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STRATEGIES IN FACING DIFFICULTIES IN ORAL PRESENTATION: A

CASE STUDY

THESIS

Submitted in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree of

Sarjana Pendidikan

BRAM SIVADJATI
112012050
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION PROGRAM

FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

SATYA WACANA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY

SALATIGA

2016
STRATEGIES IN FACING DIFFICULTIES IN ORAL PRESENTATION: A

CASE STUDY

THESIS

Submitted in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree of

Sarjana Pendidikan

BRAM SIVADJATI
112012050
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION PROGRAM

FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

SATYA WACANA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY

SALATIGA

2016

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COPYRIGHT STATEMENT

This thesis contains no such material as has been submitted for examination in
any course or accepted for the fulfillment of any degree or diploma in any university.
To the best of my knowledge and my belief, this contain no material previously
published or written by any other person except where the reference is made in the
text

Copyright@2016 Bram Sivadjati and Gita Hastuti,S.Pd., M.A.

All rights reserved. No part of this thesis may be reproduced by any means without
the permission of at least one of the copyright owners or the English Department,
Faculty of Language and Literature, Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga

Bram Sivadjati:

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TABLE OF CONTENT
INSIDE COVER……………………………………………………………………...ii
APPROVAL FORM……………………………………… …………………………iii
PUBLICATION DECLARATION………………………………………………….vi
COPYRIGHT STATEMENT ..................................................................................... vii
TABLE OF CONTENT ............................................................................................. viii
ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................. 1
INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 2
LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................. 4
Oral Presentation ....................................................................................................... 4
Students’ Difficulties in Oral Presentation ................................................................ 4
Strategies to Handle Difficulties in Oral Presentation .............................................. 7
THE STUDY............................................................................................................... 10
Research Questions ................................................................................................. 10
Context of the Study ................................................................................................ 10
Participants .............................................................................................................. 10
Data Instruments ...................................................................................................... 11
Data Collection Procedure ....................................................................................... 12
Data Analysis Procedure ......................................................................................... 13
DISCUSSION ............................................................................................................. 14
CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................... 31
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT .......................................................................................... 33
References ................................................................................................................... 34
APPENDIX ................................................................................................................. 36

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STRATEGIES IN FACING DIFFICULTIES IN ORAL PRESENTATION: A

CASE STUDY

Bram Sivadjati

ABSTRACT
This is a case study that aims to investigate the strategies used by the members of a
study group in the English Language Education Program (ELEP) in dealing with their
difficulties during an oral presentation. Having good skills in speaking in front of
public is one of the competences that the learners have to master since the Faculty of
Language and Literature often uses presentation as an assessment. Oral presentation
is categorized as an important task which is beneficial for the student’s future.
Nonetheless, many of ELE students are having a lot of problems when doing an oral
presentation. Therefore, it is important to uncover the strategies used by students that
have good skills in speaking in front of public. The participants of this study are 5
students of English Language Education major. The researcher uses qualitative
method by using interview in revealing the student’s tactics. The result of this study
shows that the participants have challenges such as: grammatical problems, having
problem in understanding the topic and organizing the idea, difficulties in the
audience’s interest, speaking speed, memorizing problem, anxiety, teacher
expectation, and time problem. Additionally, anxiety becomes the biggest fear when
doing an oral presentation. As for the strategies to overcome those problems, the
participants proposed; studying more about the grammar, looking for the information
in the internet, mastering the topic, be entertaining, adjusting the speed in speaking,
practicing, taking a deep breath, not looking straight to the audiences eyes, changing
your mindset and calculating the time
Keywords: oral presentation, problems, strategies, anxiety.

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INTRODUCTION

Giving an oral presentation is a challenge because the presenter needs to be

able to deliver a message with a good language so that the audience could understand

it easily. Giving an oral presentation is believed to be “an important element in

delivering positive learning experiences” (Alshare & Hindi, 2004, p.6). In other

words, giving an oral presentation is a good practice to equip the students with not

only experience in delivering their materials in public with a proper language but also

opportunities to improve their confidence. In fact, to be able to do so, the presenter

needs to have good presentation skills. Just as Rajoo (2010) argued, “oral

presentation skills will empower students to communicate complex ideas and

information in a manner that would be easily understood by the audience” (p. 43).

Furthermore, having good oral presentation skills was very useful in the future

especially for the students’ career (Emder & Becker, 2004, as cited in El Enein,

2011).

