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What Can You Learn?
Making oral presentations whether individual, in pairs, or in groups provide an excellent framework for developing analytical skills in response to literature. Additionally, they help you to develop speaking skills and confidence in delivering information to an audience. Oral presentations are enjoyable and provide an alternative to traditional projects, essays, and written assignments. They appeal to different learning styles, depending on the type of presentation--strictly speaking for auditory learners, one with visual aids for visual learners, speeches involving movement for kinesthetic learners.
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The Importance of Structure
Oral presentations, no matter what format they may have, need to have a structure just like an essay, commentary, or creative writing piece. Just standing up in front of the class and improvising or going through a list of points is not going to convince the class or the teacher. Just like an essay, an oral presentation needs to have an opening or introductory section as well as a conclusion or concluding statements.
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Many students do not realize that speaking about a text, a novel, or drama requires different skills than writing about it in an essay. Here are some tips to share with your students on how to do an effective presentation
- Sound enthusiastic about your subject even if you are not. This will help engage your audience.
- Vary your tone. Avoid speaking in a monotonous voice or you may put your audience to sleep!
- Make eye contact with your audience. Don't stare at the floor!
- Standing with your hands in your pocket and chewing gum will not give your teacher or your audience a good impression.
- Similarly, avoid fidgeting, moving around too much, and gesticulating wildly.
- It is very important NOT to read your whole presentation as if it were an essay. Use cue cards. Speak as naturally as possible.
- Use a formal register! You are not having a chat with your buddies. Avoid slang--dude, supercool, and Hamlet is awesome, for example.
- Try to sound like a literary expert even if you are not!
- Teaching experience.