Helping students with public speaking skills - fast!

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odessa:
I am turning to the wisdom of the fora for assistance regarding how to give students a crash course in presentation skills. 

Through a series of circumstances, I am, on very short notice, coaching a team of four students to participate in a student competition (think case analysis as a general format).  All four students took the general education requirement of a public speaking course as freshmen.  They are now juniors and seniors and they tell me that they've done presentations in some classes since that gen ed course.  However, for various reasons, I have concerns about their abilities to both put together a presentation and deliver it on the level they need to do so.  I've been working with them on the former point as I work to prep them regarding the content area and thought processes related to what I expect they will encounter in the competition.  I'm not sure how to help them with actual presentation skills, though, other than to give them a laundry list of things to think about.  Ideally, we'd have many weeks, if not months, to do multiple practice rounds and for them to be critiqued.  Instead, I've got days to help them prepare.

So far, I've just come up with a laundry list of "things to think about" in terms of presentations.  The list includes things like: 

Don't make wordy slides, focus on key terms and points  (yes, they are expected to use Power Point)
Make sure font is readable (in general - size -  and against the background - color)
Don't use cute pictures and animations  (don't give the judges motion sickness)
Do use images that will enhance your message / help you make your point
Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact and some more eye contact
Related to the previous one, limit what you write as notes so you are less temtped to read them
Use transitions between team members ("and now Zach will talk about zombies' natural habitat")
Watch the "umms," "likes," and "you knows"
Be very aware of your time limits and pace yourselves accordingly
Think about organization
Practice, practice, practice ... oh wait, we don't have time for much of that

My biggest concern is that I can give them a long list of do's and don'ts, but I don't know how to help them internalize any of these in such a short time frame.  I am trying to see if I can arrange for a practice round to be video taped since I think watching themselves would have far more impact than anything I can tell them.  I'm not sure I'll be able to make that happen, though.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

professor_pat:
Generate rubrics based on your list, then have the students use them to score each other giving presentations, then offer helpful suggestions to each other based on the collected scores?

I have some resources on my other computer about this - will see if I can find them for you.

flyingbison:
Not exactly the same question, but this thread might have some helpful suggestions:

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,115312.msg2405042.html#msg2405042

new_bus_prof:
Here's some more quick tips for case competitions:
- Take command of the floor - no hiding behind a podium or using notes
- Present your solution to the key issue in the beginning
- All the analysis presented should support the recommendation
- Have a hook to starting the presentation
- Tell them what you're going to say, tell them, and then tell them what you said

Here's the best book I've found related to the topic:
Ridgley, S. K. (2012). The complete guide to business school presenting: What your professors don't tell you-- what you absolutely must know. New York: Anthem Press.

odessa:
Quote from: professor_pat on April 02, 2013, 11:58:20 AM

Generate rubrics based on your list, then have the students use them to score each other giving presentations, then offer helpful suggestions to each other based on the collected scores?

I have some resources on my other computer about this - will see if I can find them for you.


Professor_pat, I am running them through practice sessions using rubrics that I use for my classes.  Any other resources you have that you can direct my way would be appreciated!

Quote from: flyingbison on April 02, 2013, 12:00:52 PM

Not exactly the same question, but this thread might have some helpful suggestions:

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,115312.msg2405042.html#msg2405042



Flyingbison, I read through that thread before I posted my question.  Yes, there are some suggestions in it, but the thread contains more long-range sort of approaches - the types of things I do with students with whom I will be working all semester.  This competition situation is different.  Anyway, thanks for the pointer; given the CHE search function, it's quite easy to not find previous, related threads!

Quote from: new_bus_prof on April 02, 2013, 12:06:55 PM

Here's some more quick tips for case competitions:
- Take command of the floor - no hiding behind a podium or using notes
- Present your solution to the key issue in the beginning
- All the analysis presented should support the recommendation
- Have a hook to starting the presentation
- Tell them what you're going to say, tell them, and then tell them what you said

Here's the best book I've found related to the topic:
Ridgley, S. K. (2012). The complete guide to business school presenting: What your professors don't tell you-- what you absolutely must know. New York: Anthem Press.


new_bus_prof, several of your tips are already on my radar.  As part of the content prep, I've been working with the students on analysis, recommendations, support etc.  Thanks for the reminder about presenting the solution up front.  I've been pushing the "tell them what you're going to say, tell them, then tell them what you said" structure.  Hiding behind the podium is one of my pet peeves, so they've already heard quite a bit about that.

Thanks for the Ridgley citation.  I am not familiar with that book, but it looks like one I need to add to my bookshelf.

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