English for Oral Communication -Problems Faced Oral Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

ENGLISH FOR ORAL COMMUNICATION -Problems faced oral presentation ways overcome problems Sales Marketing staffs.

Problems faced in oral presentation and how to overcome them

Many a time sales and marketing staff members are required to give oral presentations to existing and potential clients. These presentations may range from short to long while others include visual aids and are in slide format, they can also be done individually or by a group of sales team members. In the normal course of studies, students have the chance to deliver tutorials, assignments and other presentations. However, one important thing is that practice leads them to have to become more experienced and give killer presentation. However, before they gain this experience, there are several problems that are faced by sales and marketing professionals when giving presentations to a live audience and using spoken language which need to be overcome for them to be able to give great presentations.

In a survey conducted by the Sunday Times in London which sought to find people's greatest fear, it was found that 41% of the 3,000 sample stated that they most feared public speaking. The reason for this was found to be that the speakers lack the essential skills and confidence level to make an effective presentation. Despite them being able to know how ineffective many of the speakers are, many of them have found out that despite them having the best intentions in their presentations, they have not really fared well.

Unfortunately, the result of this survey is backed by the happenings in reality. Even the most experienced of speakers may give presentations that are felt to be boring by the audience. This may be in spite of the speaker knowing the topic well and having their ideas and the points written down. The problem is in the way the speech is delivered.

Problems faced in oral presentations

Lack of rehearsal

When giving a sales and marketing presentation, one of the common problem is that the presenter may not have rehearsed their presentation. Though the person is usually well acquainted with the subject matter of the presentation, they usually fail to rehearse their presentation which leads them to give ineffective presentation. One of the reasons why they should rehearse their presentation is to check that the writing on the visual aids or slides is legible by all members of the audience even from the back of the room. Second is that they need to rehearse their presentation in order to ensure that there is a smooth transition between the topics in the presentation and the presentation slides.

Rehearsing also enables the presenter to ensure that the sequence of points in their presentation is logical and there is coherence of the presentation. This will ensure that the audience is able to understand the presentation and all points in the presentation. The presenter may also decide to rehearse the presentation with a friend which will help him or her to get invaluable feedback on the presentation itself which when incorporated into the final presentation will help it become an effective one. The best thing about rehearsing the presentation in from of a friend or two is that it helps the presenter to discover their mistakes and deficiencies before the actual presentation so they have ample time to correct these thus enabling them to give an effective presentation. By rehearsing the presentation, the presenter can also be able to familiarize with the audio-visual aids that they are planning to use in the presentation which will increase their confidence level greatly. Other advantages of rehearsing the presentation is that the presenter will be able to get the timing of the presentation correct and they will be able to reduce their nervousness greatly.

A study conducted in the year 2010 on the reliability of peer assessment of presentation skills of engineering students found that by giving presentations in front of their peers, the students were able to increase their overall confidence level before giving the presentation to their teachers. Overall, the students were also found to give better presentations than when they did not practice in front of their peers (Magin & Helmore 295). Therefore the importance of rehearsing the presentation before giving the actual presentation needs to be emphasized in the sales and marketing staff in order to improve their performance and confidence level ahead of the real sales and marketing presentation.

Timing

Timing is a huge problem that is faced by presenters of sales and marketing presentations. Many presenters try to explain each point in the presentation as detailed as possible to the audience in order to improve their understanding. However, this is one of the major problems that lead to a presentation being branded as boring because it ends up being too long for the attention span of the audience. Timing is important to ensure that a situation where there are too many slides in the presentation and a limited amount of time is avoided. Many presenters often have voluminous sets of slides which are created in an attempt to add as much detail as they can to the slide while in the real sense they should focus on the major points that they plan to give in the presentation.

This problem is often overcome by the presenter rehearsing their presentation prior to giving the presentation. The presenter often rehearses in front of a friend or two in order to get their feedback which will be crucial to the final presentation itself. Secondly, it can be overcome by the presenter ensuring that their timing for the presentation is very short. Most of the times, the presentation timing should be one minute for each slide in the presentation. Moreover, the presenter should strive to have the minimum number of slides possible while at the same time not compromising the quality of their presentation.

Lack of fluency

Another huge problem that is faced when giving an oral sales and marketing presentation is that the presenter does not practice their fluency and oral skills and thus ends up giving presentations using their own broken English and in an interrupted form which becomes boring for the audience. This happens even in the case whereby the presenter has mastered their visual aids and slides properly and has an in-depth understanding of the subject matter of the presentation. The problem is usually that the presenter focuses more on making the visual aids and slides effective and does not focus on their own oral skills. These oral skills include their fluency and grammatical accuracy. This makes the overall presentation to be ineffective.

This problem can be overcome by fluency practice by the presenter. The presenter should frequently give short presentations in order to learn how to speak in the appropriate tone and so that they are able to be as effective as possible. Secondly, rehearsing the presentation in front of a friend or two will often help the presenter to become fluent and speak with accuracy. The feedback they receive from these rehearsals will be important in setting the success and effectiveness of the final presentation.

Lack of planning

Improper planning of the presentation is another huge problem that is faced by the presenters. Improper planning comes in multiple dimensions. First is the lack of analyzing the audience. Secondly is not determining the primary purpose of the presentation and lastly is lack of supportive information in the presentation. This can be easily overcome by understanding what it takes to plan a presentation.

In planning for an effective sales and marketing presentation, first, it is important to know the audience. The presenter, before preparing the presentation, should know who the audience is and whether the audience knows the subject. The presenter should go a little bit deeper and analyze the audience knowledge on the subject in terms of the terminology that they would know and that which they would want to know. The presenter also needs to know the motivating factor for the audience to listen to this particular presentation. It is only by being knowledgeable on why the audience would listen to the presenter that the presenter would be able to capture the attention of the audience by making sure they design the presentation around this motivating factor.

The second thing in planning the presentation is to determine the primary purpose of the presentation. Here, the presenter needs to know why they are giving this presentation and the time allocated for the presentation. If the sales and marketing presentation is being given to inform the audience, it should contain as much information as the audience can absorb at once. The same applies if the presentation's purpose is to convince, guide or entertain the audience.

The last item in planning for a presentation is to select supporting information. Any presentation that lacks in terms of supporting information is deemed to be ineffective because the audience will not be able to accept the presentation as credible. The credibility of the sales and marketing presentation lies in the…

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