Frantically Speaking

The 6 types of presentation (and why you need them)

Hrideep barot.

  • Presentation , Public Speaking

oral presentation types

We all have been exposed to different types of presentations right from school years.

Please enable JavaScript

Group presentations, lectures by teachers and professors, seminars, webinars or online presentations, e-learning, e-conferences, etc., are all different types of presentations that we come across in our daily lives.

But each of them work for different settings.

In this article, we will take a look at 6 such types of presentations and when and why you need them.

1. Informative Presentations

This is the most common type of presentation, be it in an educational setting or business or corporate setting.

The aim of an informative presentation is to give detailed information about a product, concept, or idea to a specific kind of audience.

They are often analytical or require a rational analysis of the data presented.

Training sessions or one-day workshops are good examples where this kind of presentation is used.

Here is an example of an informative presentation on public speaking and presentations.

Now, there are different situations where you can use informative presentations.

a) Reporting

Learn from observing the reporters!

Although a report is a written explanation of an event, it can also be verbal.

A perfect place to use informative presentations is news reporting , as it requires the presenter to present information systematically.

b) Briefing

oral presentation types

This involves explaining both positive and negative aspects of a particular topic in a few words.

It is providing information quickly and effectively about an issue to influence decisions or to come to solutions.

Hence, the decision-making bodies of an organization can make use of this kind of presentation to save time and effectively come to conclusions.

c) Research

Informative presentations are often used to present research findings to a specific audience , as it involves reporting the findings and briefing it to the audience.

Hence, almost everywhere where research takes place, be it in an educational context or occupational , can make use of this kind of presentation.

Tips for giving informative presentations

  • As there would be a lot of technical information and statistics, focus on the main points or agenda first and if you have more time, you can add them at the end
  • Keep your presentation simple and clear . Avoid complex sentence structures and graphics
  • Tell the outline of your presentation briefly in the introduction for a better flow
  • Make sure that your presentation does not stretch for too long. 10-15 minutes is what your audience can concentrate on
  • Restate your keyphrase at the end and briefly summarize all the important points of your presentation

Speech topics for an informative presentation

  • Cropping techniques
  • Organic Farming
  • Corporate Farming
  • Hydroponics
  • Sustainable Agriculture, etc
  • Climate change
  • Environmental issues
  • Eco-friendly ways of management
  • Eco-politics
  • Eco-feminism, etc
  • Gender studies
  • Gender and education
  • Religious studies
  • History of education
  • Philosophy of education, etc
  • Ethnic cultures
  • Indigenous cultures
  • Multiculturalism
  • Popular culture
  • Cultural trends, etc
  • Business administration
  • Business ethics
  • Business models
  • Promotion and marketing communications
  • Finance, etc

2. Persuasive presentations

Persuasion is the art of motivating or convincing someone to act or make a change in their actions or thoughts.

If you are planning to give a persuasive presentation, and are looking for how to give a persuasive speech, check out our article on A Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Persuasive Speech to gain in-depth knowledge about the art of giving persuasive presentations.

Persuasive presentations are also widely used form after informative presentations.

There are various circumstances where persuasive presentations can be used.

a) Policy-making

Avoid taking too much time when you want to persuade any decision!

Government bodies make use of persuasion almost every time, be it the legislative or decision-making bodies, executive bodies, or even courts.

Even election campaigns involve using persuasive presentations as an instrument of their pre-determined goals of swaying the citizens.

For that matter, any executive or management body of an organization can make use of these kinds of presentations.

b) Value judgment

Give personal examples if you want to persuade someone's viewpoints!

This kind involves answering the question “why” and supplementing it with possible benefits.

Most Ted talks and YouTube videos try to persuade the audience and fall into the persuasive presentation category.

Even religious heads use this as a means of persuading their believers to follow their belief system.

Deciding on a procedure or telling an audience the correct procedure of doing something is another situation.

An example of a persuasive presentation

Bailey parnell: is social media hurting your mental health.

This TED talk by Bailey Parnell is a good example of a persuasive presentation.

She starts strong by asking rhetorical questions that set the mood for her further points.

We can also see how the speaker is genuinely concerned regarding the issue, engaging the audience till the end.

Tips for giving a persuasive presentation

  • Start your presentation with a relevant quote or statistics about your topic to establish credibility
  • Tell personal anecdotes and examples wherever necessary to develop an emotional connection with your audience
  • Deliver your presentation with passion and genuine interest to motivate your audience to think
  • Answer the question “why” for better understanding and clarity in your presentation
  • State your viewpoint clearly and clarify doubts if your audience seems to have any

Speech topics for persuasive presentations

  • Is animal testing ethical?
  • Should cosmetic surgery be banned?
  • Can the death penalty be the only solution to the rising crime rates?
  • Should the legal age be 18?
  • Should immigration laws be revised?
  • Why you should never add your parents on Facebook
  • Guys are more interested in gossip than girls
  • It is your major duty to annoy your parents
  • You are not enjoying student life if you are not procrastinating
  • Endless memes can be made on my life, etc
  • Is taming wild and exotic animals ethical?
  • The importance of emotional support animals
  • Why are bunnies the perfect pet?
  • Why do animals make the best companions?
  • Why there is a need for patients to have emotional support animals, etc
  • How and why there is a need to do business analysis before opening your business?
  • Why small businesses are successful and more profitable?
  • Why do sales and customer service departments need to be paid more?
  • Why does the HR department need to be polite and understanding?
  • Why should you not do business with a family member?
  • How charity is a means of converting black money to white?
  • Why is detaining people on the suspicion of terrorism justified?
  • Should euthanasia be made legal?
  • Should violent crime offenders be sentenced to death?
  • Should foreigners be allowed to buy a property?

3. Demonstrative presentations

This involves demonstrating a process or the functioning of a product in a step-by-step fashion.

So, a master class on communication skills or making a product model is an example of a demonstrative presentation.

Usually, the audience is an active part of such presentations and these can work in any context where you want the audience to learn a new skill.

a) Instructions

Take it slow when instructing!

This involves giving guidelines or steps of a process or work .

Teaching how to make a car model step-by-step is a good example where you can use this kind of informative presentation to guide your audience.

Another instance can be at the workplace , to train the employees or introduce them to a new product at work.

This type also works with demonstrating recipes and cooking workshops.

An example of demonstrative presentation

The easy guide on making just about any smoothie.

In this recipe demonstration, he tells his audience how many ingredients are involved and briefs them about the outline of his presentation at the start of his speech.

He also shows all steps in real-time so that the audience have a better understanding of the process and keeps them engaged.

Tips to give a demonstrative presentation

  • Introduce your product and its function to your audience before telling them how to go about with the steps
  • Explain the steps with diagrams or show them in real-time along with the audience
  • Give equal time to every person in the audience for clearing doubts, if any
  • Keep your introduction short. Not more than 5 minutes
  • Discuss options or variations that the audience can try at the end of the presentation

Speech topics for demonstrative presentations

  • How to administer CPR
  • How to wrap a gift professionally
  • How to budget your monthly income
  • How to choose a car insurance
  • How to restore a piece of antique furniture

4. Inspirational presentations

As the name suggests, this type of presentation involves inspiring others!

The main aim of an inspirational presentation is to motivate or move your audience and is also known as a motivational presentation.

Using techniques like storytelling, narrating personal anecdotes , or even humor work wonders as your audience develops an emotional connection to the message.

This TED talk by Luvvie Ajayi Jones is humorous but a lot more inspirational. Check it out!

Tips for giving an inspirational presentation

  • Start with a question that will leave the audience thinking. Pause for some time and then begin with your presentation
  • Develop a sense of connection by narrating personal incidents and experiences to grow empathy
  • Have some main points that you want to emphasize on
  • Make use of humor ! It instantly builds a connection with the listener
  • Non-verbal elements like paralanguage, body language, speech modulations, tone, etc., makes a huge difference

Speech topics for an inspirational presentation

  • Importance of diversity and inclusion
  • Building mental resilience
  • Need for change management
  • Valuing small victories in life
  • How procrastinating is your enemy

5. Business presentations

In the corporate world, presentations are the go-to solution to do anything: planning or strategizing, articulating company goals, screening candidates, status reports , and many more.

Let us take a dive into the different types of business presentations.

a) Sales presentation

Make sure to practice before giving a sales presentation!

Also known as sales pitches , sales presentations involve providing information about a product or a service to sell it.

It has a pre-defined strategy of initiating and closing the sales deal.

This can be done in person or nowadays, on the phone, or via e-communication .

b) Training sessions

Make training sessions interesting by interacting with the audience!

Often employees have on-the-job training sessions that are aimed to increase the knowledge and skills of the employees.

This kind can also involve the audience to participate , like in demonstrative presentations.

c) Meetings

Take everyone's opinion before concluding a point!

Meetings can be called for for different reasons and can be of different forms as well.

Conferences ( both video and in-person), board meetings, informal team meetings, daily reporting, etc., are all various contexts of meeting in a business setting.

d) E- presentations

E- presentations existed before the COVID pandemic as well but were used seldom.

But, with the ongoing pandemic, e-presentations or remote presentations have replaced all other types of presentations and will be with us for a while longer.

However, on the brighter side, it is an eco-friendly alternative to normal face-to-face kind of a set-up, and it also saves transportation and other costs !

e) Seminars

Give ample time of breaks in a seminar to make it less tiring!

Seminars are widely used in the health sector , usually involving a panel of speakers on a topic. The audience is anywhere between 10 to 100.

It ends with a question and answers session , and the audience gets to take handouts with them.

f) One-on-one or 1:1

Pay attention to your body language, especially in an interview!

