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COMP 208/214/215/216 – Lecture 5 Presentation Skills.

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1 COMP 208/214/215/216 – Lecture 5 Presentation Skills

2 Aims “To introduce the skills needed to present and defend your work effectively in oral form.” Dawson’s Chapter 9

3 Different types –Formal Presentation large audience small audience –Informal Presentation as a group as an individual –Demonstration Not done on this course: part of the 3rd year project Project Reviews Reports at project meetings Project Demo in week 11

4 General Tips Prepare what you want to say Time –Appropriate balance between topics –Appropriate level of detail Audience –What background do they need? –What do they want to know? Show enthusiasm

5 Formal Presentations: Content Planning Clarify your objectives: –What are you required to mention? –What do you want to say about it? Order your main points –Chronological: e.g. requirements, design, implementation, evaluation –General to specific: e.g. artificial intelligence, natural language, your project.

6 Formal Presentations Content –Try to have a beginning (intro/ToC), middle (main points) and end (summary) –Detail for each will depend on time available and relative importance of the various points

7 Formal Presentations Allocate time to topics: make sure you have time for all your main points; –How much background is necessary or possible? –Equal time for each point or more time for a particular point? E.g. if you are talking about a specific project in natural language, keep the general material brief, or you won’t have time for your stuff.

8 Formal Presentations Timing –Never over-run your time This will cause problems for those following you –Have enough material Perhaps have some optional material if you look like under running –Rehearse your talk So you have a good idea of how long it is.

9 Formal Presentations Audience –Who are they? Assessors, peers, clients, colleagues –What do they already know? How many? Same/different backgrounds? –What do they want to know? –What do you want to tell them?

10 Slides No more than 1 slide for every 2 minutes of talk Which tool? Any that –Provides uniform look - consistency is good –Makes it easy to incorporate external material –Imposes some discipline.

11 Don’t put Too Much on a Slide The slide should not write down everything you want to say, otherwise it will just be a jumble of words that will be difficult to understand. Certainly, you should not include long rambling sentences, or photocopies of whole book paragraphs. The best idea is to capture some –Key phrases –As bullet points. Make sure only the main points are mentioned in a clear concise way and add details as you talk through the slides! Too many pictures or diagrams may be distracting too. »According to what I just said this slide is RUBBISH!

12 Fonts This is Tahoma This is Times Roman This is Courier This is avant garde This is Palatino This is Ariel This is Comic Sans Ms A matter of taste - but be consistent. Useful for program code listings

13 Font Size (44 point) This is 32 point –This is 28 point This is 24 point –This is 20 point »This is 16 point This is 28 point –This is 24 point This is 18 point –This is 16 point »This is 12 point Depends on the size of room, to some extent. I think 20 point is the minimum useful size If the font size becomes too small there is too much on the slide.

14 Backgrounds Matter of taste Some people like a textured background Some people prefer plain Personally, I prefer plain.

15 Light Background Dark Text Some people like this, some do not But important to have contrast.

16 Delivery Make sure your slides are organised before you start Face the audience Try to make eye contact with the audience - everyone - don’t pick on an individual Speak loudly enough to be heard all over the room Don’t speak too fast Don’t gesticulate widely - but controlled gestures are good Don’t fidget, or walk around too much Don’t be afraid to pause.

17 Use of Notes Reading from full text is not advised –It is better to have some key word prompts to remind you of what to say and in what order to say it You can use –cards; notes on backing sheets; a piece of paper with key words Don’t get lost in your notes –Write large; use different colours to separate points. If you prepare your text well, and rehearse it several times, you shouldn’t need your notes too much.

18 Dealing With Questions Try to anticipate what you will be asked Answer confidently Answer briefly - and keep to the point Don’t argue with your questioner Speak to the whole audience, not just the questioner If you don’t have an answer, admit it: don’t bluster.

19 Are you still THERE???

20 Different types –Formal Presentation large audience small audience –Informal Presentation as a group as an individual –Demonstration

21 Presenting as a Group Think as a group about –what you need to say –who is going to say it –who will take the lead on answering questions If everyone knows what is happening, things run smoothly and there are no conflicts and interruptions.

22 Review Meetings Decide who will introduce each item Keep your introduction short and to the point Be familiar with the material you are introducing Be ready to explain, clarify and answer questions.

23 Reporting to a Meeting Know the agenda: identify what you will speak to Know what you are going to say Keep it short Stick to the point Be prepared to back up what you say - make sure you have the detail to answer questions if they are asked.

24 Demonstrating Software - I Know your software - what it can (and cannot) do; how to access its functions Decide what you want to demonstrate –Don’t try to show more than the time allows Try to use a running example or case study to work through the functions you want to show in a logical sequence. –Try this out beforehand Be prepared to answer questions as you are running the software Be prepared to deviate from your script if the audience requests it –But only do things if you know what will happen.

25 Demonstrating Software - II Don’t just show the user interface - show the implementation view as well Be prepared to talk about how it works as well as what it does Try to make it interesting Be enthusiastic about it.

26 Demonstrating Software - III Make sure the audience can see –Can be a problem if there are more than 3 people round a machine Who will do what? –Maybe one person will operate the system, while another describes it. As always, the best advice is: prepare.

27 Summary Planning is the key to success in all presentations –Think about what you want to say, and what you can say in the time –Rehearse formal presentations and demonstrations –Identify possible problems beforehand


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