feel more confident. 2. Making eye contact with each individual in the group creates more room for communication. 3. Nodding shows receptivity. 4. It is important to be assertive yet humble while also being oneself during a group discussion. In terms of speech (a very important factor in a group discussion), the following points must be kept in mind:1. Its great to seize the opportunity to speak first if you have an understanding of the topic and a valid point to make. If not, it is advisable to wait for another to speak and step in for value addition. 2. Facilitate contribution from others. 3. Without aggression, be assertive, without submission, be humble. 4. No one is a personal friend during a group discussion. The tone of the discussion is impersonal and cordial. 5. Avoid creating a fish market as far as possible. If you find yourself in one, break it, by raising your voice just enough to be heard and making a very heavy point (such as facts and figures to support your stand). 6. Statistics and facts are very impressive but need to be real and backed up by references in case one is questioned. 7. Dont repeat a point, be lengthy or irrelevant. Intervene if someone else is going off on an irrelevant tangent. 8. Dont take to making one on one conversation. 9. Be simple in your speech and conclude objectively. In terms of mindset and behavior, one must remember:1. That ones skills as a team member and personality are being observed by the moderator at all times. 2. That one is mostly answerable for his/her actions during the group discussion in the personal interview which generally follows. 3. That being nervous will not help and being genuine will. 4. That leaders take a topic on its proper path. About the Author/Author Bio.