Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sell Yourself Digital Presentation Course

Sell Yourself
Digital Presentations module 
Starting 27/09/2011
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 3:30 – 4:45
O'Fiaich College Dundalk
Room 49
limited numbers

If you have enrolled in the Digital Presentation course in O'Fiaich College, classes start today at 3.30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Room 49.

Benefits to you attending this subject:

1)Learn to present with the newest presentation software
  • Powerpoint 2010 
  • Keynote
  • iPads
Presenting with the most relevant tools for today's workforce can help give you a
competitive edge in the workplace. Familiarising yourself with Microsoft and Apple
computers as well as iPads could help give you a competitive advantage in the
workplace while also making your position within the business you work for stronger.
Powerpoint 2010 will have many new tricks and features which have the capability
for you to deliver more exciting presentations

Keynote presentation software for Apple computers

iPads and other mobile tablets are revolutionising how we can give presentations, sales pitches and advertisements for our companies while not being tied to a computer or laptop 

2) Lose your fear of public speaking
Public speaking for many can be a daunting prospect, yet often it is what can set you apart from your employees. Many of us fear it, many of us avoid it, Throughout your college career you will be asked to give presentations at every level of education. No matter how much of an expert you are about whatever topic you are going to present, you will need to consider how can you make your presentation dynamic and effective enough to engage your audience?

Maybe you feel that you are not talented enough, you are on public display in front of everyone and you are wondering how can you perform well. Perhaps the prospect of presenting fills you with dread? Yet if you are a supervisor in a company you are going to have to make presentations to employees or management or to customers and suppliers. If you are a student working hard on a piece of work for college do you not want people to know why your work is so important or will you sell yourself short? Or worse, will you get someone else to present your ideas? How long are you going to put this off for? This subject will help give you the tools to overcome doubts and fears.
When presentations don't target their audience
3) Get a competitive edge over your classmates
By attending this class and passing this subject you will have an extra subject added to your course. Yes I know it may be annoying doing an extra class at 3:30 but at the end of the year you will have the documentation to say that not only did you do an extra class that your friends didn't do but also your end of year results show that you can present well. Remember you will be competing against the people on your courses for the same jobs so you have to think bout how you are going to stand out from the rest.
When all you are is  a CV in a bundle of CV applications for an employer or for a course in college, this subject can indicate to them that you won't have a problem getting up in front of an audience and presenting your work, which is an essential component for numerous college courses. Therefore, you are increasing your chances to be called for interview in the next step uf your career path. 
You will also be more confident in an interview as a result of doing this subject.
The jobs market is certainly more difficult than it was a few years ago. This video is taken
from Primetime in 2009 and gives a snapshot of Ireland's economic performance in
2008. I'm including it here for a number of reasons
1. This video shows the power of an effective digital presentation while making it relevant to you if you are an Irish 21st century student
2. It provides you with statistics about Ireland to make a more informed decision about your career path 
Ireland's Economic Meltdown 
Uploaded by on 14 Jan 2009 
4) Become more creative and fight to get your voice heard
Learn to develop more effective methods through digital presentations to get people to follow your idea or business or blog

Attendance Rules

Due to the high demand for the course you will be expected to attend throughout the year. There is a waiting list to attend this subject.Many of you who are on the waiting list may find a space or two available for you if there are any no shows.

As this subject is optional there will be a 3 strikes and you're out policy. In other words, failure to inform me that you won't be attending my class on a particular day will earn you a strike. 3 strikes and I will bring someone else on the waiting list in to take your place. You can always email me to inform me why you can't attend before class and you won't receive a strike. My email is marcus.howard@ofi.ie

If you feel you won't be able to commit to the subject, you MUST let me know as soon as possible as you are making it unfair to the person who will take your place. Hope you enjoy the subject and you find a way to use it to help you on your career path

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Purpose of www.irish21stcenturystudents.blogspot.com


The need to communicate is hot-wired into every human being, but the skill to communicate and present effectively has to be developed and nurtured. With economic recessions, rising costs and high levels of unemployment, students will need better communication skills to combat for jobs while also keeping up with technological developments like social media, which is revolutionising how people are communicating with each other. Students will be educated with relevant posts delivering a flexible content of text, pictures and videos to deepen their knowledge in the classroom or at home. The videos are not there as a teaching substitute, but rather as a platform to engage class discussions to facilitate learning. This is the aim of www.irish21stcenturystudents.blogspot.com

I am a teacher in the County Louth area of communications, digital presentations and a variety of business subjects and have been involved in helping O'Fiaich College win the 2011 North East PLC debate. I have also helped local businesses through marketing consultancy in County Louth, and my previous marketing work has helped reach the final of the National Marketing Awards hosted by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and helping to win the Louth Business Awards in 2009.I am also the cartoonist for the Dundalk Leader newspaper and have a Masters in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Why use this blog?