Interviews are usually one-on-one and involve presenting your achievements and capabilities to your prospective employer.

Apart from interviews, 1:1 meetings are also used in sales and marketing to crack a business deal.

Tips for giving business presentations

  • Include key phrases and other important details on your slides and make them bold
  • Avoid casual slangs and informal tone of speech
  • If you are giving a sales presentation, explain your product or service in simple and clear words , and list the reasons why it is beneficial for your potential clients
  • Make sure to be on time ! Delaying your audience will work against you and leave a bad impression on you and your company
  • Know your material or content thoroughly to answer the questions asked by your audience

Speech topics for business presentations

  • Implementing an Agile Project
  • Introduction to data modeling
  • Introduction to UML(Unified Modeling Language)
  • Social Media strategies for a successful business
  • Business writing for managers

6. Powerpoint presentations

PowerPoint presentations or PPTs are the most effective ones among all types of presentations simply because they are convenient and easy to understand .

They are available in different formats and are suitable to use in practically any type of presentation and context, be it business, educational, or for informal purposes.

There are various types of PowerPoint presentations that you can use depending on the context.

a) PPTs for general audience

Use inclusive language when addressing to a general audience.

  • For general audiences, avoid using jargon terms

If you feel that you need to use them, provide the audience some background information about the field or topic being covered

  • Avoid using more than 8 words per line, as anything more than that becomes difficult to remember
  • Use bullets or a numbered list for better retention
  • Try not to read from your PPT
  • Give handouts or record your presentation in case anyone wants it

b) PPTs for teaching

Include pictures when teaching through a ppt.

  • In this case, the PowerPoint is content-based
  • Make sure that the words on the slides are visible
  • Use bigger font and avoid fancy fonts
  • Add relevant pictures and graphics to keep your audience engaged
  • You can also add documentaries or relevant videos to aid in understanding

c) Repurpose PPTs

  • This involves reinventing an earlier ppt or combining 1 or more than 1 PowerPoints
  • Giving new touches to an earlier PPT or changing the format
  • You can take any slide of your PPT and upload it on social media for growing your brand or business
  • You can even convert your PPT into mp4 , i.e, video format
  • You can even add voice and save the mp4 format, and you have a good marketing plan!

d) PechaKucha

Chat for only 6 minutes and 40 seconds!

  • This type of PowerPoint presentation comes from the Japanese word PechaKucha meaning sound of a conversation or chit-chat
  • This involves changing slides every 20 seconds
  • There can be a maximum of 20 slides , which means your presentation lasts for only 6 minutes and 40 seconds
  • The PPT mostly has graphics and fewer words
  • This type of presentation is best suited for telling a story or a personal anecdote

e) Multimedia presentations

Make full use of the multimedia ppt!

  • This is the best kind of PPT to engage your audience
  • It contains texts along with pictures, videos, infographics, music, illustrations, GIFs , and many more
  • Add higher resolution images and videos , or even a 360-degree snapshot if you are in the sales and marketing industry
  • Adding infographics such as charts and graphs makes the process of understanding easier and saves time
  • Music in a PPT helps your audience to be relaxed, at the same time making them alert and engaged

Types of slides in a presentation

PowerPoint presentation slides are broadly classified into 3 categories: Text, Visual, and Mixed slides.

1. Text slides

As the name suggests, this category of slides involve words or texts.

You can format the text as plain sentences or pointers.

You may even arrange them all in a single slide or one line per slide.

The slide seen below is an example where every point is mentioned in a single slide.

Archived Material (Presentations): Not too much text

2. Visual slides

This type of slide has visual elements such as images or videos , and are better known as conceptual slides since they are a better option than text slide to explain a particular concept.

You can use them at the start of the presentation to better visualize and grasp the meaning of the presentation.

The slide right below is a good example of a visual slide.

Illustration 1 exercise: Visual Metaphor | David Howcroft's OCA Art Journey

3. Mixed slides

Mixed slides combine the texts and visuals to give a comprehensive understanding of any concept or a speech.

Graphs and charts are the best examples of mixed slides.

Mixed slides have an advantage over the other slides; they keep your audience engaged, listening and participating more actively!

Presentation Design: A Visual Guide to Creating Beautiful Slides [Free  E-Book]

Types of Oral presentations

So far we came across 6 types of presentations, and they all share one common feature. They are all one of the types of oral presentations.

Oral presentations involve the use of verbal and non-verbal elements to deliver a speech to a particular or general audience.

All the types we discussed fall into these 4 broad categories:

1. Extemporaneous presentations

This type of presentation involves making short pointers or key phrases to aid while speaking.

You do not memorize, but organize the points and structure the speech way in advance.

Hence, on the day of your presentation, by just looking at the key points , you expand on them and move to the next point.

2. Impromptu presentations

Impromptu presentations are spoken without any preparation . It can be nerve-wracking for many, and hence not many are in favor of it.

There is a valid reason for their fear, as you have to make your speech as you say it!

However, those who are experts in their fields and are called upon to share a few words can easily give this type of presentation.

3. Manuscript presentations

The other extreme of the spectrum is manuscript presentations.

Here you have a script and you speak from it, word by word.

News anchors and show announcers usually engage in this type, since there are a lot of specific details that cannot be said wrong, and also, time constraints.

Usually, a prompter is used, from which the speaker speaks to their audience.

Nowadays, there are teleprompters , that are heavily used in the entertainment and media industry.

It is a digital screen that displays the contents, and the speaker speaks from it.

4. Memorized presentations

This type does not have any notes or cues , but you memorize or rote learn the whole speech.

School and some presentations at the workplace involve using this kind of presentation.

In most cases, we recommend not to memorise your speech in most cases. We’ve made a video on the same and how it could lead to you potentially blanking out on stage. Highly recommend you view this quick vid before choosing memorisation as a presentation path:

But, if you do choose it for whatever reason, since you are free from notes, you are free to focus on other aspects, such as body language and gestures.

Types of presentation styles

There are various presenting styles, but they do not work for all types of presentations.

Let us get familiar with them, and know which style works with which type.

a) The storyteller

There's a reason why we all love to hear stories!

This style of presentation involves the speaker narrating stories and engaging the audience emotionally .

This technique works best with persuasive and inspirational types of presentation.

So, how to tell a story in a presentation?

  • Understand and know your audience : Knowing your audience will help you with how you will frame your story, at the same time gauging the relevance of your narrative
  • Know your message : Be clear with what you want to convey through your story or how you are connecting the story with your actual presentation
  • Try narrative a real-life story : Inspiring presenters often take their own stories or the stories of people whom they know as a supplement to their presentation. When the audience listens to your real-life examples, they become genuinely interested in your story
  • Add visual aids : Using visual aids such as pictures, videos, multimedia, etc., increases the memory retention and engagement of your audience
  • Use the “you” attitude : Tell the story keeping your audience in mind because ultimately they are going to be the receivers and hence, the story should be relevant and should include their point of view as well

Want more storytelling tactics? Mystery, characterisation and the final takeaway are some more key elements of a good story for your next presentation. We’ve gone deeper into this topic in this video if you would like to know more:

b) The Visual style

Make use of the visual aids to keep your audience engaged.

Most of us are visual learners, making visual information easy to understand and retain.

Visual aids like graphics, images, diagrams, key pointers or phrases , etc., are very useful when giving any type of presentation.

Some tips of presenting with visual style:

  • Include only important pointers in your PowerPoint presentation and highlight or bold them
  • Try including visuals that complement what you are saying and use them as a supplementary tool to aid in understanding your audience
  • If you are giving a business presentation and want to include visuals, instead of plain texts, include graphics and charts to make information simpler to present and understand
  • Avoid overly complex visuals as it will confuse the audience more
  • Avoid using more than 6 lines per slide

c) Analytic style

Provide examples to support your data findings!

If you have data records or statistical information to be presented, an analytic style will be more helpful.

It works best for Informative and Business types of presentations.

Tips to deliver in analytic style:

  • Give handouts so that the audience is on track with your presentation and the information will be easier to comprehend
  • Focus and speak on selected data as too much data statistics can be overwhelming for the audience
  • You can make use of humor and personal anecdotes to keep the presentation interesting and engaging
  • If you have too much data and are worried that you will not be able to explain it in the time frame given, avoid writing content of more than 2000 words

Quick tip: In case you have a PDF to present and want to edit the data points, there are multiple software programs that you can use to allow you to easily do this. Check out this list of the Best Free Recording Software Programs to know more.

d) The Connector

Make an impactful presentation by simply connecting with your audience!

The connector style of presentation involves the speaker establishing a connection with the audience by pointing out similarities between them and the listeners.

This style works well with Sales and marketing presentations.

How to give a presentation using connector style?

  • Have a Q & A round with the audience at the end of your presentation for clarifying any doubts and avoiding miscommunication
  • Use audience polls at the start of your presentation to know your audience and tailor your speech accordingly
  • Make use of body language and gestures for delivering your presentation effectively. If you are confused or want to know more about the aspects of how to use body and gestures, check out our article on To walk or stand still: How should you present when on stage?
  • Ask questions to your audience at regular intervals for a better audience engagement
  • Make use of multimedia sources to keep your audience engaged and entertained

Which type of presentation is best?

Although all the presentation types have their own bonuses and are suitable for certain circumstances, some are universal and can be used with a little bit of modification almost everywhere!

These are persuasive presentations!

You can use them in various settings; from political, business to educational.

Just remember to choose the right topic for the right audience, and a style that you think is the most suitable and you are good to go!

Level up your public speaking in 15 minutes!

Get the exclusive Masterclass video delivered to your inbox to see immediate speaking results.