Regarding the importance of giving an oral presentation, Faculty of Language

and Literature has included group and individual presentation as one of the

assessment criteria in most of its courses. Yet, the majority of students still have

difficulties in delivering their materials in front of the audiences. This phenomenon

was in line with Emden and Becker (2004), as cited in El Enein (2011), who pointed

out that most of the students were very nervous about presenting in public. Moreover,

Thornbury and Slade (2007) assumed that one of the students’ problems in speaking

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deals with the transfer from L1 into L2. In other words, students have problems in

dealing with the oral presentation because they have limited capacity in translating

from L1 into L2. However, language transfer is not the only problems in giving oral

presentation. A researcher like Rivers (1986) in Tuan and Mai (2015) found that

understanding the topic become one of the students’ problem in doing an oral

presentation. Not only Rivers (1986) but also Gibson (2014) pointed out that

organizing the ideas based on the topic that was given by the teacher became one of

the students’ considerations. To handle those problems, proper strategies are needed.

This case study aims at revealing a study group member’ strategies in dealing

with their difficulties when speaking in front of public. The study group members are

all students of the English Language Education Program of the Faculty of Language

and Literature, in Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga. The results of this

study are expected to function as a reference to help or accommodate fellow students

in dealing with their problems in presenting in front of public. Additionally, it is

hoped to inform the faculty of Language and Literature lectures about the students’

difficulties in presenting so that they could help the students in facing their problems.

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LITERATURE REVIEW

Oral Presentation

Oral presentation or speaking in public is a type of communication whose

purpose is to communicate or deliver some thoughts, information, and messages to

the audience. In other words, oral presentation is a part of communication skills

whose function is to share some important ideas (Rajoo, 2011)..

Chivers (2007) stated that there are some purposes of having an oral

presentation as a part of a lesson. The first one is to train the presenters in order to

have self-confidence in speaking in public. Second, it was to inform that the

presenters should communicate with the audience and give them as much information

as possible. Third, it is a way used by the teacher to assess the students’ ability.

Fourth, it is for advocacy or persuasion. Fifth, it trains students to take some

important decisions. Sixth, oral presentation is a good activity to teach others and

learn something from one’s mistakes in presenting.

Students’ Difficulties in Oral Presentation

However, knowing the importance and benefit of, as well as the factors

influencing an oral presentation does not automatically wipe away the problems in

giving an oral presentation. Students still find some difficulties in giving an oral

presentation. The following discussion will share some difficulties in giving an oral

presentation based on several studies.

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First is about students’ difficulties in constructing good grammar in speaking.

Thornbury and Slade (2007) believed that one of the students’ problems in speaking

was transferring L1 into L2 which was done manually. Therefore, it will make the

presenter has another problem in constructing a good sentence with correct

grammar/vocabulary because the presenter needs to think twice about the grammar

rule. Rajoo (2010) pointed out that grammar also plays an important role in the

students’ mistake. It is because students sometimes make a sentence without

considering the grammar.

Second is difficulty in understanding the topic. Rivers (1968) in Tuan and Mai

(2015) said that it is difficult for the learners if the teacher gives a topic which is not

familiar to the students and as a result it will make the students confuses because they

did not have enough knowledge about the topic. In relation with the topic, the

students also face some difficulties in organizing the presentation. The students

should know about the organization of the presentation about the topic that was going

to be presented (Gibson, 2014).

Third, have problem in keeping the audiences’ interest. Khoury (2015) argued

that one of the presenter problems when they do a presentation is on keeping or

making the audience listen to the presenters. In other words, maintaining the

audiences’ interest when the speaker performs an oral presentation is difficult.

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Fourth is the pace in speaking. Speaking speed also became one of the

student’s challenges in speaking in front of public. There was a study which

examined the student’s problems especially about the tempo. Rajoo (2010) said that

most of the student’s tended to speak too fast. As a result, the audiences could not

understand well.

Fifth is the memorizing problem, which led to the blankness. Rajoo (2010)

also found that memorizing problem become one of the students’ considerations in

speaking in front of public. Rajoo said that the students suddenly forgot what they

would say when speaking in front of public.

Sixth is the anxiety. Recent studies have found that anxiety becomes the most

difficult obstacles that the students face when speaking in public (Basic, 2011; Al-

Nouh, Abdul-Kareem, & Taqi, 2015). Furthermore, according to Emden and Becker

(2004), as cited in El Enein (2011) that most of the learners or students were very

nervous about presenting in public.

Seventh, teacher’s expectation also makes the students difficult in doing an

oral presentation. There are studies which believed that teacher expectation also make

the students difficult when they do the presentation. Gigante, Lewin, and Dell (2012)

argued that most of the students were having problems in the teachers’ expectation to

the students who are going to do an oral presentation.

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Last is time problem. A study which was done by Tuan and Mai (2015)

investigated on the students’ problem in doing an oral presentation. They stated that

the students also faced time problem when they were doing the presentation.

Moreover, a study who have done by Rajoo (2011) also categorized the

students’ difficulties during oral presentation into 4 groups;

vocabulary/language/grammar (not fluent in speaking English, grammatical problem

and lack of vocabulary), contents/ideas (having problem in giving examples, topic

problems, difficult in attracting the students’ interest, being afraid if the points are not

correct), personal traits (talk too fast, nervousness, memorizing problem, not

confidence enough and teachers expectation), and external factors (lack of

preparation, lack of time).

