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Presentations in Criminal Justice Settings

Criminal Justice Conferences and Staff Meetings

There are millions of
offenders under community corrections control at any given moment, and
criminal justice professionals must gain and maintain the knowledge,
skills, and ability to handle the caseloads (Festervan, 2000). They
acquire much of their knowledge on the job, but their skills are
enhanced through continuing education efforts at conferences and staff
meetings. Criminal justice conferences present new and innovative
methods and theories to dispense justice and rehabilitation. Conference
presentations may be based on specialized caseloads, professional trend,
or advanced technology. Conferences can be expensive. Cash-strapped
jurisdictions may only send a select few staff members to attend
conferences, with the expectation of a presentation of conference events
at the next staff meeting. Staff meetings provide an opportunity to
learn new procedures or protocols, express concerns, or learn from
colleagues.

Differences in Setting and Audience

Presenting criminal
justice materials at a conference of unfamiliar professional peers and
the media will require a different approach than at a staff meeting.
Criminal justice professionals are the liaisons between their field and
the public, and they have a duty to represent their employers with the
finest performance (Duncan, 2008). It is critical that the presenter
consider their audience and the venue (Holzl, 1997). Conference
materials must reflect respect for the venue size, available technology,
and the subject matter.

Presenting at a conference
will require a more formal demeanor and engagement with the audience. A
conference presenter will need to produce content that fits the allotted
time-frame, which will demand much more material than preparing
condensed conference data for a staff meeting (Piltch & Terry,
2011). In addition to the length of the presentation, time management
skills are essential. A staff meeting may be more forgiving if a fellow
member consumes extra meeting time. A conference presenter must pace
themselves to deliver their content, so all materials and the final
analyses are offered.

Benefits of Effective Presentation Skills

Effective
presentation skills transcend employment. Effective presentation talents
afford one the ability to extract the most relevant information needed
to communicate a subject or idea and present it in a manner palatable
for the audience. That ability is useful in all communications, from
family matters to public debate. If more people employed effective
presentation skills, miscommunications and negative discourse may be
alleviated.

Resources

Duncan, P. (2008). Correctional officer: Resource Guide. Alexandria, VA: American Correctional Association.

Festervan, E. (2000). Survival guide for new probation officers. Upper Marlboro, MD: American Correctional Association.

Holzl, J. (1997). Twelve tips for effective PowerPoint presentations for the technologically challenged. Medical Teacher, 19(3), 175?179.

Piltch, C., & Terry, K.J. (2011). Visual aids in oral and written presentations. In A short guide to writing about criminal justice (113?126). Upper Saddle: River Prentice Hall.

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