You have successfully joined our subscriber list.

To conclude

We saw 6 types of presentation and understood it in detail.

We also gained some tips on how to make our presentation more engaging and also came across things to avoid as well.

We then explored the types of slides that you can use, and also the types of presenting orally.

We also gave you some tips and a few topic ideas that you can incorporate in your next speech!

Hrideep Barot

Enroll in our transformative 1:1 Coaching Program

Schedule a call with our expert communication coach to know if this program would be the right fit for you

oral presentation types

 15 Unique Ways to Open a Class Presentation

Ace your Presentation with 11 Tools

Top 12 Tips To Ace Your Class Presentation

impressive phrases for meetings

75+ Impressive Phrases to Use During Meetings to Sound Smart

oral presentation types

Get our latest tips and tricks in your inbox always

Copyright © 2023 Frantically Speaking All rights reserved

Kindly drop your contact details so that we can arrange call back

Select Country Afghanistan Albania Algeria AmericanSamoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Rwanda Samoa San Marino Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Tajikistan Thailand Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe land Islands Antarctica Bolivia, Plurinational State of Brunei Darussalam Cocos (Keeling) Islands Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Cote d'Ivoire Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Guernsey Holy See (Vatican City State) Hong Kong Iran, Islamic Republic of Isle of Man Jersey Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Lao People's Democratic Republic Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova, Republic of Mozambique Palestinian Territory, Occupied Pitcairn Réunion Russia Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sao Tome and Principe Somalia Svalbard and Jan Mayen Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan, Province of China Tanzania, United Republic of Timor-Leste Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S.

Logo for Open Textbooks @ UQ

24 Oral Presentations

Many academic courses require students to present information to their peers and teachers in a classroom setting. This is usually in the form of a short talk, often, but not always, accompanied by visual aids such as a power point. Students often become nervous at the idea of speaking in front of a group.

This chapter is divided under five headings to establish a quick reference guide for oral presentations.

oral presentation types

A beginner, who may have little or no experience, should read each section in full.

oral presentation types

For the intermediate learner, who has some experience with oral presentations, review the sections you feel you need work on.

oral presentation types

The Purpose of an Oral Presentation

Generally, oral presentation is public speaking, either individually or as a group, the aim of which is to provide information, entertain, persuade the audience, or educate. In an academic setting, oral presentations are often assessable tasks with a marking criteria. Therefore, students are being evaluated on their capacity to speak and deliver relevant information within a set timeframe. An oral presentation differs from a speech in that it usually has visual aids and may involve audience interaction; ideas are both shown and explained . A speech, on the other hand, is a formal verbal discourse addressing an audience, without visual aids and audience participation.

Types of Oral Presentations

Individual presentation.

  • Breathe and remember that everyone gets nervous when speaking in public. You are in control. You’ve got this!
  • Know your content. The number one way to have a smooth presentation is to know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Write it down and rehearse it until you feel relaxed and confident and do not have to rely heavily on notes while speaking.
  • Eliminate ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ from your oral presentation vocabulary. Speak slowly and clearly and pause when you need to. It is not a contest to see who can race through their presentation the fastest or fit the most content within the time limit. The average person speaks at a rate of 125 words per minute. Therefore, if you are required to speak for 10 minutes, you will need to write and practice 1250 words for speaking. Ensure you time yourself and get it right.
  • Ensure you meet the requirements of the marking criteria, including non-verbal communication skills. Make good eye contact with the audience; watch your posture; don’t fidget.
  • Know the language requirements. Check if you are permitted to use a more casual, conversational tone and first-person pronouns, or do you need to keep a more formal, academic tone?

Group Presentation

  • All of the above applies, however you are working as part of a group. So how should you approach group work?
  • Firstly, if you are not assigned to a group by your lecturer/tutor, choose people based on their availability and accessibility. If you cannot meet face-to-face you may schedule online meetings.
  • Get to know each other. It’s easier to work with friends than strangers.
  • Also consider everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This will involve a discussion that will often lead to task or role allocations within the group, however, everyone should be carrying an equal level of the workload.
  • Some group members may be more focused on getting the script written, with a different section for each team member to say. Others may be more experienced with the presentation software and skilled in editing and refining power point slides so they are appropriate for the presentation. Use one visual aid (one set of power point slides) for the whole group. Take turns presenting information and ideas.
  • Be patient and tolerant with each other’s learning style and personality. Do not judge people in your group based on their personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender, age, or cultural background.
  • Rehearse as a group, more than once. Keep rehearsing until you have seamless transitions between speakers. Ensure you thank the previous speaker and introduce the one following you. If you are rehearsing online, but have to present in-person, try to schedule some face-to-face time that will allow you to physically practice using the technology and classroom space of the campus.
  • For further information on working as a group see:

Working as a group – my.UQ – University of Queensland

Writing Your Presentation

Approach the oral presentation task just as you would any other assignment. Review the available topics, do some background reading and research to ensure you can talk about the topic for the appropriate length of time and in an informed manner. Break the question down as demonstrated in Chapter 17 Breaking Down an Assignment. Where it differs from writing an essay is that the information in the written speech must align with the visual aid. Therefore, with each idea, concept or new information you write, think about how this might be visually displayed through minimal text and the occasional use of images. Proceed to write your ideas in full, but consider that not all information will end up on a power point slide. After all, it is you who are doing the presenting , not the power point. Your presentation skills are being evaluated; this may include a small percentage for the actual visual aid. This is also why it is important that EVERYONE has a turn at speaking during the presentation, as each person receives their own individual grade.

Using Visual Aids

A whole chapter could be written about the visual aids alone, therefore I will simply refer to the key points as noted by my.UQ

To keep your audience engaged and help them to remember what you have to say, you may want to use visual aids, such as slides.

When designing slides for your presentation, make sure:

  • any text is brief, grammatically correct and easy to read. Use dot points and space between lines, plus large font size (18-20 point).
  • Resist the temptation to use dark slides with a light-coloured font; it is hard on the eyes
  • if images and graphs are used to support your main points, they should be non-intrusive on the written work

Images and Graphs

  • Your audience will respond better to slides that deliver information quickly – images and graphs are a good way to do this. However, they are not always appropriate or necessary.

When choosing images, it’s important to find images that:

  • support your presentation and aren’t just decorative
  • are high quality, however, using large HD picture files can make the power point file too large overall for submission via Turnitin
  • you have permission to use (Creative Commons license, royalty-free, own images, or purchased)
  • suggested sites for free-to-use images: Openclipart – Clipping Culture ; Beautiful Free Images & Pictures | Unsplash ; Pxfuel – Royalty free stock photos free download ; When we share, everyone wins – Creative Commons

This is a general guide. The specific requirements for your course may be different. Make sure you read through any assignment requirements carefully and ask your lecturer or tutor if you’re unsure how to meet them.

Using Visual Aids Effectively

Too often, students make an impressive power point though do not understand how to use it effectively to enhance their presentation.

  • Rehearse with the power point.
  • Keep the slides synchronized with your presentation; change them at the appropriate time.
  • Refer to the information on the slides. Point out details; comment on images; note facts such as data.
  • Don’t let the power point just be something happening in the background while you speak.
  • Write notes in your script to indicate when to change slides or which slide number the information applies to.
  • Pace yourself so you are not spending a disproportionate amount of time on slides at the beginning of the presentation and racing through them at the end.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Nonverbal Communication

It is clear by the name that nonverbal communication are the ways that we communicate without speaking. Many people are already aware of this, however here are a few tips that relate specifically to oral presentations.

Being confident and looking confident are two different things. Fake it until you make it.

  • Avoid slouching or leaning – standing up straight instantly gives you an air of confidence.
  • Move! When you’re glued to one spot as a presenter, you’re not perceived as either confident or dynamic. Use the available space effectively, though do not exaggerate your natural movements so you look ridiculous.
  • If you’re someone who “speaks with their hands”, resist the urge to constantly wave them around. They detract from your message. Occasional gestures are fine.
  • Be animated, but don’t fidget. Ask someone to watch you rehearse and identify if you have any nervous, repetitive habits you may be unaware of, for example, constantly touching or ‘finger-combing’ your hair, rubbing your face.
  • Avoid ‘voice fidgets’ also. If you needs to cough or clear your throat, do so once then take a drink of water.
  • Avoid distractions. No phone turned on. Water available but off to one side.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t hover over front-row audience members; this can be intimidating.
  • Have a cheerful demeaner. You do not need to grin like a Cheshire cat throughout the presentation, yet your facial expression should be relaxed and welcoming.
  • Maintain an engaging TONE in your voice. Sometimes it’s not what you’re saying that is putting your audience to sleep, it’s your monotonous tone. Vary your tone and pace.
  • Don’t read your presentation – PRESENT it! Internalize your script so you can speak with confidence and only occasionally refer to your notes if needed.
  • Lastly, make good eye contact with your audience members so they know you are talking with them, not at them. You’re having a conversation. Watch the link below for some great speaking tips, including eye contact.

Below is a video of some great tips about public speaking from Amy Wolff at TEDx Portland [1]

  • Wolff. A. [The Oregonion]. (2016, April 9). 5 public speaking tips from TEDxPortland speaker coach [Video]. YouTube. ↵

communication of thought by word

Academic Writing Skills Copyright © 2021 by Patricia Williamson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

  • - Google Chrome

Intended for healthcare professionals

  • Access provided by Google Indexer
  • My email alerts
  • BMA member login
  • Username * Password * Forgot your log in details? Need to activate BMA Member Log In Log in via OpenAthens Log in via your institution


Search form

  • Advanced search
  • Search responses
  • Search blogs
  • How to prepare and...

