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20 Tips For Preparing An Effective Oral Presentation

Don’t mind the informal me, I just seem to love that ‘down-to-earthness’ – I personally believe that such disposition is a better facilitator of effective communication.

Without much ado, I am going to share with you some ideas on what I can safely call most people’s nightmare (next to examinations, of course) – An oral presentation.

Organizations and other platforms have also come to discover the essence of an effective oral presentation. How it can move an employee from a zero state of mind to an excited state of mind after a brief but powerful presentation.

Businesses are not left out too as it has become a core value that has to be portrayed to convince potential clients about a business idea.

Read this: How to manage your time effectively

Essentially, oral presentations are nothing to be scared of.

They add some kind of depth to the learning experience.

Not having this depth is what we should be scared of. Self-expression is just one of the core pillars of assessing how much and how well a student or presenter has assimilated the content of instructional material.

Overall, some of the most faced challenges associated with oral presentations are content and stage management which shall be discussed broadly here.

Whether you are a student, employee, professional or businessman , you sure need this skill to make a good impression.

Enjoy these tips, internalize them and start putting them into good practice. At the end of this write-up, you will discover the peculiar challenges of stage fright, how to deal with it and a few tidbits on presentation etiquette.

1. Know the content

Nothing breeds confidence like competence and nothing breeds competence like preparation . Being vast in and thoroughly familiar with whatever the subject of a presentation will, in no small way, reinforce your sense of having something genuinely interesting to offer.

With this in place, the presentation ceases to be a mere talk or some kind of recital. It indeed becomes an active engagement of the audience on a journey of discovery. All you need do is just visualize yourself as a tour guide or a curator in a museum.

All you need do is to relate antecedents, history, origins, facts, figures and aspects of the subject matter in such a way as to stimulate their imagination.

You lead the audience on, not exactly projecting yourself but helping them see what needs to be seen. You wouldn’t want to go to the stage and destroy the expectations of people eagerly waiting to listen to you.

2. Define the purpose of the presentation

A presentation isn’t just a list of random facts. It makes a specific point, just like laboratory reports or essays.

Without a clear purpose in mind, your presentation will most likely be a jumble of unorganized factual information, putting your audience in the dark about your true intent.

What is the most important message you want to convey to the audience? Consider this to be the idea or theme of your presentation.

Your presentation’s goal(s) could include, but are not restricted to, trying to inform, inspire, or persuade.

Remember that what you say as well as how you say it must be consistent with the presentation’s goal.

3. Be natural

The mistake a lot of presenters make is thinking that great presentations are all about big vocabulary and sophisticated terms.  

May I indulge you in a different perspective – great presentations are all about presentations done in the most natural way. Be calm, relax and flow effortlessly .

Do your presentations like they are your daily routines. Help your audience feel like – “yes, I agree with what he is talking about”.

Rather than trying to charm the audience with a sophisticated style, be more committed to capturing their imagination through simple cues and vivid expressions.

There is a child in everyone, no matter how old. If possible, add a little humour here and there but try not to overdo it. Ensure you stay on track.

Read this: How to ask questions smartly

4. Invoke curiosity

This aspect is what makes your audience hooked until the end of your presentation. They want to know where you are headed. They can’t risk being distracted until you finish. All you need do is reawaken that curious infant in the brief moment of your presentation.

It is for this reason that presentations adopt visual aids and graphical tools. The world-famous PowerPoint computer application also goes hand in hand with projectors – large screens for a clearer, broader view.

Where else is such pervasive attention given to pictures and descriptive tools apart from a kindergarten? Such applications show that there is a childlike nature in every man. Invoke it!

Read: How To Celebrate Failure For Success

5. Get your audience involved

Get your audience involved in your presentation. Don’t stand behind a lectern all through, tale a brisk, confident walk and project your words into the minds of your audience. Don’t let the lectern come in between you and the audience.

Try to get your audience out of their seats, laughing, raising hands or even standing by your side to make an analysis. Getting your audience to laugh is not as difficult as you might think. For example, you might try, “Ladies and gentlemen, I was told to announce something very critical to the success of today’s event. Even though I don’t think it’s my place to begin my presentation with an announcement that has nothing to do with my topic.”

“Anyway, I’ve been asked to tell you that in the event that you laugh too hard, don’t cause a stampede or fart too loud.” 😆 

Get free tips and tricks that will help you to achieve success faster 😉

6.  Gesticulate

If you can request a cordless lavaliere mic, pls do, so that you can be as flexible with your hands as possible. A handheld mic might become tiring if your presentation takes a while.

Your audience will only remember 30% of what they hear & see but 70% of what they do will stick to them forever.

7. Project your words

Two things that can make your projection so vivid and impactful are a clear voice and clarity of communication. Try to emphasize the last sound of each word which will help you to sound very polished. This may sound odd to you when you start but eventually sound normal as you get used to it.

8. Take a pause

I cannot stress this enough. Take your time to pause! It kinda helps your audience to brainstorm, evaluate and re-evaluate. You shouldn’t say more than six to eight words at a time without a pause. As longer sentences reduce readability, longer spoken words also reduce absorption.

Use a full voice, then pause. Think of great speakers that utilized a full voice and paused. They did efficiently well. Such presentations drop some value within you.

9. Use acronyms

After you have written all the words on index cards, try to think of an acronym or Slang abbreviation that has every point you want to talk about. Use this strategy to keep your presentation in order.

For example, you may have written on a marriage/relationship index card – ask, support, kiss . Think of the first letter in each word and arrange them to ASK or any other word of your choice.

ASK will keep you on track this way:

A – Ask what he thinks

S – Support his opinion first

K – Kiss him when the discussion ends

You must have practised what you will say about each word beforehand. You will only use the acronym to keep track which the audience has no clue about. They will only think you are so perfect! If your oral presentation takes time and involves longer acronyms, you could keep your index card(s) on you just in case you get lost. 

10. Give life to figures

The best way to do this is to put a ‘Point’ of mind-gripping information (pictures, graphs, a phrase or table, flow charts, diagrams or a statistic) on some slides and speaking to them.

While the audience is fixated on that slide, all you need do is try to make them see the aspects of the slides that are hidden. Hence, you help to make their imagination make up for the rest of the story.

Such information is alike in features such as introduction, plot build-up, themes climax/anticlimax, a hero and his trials/triumph and so on.

And like a good storyteller or the mythical Pied Piper, the story or the music as the case is, becomes the object of the audience’s attention. The presenter is merely an intermediary.

11. Face the object

Sure, it is not bad to feel weird for a moment. Gain your confidence back by becoming the audience for a moment.

Face the presentation with your hands towards the slide, board or what have you? Making this brief move takes a whole lot of burden off as you see that you do not have to be the audience’s object of attention for a while.

You can use this moment to stealthily move from your weak points to your strong points as you gain your confidence back .