Strategies to Handle Difficulties in Oral Presentation

Some studies also revealed the strategies in dealing with the speakers’

problems when doing the oral presentation. First is the strategy when dealing with

grammatical problem. Lewis (2011) argued that reading more about the grammar and

the structure was the best way in overcoming the students’ problem in regarding with

grammar and structure error.

Second, the students should master the topic well in dealing with topic

problem or difficult in understanding the topic by using the internet was very helpful

for the students in order to know more about the topic (Blake, 2013). Third is a

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strategy to conquer problem in organizing the ideas. Gibson (2014) also argued that

the students, who suffered from organizing the idea of the presentation, should master

the topic or the material and organize it really well. Organize it really well means that

the presenter should divide the main body of the presentation into some points.

Fourth is a tactic on how to keep the students interest. In order to keep the

audiences’ interest, putting some jokes, story, etc. inside the presentation was a good

strategy. It is because it could make the audience become comfortable to listen to the

presenter’ presentation (Kim, 2014)

Fifth, in dealing with the speaking speed problem, the students should adjust

their speed. Pain (2014) pointed out that adjusting the speed or slowing down the

speed is the answer if the students’ have problem in their speaking speed because the

way the presenter gives the presentation, especially in the pace of speaking is very

important.

Sixth is the strategy in dealing with memorizing problem. Mitchell (2009)

gave a useful guideline for the students who are bad at memorizing. He believed that

keep talking or repeat the previous point when the presenter could not memorize the

material was very useful strategy.

Seventh are some strategies in facing anxiety problems while speaking in

front of public. According to Daniel and Hall (2014) practice, breathing exercise and

do not look at the audiences’ eyes can reduce the anxiety level on the students while

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he/she was doing an oral presentation. Additionally, Buchler (2013) examined the

strategies in dealing with the sixth graders’ problem especially about anxiety when

the students did the presentation in front of the public by doing an experimental

study. Buchler (2013) stated that breathing exercise is the most effective strategy in

dealing with the nervousness because when the students controlled their breathing

they became more relaxed.

Eighth is the strategy about changing the students’ mindset when the students

feel afraid of what the teachers were expected to the presenter. In dealing with

teachers’ expectation, Allan (2015) said that changing your mindset into the positive

one was a good choice in dealing with the under pressure feeling. Further, he also

said that the way narrator’s think which turned the negative into the positive thinking

affect their performance in giving an oral presentation later.

Last is handling the time problem. Marshall (2009) stated that in dealing with

the time problems or length of time when the students did an oral presentation, the

students should calculate the time well. If the students calculated the time, the

students would know which unimportant parts that needed to be erased.

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THE STUDY

Research Questions

The research questions below were used to collect the data, which were:

1. What are the study group members’ difficulties during oral presentation?

2. What are the study group members’ strategies in handling their difficulties when

presenting?

Context of the Study

This research was conducted at the English Language Education Program of

the Faculty of Language and Literature that is located in Satya Wacana Christian

University, Salatiga. In this program oral presentation has become one of the

assignments that could not be separated from many offered courses. In other words, it

was very common having an oral presentation as a form of teachers’ assessment in

many courses. However, the English Language Education Program students still

faced some difficulties in doing the presentation and could not handle their problems

well. An outstanding study group was chosen to be a role model in handling those

difficulties.

Participants

The participants are members of a study group in the English Language

Education Program which consist of five students. This group was formed during the

second year while they were taking the Public Speaking course. The researcher chose

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this group because all of the participants used English as a communication tool when

discussing the materials or sharing their ideas inside and outside classrooms. In

addition to that, their GPA was between 3.2-3.6 and each of them had an A grade for

the public speaking course. Those two parameters indicated that the participants had

had good English language skills, especially the skill in speaking in front of public.

For additional information, all of the researcher’s participants had ever been selected

to participate at particular events such as LOVED (English competition which was

held by the Faculty of Language and Literature) and national competition as story

tellers and speakers of speech. Three of them were story tellers and the rest were

speakers.

Data Instruments

In order to get the data, the researcher used semi-structured interview. Semi-

structured interview was used because of the flexibility: the researcher could add

some follow up questions if it was necessary. There were initially five questions to

ask, they were:

1. In your opinion, what are some factors that affect your performance in
presenting?
2. Do you have any difficulties in doing an oral presentation? What are they?
3. What is the biggest difficulty in speaking in public?
4. How do you cope with your difficulties when doing an oral presentation?
5. Do you use any kind of tools in handling your difficulties during the
presentation?

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In addition to those five questions, there would be some follow-up questions

to make the data wealthier. Other than that, the flexibility of semi-structured

interview also helped the researcher to add or change the questions whenever

necessary. Audio recording is used in order to transcribe the data as a proof of the

interview section.

