459 Instructions for Oral Presentations
Psy 459
  WI/O Fall 2006  Generation 25
Dr. Leon James, Instructor, University of Hawaii

The Web address of this document is:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/459-g25-oral.htm

The link to the 459 Schedule of Oral Presentations is at:

You will be required to give 3 oral presentations, as scheduled on the 459 Schedule of Oral Presentations.

At the end of each oral presentation you will receive written feedback on a Form from the instructor as illustrated below. This will include your grade (out of 13, 13, and 14 points), what you did acceptably, and a critique of what you could improve on regarding effectiveness of content, rapport with the audience, voice quality, and communication aids you might use to get your points across. You will also receive explicit  training in class regarding oral communication concerns and how to give a good oral presentation. Training Methods, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria are given below.

Details on How to Give Your Oral Presentation --  Oral 1

1) Before you start, switch seats to one end of the table so all students can see your face. Students in the audience should make sure that everyone seated at the table can have a view of the speaker. Do not place your briefcase on the table as this blocks the view for some people. Do not lean forward, for the same reason. If you want to move (which is normal), do it by first sliding your chair away from the table. Acting like a professional audience is part of the points you get for your oral presentation grade. When in the classroom, do not wear hats that block your eyes. You are expected to sit at the table unless there is no room. Part of the audience role is to make sure that three questions are asked at the end of each presentation by a student.

2) First, look around the room and introduce yourself by saying, "Hi, my name is First name, Last name." Note: Do not say only your first name. Say your first name and last name. Practice this so you can use a firm voice that everyone can hear clearly. Look at people while you are introducing yourself.

3) Next say: My presentation today covers Section xx, question yy. Be sure to look around the room to everyone while you do this. Use a clear and strong voice.

4) It is expected that you actually look at people's faces. Pause one second on one face, then go on to another face. This will create rapport between you and the audience and you will feel less nervous and more comfortable. The audience also will feel more comfortable. So remember: Look at people's faces around the room -- the front, to the left side of the room, to the right side of the room. Keep moving around the room throughout your presentation. This will make the other students feel more at ease and you will feel more connected. The result will be a better and clearer presentation. As part of the audience role, students need to look at the speaker. Do not be engaged in other work but the oral presentation. You are allowed to take notes or write down questions. The instructor will make a note if you do not participate in the expected audience role. This will cost you points. It's part of the "O" designation for the course, which is worth 40 percent of your grade and effort.

5) Be sure to speak with a loud voice that carries to the last seat in the room. From time to time the instructor may say to you, You need to speak louder. At that point, say, O.K. and raise your voice. Keep thinking that you must raise your voice as you continue talking. The entire success of your presentation depends on your voice being strong and loud enough to blanket the room. No matter how much you have prepared and how intelligent your comments are, if your voice is not strong, your effort is lost on the audience. Work hard to overcome a natural tendency most people have to drop their voice when they are adding an impromptu comment, and when they are less sure of themselves.

Note: For non-native speakers of English, it is normal to feel that people don't understand because you speak with a foreign accent. But that is almost never the case. The problem is almost always that you don't speak LOUD enough. If you speak loud enough, everyone will understand you, regardless of your accent. So practice, practice, practice -- speaking loud enough. Use a tape recorder to record your voice from different distances so you get feedback on how loud you have to speak to be loud enough. You might think it's very loud, but actually, it's almost impossible to be too loud. It's always the problem of not being loud enough. This is also true for the native speakers because shyness or nervousness makes you speak less loud, so you need to counteract it consciously. Tighten the stomach muscles as you speak. This will help project your voice to the wall and blanket everyone in the room.

6) Do not read your notes. Therefore you must prepare and rehearse enough. If you read your notes, the evaluation will say that you are not sufficiently prepared. If you practice and prepare sufficiently, you won't have to read your notes at all. Reading your notes will cost you points. But you are allowed to look at your notes from time to time for brief moments.

7) Look up and around and act like you are speaking spontaneously. Not looking around the room while you talk, will cost you points.

8) Keep thinking about what your purpose is, namely, to give the other students the benefit of your own thinking about the assigned pages. This means YOUR thinking. It's your thinking on the original text that you are presenting, rather than just the original. Remember this. You have to do some thinking about the original, and that's the content of your presentation -- your thinking about the original, how you process the original through your understanding. This is why you need to talk about it with some people before your presentation. Discussing it will insure that you are doing some thinking about it, so  you can give your presentation appropriately. You cannot wait until the last moment when giving an oral presentation, or else it will show and won't come across well.

9) At the end of your presentation, the instructor will hand you a written feedback form and a grade. You can also ask him for oral feedback at the end of class (this is optional).

10) Read carefully the Assessment Criteria and Grading Form given below. It lists the criteria by which you will be graded. Think about these criteria as you are preparing and rehearsing your presentation.