Not all presentations have to be a serious one looking like a board meeting. It doesn’t have to be a brainstorming session to close a million-dollar deal. Smile if you can.

In fact, you should smile. It will reduce any pressure you might be feeling. You never know how powerful a smile can be until you smile at a confused child who looks at you and then returns the smile.

While you smile, make good eye contact with them and gesticulate as often as possible. This will create a good impression on your audience and make them connect with you easily.

Read this: Amazing facts about your handwriting

13. Intrigue them with stories

Whether it’s a story your grandfather told you or a story you learnt while growing up, people would love to listen. Stories are interesting ways to give your audience a light mood.

Who doesn’t like the taste of a little icing on the cake or peanuts in the chocolate? Just something a little bit different to ease the whole seriousness of the atmosphere.

Professional speakers are becoming professional storytellers ,  primarily stories about themselves or someone they know so well . If you can tell a story about each word or topic on your cards or slides, your speech will have a better flow.

14. Take corrections politely

One mistake people do is to try to show that they know better than their judges.

Judges, examiners, instructors or even a member of your audience can come into your presentation abruptly. Prepare your mind ahead for this and don’t fidget.

A simple “Noted, sir” “sorry, I skipped that” or “thanks for the feedback” would go a long way in determining your final presentation score.

Be courteous and mindful of harsh emotions as you face arguments or opposition. A wrong approach in dealing with this can ruin everything you have started. So be cool with everyone.

As a matter of fact, who you are and who the audience perceives you to be is a measure of the weight of your words.

Hence, it is safer to use universally acceptable codes of conduct and principles of etiquette that will put you in the good graces of the audience.

15. Define your target audience

The audience’s reaction is the only way to judge a good presentation. What do they currently know about your subject matter?

What are their perceptions about your subject matter: will they accept whatever you say, or will you have to persuade them to change their views? Do they have a good command of the English language?

An effective oral presentation requires much more than simply presenting your ideas or giving a presentation. It is all about clear communication and connecting with the audience.

Preparation is required to create that type of presentation. You must learn about your target audience to tailor your message.

If you’re talking to experts in your field, for example, you don’t have to explain all the terms you’re using but if you expect your audience to disagree with your assertions, it’s a great idea to provide additional illustrations and go into greater detail when presenting the evidence.

You can outline your presentation with your audience in mind to explain your main points and maintain a logical flow. The more you understand your target audience, the better you will be able to communicate with them.

16. P redict your audience’s thoughts and tell them

If you’re lucky enough to predict what is on their minds, you’ll get almost 100% attention from your audience. This lowers the barriers between you and them.

They’ll say “hey, he’s so clever hahaha”. Wow, you’re absolutely right! Tell them you know what they are thinking and answer a question they haven’t yet asked you.

17. Practice your presentation beforehand

You should start with yourself first. Talk to yourself, then move on to talking to a friend or small group of friends. When you build more confidence, start by speaking for free to become more professional.

You could begin by speaking to associations and clubs. Your audience may give you more networking opportunities when they enjoy your free presentations. There are business owners in your audience or people who work for businesses looking for speakers.

In fact, t here is much more to learn while you practise. By the time you become well-known, you can start charging a token or your prices can even become non-negotiable. 😉 

18. Explore every possible detail about your subject matter

To prepare an effective oral presentation, you must thoroughly understand your subject matter, which means knowing far more than you will present.

There is no such thing as too much research. The more familiar you are with your content, the more settled and confident you will feel when presenting it to a group.

Take notes as you read about your topic. Then organize your notes for your presentation. The most straightforward structure is an outline.

In most cases, a concise outline will serve as a good template for presenting your topic. The introduction, body, and summary make up a concise outline.

In the introductory part, you must provide a concise context for your discussion. This is where you describe the problem or issue that the presentation will solve.

You want to immediately grab people’s attention, stimulate their interest, and get them pondering about your topic. That is what creating engaging content is all about.

The bulk of your presentation. It provides specific examples to back up your main point. This is where you add important facts, statistics, and details to your discourse.

Make certain that your material is presented articulately, with each point connected to another and clear progressions.

To summarize, highlight the previous points briefly. Use keywords from your introduction to restate your argument.

Take note of transitory phrases or words like “in summary.” Appreciate the audience for their time and, if the presentation format allows, gladly accept their questions.

A clear structure helps to support a clear and focused message, and it prevents you from jumping from concept to concept, which can make it difficult for your audience to grasp your presentation.

Having this in place, the presentation is no longer just a discussion. It truly becomes an active participation of the audience on a discovery journey. All you have to do is relate the subject’s antecedents, background, facts, statistics, and features in a way that stimulates their curiosity.

19. Use visual aids to supplement your content

It is easier to deliver an oral presentation when you employ visual aids. Visual aids, such as PowerPoint slides or printed handouts, provide structure to your presentation and assist the audience in comprehending the key points.

Since the majority of information is deemed and grasped visually, you may need to resolve this in your presentation by including a few visuals.

This would help the audience follow your discourse and possibly discuss a few of your points after the presentation is finished.

A good visual aid , as obvious as it may seem, must remain visual. Visuals can be bulleted lists or outlines, diagrams or figures, or pictures that depict crucial points that would be difficult to explain orally. Visual aids should be used to supplement, not compete with, your presentation. Use them only when they are necessary or beneficial.

20. Anticipate questions and prepare thoughtful answers in advance

A key component of preparing for an effective oral presentation is anticipating questions and creating thoughtful responses beforehand.

It demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about the subject and that you gave the subject some research. It also helps establish credibility and demonstrate your knowledge.

Additionally, it might assist you in remaining composed and assured throughout the presentation, especially if you are posed with unexpected questions. A few strategies for getting ready for questions are as follows:

In summary, your oral presentation is highly related to your motion, posture, gesture, gesticulation, eye contact, pausing effect, response to applause and so on.

The evolving nature of education has seen many lecturers and teachers adopt oral examinations as an integral part of grading students’ performance.

That is apart from lines of study such as Medicine (Viva) and Law (mock trials) that already have oral-related content as a part of their continuous assessment.

It also affords the teacher the opportunity to do more than just teach but to also be a kind of ‘coach’ that nurtures not only the content but also the delivery of knowledge . As a teacher myself, I do subscribe to this method of teaching; after all, was it not Einstein that said – If you cannot explain it simply, then you do not understand it all.

In oral presentations, especially ones that adopt projected information, the words you speak are more important than the words you display.

However, the pictures you use are just as important as the words you speak. In no place is the saying truer – a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

Therefore, being in a position where you have to present your own perspective, with your own words and in your own style goes a long way in shaping your intellectual capabilities . It also builds self-confidence in those that eventually master it.

I wish you a hitch-free and mind-blowing experience in your next oral presentation. 😉 . Which of these tips has helped you tremendously?

Share with love!

Post author: ikeoluwa ogedengbe, 24 replies to “20 tips for preparing an effective oral presentation”.

