Workshop 4: Oral Communication Skills Workshop Dr. Fahmi Abu Al-Rub Vice Dean of Engineering, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid-Jordan
Objectives • Help you improve your skills in three areas: Listening, Speaking, and Presentation style.
Preparing to Present: Setting Your Objectives • Effective communication means that your presentation gets a response you desire from your audience. • Any presentation must begin with a general question of purpose: What am I trying to accomplish? • Your purpose usually recommends action or provide information
Preparing to Present: Setting Your Objectives Action Objectives come in three varieties: • To Recommend: seek agreement to a specific plan of action. • To Seek Agreement in Principle: Establish strategy and ground rules. • To Request Action: Seek specific actions from subordinates, or other departments and outside agencies.
Preparing to Present: Setting Your Objectives Information strategy is used to: • Provide results of an analysis. • Update your audience on the status of a particular event. • Summarize knowledge or experience for the record.
Preparing to Present: Setting Your Objectives To accomplish your broad purpose, you need to go beyond your general objectives to reach a specific objective. This specific objective describes the exact outcome or end result you expect to achieve through your presentation. This should be • Stated in one complete sentence. • Stated in clear, concise language. • Measurable, allowing you to determine the effectiveness of your presentation.
Preparing to Present: Audience Analysis Analyzing your audience means determining what you know about them, what they know about you, and how can you appeal to them in a way that will get them to respond favorably to your recommendation. Think about the following set of questions: WHO ARE THEY?? • Who is the primary audience – who will actually be receiving your message? • Who is the key decision maker? WHAT DO THEY KNOW? About you, your topic, and about your relation to the topic?
Preparing to Present: Audience Analysis Think about the following set of questions: WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THEM? • What are the nature and intensity of your listeners’ attitude toward the topic? Will they sympathetic, apathetic, or hostile? • What ideas are they likely to agree or disagree with?
Preparing to Present: Audience Analysis HOW CAN YOU APPEAL TO YOUR AUDIENCE? Almost all studies confirmed that the speaker creditability has a major effect on audience attitude. If you are to be credible, you must bee seen as: • Having expertise and confidence, and demonstrating knowledge of your subject. • Being trustworthy, someone your listeners can place their confidence in. • Having good intent and showing the benefit your recommendation will bring.
Preparing to Present: Audience Analysis IMPORTANT Audience analysis is not something that takes place only prior to a presentation. An effective presentation must be interactive. Good presenter get feedback from the audience in many ways: They may ask questions, but more importantly they use their eyes and ears to adjust their message from audiences’ reaction. Yawns, restlessness are valuable input to sensitive presenter. Only by tuning into these messages can presenters gauge their impact and adapt to the needs of their audience.
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials • In organizing your materials, keep in mind your specific objective for your presentation. Also, keep in mind the following graph which shows a useful model for visualizing what your audience is likely to remember: Most Least Beginning End Audience Memory Curve
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials • State your important ideas either at the beginning or the end. Never bury your ideas in the middle. • Information is more likely to get audience attention when it is perceived to be relative to audience experience. • Information is more likely to get audience attention when it is perceived as new.
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials • Information is more likely to be understood and retained if it is associated with the familiar. • Information is more likely to be understood and retained when it is related visually. • Information is more likely to be understood and retained when it is well organized.
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials Once you have done your homework to generate information, you must make some sense of it all. This process is a tough mental work. Your goal is to glean your essential ideas and then group and order these ideas. You need to step back from the details to try and see the essence of your message. Here are some methods for gleaning the essentials: • Imagine you meet your listener on the street and you have only two minutes to explain your ideas before hurrying on. • Imagine you must send a telegram encapsulating your main ides. • Ask yourself: “What do my listeners need most to know? If I have to hurry through the presentation, what is the minimum they should learn?
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials Once you have gleaned the essentials, it is now necessary to put them in some logical format. • Outlining is probably the best way to begin organizing material into a presentation format. • A full sentence outline will help you think through your overall presentation, and insure that you do not forget the essence of each point you wish to cover. • As you gain more experience, you may want to outline in a more abbreviated form, using phrases instead of sentences. • The main ideas should be few. As the number of main ideas increases, the likelihood that you will accomplish your specific objectives decreases.
