Presentation Skills, the second module for the Women in Politics Training (WIPT) was successfully completed on Saturday, 7th April, 2018 and Sunday, 8th April, 2018. The two day session started at 9:00 am and ended at 4:00 pm on Saturday and at 10:20 am and 4:00 pm on Sunday. The session was to complete the module on Presentation Skills specifically understanding the concepts, definition, audience, message and mediums of a presentation, the content, structure and packaging of a presentation amidst group discussions and works. The course moderator was the Public Relations and Communication Consultant of JEAP & Associates Limited, Mr. Joseph Emmanuel Allotey-Pappoe.
To begin the session, Mr. Allotey-Pappoe asked the participants to come out with their expectations the predominant one amongst the many that were listed were; how to do an effective presentation, body languages and etiquettes of presentation and improving on one’s presentation skills. Presentation has to do with communication. An effective communication however should be heard, listened and understood. Symmetrical communication is the most effective form of communication which gives room for free interaction. The essence of a communication is to exchange messages to accomplish a particular goal or an objective.
2.1 Elements of Communication
- Message: this is basically the content of the communication and the most critical element in communication formed by verbal and non-verbal communication. Most often than not, the non-verbal cues (gestures, posture, facial expression and even clothing) are more effective than the verbal cues because people tend to concentrate more on them than the words.
- Source: the person who creates the message and determines how to convey the message.
- Encoding: the form in which the sender conveys the message.
- Channel: the medium through which he message is conveyed once it’s encoded.
- Receiver: audience or destination of the message.
- Decoding: the process the recipient goes through to make sense of the message.
- Feedback: the verbal or non-verbal response the receiver gives to the source.
- Noise: anything that interferes with communication.
Communication fails in most cases due to one or the combination of the following;
- Inadequate information
- Overload of information
- Poor quality of content
- Poor timing
- Lack of feedback or follow-ups
- Problems with channels
- Incomplete communication
- Ineffective goal setting
- Community anxiety
- Cultural barriers
2.2 Types of Communication
Setting of communication has to do with the different types of communication setting dependent on the number of people involved and the degree to which they are able to interact and they are;
- Intrapersonal: it is the personal processing of a message within oneself to make meaning out of a message.
- Interpersonal: it is the face to face interaction between two (2) people. The speaker sees the gestures of the receiver and can therefore refine or give clarity on the message depending on the gestures.
- Small Group Communication: within three (3) or more group of people.
- Mass Communication: there is usually a mediation like a Public Address System, Radio, TV, etc. The audience are not seen and feedback is given after the broadcast.
2.3 Purpose of Communication
- For physical or psychological needs
- To foster and manage relationships
- To inform
- For decision making
3.0 Advantages of Presentation
- It is the most direct and persuasive communication.
- Helps personalise an institution or individual.
- Helps demonstrate an organisations or individuals openness.
- Brings prestige to both speaker and organisation.
- Gets an organisation or individuals view on record.
3.1 Writing the Presentation
- Establish the purpose/objective
- Choose a topic
- Analyse the who, why and where
- Topic search
- Developing the thesis
- Supporting the ideas
- Organising and outlining the presentation
- Wording the presentation
3.2 Forms of Composition
- Narrative ( logical sequence of events)
- Discussion or argumentative (use of logic)
3.3 Common Mistakes Presenters Make
- Lack of preparation
- Not knowing the audience
- Using visual aids ineffectively(it must compliment the message)
- Being a monotone
- Starting with details
- Gathering and offering only weak evidence
- Using too much materials
- Being speaker centred
- No heavy make up
- Business suit or tie
- No micro or mini skirt
- Avoid wearing too high heels
- Avoid wearing dangling ear rings and bracelets
The content of every presentation must have an introduction, body and a conclusion. The impact of a presentation is determined by 55% of body language, 38% by your voice and 7% by the words used. With respect to the voice, the presenter must be articulate, check pronunciations, vocalized pauses, use of stock expressions that is using monotonous words, words, volume, pitch/tone and emphasis. A presenter must also have eye contact with the audience. In delivery, the presenter must be active that is move and be natural.
3.5 Dealing with Podium Panic
- Practise deep breathing
- Be yourself
- Be in your comfort zone
- Check out the room in advance
- Concentrate on the message
- Prepare adequately for the presentation
After the presentation, participants were made to select individual topics, prepare a message and present it to the group. The training came to a successful end at 4:30 pm. The next Module-Gender and Development is on the 21st and 22nd, April, 2018. The following were the insights made from the thirteen (13) filled-in evaluation forms:
- All the participants learnt new things such as the appropriate appearance for a presentation, posture and language, presentation skills and get facts instead of rumours for presentations.
- 69% of the participants agreed that the model relevance was excellent, 23% thought it was very good and 8% thought it was good: 23% thought the content was excellent, 54% thought it was very good while the remaining 23% thought it was good; 33% of the participants thought the resource person was excellent, 51%thiught he was very good, 8% thought he was good while the remaining 8% thought his delivery was on the average.
- Lecture was 31% excellent, 54% very good, 8% and 9% average and poor respectively;, group work was 10% excellent, 50% very good, 20% and 10% average and poor respectively; and general discussions 27% and 46% excellent and very good respectively, 9% good, average and poor.
- Generally, according to the order of significance, the new things learnt by the participants how to write a presentation, communication skills, delivery and techniques of an effective presentation, do’s and don’ts of a presentation.
- Based on the response from 12 participants, 25% thought the delivery of the module was excellent, 50% thought it was very good, 17% thought it was good while the remaining 8% thought it was okay.
- Going forward, there should be ice breakers to prevent people from dozing off, the presentation should be more of practical examples other than theory, the individual presentation brings out one’s confidence and should be practiced going forward.
A cross section of the participants at the training