Benefits for students:


If you are a student and want to use this blog to assist your learning with Communications, Multimedia Communications, Digital Presentations or how to handle job interviews and the world around us.  If you want to have a voice and learn how to debate more effectively.If you want to be aware of issues regarding social media and how the world is communicating to you.This blog can give you a voice.

Benefits to you
a) You can access this information 24/7 365 days per year
b) You can go back over helpful instructional videos as often as you like
c) You can learn from other students posts to help further your understanding of particular topics
d) If a topic interests you, you can explore in more detail through the use of relevant links
e) Now you can pause and repeat videos and discuss topics with friends or family to help facilitate your learning
f) If you are off sick for a few days you won't be as lost when you return
g) If you are bored you can skip ahead to a topic that interests you
h) Learn from the intimacy of your own room or while travelling
i) Learn 21st century skills to make you more employable or entrepreneurial in your future career
j) Connect globally and be able to demonstrate your communication and presentation skills to future employers
k) Information on this blog can be reguarly updated so you are not reliant on out of date textbooks and can use videos to understand whats being discussed.

Furious Irish Angels

Uploaded by on Dec 8, 2011

Benefits for teachers:

You can use this blog to help assist your teaching of communications, Digital Presentations. If you would like your students to train for a debating team please visit the link Debate on the side. The blog will also be useful for Career Guidance as constructing CV's and cover letters, interview tips and facts about the current economic climate with relevance to students.Students can learn at their pace until they master the topic. This blog can help eliminate a 1 size fits all lecture on a topic as now the students can interact with and learn from each other.

Benefits to you
a) you can use this blog to help facilitate learning through videos and links to create discussion in your classrooms
b) you can help by contributing to the debate on reforming education to enable students with up to date skills for 21st century with current topics.
c) You are not constrained by a textbook which may be out of date
d) Students can recap certain topics as often as they like to develop a deeper understanding
e) Students can help teach other students on this blog and thus free up teacher time to assist with learning and therefore contribute more valuable time in the classroom by helping students, not simply lecturing to them.

A Vision of Students Today
Uploaded by on Oct 12, 2007

For those of you looking for employment

Yes this is an educational blog but also it provides many exercises, tips and helpful instructional videos for applying for jobs and where opportunities can be created. It can help maximise your potential and help give you a voice.This blog can help give you ideas regarding communicating your message in the workplace or to the world (eg sales presentations, examples of real life communication methods etc.)

Benefits to you
-If you want to polish up on your interview, presentation or debate skills
-you can gain a better knowledge about good methods of communication with colleagues or customers
-Information is relevant with real world examples to deepen your learning
-Get your point across better as a worker or a supervisor
-Ability to use this blog to learn from others experience

For parents of students


You can use this blog if you are interested in your child/young adults education and future job possibilities in an increasingly competitive global world. You can access this website as often as you like to. You have the option to discuss topics with your child to help them deepen their learning. You can play a more active role in your child's education. You can help give your child your knowledge by discussing and practicing some of the content on this blog with them at home (eg you can look at some of the videos relating to job interviews and practice with them).

Benefits to you
a) You are now empowered to help further your child's employment prospects
b) You can be reassured that your child is being challenged with relevant up to date topics
c) Your child will learn more relevant 21st century skills
d) That your child can familiarise themselves with some of the course content whenever they have internet access (eg if they have been off sick for 2 or 3 days, they won't be as lost when they return).
e) That your child isn't constrained by only the school or college facilities in which they attend, but can communicate nationally or even internationally on here.
f) That this blog can give your child some confidence and a voice in a rapidly changing technology  driven world

school kills creativity - ken robinson
Uploaded by on Oct 24, 2010

For employers
You can use this blog to better assess future employees communication skills.You can also get ideas for how to make job interviews and assessing cv's as a more rewarding occasion for your company to get the type of employee you really want. Ideas such as questions to ask potential employees are included here along with relevant links to websites and Youtube videos regarding hiring staff.

