The term Oral Presentation in business communication refers to a speech, made with the help of at least one companion on the basis of adequate information. Oral presentation involves communication by one speaker to a larger number of audience members. Oral presentation are usually short and less formal that oral speeches. It is delivered with demonstrations of audio-visual aids followed by answer to questions from the audience. Oral presentations have three basic purposes: (1) to inform, (2) to persuade and (3) to build goodwill. There may be many occasions for a oral presentation, such as (i) launching of a new product or service, (ii) Starting a training course, (iii) presenting a new business plan.
Principles of effective oral Presentation
Regardless of purpose of presentation, these three steps should be followed for better result:
(i) Planning the presentation:
(a) Studying the purpose and profile of audience.
(b) Gathering needed information through research.
(c) Adapting the presentation to occasion and audience.
(ii) Writing the presentation:
(a) Defining the main idea, choosing the approach, preparing the outline and deciding on style.
(b) Composing the presentation and ensuring that introduction, body, close and question and answer period all accomplish necessary tasks for an oral medium.
(iii) Completing the presentation:
(a) Editing the presentation for content, conciseness and clarity.
(b) Reviewing everything for improper grammar and mechanical errors.
(c) Practicing our presentation, checking location, overcoming our anxiety and fielding questions responsibly. While making the presentations, following points should be taken care of:
(i) Speaking slowly and distinctly.
(ii) Repeating key words and phrases.
(iii) Aiming for clarity.
(iv) Communicating with body language.
(v) Supporting oral message with visual aids.
Factors Effecting Presentation
Following factors affect the effectiveness of any presentation:
(a) Audience Analysis: Effective presenter generally analyzes his / her audience minutely. Improper audience analysis leads to ineffective presentation. The style of the presentation is largely dependent upon the types and size of the audience.
(b) Communication Environment: Communication environment affects the effectiveness of the presentations. Much of the audience notices the physical things surrounding the speaker, the stage, lighting arrangement, background, ventilation etc. Proper arrangement of these things can enhance the impact of the presentation.
(c) Personal Appearance: Personal appearance of the speaker has great impact on the audience. Well dressed up person can attract and motivate people. Therefore, the speaker should wear neat and clean clothes and take time to check his / her appearance just before starting presentation.
(d) One of Visuals: Visuals can enhance the professional image of the presentation. Use of visuals can make a presentation more credible and more interesting. The presenter should check the equipment in advance before presenting.
(e) Opening and Closing Presentation: The beginning and closing of a presentation are the positions of emphasis. Those presenters, who can open the presentation with interesting remarks, are likely to create more interest and enthusiasm for listening the presentation. Similarly, the ending of the presentation has profound impact on the audience.
(f) Organization of Presentation: Clarity in presentation is essential that comes with proper organization of the information. Proper organization of presentation enhances the effectiveness of the presentation. On the other hand, improper organization of the presentation will not influences the audience.
(l) Language: The quality of presentation is affect by the language. To make the audience understand the message, the speaker has to talk in the language known to the audience. To enhance the impact of presentation, he / she should choose the catchy words that appeal to the heart and emotions of the audience.
(m) Quality of Voice: Quality of voice of the presenter affects the effectiveness of the presentation. Voice modulation is likely to have greater impact upon the audience whereas monotonous voice will bore the audience.
(n) Body Language: The effectiveness of the presentation is also affected by the body language of the speaker. A speaker having eye contract with audience in likely to impress more that a speaker reading out the hand outs. A speaker who look more at the audience is judged as better informed, more experienced, more honest, more confident, the friendliest than a speaker who delivers the speech with less eye contract.
(o) Answering Questions: The effectiveness of presentation is also affected by presenter’s skill in handling questions asked at the end of presentation. A speaker who answers the audience’s questions and handles hostile questions with tact is likely to influence the audience more. On the other hand, a speaker who answers rudely will leave negative impact upon the audience.