________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 3. . . .September 17, 2010


Attention Please! How to Make Speaking in Class Presentable, Enjoyable, and Memorable for All.

Kathy Gould Lundy.
Markham, ON: Pembroke, 2009.
32 pp., stapled flipbook, $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-55138-243-2.

Subject Headings:
Study skills. Public speaking.

Professional: Grade 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.

Review by Jocelyn A. Dimm.

**** /4



Effective Communication

Essentially, effective takes place when the audience understands what the speaker wants to say, becomes interested, and stays that way. It requires the speaker to:

* arrest the attention of the audience
* gain their trust and respect
* convey information with ease
* give them an experience
* leave them with an impression

In this brief manual, Lundy has managed to effectively communicate the art of the oral presentation in seven easy-to-navigate categories:

1. Setting the stage for success
2. A reason to speak
3. Knowing your audience
4. Sharing your thoughts
5. Planning to present
6. Rehearsing: practice, practice, practice
7. Performing

The centre of attention Each category above includes a description and rationale, student directions, and teacher tips.

     Lundy’s points are direct and touch on how speakers make common mistakes and how to avoid them. She also gives succinct instructions on how to organize, prep for, and deliver a valuable, engaging talk.

      Lundy applies her vast background in drama education and presents drama strategies that teachers can use to prepare students for successful presentations. For example, she suggests partners A & B, with A playing the role of a TV reporter and B playing the role of an eye witness to an event the class has read about. Then the partners switch roles.

    Another drama strategy she offers is hot-seating, and she talks about a scene where Jacques Cartier is recruiting sailors for his ships to the New World, and, as potential recruits (student volunteers) take the hot-seat, the students (in-role) are questioned about their suitability as sailors for the voyage. The students’ responsibility is to come up with appropriate questions for the sailors in the hot-seat to answer.

     Applying role-play as a structured framework in which students learn how to present material to others in an open forum indicates Lundy has considered how intimidating speaking in front of others can be, and she recognizes dramatic strategies allow for the much needed practice that helps to alleviate many presentation anxieties that occur for students.

     Attention Please! is an excellent, somewhat short, manual on how to prepare in-class presentations, but one in which Lundy provides everything, including visuals and materials, an educator needs to guide students through the process towards a successful, valuable, and enjoyable presentation experience.

Highly Recommended.

Jocelyn A. Dimm is a sessional instructor and a PhD student at the University of Victoria where she teaches drama education and young adult literature in the Faculty of Education.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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