Details on How to Give Your Oral Presentation --  Oral 2

All the general instructions for Oral 1 regarding how to present, also apply to Oral 2, but the difference is as follows:

Oral 2 is presented as a team of three students. Each student plays one of the three roles below for 15 minutes, then there is a switch, twice, so that each student gets to play all three roles:

459 Oral 2 Procedures With Each Weekly Readings

Role A:  a science reporter for an undergraduate psychology Web blog is doing a Webcast interview simultaneously with two panelists and covering the week's readings. You need to make up your own questions, making sure you cover the entire range of pages assigned for that week.

Role B: a psychology undergraduate major who provides answers to the interview questions within the positive bias paradigm in psychology, and covering that week's readings.

Role C: a psychology undergraduate major who provides answers to the interview questions within the negative bias paradigm in psychology, and covering that week's readings.

Round 1: Student 1 in Role A, Student 2 in Role B and Student 3 in Role C
Round 2: Student 2 in Role A, Student 1 in Role C and Student 3 in Role B
Round 3: Student 3 in Role A, Student 2 in Role C and Student 1 in Role B

Since each Round lasts for 15 minutes, the total time for Oral 2 will be 45 minutes. This will be followed by audience questions to all three students, still in their role mode.

How to Perform the Role of the Reporter -- Role A

1) Your role is to make sure the topics in the assigned reading are adequately covered. Also, make sure that each student has an ID badge or card identifying the role they are enacting: Interviewer, Positive Bias, Negative Bias. You are also responsible for keeping track of the time during the interview.

2) Your task is to ask questions and direct the answers so the topics of the assigned reading are adequately explored as the audience is listening. To do this effectively you need to make a list of the topics and arguments that need to be covered according to the assigned pages for the week. Note that several arguments need to be stated in different ways for each topic or sub-topic you choose -- hence requires several directional questions. Your task is to get the panelist to make statements about the arguments and topics you listed on your note sheet. As they talk, additional questions will occur to you. Write them down so you can follow up with what they say, directing them to address the point. It's all right to ask a question over and over if you don't get the full answer you expect from the readings.

3) It's a good idea to try to get both panelists to address the same point or issue. This is in order to show up the contrast between their views. If the answer is not sufficient in your estimation, make sure you ask follow up questions to direct the panelist to address the specific issue.

4) Don't just ask one question for each topic and be satisfied with one answer. Your job is to make a platform for the panelists to allow for the contrastive views to come out into the open explicitly. Besides asking prepared questions, you will also need to ask impromptu questions that may come up as a result of an answer. These are "follow up" questions or probes. You can also ask the other panelist to comment on what one of them just said.

If you see that one of the panelists is not being relevant, or is not addressing the issue you want, then you need to ask again in a different way. You must be in charge so the topic gets covered in different aspects. Do not accept "I don't know" answers or joke answers -- repeat the question. However humorous answers that are to the point, are acceptable.

5) You will need to read and study the assigned reading section so you can prepare a list of questions you want to ask each panelist. Next to each question, write down the content of the answer you expect or want. Make sure you bring out this content by asking the right questions as a stimulus, then using follow up questions to home in on it. Do not read your questions, but you can consult your notes.

6) Your job is also to monitor the time, and the distribution of time for each topic and for each panelist. The interview must last 15 minutes -- no more than one minute from this target. Staying within this time limit will be a challenge because you can't predict in advance how long the answers will be. So you must look at your watch as you proceed and adjust things accordingly. You need a good grasp of the material to do this effectively.

7) To follow the required procedures as intended, the three students should not rehearse with each other or share questions they are going to ask. This is not because of competitiveness or secrecy. The instructor has observed that in the past, the three students earn higher points for the Oral 2 presentation when they don't share the questions and answers with each other. All three students perform their role much better when (i) they have studied the material, and (ii) react spontaneously to questions they are asked about it. The audience can notice right away whether the presentation has been rehearsed or not. It is much less interesting and effective if it has been rehearsed, or if students can prepare for the exact questions they will be asked. So by not meeting and sharing the questions in advance, you are increasing everybody's chances to get a better grade -- even if it might feel emotionally more challenging. This is well worth it given the increased skills you are practicing and acquiring, in comparison to a 'canned' performance.

How to Perform the Role of the Panelist -- Role B and C

1) Prepare for these two Roles by making notes as you study the assigned reading. Isolate the sentences, ideas, concepts, or principles from the assigned readings that you want to mention in your Role B and Role C -- which are opposed to each other. Try to make these points effectively when you are answering a question by the reporter. You will earn good points if you stay on topic, and give your answer briefly but effectively. Act like you are on stage with a live audience in the room.

2) Address your comments to the audience, rather than to the interviewer. When you start talking you can look at the interviewer briefly, then face the audience and look at them. You are speaking to them, not to the interviewer. Think of your role -- for or against what the course is teaching, so you want to sound (i) strongly committed to your view and (ii) quite knowledgeable about the topics in the assigned readings for that week.

