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Conclusions

Although the techniques of giving oral presentations are different from those of writing, the basic principles for preparing them are the same: careful analysis of the problem or problems to be discussed, the purpose of the presentation, the intended audience, and, finally, the speaker's position—his or her stance on the importance of the problem and how it might be solved. Thus, the same steps discussed and outlined earlier in this book on solving technical and rhetorical problems in writing apply to speaking. The only difference—and it is significant—is that oral presentations elicit immediate, even palpable, responses in those who hear them. Speakers know very quickly the impact they've made, whereas writers must wait much longer. A speaking situation, for this reason and for others we've spoken about in this chapter, is often more intimidating—maybe just scarier—for most people than a writing situation. That's an understandable reaction. Our advice is simple, though it may not be simple to follow. Consider the steps for giving oral presentations that we have discussed in this chapter, and don't take the sleepers personally.


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