General Guidance for Presenters

Aims

This guidance aims to give you the tools you need to maximise your impact and reach when delivering talks. Please note: The guidance refers throughout to ‘Sessions’. This includes talks, training and workshops. The guidance has been written for the benefit of anyone delivering sessions.

If you would like the Rebel Curriculum team to support you with optimising the content, structure and delivery of your sessions, please complete this form and we'll be in touch.

To Print

You can either export the chapter General Guidance for Presenters or individual pages of the guidance to a PDF, which is the best format to print in.

The guidance has been divided into sections. Feel free to study it all or dip in for a refresh on any aspect.

If you have questions, comments or feedback, please email pathways+rc@extinctionrebellion.uk

Preparation and Presentation

XR sessions are such a powerful and important tool, whether they are public-facing or for internal training. This might sound obvious, but it’s good to keep reminding ourselves. When delivering a session, it is important to give it your best shot! You are XR’s front line: making a good impression as well as an emotional impact could bring in new rebels, other supporters, and have ripple effects (both good or bad!) that you might not have considered.

Preparation

For anyone speaking in public, even for a short talk, it is important to be prepared. A key aspect of preparation is warming up your voice and body.

Of course, you should experiment to find what works best for you - there’s no one right way to do this, but it IS essential you do some kind of warm-up.

Voice Warm-Up Exercises [5-10 mins] Follow the steps below or watch and follow this video.

  1. Breathe deeply, relaxing your belly, so belly, ribs, and back expand with your breath. 
  2. Stretch out your neck, jaw, face and sides. 
  3. Activate your breath support muscles with a hiss exercise.
  4. Begin vocalizing on something easy to start stretching out the vocal cords e.g.: lip roll, “HM” (hum), or “NN”.
  5. Sing on an easy, relaxed OO vowel to work on good, consistent resonance throughout your range.
  6. Open up to an “AH”, “YAH”, “UH”, or “YUH” to relax the jaw down and lift the soft palate up. 
  7. Get into mix voice with an “NG, “NYAH”, “NAY”, “MUM”, or “BUH”.  
  8. Warm down: If you spent quite a bit of time working out, warm down with a gentle hum or lip trill.

Body Warm Up Exercises [5 mins]

Always remember to keep hydrated: have some water within reach.
This will help

It's okay to say ‘Excuse me for one second’ and take a drink. A tip from the theatre world is to put some lip salve on your teeth to stop your lips from sticking to them!

Presentation

The way we speak and look when presenting information can have a big impact on how it is understood. This helps to make a quick and strong emotional connection with your audience. It is always useful to refresh our awareness of the broad range of presentation techniques and practical tips that help both presenters and participants to maximise the value of any session:

Dealing with Nerves

Even the most experienced speakers can get nervous - it's natural - but developing your confidence will help you to be clear and to minimise those verbal fillers such as “er” "um" or “like”. These can become habits we don’t even notice, but listeners can find them very distracting: this dampens the impact of your talk. Try recording one of your sessions and watching it to spot fillers.

Here are some tips and tricks to help with nerves and improve the quality of your presentation:

Presenter’s Environment

On Zoom, before you begin your session:

Housekeeping [Access & Inclusion]

XR meetings are run rather differently, due to our culture, and ideally all sessions ought to begin with Housekeeping - an explanation of meetings culture. If this is not possible, e.g. for reasons of timing, the points should be clearly displayed on a slide, or posted in chat, for everyone to read. Having said that, the key access/inclusivity points ought to be dealt with by the presenter.

Renaming

Invite participants to change their Zoom name to reflect their given name / preferred pronouns / location.
Check they know how.

Access

Safe space

Hand Signals

Explain the basic hand signals to use during your session or show this slide. You may not need them all, depending e.g. on the subject of your session or the experience of the attendees. 

See this diagram for examples: Hand Signals.jpg

If participants don’t have a camera.

Explain using the Reactions button for hand signals - one hand for general help/Q and thumbs up for Yay!/OK!

Electronic Handsignals.png

Chat - How to use it

Check-ins, Check-outs & Regenerative Cultures Statements

Check-Ins and Check-Outs

These are an important aspect of the care which threads through our Principles and Values. They are not compulsory for training sessions but, ideally, presenters should try to do check-ins as a way for everyone to connect with each other and ground themselves in the moment.

If you want to do them, always give participants the option not to check-in or out if they don’t want to, and perhaps suggest they use the chat instead.

For verbal check-ins with more than 5 participants, use breakout rooms but always explain that participants can return to the main room if they wish - unless using them is going to be essential for the purposes of the session.

A general check-in could include given name, preferred pronouns, why the person is here, and handing over to someone else in the group by saying their name.

Various other options can be used; choose which suits your presentation and timings. As an example, ask all participants to post in chat. Suggest using something to describe how they are feeling - an animal, a colour, or a few words.