Benefits to you
a) You can use some of the content to improve your own communication, presentation and debate skills in your workplace.
b) As an employer you are better armed to source the appropriate candidate for potential employment.
c) You can see how engaged future employees are with the material provided in this course


For the Irish economy
Ireland's future generation will be better equipped with better communication skills to compete in a globalised rapidly evolving economy.
With educational cutbacks as a result of Ireland not being in the best economic shape, we have to find better ways of doing more with less.

Irelands current growth sector is in exports, this blog is concerned with exporting knowledge
That is what this blog is trying to achieve.

a) Ireland's next generation is better informed with more relevant up to date knowledge
b) Helps encourage the Irish generation to be more critical thinkers and to learn to question accepted standards, which encourages leadership, entrepreneurialism and innovation
c) A nation with great communication, debate and presentation skills can make itself more attractive to foreign investment, thus increasing employment prospects.
d) A nation with great communication, debate and presentation skills can help sell their idea to be an entrepreneur more effectively, thus increasing employment prospects.It's one thing to have a great idea, it's quite another knowing how to sell it to others.


Why Communications Students need to start looking at social media for employment
Times are tough and it is getting harder to get your voice heard with all the competition there is for jobs. On the other hand it is getting easier to get your voice heard and perhaps to secure or create a job you always wanted through social media. There are disadvantages to social media in terms of rumour, gossip and potential online bullying. However, in particular over the past 3 years, social media is being used by numerous people to create contacts, followers and links.

Have a look at these two videos which relate to the growth of social media in Ireland in 2011. How do you think the growth of social media will impact communications in Ireland?

Youtube Video Social Media Stats Ireland - June 2011 
Uploaded by on 30 May 2011

Youtube Video Social Media in Ireland 

 Uploaded by on 16 Mar 2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Level 6 Assignment 2 Formal Business Letter

Title & Code of Module               Communications G30001
Assessment Technique              Portfolio Of Coursework
Weighing                                        3% = 30
Title                                                  Formal Business Letter

The letter should be word processed, following current business conventions, consisting of 2-3 full paragraphs. The letter should reply on behalf of a supervisor/manager within a company to a letter addressed to the company (eg letter of enquiry, of complaint etc).

Assessment Criteria
Structure - conventions of address, layout, word processed (15) 
Content, correct use of grammar, spelling punctuation etc (15)

When writing a business letter in response to a customer query of complaint, you are representing your company or supervisor. Poor writing skills can lead to a negative perception of  the business you are representing. 

It is therefore very important to decide when constructing your letter:
Purpose What is the point of the letter you are writing? What message are you ttying to convey back to the original sender?
Audience Who are you writing this letter to? If it is to a customer complaint, should you take more care regarding how you will phrase the letter? How can you address the issue while maintaing a positive image for your company?
Information Gathering What information do you need to reply to the letter. What sources do you need to research?
Main Points What are the main points you want to cover? Put them in a logical order

Youtube Video 

The Key Forms of Business Writing: Basic Letter 

Uploaded by on 6 Mar 2009
Youtube Video

Life Skills & Writing Letters : How to Address a Business Letter

 Uploaded by on 15 May 2009


Youtube Video

Word 2007 Spell Check Set up

Uploaded by on 24 Apr 2010

Digital Presentations Week 1 what makes a good presentation?

We are going to look at what makes a good presentation. Composing your thoughts on what makes a great presentation will help you become aware of how you can improve yours.

Have a look at this presentation by Jamie Oliver at the Tedtalks in 2010. In this presentation he talks about educating children about food and fighting obesity.
Youtube Video Jamie Oliver's TED award speech.
Uploaded by on Feb 12, 2010

1.Do you think it was a good or bad presentation?

2.Why do you think it is good or bad?

3.What points made were most effective in this presentation?

4.How would you describe the body language of this presenter?

5.Do you think the slides used on the screen were effective?How?

6.Were the statistics in this presentation easily understandable?

7.Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef from the UK giving a presentation to an American audience.How do you think he prepared the presentation to make it relevant to that audience?

