Careful preparation is the key to any successful presentation.
If you are familiar with your audience, it is important to tailor the material
presented to relate to their experience. Look over all of the material
available, then select those materials suitable to the time constraints of the
training session and the needs of the participants. Try to augment the materials
with items that are closer to home for the audience. Related
articles from local newspapers and magazines can strengthen the points being
made and increase their relevance for individual participants.
In spite of your best efforts to keep on track, the discussion
may go far afield from the material presented. This is not necessarily a
problem, as long as the discussion covers related areas that are of concern to
the audience and are related to the main points of the module. It will be up to
you to decide if the material being covered is of value to the group. Time is
always in short supply and should be used to the best advantage of all
concerned. To make these decisions, you will have to be familiar enough with the
material to know which parts can be left out or covered very quickly with your
The physical environment of the training and the visual aids
that you use can either strengthen or weaken your presentation. When properly
attended to, small matters of detail can make a training run smoothly. The
following are a few of these small matters that should not be
If you intend to use a flip
chart for presentations or for group exercises, be sure to have an adequate
supply of paper and markers.
Check the markers to make sure they are
in good working order.
Make sure each stand is stable.
Bring tape and pins if you need to attach
sheets to a wall.
Bring extra lamps for the slide or
Test equipment before setting up for the
Look over the room for the presentation
and be aware of electrical outlet locations.
Find out if you will need extension
Be aware of window and door locations,
especially considering room temperature and ventilation.
Arrange the screen and projector to allow
for exit and entry from the room without disruption of the session.
The basics of adult learning
The participants in this training session are your colleagues.
They bring with them many insightful experiences to enhance the session. As
such, the basic tenets of classroom learning do not always apply.
Remember the following points when giving a presentation for an adult audience:
The participants will learn
the material better if they can relate it to personal experience or to a daily
As your colleagues, the participants will
be more interested in the session as a whole if they can actively participate
rather than simply listen.
As adults, the participants are
responsible for their own learning, and should be encouraged to ask questions
that will provide them with what they really need to know.
The learning objectives of the session
should be defined at the outset.
You should be flexible, but remember to
cover the main points of the session.
Often the most difficult and important part of the training
session is the beginning. It is important to get off to a timely start and to
set the proper pace in order to complete the session in the time available.
Participants need to be introduced to one another and made comfortable in their
surroundings. They also need to be quickly prompted to take an active role in
the training. This may be done with an icebreaker.
One typical exercise is to divide the participants into pairs.
Have them interview each other. After a few minutes, have the interviewers
introduce their counterparts to the group as a whole.
Another exercise is to ask the participants to introduce
themselves and to each give a short statement of their expectations for the
course or a short narrative about experience they have had with the topic to be
Whichever method you choose, the point is to quickly get all
group members to participate actively, even if in a small way, as soon as
The first ten minutes
You have your material, you have your audience, you even have an
icebreaker ready to use. One way of getting started is listed below.
1. Begin promptly. Welcome the participants.
Introduce yourself and the topic.
2. Use your icebreaker to get everyone involved in the process.
3. Review your learning objectives. Ask the participants for
additional objectives they may wish to pursue.
4. Make it clear to the group that the session is to be
interactive. Explain that active participation in the session is the norm.
Encourage the participants to ask questions as they arise, and to freely add
their own input on issues with which they have had personal experience.
5. Outline your schedule and strive to keep it. You may want to
ask for a volunteer timekeeper to help keep the session on
To give some variety to the session and to keep the participants
actively involved, you may want to mix in some group activities or exercises.
Some of the basic types of activities recommended in this module series include:
Divide the group into smaller groups and assign a short question
or case study. Have the groups identify the pertinent issues to the session
topic and have them compile by consensus a list of their conclusions. Ask that
one of the group members be the reporter who will then present their findings
back to all participants.
Pose a general question to the group as a whole and then
brainstorm the answers using a flip chart or the overhead projector
to record the results. If the question serves as a pre-test,
preserve the list, then review it after the material has been covered in the
Role play scenarios. Work up a possible scenario that might
occur in the participants day to day activities. Have the group break into
sub groups who will take on the role of agencies or individuals responsible for
different aspects of the scenario and have them work through the issues in this
Audiovisual aids can greatly enhance your presentation. To be
effective, they must:
Clearly illustrate the topic
Hold the attention of the
Focus attention on the essential
Reinforce the message that the presenter is
trying to get across.
This guide comes with a complete set of overheads which can be
used to present the topic. You can add to or delete from this set of overheads
as you see fit. Clear acetate sheets and colored felt tip markers will allow you
to highlight areas on the overheads provided or to create instant overheads as
needs arise. If you are going to rely on the overhead projector for your
presentation, you should:
Clean the lens and surface in
Set up the screen and projector in
advance, if possible.
Set up the screen as high as possible and
at an angle to the wall.
Face your audience, not the screen, and
use a ruler or pointer to direct attention to the appropriate points as they are
Turn off the machine when not in