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Oral presentations: assignment & suggestions
The assignment for group oral presentations in lecture
is given in the syllabus, along with
the criteria for grading that will be used. This assignment
is designed to help hone your speaking, presentation, and group skills.
Your grade will be determined in part by the performance of the overall
group but also based on comments by your peers and the judgment of the
instructor and mentor as to how much you as an individual contributed to
the group effort. In addition to actually doing the presentations,
you will need to make an electronic copy of the visual materials for your
presentation available to the instructor, who will post it on the class
website. This copy is due the day of your presentation.
(1) Try to keep slides or overheads from being overly busy. That means not too much text or graphical material crammed onto one slide or overhead. (This is probably the most important suggestion.)
(2) If using Powerpoint, make sure the text is clearly readable. That means choose backgrounds that provide sufficient contrast, and keep font sizes large.
(3) Use color or special effects to highlight items or make presentations snazzy, but use these sparingly.
(4) Make sure you can fit your presentation into the 60 minutes allotted. You should know what you want to say about everything you introduce. Powerpoint has "speaker notes" that can help. You can also use notecards. For Powerpoints, I typically allocate 1-2 minutes per slide, depending on how much I have to say about each.
(5) Practice your group presentation.
(6) Don't read overly. Look at the audience as much as possible-- make eye contact.
(7) For complex subjects, consider using the strategy of telling audience what you will say, saying it, and tell them what you have said.
(8) If something is unclear but important, acknowledge this. It is better to raise an issue for class discussion than to ignore it.
(9) The book generally has good graphics, but in some cases better graphs or images can be found on the web.
(10) Allocate sufficient tme to working on your presentation. Even if all the presentation materials are assembled and you know what you want to say, it can still take a few hours or more to actually assemble the presentation.
(11) Make sure that everyone has something substantive to say.
(12) Organize who in your group will be responsible