Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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Very often we give presentations at our workplace, but how often do we actually Lead the Discussion? In this article, we will be discussing on one of the very important presentation skill on How to Lead the Discussion during a Presentation. In this article I will be sharing my experience which I learnt over many years.







10 Steps to Lead the Discussion during a Presentation

By following these Ten Steps you can gradually master this art which would help you to lead the discussion during a presentation.

  • Ensure we analyze the student group.
  • Building enthusiasm.
  • Building, boosting, blocking and bantering.
  • Brain storming when required.
  • Socratic Direction.
  • How to maintain class Control.
  • Factors governing your teaching tempo.
  • Methods for dealing with student questions and statements.
  • How to enhance your questioning Skills.
  • Providing Lubricators during discussion.

In the following section we will discuss each one of them in detail.

I. Lead the Discussion - Analyze the student Analyzing the student group

Get to know to know your audience. It is essential you spend at least 15 to 20 minutes to understand the profile, expectation and objective of the participants before you start the session.

  • Always begin with an Ice Breaker.
  • Get students talking as soon as possible.
  • Watch non verbal behavior.
  • Encourage the quite ones to contribute.
  • Don’t allow eager beaver to dominate.
  • Find out each students level, position and background as soon as possible.
  • Have a participants list and learn to address the students by names immediately as you start the session.

II.Lead the Discussion - Enthusiasm, You got to believe in yourself Enthusiasm – You got to believe in yourself!

It is very essential you believe in yourself if you are to Lead the Discussion, following are few tips help you to get started.

  • If you are not enthusiastic about your subject, how can you expect the students to be!!
  • Consciously use your eyes and eyebrows to communicate enthusiasm.
  • Always keep a sparkle in your voice.
  • Fight boredom of repetitive sessions by introducing new anecdotes, examples etc or by changing lesson structure.

III. 4 B’s to Lead the Discussion 4 B’s to Lead the Discussion

  • Building: Build on incomplete answers by adding your own comments and asking for agreement or disagreement.
  • Boosting: Support timid participants contributions, boost their confidence and ask for extra comments.
  • Blocking: Interrupt dominant/talkative/aggressive participants by asking what others think.
  • Bantering: Establish non threatening atmosphere by engaging in friendly repartee with outgoing participants.

IV. Lead the Discussion by using Brainstorming Technique Lead the Discussion by using Brainstorming Technique

Brain storing is a powerful tool for obtaining ideas from a group which can help you to lead the discussion, it can be used at any point during the discussion, but we need to keep a watch on the time.

Here’s how

  • Ask: Ask for/provoke ideas. If necessary wait for 45 seconds before giving own
  • Record: Write all ideas on a flip chart (number them for future reference). Don’t evaluate till end.
  • Trigger: Use 4 B’s in the discussions leading technique to encourage participants to trigger ideas.
  • Summarize: Summarize and/or regroup ideas. Help the group to choose best.

V. Lead the Discussion - Socratic Direction way Lead the Discussion by using the Socratic Direction way

The Socratic Method is a way of teaching on how to use questions to help students to develop, clarify, and evaluate their own thinking. The primary goals of Socratic questioning are to help students

  • Clarify their concepts, beliefs and values.
  • Discover the structure of their thoughts.
  • Identify unrecognized assumptions, implications, and consequences of their own thought.
  • Identify unrecognized inconsistencies in their beliefs and values
  • Arrive at more coherent, more carefully considered beliefs and values

If you wish to encourage audience participants to prove a point use Socratic direction, you need to ensure the following:

  • Know the answers you want.
  • Pen questioning technique.
  • Paraphrase participants’ answers.
  • Summarize contributions.
  • Add your own points.

VI. Lead the Discussion - Class Control Lead the Discussion – Class Control

You may be teaching a new or a tough subject, it is very important you have a complete control on the class if you are to lead the discussion, here are few important points.

  • Regulations: Interrupt long winded talkers with questions. Bring red herring posers back to the subject. Use directive techniques where necessary.
  • Focusing: Keep the current topic in front of the class. Use audio visual equipment to refocus the attention.
  • Guiding: Ask reflective questions. Use Socratic direction. Give examples of what you want to get across.
  • Interpreting: Interpret or paraphrase badly thought out contributions. Rephrase remarks which arouse class antagonism. Refocus when questions lead away from subject.
  • Summarizing: Give overview and recap points covered at every logical and/or convenient point.

VII. Lead the Discussion - Factor influencing Teaching Tempo Lead the Discussion – Factor influencing Teaching Tempo

Two factors will govern the tempo of your material coverage and discussion period.

1. The students level of knowledge and general intelligence.

  • Low = Slow
  • High= Fast

2. Your own teaching style

  • Snappy/Authoritarian/Directive  – Fast
  • Relaxed, Informal, Facilitative  –  Slow

3. How to Change the tempo

  • SLOWER – use more Cases, examples, anecdotes. Speak slower, Ask Open Questions
  • FASTER – Speak faster. Use more directive tone, cut down  discussions. Ask closed questions.

VIII. Lead the Discussion - Method For Dealing with Student Questions or Statements Method For Dealing with Student Questions or Statements

STRAIGHT FORWARD:

There can be situations where you get straight forward question.  Best is to    Answer the Question and move forward.

OVERHEAD:

There are situations when the questions are not straight forward, they can be a related over head questions.  So handle them like this,

Good Question.  What are some of the other questions we should also ask about?

RELAY:

When you get a question which has related problems or similar meaning, throw it back to other audience.

Thanks for the question. Have some of you others met with same problem?

RICOCHET:

Means rebound, bounce or skip off a surface. Talk to the student who asked the question but deviate to discuss related issue.

Good Point John; you had something to say on this point earlier.

REVERSE:

When the question is really a statement, hand the answer back to the poser.

STATEMENT:

There are situations where the students will drag you to irrelevant discussion, then it is important to highlight this point and bring them back

What point we are discussing now? (i.e. we are wandering).

STATEMENT:

During the discussion audience can ask questions which is expected to be discussed in later chapters.

I think we should come back to this point later.

IX. Lead the Discussion - Questioning Skills Questioning Skills

If you are to Lead the Discussion, your questioning skills need to be very sharp. Here a few tips that would help you to improve your questioning skills. During the presentation you will come across two types of questions

1.    CLOSED QUESTIONS: Question which are clear and have only one answer.

  • Who can tell me on which date?
  • Which/what specifically?

2.    OPEN QUESTIONS: Questions which can have more than one or related answers.

  • About   – How do you feel about …?
  • Reflective – You do not feel comfortable with ….. ?
  • Hypothetical – What do you think would happen if …. ?
  • Framing – Help me to see how this fits with?
  • Silence ……………………………………..?
  • Statement – Tony, you look as if you wanted to say some thing.

3.    Always  AVOID:

  • Multiple string questions
  • Leading – Don’t you think it would be better to …?

X. Lead the Discussion - Lubricators Lubricators

There are 2 Types of lubricators you can use in the class, one is verbal and the other is Non verbal,

1.    Verbal

  • I see
  • Ah , Ah
  • That is interesting!
  • Really?
  • GO on!
  • Tell me more about that

2.    Non Verbal

  • Nodding
  • Constant eye Contact
  • Leaning forward
  • Stepping aside
  • Raising eyebrows
  • Frowning ( encourages clarification)

Following these 10 points, would take you a step closer to Lead the Discussion during your presentation. Do you have any specific method that you follow to lead the discussion? Please share them in the comments section below.

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