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South African Reserve Bank
Monetary Policy Committee
Schools Challenge
 
 
     
 

Overall 

Eye contact: Using eye contact allows good speakers to engage with the audience. Team members should make eye contact meaningful and try to vary it so that they are not looking in an obvious pattern or staring at just one person. 
 
Speaking: Can everyone in the room hear every member in the room? Clear, concise speech is a hallmark of an effective, confident speaker. Team members should choose words that are easy for them to say and should practise their speech in a number of different-sized rooms. When members of the audience struggle to hear someone, they are more likely to become disinterested in what is being said.
 
Pausing: Deliberate silence is an effective tool to engage listeners. It can be used to stress a point or to add impact. Teams should avoid rushing their presentation and try not to fill silences with the word “um”. 
 
Gesturing: Gesturing allows a speaker to enforce an intended message. However, if gesturing does not come naturally to team members, do not force it.
 
Cue cards: Cue cards should be used as a reminder of the key points in the team’s presentation. Reading word for word from cue cards does not help an audience to engage with the speaker. If teams plan to use cue cards, they should put only their key points on them.
 
Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint: MS PowerPoint presentations are useful as an added tool to convey main points to the audience, and they can be an excellent prompt that replaces the need for cue cards. Should a team not have access to MS PowerPoint, overhead transparencies or flip charts may also be used. However, as with cue cards, team members should not read directly from their presentation. Presenters should position themself so that they are mainly talking to the audience and not to the presentation. Other handy tips include the following:
 
  • Be highly selective in what is chosen to be shown.
  • Visuals should complement the commentary.
  • Avoid too much text on the slides: only put up key points (the fewer words per slide, the better).
  • Do not add too many visual or sound effects: this can be distracting to the audience.
  • Make the text big enough for everyone in the room to see and give text good colour contrast from the background. This makes it easy for the audience to take in the points the team member is trying to make quickly.

 

Be familiar with the content of the presentation: Teams should make sure that they know and understand what they want to convey to the audience. The presentation should be practised, but not be learnt off by heart.

 
Most importantly . . . On the day teams must remember to try to relax and enjoy their presentation: the better they feel about their presentation, the better they will come across to the audience!
 
 
 
     
 
 
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