Before getting the actual data, the researcher conducted a pilot study with the

aim of testing the reliability of the questions. For the pilot study, the researcher

interviewed two students of batch 2012. The result of piloting study showed that

several questions’ answers were not coherence with the researcher expectation.

Therefore, the researcher decided to change the five questions above into three

questions, which were:

1. Do you have any difficulties in doing an oral presentation? What are they?
2. What is the biggest difficulty in speaking in public?
3. How do you cope with your difficulties when doing an oral presentation?

Data Collection Procedure

For the first participant, the researcher translated the questions into Indonesian

with the purpose of avoiding misunderstood between the interviewer and interviewee.

Nevertheless, for the rest of the participants, the researcher used English and didn’t

translate it into Indonesia because the writer thought that the participants already

understood about the questions.

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Data Analysis Procedure

Before analyzing the data, the researcher transcribed the interview results to

make it easier to examine the actual data. The researcher examined the participant’s

difficulties in doing an oral presentation and their strategies in facing their difficulties

person to person. Moreover, the researcher provided the summary in the form of a

figure.

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DISCUSSION

To answer the research questions: 1. What are the study group members’

difficulties during oral presentation? and 2. What are the study group members’

strategies in handling their difficulties when presenting? This section covers the

findings and discussion on the result of the semi-structure interview with the

participants. Based on the questions, the researcher found that the participants faced a

number of difficulties during the presentation. The difficulties were classified into

groups which were based on Rajoo (2011): vocabulary/language/grammar,

contents/ideas, personality traits, and external factors. In the discussion, the strategies

in handling the respective problems are described.

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Problems and Strategies

Figure one. Students’ difficulties and strategies

Difficulties Frequency Strategies Categories

(N=5)

Grammatical 2  Study more Vocabulary/language/grammar

problems

Understanding the 1  Look forthe Contents/ideas

topic information

from the

internet

organizing the 1  Trying to Contents/ideas

ideas master the

topic and

organize

more

carefully

Attracting the 1  Be Contents/ideas

students interest entertaining

Speaking speed 1  Adjust the Personality traits

speed

Memorizing 1  Keep calm Personality traits

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problem

Anxiety problem 3  Practice more Personality traits

frequently

 Take a deep

breath

 Don’t look

straight at the

audiences

eyes

Teacher 1  Change your Personality traits

expectation mindset

Time problem 1  Calculate the External factor

time

Figure 1shows that the difficulties mentioned by the participants, four


problems such as anxiety problem, speaking speed, memorizing problems, and
teacher expectation are related to personality traits, three problems which are
understanding the topic, organizing the ideas, and attracting the students’ interest are
connected to content, one problem which is grammatical problem is linked to
vocabulary/language/grammar, and one problem which is time problem is associated
with external factors. From the difficulties under personality traits category, anxiety
is found to be experienced by three out of five participants.

Here, the researcher will discuss; first, the problems under personal traits,
second followed by the obstacles beneath contents/idea, third the challenges below

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vocabulary/grammar/pronunciation, and last is the problem under external factor.
Each of the problems is trailed by the participants’ strategies.

Personal Traits

 Anxiety problem

Nervousness or anxiety problems that the participants had during an oral

presentation became one of the biggest difficulties since three of five participants

chose anxiety or nervousness as the most difficult problem that the participants

experienced. This fact is supported by recent studies which were done by Basic

(2011), Al-Nouh, Abdul-Kareem, & Taqi (2015). They found that the anxiety became

the most complicated obstacle which the students had to struggle with. Further, one

of the participants also said that he could not prevent the nervousness problem.

“I am always nervous. Even though I have already well


prepared I felt [sic] that the anxiety is still there”
(Participant E)

Emden and Becker (2004) in El Enein (2011) supported the statement by

saying that most of the students could not evade from nervousness or anxiety when

they have to present in front of public.

Since the anxiety problem became the most difficult obstacle in doing an oral

presentation, some of the participants shared some information or tips to handle it.

“I choose to practice more because practice makes perfect and


with practices it can comfort me.”

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(Participant A)

“at the first minute our voice is still shaking or tremors. The
solution is doing the breathing exercise or take [sic] a deep
breath so that you can adjust your voice and make you more
relax [sic]”
(Participant B)’

“didn’t look people in the eye because it would ruin you. So


looked [sic] at them above their head”
(Participant E)

The first strategy is practice more. As Participant A mentioned before,

practice makes perfect. As a result, the presenter will be more comfortable when

speaking in front of public. Second is taking a deep breath. This strategy is very

useful when the presenter is nervous which led to unstable voice. Therefore, taking a

deep breath can make the presenter more relaxed (Participant B). Last is not looking

straight to the audiences’ eyes. Based on the participant E’ experiences, it is not

recommended to look straight at the audiences’ eyes because it can make the

presenter more nervous and it will mess up the presenter.