Wonderful post! Putting these suggestions into practice will make anyone a ‘better’ presenter! Multiple thumbs up!

Sure, they will. Thanks for reading!

Thanks for this post, I believe it will help me gather more confidence in public speaking.

All the best in your next public speaking engagement, Josephine.

Love this post! I have a fear of public speaking so this checklist is so helpful! Thanks for sharing!

I’m glad you love it, Lissy.

Cool, just cool. I like it.

Thanks, Yeahme.

Thank you these are great tips! I have always had a lot of self confidence but always struggle with imposter syndrome so I get so nervous before public speaking!

Aww, I am sure these tips and a lot of practice will take the nervousness away.

This reminds me of my speech 101 class in college. I definitely with these tips — especially the one about knowing the content. Nothing prepares you more than knowing what you are talking about.

That’s absolutely right!

I used to work for a company that offered feedback for corporate leaders on presenting and I agree with everything you say. Bringing your personality into a presentation or speech can make a huge difference but it can take practice to get comfortable enough to bring that energy.

Yes, practice does a lot to make one perfect. Thanks for your input, Sarah.

This is a very helpful post. I wish I had read this when I was still a student. I didn’t like oral presentations and this could have given me a better perspective.

Awww, You may pass on the message to young students to ensure they get it right early.

Great read. Very helpful for my upcoming convention. Thanks for sharing.

I’m glad this helped. I wish you a splendid convention, Allison.

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Happy to help.

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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)

Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.

[Featured Image]: The marketing manager, wearing a yellow top, is making a PowerPoint presentation.

At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.

Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.

Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.

Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.

What are presentation skills?

Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.

You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:

Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event

Making a toast at a dinner or event

Explaining projects to a team 

Delivering results and findings to management teams

Teaching people specific methods or information

Proposing a vote at community group meetings

Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors


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Why are presentation skills important? 

Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.

No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:

Enriched written and verbal communication skills

Enhanced confidence and self-image

Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities

Better motivational techniques

Increased leadership skills

Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity

The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.

Effective presentation skills

Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?

These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.

Verbal communication

How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.

Body language

Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.

Voice projection

The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.

How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.


Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.

Active listening

Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.

Stage presence

During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.

Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.


Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.

Writing skills

Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.

Understanding an audience

When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.

Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:


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How to improve presentation skills

There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:

Work on self-confidence.

When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.

Develop strategies for overcoming fear.

Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.

Learn grounding techniques.

Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.

Learn how to use presentation tools.

Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:

Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize

Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy

PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations

Practice breathing techniques.

Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain.  For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.

Gain experience.

The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.

Tips to help you ace your presentation

Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.

Arrive early.

Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.

Become familiar with the layout of the room.

Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.

Listen to presenters ahead of you.

When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.

Use note cards.

Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.

Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.



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Article sources

Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.

Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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Effective Oral Presentations

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Verbally (and as a general rule), do not write down and memorize or read your full text, because then your presentation will sound like what it is: a recited written text. Instead, memorize the outline of your presentation — that is, a tree structure of main points and subpoints — and speak ex tempore, reinventing the words as you go along. As you do, you will occasionally need to think about what to say next and find the most appropriate words to say it. Instead of using filler words ( um , er , you know , I mean , etc.), simply pause. If you say um , you get about half a second of thinking time and the audience is likely to notice the um and be irritated by it. If you keep silent, you can get up to two or three seconds of thinking time without the audience noticing anything. Even if attendees do notice the silence, they will simply think that you are choosing your words carefully — and there is nothing wrong with that.

Despite pointing often at the screen, Marie nicely faces the audience with her body at all times, keeps her hands down between gestures, and maintains eye contact with the attendees. Transcript Vocally, vary the tone, rate, and volume of your voice as a function of the meaning, complexity, and importance of what you are saying. You need not invent a new intonation pattern: You simply need to amplify your normal pattern.

Visually, control your body. Adopt a stable, confident position; move only when you have a positive reason to do so (for example, move closer to the audience for taking questions), not when your body seems to ask for it. When you make a gesture, make it large and deliberate; between gestures, bring your hands down and do not fidget. Establish eye contact: Engage the audience by looking them straight in the eyes.

At all times, make sure you address the audience. Even if you have slides, tell the audience your story in a stand-alone way; do not just explain your slides. In particular, anticipate your slides. You should know at all times what your next slide is about so you can insert an appropriate transition.

Delivering as a non-native speaker

To keep the audience engaged , Jean-luc emphasizes his points with facial expressions, purposeful gestures, and — especially — a high dynamic range in his vocal delivery. Transcript If you are a non-native speaker of English, you may find it more challenging to speak ex tempore in English than in your native language. Still, even imperfect extemporaneous English is more likely to engage the audience than reciting a more polished, less spontaneous written text. To improve your delivery and overall presentation as a non-native speaker, practice more, pace yourself, and support your spoken discourse with appropriate slides.

While all speakers benefit from practicing their presentations multiple times, consider investing more time in such practice if you are less familiar with the language. Practicing helps you identify missing vocabulary, including key technical terms (which are difficult to circumvent), and express your ideas more fluently. As you practice, you may want to prepare a list of difficult words (to review on the day of your presentation) or write down an occasional complex yet crucial sentence. Still, do not feel bound to what you write down. These notes should be a help, not a constraint.

Practicing in front of an audience (a few colleagues, for example) can help you correct or refine your pronunciation. If you are unsure how to pronounce some words or phrases, you can ask native speakers in advance or check online dictionaries that offer phonetic spelling or audio rendering. Still, you may be unaware of certain words you mispronounce; a practice audience can point these words out to you if you invite it to do so.

During your presentation, pace yourself. As a non-native speaker, you may feel you need to search for your words more often or for a longer time than in your native language, but the mechanism is the same. Do not let this challenge pressure you. Give yourself the time you need to express your ideas clearly. Silence is not your enemy; it is your friend.

Pacing yourself also means speaking more slowly than you otherwise might, especially if you have an accent in English. Accents are common among non-native speakers — and among specific groups of native speakers, too — and they are not a problem as long as they are mild. Often, they are experienced as charming. Still, they take some getting used to. Remember to slow down, especially at the beginning of a presentation, so your audience can get used to your accent, whether native or not.

Handling stage fright and mishaps

Most speakers, even experienced ones, are nervous before or during an oral presentation. Such stage fright is normal and even reassuring: It shows that you care, and you should care if you want to deliver an effective presentation. Accordingly, accept your stage fright rather than feeling guilty about it. Instead of trying to suppress nervousness, strive to focus your nervous energy in your voice, your gestures, and your eye contact. Do not let it dissipate into entropy, such as by using filler words or engaging in nervous mannerisms.

Among the many ways to keep your nerves under control, perhaps the most effective one is to focus constructively on your purpose at all times. Before your presentation, eliminate all the unknowns: Prepare your presentation well, identify (or even meet) your audience, and know the room. During the presentation, do what it takes to get your message across, even if it means doing something differently than you had planned. Have a positive attitude about the presentation at all times: Visualize what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid.

