BBA Business Communication Study Material Presentation and Interview : BBA Business Communication Notes Study Material in English.
- Presentations and interviews are face – to – face communication events in which there is generally one individual facting a group.
- Some interviews may, however, be in the form of exchange of information between two individuals.
- In business it is common to make presentations. The word ‘presentation’ is being increasingly used in preference to ‘public speaking’.
- Every presentation has to be made to mark an occasion.
- The hallmarks of a presentation are – team work, and use of visual aids.
- A clear idea of the occasion, audience analysis, idea of location, careful planning and decision regarding the method of delivery are the necessary conditions for making a presentation.
- There are three types of presentation- (1) Reading a written out speech (2) Memorization of a written speech and (3) Extemporaneous presentation.
- Thoroughness in the subject/matter of the presentation and rehearsal are necessary to overcome nervousness.
- Visual aids must be carefully chosen and carefully used whenever needed to strengthen the message.
- An interview is basically a meeting for obtaining information by questioning a person. Like presentation interviews can also be classified according to their purposes.
- An interview has to be well – structured in the three stages of opening, middle, and closing. Each stage has its own set of question.
- The interviewer has to carefully command the situation and make the interviewee feel at ease.
- The interviewer must be well – prepared for the questions that are likely to be asked.
- Politeness is indispensable for both the parties.
In the preceding chapter we have dealt with various group decisions – making situations like committee meetings, conferences etc. In this chapter we propose to consider the communication situations in which an individual is pitted against a group. The two most common and important situations/communication events of this type are presentations and interviews. They are probably the most seriously considered oral verbal communication activities though quite a large amount of non – verbal and written elements contribute to their effectiveness. Nobody can speak or write like robot, i.e., without any gestures or, in business, without any other aids.
The importance of speaking cannot be overemphasized. Most of the time we communicate through speaking because it is so natural and spontaneous. But public speaking, or speaking before an audience, is an art that has to be learnt with great care and serious effort. That is why so much has been written about ‘the art of public speaking’, ‘powerful speaking’, ‘effective speaking’ and so on. Dale Carnegie, for instance, has become a household name all our the world for his best sellers on public speaking. Powerful speakers have always been revered and emulated. But during the first half of the twentieth century people all over the world, especially in Europe and America, owing to the two world wars and unforeseen political developments, realized the important of systematic courses/training in public speaking.
In industry and commerce the term ‘presentation’ has come to be used in preference to ‘public speaking’. The reason, perhaps, is that the purpose of a presentation is more precisely, more concretely defined. There may be many occasions for a presentation, such as
- Launching a new product or service.
- Starting a training course/session.
- Presenting a new business plan.
- Making a marketing/sales proposal.
- Making a contribution to conference/seminar.
- Diversification of a business.
Speaking before an audience on any of the occasions stated above, or on a similar occasion, is a serious matter. It requires careful preparation that cannot satisfactorily be done by one person alone. That is why presentation has been defined as “a formal or set – piece occasion with two usual hallmarks: the use of audiovisual aids, (and) team work,” (Adair)
Looked at in this way, a presentation stands out as a speech made with the help of at least one teammate on the basis of sufficient material/information gathered and processed for a significant business occasion and delivered with the help of audio – visual aids in order to make a positive impact on the audience. In order to make a successful presentation one has to take the following steps:
- Be clear about the occasion
It means that the person proposing to make a presentation must know his proper sphere and the purpose he wants to fulfill through his presentation. Is it going to be a presentation for a seminar or a conference, or the occasion of launching an exciting new product? Is there sufficient time for the presentation and discussion thereafter? It is also very important to know what has been happening till the time the presentation is going to take place. Without this information the speaker will not be able to understand the context. If, for example, the presentation is going to be made on an inaugural occasion, it is definitely the exciting time to put your best foot forward. On the other hand, if the organization has been facing some financial problems and the audience has to be apprised of the situation, the presentation has to focus on ‘vital statistics’, inferences drawn there from, and positive suggestions.
- Make audience analysis
Before making a presentation it is of utmost importance to understand for whom it is meant. An audience is not just a gathering of individuals at one place. It has a collective personality of its own. In the previous chapter quite some space has been given to the various aspects of ‘group personality’. The same factors have to be taken into account here. Besides, we must also see the size of the audience that is likely to influence how formal or informal the presentation in going to be. The age, sex, educational background, experience, nationality/nationalities of the audience have great relevance to the presentation. Anyone can imagine how important it is to know whether one is going to make a presentation before on all – male, all female, or a mixed audience. It will influence our choice of words, tone, need for details and illustrations and so on. It will also give us an idea of their expectations and their likely reactions to what we are going to say. If we know any of them personally it will make the presentation more effective. That is why it is quite advisable to try to meet the audience before the presentation.
This is not enough. Audience analysis should continue during the presentation. The reaction of the audience is writ large on their faces as we speak and illustrate. Their body language immediately gives us the much needed feedback. For this purpose we have to keep our own eyes and ears open. Their smiles, stares – whether blank or excited, silence or whispers or lip movements give us ample idea of their reactions, and guide us through our speech.
- Visit/have an idea of the location
If possible the location of the presentation should be visited before the event. There is no wisdom in taking the location for granted. Much depends on the size of the room, seating arrangements, room temperature, lighting control, public address equipment, audio – visual equipment, acoustics etc. if, for example, the room echoes or resounds with the word we speak much of the presentation will be spoilt. If the audience is huddled in a cramped space and feel uncomfortable in a hot Indian summer afternoon the whole event will be a waste of time. If the audience is large and the public address arrangements are not satisfactory – as is often the case – both the audience and the person making the presentation become irritated/bored.
- Plan out the presentation
The next, and perhaps the most important, step towards making a presentation is to plan it out in writing in detail or at least in outline showing exactly what you propose to say in the beginning, the middle, and the end. A rough plan for any presentation may he made as follows:-
- Introductory remarks
- Statement of the objective, giving reasons why you are making this presentation.
- Draw the outlines of the presentation.
- Break the main body of the presentation into short, clearly stated units/sections. Not more than five or six sections can be managed.
- Illustrate the points with examples.
- put a time limit on each of the points.
- prioritize the time limit. certain points may need more time than others.
- give a summary of the whole.
- if need be, refer to the points made in the beginning or in the middle for the sake of emphasis.
- make final remarks and end on a positive note.
At this stage it is advisable to consult the sponsors of the event, and be in constant touch with the co – presenter. after all it is going to be a team work, and several minds are better than one.
- Decide Upon The Method of Presentation
Having planned out the presentation you have to decide upon the method of presentation. In practice. Three methods of presentation have been observed.