8.How effective were the props in this presentation? Eg The wheelbarrow or sugarcubes?

9.Was there any point where you were lost in the presentation?If so why do you think this was?

10.Do you think he achieved his aim with this presentation?
What do you think his aim was with that presentation?

If the contents of the Jamie's presentation interested you, you can get more information at this link

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Level 5 Assignment 1 Personal Writing:getting started

Personal Writing: Getting Started
No matter who it is writing, we are all faced with a blank page.How do we get what is in our head on the page in a way that will communicate effectively to the reader?
What is the purpose of the writing? How do you want the reader to feel?How are you going to achieve this?

What is the topic going to be about?

How are you going to write it? Will it be a poem, prose, story or a dialogue?

What kind of language will you use to create the style you desire eg imagery or metaphors?

What is your personal style? What words or expressions will you use and how will you structure your sentences?

How will you use punctuation and grammar to best communicate what you are talking about?

Use memory, imagination and observation to help get those ideas flowing.

Top Ten Writing Rules From Famous Writers
Uploaded by on Sep 1, 2011
Youtube Video:How Irish Writers Get Their Ideas

As the Savage Eye show satirises, many writers get their ideas
by memory and observation as well as imagination

Putting Together A Piece Of Writing

Decide on the form of personal writing you will use.You have the option of one of the following:
(a) Story
(b) Review
(c) Letter
(d) Poem
(e) Letter

Consider how you will best convey:
(a) Your purpose
(b) Your topic
(c). The form which best suits it
(d). Your use of language
(e). Your personal style
(f). Your punctuation and grammar

Step 1 Brainstorm.                             
The only thing limiting you is your imagination. Getting all your ideas down on one page is useful. For example, draw a spider diagram and have fun.Think about plot, characters and setting.Or if you write 140 words starting with the given I dreamed that... in www.maxmydream.com then click lay, you will see a visual representation of your dream.Another possibilility is if you use www.toondoo.com you can create a comic strip to help you imagine your story.                                                               

Step 2 Drafting.
Organise your notes into a 1st draft to give it some shape. How will you begin or conclude your writing? In what sequence will each idea go?


Step 3 Redrafting
Thish is where you finetune the 1st draft. You may wish to at this stage change some words which need to be changed. You may want to expand or reduce the piece.Editing your work can help refine your work into a more polished piece of writing.


Step 4 Proofread   
Get someone else to read your work. This is useful as they may offer constructive criticism and spot mistakes you didn't notice.


Author of American Gods Meil Gaiman offers some advice to college students to use their creativity.
Neil Gaiman - Inspirational Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts 2012
Published on May 23, 2012 by

Perhaps you may not wish to write a short story but would rather express your opinion. Here is some help to assist you write a review

Writing a Review
Before we start, it is important to make this very clear. A review is NOT simply a retelling of a plot of a movie, it is an informed opinion or criticism. You are the person giving the reader an idea of why they should see or buy it.If you are going to approach doing a film review then please consider relevant information such as:

The director-is it a good or bad film?How?Why?How does it compare to their previous work?

Actors-did they play their parts well?

Characters-how believable were they?What kind of characters did they portray?

Plot-does the plot hold your attention or not?Why? Do not give away the ending!!!

Setting-where and when does the story take place?

Genre-what type of film is it? For this type of genre, how would you rate it and why?

Script-Could the script have been improved? is it well written? Were there any memorable quotes?

Please note that it is not simply a retelling of the plot

Here is an audio review of the movie Toy Story 3 by Mark Kermode
Youtube Video: Mark Kermode reviews Toy Story 3

Uploaded by on Jul 19, 2010

Other websites which may be helpful:

Writing an album review

Who are the recording artists and what is the album called?
How does it compare with their previous work?
What genre of music is it? is it original or stereotypical of that genre?
How do the songs differ?
What are the lyrics like?Are there any particuarly memorable lines
What is the sound quality like?Is it a clean or dirty sound?How?
How does this album compare with their previous work?
How does it compare to other artists albums within that music genre?

Other websites you may find useful:

Or you may wish to apply the same criteria to reviewing a computer game?

Remember whether saying a film is good or bad, you need to back up your statements with reason and logic. Praise or criticise intelligently, do not simply criticise for argument's sake, look at the product objectively.