An expert also believed that those strategies (practice, breathing exercise,

don’t look straight at the audiences’ eyes) could reduce the anxiety level on the

students while he/she was doing an oral presentation (Daniel and Hall, 2014).

 Speaking speed

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The pace of speaking when the speaker gives a presentation also has a big role

in oral presentation. According to participant A, he couldn’t avoid his problem

regarding his tempo in speaking. He often speaks too fast and as a result the audience

cannot understand him.

“I speak too fast and the audiences can’t understand what I


am talking about”
(Participant A)

This phenomenon was also found in Rajoo (2010) study that presenters tend

to speak so fast that the audience cannot understand them.

Besides sharing his problem, Participant A also shared his strategy in dealing

with the pace on his speaking. The apprentice who would do the presentation must:

“the only way to overcome that problem is; I need to adjust


my speaking speed when I’m speaking”
(Participant A)

As Participant A said above, the only way to overcome his problem is slowing

down his pace in speaking so the audience will understand what he is saying. Pain

(2014) also believed that the way the presenter gave the presentation is very

important especially in pace of speaking. She also pointed out that if the presenter has

problems in their speaking speed, they need to slow it down in order to make the

audience understand.

 Memorizing problem

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One of the participants also said that blank in the middle of presentation

became one of her difficulties when speaks in front of public or do an oral

presentation. She stated that she sometimes became blank when she did an oral

presentation.

“for example when I’m doing a presentation I already think


about what I’m going to say but once I stand in front and then
I forget what I should say”
(Participant C)

Memorizing also becomes one of the students’ obstacles when they do an oral

presentation. Rajoo (2010) who had done a research in investigating the students’

problem in speaking in front of public said that students often became blank in the

middle or beginning of the presentation because they forgot what they would say.

To overcome the difficulty in dealing with memorizing problem, one of the

participants said that the presenter ought to keep calm.

“I try to elaborate what I’ve said before and the key is that
you have to keep calm so the audience wouldn’t know if you
have problems in remembering your topic. So you have to
keep going with it.”
(Participant C)

The strategy which was said by Participant C was a good option when the

audiences’ mind went blank. Mitchell (2009) believed that keep talking by referring

what the presenter have said was a very good strategy. It could reduce the pressure

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itself. Auxiliary, it made the presenter more relaxed and automatically would help the

presenter to remember what he would say.

 Teacher expectation

One of the interviewees stated that he struggled enough on the feeling of

being under pressure because of what the lecture expect about him. It is because the

students was a debater and a story teller, which means that he was considered capable

enough in presenting in front of a public and the lectures had already known about his

skills in speaking.

“I feel that the lectures expect [sic] me to do better”


(Participant A)

Based on the finding above, the writer could conclude that Participant A

agreed with a theory which was said by Gigante, Lewin, and Dell (2012) which said

that most of the students were having problems in the expectation of the lecture..

A tip from Participant A to handle the problem is for the presenters to change

their mindset.

“you need to change your mind set. You need to think that
you are here to do the presentation for nothing to lose.”
(Participant A)

One’s mindset is very powerful. Based on the statement which was said by

Participant A above, mindset plays an important role when the students do an oral

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presentation. Allan (2015) argued that changing your mindset into the positive one

was a good choice in dealing with the under pressure feeling. He also said that the

way of presenter’s thinking affected their performance in giving an oral presentation

later.

Content/ideas

 Understanding the topic

Topic also plays an important role in the presentation. in regarding to this

Participant E said that one of his problems in doing an oral presentation is about the

topic itself whether he understands about the topic or not.

“when I have to prepare some speech usually the materials


are; 1 I didn’t know the topic and then I should start from
zero…”
(Participant E)

Rivers (1968) in Tuan and Mai (2015) also argued that it is difficult for the

learners if the teacher gave a topic which is not familiar to the students and as a result

it would make the students confused because they didn’t have enough knowledge

about the topic.

When asked how to handle that problem, Participant E shared that she would

look for the information about the topic from the internet

“I try to find the AVA that is already in the Internet…..”

22
(Participant E)

Further, she also said that this strategy was very useful. Her ideas echoes

Blake’s (2013) idea, who stated that “by using Google, yahoo, MSN search, Bing or

other search engine, students can retrieve primary source information” (p. 36).

Searching the information in the internet could help the students find the desired

information.

 Organizing the ideas

Having difficulties in organizing the ideas of the presentation also became one

of the students’ problems when doing an oral presentation. It is difficult for them to

present the ideas in a good order.

“I have difficulty in what I should say first and then I got


blank because my organization of my presentation is not that
good and then my presentation will become disoriented [sic].”
(Participant C)

The assertion which is said by the Participant C tells us that organizing the

points was not easy at all. Gibson (2014) also believed that doing a presentation is not

an easy task especially in organizing the contents because it requires good

presentation skills.

Based on Participant C’s experiences, she told the researcher that the students

who might have the same problem should try to read the material watchfully.

