ASSIGNMENT: Imagine that you have been asked to give a five-minute oral presentation at the next staff meeting. The purpose is to teach your colleagues some strategy or technique for better communication. Feel free to draw on the content you have already learned in this class!
Since you will not be able to share a screen, it is recommended that you do not try to teach people how to use a technology, but some other best practice. You may do something related to technology, as long as you do not need to do a demonstration. Use of visual aids is optional and will not be assessed directly.
Example topics could be:”
Humor at work: what’s appropriate and what’s not
How to soothe an angry customer on the phone
How to give constructive criticism in person
Advice for professional emails
These are some suggestions, but you can select any topic that is related to workplace communication and which can be explained in five minutes.
Don’t be daunted by the time limit. That’s as long as ten television commercials, which usually tell a story and make a pitch in 30 seconds!
Before you begin you may want to review the content on Organizing Presentations and Delivering Presentations.
1. As you begin, remember to follow the seven guidelines of professional communication.
Know your objective (to teach a communication skill.)
Understand your audience (these are your colleagues; you have a professional relationship but also know each other well. Your colleagues want the presentation to be helpful and engaging, even entertaining).
Be relevant. Make sure the presentation stays focused on a communication skill everybody can use.
Be clear, concise, complete, and consistent. Because the presentation is short, pay special attention to being concise. Make sure that you can finish it in under five minutes. Your colleagues don’t want to go late into their lunch hour! Be consistent in your use of language and avoid using jargon.
2. Select a topic and draft your presentation on paper as an informal outline. Prepare and practice. Organize your talking points so you can make full use of the full five minutes without going over. Time yourself and make appropriate edits until your presentation fits the five minutes.
3. Record a 5-minute video of yourself delivering your presentation. Remember that the assessment will be of verbal and nonverbal delivery, so use of visual aids is optional. If you do use them, make sure they are visible on the screen.
Note: You do not have to dress formally but should choose a wardrobe and background that are professional, or at least not distracting. It is important that you convey yourself as a professional and that background noise is minimal so that your speech can be clearly heard.
4. Review your video to make sure you like the results and that the recording was successful. But don’t overdo it! If you deliver the same speech too many times it will be harder to maintain a natural tone. Four or five runs should be plenty.
5. Submit your video for a grade.