Check-outs
Again, these are not compusory but they can be used to glean a brief insight from participants about the session. As an example, ask them to post in chat something that they found

If you wish to use a Regenerative Statement to open the session and/or a Vision Reminder to close it - find them here find them here

Structure | Content | Aids

Structure of Training

It’s helpful to break the session into sections, allowing for Q&A after each section. Then clearly announce when moving onto a new section or the end of the session.

Breakout Rooms

If breakout rooms are being used, always explain why and how long they’ll last.
For Check-ins, they help attendees to:

During a session, they allow attendees to discuss an issue in depth.
Let attendees know in advance if someone should take notes and report back in the main room.
Unless using breakout rooms is an essential part of the training, always reassure attendees that they do not have to stay in a breakout room. If they prefer, they can stay in the main room. Be sure you know how to do this.

Content of the Training

The way we organise training sessions can have a big impact on how well they are understood and enjoyed. Remember that there are different learning styles, so present your information in a variety of formats which match these styles. When reading information aloud, speaking slowly will allow enough time for attendees to take in what they are hearing.

Try not to cram too much information into the session. Think about what could be put into the Rebel Toolkit for attendees to read afterwards.

Always avoid using acronyms. Give the full title, then how it’s shortened and post that information in chat. Otherwise try to use the full title all the time.

Keep sentences short and avoid using complex words.

Break the session into sections and announce each one. Make sure they flow well into each other. If the sections must jump from one topic to another, clearly state that one section has ended and the next one is called XXX . This helps listeners to refocus their attention.

If there is a Q&A session after the presentation, avoid running over into this time.

Audio Visual Aids

If using slides, think about how much information is on the slide. Avoid too much info! Read out what is on the slide and/or describe the image for anyone sight impaired or dyslexic.

Don’t put text over images as this makes the text hard to read. Practise using the slide show with Closed Captions running and check there’s enough clear space at the bottom of the slide to view the CCs.

Video - choose share sound and optimise for video clip (see Zoom tips page)

Post Training & Follow-up | Feedback

Post-Training and Follow-Up

Capture email addresses either via registration forms or using the chat box (check participants are happy to share with everyone or direct message you)

Send follow-up emails ASAP and include the option for participants to feedback either via a form or your email address.

Ideally, an email should have two links at the most. If you put your follow-up information on the Rebel Toolkit, you will have fewer links in your follow-up email. This also means you do not have to keep posting links in the chat during your session.

Feedback

The Talks & Training team welcomes feedback on the helpfulness of this guidance, so it can be continually developed and improved. You can do this by messaging into

Book a Zoom Session and Publicise Your Event

How To Book A Session On Zoom

If you don’t have access to a paid Zoom account, please contact XRUK Talks & Training [T&T] via our Talks & Training Reception on Mattermost or email eventsxr@gmail.com and we'll give you our log in.

Once in the T&T Zoom, please check the schedule to make sure you don't make a booking at the same time as someone else. Go to Meetings in the menu on the left hand side in Zoom and check the list for other sessions already booked in. Please leave a minimum of 15 minutes between meetings to allow time for prep.

If asked for a One Time Passcode (OTP) when logging into the T&T Zoom, please go to Protonmail, and use the same log in details as the T&T Zoom account, pick up the code and then add it to the relevant Zoom field. That will get you into the T&T Zoom account - you have 10 mins to pick up the code. However you can always generate another if you run out of time.

Scheduling and customising a meeting with registration

Find instructions here.

How To Publicise Your Session

Complete the UK M&M Comms Requests form to get your event onto:

If you have a Mattermost account you can ask for your event to be publicised on the Movement Broadcast channels on Telegram and Mattermost. Do this in the UK M&M Comms Requests channel.

Update other publicity channels: local group Facebook page, broadcast channel for region, or wherever you publicise events.

If you are using Action Network to promote your event, paste in the full link then use the Action Network link shortener found in the formatting options within the body text. If you use a pre-link shortener, then your emails may go into peoples’ spam.

If you need guidance on using Action Network, visit the Rebel Toolkit pages here and request training here.

Guidance for using Zoom in Talks, Training and Workshops

How To Use Zoom Features During Your Session

How to log on to Zoom and select your booked session

Access details are the same as those used for booking the session. REMEMBER to check whether you are already logged into another Zoom account. If so, you need to log out of that one to log into the Zoom account where the session is booked. Go to the avatar at the top right - sign out and then sign into the correct account.

switch account.PNG

How to enable closed captions BEFORE THE SESSION BEGINS

captions button.PNG

How to admit participants from Waiting Room / How to unlock it

How to split screen to see the Zoom meeting and other information (eg. your script) side by side

How to screen share

You may use this function to show slides etc but you will not be able to see your script

Watch Zoom support video on screen sharing

How to create break-out rooms for check-ins

Watch Zoom support video on use of breakout rooms

View Assessment Form

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