Present a three minute review of a book you’ve read this year to the class. Your discussion should include:
• the title and author of the book
• a short, spoiler-free synopsis
• discussion of the characters and any important ideas or issues that the novel deals with
• an expressive reading of one scene from the book.
WHAT I DON’T WANT
• more than one review of a book, everyone will need to pick a separate novel
• a review of books writen for children. I’m sure you thought Grug and Diary of a Wimpy Kid were awesome when you were growing up but you’re almost an adult. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blighton just won’t cut it now.
• a review that has been plagiarised from the internet. Like everyone else on the planet, I have Google and I’m not an idiot.
• a boring presentation
• something that is read from a piece of paper in a monotone.
• a book that has already been made into a film
Tips for writing your review
Before you start writing your review, here are some questions to consider:
• Who wrote the book? What other novels have they written? What other information can you find out about the writer?
• What sort of genre is the novel? Crime, horror, mystery, romance? How does it compare to similar books?
• Write a brief synopsis of the novel that doesn’t give too much away.
• What were your favourite scenes and why?
• Which characters were your favourites? Which ones did you dislike and why? When you’re writing your book review, it can be a good idea to use short quotations from the novel when you’re describing the characters.
• What are the main themes or ideas explored in the book?
• What do you like about the style that the book is written in?
When you’re writing your book review, it’s important to have a copy of the book so you can find the answers to these questions. Skim through the book to refresh your memory and find interesting things to talk about. Read this guide to writing a book review to take you through the process step by step.
TIPS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING
Preparation. The secret to successful presentations is being prepared. There are very few people who can speak well off the cuff. Those who can usually have extensive knowledge of their subject matter. When you’re preparing a presentation, it’s a good idea to write a script. This gives you a chance to structure your ideas and think about your choice of language. When your script is complete, transfer the script to cue cards, underlining or lighting key words. Rehearse your speech several times until you’re comfortable with the content and only need to occasionally refer to the cue cards throughout your presentation.
Content. When you’re writing your script, ensure that your ideas are well organised. Try to write in a way that allows you to speak expressively. Think about what is going to engage and interest your audience. If something is a bit boring think about how you can make it more interesting. If boring details aren’t absolutely essential to your presentation, dump the idea all together! It’s better to have a short presentation than a boring one! If appropriate, it can be a good idea to engage your audience with questions ro activities. Presentations in which the audience becomes involved can be a lot of fun.
Delivery. When it’s time to present remember to relax. This is when all of your preparation and rehearsal pays off. Even if it might be a bit nerve wracking, remember that the only way to become more comfortable with public speaking is by public speaking. Try to vary your expression, speaking in a monotone is never a good idea. Try to avoid hesitating and saying ‘um’. Pay attention to the speed of your delivery. One mistake many public speakers make is speaking too quickly. Monitor the volume of your delivery. Can you be heard at the back of the room?
Body language. When you’re presenting, make sure that you make eye contact with your audience. Don’t speak into your cue cards the whole time. Move about the room and appear interested in what you’re presenting. Avoid digeting and shuffling nervously on the spot.
Visuals. When appropriate, presentations, props, costumes, pictures and videos are all great ways to engage your audience…think about how can use these things to keep your audience engaged.
Presentations. If you’re using Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote to create a presentation, keep the text on every slide to a minimum. Just a few sentences highlighting the most important idea will do. Instead, think about how you can use images to complement what you’re saying.