How To Give An Oral Presentation
An oral presentation needs to be
Hello, my name is Michael Ronayne. I'm a director of the College Of Public Speaking and I'm going to be talking about different aspects of public speaking. Giving an oral presentation or preparing an oral presentation is very different from a written presentation, and the simple difference is a written presentation if you're reading a paragraph or something and you drift off as we all do and you're sitting there, "Oh, I didn't take any of that in whatsoever." You can go back and read it again, and to a degree with a DVD as well. You can go back, you can look a bit again, if it didn't make complete sense. An oral presentation is happening in real time, so if somebody misses something, they've missed it, and this is why an oral presentation needs to have a lot of air in it, it needs to have a very simple clear structure, and a very clear message involved in it as well. You see, what often happens when people get up to speak is they write their presentation out, so it is in fact a written presentation, and the experience for the audience is like eating too much Christmas cake - it's too dense, there's too many raisins. Imagine you say something, and you prepare a written presentation and you deliver it orally, you make a very very good point, now someone in the audience is going to think, "That's a good point." and they start thinking about something else. They then come back again by which time you've moved on and they're lost. So the principle - the difference between an oral presentation and a written presentation - think of an oral presentation more like Coronation Street and less like Agatha Christie. What's the point there? If you leave the country for five years, you come back, turn on the television at the beginning of Coronation Street, within two minutes you know exactly where you are. Whereas if you're watching an Agatha Christie episode, and someone rings you up halfway through, you better just put your phone away, turn your television off, because you've now missed an important clue and the rest of the film's not going to make sense. So, a written presentation is often a bit like an Agatha Christie. An oral presentation needs to be more like a Coronation Street - it needs to be simple, it needs to be clear. You need to allow people to drift out the room and their mind will go somewhere completely different as it does, it's probably happening to you now. Did I lock the back door? What's for supper tonight? Little thoughts come into your mind. When you come back into the room again, you need to know where you are and the best way to do that is to keep your oral presentation very disciplined, very simple, key message, and no more than three points to back it up. .