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“I try to plan my presentation more carefully and sometimes I
read my material and master my topic so I will understand
about my material.”
(Participant C)

According to participant C, before doing the presentation, a presenter needs to

understand the topic first and organize it carefully. This idea equals to Gibson’s

(2014) idea who argued that in dealing with the problem of organizing the

presentation, the presenter should read the material carefully. As a result the presenter

would be able to master the topic or the material and organize it very well which

means that the presenter should divide the main body of the presentation into some

logical points.

 Attracting the students’ interest was difficult

One of the participants that the researcher had interviewed said that how to

attract the audience to “keep on track” or keep the audiences interest so they won’t

get bored is very difficult.

“The problem is on how I can make the creative one that the
audience will not get bored when I deliver the material in
front of them”
(Participant B)

A theory from Khoury (2015) also believed that one of the presenters’

problems when they do a presentation was on keeping the audience listen to the

24
spokespersons’ presentation. As a result, maintaining the audiences’ interest when the

speaker performs an oral presentation is a difficult task.

The best way to cope with the problem above, according to Participant B, is to

try to be entertaining.

“I always put some jokes when I do the presentation and then


they will laugh together with me, as a result they will enjoy
my presentation. The other example; don’t always greet the
audience with good morning or good afternoon because it is
too mainstream. Try another way to open your presentation
with a story or poem to attract the audience interest.”
(Participant B)

Participant B pointed out that the presenter should make some jokes or start a

presentation with a story or a poem grab the audiences’ interest. By doing so, the

audiences would not get bored with the presenter’ presentation and consequently it

would make the presenter became more relaxed

Putting some jokes, stories, etc inside the presentation was also a good option,

because it could create a comfortable situation for the audiences (Kim, 2014).

Vocabulary/grammar/pronunciation problems

 Grammatical problem

Based on the interview session, how to construct a good grammar while

presenting became one of the students’ obstacles. One of the participants admitted

25
that he had a problem in constructing a question with a good structure even though he

had good skills in speaking.

“It is very hard for me to construct a question with a good


grammar and structure”
(Participant A)

In this case, Participant A often asks questions in order to engage the

audiences to be more active in the class.

Participant B had a similar opinion to Participant A aboutlinguistic problems,

saying:

“Talking about grammar/vocabulary and pronunciation, my


brain should work two times harder. I mean my brain should
translate it into English because I also need to adjust my
grammar and vocabulary in order to make the audience
understand about what I’m talking about”
(Participant B)

This finding was in line with Rajoo’s finding (2010) that making a sentence in

a good structure had become one of the students’ problems when doing an oral

presentation. Thornbury and Slade (2007) also argued that one of the students’

problems in speaking was to transfer L1 into L2, which is done manually. As a result

it will make it difficult for the presenter to construct a good sentence with correct

grammar/vocabulary.

26
To handle the linguistic problems, Participant A and B shared the strategy

they normally did. They proposed that to face the grammatical problems students

need to study more about the English grammar.

“there is no other way to overcome grammar mistakes than


learning the grammar. I will [sic] rather than [sic] learn the
structure again because there is no other way to face your
grammar errors if you are not learning the grammar itself”
(Participant A)

Participant A’s strategy is in line with Lewis (2011) by saying that to face

your difficulties in structure and grammar error, studying or reading more about it

was the answer.

External Factor

 Time problem

The last problem which the participants had experienced was about the length

of time when they do a presentation. One of the participants suffered from the time

problem when she had to present in front of public. She said that sometimes the time

which was set by the lecturers were not enough.

“they will give us time right? Like an hour or just half an


hour, sometimes it[sic] just not enough because I have so
many things that I want to talk about”
(Participant E)

27
A study by Tuan and Mai (2015) also supported the idea that the students had

limited time to talk during an oral presentation. The portion of the time that was given

by the lecture was limited.

Participant E provided advice to overcome time problem by saying that

calculating the time well is the best strategy to deal with the time problem.

“Usually I speak in front of [sic] mirror before presenting and


I use stopwatch next to me to count the time, so that I know
which part of my speech which is not important and I cut it.
For me this strategy is very helpful in counting the time”
(Participant E)

Calculating the time before you do a presentation is very important. This

strategy can overcome the difficulty in length of time. According to Marshall (2009)

in dealing with the time problem the presenter should count the time really well. She

pointed out that the presenter needed to estimate the time per sub point in order to

analyze which part needed to be erased.

Data Interpretation

Based on the data that the writer has been collected, the researcher concluded

that there were many problems that the English Department Students face during an

oral presentation. Furthermore, from all of the difficulties, the researcher had got

useful information that anxiety or nervousness becomes an obstacle that the most of

the participants struggle with. This finding was in line with Basic (2011), Al-Nouh,

28
Abdul-Kareem, & Taqi (2015) which said that anxiety became the most difficult

problem that the participants had to struggle with.