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials • Organizing the body of the presentation involves selecting and starting main points, determining the best order, and then selecting and developing the material that explains or support the main points. • Once you have selected the main points, you need to state them in complete sentences that specific, vivid, and parallel in structure. • Specific means describing the main points exactly. • Vivid means starting the main points in a way that will arouse interest. • Parallel means starting them with the same structural pattern, perhaps using the same introductory words.
Preparing to Present: Organizing your Materials Some final thoughts on organizing your materials: • Keep to a few points: One big reason for communication failures is that speakers try to cover too much. They throw out more information that the audience can or need to digest. • Make the structure obvious: If you want your audience to get the point, they should be able to reconstruct your outline while or after hearing your presentation. • Keep it brief: Do not fall into the trap of believing that the length of a presentation is necessarily related to the importance of its contents.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation - Introduction An effective presentation structure includes an introduction, limited points (body), and a closing. INTRODUCTION In speaking, your introduction is even more crucial than in writing. You must arouse the listeners’ interest. Always start with a “grabber”: • Ask a rhetorical question to simulate interest and direct your audience’s thinking. Use caution with these, as you could open yourself up to a critical response (verbal or non-verbal) from your audience. • Make a startling statement which relates directly to the needs and interest of your audience.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation - Introduction • Draw an analogy: making a logical comparison between your subject and something which corresponds to it. • Create a vivid image on an end result benefit that could come about.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation - Introduction NO matter which type of introduction you select, it should meet the test of capturing the attention of your audience: • It answers their question: “Why should I be listening to this anyway? • It relates your topic to your audience so they understand its value to them. • It quickly provides any information needed to make that value clear. • It makes your general purpose and specific objective clear. • It successfully establishes your credibility. • It is an integral part of your subject, so that it can serve as a smooth transition to the body of your presentation.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation - Introduction Your introduction should also include a preview. Listeners need an orientation because, unlike readers, they cannot skim over the general outline of your talk. If your presentation includes the use of a talk piece, a preview may help keep the listeners eyes on you rather than the talk piece. Below are some effective previews: • List three five main points. • State the problem or needs you will remedy • State major objectives, areas of discussion, and approximate time you will spend.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation Body • Make your major points clear. Listeners cannot process as much information as readers can. They cannot stay oriented as easily as readers. • Explicit transitions between your main points can reinforce learning. Say, “the second recommendation is …” or, “an other benefit of the system is..” or use transitions between your major sections by saying, “the third area we need to discuss this morning is..” • Internal summaries are used between your major points or major sections to summarize for the listener they key ideas covered to that point.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation Closing Use an effective conclusion. The conclusion most appropriate for the kinds of presentations Brand people usually make is a “call for specific action” conclusion. In this the presenter quickly recaps the main points and supporting ideas and then makes a direct, clear appeal to the listener to take action, based on the information presented.
Preparing to Present: Structure your Presentation Closing Effective closings: • List your three to five major points. • Refer to the rhetorical question, vision or story you used in your opening. • Call for action based on what you have presented. • Refer to the benefits your audience will receive from following the recommendation in your presentation.
Preparing to Present: Practice • This is essential for business presentations because they are neither memorized recitations nor word-for-word readings. • Once you have organized your presentation and composed appropriate visual aids, it is time to practice your presentation. Practicing allows you to increase your confidence and poise, improve your wording so it flows naturally and spontaneously, identifies and gaps and makes sure your visual aids are smoothly integrated. • Become familiar with your material by practicing. • Rehearse, out loud, on your feet (if appropriate) with your visual aids - timing yourself. PRACTICE ALOUD.
Preparing to Present: Practice To improve your delivery: • Speak into a mirror: this will help you improve visual expression and animation. • Speak into a tape recorder: this will improve vocal expression, animation, and rate. • Try speaking to friends and have them offer helpful critique. • Speak in front of a video tape recorder, mobile, etc, to see and hear yourself as your audience will.