Technical Presentation Skills

Subject: Technical Presentation Skills
From: Kimberly Wiederman <kim -at- MTU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 00:21:44 EST

Henri J. Blits (INTERNET:HenriBlits -at- AOL -dot- COM) says:

> I am a Business and Technical Presentations Instructor/Consultant.
> I am looking for highly innovative ways to teach proper presentation
> techniques to students in my classes, etc....

I just read this posting, along with the responses from Beverly Parks
and Lori Lathrop. I agree with Beverly, and would like to hear more
on this topic. Lori mentioned some tips that I was thinking of: know your
material, practice controlling your voice, ad lib, tell a story, etc...
I`ve used all of these at one time or another in presentations, and
I feel they really helped.

One thing, that I know makes me less nervous, is to have GOOD visual
aids. This takes the attention off me! *laugh* I've thought up some
clever ways of using transparencies--I've layered them inside boxes
with frames cut out (great if your building a diagram, etc..., and being
they're stacked in a box that just fits, they don't slide all over).
I've also made neat frames to match the "theme" of the presentation,
used colors differently, cut up the transparencies into different
shapes, etc... I don't know if you can picture what I'm saying, but
neat and different visual aids, that are still effective, can
take a great deal of stress off the speaker. When the speaker
knows that ALL of the attention isn't on them, I think helps.

I make it a point to not let my visual aids "control" the presentation,
but I've always gotten very positive feedback and have left lasting
impressions (whether they were good or not....well.... :-)).

As far as getting students to get up and talk....well, that's another
story! I'm getting to the point where I don't mind it so much,
sometimes I even enjoy it, but I still let'em pull my arm and leg
before I do! *smile* I still get VERY nervous--I shake a little,
my hands are jumpy, my tummy turns, the whole bit! I think this is
good though. It keeps me conscious of what I'm doing.

I think it is important for instructors to get EVERYONE involved.
Ask a particular person a question--but make sure to ask EACH person
a question. Too many times instructors will single out students
they may know from previous classes, or students that have an easy
name and face combination :) that is easy to remember. If other
students know that they don`t have to participate, then they usually
won't. I also think it's important for an instructor to make it a
point to know everyone's name--especially if you expect them to
participate and share information. Just this little touch makes
students feel more at ease and more willing to talk. These are
just some things I've noticed in my classes. :)

I better stop here or I'll go on all night! :)

I don't know if this helped, but I feel much better now that
I've shared that with ya'all. :)

kim -at- mtu -dot- edu

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