guidelines_for_oral_presentations - 1 University of...

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University of California, Davis Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science GUIDELINES FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS We cannot overemphasize the importance of knowing how to give effective oral presentations. If you decide to go into industry after graduation, most formal communication within a company will involve oral presentations. External to the company, oral communications are essential to effective communication with customers or prospective customers, with funding sources such as venture capitalists, and with subcontractors. Your ability to give an effective oral presentation will be pivotal as to how management receives your ideas, and how customers perceive you and your company. An engineer in industry who gives poor oral presentations is rarely promoted, and their ideas, while perhaps technically sound, are often discounted. If you decide to go on to graduate school, you will be asked to give oral presentations of your research, and an oral presentation is a key part of most Ph.D. examinations. In short, presentation skills are important to increase sales, communicate results, educate your customer, convince others of your ideas, and give a good first impression of you and your company. Presentation “slides’ are typically drawn with computer-driven presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint. Most presentations are given using a laptop computer to control a small projector, with the slides projected on a screen. We do not expect that you will give perfect oral presentations in ECH 155A&B, since oral presentation skills are perfected throughout your career, but we do expect you to display a reasonable competency. We want for you to raise your confidence as a speaker. We will work with you to learn how to speak effectively in front of an audience, present information from slides, and effectively handle questions from the audience. Everyone evolves to a personal style in giving their oral presentations, but there are definite skills in giving any oral presentation regardless of the style of the speaker. We have divided these skills into four areas: Physical Skills, Putting the Presentation Together, Giving the Presentation, and Handling Questions from the Audience. We discuss these topics below, and then we outline the presentation requirements for ECH Physical Skills Improving the physical skills that are essential to effective oral presentations will increase your power as a speaker. These skills can be grouped into three categories: Eye Power, Voice Power, and Body Power. Eye Power . The audience has been convened because communication of ideas on a certain subject is important. Some nervousness is appropriate and even beneficial to a presentation. Nervousness can become a major impediment to a presentation when it interrupts a speaker’s thoughts. One result of excessive nervousness is scanning, continuously moving the eyes around the room. The eyes may dart from place to place, or slowly survey the room without stopping anywhere. Speakers are usually unaware of 1
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the scanning movement. This scanning indicates to your audience a sense that the
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2011 for the course ECH 155A taught by Professor Kuhl during the Summer '11 term at UC Davis.

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guidelines_for_oral_presentations - 1 University of...

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