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Effective Oral Presentations. Dr. George Marquis Composition and Rhetoric AUC. The Golden Rule of Success. The Week Before...Practice, Practice. How Your Audience Judges You. Knowledge Preparation Appearance. Dress to Impress.

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Effective Oral Presentations

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effective oral presentations

Effective Oral Presentations

Dr. George Marquis

Composition and Rhetoric


how your audience judges you
How Your Audience Judges You..
  • Knowledge
  • Preparation
  • Appearance
dress to impress
Dress to Impress
  • Clothes must not distract from your message. No words or logos on clothes.
  • Keep clothing neutral: black, white, gray, navy, beige, brown (no pink, purple, orange, etc.)
  • If you wear make up, wear only matte.
  • Don’t wear jewelry that moves or makes noise.
be proactive not reactive
Be proactive not reactive
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of your presentation.
  • Try to find the person who is setting up the equipment.
  • You can usually find the numbers for media service on the console.
  • ‘Amm Khalid is in charge of Falaki.
  • If you can’t find Khalid, call the main number – 5072.
be proactive not reactive1
Be proactive not reactive
  • Determine whether your equipment works by touch or by mouse.
  • If you’re bringing your own laptop , locate power source.
  • Connect laptop with the guest cable and press ctrl+ F4.
  • For sound, find the audio cable , plug it in and test it. There is a volume adjuster on the control panel.
be proactive not reactive2
Be proactive not reactive
  • If you design a presentation that has online links requiring a live internet connection, never assume that there will be one. Always find out well ahead of time. If there isn’t one, download what you need in advance.
working with a screen
Working With A Screen
  • Stand to left of screen and at a 45 degree angle to screen and audience.
  • When you want to emphasize a point, turn to face the audience.
  • Avoid path of light from data show projector.
  • Plan how to change slides. (Two options)
  • If your slides are simple you will not need one.
  • For complex slides, use a laser or conventional pointer. A laser pointer is preferable because it is smaller and therefore doesn’t disturb the audience if you wave it accidentally.
  • Be very careful not to point the laser beam at audience.
example of simple slide no pointer needed
Example of simple slide (no pointer needed)

Objectives, Goals & Results

  • Community awareness developed
  • Job opportunities created in this field

Objectives GoalsResults

complex use pointer
Complex (Use pointer)

IntroductionProposed solution Previous attempts Why ours?

hand gestures
Hand Gestures
  • Keep them simple and natural.
  • Searching for words can cause you to use your hands more. Practice what you want to say to avoid this.
  • Don’t “reach” to the screen with your hands. Use a pointer.
audience awareness
Audience Awareness

Source: http://static.kdenews.org/dannya/akademy_edu_audience.jpg

organizational skills
Organizational Skills
  • Have an agenda
    • It adds a psychological advantage
  • Use signposts
    • First, I’d like to discuss..
    • Now, my colleague, Ahmed, will introduce..
  • Problem Solution Statement
  • Objectives, Goals & Results
  • Methodology
  • Timeline
  • Budget
  • Roles & Responsibilities
organizational skills cont
Organizational Skills (cont.)
  • Start on time
  • Plan for at least 1 minute per slide
  • Know what and what not to emphasize
  • Pace yourself and your team
    • 100 words a minute is the most effective rate of delivery
delivery cont
Delivery (cont.)
  • Eye Contact
    • Look at your audience when you are speaking. Pick two or three points in the room and direct your speech at them.
    • Look directly above the eye level of your audience if you are uncomfortable looking directly at people.
be prepared
Be prepared
  • No hesitation – have the words you need on hand
  • No fillers
avoid slang and colloquialisms
Avoid slang and colloquialisms
  • This is an academic setting, not comedy central.
  • The audience might be amused, but not impressed or persuaded.
  • Expected if your audience is from the same field and specialized
  • If not, you need to adapt your language to their level of comprehension
  • No one is impressed by your ability to talk over their heads
team skills
Team Skills
  • Maintain good rapport
  • Refer to your team members as colleagues
  • Hand off to them when you’re finished
  • Refer back to what they said when you’re talking.
  • Follow the 6 x 6 rule:
  • No more than three fonts
  • Make titles a contrasting color
  • Minimum font size is 24 point
  • Source your information
  • Use sans serif (Calibri, Arial, Helvetica)
calibri font
Calibri Font
  • In a survey conducted by researchers at Wichita State University, Calibri was the most popular font for e-mail, instant messaging and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Source: http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/91/POF.html
the step back rule
The Step-back Rule
  • “When you are finished [designing] your presentation, step back about 5-6 feet from your slides on a 17” monitor. If you can read the lines clearly your presentation text is large enough for the audience to read.”

Source: http://www.ispn-psych.org/docs/06tips4ppt.pdf

  • Animation in your engineering diagrams is fine.
  • But to move text, use animation only sparingly.
  • Do not use sound to move signal the beginning or end of a slide. It will make your presentation seem less than serious.
figures charts etc
Figures (Charts, etc.)
  • Minimize text when using figures
  • Use text only for labeling
choose the type of visual carefully
Choose the type of visual carefully
  • The next slide illustrates the greater clarity of the bar charts.
citing sources
Citing Sources
  • There are two types of citation in oral presentations:
  • Oral Citations
    • See: www.lib.jmu.edu/gold/citingspeech.doc
  • Slide Citations
    • cite sources for any direct quotations or images appearing on a PowerPoint slide.  Write the information in a small font in a textbox at the bottom of the slide or under the image. 
to cite photos graphs etc
To Cite Photos, Graphs, etc.
  • In PowerPoint, go to “home.”
  • Then click on “layout” in the “slides” section.
  • There are two options for slides with captions:
    • Content with caption
    • Picture with caption


Caution: using these formats sometimes cuts off the top of the picture

picture correctly cited see below picture in slide
Picture correctly cited (see below picture in slide)



photo correctly cited
Photo correctly cited.  

Source: www.abcnews.com/sections/us/global106/index.html

citing sources cont
Citing Sources (cont.)
  • Cite graphics or photos from the Internet, unless they are in the public domain.
  • You can add a bibliography or works cited slide at the end of your presentation, but you still need to cite orally and textually in the presentation.
  • Source: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/gold/mod7ethics.htm
  • Clip Art. Slides 2,3,9,13,16,48. MS Office PowerPoint 2007.
  • Slides 4,5,6. Marquis. G., RHET 321. American University in Cairo, Fall 2007.
  • Slides 18,19. Baghdadi, K., Fahmy, B., Mostafa, N., RHET 321, American University in Cairo, Fall 2007
  • Slide 21. http://static.kdenews.org/dannya/akademy_edu_audience.jpg. Retrieved March 2008.
  • Slide 29. www.cybergeo.eu. Retrieved Feb 2008.
  • Slide 36. http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews

/91/POF.html. Retrieved Feb 2008.

  • Slide 37. http://www.ispn-psych.org/docs/06tips4ppt.pdf . Retrieved Jan 2008.
  • Slide 41. www.enterprise-dashboard.com. Retrieved Mar 2007.
  • Slides 45, 47. http://www.lib.jmu.edu/gold/mod7ethics.htm. Retrieved Feb 2008.
  • Slide 46.www.abcnews.com/sections/us/global106/

index.html. Retrieved Feb. 2008.