Presenting Like a Pro Lesson Plan
Presenting Like A Pro
1 hour 55 minutes (with 10 minute break)
The following documents are in the TS book:
Learning from the Pros Activity
Presentation Skills Feedback sheet
Blank paper and wastebasket set in middle of room
**Note: Three instructors and three classrooms will be needed for the second half of class in order to facilitate small group presentations with 12 participants
Participants will be able to:
1. Introduction (5 minutes)
Comfort Level Activity and Basketball Shoot
QUESTION: How comfortable are you with public speaking?
Overview of Class
The Webster Dictionary defines communication as “an act or instance of transmitting a verbal or written message, an exchange of information.” In a training environment, the way you communicate knowledge and the way communication is perceived by students can determine whether or not learning occurs.
Have participants turn to the Presenting Like a Pro materials in their notebooks as you introduce the class.
As a trainer, communication is more than simply presenting information or giving a speech. Effective trainers have communication skills that include the following:
These are the areas that we will focus on in today's class as we work to become better presenters of information. Over the next few hours, you will be asked to explore your own strengths and weaknesses and to identify areas you may want to improve. You will also have the opportunity to prepare and present a 2-3 minute presentation in small groups and receive feedback and suggestions on your communication style from your peers.
What questions do you have before we begin?
2. Barriers to Effective Communication (10 minutes)
Barriers Activity: THINK/PAIR/SHARE
3. Using Your Body Effectively (15 minutes)
Effective communication involves more than talking to your audience. Your body language plays an important role in communication. Research shows that what you say accounts for only 7% of the effectiveness of a presentation, while 93% is based on nonverbal communication.
** Interactive Tip: Have participants try and guess these percentages.
This is the scary part of training, people not only listen to you; they also watch you! What they see can affect their learning. For example, an instructor who is slouching at the front of the class may communicate the message that he/she is indifferent and doesn't care when in reality they may care a lot but just have bad posture. This sends a message to the participants about the class and can affect how they view you as an instructor and even the content. Body language portrays mood and emotions and can emphasize or contradict what you say. This is why effective body language is one of the most important communication skills for a trainer.
Large Group Brainstorm: Good and Bad Body Language Examples
Think of presenters you have seen . . . what different types of body language do you remember? How did the presenter's body language affect their message either in a positive way or a negative way? Encourage participants to share specifics if possible.
Instructor: Facilitate discussion and write ideas generated up on the board. You may want to divide the board into positive and negative examples. If you feel comfortable, try demonstrating some various body language examples as they are discussed to prove a point and to offer a visual of the concepts.
After the brainstorm, have participants turn to the Using Your Body Effectively section in their notebooks. Point out main points and fill in any blanks for each of the following areas:
When it comes to body language, many presenters aren't aware of how they use their bodies in the classroom. Watching a video of yourself presenting or asking someone else to observe you as you speak can offer an interesting glimpse into your own presentation quirks and strengths. Awareness and practice are the keys to improving your use of body language in the classroom. We will have a chance for everyone to get some feedback on their own presentation style later in the class.
4. Enhancing Voice Quality (10 minutes)
Voice is another area of communication that can affect the quality of learning in a classroom. An interesting and audible voice will engage students while a soft or monotone voice can cause boredom among participants. While it may be difficult to listen to and change our own voice, with awareness and practice, it is possible to use one's voice effectively. In the next few minutes, we are going to explore the various components of voice and discuss some strategies for correcting common voice problems.
As a group, briefly look over the Enhancing Voice Quality handout in the TS binder. Review the components of voice and ask if class participants have anything to add to the list or if people have anything to share about their own voice habits or quirks.
5. Learning from the Pros Activity (20 minutes)
Note to Instructor: This activity may vary depending on how many participants you have in class. You can set up the projector and have people listen and view the videos as a large group or instead choose to have individuals go to the computers and work individually or in pairs on the activity.
Some presenters have that ability to captivate us when they speak. We can learn from these individuals by breaking down their communication skills and observing what makes them successful speakers. Is it the quality of their voice? Their body language? Their enthusiasm? Most likely, it's a combination of many different elements working together to send a message. All are important in communicating effectively. Being aware of these different elements is the first step to effective communication.
Videos for this activity can all be found in Africana:
*Set up projector to only hear sound for step 1 then add visuals for step 2 . . . leave discussion for the end.
Pass out the Learning from the Pros worksheet
Explain that we will first be listening to 3 examples of Voice Quality without any visuals. Ask participants to jot down what they hear, how the speakers use their voices to get their message across. Encourage participants to use their Enhancing Voice Quality handout to aid them in jotting down their observations.
Now we will view the same clips, this time with visuals added to the sound. Watch for the various components of body language we discussed earlier. How do the speakers use their body to communicate their message? What is effective and not so effective? How is their body language changed by the medium (video vs. live audience)?
Give participants time to finish jotting down their observations then ask for volunteers to share their thoughts. Discuss how voice and body language work together to send the message. Which aspect of communication (body language vs. voice) was the most powerful for you in getting the speaker's message across?
The point of this activity was to get you thinking in specific terms about effective communication skills and how one's voice and body language can be used to enhance one's message. An awareness of the various elements that make up your communication style is important in order to improve.
Pass out Presentation Skills Feedback sheets (one for presenter and 3 more for giving feedback.)
The second half of class will be spent on improving your skills in these areas and getting feedback from your peers on your own presentation strengths and areas of focus. The Presentation Skills feedback forms you have in front of you can be used as a guide for giving feedback and as a tool to help you decide your areas of focus. As you noticed in this last activity, it is difficult to focus on all elements of communication at once and to give specific feedback on everything so we are going to ask you to narrow down your focus.
Over break, your task is to think about these different areas and pick TWO specific areas that you want to work on in your own presentation style.
BREAK (10 Minutes)
6. Breaking Habits: Practice Makes Perfect (45 minutes)
We all have a few communication habits, some of which we are already aware and others that we may have no idea that we even do. Some of these habits are more annoying than others. For example, if we say “uh,” “you know,” or put our hands in our pockets and jingle our keys too often during a presentation, it distracts from the message we are trying to get across. The best way to become aware of these habits and to break them is with immediate feedback and practice.
In the next 40 minutes, you will get the chance to prepare a mini-presentation, present for 2-3 minutes in front of a small group of your peers, and receive constructive feedback on your communication skills. Before break, you were asked to identify 2 areas you wish to focus on in your communication skills. These are the areas that the audience will focus on when giving feedback on your presentation. This leaves you with some control over the type of feedback you receive and will help observers to really focus in on specific areas and give you constructive feedback that will be helpful in the future.
Step One: Preparation Time
Step Two: Small Group Presentations
Break class into 3 groups of 4 for presentations. Divide pairings based on mini-class partners and then according to comfort level.
Step Three: Wrap Up and Reflection
Optional Choices (depends on time and size of class): If you have a small class, there may be time for participants to present a second time in order to practice what they have learned. Another option is to videotape participants and give them time to view their video and do a self-critique.
8. (5 minutes) Reflection: Training Program Plan
Give participants time to fill out the delivery section of the Training Program Plan.
Thank them for participating in a class that may have stretched their comfort level and remind them that the only way to improve communication skills is with additional practice. Lucky for them, they will have the chance to continue growing their skills this afternoon in the mini-class!
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