Further, the researcher also found interesting facts that each of the problems

had their own strategies. The first one was structure and grammatical problems.

Based on the participants, the presenter should study more about it. It is because

studying or learning grammar was the best way to deal with it (Lewis, 2011).

Furthermore, since anxiety became the most difficult obstacle, the participants had a

lot of tips to conquer it such as: practice more, take a deep breath, and never look at

the audiences’ eyes. The strategies which were said by the participants also in line

with Daniel and Hall (2014) findings’ by saying that those strategies were very

effective in dealing with anxiety because it can reduce the nervousness. Next was

about the topic. The participants said that she could not understand the topic which

was given by the lecturer and to overcome it, she was looking for the information in

the internet in order to make her understand more about the topic. An expert also

believed that looking the related topic in the internet could help the presenter to be

more aware of the topic (Blake, 2013).Moreover, in dealing with organizing problem,

the presenter should read the material carefully. It is because by reading it could help

the presenter in mastering the material (Gibson, 2014). The pace on speaking when

doing an oral presentation was also important. However, the participant shared that

the presenter who suffered with it should adjust their speed in speaking. In connection

with that, Pain (2014) shared the same thing that the presenters need to fine-tune the

29
speed. Another problem was blankness. The participants said that to deal with the

blankness, keep talking or elaborating when your mind goes blank was the key.

Mitchell (2009) pointed out that if the participants went blank, it was better to talk

anything. Dealing with the other problem which was about the material, the students

must be entertaining. It was because keeping the audiences’ interest was very

important (Kim, 2014). Last but not least were about teacher expectation and time

problems. Experts believed that to overcome teacher expectation, the participants

should have positive mindset (Allan, 2015). Dealing with time problem, Marshall

(2009) believed that the presenter should estimate the time well. The participants

agree with the experts by saying that the students need to change their mindset into

the positive one and have to calculate the time in order to know the time.

Due to the fact that presentation became one of the assessments which the

students should pass, still the majority of the students have problems in giving an oral

presentation. Through this finding, not only the researcher want to help fellow

students to improve their speaking skill in front of public but also to make the

lecturers aware of the student’s problems in giving oral presentation.

30
CONCLUSION

Conclusion

Based on the data analysis, the writer concluded that students did face

problems during an oral presentation. Those problems were categorized into several

groups, namely: personal traits (speaking speed, memorizing problem, anxiety

problem, and teacher expectation), contents/ideas (understanding the topic,

organizing the ideas, and attracting the student’s interest),

vocabulary/language/grammar (grammatical problem), and external factors (time

problem). From the problems that the participants had experienced, most of them

pointed out that anxiety problem become the most challenging when doing an oral

presentation.

The participants also gave some useful guidelines in facing those problems,

such as studying more about grammar in order to overcome grammatical problem,

looking forthe information in the internet when the students could not understand

about the topic, trying to read the topic more carefully to solve problem in organizing

the ideas, be entertaining so as to get the student’s interest, adjust the speed to deal

with speaking speed problem, keep talking which was very useful for memorizing

problem, practice, take a deep breath, and don’t look at the audiences’ eyes in dealing

with anxiety problem, change your mindset with the purpose of conquering teacher

expectation problem, and calculate the time well so the students could bear with time

problem.

31
Suggestion

Based on the findings, the students who will do an oral presentation should try

those strategies if they face similar problems. It is because all of the strategies in the

previous section have been applied in their presentation which means that those

strategies work well when the participants did the presentation. From the findings, the

researcher also wanted to inform the teacher to be more aware in dealing with the

student’s difficulties when they are speaking in front of public. The researcher hopes

that the teacher helps the students as well in order to overcome the student’s problems

in doing a presentation.

This study can’t be said as a perfect study. It is because the researcher only

examined one study group member in English Language Education program without

observing the students while doing a presentation. As a result, it cannot measure the

participants’ strategies in dealing with oral presentation accurately. For further

research, in addition to interviews, it is better to do observations to see whether the

strategies work well or not.

32
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

First I would like to thank to God, my Jesus Christ who art in Heaven. I

believe that without His blessing I cannot finish my thesis in time.

Second, I would also express my deepest thanks to my supervisor, Mrs Gita

Hastuti, S.Pd., M.A. and my examiner, Mr Dian Toar Y. G. Soemakul, M.A. for their

patience in reading my thesis and helping me in making my thesis become better and

better.

Third, I also want to thank my parents who always cheer me up when I’m

frustrated with my thesis. Not only cheering me up but also forcing me to finish my

thesis immediately.

Fourth, I would like to express my gratitude to my participants. Without their

willingness to be my interviewees I cannot finish my thesis.

Fifth, I want to show my deepest gratitude to my friends, Natalia Devina,

Fernando Christian, Billy, and Maria Intan Permata in helping me to finish my thesis

by giving me a lot of feedback.

Sixth, thanks to my friends, Chan, Lee, Yubi, Nanik, Steffi, Happy, and

Rahma for always support me while I was frustrated in dealing with thesis.

