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Scientifically Speaking—How to Prepare an Effective Talk

Slide#1: Intro slide to Using Spoken English in Conversation

Slide#2: Titled as ‘Presenter.’ There is a picture of Barret Whitener, and in this slide Mr. Whitener discusses his background and qualifications. Mentions that Mr. Whitener will be speaking about techniques from an American speaker’s perspective. Indicates he will discuss preparing for giving a talk or presentation.

Slide#3: Titled ‘The Hour Glass Format’.  It’s a presentation structure.  Shows an image that appears to look like an hour glass with the words ‘Introduction’ at the top, the word ‘Data’ in the middle which is the bulk of the talk, and the word ‘Resolution’ at the bottom which wraps the talk up. Doesn’t recommend this structure. 

Slide#4: Titled ‘The Take Home Message’ The Take Home Message is the first issue mentioned, as the first component a speaker should prepare. Mentions that the audience will take away or remember one message from a talk.  Indicates that once the take home message is prepared, that everything else discussed will relate or be implied by the take home Message.  Describes the characteristics of the Take Home Message and lists them in the form of bullet points. Qualities mentioned in bullet point form are that the take home message should be one full sentence, that they should concise that is, no definitions are used, and that the take home message should be a synthesis of what all the conclusion points are, regarding a speaker’s findings. Mentions that the most memorable take home messages are the most specific ones.

Slide#5: Titled ‘Take Home Message vs. Conclusion Points’.  This slide is being used to compare and contrast conclusion points and the take home message.  Puts three conclusion points on the screen in the form of a numbered list.  The point is that multiple sentences for a conclusion are difficult to remember.  Shows the take home message listed after the conclusion points, which is a one sentence of the conclusion point sentences.. It’s an example of how one can synthesize conclusion points into a take home message.

Slide#6:  Titled ‘Preparation Order’. Lists two columns of numbered lists one through six with the words ‘Preparation Order’ as the header of each column.  On one side the Take Home Message is prepared first, in the other column the presentation message is prepared fifth.  Mr. Whitener refers to the six preparation order points as the “sign posts” or, the “spine” of the talk.  Suggests once the elements are prepared, that a speaker can extemporize or spontaneously speak around the rest of the talk.