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Sue Beatt

People Solutions (Scotland) Ltd


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Presentation Skills – delivery exercises


Hi all

I running a Presentation SKills/Public Speaking course split into 4 x 4 hour sessions.  I've already delivered 2 of the session on Structure & Content and Using Visual Aids. The third session is about delivery techniques and overcoming nerves. Day 4 will be actually doing a video'd presentation

I know what I want to cover, but I think my brain is in Friday mode and I'm trying to think of exercises. I want to give them the opportunity to practise, but also to make it fairly light-hearted.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance


7 Responses

  1. Newsreaders

    Hi Sue

    Not really an "overcoming nerves" exercise but might be useful?

    • Give each person (or in two’s) a newspaper story…
    • They also need 4 highlight pens…
    • They then use 1 colour for "drmatic" words…another colour for "solemn" words…another colour for pauses and another colour for words or phrases that could be repeated…
    • Then they read it out to the class so with everyone doing it, its like watching  the news.
    • This exercise gives a very clear picture of how to add interest to what they are saying…

    If no good for this course it works well in a TTT!

    Good luck





  2. Thanks

    Thanks Steve.  That will be a great exercise when discussing tone of voice, emphasis etc.


  3. Diagram

    Hi Sue

    Lots of BIG news around at the moment so should be easy for them to present some current news.

    before you do this you could get them 1 by 1 to come up to a flipcghart and draw what a good presenters voice should look like.

    You usually end up with something like the picture below…

    1) Rolling hills…lullabye…rockabybaby…and what do lulabyes do? Zzzzzzzz

    2) Lots of highs and lows…scarey!

    3) Erratic…good but no pauses…

    4) Slow build up to climax of story but no pause and quite a long build up…

    etc etc etc Done it lots of times and always goes down well…

    Good luck




  4. Satir Categories

    Hi Sue

    A fun alternative is to use Satir categories to illustrate the links between ‘words, music and dance’ and the different messages that can be conveyed if your body is in conflict with your words or if your tone is at odds with your words etc.  Also the power of different postures and alignment of body, voice and words.

    There is lots on the web about the categories – original work done in the 70’s by Virginia Satir, the renown family therapist.  Facebook has some interesting videos demonstrating these as well.

    I generally demonstrate them myself (with humour), trying to model a bit of behavioral flexibility and then have cards ready (maybe 2 for each person) with category plus topic outlined and do a quick fire practice of 2 minutes on stage, rotate to next person etc.  Always leads to great reflections and discussion – and it’s lots of fun encouraging people to stretch their styles.

  5. Thanks

    Thanks for this Mark.

    I’ve just had a quick look on Google and this looks interesting. Not heard of it before so I’ll spend some more time to look at it in a bit more depth but it sounds like it might be a good exercise.


  6. what means a lot to them?

    I find that quite a lot comes up for discussion if you ask your participants to pre-prepare and present something that they are really passionate about (their football team, a hobby, their family, stamp collecting 1826-1940…etc) for just five minutes. Questions to follow up with are:

    – how did the rest of the group feel watching this?

    – how did they feel?

    – how does this feel when compared to business presentations?

    – what might they transfer?

    I’ve found it a simple, but effective exercise.

    — Karen, fe3 consulting

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Sue Beatt


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