How To Begin A Speech Or Presentation English Language Essay

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Before discussing about the Steve Jobs skills of giving presentations let's first discuss about what is presentation and what are the skills required for this.

Presentation= Presentation is the practice of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience or learner. Presentations come in nearly as many forms as there are life situations. In the business world, there are sales presentations, informational and motivational presentations, first encounters, interviews, briefings, status reports, image-building, and training sessions.

Preparing notes for the Presentation= For the speech in an oral presentation if the speaker writes out the complete speech and learns it by heart when exact speech is delivered it sounds stilted. In fact an efficient speaker though prepares the whole text of the speech for an oral presentation he or she never learns by heart. He or she reduces it to short notes and puts them on cards. These short notes are nothing but key words. Cards do not shake even if the speaker is nervous. The speaker does not require the paper weight to keep his or her papers as he or she can hold the cards very easily. The card should be prepared by the speaker in his or her handwriting as during a speech or in an oral presentation if the speaker is not able to understand key item because of its illegibility, the complete speech of the oral presentation may be ruined. In the cards he or she should write the expected time duration that he or she may require while dealing with that specific point. He or she should clip the cards together by numbering them. On each card he or she may write some messages regarding making eye-contact with the audience, making no mannerisms, showing down when speaking fast, stressing on key words, modulating voice etc., so that they remind him at every step and the speech is delivered successfully.

How to Begin a Speech or Presentation?

There are various ways of beginning a presentation; the aim is to catch the attention of the audience. One may start with a question, a startling fact, a prominent statistic. One may start with an anecdote or story, thus, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am reminded of a story" One may make some personal references, expressing one's great pleasure in being invited to speak and so on.

A well planned introduction motivates and stimulates the listeners. Simultaneously it generates confidence in the speaker. The impact of an impressive introduction is as follows:

It grabs the attention of the audience.

It establishes rapport with the audience.

It earns the trust and belief of the audience in the speaker.

The preview of the main body in the introduction removes all anticipation and draws the audience to the speech.

The introduction showing the speaker's personalization of the topic generates a feel in audience about its significance.

It creates the first impression of the speaker among his or her audience. A well-knit introduction creates a favorable impression resulting in a greater attention of the audience to the speaker's speech.

An effective introduction effects a smooth transition of the audience to the main body of the speech.

The speaker should not start with an apology or with a sense of doubt. The speaker may choose from the following methods in the introduction to involve the audience in his or her speech:

By relating an incident to grab the attention.

By making a statement to arouse the curiosity.

By presenting facts to arrest thinking.

By giving statistics to startle him or her.

By asking questions to make them start pondering over it.

By giving a friendly look to make them happy and energetic.

By quoting an eminent person to generate interest of the audience in the subject matter.

How to End a Speech or an Oral Presentation?

The conclusion of the speech leaves the final impression on the minds of the listeners. A well conceived conclusion not only signals the end of the speech but also reinforces the central idea in the mind of the listeners. A good speech may lose all its impact if the conclusion is loose. A strong ending leaves the audience brooding and cogitating the speech they have just heard. The techniques to draw an ending of the speech are:

By giving verbal clues like "Let me end by saying", "Before I conclude", "One last point", "In conclusion", "To sum up", "To conclude", etc.

By our manner of delivery decreasing the pitch of the tone to lower notes.

By slowing down the articulation of words and phrases.

By going back to the story or incident with which the speaker started his or her speech.

By making a summary of the speech.

By quoting an eminent personality.

The speech should not end with the expression like "I think that's all I had to say". In fact the conclusion should make it clear to the audience what they should do next. The conclusion should generate the last thought in the minds of the listeners regarding the issues taken up in the speech.

Question-Answer Session= The ending of an effective speech or an oral presentation depends upon how well the audience has participated in it. For audience participation there should be separate question answer sessions duly planned. The large audience may be divided into groups and separate sessions may be arranged at the end of the talk. However, all this should be done keeping in mind the time constraints. The speaker invites questions from the audience. The questions should be expected after the audience is given some time to think. The speaker, after getting the question , should first repeat it and then answer it as concisely as possible. If the answer is not known to the speaker, he or she should not make a guess but invite if any of the audience to offer the answer. The speaker should give chance to all groups to ask questions for clarification. The efficient speaker usually remains prepared with answers to the anticipated questions on his or her talk.

Guidelines In Effective Delivery Of Speech=

Every speaker evolves his/her own style according to his/her own inclination, liking and experience. However, some common points to be borne in mind while delivering the speech are as follows:

Make sure that you look at every member of the audience while speaking.

Use questions, so as to involve the audience e.g. "Did you know that….? "I wonder how many of you are aware….?

Avoid awkward gestures and movements; they often spoil the effect. But at the same time, don't stand like a statue all the time.

Speak up so that every one can hear you. But don't shout at the audience, stamping your foot or thumping the table. Now-a-days this kind of oratory is disliked. The voice should be raised when you want to emphasis something, that is all.

Speak, don't read. You may use your written speech to help you if you forget. Don't talk too fast. Speak slowly and distinctly.

Never forget your audience. If there are ladies, address them now and then. Never show disrespect or contempt towards your audience.

Don't try to show your scholarship or knowledge in a speech or make it difficult. Don't talk over the head of the audience.

Don't inflict a very long speech on you're audience. Pause occasionally.

Your style should be simple, humorous and analytic. Anecdotes are always liked by the audience but it all depends on the nature of the subject. One should grow vehement when the subject demands to.

Now come to the style of giving Presentation by Steve Jobs. We can all take some communication cues from Steve Jobs. Here are five cues that Steve Jobs used:

Know the one critical point in your presentation -- then make it clear= Steve Jobs recognized that the human mind couldn't process a mountain of material in one sitting. Any information or data that isn't driving a specific message can be a distraction that weakens the impact of your presentation. Use only visuals that support your one point.

Acknowledge why people are listening to you= Your audience is in the room for a particular reason. It's critical to understand why they're listening to you so you can tune your presentation in a manner that makes them more receptive listeners. The same talk might play out very differently if it's given to shareholders, engineers or sales people.

Make an immediate, personal connection= Jobs always began by trying to make an emotional connection with the audience, even though his goal was to sell technology. This connection builds empathy, which in turn encourages your audience to be more receptive to what you have to say.

Keep the audience focused on you the speaker, not your presentation= The audience isn't there to look at your slides. They're there to see and listen to the presenter. Keep their focus on you. That may mean bringing a prop to hold up and draw their attention to, or it may mean inserting a blank slide into your presentation so that the audience is forced to look at you. Steve Jobs often did this - again, drawing the audience's attention to himself.

Know your story= You should know your content so completely that you are comfortable giving your presentation with no visuals at all. Steve Jobs was notoriously meticulous about his preparation, scripting everything. Other presenters prefer to have an element of spontaneity or improvisation. Regardless of your style, mastery of your story affords you the luxury of calm and clarity, essential components to a great presentation.

So while giving Business Presentation the speaker must keep in mind the vision of the Presentation and give attention to these five points mentioned above. This will help a lot.