As you prepare for Touchstone 3, let's take a moment to go over some tips for your oral presentation.
|Oral Presentation Tips||Description|
|Keep an Eye on the Clock||You should carefully align the length of your presentation with the requirements of your audience, setting, topic, and purpose. Make sure to distribute information across your slides in a way that makes sense for your argument—this will keep you on track when you’re in front of your audience. For your assignment in this course, your presentation should last between 3 and 5 minutes.|
|Use Your Speaker Notes||This week, you will be adding speaker notes to your slides. Because you want to keep the text on each slide to a minimum, the speaker notes are a great place to write down everything you want to say during your presentation. Speaker notes can’t be seen by your audience; only you can see them. When it’s time to record your presentation, all you have to do is follow the notes!|
|Prepare, then Relax||Make sure you know what the most important points of your presentation are and that you have the information you need to support those points. Adequate preparation can help even the most nervous speaker feel more comfortable. When you have everything ready, take a deep breath and go. You’ve got this!|
This challenge is the perfect time to reflect on what makes a powerful speech and how you can apply lessons from great speakers in history to improve your own communication skill. Now, let’s read about a few examples.
Communication: Skill in Action
As you watch excerpts from President Kennedy’s speech, pop-ups will point out how he:
Kennedy's speech helped democracies claim the moral high ground over communist dictatorships, and played an important role in restoring European confidence in the United States. In 1990, Kennedy’s vision came true: Berlin was unified as one democratic city.
As you watch excerpts from Jordan’s speech, pop-ups will point out how she uses:
Jordan’s speech made a positive impression on people at the convention and around the country. On November 2, 1976, Americans elected a Democrat to the presidency for the first time in 12 years. A key factor in Jimmy Carter’s victory: 83 percent of Black Americans voted for him.
As you watch excerpts from President Reagan’s speech, pop-ups will point out how he:
Reagan was often called "The Great Communicator," and his Challenger speech justified that nickname. Audiences, allies, and political foes all agreed that this address was both heartfelt and unifying. Despite this tragedy, the space shuttle program continued until 2011.
As you watch excerpts from President Obama’s speech, pop-ups will point out how he:
Obama’s final speech helped cement his legacy as he left office. In the final days of his presidency, Obama’s approval ratings were at 60 percent — their highest point since 2009, when he was sworn into office.
In the section above, you saw how four great leaders — who were also great speakers — used effective oral communication techniques at turning points in American history.
They employed techniques like strategic pauses, conveying positive emotion, and speaking to a variety of audiences as they delivered relevant messages. Luckily, you don’t have to be a political leader to be a successful communicator. By practicing and using these same techniques, you can make your message resonate. Check out the Quick Tips below!
|Before You Speak|
|Prewrite, draft, and revise.||Decide to just “wing it.”|
|Focus on a few key points.||Try to force in too many ideas.|
|Practice out loud and in front of others.||Read your remarks silently.|
|Know your audience.||Speak about topics with limited appeal.|
|Use stories people will remember.||Put in useless details to fill time.|
|Make note-cards for your main points.||Assume you’ll remember everything|
|When You Speak|
|Move your body and mouth before starting.||Deliver a speech without warming up.|
|Be authentic and make it personal.||Keep it too general.|
|Speak conversationally.||Have a robotic delivery.|
|Let the audience absorb your words..||Be afraid of pauses.|
|Try to avoid fillers like “um” and “uh.”||Worry if one or two slip out.|
Source: Strategic Education, Inc. 2020. Learn from the Past, Prepare for the Future.