How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

  • Related content
  • Peer review
  • Lucia Hartigan , registrar 1 ,
  • Fionnuala Mone , fellow in maternal fetal medicine 1 ,
  • Mary Higgins , consultant obstetrician 2
  • 1 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin; Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin
  • luciahartigan{at}

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.

  • ↵ Rovira A, Auger C, Naidich TP. How to prepare an oral presentation and a conference. Radiologica 2013 ; 55 (suppl 1): 2 -7S. OpenUrl
  • ↵ Bourne PE. Ten simple rules for making good oral presentations. PLos Comput Biol 2007 ; 3 : e77 . OpenUrl PubMed
  • ↵ Naqvi SH, Mobasher F, Afzal MA, Umair M, Kohli AN, Bukhari MH. Effectiveness of teaching methods in a medical institute: perceptions of medical students to teaching aids. J Pak Med Assoc 2013 ; 63 : 859 -64. OpenUrl

oral presentation types

This page has been archived and is no longer updated

Oral Presentation Structure

View Terms of Use

Finally, presentations normally include interaction in the form of questions and answers. This is a great opportunity to provide whatever additional information the audience desires. For fear of omitting something important, most speakers try to say too much in their presentations. A better approach is to be selective in the presentation itself and to allow enough time for questions and answers and, of course, to prepare well by anticipating the questions the audience might have.

As a consequence, and even more strongly than papers, presentations can usefully break the chronology typically used for reporting research. Instead of presenting everything that was done in the order in which it was done, a presentation should focus on getting a main message across in theorem-proof fashion — that is, by stating this message early and then presenting evidence to support it. Identifying this main message early in the preparation process is the key to being selective in your presentation. For example, when reporting on materials and methods, include only those details you think will help convince the audience of your main message — usually little, and sometimes nothing at all.

The opening

  • The context as such is best replaced by an attention getter , which is a way to both get everyone's attention fast and link the topic with what the audience already knows (this link provides a more audience-specific form of context).
  • The object of the document is here best called the preview because it outlines the body of the presentation. Still, the aim of this element is unchanged — namely, preparing the audience for the structure of the body.
  • The opening of a presentation can best state the presentation's main message , just before the preview. The main message is the one sentence you want your audience to remember, if they remember only one. It is your main conclusion, perhaps stated in slightly less technical detail than at the end of your presentation.

In other words, include the following five items in your opening: attention getter , need , task , main message , and preview .

Even if you think of your presentation's body as a tree, you will still deliver the body as a sequence in time — unavoidably, one of your main points will come first, one will come second, and so on. Organize your main points and subpoints into a logical sequence, and reveal this sequence and its logic to your audience with transitions between points and between subpoints. As a rule, place your strongest arguments first and last, and place any weaker arguments between these stronger ones.

The closing

After supporting your main message with evidence in the body, wrap up your oral presentation in three steps: a review , a conclusion , and a close . First, review the main points in your body to help the audience remember them and to prepare the audience for your conclusion. Next, conclude by restating your main message (in more detail now that the audience has heard the body) and complementing it with any other interpretations of your findings. Finally, close the presentation by indicating elegantly and unambiguously to your audience that these are your last words.

Starting and ending forcefully

Revealing your presentation's structure.

To be able to give their full attention to content, audience members need structure — in other words, they need a map of some sort (a table of contents, an object of the document, a preview), and they need to know at any time where they are on that map. A written document includes many visual clues to its structure: section headings, blank lines or indentations indicating paragraphs, and so on. In contrast, an oral presentation has few visual clues. Therefore, even when it is well structured, attendees may easily get lost because they do not see this structure. As a speaker, make sure you reveal your presentation's structure to the audience, with a preview , transitions , and a review .

The preview provides the audience with a map. As in a paper, it usefully comes at the end of the opening (not too early, that is) and outlines the body, not the entire presentation. In other words, it needs to include neither the introduction (which has already been delivered) nor the conclusion (which is obvious). In a presentation with slides, it can usefully show the structure of the body on screen. A slide alone is not enough, however: You must also verbally explain the logic of the body. In addition, the preview should be limited to the main points of the presentation; subpoints can be previewed, if needed, at the beginning of each main point.

Transitions are crucial elements for revealing a presentation's structure, yet they are often underestimated. As a speaker, you obviously know when you are moving from one main point of a presentation to another — but for attendees, these shifts are never obvious. Often, attendees are so involved with a presentation's content that they have no mental attention left to guess at its structure. Tell them where you are in the course of a presentation, while linking the points. One way to do so is to wrap up one point then announce the next by creating a need for it: "So, this is the microstructure we observe consistently in the absence of annealing. But how does it change if we anneal the sample at 450°C for an hour or more? That's my next point. Here is . . . "

Similarly, a review of the body plays an important double role. First, while a good body helps attendees understand the evidence, a review helps them remember it. Second, by recapitulating all the evidence, the review effectively prepares attendees for the conclusion. Accordingly, make time for a review: Resist the temptation to try to say too much, so that you are forced to rush — and to sacrifice the review — at the end.

Ideally, your preview, transitions, and review are well integrated into the presentation. As a counterexample, a preview that says, "First, I am going to talk about . . . , then I will say a few words about . . . and finally . . . " is self-centered and mechanical: It does not tell a story. Instead, include your audience (perhaps with a collective we ) and show the logic of your structure in view of your main message.

This page appears in the following eBook

Topic rooms within Scientific Communication

Topic Rooms

Within this Subject (22)

  • Communicating as a Scientist (3)
  • Papers (4)
  • Correspondence (5)
  • Presentations (4)
  • Conferences (3)
  • Classrooms (3)

Other Topic Rooms

  • Gene Inheritance and Transmission
  • Gene Expression and Regulation
  • Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
  • Chromosomes and Cytogenetics
  • Evolutionary Genetics
  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genes and Disease
  • Genetics and Society
  • Cell Origins and Metabolism
  • Proteins and Gene Expression
  • Subcellular Compartments
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division


© 2014 Nature Education

  • Press Room |
  • Terms of Use |
  • Privacy Notice |


Visual Browse

Academic Development Centre

Oral presentations

Using oral presentations to assess learning


Oral presentations are a form of assessment that calls on students to use the spoken word to express their knowledge and understanding of a topic. It allows capture of not only the research that the students have done but also a range of cognitive and transferable skills.

Different types of oral presentations

A common format is in-class presentations on a prepared topic, often supported by visual aids in the form of PowerPoint slides or a Prezi, with a standard length that varies between 10 and 20 minutes. In-class presentations can be performed individually or in a small group and are generally followed by a brief question and answer session.

Oral presentations are often combined with other modes of assessment; for example oral presentation of a project report, oral presentation of a poster, commentary on a practical exercise, etc.

Also common is the use of PechaKucha, a fast-paced presentation format consisting of a fixed number of slides that are set to move on every twenty seconds (Hirst, 2016). The original version was of 20 slides resulting in a 6 minute and 40 second presentation, however, you can reduce this to 10 or 15 to suit group size or topic complexity and coverage. One of the advantages of this format is that you can fit a large number of presentations in a short period of time and everyone has the same rules. It is also a format that enables students to express their creativity through the appropriate use of images on their slides to support their narrative.

When deciding which format of oral presentation best allows your students to demonstrate the learning outcomes, it is also useful to consider which format closely relates to real world practice in your subject area.

What can oral presentations assess?

The key questions to consider include:

  • what will be assessed?
  • who will be assessing?

This form of assessment places the emphasis on students’ capacity to arrange and present information in a clear, coherent and effective way’ rather than on their capacity to find relevant information and sources. However, as noted above, it could be used to assess both.

Oral presentations, depending on the task set, can be particularly useful in assessing:

  • knowledge skills and critical analysis
  • applied problem-solving abilities
  • ability to research and prepare persuasive arguments
  • ability to generate and synthesise ideas
  • ability to communicate effectively
  • ability to present information clearly and concisely
  • ability to present information to an audience with appropriate use of visual and technical aids
  • time management
  • interpersonal and group skills.

When using this method you are likely to aim to assess a combination of the above to the extent specified by the learning outcomes. It is also important that all aspects being assessed are reflected in the marking criteria.

In the case of group presentation you might also assess:

  • level of contribution to the group
  • ability to contribute without dominating
  • ability to maintain a clear role within the group.

See also the ‘ Assessing group work Link opens in a new window ’ section for further guidance.

As with all of the methods described in this resource it is important to ensure that the students are clear about what they expected to do and understand the criteria that will be used to asses them. (See Ginkel et al, 2017 for a useful case study.)

Although the use of oral presentations is increasingly common in higher education some students might not be familiar with this form of assessment. It is important therefore to provide opportunities to discuss expectations and practice in a safe environment, for example by building short presentation activities with discussion and feedback into class time.

Individual or group

It is not uncommon to assess group presentations. If you are opting for this format:

  • will you assess outcome or process, or both?
  • how will you distribute tasks and allocate marks?
  • will group members contribute to the assessment by reporting group process?

Assessed oral presentations are often performed before a peer audience - either in-person or online. It is important to consider what role the peers will play and to ensure they are fully aware of expectations, ground rules and etiquette whether presentations take place online or on campus:

  • will the presentation be peer assessed? If so how will you ensure everyone has a deep understanding of the criteria?
  • will peers be required to interact during the presentation?
  • will peers be required to ask questions after the presentation?
  • what preparation will peers need to be able to perform their role?
  • how will the presence and behaviour of peers impact on the assessment?
  • how will you ensure equality of opportunities for students who are asked fewer/more/easier/harder questions by peers?

