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A Short Talk On Preparing A Talk

1562 words - 7 pages

1. Introduction

This paper offers suggestions for more effective ways to plan the talk, and a checklist of points you should consider from the moment you know you will give a talk. Careful preparation and effective delivery are the keys to giving quality speeches or presentations. Without sufficient preparation, you may find yourself unable to respond to questions raised by the audience, which will lessen the impact of what you have to say.
No matter how much time you have to prepare a talk, it never seems to be enough. Yet, before you can begin to work on the talk itself, or even start to prepare any visual aids, there are four points you need to consider: duration of the talk, ...view middle of the document...

You will need additional time to get on stage, say the opening words and tell the audience what you will be talking about, and to get off stage at the end with a short recap.

In this figures give you an idea of time spend in talking, nevertheless you are still advised to rehearse and rehearse in advance until you are sure of the exact amount of time you will need.

Instead of reading the talk you may decide to talk from power point slides you prepared in advance. Talking from notes has advantages that you will sound much more natural and that your message will come across more persuasively. However, you should take into consideration that speaking from notes s not as efficient as reading the talk. In talking from notes, you may dabble and mumble there and there and sometimes be at loss for the right words. Sometimes you may pause or need to explain a concept in detail. In talking from power point slides the only way to determine whether you will meet target time is to rehearse and rehearse aloud. It is not enough to read through your power point slides silently; statistics show that on average people can read about twice as fast as they can talk. Go into a room alone and visualise the audience in front of you, “feel” the audience looking at you and start talking with the visual aids, introductions, illustrations and so on. Rehearse the entire presentation this way will give you a good idea of the actual duration of the talk. It will also save you from panic on the day itself.

A short talk of less than ten minutes can be given without the use of visual aids (though even then one simple visual aid may be helpful). Longer talks will definitely need the support of visual aids e.g. power point slides video or film. All visual aids you are going to use will eat your time.

3. Rehearsing
To be concise, talks must be carefully planned and rehearsed. It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of rehearsing. No actor would walk onto a stage without having rehearsed; no athlete would play without having practiced. The more times you go over your talk, the more confident you will feel when you stand up in front of an audience, and the more convincing and informative you will sound. Rehearse for your colleagues, your room-mates or friends, your cat or dog, yourself. Rehearse until you are tired of the talk; the adrenaline that comes from standing up in front of a group will make you feel and sound animated when you actually come to deliver your talk, even if numerous repetitions have led you to feel bored by the talk before you actually begin to speak.
Avoid circulating materials around the audience while you are talking as people will be distracted and end up loosing you and you loosing them.

Finally, be aware that after the talk you may be required to wait for questions and discussions from the audience. This can take a considerable amount of your time.

3. Audience
You need to find out who your audience are and how much they...

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