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Today’s Agenda

Steve Cope
Student Learning Advisory Service • Seminar – leading/ participating • (Seminar) presentations

Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and

Teaching (UELT) • Building confidence

Types of seminars Activity

Tutor led :
• What is involved in giving a seminar?
tutor facilitates students to discuss ideas
raised in lectures
• What are the advantages and
disadvantages of giving a seminar ?
Student led:
a student presents a paper, facilitates
discussion and draws conclusions

Seminar – 4 elements Advantages of giving a seminar:

• Paper • Can be based on an essay or dissertation

• Can generate suggestions and leads which help

• Presentation your research

• Discussion • Can boost your grades

• Drawing a conclusion • Builds experience and confidence

Disadvantages of giving a seminar Activity: A good presentation
• If not prepared it can be nerve-wracking for
you and boring for participants • What makes a good presentation? Why?

• Reading out papers puts audience off • Make a list of dos and don’ts.

• Badly managed discussions can be quite

confrontational or embarrassing

Presentation – 4 stages Preparation

• Plan • What do you need to do before a
• Prepare presentation?
• Practice
• Present

Before the Presentation Your aims

• Consider your aims • The purpose of the presentation
• Consider your audience
• Consider your venue • Your central message and supporting key
• Prepare your material factors
• Prepare the content
• Prepare yourself - What do you want to ‘teach’ the audience?
- What should your audience ‘take home’ ?

Your audience The Venue
• Who is coming? • Will the layout suit everyone?
– Seating
– Equipment: Present? Working? Your skills?
• How well informed are they on the topic? – Visibility of screen
– Visibility of yourself
• What might stop them listening? – Lighting; window glare
– Physical access
• Preparation & checking time needed?

Your materials Your Content

• Prepare in summary or note form
• Concise, clear
• What to include?
• Well structured
• What to leave out?
• Manageable (what can be effectively
• Timing
covered in the time available)
• Structure:
• Interesting
– Introduction
• Relevant – Development in clear sections
– Sign-post statements
– Conclusion

Yourself Nervousness
• Your voice
• Your body-language, mannerisms • What are you afraid of?
• Your appearance
• Your attitude • Make a list of what is causing your
• Think positively anxiety?

Common causes of nervousness Overcoming nervousness/fear
• Fear of failure • Fear is good - it is linked to new challenges and
therefore to development
• Forgetting details/getting stuck
• Everyone feels fear - some people just deal with it
• Not getting the message across more effectively
• Interruptions • Only when you do what you’re afraid of will you
• Boring the audience overcome fear
• Timing • The sooner we overcome fear the better
• Hostile/difficult questions • It’s easier to push through the fear than to live with
• Being laughed at it and allow fear to win

Positive Thinking How to survive a presentation

• Make positive/ supportive friends • Know your stuff
• Deal with your fears • Prepare questions
• Ask for help • Be prepared for questions
• Be positive about mistakes – reflect - get • Make it audience friendly
feedback - learn - improve Visual aids
• Welcome challenges Hand-outs
• Be prepared (prepare sessions, questions) Interesting

Handling questions Take care with visual aids!

• Be prepared
• Slides: a few key points per slide
• Listen carefully
• Repeat question so that everyone can
hear • Professional vs complicated
• Answer concisely
• Take questions from all over the room • Be careful with colour
• Remain firm and cool in the face of
hostility  Keep it simple: avoid distractions
• Don’t ramble or invent answers!

Discussion Drawing the Conclusion
• Decide on discussion questions in • Draw together the ideas raised in the
advance paper, the presentation and the discussion
• Divide students into groups (give into an overall summative conclusion.
questions and time limit) • Prepare summary points in your paper in
• Circulate among the groups facilitating the advance
• Listen & take notes during the discussion
• Chair the plenary session asking one
person from each group to feed back and build these in to the final conclusion
ideas which can be documented

To sum up: Your turn !

You have got 10 minutes to prepare a micro-
• Prepare well in advance presentation on the topic of your choice!
e.g. voter apathy, animal cruelty, children’s
• Structure your material rights etc.
• Rehearse (timing !) Think about the steps involved:
• Relax •How you would prepare?
• Maintain a clear delivery •What you would include?
• THINK POSITIVELY •How you would present your topic?
•What could be discussed?
• Ask for feed-back

Steve Cope
Student Learning Advisory Service

Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and

Teaching (UELT)