Hounsell and McCune (2001) note the importance of the physical setting and layout as one of the conditions which can impact on students’ performance; it is therefore advisable to offer students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the space in which the presentations will take place and to agree layout of the space in advance.

Good practice

As a summary to the ideas above, Pickford and Brown (2006, p.65) list good practice, based on a number of case studies integrated in their text, which includes:

  • make explicit the purpose and assessment criteria
  • use the audience to contribute to the assessment process
  • record [audio / video] presentations for self-assessment and reflection (you may have to do this for QA purposes anyway)
  • keep presentations short
  • consider bringing in externals from commerce / industry (to add authenticity)
  • consider banning notes / audio visual aids (this may help if AI-generated/enhanced scripts run counter to intended learning outcomes)
  • encourage students to engage in formative practice with peers (including formative practice of giving feedback)
  • use a single presentation to assess synoptically; linking several parts / modules of the course
  • give immediate oral feedback
  • link back to the learning outcomes that the presentation is assessing; process or product.

Neumann in Havemann and Sherman (eds., 2017) provides a useful case study in chapter 19: Student Presentations at a Distance, and Grange & Enriquez in chapter 22: Moving from an Assessed Presentation during Class Time to a Video-based Assessment in a Spanish Culture Module.

Diversity & inclusion

Some students might feel more comfortable or be better able to express themselves orally than in writing, and vice versa . Others might have particular difficulties expressing themselves verbally, due for example to hearing or speech impediments, anxiety, personality, or language abilities. As with any other form of assessment it is important to be aware of elements that potentially put some students at a disadvantage and consider solutions that benefit all students.

Academic integrity

Oral presentations present relative low risk of academic misconduct if they are presented synchronously and in-class. Avoiding the use of a script can ensure that students are not simply reading out someone else’s text or an AI generated script, whilst the questions posed at the end can allow assessors to gauge the depth of understanding of the topic and structure presented. (Click here for further guidance on academic integrity .)

Recorded presentations (asynchronous) may be produced with help, and additional mechanisms to ensure that the work presented is their own work may be beneficial - such as a reflective account, or a live Q&A session. AI can create scripts, slides and presentations, copy real voices relatively convincingly, and create video avatars, these tools can enable students to create professional video content, and may make this sort of assessment more accessible. The desirability of such tools will depend upon what you are aiming to assess and how you will evaluate student performance.

Student and staff experience

Oral presentations provide a useful opportunity for students to practice skills which are required in the world of work. Through the process of preparing for an oral presentation, students can develop their ability to synthesise information and present to an audience. To improve authenticity the assessment might involve the use of an actual audience, realistic timeframes for preparation, collaboration between students and be situated in realistic contexts, which might include the use of AI tools.

As mentioned above it is important to remember that the stress of presenting information to a public audience might put some students at a disadvantage. Similarly non-native speakers might perceive language as an additional barrier. AI may reduce some of these challenges, but it will be important to ensure equal access to these tools to avoid disadvantaging students. Discussing criteria and expectations with your students, providing a clear structure, ensuring opportunities to practice and receive feedback will benefit all students.

Some disadvantages of oral presentations include:

  • anxiety - students might feel anxious about this type of assessment and this might impact on their performance
  • time - oral assessment can be time consuming both in terms of student preparation and performance
  • time - to develop skill in designing slides if they are required; we cannot assume knowledge of PowerPoint etc.
  • lack of anonymity and potential bias on the part of markers.

From a student perspective preparing for an oral presentation can be time consuming, especially if the presentation is supported by slides or a poster which also require careful design.

From a teacher’s point of view, presentations are generally assessed on the spot and feedback is immediate, which reduces marking time. It is therefore essential to have clearly defined marking criteria which help assessors to focus on the intended learning outcomes rather than simply on presentation style.

Useful resources

Joughin, G. (2010). A short guide to oral assessment . Leeds Metropolitan University/University of Wollongong

Race, P. and Brown, S. (2007). The Lecturer’s Toolkit: a practical guide to teaching, learning and assessment. 2 nd edition. London, Routledge.

Annotated bibliography

Class participation

Concept maps

Essay variants: essays only with more focus

  • briefing / policy papers
  • research proposals
  • articles and reviews
  • essay plans

Film production

Laboratory notebooks and reports

Objective tests

  • short-answer
  • multiple choice questions

Patchwork assessment

Creative / artistic performance

  • learning logs
  • learning blogs


Work-based assessment

Reference list

  • Visit the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Apply to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Give to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Search Form

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.

Subscribe to Connections

Types of Oral Presentation

Whether you are at your job or in your academic career, you have to give a presentation. So, you must know the types of presentations so that you can prepare yourself for the best. There are four types of oral presentation. Each type is used in different forms of communication.

In a manuscript, the speech or presentation is in the written form that the speaker reads word for word. We can say that manuscript involves speaking from the text. The manuscript is useful when the presentation you are going to deliver is complex, critical, some official statement, or has technical information. In any of these cases, there is no space for a single error. It must be accurate and exact. The manuscript also helps you to prevent grammatical, technical, or pronunciation mistakes.

But the drawback of this type of presentation is that the concentration of the speaker remains on the paper and text and he can’t make eye contact with the audience. So, as a result, he is unable to capture the attention of his audience.

  • Memorization

This type is suitable for those presenters who are beginners or fear to come on stage and face the audience. They get nervous and forget what they want to present. So, they memorize what they are going to present. But you should be careful while delivering it. It must look natural and spontaneous. The flow of your words and ideas should not be mechanical and speedy. One of the pros of this type is that you can maintain eye contact with the public. The drawback is that during the presentation if you forget what you memorized, you will feel embarrassed in front of the audience.

Impromptu is the spur-of-the-moment that you have to present without any preparation. It often happens when at the end, you are asked to give your remarks by sharing your opinion or thoughts with the audience. At this moment, the best way is to focus on the main point, share your opinion concisely, and wind it up with the best conclusion. Your conclusion must be connected to the main idea or your opening remarks. For the best impromptu, you must have vast knowledge, a lot of practice, long experience, and presentations. An ordinary or new speaker can’t perform impromptu excellently.

  • Extemporaneous

Unlike impromptu, extemporaneous allows great flexibility to the speaker. Extemporaneous is considered one of the best methods of presentation. In this type, the presentation is not written out completely. Rather the speaker prepares his presentation in the form of an outline or notes and practices it many times. During the presentation, he has a glance at the outline or notes to read the key points and elaborate them in front of the audience. He speaks in a conversational tone and natural manner. In Extemporaneous, he can maintain eye contact with his audience and grab their attention as well. For a good Extemporaneous, you must command the key points so that you can explain them appropriately. The speaker can include references to the surroundings, news, or previous speeches.

Related Posts:

  • Speech about Oral Communication [1,2,3,5 Minutes]
  • Housing Society Management System project PPT Presentation Download
  • Machine Learning topics for presentation
  • Computer graphics topics for presentation
  • HCI Human Computer Interaction topics for presentation
  • Networking and Telecommunications topics for presentation

Logo for Boise State Pressbooks

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

16 Oral Presentations

Chapter attribution.

David McMurrey and Cassandra Race

Oral Presentations

A common assignment in technical writing courses—not to mention in the workplace—is to prepare and deliver an oral presentation, a task most of us would be happy to avoid. However, while employers look for coursework and experience in preparing written documents,  they also look for experience in oral presentations as well. Look back at the first chapter. Remember how important interpersonal communication skills are in the workplace.

The following was written for a standard face-to-face classroom setting. If you are taking an online technical writing course, oral reports can be sent in as “scripts,” or audio versions can be transmitted live or recorded. In any case, students may evaluate each other’s oral reports by filling out a form like the one provided at the end of this chapter or responding through the discussion board.

If you can believe the research, most people would rather have root canal surgery without novocaine than stand up in front of a group and speak. It truly is one of the great stressors. But with some help from the resources that follow, you can be a champion presenter.

For additional information on oral presentations and public speaking in general, see Effective Presentations . This is part of an online tutorial series provided by Kansas University Medical Center. This section has many resources that will be helpful to you.

Topic and Situation for the Oral Presentation

For the oral report in a technical writing course, imagine that you are formally handing over your final written report to the people with whom you set up the hypothetical contract or agreement. For example, imagine that you had contracted with a software company to write its user guide. Once you had completed it, you’d have a meeting with chief officers to formally deliver the guide. You’d spend some time orienting them to the guide, showing them how it is organized and written, and discussing some of its highlights. Your goal is to get them acquainted with the guide and to prompt them for any concerns or questions. (Your class will gladly pretend to be whoever you tell them to be during your talk.)

As you can see, you shouldn’t have to do any research to prepare for this assignment—just plan the details of your talk and get at least one visual ready. If you have a report topic that you’d prefer not to present orally, discuss other possibilities with your instructor. Here are some brainstorming possibilities in case you want to present something else:

  • Informative purpose: An oral report can be primarily informative. For example, as a member of a committee involved in a project to relocate the plant, your job might be to give an oral report on the condition of the building and grounds at one of the sites proposed for purchase. Or, you might be required to go before the city council and report on the success of the new city-sponsored recycling project.
  • Instructional purpose: An oral report can be instructional. Your task might be to train new employees to use certain equipment or to perform certain routine tasks.
  • Persuasive purpose: An oral report can be persuasive. You might want to convince members of local civic organizations to support a city-wide recycling program. You might appear before the city council to persuade its members to reserve certain city-owned lands for park areas, softball and baseball parks, or community gardens.
  • Topics: You can start by thinking of a technical subject, for example, solar panels, microprocessors, drip irrigation, or laser surgery. For your oral report, think of a subject you’d be interested in talking about, but find a reason why an audience would want to hear your oral report.
  • Place or situation: You can find topics for oral reports or make more detailed plans for them by thinking about the place or the situation in which your oral report might naturally be given: at a neighborhood association? at the parent–teachers’ association meeting? at a church meeting? at the gardening club? at a city council meeting? at a meeting of the board of directors or high-level executives of a company? Thinking about an oral report this way makes you focus on the audience, their reasons for listening to you, and their interests and background. As in all technical writing situations, identifying and understanding your audience is of the utmost importance.

