10 April, 2021 - Tim Thompson

Tips for Teaching Presentation Skills
Tim Thompson
In this talk, Tim provided tips for planning a presentation, training activities, syllabus design, common mistakes, and both teacher and peer feedback on students' presentations.
At the planning stage we need to think about if a presentation is either "informative" or "persuasive". For an informative speech it is important to consider what knowledge we have that our audience might want know. A persuasive presentation's goal is to motivate the audience into action so therefore it requires information that emphasizes a topic's benefits .
When it comes to training his students Tim outlined a number of steps that work best in his classes. At first he has all the students make groups of three and has one of them do their presentation whilst sitting down at the same eye-level. After doing this, he then has that person present whilst standing up. This gradually gets the presenter used to the unnatural change in the eye-level dynamic that one experiences during a real presentation. After these steps the student should then be ready for to present in front of a larger group.
During these exercises he helps the students to improve their timing, eye rotation and their awareness of distracting gestures. He also encourages students to avoid a number of common presentation errors such as weak introductions (with no hook), tech failures, going over-time (as this would annoy the audience), slides with too much information, a low energy presentation styles, lack of co-ordination if it is a team presentation and a weak Q&A at the end.
Tim finished with highlighting the importance of feedback and assessment. He assesses students using the metrics "PDC 5/5/5".
P = Preparation (Does the topic match the audience and presenter? Is the presenter familiar with how to operate the technology?)
D = Delivery (Body language and voice)
C = Content (Did they prepare enough content? Are the slides and is the speech
Whilst the overall focus of this presentation was on how to run a university presentation skills course, Tim gave some useful teaching advice that is transferable to other types of the English lessons such as writing and conversations classes.
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