One great way of presenting ideas is through presentations. These are usually accomplished by students and professionals for educating, sensitizing and or convincing people concerning a certain subject. Nonetheless, the art of giving a presentation is never an easy task. It obviously demands extensive organization and research, impeccable skills in public speaking as well as self-confidence. A decent presenter ought to possess the capacity to actively engage his or her audience from the beginning to the end and influence them into taking action.
Overview of key concepts from the sources
According to (Bartram, P 2014), those who intend to acquire good presentation skills should make an effort to seek training from expert presenters. This could be done through tutorial courses, or they can as well follow tips of presentation that are available on online. (Bartram, P 2014) insists that the effectiveness of the presentation lies in the choice of an appropriate structure which ought to range from topical, chronological, category classification, cause and effect or problem and solution. This flow helps the presenter to evade the tendency of repetitiveness and boredom.
Similar sentiments are shared by (CARRISON, D 2015), who recommends that an effective presenter should be cognizant of the requirements of the audience. Only the presenter who is sensitive about the needs of the audience sustains its attention to a successful end. The presenter will therefore divide the body of his presentation into three to five main points. This is in line with the fact that a good presentation should neither be too short nor too long. A short presentation may lack clarity and coherency of fact that are being presented. On the other hand an exceedingly long presentation may merely contain repetitive statement which will bore the audience. Besides, too long presentations are time consuming and may tempt the presenter to adopt a speedy method of presentation in order to exhaust the given ideas. In the long run the presentation may fall short of the essence.
Apart from that, the conclusion of an effective presentation should comprise a complete summary of the main points of the presentation, Evergreen, S. D. H. (2014). This is the only way that ensures that the audience is left with something worth recalling and pondering. A haphazard presentation will never meet this requirement for the audience will be more bored and demotivated to listen or watch than they may have earlier been. This means that there would be little or no concentration at all to the main concepts being relayed. Sometimes the audience may keep shrinking amid the presentation; a situation that (Johnson, S., & Scott, J. 2014) considers an embarrassing scenario not just to the presenter, but also the entire facilitation team. In the Study and communication skills for the biosciences, (Johnson, S., & Scott, J. 2014) recommends that presenters should make thorough research about the topics they intend to present and refresh their communication skills before they finally take to the pulpit or stage of presentation. According to this book, an effective presentation is never completely about the topic being presented but rather about the techniques of presentation that matter most. Even if the topic may be contentious or catchy, haphazard presentation may dilute the initial interest that the audience had in listening to it.
More so, (Wempen, F. 2013) reiterates that an effective presentation has to contain questions to the audience. These questions should be posed by the presenter once in at least ten minutes so as to keep the audience engaged. This technique is very crucial according to him because it helps the presenter to gauge the mood of the audience as well as the scope of understanding of the content being presented. Ineffective presenters would merely be concerned about completing the presentation without caring about the effect of the presentation to the audience. Evergreen, S. D. H. (2014), in his book; Presenting data effectively: Communicating your findings for maximum impact supports this point, terming it the best method of evaluating the effectiveness of any presentation. Since the audience cannot be given a practice exercise or an exam to gauge the scope of their understanding, the presenter would only utilize the queries amid the presentation for that matter. Apart from that, this query session is the best opportunity for the audience to raise their reservations and to put the presenter to the task of handling his or her assignment diligently and thoroughly. Sometimes (Evergreen, S. D. H. (2014) says, the audience generates ideas that may augment the effectiveness of the presenters. It is therefore imperative for any presenter or facilitator to factor in the aspect of question time and to tackle each question satisfactorily.
Finally, (Williams, R. (2010) suggests that the final slide should constitute a message of gratitude to the audience. It is always fair to thank the audience for their time as well as their contribution even in their small ways. Every speaker or presenter should never forget that the audience contributes nearly three quarters to the effectiveness of the presentation. In other words, no presentation could be said to take place where there is no audience. Therefore the presence of a given audience should be appreciated in the first place. Still on the final slide, the presenter should include his or her contact details. This is quite significant according to (Williams, R. (2010), for it is the conduit through which the audience can get in touch with the speakers even after the presentation just in case there is need to seek clarifications on any particular matter. Sometimes the audience may take time pondering about the topic that would have been presented. This means that there is a high possibility for one to raise questions a few days or even weeks after the presentation. The details of the presenter will therefore make it easy for these individuals to get in touch with them at a convenient time. In case of a private concern, that serves well too. In the same breath, (Williams, R. 2010) suggest that effective presenters should avail notes, materials and also feedback tools to the audience in case some people demand so. This gesture fosters relationship between the presenter and his or her audience and promotes transparency and confidence of the audience in the presenter.
Major relationships or patterns
All the sources are particular about effective ways of delivering a presentation and are all concerned about the ability of the presenter to capture the attention of the audience and sustaining it up to the end. All the authors insist that a given presentation should never be centered on the presenter because the content is designed and meant for the audience not the presenter. They unanimously fault all the presenters who rush through the sessions of presentation without caring about the attitude of the audience towards the presentation. This tendency is an indication of lack of confidence and shoddiness of the content.
Strengths and weaknesses
The major strength of this research is that all the sources unanimously echo the need for an effective presentation, illustrating the areas to be considered in making this possible. The underlying point being that it is the style of presentation that determines the comprehension of the subject but not the contentiousness of the matter at hand. Conversely, the weakness is that none of these sources has articulated on the main duty of the audience in enhancing effective presentation. It should be understood that sometimes even the conduct of audience may determine the effectiveness of a particular presentation. For instance an informal audience may engage in unnecessary undertones, calling and receiving phone calls, unnecessary movements and unceremonious departures. Such tendencies compromise the quality of any presentation and demotivate the facilitators as well. Therefore, it would have been better if the authors examined the role of the audience in making a presentation effective other than focusing on the role of the presenter alone.
Gaps and conflicting evidence in the research
The fact that authors have emphasized that an effective presentation should take between three to five minutes leaves many questions than answers. It should be understood that different topics of presentations have varied magnitudes. It is therefore a big gap to generalize that all presentations should take virtually similar durations regardless of the volume of the content. At the same time, authors should leave some leeway to the presenter because different people adopt varied methodologies when it comes to presenting information to a particular audience. At the same time, not all audiences are similar. In this case the prevalent cultures also determine the quality of presentation. In case this research would be done on varied cultural backgrounds, the results would obviously be different even if the same presenters were used.
Bartram, P 2014, '8 WAYS TO... IMPROVE YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS', Financial Management, pp. 42-43.
CARRISON, D 2015, 'Speaking of your next presentation..', Industrial Management, vol. 57, no. 1, p. 6.
Evergreen, S. D. H. (2014). Presenting data effectively: Communicating your findings for maximum impact.
Williams, R. (2010). The non-designer's presentation book: Principles for effective presentation design. Berkeley, Calif: Peachpit Press.
Wempen, F. (2013). Powerpoint 2010 bible. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Johnson, S., & Scott, J. (2014). Study and communication skills for the biosciences.
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