Making Oral Presentation Effective in English in Academic Context

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Introduction

Oral presentation in academic context defines as “delivering an address to a public audience[1]” hence “involves explaining something to an audience which a person, in example professors or lecturers with expertise on a subject might explain that subject to the targeted or particular group or students. The group members can follow along and learn new skills or information as they watch the presentation[2]”. Overall, language is one of the main key points to begin with. Nowadays, English language is globally spoken in an academic institution or universities around the world. Evidently, English language is treated as common language when communicating with people from another country or different races. It is imperative to equip our self with the known language so that we can communicate verbally to learn from each other better and confidently. Therefore, speech training in English is essential in terms of pronunciation with vast of vocabulary and with correct grammar as well.

Speaking in a formal academic context

As we know oral communication is our daily routine and our lifeline when it comes to family, work and studying. In an academic environment, there is a lot of oral communications take place during lectures or seminars or in study groups. It can be two persons or more converses in a particular discussion in order exchanging information, giving ideas or convey messages to each other face to face. The nature of discussion might as well be influenced directly and rapidly to each person and continuously changing in the process. These situations clearly categorizes in what we called transactional model of communication. As shown next page, here is a simple picture of how a transactional model of communication in process:-

[pic]

Figure 1 (from taken from http://communication-skill.blogspot.com/2007/10/transactional-model.html (21/10/2010)

We can see that transactional model in process shows that communication is relational and it is a two-way exchange which receiving and sending simultaneously.

As being able to speak in front of a group of people is not an easy task to tackle. For some, it can be rather daunting. Nervousness and anxiety before speaking publicly are attacking speakers most of the time even more pressuring to deliver a speech. The best way to overcome these attacks, one would try to relax and try to visualise or think other things than worrying so much about the speech that one is about to deliver. The important point to remember is just be ‘you’ and do not copy others or tries to be somebody else. Nobody is born to be a successful public speaker but one would gain more experience from each of the given situation to be better and bolder than before. The importance of public speaking is widely affected to academic and professional context. One can be successfully excel in academic or professional life for being a good presenter or orator. Formally, one needs more detailed planning and structured speech to deliver. Without preparation, one could be speaking out of nothing and meaningless speech to the public.

For speaking in a formal academic and professional context, one would need to know the use of English language appropriately at the right time and at the right place but often; spoken language is less complicated or complex and objective than written language. Speak the standard language so that everyone can understand. However, in a presentation, you should avoid colloquial or informal words and expressions such as "stuff", "a lot of", "thing", "sort of", and two word verbs as examples, "put off", "bring up". It shows how bad the way one could present in front of the group members and might misconstrue some parts of the sentences thus unsatisfying for not looking prepare to make a presentation or speech. One could acquire to learn how to speak well or converse in mannerly which clearly needs to be developing over time through practises. No matter how...
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