- “The other big difference between a real essay and the things they make you write in school is that a real essay doesn’t take a position and then defend it.”
- “Good writing should be convincing, certainly, but it should be convincing because you got the right answers, not because you did a good job of arguing.
- “An essay is something you write to try to figure something out.”
- An essay doesn’t begin with a statement, but with a question. In a real essay, you don’t take a position and defend it. You notice a door that’s ajar, and you open it and walk in to see what’s inside.
- “In the things you write in school you are, in theory, merely explaining yourself to the reader. In a real essay you’re writing for yourself. You’re thinking out loud.”
-Via The Age of Essay
A lot of the lessons and strategies provided on Presentation Zen, including the article I found about the Cosmos television show, discuss much of the information I’ve gathered from a previous course: Speech Communications. (Last semester actually!) Our Food Across Borders project will be a bit difficult to present without the aid of taste tests! However, with a little bit of tweaking and some research to back it up, all should go smoothly.
Respecting your audience is a given, probably number one in all of the speech giving handbooks of the world.
To keep your audience’s genuine interest, you first must gain their respect. The Cosmos article requires scientific explanation, which can sometimes be a bit confusing–presenters sometimes feel the need to dumb things down, which can offend an audience. In the case of our presentation, there is no need to dumb anything down, but we do need to make sure we are being culturally sensitive, as any one of our audience members may be from the regions we seek to address in our presentation.
Take them on a Journey sounds very interesting and applicable to our project, since we span it all over the globe.
From Asia to Europe to Mexico, the scope is quite large. Our project requires that we take our audience on a journey.
Know When to Leave Out What, which is simply narrowing down the argument into something digestible to the audience in the allotted timeframe. Our group can discuss how we can cut back on some of our findings that aren’t necessary to the presentation, like how much money it cost to visit our restaurants (an unrelated tangent), or a descriptive background on the Celebrating Cultures event we attended to collect our research. Another example is our interview videos can clearly summarize some points we wish to make in our presentation instead of having to state that information ourselves–the interviews will make our points that much more credible and the presentation that much more interesting.
Unrelated to the article I read was another article about a 17 year old boy with Progeria. He opened his presentation in the form of a speech. It’s a basic idea, and possibly one we can apply easily to our presentation. We can tell the story of how we formed our idea, and how we gained our presentation research.