Much has been made in the last few days contrasting how the Canadian media reported on the shootings in Ottawa vs the coverage by the American media. These two articles do a particularly good job of describing the difference between reporting with an agenda of providing information and reporting focused on creating an emotional response:
Canada Just Showed the US the Exact Right Way to Cover a Shooting
To US media Canadian Shooter Being Muslim Ends Investigation
Thinking beyond how the media has covered violent sensational news to consider the underlying reasons for the decisions news reports and organizations make can be a great opportunity to provide instruction in inference, critical literacy and build a recognition of how the economics of the media influence the content of reporting. This assignment attempts to challenge students to think along these lines: Information vs Emotion in News Reporting.
Author Nancy Durante makes the case for considering the purpose of your presentation and the nature of your audience prior to designing a presentation. She writes,
“Ask yourself what you want to get out of the time you have with the group. Do you need to simultaneously inform, entertain, and persuade your audience to adopt a line of thinking or to take action? Or do you need to gather more information, have a discussion, or drive the group toward consensus to get to your desired next step?”
Creating opportunities for students to demonstrate their presentation skills, and their knowledge of content in a variety of contexts gives us the opportunity to teach students the importance of considering their purpose and audience prior to creating a presentation. Whether its a pitch, a rant, a lesson, a research report, a TED talk, a formal debate, a trial or a sales presentation — we can help students to understand how what they’re trying to achieve and for what audience should inform the ideas they focus on, how they organize their ideas, and how they choose to present their content.
Giving students multiple opportunities to practice “quick” presentations with their peers builds relationships and trust in the classroom that can help students perform better with less anxiety.