Content and Requirements for the Oral Presentation

The focus for your oral presentation is clear, understandable presentation; well-organized, well-planned, well-timed discussion. You don’t need to be Mr. or Ms. Slick-Operator—just present the essentials of what you have to say in a calm, organized, well-planned manner.

When you give your oral presentation, we’ll all be listening for the same things. Use the following as a requirements list, as a way of focusing your preparations:

  • Situation : Plan to explain to the class what the situation of your oral report is, who you are, and who they should imagine they are. Make sure that there is a clean break between this brief explanation and the beginning of your actual oral report.
  • Timing : Make sure your oral report lasts no longer than the time allotted. Your instructor will work out some signals to indicate when the mark is approaching, has arrived, or has passed.
  • Indicate the purpose of your oral report
  • give an overview of its contents
  • find some way to interest the audience
  • Visuals : Use at least one visual—preferably slides using presentation software (such as Powerpoint) or transparencies for the overhead projector. Flip charts and objects for display are okay, but avoid scribbling stuff on the chalkboard or whiteboard or relying strictly on handouts. Make sure you discuss key elements of your visuals. Don’t just throw them up there and ignore them. Point out things about them; explain them to the audience.
  • Explanation : Plan to explain any technical aspect of your topic clearly and understandably. Don’t race through complex, technical stuff—slow down and explain it carefully so that we understand it.
  • Transitions : Use “verbal headings”—by now, you’ve gotten used to using headings in your written work. There is a corollary in oral reports. With these, you give your audience a very clear signal you are moving from one topic or part of your talk to the next  Your presentation visual can signal your headings.
  • Planning : Plan your report in advance and practice it so that it is organized. Make sure that listeners know what you are talking about and why, which part of the talk you are in, and what’s coming next. Overviews and verbal headings greatly contribute to this sense of organization.
  • summarize (go back over high points of what you’ve discussed)
  • conclude (state some logical conclusion based on what you have presented)
  • provide some last thought (end with some final interesting point but general enough not to require elaboration)
  • or some combination of these three
  • Questions : And certainly, you’ll want to prompt the audience for questions and concerns.
  • Timing (again) : As mentioned above, be sure your oral report is carefully timed. Some ideas on how to work within an allotted time frame are presented in the next section.

Preparing for the Oral Presentation

Pick the method of preparing for the talk that best suits your comfort level with public speaking and with your topic. However, plan to do ample preparation and rehearsal—some people assume that they can just jump up there and ad-lib for so many minutes and be relaxed and informal. It doesn’t often work that way—drawing a mental blank is the more common experience. A well-delivered presentation is the result of a lot of work and a lot of practice.

Here are the obvious possibilities for preparation and delivery:

  • Write a script, practice it; keep it around for quick-reference during your talk.
  • Set up an outline of your talk; practice with it, bring it for reference.
  • Set up cue cards, practice with them, and use them during your talk.
  • Write a script and read from it.

Of course, the extemporaneous or impromptu methods are also out there for the brave and the adventurous. However, please bear in mind that up to 25 people will be listening to you—you owe them a good presentation, one that is clear, understandable, well-planned, organized, and on target with your purpose and audience.

It doesn’t matter which method you use to prepare for the talk, but you want to make sure that you know your material.  The head-down style of reading your report directly from a script has problems. There is little or no eye contact or interaction with the audience. The delivery tends toward a dull, boring monotone that either puts listeners off or is hard to understand. And, most of us cannot stand to have reports read to us!

For many reasons, most people get nervous when they have to give oral presentations. Being well prepared is your best defense against the nerves. Try to remember that your classmates and instructor are a very forgiving, supportive group. You don’t have to be a slick entertainer—just be clear, organized, and understandable. The nerves will wear off someday, the more oral presenting you do. In the meantime, breathe deeply and enjoy.

The following is an example of an introduction to an oral presentation. Use it as a guide for planning your own.

Oral Presentation: Enhancement of the Recycling Program

Valerie and I represent the Austin Coalition for Recycling, a group that was founded in the late 1960s, partly in response to rising utility bills and partly out of a concern for the environment and its resources. High utility bills not only hurt each of us in our pocketbooks but also hurt the quality of life of our city as a whole.

We are all particularly proud of what a fine city we live in and what wonderful citizen involvement there is herein a whole range of civic activities. These things make our city special and ought to be the force that enables us to make a recycling program an integral part of the city’s waste management program. Backed by the City, a new powerful recycling program will contribute enormously to keeping Austin the wonderful place it is.

Valerie and I want to talk to you about how recycling works currently, how it will work once integrated with the city’s waste management program, how this integration will benefit our city, and what you can do to support this plan.

Delivering an Oral Presentation

When you give an oral report, focus on common problem areas such as these:

  • Timing —Make sure you keep within the time limit. Finishing more than a minute under the time limit is also a problem. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until you get the timing just right.
  • Volume —Obviously, you must be sure to speak loud enough so that all of your audience can hear you. You might find some way to practice speaking a little louder in the days before the oral presentation.
  • Pacing, speed —Sometimes, oral presentators who are nervous talk too fast. All that adrenaline causes them to speed through their talk, making it hard for the audience to follow. In general, it helps listeners  understand you better if you speak a bit more slowly and deliberately than you do in normal conversation. Slow down, take it easy, be clear…and breathe.
  • Gestures and posture —Watch out for nervous hands flying all over the place. This too can be distracting—and a bit comical. At the same time, don’t turn yourself into a mannequin. Plan to keep your hands clasped together or holding onto the podium and only occasionally making some gesture. Definitely keep your hands out of your pockets or waistband. As for posture, avoid slouching at the podium or leaning against the wall. Stand up straight, and keep your head up.
  • Verbal crutches —Watch out for too much “uh,” “you know,” “okay” and other kinds of nervous verbal habits. Instead of saying “uh” or “you know” every three seconds, just don’t say anything at all. In the days before your oral presentation, practice speaking without these verbal crutches. The silence that replaces them is not a bad thing—it gives listeners time to process what you are saying.

The following is an example of how topic headings can make your presentation easy for your listeners to follow.

Excerpt from an oral report

As you can see from the preceding, our fairly average-size city produces a surprisingly large amount of solid waste. What is the cost of getting rid of it? I can tell you from the start that it is not cheap…

The next sentence indicates that the speaker is moving on to a new topic (“cost”).

[discussion of the costs of disposal]

…Not only are the costs of getting rid of our garbage high, as I have shown, but it’s getting harder and harder for city officials to find areas in which to get rid of it. The geographical problems in disposal…

Planning and Preparing Visuals for the Oral Presentation

Prepare at least one visual for this report. Here are some ideas for the “medium” to use for your visuals:

  • Presentation software slides —Projecting images (“slides”) using software such as Powerpoint has become the standard, even though maligned by some. One common problem with the construction of these slides is cramming too much information on individual slides. A quick search on terms like Powerpoint presentation will enable you to read about creating these slides and designing them intelligently. Of course, the room in which you use these slides has to have a computer projector.
  • Transparencies for overhead projector —The overhead projector used with transparencies seems to have been relegated to antiquity—but not entirely. If you have to use this method, you will design your visual on a sheet of blank paper, then photocopy it, and create a transparency of it.
  • Posterboard-size charts —Another possibility is to get some poster board and draw and letter what you want your audience to see. Of course, it’s not easy making charts look neat and professional.
  • Handouts —You can run off copies of what you want your listeners to see and hand them out before or during your talk. This option is even less effective than the first two because you can’t point to what you want your listeners to see and because handouts distract listeners’ attention away from you. Still, for certain visual needs, handouts are the only choice. Keep in mind that if you are not well prepared, the handouts become a place for your distracted audience to doodle.
  • Objects —If you need to demonstrate certain procedures, you may need to bring in actual physical objects. Rehearse what you are going to do with these objects; sometimes they can take up a lot more time than you expect.

Avoid just scribbling your visual on the chalkboard or whiteboard. Whatever you scribble can be neatly prepared and made into a presentation slide, transparency, or posterboard-size chart. Take some time to make your visuals look sharp and professional—do your best to ensure that they are legible to the entire audience.

As for the content of your visuals, consider these ideas:

  • Drawing or diagram of key objects —If you describe or refer to any objects during your talk, try to get visuals of them so that you can point to different components or features.
  • Tables, charts, graphs —If you discuss statistical data, present it in some form or table, chart, or graph. Many members of your audience may be less comfortable “hearing” such data as opposed to seeing it.
  • Outline of your talk, report, or both —If you are at a loss for visuals to use in your oral presentation, or if your presentation is complex, have an outline of it that you can show at various points during your talk.
  • Key terms and definitions —A good idea for visuals (especially when you can’t think of any others) is to set up a two-column list of key terms you use during your oral presentation with their definitions in the second column.
  • Key concepts or points —Similarly, you can list your key points and show them in visuals. (Outlines, key terms, and main points are all good, legitimate ways of incorporating visuals into oral presentations when you can’t think of any others.)

During your actual oral report, make sure to discuss your visuals, refer to them, guide your listeners through the key points in your visuals. It’s a big problem just to throw a visual up on the screen and never even refer to it.

