Today’s guest is John from New Zealand. I met John in Sapporo. He gave a presentation at the JALT conference. It was the last presentation I saw actually and it was about giving presentations. He was introducing these new books, because he works for this publisher, Cambridge University Press, who also happen to publish one of my favourite books – which I’ve talked about many times before – English Grammar In Use.
Anyway, I’d watched many presentations that weekend and several of them I was somewhat unimpressed with – for various reasons – so I really enjoyed John’s presentation because we talked about what makes a good and bad presentation and it was really interesting. And these books look like they’d be useful if you’re going to teach giving presentations in your class - which is definitely a useful thing to learn I think.
There are some interesting topics in here, like, how to fold a T-shirt - you’ve probably seen videos on YouTube like this. And John impressed everyone with his T-shirt folding presentation.
The first thing I asked John was: How long have you been in Japan?
I’ve been in Japan for three and a half years. Um, ah, I came over in, ah, March 2005 with my wife, who’s Japanese and our two daughters. Ah, they were both born in New Zealand. ３年半、日本で生活しています。 ２００５年３月に日本人の妻と二人の娘たち一緒にやってきました。 娘は二人ともニュージーランド生まれです。
Kia Ora in Stick News today an artist is planning to create a massive portrait of Barack Obama in Spain.
The artist is a 42-year-old man who was born in Cuba, grew up in the US and now lives in Spain.
He plans to create the gigantic portrait from gravel and sand. Obama’s face will be almost 140 by 83 meters.The artist said the size of the work was intrinsic to its value. "Obama's personality - his youth, personal history and message of a new politics - has fused with the historical moment to create someone larger than life," he says. The huge size also alludes "to the global impact of this election." The artist will use 500 tons of material and plans to finish the work by the 3rd of November.
And that was Stick News for Monday the 27th of October. Kia Ora.
Sarah Why did you come to this conference? この会議の参加理由は？
John I work for Cambridge University Press and I’m an ELT sales representative - English language teaching materials sales representative - and I’ve come to, ah, have a display, to show teachers our materials. And also to give a presentation on our new course, called Present Yourself. 私はケンブリッジ大学出版のＥＬＴ（English language teaching）教材セールスの代表で、私たちの教材を講師の皆さんにお見せするために参加しました。 それと新しいコース"Present Yourself"のプレゼンテーションもさせていただきました。
Sarah How did the presentation go? そのプレゼンはうまく行きましたか？
John I think it went quite well. The, um … I had a couple of mini presentations, ah, within the presentation that, ah, ah, were … seemed to be, ah, getting good interest from, from, ah, my audience and, ah, it seemed to go quite well. とてもうまくいったと思います。 いくつかのミニ・プレゼンをしましたが聞いてくれた皆さんから興味をいただけたようで、とてもうまく行ったように思えました。 Sarah Being a bit of a presentation expert, do you watch other presentations critically? プレゼンテーションのエキスパートとして他のプレゼンを評価する目で見ますか？
John Yes, I am quite critical of presentations, the presentations that I go to watch. I don’t mean to be I’m there to, obviously to get information like everybody else. But if there are, um, some things that you might consider bad presentation practice or bad presenting skills, I do notice it. はい、プレゼンテーションを見に行くときはそれを結構厳しく見ます。 他の人たちと同様、ただ情報を得るために見に行くのであって、わざわざ批判するために行く訳ではありませんけどね。 しかしそのプレゼンの仕方やスキルの善し悪しはよく分かります。
Sarah What’s your pet peeve with presentations? あなたにとって気になってしまうプレゼンテーションとは？
