Created on: November 17, 2009 Last Updated: November 18, 2009
Presentations have become a way of life in many public gatherings and educational events which makes the most use of this communication method. Medical Education is one subject area where more emphasis is being put to improve the communication skills of the doctor, either in the clinical setting or else in academic or other such forums.
Developing presentation skills is one aspect that has been looked upon as a possible avenue to produce a 'doctor who can communicate'. Thus, it's vital to know certain basic concepts in making a presentation and delivering it to the intended audience. This article will focus on such concepts that could be used when preparing a presentation not only to Medical Education but for any other situation as well.
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1. Identify the audience
The first step in preparing for a presentation would be to identify the intended audience. The important points to note would be, prior knowledge, requirements, language proficiency, numbers and variations, skill level...etc. For example, the presentation might be for medical students who are doing their 2nd year clinical training with prior knowledge in basic sciences. Thus, knowing the audience would make your presentation more focus and at the same time, useful.
2. Filter the content
Now comes the tricky area, the content. For any academic or a medical teacher, the most difficult task in preparing the presentation would be to filter out the main points that need to be highlighted in the presentation. Filling up the slides would not be the ideal situation for a presentation and thus meticulous attention must be paid in order to develop such presentation material.
3. Choose the media
Next, you need to select the media in which the presentation is to be done. This could depend on the available resources but in most instances a computer presentation or a slide show would be the preferred option.
4. Making the presentation
If a computer presentation was decided upon, the preparation of the slides need to gain attention from the audience and guide them throughout the presentation as to what's being explained. Thus, a slide show would be supplementary to the presenter and it should not overwhelm the audience.
In making the slide show, the presenter should choose colors which will emphasize the text in its background. The text must be of adequate size and sticking to the 6 x 6 or six words per line and six lines per slide rule will also help. Another important option available with computer based presentations would be the ability to make use of multimedia. Thus, appropriate use of multimedia would enhance the effectiveness of a presentation.
5. Preparing the setting
Before doing the presentation, it should be common practice to assess the availability of multimedia, sound systems, adequate lighting, ventilation, seating and other supports at the presentation setting. Thus, arranging the environment would be a vital step in making an effective presentation.
For any presentation, practice makes perfect. Thus, rehearse the presentation several times and be confident about what you're going to say. Do not read the slides but express your views clearly and maintain eye contact with the audience in doing your presentation.
Thus, adhering to these steps would make a presentation effective as well as professional and would make a young health professional a better communicator.
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