3) You need to be very familiar with the content, but as well, you need to rehearse the answers that the interviewer might ask. Do not read your answers, but you can consult your notes.

Summary of Tips for Oral Presentations

Practice is key to giving a good presentation.  Do not read your notes--learn them so you can talk while looking at the audience. Look around the class as you talk. Do not talk to the instructor alone--look at the students and make sure you maintain rapport with the audience. Looking directly at people's faces is very important for rapport. Do not wear a cap with a visor that hides your eyes. Make sure your voice is very loud, louder than normal. This is very important. Manage your time so you do five minutes for each question. Your job is to present your own thinking about the original text. It really helps if you talk about with others as part of your preparation. Finally, act like you are enjoying the presentation and are happy to do it as a service to the other students. Reread the above instructions again and again.

How to be a Good Audience -- What is Expected of You in Class

The other students should be prepared to ask questions. It's a good idea to write down your question during the presentation, while you are thinking about it. Students who do not ask questions or do not speak up in class discussions, cannot earn the grade of A. Participating in class discussions is a requirement of the course for the grade of A. It's not difficult to do, if you write down the question while the person is still speaking, while you are still thinking about it. It's all right to take notes while the person is speaking. It shows that you are listening seriously. The instructor makes a note of students who haven't spoken up in class for three weeks in a row. Remember this rule!

Do not place briefcases or bags on the table as it blocks the view for other students.

Do not read while the person is presenting. It shows off very vividly and obviously when you are working on something else while everybody else is listening. This is obvious to the instructor as well. Do not talk to the person next to you. This is extremely disturbing and disrupts the class atmosphere, which is to be together and not to break off on your own. You cannot earn a good grade in this course if you ignore these expectations of appropriate behaviors while in class. You are allowed to leave the class for brief periods, if you need to.

Look at the speaker during the presentation and act like an audience. Avoid looking down for long periods. This makes a big difference to the speaker. Do not read or write unrelated tasks while the presentation is going on! But you should write down questions to ask at the end, while you're thinking of it. Do not talk to your neighbor (this will cost you penalty points deducted from your overall grade). Do not be late for class.

Give others a chance to speak if you have already spoken twice in one class.

Make comments that address the specific topic. Do not tell stories. We have just a few minutes for the discussions, and brief statements by several people would be the best interaction style. Be ready with your comment and jump in when there is an opportunity. This is excellent practice for everyone!

Remember: the speaker must answer at least two questions as part of the grade, so we can't go on to the next speaker until those questions are asked!!

Oral Communication Training Method:

(1) The instructor will model oral communication presentations and point out the various concerns while performing them.

(2) Students will read out loud to the class and receive feedback on voice quality, loudness, and eye contact.

(3) Students will orally summarize the main points of a paragraph that is read out loud.

(4) Students will participate in panel discussions on assigned topics and specified roles (e.g., a reporter doing an interview with two panelists played by other students in the roles specified).

(5) Students will make an oral presentation on assigned readings and will follow topic and time requirements, as specified in written instructions. They will answer audience questions at the end of the presentation.

(6) Students will make an oral presentation as a report of field experiment done prior to class and according to written instructions.

(7) Students will participate as audience and ask questions at the end of each oral presentation.

(8) Students will receive written feedback from the instructor following each of their three presentations, focusing on the assessment criteria shown above. This will allow them to work on improvements after each presentation.

Oral Communication Learning Outcomes

Overall Goals

Students should acquire a clear understanding of the basic concepts and practices associated with public speaking and should appreciate the role of public speaking in academic and work settings. Students should be able to deliver speeches in accordance with the principles of effective oral presentation.

Specific Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to practice and achieve at least seven of the following:

  1. Compose and deliver public presentations on assigned topics in a classroom setting

  2. Effectively create, organize, and support ideas in oral presentations

  3. Delivering an oral presentation on an assigned reading task and adding argument support elements (illustrations, related Web links, examples)

  4. Creating a Web Page for each oral presentation, including related links found by searching

  5. Maintain effective rapport with the classroom audience (eye contact, voice modulation)

  6. Listen to and answer adequately, questions from the audience

  7. Utilize effective delivery techniques when giving an oral presentation

  8. Use visual aids and techniques (handouts, Power Point slides, overhead projector)

  9. Make use of interactive techniques (making audience participation requests)

  10. Remain within the assigned time limits

  11. Demonstrate a variety of skills such as presentation, debate, interview, panel discussion.

Oral Communication Assessment Criteria
Grading Form

  1. Did student follow all the steps specified in the instructions?

  2. Did student give an introduction, defining the two terms?

  3. Did student relate each concept to the Lecture Notes?

  4. Did student show evidence of being well prepared and organized?

  5. Did student establish and maintain rapport with the audience from the beginning?

  6. Did student look around the room to all the audience members?

  7. Did student speak spontaneously and avoided reading?

  8. Did student stay within the stated time limits of not less than 10 and not more than 12 mins.?

  9. Did student listen to questions and respond appropriately?

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