‘Talk nerdy to me’: Delivering a winning IOP

The challenge of standing before your classmates and not just getting, but holding their attention,  is not a small one; in fact, that part of your audience is even more of a challenge than–yes–the attention of your teacher.  It’s true that she or he is going to write down three marks, that this is your IB assessment, that it represents 15% of your overall grade.  But, let’s look at it in larger terms.

Here is a chance to try out your inventive ideas, your speaking skills, your ability to engage and hold an audience.  It has longer, larger goals–to create and deliver something that will make your audience listen, enjoy, learn from and remember. And those things can happen;  they can give you a firm anchor of success that can ground you for the likely presentations that are to come in your life.

Now, getting back to the IOP and your success with that, particularly the second of the 3 criteria your teacher will use to mark it. It’s called ‘Presentation.’  Its focus is ‘purposeful strategies used to interest the audience.’ Along with well-informed knowledge of your text or texts, and language that is clear and effective for the situation (each worth 10 marks), your presentation skills can earn you 10 more marks.

So if everyone is yawning, trying to use their devices, or twitching in their seats, how do you think you’re going to do with ‘Presentation.’  Right.  Not well.  Even your teacher may be trying to suppress a yawn.

What’s to be done?  I have two suggestions of some things you can either listen to or read that might help.

The first is a TED talk delivered by Melissa Marshall called ‘Talk nerdy to me.” It’s very brief and it’s directed to helping scientists communicate their ideas effectively.  However, she makes 4 good points that could help you to construct your presentation about literature; you just have to make a few adjustments.  Take a look and see if there are some things you can use.  I found 3 of them quite useful, and would recommend them to my students.

A second good resource is a written one you can skim and also get some good ideas; here again there are several points worth reading, depending on who you are as an individual.

https://hbr.org/2013/06/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation

At least give them both a look and see if there is something that will help you with your IOP and other presentations, to get to ‘purposeful strategies’ that will ‘interest your audience.’

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