As you prepare your visuals, look at resources that will help you. There are many rules for using PowerPoint, down to the font size and how many words to put on a single slide, but you will have to choose the style that best suits your subject and your presentation style.

The two videos that follow will provide some pointers. As you watch them, make some notes to help you remember what you learn from them. The first one is funny: Life After Death by PowerPoint by Don McMillan, an engineer turned comedian.

Life After Death by PowerPoint

You may also have heard about the presentation skills of Steve Jobs. The video that follows is the introduction of the I-Phone…and as you watch, take notes on how Jobs sets up his talk and his visuals. Observe how he connects with the audience…and then see if you can work some of his strategies into your own presentation skills. This is a long video…you don’t need to watch it all but do take enough time to form some good impressions.

Steve Jobs iPhone Presentation

An Introduction to Technical Communication Copyright © by sherenahuntsman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

Search form

  • Speaking exams
  • Typical speaking tasks

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.

  • Use the planning time to prepare what you’re going to say. 
  • If you are allowed to have a note card, write short notes in point form.
  • Use more formal language.
  • Use short, simple sentences to express your ideas clearly.
  • Pause from time to time and don’t speak too quickly. This allows the listener to understand your ideas. Include a short pause after each idea.
  • Speak clearly and at the right volume.
  • Have your notes ready in case you forget anything.
  • Practise your presentation. If possible record yourself and listen to your presentation. If you can’t record yourself, ask a friend to listen to you. Does your friend understand you?
  • Make your opinions very clear. Use expressions to give your opinion .
  • Look at the people who are listening to you.
  • Write out the whole presentation and learn every word by heart. 
  • Write out the whole presentation and read it aloud.
  • Use very informal language.
  • Only look at your note card. It’s important to look up at your listeners when you are speaking.

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

  • Violent computer games should be banned.
  • The sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
  • Homework should be limited to just two nights a week.
  • Should school students be required to wear a school uniform?
  • How to become the most popular teen in school.
  • Dogs should be banned from cities.

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!  

oral presentation types

Sign up to our newsletter for LearnEnglish Teens

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.

Science, Technology and Engineering Conferences

  • Conferences
  • Oral Presentations
  • Virtual Presentations
  • Poster Presentations
  • Proceedings

What is an Oral Presentation?

Oral presentations are forms of effective verbal communication that may be accompanied by slides. It is critical that you do  not  read your slides as your presentation; slides help you make a point, but do not replace your verbal communication. Presenters should not write out their presentations on slides or itemize all their points on a slide—this detracts from the engagement with the audience. If your head is always turned to your slides or looking down at your laptop, you will not deliver a powerful presentation.

Guidelines for presentation

oral presentation types

  • Consider the sequence and relevancy of your slides.  A current slide should build a path to next slide
  • Use graphs and charts  to illustrate your prominent points. They will help the audience to clearly understand the content.
  • Make it simple . Too much fancy graphs and charts with huge data and numbers will confuse the audience. Don’t use flash, gif images and fancy colors. The audience will only remember those effects, not your message. Make it simple!
  • Use the 6-6-6 rule:  (maximum 6 words per bullet, maximum 6 bullets per slide, and maximum 6 text slides in a row). The fewest words with effective imagery will have the most powerful effect.
  • Use high-contrast, easy-to-read fonts  that are common to most computers. Do not use ALL CAPS, italics, and other enhancements that clutter and distract. A good guideline is a minimum of 30-point font.

Presenting Effectively

Please follow the guidelines below to make your presentation effective.  The tips below will help you to keep the audience interested throughout your presentation.

  • Think of your presentation as a story . Try to tell a story about the ideas you are conveying, rather than listing statistics and lists of information. Organize your thoughts and develop clear transitions between slides.
  • Consider the use visual aids—are they useful?  Do they add to your presentation or detract from it?  Visual aids such as slides can help attract and hold an audience’s attention and help to reinforce what you say as well as help you keep on track with your presentation. However, visual aids are not always useful and sometimes detract from careful listening. Carefully determine whether your presentation is enhanced by visual aids or not. Again, the visual component should only illustrate and enhance your words.

Things to do before presentation at a conference to prevent technical delays/issues

  • Ensure that you are available at least 30 minutes before the session starts on the day of the conference .
  • All presentations must run on Windows operating system – the Laptop and the Presentations MUST be submitted to the IT table 15 minutes in advance to ensure that the sessions run according to schedule without any delays.
  • Bring an extra-copy of your presentation to the conference on a USB media storage device. This copy is to be used as a backup if required.
  • Make sure the USB media storage device and your presentation file are properly labeled with your name, presentation day, and time
  • Send your final presentation via email to the organizing committee by the prescribed deadline
  • If you need special arrangements (Different operating system, videos to be displayed etc.,) you should make that known to the organizing committee by the presentation submission deadline.
  • Please note that the organizing committee will not be held responsible for any technical issues occurring due to late communication.

Technical Assistance for your presentation

Technical assistance will be provided during your presentation All presentations must run on Windows operating system – a Laptop and the Multimedia Projector will be available. The Microsoft PowerPoint is the recommended software to be used. A SMART pointer will be provided to run your presentation on the screen.

Important tips, information and guideline for Oral presentations

Guidelines for the presentation sides Technical assistance will be provided during your presentation All presentations must run on Windows operating system – a Laptop and the Multimedia Projector will be available. The Microsoft PowerPoint is the recommended software to be used. A SMART pointer will be provided to run your presentation on the screen.

  • Abstracts and papers will be published in conference proceedings
  • Submit your paper for peer review to the supporting Journals

Evaluation of the Presentations

Login/register, don't have account yet, forget password, remember your password, already have account.

  • Research Profiles
  • Refererences

Common Formats for Conference Presentations

Articles on conferences and meetings.

  • Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs)
  • Group Meetings
  • Journal Clubs
  • Reflective Journaling
  • Research Learning Contracts

The two most common formats for the presentation of research findings at conferences are:

  • oral presentations ; and
  • poster presentations

Oral Presentations

Depending on to whom you speak some individuals will tell you that oral presentations are preferable compared to poster presentations. Some people feel that oral presentations are more prestigious and offer more cache than do poster presentations.

Oral presentations are generally short talks or panel discussions delivered by one or more individuals to a room of interested meeting attendees. Depending on the meeting, the speaker(s) may read a prepared speech or the speaker may more informally discuss his/her work using visual aids such as a PowerPoint presentation using a laptop computer. A very brief time is allotted for individual oral presentations. An oral presentation is typically between 15 and 30-minutes in duration. Consequently, the presentation must be clearly and succinctly presented and there will be little if any time for questions from the audience.

There are two types of oral presentations:

  • , which can be further categorized as:
  • contributed; or

Panel Discussion

At some meetings oral presentations may be taped and available for purchase by meeting attendees. At many meetings, taping and/or photographs at oral presentations may be forbidden.

Back to Top

Individual Oral Presentations

Contributed Anyone who submits a proposal or meeting abstract is potentially eligible to deliver a contributed talk. “Contributed” simply means that you as a conferee submitted your paper for consideration of presentation as versus “invited” which means the meeting organizers or symposium organizer invited you to speak. At some conferences, contributed talks are of shorter duration than invited talks but generally there are no substantive differences otherwise.

Invited In some sessions often referred to as symposia, organizers invite experts in a specific area to share their recent work. These presentations are called invited talks. Invited talks may be given slightly longer time periods than contributed talks. Invited speakers must also submit proposals or meeting abstracts.

Depending on the specific meeting, the organizers may or may not offer invited speakers benefits that contributed speakers may not receive. At some conferences, invited speakers may be offered free or reduced registration, lodging, travel, and even a small honorarium. However, an invited to be an invited speaker may come with none of these perks. If you are “invited” don’t make assumptions – ask the organizer what, if any, services the conference is providing to invited speakers. At some conferences simply being invited is considered to be a significant honor.

Presentations may be made by individuals or by panels. In panel discussions, two or speakers presenting different perspectives or different aspects of the presentation topic will sequentially summarize their work and relate it to that of the other panelists. Once all of the speakers have made their presentations there is generally an open discussion of the papers.

Poster Presentations

Poster sessions offer meeting organizers the opportunity to offer large numbers of meeting attendees the opportunity to present their work. Poster presenters are usually provided a significant amount of space (3′ x 4′ or more) on which to display a visually attractive poster summarizing their research project. Generally, poster presenters have the opportunity to share their work over an extended period of time often an hour or more. At some meetings, the poster may be displayed for an entire day! This allows the poster presenter to describe and discuss their research in greater detail than would be possible in an oral presentation to significantly more people. In my opinion, posters are in no way inferior to oral presentations and may in fact be far more useful.

Logo for Open Library Publishing Platform

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

21 Tips and Strategies Supporting Learners’ Oral Presentations

Design & assign.

oral presentation types

There are many options to consider when assigning an oral presentation. As you answer the following questions, reflect on your own commitment to continue using traditional oral presentations for evaluation.

Determine Oral Presentation Type

If you answered “No” to at least half of the questions, you may want to consider the following alternative formats that mitigate some of the specific anxieties your ELLs experience with oral presentations. While the default may be the traditional individual or group presentation of concepts in front of the whole class, there are a number of alternatives that may serve the same purpose.

oral presentation types

Consider the different types of presentations and the steps that you can do to help your learners succeed.

