Skills of Spoken and Written Communication

Skills of Spoken and Written Communication

Presentation tips and skills Liz FitzGerald, IET Preparation Preparation is key. It will help you: deliver a more professional presentation put you at ease before and during your presentation Preparation (cont) To help you prepare you might want to answer these questions:

To whom am I speaking? ________________________________ When? _______________________________________________ Where? ______________________________________________ How much time have I got? ______________________________ Why am I doing this? ___________________________________ What do I want my audience to do as a result of my explanation? ____________________________________________________ What are the 3 key things I want to get across? 1. __________________________ 2. __________________________

3. __________________________ What is the most effective way of getting these things across? ____________________________________________________ Preparation (cont) Then: Make sure that your explanation is broken down into logical steps and that you are sign-posting where you have been and where you are going next as you go along Write yourself some prompt-cards if you will find this helpful

Then: practise, practise, practise... Audience (Try to) know your audience! Language and culture Depth/assumed knowledge Expertise, academic, experience (audience profiling) Expectations If in doubt, assume nothing.

Fundamental Structure Tell em what youre going to tell em (outline your talk) Then tell em Then tell em what youve told em (summary)

Handling Questions Taking questions is a useful exercise in gaining more knowledge Make sure you understand what youre being asked Be honest Tips Good introduction (well prepared) Target your audience (i.e. using key messages for the

right group) Balance oral/visual communication (using visual aids at the right time and use notes rather than reading directly from a script) Body language (i.e. stationary, mobile) Know (and be enthusiastic about) your subject Act confident even if you dont feel it Speak clearly and (perhaps) more slowly than you normally would

Beginnings Make an IMPACT! Grab ATTENTION! outline structure

indicate focus be explicit: whats in it for them? Endings People often remember the last things they hear Leave a clear impression of the main points Controlling nerves: A brief guide to overcoming nerves

What is fear? Physiological changes: Increased adrenaline Increased heart-rate

Sweating Pupils dilate Muscles tense You are not alone Stephen Fry has established himself as an actor, novelist, comedian and all-round wit. Televisions includes the comedy shows A Bit of Fry & Laurie, Blackadder and QI. BUT.

Stephen Fry suffers from bouts of stage fright. Since Paul Weller formed the Jam in 1976 he has been at the leading edge of British music. From the days with the Jam, through The Style Council and into his solo career he has inspired many successful bands and is still respected as an outstanding songwriter and musician. BUT. Paul Weller also suffers from bouts of stage fright. Mark Twain There are two types of speakers: those that are

nervous and those that are liars. What are your fears around public speaking? This may include: How will I start? What if I forget what to say? What if I shake visibly? How will I cope with questions? What if I talk too fast?

The killer question Consider the following question: What is the worst thing you believe will happen to you when you speak to an audience? Body language - negative Firstly consider negative body language. What sort of body language would someone show if they felt nervous or fearful?

Slumped posture Little or no eye contact Shallow breathing, high in chest Defensive body language maybe folded arms Body language positive, confident Contrast this with the body language of someone who feels positive, confident and self-assured

Shoulders back Head held high Breathing deep into abdomen Comfortable with eye contact Clear voice Open body language An exercise in controlling physiology Try the following exercise:

Slump forward in your chair. Hunch your shoulders. Breathe shallowly, high in your chest. Think about something sad for about 10 seconds. Now sit upright again and breathe normally. Smile. Exercise continued

Stand up. Take a deep breath into your abdomen (belly). Look up. Think of a time when you felt great remember what you saw, how you felt, who you were with, what you heard, etc. Make the memory as vivid as possible for 20 seconds. Sit down again. Now compare the two experiences. You have just proved that you can control your feelings!

Positive thinking Take a minute to think of examples of yourself being successful. This may involve confidence in your work feeling in love showing someone how to do something planning a successful trip Allow the positive feelings to wash over you

Preparing a talk If you are well prepared for a talk: You feel confident about your material You can handle questions well Your passion for the subject comes across You can master your nerves Pay particular attention to the beginning of the talk. Prepare the first minute in great detail. After that the talk will flow naturally.

Conclusions Fear is common, but it can be overcome You can control the way you feel Breathe calmly Use your body language consciously Prepare well especially the first minute

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