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31 Present This is what you’ve been working toward during the whole process, your chance to share your work with the world—or at least one small part of it. It’s crazy to put in endless hours on your product and then be lazy when you’re giving it to the world. Presenting should be a time for celebration, not fear. If you’ve pursued a successful process up to this point, you’re ready, and you shouldn’t have much to worry about. School presentations may seem artificial, but you need the practice for your career. No matter what field you end up in, the better you get at what you do, the more likely you are to do presentations about it. Purposes of Presenting Throughout this book, I have encouraged you to think in terms of entering a conversation about your subject. With your presentation, you make your entrance. Presenting forces you to think concretely about your audience, which may lead to some cuts and changes in the version you present. This is also your last chance to modify the way you want to come across. Some people take out that bit of sarcasm or that dig at a colleague before they present. The prospect of sharing can put the whole project in a new light, and we shouldn’t shy away from the insights that new light can bring. Present    261 Presenting Moves Prepare The first step in the process of presenting is, of course, to Analyze your audience and purpose (move 222). Besides the usual questions (➥1), analyze the specific situation: • Where and when will you be presenting? • What kinds of technology are available? • Are others involved? • What are they doing? • How much time do you have? (Going over your time limit is rude, but people often do it. So if you’re the last one to speak, you need to be prepared to sum up very quickly.) • Who are you in relation to your audience—subordinate, peer, or authority? • What preferences does your audience have for presentation medium? Think about strong and weak presentations you’ve seen. What do you prefer in a presentation? Do you know anyone who speaks well in public? Can you talk to them about how they prepare? Most of the moves in this book are thinking activities, useful no matter what product your thinking results in. But at some point you need to decide which medium, or combination of media, to use to present your material to the intended audience. Choose your medium (move 223). If you have a choice, don’t just settle for the medium you’re most familiar with. Seek out and study a poster presentation. Watch a PowerPoint slideshow. Pay attention to the layout and binding you see on good reports. But also consider your strengths and talents. Are you a good off-the-cuff speaker, comfortable and funny with a crowd? Or would you rather write or arrange things graphically? Write Writing is still the most permanent and portable form that complex, nuanced thought can take. Whatever other presentation medium you might use, you probably want to write out your thoughts first so that you can manipulate them and have a record of them and possibly turn the writing to other use in the future. The presentation of writing involves everything from final proofreading to handing it over to the intended audience. Generally the presentation should be professional, clear, easy to follow, not cluttered. No silly fonts or extensive corrections on your final copy. Things to do the last time through: • Slow down as you read. Try to look at individual words rather than read for the sense of the whole passage. 262    MOves • If you’ve used headings and subheadings, make sure parallel headings use the same grammatical structure and the same typography—font, size, bold or italic, etc. • Compare what you’ve done to any models you’ve found. • Check your paragraph indentations, your line spacing, whether or not you skip lines between paragraphs. Should you bind it? Anything not comfortably joined by a jumbo paper clip is a candidate for binding, though you may need to reformat so nothing gets lost in the binding process. Some schools require bound theses. It certainly can’t hurt to add a final touch of professionalism. Check with your audience. Talk At conferences, in classes, and in business meetings of all kinds, people give oral presentations of all lengths and complexities. All good presentations...


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