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Learning Check

 

Techniques Public speaking > Preparing the Presentation > Learning Check

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

At the end of the presentation, check whether the audience has learned or remembered what you have presented to them.

A simple way of doing this is to call out questions. Give them a little thinking space and then hint or tell them the answers.

You can also use written tests. These can be serious or fun depending on the formality of the situation. An easy way to do this is with multiple-choice questionnaires. These can be marked by the subject, a neighbor or be collected in to be marked (this gives you the best data).

Example

Right, now let's see what you remember. So which wire do you cut first? Yes, that's right, it's the red one. And what do you do if it starts ticking faster? No, leave the blue wire -- just run away quickly!

Discussion

Surprisingly few presentations do any checks at all on what the audience has learned. This often due to cultural norms, although there are also many in which you can do this to some extent. In particular situations where the goal is learning, such as in training classes it can actually be rather important.

There are two types of learning check you can use. First is recall of simple facts. The other is of skills that have been learned. Presentations seldom teach skills, but when they do, checking the learning may best be done by actual practice, such as a presentation on negotiation that asks people to make a trade with the person next to them.

Another reason learning checks are not used is to avoid embarrassment both to the audience and also to the speaker, who may well not like the idea of few people actually understanding or remembering what they said. In practice nobody remembers all the words and the best you can hope for is that they can recall key points. This can be helped with careful cuing, repeating these both in the body of the presentation and also in the final check.

See also

Teaching

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