Even with careful preparation, mishaps can occur. For example, technology may fail, you may forget what you wanted to say, or you may accidentally say the wrong thing. As a rule, do not apologize for what happens — neither in advance nor after the fact. Although well-meant, such apologies provide no benefit to the audience: They are noise. If you can do something about the problem, such as fix the technology or insert what you forgot later in the presentation, concentrate on doing so instead of apologizing. If the problem is out of your control, then there is no need to apologize for it. As a specific example, if you feel your command of English is poor, then do what you can in advance to improve it; in particular, practice your presentation thoroughly. Then, on the day of the presentation, do your best with the command you have, but do not apologize at the beginning of the presentation for what you think is poor English. This apology will not solve anything, and it gives the attendees a negative image of you. Rather, let the attendees judge for themselves whether your command of English is sufficient (perhaps it is, despite what you might think). In other words, focus on delivering results, not excuses.

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How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

The success of an oral presentation lies in the speaker’s ability to transmit information to the audience. Lucia Hartigan and colleagues describe what they have learnt about delivering an effective scientific oral presentation from their own experiences, and their mistakes

The objective of an oral presentation is to portray large amounts of often complex information in a clear, bite sized fashion. Although some of the success lies in the content, the rest lies in the speaker’s skills in transmitting the information to the audience. 1


It is important to be as well prepared as possible. Look at the venue in person, and find out the time allowed for your presentation and for questions, and the size of the audience and their backgrounds, which will allow the presentation to be pitched at the appropriate level.

See what the ambience and temperature are like and check that the format of your presentation is compatible with the available computer. This is particularly important when embedding videos. Before you begin, look at the video on stand-by and make sure the lights are dimmed and the speakers are functioning.

For visual aids, Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Mac Keynote programmes are usual, although Prezi is increasing in popularity. Save the presentation on a USB stick, with email or cloud storage backup to avoid last minute disasters.

When preparing the presentation, start with an opening slide containing the title of the study, your name, and the date. Begin by addressing and thanking the audience and the organisation that has invited you to speak. Typically, the format includes background, study aims, methodology, results, strengths and weaknesses of the study, and conclusions.

If the study takes a lecturing format, consider including “any questions?” on a slide before you conclude, which will allow the audience to remember the take home messages. Ideally, the audience should remember three of the main points from the presentation. 2

Have a maximum of four short points per slide. If you can display something as a diagram, video, or a graph, use this instead of text and talk around it.

Animation is available in both Microsoft PowerPoint and the Apple Mac Keynote programme, and its use in presentations has been demonstrated to assist in the retention and recall of facts. 3 Do not overuse it, though, as it could make you appear unprofessional. If you show a video or diagram don’t just sit back—use a laser pointer to explain what is happening.

Rehearse your presentation in front of at least one person. Request feedback and amend accordingly. If possible, practise in the venue itself so things will not be unfamiliar on the day. If you appear comfortable, the audience will feel comfortable. Ask colleagues and seniors what questions they would ask and prepare responses to these questions.

It is important to dress appropriately, stand up straight, and project your voice towards the back of the room. Practise using a microphone, or any other presentation aids, in advance. If you don’t have your own presenting style, think of the style of inspirational scientific speakers you have seen and imitate it.

Try to present slides at the rate of around one slide a minute. If you talk too much, you will lose your audience’s attention. The slides or videos should be an adjunct to your presentation, so do not hide behind them, and be proud of the work you are presenting. You should avoid reading the wording on the slides, but instead talk around the content on them.

Maintain eye contact with the audience and remember to smile and pause after each comment, giving your nerves time to settle. Speak slowly and concisely, highlighting key points.

Do not assume that the audience is completely familiar with the topic you are passionate about, but don’t patronise them either. Use every presentation as an opportunity to teach, even your seniors. The information you are presenting may be new to them, but it is always important to know your audience’s background. You can then ensure you do not patronise world experts.

To maintain the audience’s attention, vary the tone and inflection of your voice. If appropriate, use humour, though you should run any comments or jokes past others beforehand and make sure they are culturally appropriate. Check every now and again that the audience is following and offer them the opportunity to ask questions.

Finishing up is the most important part, as this is when you send your take home message with the audience. Slow down, even though time is important at this stage. Conclude with the three key points from the study and leave the slide up for a further few seconds. Do not ramble on. Give the audience a chance to digest the presentation. Conclude by acknowledging those who assisted you in the study, and thank the audience and organisation. If you are presenting in North America, it is usual practice to conclude with an image of the team. If you wish to show references, insert a text box on the appropriate slide with the primary author, year, and paper, although this is not always required.

Answering questions can often feel like the most daunting part, but don’t look upon this as negative. Assume that the audience has listened and is interested in your research. Listen carefully, and if you are unsure about what someone is saying, ask for the question to be rephrased. Thank the audience member for asking the question and keep responses brief and concise. If you are unsure of the answer you can say that the questioner has raised an interesting point that you will have to investigate further. Have someone in the audience who will write down the questions for you, and remember that this is effectively free peer review.

Be proud of your achievements and try to do justice to the work that you and the rest of your group have done. You deserve to be up on that stage, so show off what you have achieved.

Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: None.

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Trends in Medicine

Seven tips for creating powerful oral presentations.

African American Man Presenting at Medical Seminar

The next time you set out to develop a professional presentation, you might want to look to the theatrical world for inspiration. This advice comes from Erika Bailey , a professional dialect coach and the Head of Voice and Speech at American Repertory Theater. She recently shared her expertise with scholars in Harvard Medical School’s Effective Writing for Health Care certificate program.

Bailey explains that using a theatrical lens can provide a valuable framework through which to organize information for your presentation. In fact, she thinks about preparing her own presentations in two steps: first she crafts as a playwright, and then she presents as a performer. Mastering both roles can be essential to achieving success.

Here are some of her favorite tips to create powerful presentations:

Tip #1: Craft a good story to engage your audience.

Whether you are sharing research findings or talking about a new service or need, it’s always a good idea to think about the story you want to tell. “The story is a powerful way to share ideas and bring people and communities together,” Bailey says. You can think about the plotline, the characters involved and their needs, the setting and the back story.

The story could be a mystery (a problem occurs, and you need to solve it), a romance (you have two problematic ideas that come together in a marriage), a revolution (fighting against an established idea) or a crisis (tragedy may occur if you don’t act now).

Once you have your story, you might memorize the full script, or use a teleprompter, or have cards with an outline and speak in more free form. Regardless of how you present your information, just remember that the story should be at the center of your efforts to engage your reader in the experience.

Tip #2: Use simple language that is easy for people to follow.

The words you select, and how you use them, will make a big difference in how well people hear—and remember—what you tell them. This is especially true in oral presentations. “When we write sentences for people to read, we can add more complexities. But when writing for presentations, we need to simplify, since the listener has only one time to hear what you are saying,” Bailey explains. This makes it important to craft ideas and sentences that are short and succinct (preferably with more periods and fewer commas for ease of listening).

For example, Bailey works with Harvard faculty who are filming on-demand courses and often must help them adapt their well-crafted essays to work for an oral presentation. 

She helps them to make sentences shorter and more active, add pauses, slow down the pace, and insert gestures to make the material more engaging. She says that these same tweaks can also translate to many types of presentations and settings.  

Tip #3: Use cues to guide your readers through your speech.

In writing, people can go back and read something twice. But in a presentation, they only listen once. Therefore, you need to guide them with strategic cues, so they don’t have to work so hard to follow you. This can be adding simple language, such as, “This is what I am going to talk about today,” so they will know what to expect and what you want them to take away from your presentation.

You can also use repetition to make sure they will hear—and remember—your main points. For instance, she suggests saying: “I am going to talk about public speaking. You can look at yourself as a playwright and a performer.” Then repeat these ideas three times throughout your presentation to make sure people grasp the idea and will be able to recall it later.  

 Finally, you can give a signal of where you are in your speech to grab people’s attention as you wind down your presentation. “For example, I suggest saying, ‘In conclusion,’ to let your audience know when you are finishing up.” This signals them to listen carefully because you will be summarizing the takeaways again and you don’t want them to miss it.  

Tip #4: Use non-verbal clues strategically.

“Make sure you use your body for inflections and gestures and think about how to move your body in space,” Bailey says. “Think about standing tall, lengthening your spine and stretching your tailbone and you will be perceived by your audience as more energized.”

 She also recommends using non-verbal clues to punctuate (literally) your words.

“You can use pauses in your speech, and use gestures to act out periods, commas and semi-colons when you talk,” she points out.

“Gesture fully. I encourage as much use of movement as possible,” she says. With many presentations taking place over Zoom these days, she says that thinking of using your space more fully (extending your movements beyond the small box you show up in on the screen) can help you be perceived as more confident and more engaging, too.  

Tip #5: Develop stage presence to be more memorable.

Some presenters stick with you longer after the presentation ends.

“In my role at American Repertory Theater, I would go across the country and see 50 people a day audition. Then I would look at their headshots later and I could not even remember seeing some of them. But others, I can still remember now exactly what they did in that room. They were able to come alive in the moment,” she says, crediting their stage presence to making their performances so memorable.

While stage presence comes more easily to some people than others, Bailey says there are three things you can do to increase your presence:

This commitment to connect with the audience and awareness of self can be especially essential to making that lasting impression, she stresses, and can truly set you apart from everyone else in the room.  

Tip #6: Prepare for success.

“When we write or edit, we edit until 5 minutes before a paper is due. But as a performer, you first need to write and edit your script days before the presentation so you can rehearse it,” she says.

Before any presentation, Bailey says she reads her script out loud at home and plays around with vocal variety, including the volume, the pacing and the pitch. This helps her feel more comfortable and allows her to determine the right mix for her presentation in advance.

If you want to increase your comfort level, she recommends joining an organization like Toast Masters to get more practice.  

Tip #7: Cut yourself some slack.

“If you find public speaking nerve-racking, it’s okay. It does not have to be perfect. Just find a way to be as expressive as possible (within your comfort zone) to engage your audience,” Bailey says.

Also, remember that you don’t have to suddenly become a performer. It is okay to start off small by adopting some of these tips and continuing to build on them over time as your confidence grows.

Written by Lisa D. Ellis

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

Effective oral presentation

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

“You’re very successful. You’re considered a good speaker. Why do you feel as though you need to improve?” I asked.

“I can always get better,” he responded. “Every point up or down in our share price means billions of dollars in our company’s valuation. How well I communicate makes a big difference.”

This is just one example of the many CEOs and entrepreneurs I have coached on their communication skills over the past two decades, but he serves as a valuable case in point. Often, the people who most want my help are already established and admired for their skills. Psychologists say this can be explained by a phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Simply put, people who are mediocre at certain things often think they are better than they actually are, and therefore, fail to grow and improve. Great leaders, on the other hand, are great for a reason — they recognize their weaknesses and seek to get better.

The following tips are for business professionals who are already comfortable with giving presentations — and may even be admired for their skills — but who, nonetheless, want to excel.

1) Great presenters use fewer slides — and fewer words.

McKinsey is one of the most selective consulting companies in the world, and one I have worked with many times in this area. Senior McKinsey partners have told me that recent MBA hires often try to dazzle clients with their knowledge — and they initially do so by creating massive PowerPoint decks. New consultants quickly learn, however, that less is much more. One partner instructs his new hires to reduce PowerPoint decks considerably by replacing every 20 slides with only two slides.

This is because great writers and speakers are also great editors. It’s no coincidence that some of the most memorable speeches and documents in history are among the shortest. The Gettysburg Address is 272 words, John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech was under 15 minutes, and the Declaration of Independence guarantees three unalienable rights — not 22.

Key takeaway: Reduce clutter where you can.

2) Great presenters don’t use bullet points.

Bullet points are the least effective way to get your point across. Take Steve Jobs , considered to be one of the most extraordinary presenters of his time. He rarely showed slides with just text and bullets. He used photos and text instead.

Experiments in memory and communication find that information delivered in pictures and images is more likely to be remembered than words alone. Scientists call it “ pictorial superiority .” According to molecular biologist John Medina, our ability to remember images is one of our greatest strengths. “We are incredible at remembering pictures,” he writes . “Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

Key takeaway: Complement text on slides with photos, videos, and images.

3) Great presenters enhance their vocal delivery.

Speakers who vary the pace, pitch, and volume of their voices are more effective, according to a new research study by Wharton marketing professor, Jonah Berger.

In summary, the research states that effective persuaders modulate their voice, and by doing so, appear to be more confident in their argument. For example, they raise their voice when emphasizing a key message, or they pause after delivering an important point.

Simply put, if you raise and lower the volume of your voice, and alternate between a high pitch and low pitch while delivering key messages, your presentation will be more influential, persuasive, and commanding.

Key takeaway: Don’t underestimate the power of  your voice to make a positive impression on your audience.

4) Great presenters create “wow” moments.

People don’t remember every slide and every word of a presentation. They remember moments, as Bill Gates exemplified back in 2009 in his now famous TED talk .

While giving a presentation on the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce the spread of malaria, Gates stated: “Now, malaria is, of course, transmitted by mosquitos. I brought some here just so you could experience this.” And with that, he walked out to the center of the stage, and opened the lid from a small jar containing non-infected mosquitoes.

“We’ll let those roam around the auditorium a little bit.”

This moment was so successful in capturing his audience because it was a surprise. His audience had been expecting a standard PowerPoint presentation — complete with graphs and data. But what they got instead was a visceral introduction to the subject, an immersive experience that played on their emotions.

Unexpected moments grab an audience’s attention because the human brain gets bored easily. According to neuroscientist, A.K Pradeep, whom I’ve  interviewed : “Novelty recognition is a hardwired survival tool all humans share. Our brains are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out, something that looks delicious.”

Key takeaway: Give your audience something extra.

5) Great presenters rehearse.

Most speakers don’t practice nearly as much as they should. Oh, sure, they review their slides ahead of time, but they neglect to put in the hours of deliberate practice that will make them shine.

Malcolm Gladwell made the “ 10,000-hour rule ” famous as a benchmark for excellence — stating, in so many words, that 20 hours of practice a week for a decade can make anyone a master in their field. While you don’t have nearly that long to practice your next presentation, there’s no question that the world’s greatest speakers have put in the time to go from good to great.

Consider Martin Luther King, Jr. His most famous speeches came after years of practice — and it was exactly this level of mastery that gave King the awareness and flexibility to pull off an advanced speaking technique: improvisation. King improvised the memorable section of what is now known as the “Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. When he launched into the “I have a dream” refrain, the press in attendance were confused. Those words were not included in the official draft of the speech they had been handed. King read the mood of his audience and, in the moment, combined words and ideas he had made in previous speeches.

It’s believed that King gave 2,500 speeches in his lifetime. If we assume two hours of writing and rehearsals for each one (and in many cases he spent much more time than that ), we arrive at the conservative estimate of 5,000 hours of practice. But those are speeches. They don’t take into account high school debates and hundreds of sermons. King had easily reached 10,000 hours of practice by August of 1963.

Key takeaway: Put in the time to make yourself great.  

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, using the above tips to sharpen your skills is the first step to setting yourself apart. Stand out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over again.

Effective oral presentation

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Ten simple rules for making good oral presentations.

Clear and logical delivery of your ideas and scientific results is an important component of a successful scientific career. Presentations encourage broader dissemination of your work and highlight work that may not receive attention in written form. Dr. Philip E. Bourne is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California. This article condenses his excellent list of rules for making a good oral presentation.

1: Talk to the Audience

Know your audience – their backgrounds and knowledge level of the material you are presenting and what they are hoping to get out of the presentation. Deliver what the audience wants to hear.

2: Less is More

Your knowledge of the subject is best expressed through a clear and concise presentation that is provocative and leads to a dialog during the questionand-answer session when the audience becomes active participants. At that point, your knowledge of the material will likely become clear.

3: Talk Only When You Have Something to Say

Remember the audience's time is precious and should not be abused by presentation of uninteresting preliminary material.

4: Make the Take-Home Message Persistent

A good rule of thumb is this: if you ask a member of the audience a week later about your presentation, he or she should be able to remember three points. If these are the key points you were trying to get across, you have done a good job. If they can remember any three points, but not the key points, then your emphasis was wrong. It is obvious what it means if they cannot recall three points!

5: Be Logical

Think of the presentation as a story. There is a logical flow—a clear beginning, middle, and an end. You set the stage (beginning), you tell the story (middle), and you have a big finish (the end) where the take-home message is clearly understood.

6: Treat the Floor as a Stage

Presentations should be entertaining, but do not overdo it and do know your limits. If you are not humorous by nature, do not try and be humorous. If you are not good at telling anecdotes, do not try and tell anecdotes, and so on. A good entertainer will captivate the audience and improve his or chances of following Rule 4.

7: Practice and Time Your Presentation

The more you practice, the less likely you will be to go off on tangents. The more presentations you give, the better you are going to get. An important talk should not be given for the first time to an audience of peers. You should have delivered it to your research collaborators who will be kinder and gentler but still point out obvious discrepancies. Even more important, when you give the presentation, stick to what you practice.

8: Use Visuals Sparingly but Effectively

If you have more than one visual for each minute you are talking, you have too many and you will run over time. Obviously some visuals are quick, others take time to get the message across. Avoid reading the visual unless you wish to emphasize the point explicitly. The visual should support what you are saying either for emphasis or with data to prove the verbal point. Finally, do not overload the visual. Make the points few and clear.

9: Review Audio and/or Video of Your Presentations

There is nothing more effective than listening to, or listening to and viewing, a presentation you have made. Seeing what is wrong is easy, correcting it the next time around is not. Work hard on breaking bad habits; it is important.

10: Provide Appropriate Acknowledgments

It is often appropriate to acknowledge people at the beginning or at the point of their contribution so that their contributions are very clear.

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Oral Presentations

Here, you’ll find information about preparing research-based oral and performance presentations. Oral presentations are often supplemented by some sort of slideshow (e.g., one created in Microsoft PowerPoint), because people tend to understand and retain what they both hear and see.  Performance presentations and film/exhibit/demonstrations are broadly defined and include dance/music/theatre performances, fine art exhibitions, product/device demonstrations, and other similar creative products.


Special Instructions for UURAF 2023 Oral Presentations

UURAF 2023 will be a hybrid event consisting of oral, poster, performance, film and exhibit presentations. UURAF is a public event. Do not share confidential information in your abstract or presentation. 

Presenters can expect to interact with judges and visitors through the chat function and dedicated discussion sessions on the event platform Symposium by ForagerOne. Please respond promptly to questions.

Due to space limitations, oral presentations will only be offered as a virtual option.

Oral Presentations, Virtual Only

Presentation Tips:

What is an oral presentation?

An oral presentation is a formal, research-based presentation of your work. Presentations happen in a range of different places. For instance, if you work at a company that assigns people to teams to collaborate on projects, your project team might give an oral presentation of your progress on a particular project. If you work with a nonprofit organization that hosts an annual meeting at which the organization shares its activities, budget, and goals with funders and community members, you might give an oral presentation delivering that information. Learning how to construct and deliver an effective oral presentation is a useful skill. In this context, we’re referring to oral presentations given to report on a research project and your research findings.

What’s expected of you and your presentation?

For a class presentation, your professor might give you a list of requirements and expectations for your presentation. For a conference presentation, it might be assumed that you already know the requirements and expectations for a presentation or you might be provided some guidelines and expectations. The best thing to do when planning a conference presentation is to get answers to the following questions:

Who is your audience?

One of the key questions above is “Who will attend this conference and potentially my presentation?” Different audiences have different information needs and different expectations.

The audience for your presentation depends on where you are presenting your research. If you are giving a presentation in a class, your audience is your professor and the other students in the class. If you are giving a presentation at a research forum, like UURAF or another campus, state, regional, or national conference, your audience is much more broad.

In a class context, you and your audience have spent weeks together studying the same topic and reading roughly the same materials. You might assume that they know what you know, and you might not need to spend a lot of time in your presentation covering background information. At a conference presentation, however, you might be presenting to a really general audience who doesn’t share your background or you might even be presenting to a very narrow audience who researches topics similar to you, but might do so from a different perspective.

How can I get started on my presentation?

Whittling an entire research project down to a 10-, 20-or even 40-minute presentation can be a challenge and designing a slideshow to supplement your presentation takes time and care. Outlining your presentation first is a great way to get started. You might begin by asking around or doing some research to see what is conventional among practitioners in your field. For instance, in science fields presenters often construct their slideshows following this format:

Another typical format may follow the structure below:

In the humanities, depending on your focus, you might often construct your slideshow following this format:

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the general outline for presentations in your field or research area, you can begin filling in your outline. One helpful way to begin filling in the details of your presentation is to focus on what, who, how, and why:

What do good presenters do?

Delivering good, engaging, memorable presentations is an art form. Think about the best presentations or best presenters or speakers you’ve seen, such as a teacher who captivated you with their lectures, or the CEO of a company who gave a great TED talk you watched online. How did they capture your attention? How did they deliver a good presentation?

A few techniques of good presenters include telling and showing. Good presenters are often able to share information by telling people about their research or work, but also by showing their research or work through charts, graphs, photos, short videos, or other media.

Good presenters also have some mastery over their material. They’re comfortable talking about what they do, what their research is about, and what they accomplish in their work. And good presenters practice talking about their work and sharing their stories—practice is part of what makes their presentations so smooth.

Another technique of a good presenter is being comfortable while presenting. Good presenters look like they’re having a good time and look like they’re comfortable presenting. They don’t stand with their shoulders hunched or their hands in their pockets. They make eye contact with their audience, and they often use facial and hand gestures as they speak—smiling to convey a funny point or holding their palms up quizzically to convey a problem they faced.

How can you avoid presentation pitfalls?

There are a few things you’ll definitely want to consider when presenting your research:

What are some other resources to consult?

Sample Oral Presentation Judging Form

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Effective Oral Presentation

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There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars".

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Udeme Usanga

The primary objective of seminar presentation is to enhance presentation skills when persuading, educating, or informing an audience. Specifically, it provides a focus on the fundamental aspects of a quality academic, professional and business communications including structure, preparation and strategy for delivery, using visual aids, and handling question and answer sessions. The presenter/student practices by preparing and delivering an ideal real-life academic/business presentation. Strict adherence to the instructions outlined allows the presenter to evaluate his/her progress and alter any distracting behaviours before and during presentation. It also enables the participant to learn by doing. The aim of this paper is to introduce students to simple principles on how to plan, writs and present their findings as technical conference papers, then act as the mini-conference programme committee members in reviewing each other's submissions. Finally, in addition to the model itself, description of some variations in instantiation and an assessment of the benefits of this general approach and recommendation for adoption by faculties and educators are proffered. Introduction Rarely are the three pillars of academia-research, teaching and service-addressed together, within one intellectually cohesive context in the graduate curriculum. Such a context is important for exposing students to the interrelationships among these facets. Oftentimes, people are confused what a seminar, workshop or conference means. They are sometimes considered to mean the same thing. However, workshop is a brief intensive educational programme for a relatively small group of people that focuses on techniques and skills in a particular field. Seminar on the other hand is a meeting of a group of advanced students studying under a professor/officer with each doing original research and all exchanging results of their findings through reports and discussions. A conference is a meeting of two or more persons/bodies organized for the benefit of discussing matters of common concern, which usually involves formal interchange of views.

Effective oral presentation

Lilia Mantai

My research aims to investigate the role of social support in Australian doctoral journeys. PhD candidates report isolation and loneliness in doctoral education despite opportunities to interact with peers. Evidence suggests that doctoral candidates make use of different forms of social support on their doctoral journey, which extends beyond the immediate higher degree research environment. Further, doctoral candidates increasingly use technology as facilitators of social support. Firstly, my paper introduces a new model of social support in the PhD journey. Secondly, I present a review of Australian universities’ higher degree research department websites that shows how different universities address doctoral student support needs. This systematic online review answers questions, such as: how are HDR candidates addressed and portrayed, what support services are linked from the website, what types of support and training does the HDR department offer to its candidates, whether any services are provided for students by students, and how academic community is expressed via the websites. Thirdly, I discuss PhD candidates’ perspectives on the types of social support available at their university and the types of social support that they use and value as discussed in focus groups with PhD candidates. The website review and the focus group findings are compared and discussed against the presented model of social support resulting in implications for further research.

The quality of the PhD experience is of intense interest to researchers and universities alike, and both identify the role of support networks as crucial to PhD experience and PhD completion. Our aim in this paper is to explore the types of interdependencies that PhD candidates identify as important in a successful PhD journey. To do so we use an under utilised yet rich data source: PhD thesis acknowledgements. The paper employs a sample of 79 PhD acknowledgements drawn from diverse disciplines within Australian universities. We illustrate the forms of social support provided, who and what is acknowledged as providing support, and the intersections between the forms and providers of support. Key findings of the paper are that three types of support are evident – academic, technical, and emotional – and that supervisors, families, friends and colleagues are acknowledged for providing all three forms of support. The study confirms the critical place of candidates’ networks in the PhD journey, broadens the view of what constitutes support and identifies the range of individuals involved in the process. Further, it identifies potential in acknowledgements as a source of evidence of social support.

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Doctoral experience and researcher development in different PhD workspaces Lilia Mantai Macquarie University Robyn Dowling Macquarie University Abstract In the rich vein of emerging research on doctoral learning and researcher development, an understanding of space is comparatively absent. Yet both learning and development occur in and through space: the materiality of spaces such as the lab as well as the imaginings and social aspects of spaces have affordances that facilitate the PhD. Our purpose in this paper is to explore the form and function of these spaces, based on a qualitative study of PhD experiences, specifically narratives of 30 PhD students at two Australian metropolitan universities, and focus groups with 34 students. Students are actively making use of diverse workspaces to improve their progress and study experience. In this context we identify four spaces important to doctoral learning and researcher development: university campus, laboratory/office, home, and virtual/online spaces. More importantly, we illustrate the doctoral practices and researcher identities that occur within, and are constituted through, each of these spaces. These include making connections with various others to prevent social isolation, researcher professionalisation, space of respite. This research suggests the need to reconceptualise PhD work within the dynamic and fluid landscape created by the various workspaces across which doctoral practices are distributed. Keywords: doctoral practice; PhD students; workspace; researcher development; PhD experience

