Watch – How To Avoid 10 Common Mistakes in STANAG 6001 Briefings

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There are some mistakes you can make in STANAG 6001 briefings that can be easily avoided if you know where to look. Watch the video and learn how to avoid them.

TEXT VERSION

Hello everyone, and welcome to the short workshop about 10 common mistakes to avoid in the STANAG 6001 briefing. My name is Małgorzata Mazurek and I create the StanagExpert content for you.

So, lets have a look at the first type of mistakes, which is reading. What does it mean? It means that people often read what they have written. As you may know a briefing is a presentation, a monologue, a speech, which you have to present during your STANAG 6001 exam level 3. At least as it is administered in Poland. So what you shouldn’t do. What are our don’ts? Don’t write down the whole text. If you do write the whole text, you’ll be tempted to read it out. And that’s not very well seen during the exam. What to do instead? Well, note down the key ideas, key words, key expressions that you want to use. And the idea is to use bullet points, numbers, letters, pictures, some abbreviations, anything that makes it easier for you to deliver the speech, but prevents you from reading it.

The next type of mistakes that people often make is changing the topic. What people often do is they kind of change the topic a little bit, somehow improve it or maybe they do it unintentionally because they know a lot about some information that is not exactly on the topic listed on your exam card. Don’t change the topic. What to do instead? Follow the instruction really closely. Do all the things that you are asked to do. Follow the task (instruction) really closely and at the same time, don’t forget to paraphrase. Don’t use the expressions from the instruction.

Number 3 is timing. So, timing is very important during the STANAG 6001 exams. Don’t make your presentation too short or too long. Why is it important? Because if you make it too short, it may mean that you haven’t completed the task fully, you haven’t achieved your goal. If it’s too long, you may be stopped after the designed time and you may not be able to sum it up. So, stick to the time limit, monitor the time and practise delivering your speech in time, without exceeding the time limit.

Number 4 is structure. It’s important to structure the monologue, the briefing or the presentation well, which means that your introduction, for example, shouldn’t be too long. It shouldn’t be longer than the body of your presentation. Don’t emphasise the fixed expressions, the fixed phrases too much. Just use them to signal the structure. Limit your introduction to a minimum, that is self-presentation, purpose, agenda and that’s all. So, all the parts of the briefing should be of similar length.

Number 5 is fluency and many mistakes during the exam relate to fluency. In fact, it’s very often the case that the introduction, which is often learned by heart, is very fluent while the body, which can’t be learned by heart because it depends on the topic, differs a lot in the level of fluency, which is clearly noticeable. We want to avoid that. Right? What to do instead? Focus on the body rather than the introduction and keep the introduction to the minimum. And try to maintain the constant level of fluency. Try to make it similar throughout your presentation.

Number 6 is memorising. Avoid memorising anything. Don’t learn parts of your briefing by heart. It will cause those differences in fluency. Don’t try to prepare a universal briefing that fits all purposes. It’s impossible. It may lead to changing the topic. What to do instead? Use the fixed expressions only to create the framework. Keep the introduction short and the main speech parts informative.

Number 7 is argumentation. This is a very important point and a common mistake. It’s important to be unbiased and objective in your argumentation. Don’t favour one of the solutions from the very beginning. Don’t repeat the same pluses and minuses reversed for both options. That is, if one solution is cheap and it’s a plus, then if you mention that the second solution is expensive and it’s a minus, that’s not actually something that we want to do. We really want to invent new arguments for the second option. Also, avoid disproportion when you describe two options. Try to make them equally developed. How to do it? For example, by presenting the same number of pluses and minuses for both options. Always remember to justify why something is a plus or a minus in a given situation. And also, if you need to use the same argument, like the one I mentioned, for example, cheap and expensive, offer a different justification. Right? Try to explain what it is a plus or a minus but in a different way than in the first case.

Ok, number 8 is conclusion. So, don’t forget to sum up. It’s a very important issue, because if you don’t sum up, recommend and justify one solution, it means that you haven’t accomplished the task and that may mean that you’ll fail your whole briefing. How may it be that you have no time to justify? Well, if you exceed the time limit, you may be stopped (by the examiners) and then you’ll not be able to conclude and in this way you don’t achieve your task’s goal. So, monitor timing to make sure you have time for the conclusion and while you’re concluding, make sure that you justify your recommendation. That’s also one of the things that are important as your recommendation needs a justification, because it means that you can develop your ideas correctly.

OK, language seems to be the most obvious place where we could make mistakes. So, don’t make grammatical mistakes and don’t use simplistic language. These are the main don’ts in this department. Why are they so important? Well, grammatical correctness and accuracy are one of the evaluating criteria for the STANAG 6001 exam. What to do? How to make sure that your speaking is correct? So, try to use a variety of grammatical forms. Try to use formal language. In this way, you’ll avoid simplistic language and a language that is not the right level. Also, try to use advanced synonyms of common words. If you do it on purpose, then you can be sure that your speaking is more advanced.

And number 10 is questions. Questions are asked after the briefing, so when you’re listening to the second person speaking, you can take notes to make sure that you know what questions to ask about their briefing. And also, after your briefing, the second candidate will also ask you questions about your briefing. So, during the second candidate’s presentation, don’t revise your briefing while the second candidate is speaking. Make notes in this time so that you know what to ask them about when he or she finishes. Don’t ask trouble-making questions. Don’t make the second person’s life more difficult than it already is. Just ask straightforward questions. Don’t answer questions in too much detail. It’s not the time for discussion. You have 1-2 minutes to ask and answer questions about each other’s briefing, so there is no point in really going into detail. Answer the question, yes, but you don’t have to start a discussion at this point.

All right. That brings us to the end (of this short training). If you liked it and may be wondering how to practise those things to make sure that you don’t make those mistakes, you may want to join my online workshop and if you are curious about the details, you can visit my website at www.stanagexpert.com and in the COURSES tab, you’ll read everything about the current edition of the online workshop.

Thank you for watching and good luck with your exams!

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