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There are a great number of factors which need to be taken into consideration whilst preparing for my presentation. For instance, it is important to ensure that no communication barriers occur, whether they be mechanical, psychological, organisational or semantic. It is important to consider the needs of my audience, i. e. their age, level of understanding and, to a certain extent, their attention span. As they will be fellow students of communication studies, I will be able to adopt an informative register, touching on potentially confusing terminology, such as paralanguage and verbal and non-verbal communication.
I aim to hold and maintain everyone’s attention by making lots of eye contact, using lively and animated body language, proposing thought-provoking questions to the audience, as well as including a short video clip. I will use varied paralanguage and facial expressions to match the auditory content of my presentation, in an attempt to engage the audience on every level. I am fully aware of the concept ‘non-verbal leakages’. This is often associated with body language, though it is not only to do with physical appearance.
Issues involved often include: proximity, posture, paralanguage, eye contact, gestures and dress code. I will try to minimise any ‘leakages’ which might occur, revealing my nervous disposition. Instead, I aim to use more ‘positive’/open body movements, suggesting confidence, authority and control. I would like to impose a positive, professional feel about my presentation. This will be enhanced by a formal dress code, enabling me to further step into the role of a teacher or other confident spokesperson.
This links in with the ideas proposed by Erving Goffman; that humans are capable of ‘impression management’ (Gauntlett 2002:104). That is, adjusting their facial expressions, body language, posture and/or clothing to suit a particular situation. ‘He suggests that we are all social actors’i?? , and that we adopt certain social identities, in order to play various roles successfully. I have decided to create a slideshow using Microsoft PowerPoint as part of the main framework for my presentation.
This means I can use interactive media in an attempt to ‘liven up’ my presentation, as well as providing a visual stimulus for the audience. My slideshow will consist of brief bullet points, containing ideas of what I wish to talk about. In effect, these will serve as cue cards so I know exactly what I am talking about and in the correct order. Additionally, my slideshow will contain several images and animations, as well as a video clip, in an attempt to maintain the attention of the audience.
I will design a seating plan, taking into consideration the physical restraints of the room, the number of people that I will be presenting to, the possible motion paths that I might take and the position of the slideshow presentation, as well as many other important factors. I will consider proxemics in order to calculate the distance needed between myself and members of the audience, and the amount of ‘territory’ which accompanies this. There will be a clock positioned at the back of the classroom, enabling me to keep track of time throughout the duration of my presentation, so as not to overrun.
This will also ensure that a lengthy question-and-answer session will take place, in which I hope full participation from all audience members will occur. After considering these different aspects of the effectiveness of communication, I feel confident that I will be able to give an informative and enthusiastic presentation. I hope to engage all audience members through various channels of communication, stimulating both their visual and auditory senses. If I remember to act appropriately, and limit the amount of non-verbal leakages that might occur, I feel that I will be able to give an effective, successful presentation.