WARNING!Do not simply copy and paste what it says in Wikipedia. This is your own personal opinion, communicate some originality. Copy and pasting receives 0 marks.

Please take a moment to give me some feedback in the comments section
What was difficult in this task?

What did you learn?

Is there anything else that could have been included in the topic to make it easier for you to understand?

Was the topic explained well or not?

Are there any video links from Youtube that may also be useful?
(if so please copy and paste the link in the comments section with a sentence explaining what it is)

Digital Presentations Collection of Work Assignment

You are expected to produce and deliver three 5 minute presentations and 2 reports which accompany them. The reports are the evidence that you have developed a range of digital presentation skills.

The 3 presentations required are:
1-Myself (minimum 8 slides) 
2-How to.... (minimum 12 slides, pick something that interests you and don't overuse one website, you will be expected to have references at the back of your report)
3-Hometwown (minimum 15 slides, you must use charts explaining statistics and demographics relating to your hometown as well as images.Remember to reference at the back of your report

You must be able to show in your presentations and reports the following:
-you can implement a variety of different slide layouts
-you can use transitions
-you have appropriate timing (not too short or too long.5 mins approx)
-you can navigate through your slides correctly (demonstrates rehearsal as well as knowledge of presentation software used)
-you can apply various animation effects
-that you can deliver the presentation effectively

Your report must include all the prepartory work involved (including proper referencing of website articles and pictures). The report must also feature:
-the aims and objectives of the presentation
(what are you trying to achieve and how are you going to do it?)
-the target audience
(who are they, will you have to tailor your presentation with those people in mind? Eg if you are presenting to the members of a particular business or I.T. Class, should it be a more formal presentation or not? How would this differ to presenting to work colleagues?)
-a critical review of the presentation
(after you have completed your presentation, what kind of feedback did you get. It is recommended that you write down some of the comments that were made, to see where can be improved?Use this constructive criticism to make your next presentation even better.)

Advice For Your Presentation:
1. Introduce yourself by name.
2. Bring back up visual aids in case your PowerPoint presentation fails.
3. Slow down when you are speaking.
4. Make eye contact with the audience.
5. Smile.
6. Ask for questions from the audience at the conclusion of the presentation.

1. Show paragraphs or long sentences on the screen.
2. Use fussy and distracting backgrounds.
3. Overdo punctuation: very little is needed in a visual aid.
4. Use over-complicated diagrams, which the audience won't be able to see clearly.
5. Use unnecessary and distracting movement on the screen.
6. Watch the computer screen instead of the audience.
7. Assume that you can use the equipment without trying it out. 

Here is a video with useful tips to enhance the delivery of your presentation.
Youtube Video Tips for Effective Presentation Skills - Power Point 
Uploaded by on 9 Feb 2010
What The Reports Must Include:
·  The Aims and Objectives of the presentation (Why you are doing it? What do you hope to achieve?)
·     The Target audience
·     Preparatory work(How are you going to do it?)
Photo Reference List:(URL’s of pictures you have used from the internet, references,print screens of slides outlining any drawings, transitions, animations, formatting or clipart you have done)

When presentations are completed and performed the student must hand up a critical review detailing how it went and where it could have been improved upon.

Ideas For the "Myself" Presentation
1.       General information
a.       Name, dob, born where…
2.       Family
a.       Number of brothers and sisters…
3.       Education
a.       Primary Secondary School
b.      Secondary School
4.       Favourite subjects
a.       Academic achievements
5.        Interests/hobbies
a.       Sport
b.      Clubs/Societies
6.       Current education
a.      College
b.      Subjects
7.       Use of IT
a.       PowerPoint
b.      The Internet
c.       Applications of particular interest
8.       Future Plans
a.       University
b.      Employment
9.       Countries visited
a.       France
b.      Spain
c.       US
10.   Countries you’d like to visit
11.   Favourite movies
12.   Favourite actors/actresses
13.   Favourite Sports stars
14.   Political beliefs – member of party
15.   Hometown

Here is a good example of someone presenting themselves. It is by Randy Pausch, a former professor of computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania,  who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006 and given only a few months to live. He decided to give a series of upbeat presentations entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood dreams". This is an abridged version he has given on the Oprah show in October 2007 although the longer version is one of the most popular down loads on Youtube: