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Sample topic ideas from the past & present: [provided as examples, not suggestions]
- "The benefits & dangers of cyber groups & electronic group meetings"
- "The Honeybee dilemma"
- "Exactly where is the dividing line between acceptable entertainment & obscenity: A Closer look at the Howard Stern case" ( Madonna's book)
- "Going Green-- Is sustainability really sustainable?"
- "Experiential (!) research into the effects of alcohol ."
- "Twenty-first Century airport security: Super body scanners & "aggressive" pat downs. Are these the best solutions to the problem?"
- " Because so many customers have been making final clothing purchases with (cheaper) online merchants, several small retailers in Australia began imposing a fee to try on clothes- which is only waived if the garment is purchased from them. Is this a sign of the future & what are other ways that internet commerce has changed our world--- maybe forever?"
Handling multiple delivery styles:
your audience as well as TO your fellow participants &
[ i.e. make your speech delivery & content "audience centered "
2. PANEL = you are talking TO your fellow participants & your realize the audience is silently listening in; so you still should be talking FOR them. [i.e. project "E & E" and ensure that your language & examples are "audience-centered".
= you are talking WITH your audience. They are the ones asking
the questions and directing the discussion. [
i.e. accommodate their interests but weave in reinforcement of your own central
"Additional guidelines for the Leader Moderator"
[[ If you haven't yet been a leader/moderator, you MUST do it this time. This also means some groups will need to institute a co-Leader/Moderator procedure. ]
Leadership Functions - In general, the Leader/Moderator will perform general management & organizational duties during the group's preparation phases, and, for the presentation itself, will handle the various submission details and also will ensure the smooth "steering" of the discussion so that the group proceeds appropriately through the three presentation formats: SYMPOSIUM->PANEL->FORUM [in that order] . The L/M will also need to deliver (or delegate) an Introduction and a cumulative Conclusion [which comes AFTER the Forum]
As moderator of the Panel & Forum portions of the presentation, you can expect to do a lot of critical & comprehensive listening & to do a lot of Gatekeeping. You will also need to use "signposts" in order to continually make it clear when the discussion agenda moves from step to step --realizing that in actual discussion, things jump around in a non-orderly fashion & it is your job to insert clarifying summaries & paraphrases as necessary. At the same time you want to encourage creative & synergistic problem solving/decision making - as appropriate.(also discussed in the same chapter )
Leadership & Listening - A discussion proceeds by twists & turns--not a straight line. Here's an actual, past example of a Ldr/Mod exerting APPRECIATIVE, CRITICAL, COMPREHENSIVE listening all at the same time. (In this discussion, members in the group were continually giving their opinions about what was wrong with the situation, but not getting very far with the Problem Solving.)
Drew says: I want to know if you guys think that, if the policy should be changed, should it be 100% up to the guards or what?
(This was a refocusing & discussion-sparking technique being used by Drew to get the discussion moving more productively, but a interesting thing happened. Ebony responded with:
Ebony says: " I also think that... " but then inserted her own point which was not about the guards--but rather her view on how the hearings should take place; so her utterance was related but did not directly address Drew's actual question. Then the discussion went into another topical diversion for a while with everyone talking all about the upcoming hearing. However, adter a few minutes, Chris [the L/M] paraphrased Drew's question beginning with a "tag."
Chris (L/M) says: " I think what he might be saying is... ) & then Drew came back in to the discussion & answered his own question.
Drew says: I think they should be able to.....
Be sure to email your professor if you have any other questions.
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& remember: The presentation's conclusion should NOT be totally prefabricated.