Friday, September 9, 2011

Giving a presentation on WYD

So you are back from your WYD pilgrimage and you are wondering how to share this experience with others.  Well most likely you have been asked or have volunteered to give a presentation after Mass in the next few weeks.  Whilst some of you might not be a great public speaker, people want to hear about your experience so here are a few tips for your presentation:

1. Who you were before WYD pilgrimage: you may only get five minutes to give your presentation so everything has to be really tight.  Instead of a long introduction about who you are and what you do, use your introduction to share what you were like before you went to WYD.  For example "before WYD I was a uni student who knew I was Catholic but never understood why I was Catholic, hello my name is ..... and I want to share some my WYD experience with you today".

2. List of some of the places you visited: some people want give an in depth analysis of every place they visited but this is very boring for the audience.  You can give a simple list of the places that you visited to give the audience a quick overview or context for the pilgrimage.  This will really help set up the next part of your presentation if you use a bridging phrase such as "and now I wish to share a highlight from one of these towns"

3. Share one touching story: Again you don't have time to tell everything about you pilgrimage so give one (only one) really good account of why the pilgrimage was so valuable.  
  • Tell a story about one location that you visited that "changed your life".  
  • Or tell a story about one event that really touched you and why. 
  • Or tell one story that highlights the sense of community on pilgrimage
  • Or tell one story that explains the spiritual enlightenment you experienced on pilgrimage.
4. How have you changed because of the Pilgrimage: people want to know the effect of the WYD pilgrimage, so share how you have changed your perspective of life, spirituality, church or vocation because of the pilgrimage.  This could come out of the previous section of your talk.  Every talk should finish strongly and the most powerful finish is to share how you have changed.  

Whilst four sections doesn't sound like a lot if you only have five minutes then this is enough.  Here are a few things to remember in your presentation:

  • Don't say you are not a good public speaker - people will know you are not a expert public speaker but they want to hear from a confident person.  Don't loose the audience by beginning with a comment about how you are nervous or you don't normally speak in public.
  • Begin with confidence - you have the power of the Holy Spirit with you; so begin with the confidence that you have a great story to share.
  • Look at the entire audience - don't just look at the piece of paper in front of you.  Engage the audience by looking at them.  Look from left to right, from the front row to the back row.
  • Watch the clock; keep to the time - it is the role of the speaker to stick to the allotted time, not for someone in the audience to ask you to wrap it up.  If you have been given five minutes then stick to the five minutes.
  • Finish well and people will remember what you said.
  • Use the screens wisely - the best way to use the screens in the church is to show only one or two photos while you talk; a revolving slide show or video will distract the audience from what you are saying.  The best tip is to put the slideshow on before mass or before you speak rather than during your talk.

1 comment:

  1. Since October 2011 Mark McDonald (who authored this blog) has moved to check out some new blog posts there.

    Mark McDonald