Speaking Applications 2.4: Deliver oral responses to literature:
a. Advance a judgment demonstrating a comprehensive grasp of the significant ideas of works or passages (i.e., make and support warranted assertions about the text).
b. Support important ideas and viewpoints through accurate and detailed references to the text or to other works.
c. Demonstrate awareness of the author’s use of stylistic devices and an appreciation of the effects created.
d. Identify and assess the impact of perceived ambiguities, nuances, and complexities within the text.
In this tutorial, students will become better equipped to create and give presentations that connect to an individually chosen short story. In this presentation, aspects of the story must be touched on, including:
Author's biography and story summary
Significant passages that relay important themes and ideas of the text
Stylistic devices used and their contribution to the text
This tutorial will go over the proper way to research for and present these aspects, as well as provide helpful tips for generating a presentation in general, including aspects like:
How to create effective slides
The proper ways to stand and speak when presenting
Tips on how to overcome stage fright.
This tutorial is meant to be your touchstone, and should be used to make sure that your research and presentation is being done in an effectual manner. The literary elements portion will be touched on briefly in class, so please read over the material so you can properly follow along. Also, please bring any questions you still have about the presentation to class as well.
One portion of your presentation will be giving an overview of the author that wrote your short story and a short summary of the story. Keep in mind that this part will not be very long, but will need to be factually accurate (so do your research carefully. "Look for Books" first). Let's go over a few of the elements you will need to be able to create this part of the presentation:
(Vector illustration of eager author with stacks of books ready to sign [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2014, from http://thumb9.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/1256479/126439316/stock-vector-vector-illustration-of-eager-author-with-stacks-of-books-ready-to-sign-126439316.jpg)
1. The Basics: Tell us a brief overview of their early life. This includes birth date and place, education, family, and date and place of death (if applicable). Don't go too overboard here. You still have many other areas to fill in.
2. Achievements: Don't be afraid to brag on your author a little. Have they ever won any awards? Have they received any significant degrees (PhD., for example)? Has anyone ever written commentary on their work?
3. Other Works: Be detailed when talking about the other stories and works that your author has also written. Be sure to write their titles (italicized) and the date in which they wrote it. Also be sure to tell us when your author wrote the story that you are going to be covering.
Source: Hummel, H. (2014, March 06). 10 Tips on how to write an author bio. Retrieved November 13, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/10-tips-on-how-to-write-a-bio_b_4908716.html
[Pencil checking boxes on a checklist]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://scienceofstrategy.org/main/files/images/summary.gif
The story summary should be a short overview of the story, so students will be able to put the rest of your presentation into a context. A summary should include the following:
1) The Main Characters: Consider what characters had the most impact on the story. Many stories have several characters that do not effect the story to a significant degree and, therefore, should be kept out of the summary. However, the characters that take up the majority of the story's events should be mentioned. Be sure to call them by name.
2) The Setting: Be sure to explain when and where the story takes place. Both of these aspects are vital.
3) Conflict: The conflict is the most important aspect of the plot, as it is the main driving force. Keep in mind that the conflict isn't always external or between only two people. Sometimes it's an internal struggle, or is between a character and society. Be clear about what the main conflict is.
4) The Significant Events: Follow the events that contribute to the plot and describe them in one sentence. Keep in mind that not every event is relevant to the plot. Some are for "world-building" or "character development". These events should be left out of the summary to leave room for explaining the plot. Also, put these events in order.
[Detective looking at a footprint while on top of a pile of books]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://www.writeawriting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Literary-Criticism-definition-types-examples.jpg
After you explain the context of the story, the next step is to dive into Literary Criticism. The first thing to do is find significant passages or scenes to analyze. When choosing your passages or scenes, keep the following in mind:
1) What is the purpose of the passage or scene: Does the scene add to the plot, world, or characters?
2) What literary devices are being used: Identifying things like metaphors, imagery, allegories, and symbols can greater enhance your understanding of a particular scene. If you can link certain aspects of the work to the Author's biography, that's even better! (Example: Edgar Allen Poe's use of symbols of death found in his works may be linked to the fact that many of his family members died before him).
3) What kind of criticism are you going to use: The types of criticism are listed below. It will be easier to chose one before finding the scene or passages that you will analyze.
Literary Criticism Types:
Below is a quick list of criticism types to choose from that I have approved (you will not be able to use all of them). For a more detailed definition, here is a link to the source: Literary Criticism Types.
Traditional: Connecting the text to the Author's life. Why did the author do this?
Sociological: Connecting issues in society to the text. Why would society act this way?
Rhetorical: Looking at what the text wants to convey and explain how the text persuades the reader of that point. What is the text trying to persuade us to think?
Metaphorical: Looking at the extended metaphor that the text is expressing. Does this mean something more? What is that something?
Historical: Considering the time that the text was published (NOT the setting of the story) and examining what effect the text would have on that time period. How would the people of that time react to this text?
Psychological: Examining how psychological aspects of the human characters impact the story (Oedipus complex, The unconscious mind, operant conditioning, etc.) Since the characters are human and thus adhere to the rules of human psychology, what aspects of said psychology affect the story?
Mythological/Archetypal: Looking at what well-known human beliefs (religion, mythology, etc.) the author may have gleaned from. Do you recognize references from religious beliefs or mythology?
If you want to use a different literary criticism, please talk to me about it before you continue.
