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Exercise 9 Practice.

Example 2

Example 1

So, I’ve described how the system works. Now, any questions?

I think that covers the main points I wanted to tell you about ... thank you for letting me talk about the Storo System. So ... now ... I’d like to invite you to tell me about the needs that you have ... to suggest any specific qualities you need in a warehousing system ... and at the same time, if there is anything you are not clear about, please ask ... if anything needs clarification.

Divide into groups of four. Each person should prepare, in about two to three minutes, part of a short presentation on any topic he/she knows well.

Describe just one or two aspects of the topic in some detail for about three to four minutes. Then end what you say with a brief summary and/or conclusion. Finally, move to questions/comments or discussion.

Your colleagues should:

· ask questions

· ask for more details

· ask for clarification / repetition

· paraphrase part(s) of what you said

· offer more information based on their knowledge and / or experience.

For each contribution, respond appropriately.

Repeat the exercise until everyone in the group has been in the hot seat.

Exercise 10 Read the text below and find: a) eight advantages of using visual aids; b). three warnings about using visual aids

Dinckel and Parnham (1985) say that ‘The great danger (in using visual aids) is that presenters place the major emphasis on visual aids and relegate themselves to the minor role of narrator or technician. You are central to the presentation. The visual aid needs you, your interpretation, your explanation, your conviction and your justification.’

Visual aids can make information more memorable and they help the speaker. However, they must literally support what the speaker says and not simply replace the spoken information. It is also not enough to just read text from a visual aid.

There are many advantages to the correct use of visual aids. They can show information which is not easily expressed in words or they can highlight information. They cause the audience to employ another sense to receive information, they bring variety and therefore increase the audience’s attention. They save time and they clarify complex information.

Adapted from Bernice Hurst The Handbook of Communication Skills

(London: Kogan Page, 1991)


Study some rules of using visual supports

Types of visual support visual film / video picture / diagram pie chart segment chart / table row / column graph / bar graph / line graph x axis or horizontal axis y axis or vertical axis left-hand / right-hand axis lines (in a line graph) solid line dotted line broken line Equipment (slide) projector diapositives (Am. Eng.) slides (Br. Eng.) computer tools laptop data projector monitor PowerPoint modem Internet download overhead projector (OHP) slide (Am. Eng.) transparency (Br. Eng.) flip chart / whiteboard


Combination of OHP and flip chart with markers is often good.

First visual should give the title of talk.

Second should show structure of talk - main headings.

Keep text to minimum - never just read text from visuals.

Do not use too many visuals - guide is one visual per two minutes.

Use pauses - give audience time to comprehend picture.

Never show a visual until you want to talk about it.

Remove visual once finished talking about it. Turn off equipment not in use.

Use of PowerPoint or similar software is a great presentations tool.


Exercise 11 Role-play: Presentations

Choose one of the following situations and prepare a presentation to give to the rest of the group.

1. As sales director of an electronics company, you must make a presentation to launch your new range of telephone answer machines to the trade. Your presentation should cover the main features of each product and emphasize their selling points. You may invent any information you wish about the company and its products.

2. Choose or invent a company in one of the following product categories: food, sports goods, fashion, electrical products, health and beauty. As sales manager of that company make a presentation to your sales force on the latest additions to your product range. Your presentation should cover the main features of each new product and emphasize their selling points. You may invent any information you wish.

3. As a member of the human resources department of a large multinational, you visit universities/colleges making presentations to students on your company and the job opportunities it offers graduates. Choose or invent a company to represent. You may invent any information you wish. If you have time, you might like to contact the company’s PR department and ask for a copy of their annual report. This will give you a lot of information about the company’s main areas of business, financial performance, product range, future prospects etc, and provide you with some useful visual aids.

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