Oral Presentation Assignment

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Oral Presentation Assignment
For this assignment you will make a 3 – 5 minute oral presentation on a topic of your choice. Your topic must be approved by Ms. Acker. Although you will be speaking about a topic that you know a lot about, you will be required to do some research on your chosen topic. We will have time in the computer lab to work on this.
The oral presentations will begin on Wednesday October 24th. I will give those who wish to go first the opportunity to volunteer in the next day or two. After that, I will pull names out of a hat to determine presentation order. You will know the date you are presenting in the next few days when the schedule is posted.

Task 1: Topic

1. Pick a broad topic that you know well and that interests you. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, think about your favourite things, hobbies, or interests.

Example: You’re required to give a 5-minute oral presentation on a topic of your choosing. You love to go camping with friends so you decide to give your presentation on camping.
2. Narrow your point of focus. No one in your audience wants to hear every word of your 10-page research paper, or every detail about your model car collection. Your goal is to pick one aspect of your topic to focus on. What do you need or want to tell people about your topic?

Example: You’ve already got a topic—camping, but this topic is too broad to cover in a 10-minute presentation. You decide to narrow your focus to how to pack for a 3-day camping trip.
3. List the key concepts you want to introduce to your audience. Keep it short: more than five main points will make your audience’s eyes glaze over.

Example: For your oral presentation on packing for a 3-day camping trip, you decide to cover three key concepts:

  • Gear

  • Clothing

  • Food

Task 2: Audience profile

You discuss a movie differently with those who have seen it than with those who haven’t. This same principle applies to public speaking.

Take a few minutes to think about your audience:

  • Who is your audience?

  • Is everyone in the audience as familiar with your topic as you are?

  • How can you make your topic interesting to everyone?

Task 3: Outline

A speech consists of three parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Plan what you’re going to cover in each section of your presentation.

  1. List the things you want to cover in each section. You may choose to translate your outline to note cards or slides later, or you may want to work directly from your outline. Be sure to write legibly—you don’t want to get up in front of the class and find out you can’t read your own writing.

  1. Introduction. Plan to introduce your presentation with an attention-grabber, like a joke or an anecdote about your topic. Telling it will help you relax and warm your audience to the presentation. Also in the introduction, tell the audience what they’re about to hear by summarizing the most important parts of your presentation

  1. Body. Use the body of your presentation to make your main points. In your outline, list each main point and two or three supporting facts. When you’re finished, take a minute to consider the flow—are your main points presented in a logical sequence?

  1. Conclusion. Use your conclusion to remind the audience what they’ve heard. Restate your most important conclusions and reiterate your most convincing evidence. Give the audience a sense of closure by wrapping up your presentation.

Task 4: Visual Aids

Remember the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words?” It’s true. For your presentation you must create a visual aid – either a poster on Bristol board or a powerpoint presentation.

  1. Go over your outline looking for opportunities to illustrate your presentation visually. Collect pictures, maps, charts, and other visual aids to reinforce your main points.

  1. Sort through the collection and select the very best candidates. Limit yourself to one visual aid for the introduction, one or two for each main point, and one for the conclusion. Make sure each visual aid is clear and easy to read and that it reinforces an important aspect of your presentation. Plan to briefly discuss each visual aid that you display. You want your audience to understand what they’re looking at and why you’re showing it to them.

  1. Note in the outline where you will show each visual aid to the audience. List the key things about the visual aid that you intend to call out. This will help you remember to display the right visual aid at the right time, even if you’re nervous.

Task 5: Rehearse

Practice, practice, practice. Repeat your presentation speech over and over again. Give it to your family. Give it to your friends. Give it to your pets. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of a camcorder. Practice in your imagination.

  1. Time yourself to make sure your presentation fits in the allotted time.

  1. Practice with your visual aids. Make sure they’re easy to see and understand, and that they illustrate your points without detracting from them.

  1. Speak slowly, clearly, and not too softly. Be careful not to say “um” or fidget.

  1. Ask your friends and family if your presentation is interesting. Do they get the main point?

Task 6: Live presentation

Relax! You know your material well and you’ve practiced it relentlessly. Have faith in yourself because YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Keep your thoughts on what you are saying rather than on how you are feeling.

  • Speak informally and conversationally. Be friendly. Smile!

  • Make eye contact with a friend you trust, or focus on a spot at the back of the room and imagine someone you love is sitting there, cheering you on.

  • Have fun!

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