An oral presentation is different from most types of assignment, in that you are required to prepare a talk or lead a discussion live in class.
- The listener of an oral presentation only has one opportunity to understand your point of view. State your ideas simply and clearly, without much jargon.
- In preparing your talk, only write as much as you can say in the allocated time schedule. A good guide is one typed, A4 page with approx. 2cm margins, in a 12 size font, for each 5 minutes worth of speaking at a moderate (conversational) pace.
- Have some kind of structure to your talk. For example a chronological/historical format, or a step-by-step, procedural structure.
- Alternatively, group similar ideas together under different themes and present each of these themes in order of priority, depending on the angle/focus of your talk.
- Remember to prepare the listener for what section of your talk is coming up next, with phrases like “having covered the first two central points, I'll now turn to look at the third”, or "the final issue to cover is situational dependency, which I will look at now”.
- Reduce conjunctions, like “therefore”, “however”, and “additionally”. When read aloud, can make your talk sound artificial and staged. Instead, try to use simple phrases like “the next point to focus on”, or “but this isn't always the case”.
- It is okay to use contractions like “I'll”, “doesn't”, etc. These enhance the flow and help to naturalise your speech.
- At the end of the talk summarise what you have covered. Give a brief description of each theme or step you outlined.