Many thanks to all of you guys, all of you are very awesome. Love you all to

the moon and back.

33
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perceptions of the difficulties in oral presentation as a form of assessment.
International Journal of Higher Education, 4 (1), 136-150. Retrieved October
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presentation-skills
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.

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APPENDIX

Me: halo
A: halo

Me: so do you have any difficulties in doing an oral presentation?

A: yes of course, actually there are some difficulties that I faced during my oral
presentation if I can describe it. It could be seen into 2 factors; internal and external
factors. In my internal factors some believe that those who are fluent are not very
accurate. Those who are very fluent in speaking, they rather to have a bad
grammar/structure and my speed in speaking because I speak too fast and the
audiences can’t understand what I am talking about. Actually that is one of the
problem because I do believe that I kind of fluent but when it comes on grammar or
structure I’m not that good. So from my internal factor is how to construct a good
grammar when I’m speaking because I’m rather not to use a good structure of
grammar because I rather tend to be more fluent and somehow I feel like being
oppressed by my own self because somehow I don’t feel that it is okay to speak more
because I don’t want to some of my friends being oppressed by my existence for
example if they are being so passive when I’m speaking too much I don’t like that it
is okay for me. The external factor; it could be seen from the materials or the topic. It
is because when you do really well in speaking but you don’t know what you are
talking about you will be shut.

Me: do you have any problems with nervousness or anxiety?

A: yes of course. Even though you are very good in speaking you will face that kind
of problems. In my cases, I do feel nervous towards some extend. It is because I feel
that the lectures expected me to do better because I’m story teller and debater so
sometimes I have the burden to speak really well.

36
Me: based on those problems, what is the biggest difficulty that you faced?

A: the biggest difficulty is the structure and about the grammar. It is very hard for me
to construct a question with a good grammar and structure

Me: talking about external factors, do you think that the audience also affect your
performance in speaking in front of public?

A: yes, it is very affect my performance. If the audience became active when I do the
presentation it will make me comfortable when I’m speak but when the audience
became really passive because I feel like that I’m the one who are dominated the
class and it is not the good feeling. The weather also affects my performance during
my presentation; for example if I catch flu I won’t be able to present well. The time
when you are presenting also affect the presentation such as when it noon you will
became sleepy.

Me: how about the AVA? Does AVA affect your performance?

A: yes, actually when I’m recall my memory during my public speaking class, I put
more pictures and less words. It is because I do believe that using pictures is very
helpful because I can describe it more rather than putting many words in the slide.

Me: how about your personal appearance? Does it also affect your performance?

A: yes of course it really affects my performance. It is because when I wear a formal


outfit it will motivated me to perform well. It is because I do believe that your clothes
are a statement or commitment to your class. It shows that you are eager to learn or to
perform well.

Me: how do you cope with your difficulties?

A: to overcome my difficulties, I choose to practice more because practice makes


perfect and with practices it can comfort me.

37
Me: what kind of practice do you use?

A: I rather to make my own statement and I read it and remember it and I try to
improve my argument so I speak more and more and more. The more I speak the
more I comfortable with the vocabulary. The more I practice it is like to fossilize in
your mind and it really help you for sure.

Me: how about the grammar structure?

A: there is no other way to overcome grammar mistakes than learning the grammar. I
rather to learn the structure again because there is no other way to face your grammar
errors if you are not learning the grammar itself

Me: do you think that listen to the songs and watching some movies also help you a
lot?

A: yes, it is help me a lot. When I do the presentation somehow I use the phrases
which are not I learn from the class but I learn from the movies. I do believe that
what you learn from the movies is like you will unconsciously pop out.

Me: you say that you also face the nervousness right? How do you cope with that?

A: practice help you a lot when you are feel nervous but when it comes to the day
before you are presenting I tend to make it fun and not think about my presentation. I
don’t like to burden me with those kind of negative feelings so I rather to clean it up
from my mind.

Me: on the other hand, you also say that you experience the pressure because you are
expected to be better than the other students by the lectures, how do you cope with
that problem?

38
A: well, you need to prepare well. In this case you need to practice, practice and
practice. It is because exercise makes perfect. Second, you need to change your mind
set. You need to think that you are here to do the presentation for nothing to lose.

Me: I also read from the theory which said that breathing exercise help you a lot with
anxiety. Do you agree with that?

A: yes of course, it is because it can comfort your mind and it will ensure your
psychological feeling that you are ready to perform and make me more relax when I
do the presentation

Me: how about your speed in speaking?

A: the only way to overcome that problem is; I need to adjust my speaking speed
when I’m speaking.

Me: do you use any kind of notes in helping you?

A: yes but it is not very often. The way I use the notes is like I highlight the point of
the sentences and I improvise my speaking based on the point that I’ve highlighted

Me: okay thank you

A: you’re welcome

39