Source: Watson, S. (n.d.). Literary Criticism | Definition, Types, Examples, Theory Analysis. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://www.writeawriting.com/academic-writing/literary-criticism/
Looking at the Role of Literary Devices:
Literary Fingerprint [Shakespear's face hidden in a fingerprint]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://physicsworld.com/blog/literary%20fingerprint.jpg
The last thing you need to include in your presentation is an analysis on a literary device that the author uses and how it contributes to the text. Here is a link to some frequently used devices to choose from: Literary Devices. However, when creating this part of the presentation, keep a few things in mind.
1) This is not a literary criticism! This section will be dedicated to the device, not the example. You must define it and what it does, identify it in the text, and explain how the device's usual purpose added to the text.
2) Do not be afraid of trial and error! The device you may want to talk about may not be prevalent in your text. Have a few back up plans in case you are unable to find an example of your chosen device.
3) Do NOT chose a literary element! On the link, there are two lists. The list labled "Literary Elements" are not devices. Do NOT pick from that list.
4) Pick a device that you personally like! It will be easy to identify your device in the text if you are fond of that device. If you can't identify a device you already know, do a little searching and see what other devices catch your eye.
Source: Literary Devices and Literary Terms. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://literarydevices.net/
(M. (n.d.). Power Point Logo [Digital image]. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120509173954/logopedia/images/0/04/PowerPoint.png)
You will be using a Power Point slide show or a similar program to create your presentation. Therefore, it is important that you create slides that both properly portray your information and that are easy on the eyes. Here are a few tips.
Simple is Okay: Feel free to decorate your slides with pictures, but remember that your slides are there as a supplement to your presentation. They are not meant to be the main attraction. Only have a few lines per slide (remember that slides are free. You can always add more), and keep the design simple and easy on the eyes. Be sure to have some empty space, so as not to make your slides too busy.
Go for quality graphics: Occasionally using a piece of clip art is okay once in a while. However, you should more often then not find pictures that are of higher quality. Even pictures of photographs placed in the clip art folders are better than the cartoon-ish drawings. Just be sure to cite whatever picture you use!
Play with colors: You are able to change the color of whatever design template you choose, so there is no reason why you can't play around with the color choices to create a presentation that is more pleasing to the eye. Play around with different color combinations until you find one that you like (please refrain from too many overly bright or contrasting colors. Find a combination that is easy to look at).
Big Words and Simple Fonts: You want to make sure that your slides will be easy to read for the student who is furthest from the screen. If that student can read your slides, so can everyone else. Make sure your font size is large enough to read, even if it means splitting your slide into two.
Also, refrain from using hard-to-read fonts. You should choose a font that is simple and easy on the eyes, so we can easily read and follow along. Try sticking to Ariel, Times New Roman, and other non-serif and serif fonts.
Source: Reynolds, G. (2014). Top Ten Slide Tips. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http%3A%2F%2Fwww.garrreynolds.com%2Fpreso-tips%2Fdesign%2F
(You mean I have to stand up and say something in front of the class? [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://blogs.nd.edu/graduate-school-professional-development/files/2012/11/public_speaking.jpeg)
Yes, you'll have to actually present your presentation. I know that a lot of your may not be looking forward to this aspect of your project, but there are a few things that you can do to make your delivery better and boost your confidence in turn (don't worry, some fear-busting tips are coming up next)!
Be Passionate in your Speech: As you do your research, try to find aspects about it that personally interest you. Even if some of the tidbits don't fit into your presentation, getting invested in your project will give your the personal interest and passion you can use to give a moving speech. If you believe that you are presenting on the most interesting author and most thought provoking literature of all time, that will surely come out during your presentation.
Introductions: Consider how you plan to lead into your presentation. Maybe a joke can break the tension. Or maybe some extra research brought up a lot of interesting facts about the piece or the author. Maybe you found a way to relate the themes of the piece to an issue you really care about. The point is, if you have a good introduction, the rest of your presentation will be all down hill from there.
The Podium is not a Life Raft: One of the biggest mistake presenters make (even in college) is that they trap themselves behind a podium. Pacing, arm gestures, and getting close to your audience will make your presentation more interesting to listen to. However, if you hide behind the podium, that will only encourage you to keep hiding. Keep in mind, the classroom is not the ocean, the audience is not a bunch of sharks, and the podium is not a life raft.
Eye Contact/Wall Staring: If you can, make eye contact with the audience. The best thing you can do is make eye contact with as many audience members as possible. If that's a little out of your comfort zone, speak with a friend (or a few friends) in the class, and have them be your "Eye Buddy", meaning that you place to make eye contact primarily with them, and they in turn (silently) cheer you on.
Even if that's too much for you as a budding presenter, find an object on the back of the wall (a clock, a poster, a window, etc.) and give your presentation to that object.
Whatever you do, never ever stare at your note cards while presenting (or even worse *gasp* your slides!).
Be Polite: Even if it's tempting, when you finish your presentation, don't run back to your desk. Stay there and ask for questions. Answer them politely, or graciously say that you do not have an answer, and give your best educated guess.
When you finish answering question, thank the audience and calmly walk back to your seat. Then take a deep breath and relax. You did it!
Source: Reynolds, G. (2014). Top ten delivery tips. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/deliver/
Are you still feeling nervous about your presentation? This video is an explination for why you may be feeling that way, and give some tips on how you can overcome it.
Overall, just practice, relax, and hold your head up high. You can do it!
Source: Cho, M. (Writer). (2013, October 8). The science of stage fright (and how to overcome it) [Video file]. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K93fMnFKwfI
Now that you've gone through this tutorial, it's time to get started on your presentation. However, when you've finished your Power Point and gone over what you plan to say, ask yourself the following question:
"If the teacher was going to give a test on my author and literary piece, would my presentation help prepare them?"
If the answer is yes, then you're project is ready!