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Presenting an Illustrated Talk

Jacqueline Williamson graduated with a BBA in Personnel Admin., an MPA in HR Management and an MS in Education.

Teaching a large group of students can definitely be challenging.

Teaching a large group of students can definitely be challenging.


If you are a vocational-technical teacher, you will have daily opportunities to present information to students by talking to them. In order to be a stimulating, interesting speaker, you need to understand and practice effective oral communication. This module is designed to help identify and use techniques that will improve the ability to communicate orally with students as the instructor makes large and small group presentations.

One of the reasons the lecture or talk continues to be a predominant instructional strategy is that it is, for the instructor, a very efficient way of conveying to students exactly the content desired, in exactly the form desired. Information is not, after all, always available through other instructional resources.

Furthermore, a lecture/talk need not be grim and unexciting. By including verbal and visual illustrations in the presentation and by delivering the presentation with skill and enthusiasm, you can make the lecture/talk an absorbing, stimulating, and effective instructional technique.

The method you select depends on several factors,

  1. Your own style of instruction—what you feel most comfortable doing.
  2. The type of information being taught.
  3. The size of the class will affect the style of your presentation.
  4. The types of students are a factor; you need to consider which type of presentation would communicate best with your particular class.

Let us first briefly examine the personal factors that determine your method of presentation.

Lecturing to a smaller group of students is easier as well as more enjoyable.

Lecturing to a smaller group of students is easier as well as more enjoyable.

Your own style of instruction

Whether you enjoy the strictly lecture form of deliverance with students’ questions or comments at the end or if you prefer a more interactive form of lecturing with students being able to comment during breaks in the lecture depends on your ability to remain in control of the class.

If you feel that interruptions during your discuss will cause chaos in the classroom then you may feel more comfortable in waiting until the end of the lecture. That way you can guarantee that all the information that you want to covey will be covered. This may be the case if you are conducting your class in an auditorium setting where there are large numbers of students in attendance.

However, if you are instructing a smaller more intimate group of adult learners, then having the ability to pause during your lecture and accommodate a discussion period may be more desirable. That way the class feels that they are stakeholders in the learning process.

Either method must be chosen based on your personal abilities to maintain control of the discussion along with encouraging feedback from your students.

Show enthusiasm when you do your illustrated lecture and you will keep everyone's attention.

Show enthusiasm when you do your illustrated lecture and you will keep everyone's attention.

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The Type of Information Being Taught

The type of information being taught will have the greatest impact on your method of delivery in your illustrated talk. If you are teaching a class on Anatomy, it would be imperative to have numerous illustrations regarding the various parts of the body and how they interact to create the various systems.

If your lesson is based on English Composition, then your illustrations would be limited to diagrams on sentence structure. Regardless of your topic, your illustrations should give your students visual representations in order to clarify and broaden student comprehension.

Do you think this student got much out of the lecture?

Do you think this student got much out of the lecture?

The Types of Students are a Factor

As discussed in previous modules, a diverse group of students can be a challenge even in an illustrated talk. If you have students that are more audio; you can combine your illustrative talk with recorded music or additional handouts that students will be able to take home for further review.

Also, take into consideration that some adult learners have been to work prior to coming to your class. You want your lecture to be both stimulating and informative.

Planning Your Presentation

The following points are provided to help an instructor plan his/her presentation:

  • Purpose—Write a statement of purpose covering the skill that you want students to develop through the presentation.
  • Key points—Make a note of the key points you want to cover. Place them in a logical sequence so that your students will have sufficient background to understand each new point as you present it.
  • Introduction—The purpose of your presentation should be made clear in an introduction. Tell students what they will learn and how it will affect them.
  • Summary—Presenting a good summary is an important part of your lesson. If you are giving a long and difficult lesson, you may need to recap points.
  • Evaluation—To evaluate your presentation, you need to determine whether, as a result of your illustrated talk, students were able to meet the lesson objective.
Summing it up!

Summing it up!

In Summation

The important points you should remember when presenting information orally are as follows:

  • Speak clearly and loudly enough so that every student can hear you.
  • Don’t speak too rapidly or too slowly—avoid unnecessary pauses.
  • Don’t read from notes. Look at your students as you talk. Watch their expressions and movements to determine whether you are being listened to and understood.
  • Be enthusiastic. Don’t use a monotonous tone.
  • Use gestures for emphasis, but avoid annoying or distracting mannerism.
  • Be conversational and natural.

    Many instructors find it helpful to refer to notes when they present information to students orally. Even a brief outline can help keep you on track. After you have had some practice in giving a presentation, you will be better able to judge how extensive your presentation should be. In any event, your presentation should be thorough enough to ensure that you do not need to concentrate on your notes during the presentation.

Scenario: The Eager New Teacher

Deborah is a new teacher at The Academy of Learning. She starts each class with an amusing little story then begins her lecture. She teaches an Advance Mathematics subject and starts by explaining the topics for discussion. Deborah uses the blackboard to illustrate the formulas and details each step in reaching a satisfactory solution. Before moving to the next topic, she assures that each student understand what has been taught and leaves time for questioning.

Is Deborah an effective teacher? Why or why not?

Let's Be Honest ...

© 2013 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS


Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on March 20, 2014:

It is extremely important that your lectures be laced with illustrations and meaningful examples. Unless you are giving a sermon in a pulpit and you are truly a dynamic speaker; you will lose your audience after about 10 minutes.

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