Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Presentation Guidelines

EXPECTATIONS FOR PRESENTATIONS

WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS? – Presentations demonstrate your ability to research a topic in English, to organize the information, and to communicate the information clearly to your classmates. Moreover, it demonstrates your ability to speak English fluidly.  Mistakes are o.k.!  Just make sure people can understand what you are saying.

DO YOUR RESEARCH IN ENGLISH – Don’t try to research your topic in German and translate it into English.  That’s an extra step and will make your preparation too long.

SUBMIT AN OUTLINE FOR REVIEW – at least two weeks before your presentation, present an outline to the teacher for feedback.  The outline should be detailed and reflect the structure and content of your presentation.  You should also list the sources you used in constructing the presentation.

SPEAK FREELY – Don’t read or memorize your presentation.  You may have a notecard with keywords to remind you what you want to say. Remember Bela Lugosi as Dracula. 

BE PREPARED! -  Know your topic backwards and forwards so that you can speak freely and answer questions.  Look up words you don’t know or use an easier word for your audience.  Double-check pronunciation. 

VISUAL AIDS – Powerpoints should be used as a visual aid to help your audience understand what you are talking about.  Pictures, labels, graphs, keywords are all good things. Do not put large chunks of text on a Powerpoint slide that you intend to read.  Also, do not use long videos to substitute for your presentation

HANDOUTS - Handouts are a good idea to help your audience remember your topic and to give them ideas for further research.  You may include an outline of your talk and your sources.

REMEMBER THE BASICS – Use good eye contact with members of your audience.  Don’t dress down the day of your presentation.  Modulate your voice so your audience doesn’t lose interest.  Don’t be too relaxed or stiff.  It’s always a good idea to interact with your visual aids and with your audience.

NO EXCUSES – I’ve heard them all:  “I forgot my presentation” “I accidentally erased my power point” “I didn’t know it was today” “I had a test in another class” “My dog ate my USB stick”  If you are absent the day of your presentation or if you defer your presentation , you may or may not have the chance to make it up.  The presentation counts as Mitarbeit, so the important thing is to give it – a zero is worse than a 51%!

IN THE END, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LANGUAGE – I don’t care how brilliant your slide show is.  I care about whether you are speaking English from the heart.


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