The traditional purpose of a PhD degree is the preparation and development of researchers. Surprisingly, researcher development is mainly discussed in regards to post-PhD and early academics and researchers (McAlpine, Jazvac-Martek, & Hopwood, 2009; Sinclair, Barnacle, & Cuthbert, 2013). Little empirical research has outlined how early PhD candidates develop and experience themselves as researchers throughout their PhD process. This research adds value by exploring how PhD students experience, develop and change their professional researcher identity over a one-year period. Using a framework that casts researcher identity development as a continuous and incremental process (Åkerlind, 2008; Jazvac-Martek, 2009), this study is based on open interviews with 30 PhD candidates from two Australian metropolitan universities in the first two years of their study and follow-up interviews with 15 of these students after a year. Students’ stories reveal, while the early stage of the PhD journey is often characterised by playful exploration of ideas, excitement, enthusiasm and socialising, a year later the PhD experience changes significantly as students’ focus shifts towards completion, resilience, strategic networking and ‘getting real’. These narratives mark or drive students’ professional development as early researchers. This study implies the kinds of support structures that could be employed to promote and encourage a positive PhD experience and strengthen researcher development. Keywords: researcher development, PhD experience, doctoral practices, doctoral education References: Åkerlind, G. S. (2008). Growing and developing as a university researcher. Higher Education, 55(2), 241–254. Jazvac-Martek, M. (2009). Oscillating role identities: the academic experiences of education doctoral students. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(3), 253–264. http://doi.org/10.1080/14703290903068862 McAlpine, L., Jazvac-Martek, M., & Hopwood, N. (2009). Doctoral student experience in education: activities and difficulties influencing identity development. International Journal for Researcher Development, 1(1), 97–109. Sinclair, J., Barnacle, R., & Cuthbert, D. (2013). How the doctorate contributes to the formation of active researchers: what the research tells us. Studies in Higher Education, 39(10), 1972–1986. http://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.806460

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Scholarly work concerning security issues throughout Western Europe and the United States focuses mainly on security issues of the Transatlantic Area, the European Union, and NATO. There are research treatises on Turkish-American and Australian-American relations separately. However no researchers have compared Australian and Turkish Security Policies. This raises an intriguing question: did Australia and Turkey as regional powers and as loyal allies of the US, follow similar foreign and external security policies? Australians and Turks usually think alike about the nation-making significance of the Gallipoli Campaign. This project aims to move beyond that idea to another aspect in terms of the relations between these two. It will compare the foreign policy and external security policy of Turkey and Australia with special reference to the United States and regional concerns in the 1945-c.1980 interval. This time frame focuses on actual and perceived threat reactions of each country during the Cold War. I am asking why Australia and Turkey acted differently/similarly when confronted with similar situations, as my core assumption. I will examine the political cultures of each country, the communist threat, regional blocs, regional security questions and relations with their big and smaller neighbours. My study will rely on books, articles, Ph.D. theses about Turkish and Australian Foreign Policy, Middle East and South Pacific Regional Security Developments, American-Turkish and American-Australian Relations in Foreign Affairs, in both English and Turkish. However the study will concentrate on primary sources. Primary research will be as permitted in Turkish and Australian archives, and some published references on the United States Foreign Office Documents will be consulted.

Pradip Chakraborty

The purpose of this book is to examine the importance of seminar as an educational tool to connect students to classroom concepts. Experiential learning at formal seminar venues increases student interest, knowledge and motivation. The teacher's role in preplanning, planning, implementation, and reflection, assessment and evaluation often dictates the impact that the seminar presentation will have on students both in the classroom environment and at the world of work. Agricultural economics and extension education programmes like any other academic programme requires that students at the higher national diploma and degree levels are prepared to develop, present and defend their scientific work before they graduate. Traditionally, lecturers have to plan, instruct and coordinate a seminar for students. Once the students are empowered to learn how to develop and orchestrate a successful seminar, they will be enabled to develop interest in science, research investigation, and reporting and this may lead to improved learning or improved science literacy and contribution to knowledge.


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Oral presentation

Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully. Which tips do they follow? Which ones don’t they follow?


Watch the video of two students doing an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam. Then read the tips below.

Melissa: Hi, everyone! Today I would like to talk about how to become the most popular teen in school.

Firstly, I think getting good academic results is the first factor to make you become popular since, having a good academic result, your teacher will award you in front of your schoolmates. Then, your schoolmates will know who you are and maybe they would like to get to know you because they want to learn something good from you.

Secondly, I think participating in school clubs and student unions can help to make you become popular, since after participating in these school clubs or student union, people will know who you are and it can help you to make friends all around the school, no matter senior forms or junior forms.

In conclusion, I think to become the most popular teen in school we need to have good academic results and also participate in school clubs and student union. Thank you!

Kelvin: Good evening, everyone! So, today I want to talk about whether the sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.

As we all know, cigarettes are not good for our health, not only oneself but also other people around. Moreover, many people die of lung cancer every year because of smoking cigarettes.

But, should the government make it illegal? I don’t think so, because Hong Kong is a place where people can enjoy lots of freedom and if the government banned the sale of cigarettes, many people would disagree with this and stand up to fight for their freedom.

Moreover, Hong Kong is a free market. If there's such a huge government intervention, I think it’s not good for Hong Kong’s economy.

So, if the government wants people to stop smoking cigarettes, what should it do? I think the government can use other administrative ways to do so, for example education and increasing the tax on cigarettes. Also, the government can ban the smokers smoking in public areas. So, this is the end of my presentation. Thank you.

It’s not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations.

Useful language for presentations

Explain what your presentation is about at the beginning:

I’m going to talk about ... I’d like to talk about ... The main focus of this presentation is ...

Use these expressions to order your ideas:

First of all, ... Firstly, ... Then, ... Secondly, ... Next, ... Finally, ... Lastly, ... To sum up, ... In conclusion, ...

Use these expressions to add more ideas from the same point of view:

In addition, ... What’s more, ... Also, ... Added to this, ...

To introduce the opposite point of view you can use these words and expressions:

However, ... On the other hand, ... Then again, ...

Example presentation topics

Check your language: ordering - parts of a presentation

Check your understanding: grouping - useful phrases, worksheets and downloads.

Do you think these tips will help you in your next speaking exam? Remember to tell us how well you do in future speaking exams!  

Effective oral presentation

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How to Do an Oral Presentation

Last Updated: March 19, 2023

This article was co-authored by Vikas Agrawal . Vikas Agrawal is a Visual Content Marketing Expert & Entrepreneur, as well as the Founder of Full Service Creative Agency Infobrandz. With over 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing visually engaging content, such as infographics, videos, and e-books. He’s an expert in Making content marketing strategies and has contributed to and been featured in many publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and INC.com. This article has been viewed 42,058 times.

The power of words can control the thoughts, emotions and the decisions of others. Giving an oral presentation can be a challenge, but with the right plan and delivery, you can move an entire audience in your favor.

Researching Your Presentation

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Writing Your Script

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Practicing and Performing

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    Oral Presentations, Virtual Only. Presentation materials due to online event site by Sunday, April 9, 2023 at 11:59 PM. Create an oral presentation using standard presentation software. Create a voice-over for the presentation lasting 7 to 10 minutes. Upload presentation with voice-over to YouTube as an unlisted video.

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    The primary objective of seminar presentation is to enhance presentation skills when persuading, educating, or informing an audience. Specifically, it provides a focus on the fundamental aspects of a quality academic, professional and business communications including structure, preparation and strategy for delivery, using visual aids, and handling question and answer sessions.

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