Learner Reflection & Practice
As you prepare for presentations on a stage, in a classroom or meeting space, plan out how you will interact with your audience physically and how you will utilize the tools to facilitate the focus relationship, either toward you or your screen. This preparation can begin early, even alongside development of your content. You can lay out the patterns of movement and gesture that you will use to present your slides.
Imagine how you will interact with the PowerPoint as you organize your content. Think about what specific tools of Physical Orientation and Spatial Navigation will be most effective for the type of presentation, screen set up or display you will be using.
How will you adjust your Line Focus and Orientation to the screen and at what important learning moments?
Remember, if you want the focus of your audience to stay on you, you can remain in Full Front and gesture to the screen to reference your material.
If you are at a white board and writing in real time, you may want to establish a pattern of pausing your speech when your back is to the audience as you write. If you are presenting a poster, you may stand to one side of the display or move around the poster to direct focus to a portion of material. As you try out different positioning practice with your finished poster or with as many of your prepared presentation slides that are completed. If at all possible, practice in an environment that is similar to the actual presentation environment and display setup. Don’t wait until the last minute to practice!
In theatre arts we rehearse. We plan and practice our movements on the stage or set we will perform on. This is an important step for all presenters. If not a rehearsal, at the very least plan a practice opportunity to mark out where you will stand or sit and how you will orient to the presentation screen, visual aid, and audience to facilitate meaning and meet your communicative goals. If you have your presentation written out to support your slide presentation, mark out where you will want to advance the slides, keeping in mind that as a slide advances it also becomes a focus requesting event.
In your rehearsal process, when you forget a word, phrase, or even a section of text, practice substituting other words that are suitable. Developing a practice of improvising will set you up for success when you must improvise in performance. The more you practice with your slides the better you will be at presenting them.
Preferably well in advance of any presentation, determine the technology, position of the presentation screen, visual aid or exhibits, and whether or not you’ll be mic’d. Make sure that the size of the screen is large enough to display the slides so that they project effectively.