John Probably in the age of PowerPoint it is far too much text, ah, in a slide, so, and having … and the presenter is actually reading a slide. Perhaps reading quotes, um, from academics or, or from a book. And jumping through slides – oh we don’t need that one, oh jump over this one, we’ll skip over that - it’s very distracting if people have taken the time to come and listen to what you’ve got to say and it seems as though you’re just, it’s just an ad hoc thing, that you’ve ah, you haven’t catered to this particular, ah, audience with. そうですね、おそらくパワーポイントのスライドに自分がしゃべる言葉を並べすぎる事だと思います。 それは学術系あるいは書籍からの引用だったりします。 あとはスライドを飛ばす事、『おっと、このスライドは要らないからスキップしよう』なんて事は、あなたの話をせっかく聞きに来てくれた人の集中を削ぐことですし、いかにも場当たり的で聴衆に情報をしっかりと提供できていないと思います。
Sarah Did you used to be a teacher? あなたは教師でしたか？
John No, I don’t come from a teaching background. Ah, ah, I used to work for a, ah, trade promotion agency, a government trade promotion agency. And, ah, so I don’t come from a teaching background but I started learning Japanese when I was at high school and I’ve always had a very strong interest in language acquisition. And, ah, I think being now a salesman for English textbooks, um, my experience as a Japanese language learner and all of the things that I did to learn Japanese, ah, put me in good stead to be able to relate to teachers and relate to the issues their students have. いいえ、私は教育分野の出身ではありません。 以前はＪＥＴＲＯ（日本貿易振興機構）にいました。 つまり教育分野出身ではありませんが、私は日本語を勉強し始めたのは高校生の時からで、以前から言語習得に関して強い関心がありました。 私は現在、英語のテキストを販売していますが日本をを学んだ経験とそこから得たモノは英語の先生たち、並びに先生たちの生徒さんたちが持つ問題点とを結びつける手助けになっていると思います。
Sarah I read in the program you won a speech contest … プログラムにあなたはスピーチコンテストで優勝したとありましたが・・・
John Yes, yes, that’s quite a few years ago now. Ahh, 1988 Auckland regional speech competition. Ah, I, I won that one. はい、そうなんです！ 大分昔ですけどね。 １９８８年にオークランド地区のスピーチ大会で優勝したんです。
Sarah What was your speech about? スピーチの内容は？
John The speech was about interesting dialects in Japanese, um, and how I found it difficult to understand, um, some peculiar dialects in Japanese. Yeah. 日本の面白い方言についてのスピーチでした。 日本語のある特定の方言がなぜ分かりづらいのかが分かった、という内容でした。
Sarah What advice do you have for people who are studying English? 英語を学ぶ人たちに何かアドバイスはありますか？
John One of the key things is to get as much exposure to the language as you possibly can. And of course that’s very difficult, um, when you’re learning the language, um, from your own culture. So it’s the situation of all the Japanese students learning English. Their only real expose, um, that they have may be in their class with their teacher, um, and during the activities that they’re doing in class. But if they’re really serious about wanting to learn the language they need to try and make friends with native speakers, to travel as much as possible and expose themselves to the language as much as possible. There’s no shortcuts in learning language and, ah, it’s a lifelong process, I think. 自身を学んでいる言語の環境に可能な限り晒すというのが一つのキーだと思います。 もちろん自身の国でそれをするのはとても難しいでしょう。 日本の学生さんたちが英語を学ぶ環境と同じですね。 自身を英語の環境に置けるのは先生から教わっている時だけかも知れません。 しかしもし真剣に学びたいと思うならネイティブと友だちになるとか旅行を出来るだけするなどして、自身を英語の環境に晒すのが良いでしょう。 言語学習に近道はありません。 これは生涯学習だと私は思います。
サラのメモ： ad hoc adj. adv. arranged or happening when necessary and not planned in advance
stand someone in good stead idiom be advantageous to someone over time or in the future
サラのメモ： Today's guest is John. He's a sales rep for English language teaching materials. At JALT he gave a presentation about giving presentations. What are your presentation pet peeves? I think my number one would be having absolutely meaningless content - like spending an hour presenting a study that you did with two people in the study (I am not making this up).