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Students often ask me, how is an academic presentation different from the ones they
have done in secondary school. Well, the main difference is that it includes research; you
need to cite references; for exactly the same reasons as Jeff already explained to you in the video
What is Academic Style? So, in academic style you need to prove your authority in your discipline;
you need to establish that what you're talking about is relevant, that it is correct, and
that it is valid. So, how do you do that? You do that by choosing references that are
relevant and that are also, that support your arguments properly; then once you have your
references, you need to cite them. In an oral presentation, this can be done in two ways.
First of all provide the reference in the slide; for instance you have a picture, so
first make sure that you are allowed to take that picture, you are allowed to use the picture;
otherwise it's just stealing. So, then you use the picture, you provide the source, where
has the picture come from? And then also cite it orally, verbally. So, another example could
be, that you have used an author called John Chan, then you would say, ... As John Chan
points out in his article in 2010...So, that is a way of doing referencing in the slides.
Also finally, you would have to have an entire list of references; you display the whole
list of references in the correct style; for example it could be APA or it could be IEEE
; which gives the information to the audience of all the sources that you have used in the
So, now that we have talked about referencing, the other key factor in academic presentations
is structure. A good structure enables the audience to follow the content very clearly,
so make sure that each section of your presentation is organised properly where every section
is linked to the other in a clear and coherent manner. This is called signposting, which
gives directions to the audience on which way the presentation is leading, and you will
learn more about it in the coming weeks.
Another concern for most students is language. This is tricky for some students because oral
presentations use spoken language and they need lots of interaction, so if a student
just delivers an essay, and just reads it, then it's going to be not only dull and
boring, it's going to end him up with a very very low grade. But at the same time,
we have to be careful not to use very emotional language. Then the dilemma is how do we make
our presentations interesting? Well, we can use our voice, we can use our
body language and we can make the presentation interactive. We can use good intonation. So
in the next video by John Jones and David Wong you will learn much more about this.
As far as body language is concerned, make sure that you have very good eye contact,
good posture, good facial expressions and appropriate gestures. And interaction, ask
questions, create interest, and get your audience to ask questions to you and want to know more
about your topic.
Then as far as slides are concerned, it is best to keep it simple. Try not to use too
many fancy animations, or sound effects, because you are the one delivering the presentation;
it's not the PowerPoint which is delivering the presentation.
So, to wrap it up, and all in all, I'd like to say that an academic presentation is one
which has very well researched content with reliable references; it is very clearly organised
so that the audience can follow it; it has good intonation; it has good body language,
it has appropriate language; and simple but effective slides. So there is a lot to do
and there is a lot to remember; and that's not easy, so it's very likely that you will
get nervous. Most people are nervous of public speaking, so different people use different
ways to relax, before their presentation, some people like to imagine themselves in
a very relaxing environment, other people use deep breathing techniques; some people
like to listen to music before their presentation; but whatever you do, I think there is one
sure, foolproof method to ensure that your presentation goes well; practice; so rehearse
your presentation with your partner, not just once, not just twice, but several times, until
you get it absolutely right. And this will help you reduce your nervousness, and when
you are delivering your presentation, you'll be calm, alert, composed and confident, and
trust me, your teacher will notice it right away, and know that you are well prepared.
I'm going to divide my presentation into three parts; the first part I will define what is good public speaking.
David, this speaker has problems.
A lot of problems. First of all, there appears to be a complete lack of confidence.
The whole presentation lacks energy as well.
It's flat; it's boring. She doesn't seem to understand that English has a music
of its own; intonation. As a result it sounds as you said; flat, boring.
Well previously, I found the topic very very interesting, but the delivery.
I agree, her English is good, but as you said, her delivery is dead.
Lets watch again.
Ok, hope this time it's better.
Fingers crossed.
I'm going to divide my presentation into three parts; And the first part I'll define what is good public speaking.
A completely different performance.
And that really impressed me as well. This time..
She was confident.
The whole presentation is very entertaining as well.
I agree, and did you notice that her English, although the words are exactly the same, this
time it was musical, it was filled with the music of English; intonation.
And she's no longer a machine.
Absolutely, and remember that interviewers, or anybody watching this presentation, will
form an opinion based on these factors.
Right, so, how about in fact, where could we get help? Where could we develop our skills
so that we can become an energetic, confident, presenter?
That is the question.
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What is a good academic presentation?

2780 Folder Collection
Blue Jimmy published on July 1, 2013
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