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1 .Ah ... come in, Russ.
1 .Thank you.
1 .Now you wanted to consult me about your class presentation on nanotechnology -you're due to give it in next week, aren't you?
1 .That's right. And I'm really struggling.
2 .I chose the topic because I didn't know much about it and wanted to learn more,
3 .but now I've read so much about it, in a way there's too much to say-
4 .I could talk for much longer than the twenty minutes I've been allocated.
5 .Should I assume the other students don’t know much, and give them a kind of general introduction,
6 .or should I try and make them share my fascination with a particular aspect?
1 .You could do either,
2 .but you'll need to have it clear in your own mind.
1 .Then I think I'll give an overview.
2 .Now, one way of approaching this is to work through developments in chronological order.
1 .On the other hand, you could talk about the numerous ways that nanotechnology is being applied.
1 .You mean things like thin films on camera displays to make them water-repellent,
2 .and additives to make motorcycle helmets stronger and lighter.
2 .Or another way would be to focus on its impact in one particular area,
3 .say medicine, or space exploration.
1 .That would make it easier to focus.
2 .Perhaps I should do that.
1 .I think that would be a good idea.
1 .Right, How important is it to include slides in the presentation?
1 .They aren't essential, by any means.
2 .And there's a danger of tailoring what you say to fit whatever slides you can find.
3 .While it can be good to include slides,
4 .you could end up spending too Iong looking for suitable ones.
5 .You might find it better to leave them out.
1 .I see.
2 .Another thing I was wondering about was how to start.
3 .I know presentations often begin with 'First I'm going to talk about this, and then I'll talk about that’,
4 .but I thought about asking the audience what they know about nanotechnology.
1 .That would be fine if you had an hour or two for the presentation,
2 .but you might find that you can't do anything with the answers you get,
3 .and it simply eats into the short time that's available.
1 .So, maybe I should mention a particular way that nanotechnology is used, to focus people's attention.
1 .That sounds sensible.
1 .What do you think I should do next?
2 .I really have to plan the presentation today and tomorrow.
1 .Well, initially I think you should ignore all the notes you've made,
2 .take a small piece of paper, and write a single short sentence that ties together the whole presentation:
3 .it can be something as simple as 'Nanotechnology is already improving our lives'.
4 .Then start planning the content around that.
5 .You can always modify that sentence later, if you need to.
1 .OK, now let's think about actually giving the presentation.
2 .You've only given one before, if I remember correctly, about an experiment you'd been involved in.
1 .That's right.
2 .It was pretty rubbish!
1 .Let's say it was better in some respects than in others.
2 .With regard to the structure,
3 .I felt that you ended rather abruptly, without rounding it off.
4 .Be careful not to do that in next week's presentation.
1 .And you made very little eye contact with the audience,
2 .because you were looking down at your notes most of the time.
3 .You need to be looking at the audience and only occasionally glancing at your notes.
1 .Your body language was a little odd.
2 .Every time you showed a slide, you turned your back on the audience so you could look at it
3 .- you should have been looking at your laptop.
4 .And you kept scratching your head,
5 .so I found myself wondering when you were next going to do that,
6 .instead of listening to what you were saying!
1 .Oh dear.
2 .What did you think of the language?
3 .I knew that not everyone was familiar with the subject,
4 .so I tried to make it as simple as I could.
1 .Yes, that came across.
2 .You used a few words that are specific to the field,
3 .but you always explained what they meant,
4 .so the audience wouldn't have had any difficulty understanding.
1 .I must say the handouts you prepared were well thought out.
2 .They were a good summary of your presentation,
3 .which people would be able to refer to later on.
4 .So well done on that.
1 .Thank you.
1 .Well, I hope that helps you with next week's presentation.
1 .Yes, it will. Thanks a lot.
1 .I'll look forward to seeing a big improvement, then.