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In response to the increased attention to oral presentation at MIT, the Writing and Communication Center is offering two new services to help community members: individual consultations to help plan and prepare presentations, and sessions for practicing the presentation itself.
The center's professional staff of writing consultants will offer advice about any aspect of oral presentations, including finding an appropriate topic, choosing organizational strategies, drafting and revising, developing and supporting ideas, understanding the audience, selecting the best form of delivery (e.g., memorizing the speech, reading it, using outlines or note cards), developing overheads or other visuals and handling stage fright. Community members who would like help preparing a presentation may call the Writing and Communication Center at x3-3090 to make an appointment.
WEEKLY PRACTICE SESSIONS
Once an oral presentation is ready for a trial run, community members can attend a practice session to polish their delivery. On Wednesdays during the academic year, the center's director, Dr. Steven Strang, will be available from 3-4:30pm to listen to presentations and give advice. In addition to issues such as organization, word choice and logic, Dr. Strang will focus also on voice projection, pronunciation, use of visuals, gestures, stage presence, movement and stage fright. No appointment is necessary; community members (undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and spouses) who want help should stop by Rm 14N-325 at 3pm on a Wednesday. The room is equipped with a screen and overhead projector.
Both these services are offered free of charge by the Writing and Communication Center (Rm 14N-317, x3-3090), open Monday-Thursday -- 9am-9pm; Friday -- 9am-6pm and Sunday -- 5-9pm. The center closes for lunch from noon-1pm, Monday-Friday.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 27, 2000.