Types of Oral Presentations

Short oral talks in a group

Usually a short oral talk in a group is informal with little time to prepare for this type of speech. Learners  share their thoughts or opinions about a specific topic. This type of talk follows a structure with a brief introductory statement, 2-3 ideas and a concluding statement.  These brief oral talks can help students develop confidence because they are presenting to a small group rather than the whole class. They do not have to create and coordinate visuals with their talk and the talk is short. There still needs to be substance to the talk, so participants should be given advance warning that they will be asked to speak on a particular topic.  One advantage is that several students in the class can be presenting simultaneously; however, as a result, in-process marking is not possible.

Formal oral presentations in front of class

Formal oral presentations in front of the class usually require individual students to make a longer presentation, supported with effective visual aids. Adequate time has been given for the presenter to prepare the topic. This type of presentation can be used to present research, information in general, or to persuade. The presenter is often put in charge of the class during the presentation time, so in addition to presenting, the presenter has to keep the class engaged and in line. Formal oral presentations often involve a Q & A. Most of the grading can be done in-process because you are only observing one student at a time. It is very time consuming to get through a whole class of presentations and have the class engaged and learning and you are giving up control of many course hours and content coverage.

Group Presentations

college students talking around a table

  • Tips for giving a group presentation

Sharing Presentations Online

Students can be made the presenter in online platforms to complete presentations.  Zoom, Blackboard, WebEx and other similar software allow the moderator (Professor) to make specific participants hosts which enables them to share their screens and control the participation options of other students in the class.  As each platform has variations on how to share documents and control the presentation, it is important that students are given specific instructions on how to “present” using the various platforms.  If possible, set up separate “rooms” for students to practice in before their presentation.

  • Instructions for screen sharing in Zoom
  • Instructions for screen sharing in WebEx
  • Instructions for screen sharing in Blackboard Collaborate

Use Oral Recordings of Presentations Synchronously or Asynchronously

Consider allowing students to record their presentations and present the recording to the class.  While this would not be appropriate for a language class where the performance of the presentation is likely more important than the content, in other classes providing the opportunity for learners to record multiple times until they are satisfied with the output is an ideal way to optimize the quality of the presentation as well as reduce the performance related stress. The presentation can then be shared synchronously in class or online with the presenter hosting and fielding questions, or asynchronously posted on a discussion board or other app such as Flipgrid with the presenter responding to comments posted over a set period of time. A side benefit to the use of some of these tools such as Skye and Google Meet is that they are commonly used in the workforce so it good practice for post-graduation application of skills.

Possible Tools for Recording and Sharing

  • Flipgrid – an easy to use app that lets students record short video clips and resubmit as many times as needed. The video stays in the Flipgrid app for other students to see (if shared) and allow for easy teacher responses whether via video or text. (Asynchronous)
  • Skype   – Follow the instructions to record and share a video on the MS website (Either if posted on course platform)
  • Google Meet – Follow the i nstructions to record and share a presentation on Google Meet . (Either if posted on course platform)
  • Zoom – students can share their narrated PPT slides via Zoom (don’t forget to enable the sound)
  • Powerpoint – Recording of narrations for slides
  • Youtube – Recorded videos can be uploaded to Youtube to share by following instructions to upload Youtube video
  • OneDrive – most institutions provide OneDrive accounts for faculty and students as part of Office 365. Students can save their video in OneDrive and choose who to share it with (faculty member, group, class)

Presenting in Another Language

If the goal of the presentation is to demonstrate in depth understanding of the course content and ability to communicate that information effectively, does the presentation have to be done in English?  Can the student’s mastery of the subject matter be demonstrated in another language with a translator? It would still be possible to evaluate the content of the presentation, the confidence, the performance, the visual aids etc.  On the global stage, translated speeches and presentations are the norm by political leaders and content experts – why not let students show the depth of their understanding in a language they are comfortable with?

If a more formal type of oral presentation is required, is it possible to give students some choice to help reduce their anxiety?  For example, could they choose to present to you alone, to a small group, or to the whole class?

Teach Making a Presentation Step by Step

Don’t assume that all the students in your class have been taught how to make a presentation for a college or university level class. Furthermore, there are many purposes for presentations (inform, educate, persuade, motivate, activate, entertain) which require different organizational structure, tone, content and visual aids.

  • Ask the class to raise their hands if they feel ♦ very comfortable presenting in front of the class, ♦ somewhat comfortable presenting in front of the class or ♦ not comfortable presenting in front of the class.  This will help you gauge your learners’ prior experience / comfort and also let learners in the class see that others, both native speakers and ELLs are nervous about presenting orally in class.

Provide Clear Instructions

  • Write clear, detailed instructions (following the suggestions in Module 3).
  • Ask students to download a copy to bring to class and encourage them to record annotations as you discuss expectations.
  • Example: How many slides should you use as your visual aid? Do you need to use outside sources? What tools can you use to create this presentation?
  • Include the rubric that you will use to grade the presentations and explain each section, noting sections that have higher weighting.

Provide a Guide to Planning

  • Have students write a description of the target audience for their presentation and explicitly state the purpose of the presentation.

student sleeping behind pile of books

  • Encourage students to read widely on their topic. The more content knowledge the learner has about the topic, the more confident the learner will be when presenting.
  • Teach students how to do an effective presentation that meets your course expectations (if class time does not permit, offer an optional  ‘office hours’ workshop). Remember – many of your students many never have presented a post-secondary presentation which may cause significant anxiety. Your ELL’s experiences with oral presentations may be limited or significantly different in terms of expectations based on their prior educational contexts.
  • Have students view examples of good presentations and some bad ones – there are many examples available on YouTube such as  Good Presentation vs Bad Presentation .
  • Provide specific guidelines for each section of the presentation. How should learners introduce their presentation? How much detail is required? Is audience interaction required? Is a call to action expected at the end?
  • If audience interaction is required, teach your students specific elicitation techniques (See Module 3)
  • Designing Visual Aids Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo
  • Presentation Aids Video
  • Paralinguistic features like eye contact are potentially culture – bound. If the subject that you are teaching values eye contact, then include this expectation in the presentation. On the other hand, if your field of study doesn’t require presentations typically, consider valuing the cultural diversity of your learners and not grading learners negatively for not making eye contact.
  • Review the rubric. Let learners know what you are specifically grading  during the presentation. The rubric should be detailed enough that learners know what elements of the presentation are weighted the heaviest.

Model an Effective Presentation

A good speech is like a pencil; it has to have a point.

  • Provide an exemplar of a presentation that you have presented yourself and recorded, or a presentation done by a previous student for which you have written permission to share.

Require Students to Practice

  • Practice saying the presentation out loud
  • Practice with a room mate/ classmate / family member / friend
  • Go on a walk and talk – encourage students to get outside, and go for a walk – as they walk, they can say their presentation orally out loud. The fresh air and sunshine helps one to relax and reduce anxiety, so it is easier to focus on the talk.
  • Record a practice presentation. Encourage students to find a quiet place to record and to use headphones with a mic to improve quality of the recording.
  • If time allows, build formative practice presentations into the schedule. Have students practice their presentation in small groups and have other group mates give targeted feedback based on content, organization and presentation skills. Provide a checklist of expectations for the others in the group to use to provide specific, targeted feedback to the presenter. Students can watch their performance at home along with their peer’s feedback to identify areas for improvement.

oral presentation types

  • If you have assigned oral presentations in your class, review the course outcomes and the content covered in the assignment and determine if a formal oral presentation is necessary. 
  • Think of one alternative you could offer to students who struggle with individual assignments.
  • Annotate your assignment with notes indicating possible modifications you could make to improve the inclusivity and equity of the assignment.
  • Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Equity 2030
  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Disclosures
  • University Leadership
  • Mustang Promise
  • SMSU's Ecomonic Impact
  • Academic Programs and Degrees
  • Graduate Programs
  • Online Degrees
  • Online Certificates
  • Admission Homepage
  • Undergraduate
  • International
  • Returning Students
  • College Now
  • Online Learning & Transfer Partnerships
  • Summer Term
  • Mustang Pathway Program
  • Cost to Attend SMSU
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Event Calendar
  • Make A Gift
  • Academic Calendars
  • Campus Events Calendar
  • Campus Bookstore
  • Class Schedule
  • D2L Brightspace
  • SouthwestNet
  • Zoom Web Conferencing
  • Student Basic Needs
  • Accessibility Services
  • Campus Dining
  • Career Services
  • SMSU Scholarships
  • Technology Services
  • Administrative Links
  • Business Services
  • Commencement
  • Human Resources
  • News & Events
  • Public Safety
  • Registration & Records
  • Residence Life
  • Student Handbook
  • Deeann Griebel Student Success Center

Leah Bittner

“The SMSU RN to BSN Program does not have you take a set amount of credits each semester. This flexible scheduling was perfect for me as it allowed me to vary the amount of credits I took each semester. I would have struggled without that flexibility as I am a non-traditional student who is also a wife, mother of four, and worked full time while completing my degree. This program is designed to fit into your life, whether you want to be a full-time or part-time student.” Leah Bittner, '22 Alum
  • Undergraduate Research Main

Types of Presentations

  • Tips for Presenters
  • Guide to Writing an Abstract
  • Library Research Award
  • 18th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 15th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, 2020
  • 14th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference 2019
  • 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 12th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 10th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 9th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 8th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 6th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • Photo Gallery

The majority of student presentations at the SMSU Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) typically fall into one of two types, an Oral Presentation or a Poster Presentation. While most presentations will be given in-person, we also have a virtual option, where students can present live via Zoom. There are however, other types of presentations that may occur at the URC. For example, each year Creative Writing majors read some of their original work and often Art students will display some of their art creations. Students should consult with their faculty advisor when selecting the appropriate presentation type.

Oral Presentation (In-Person)

Oral presentations are typically a maximum of 10-12 minutes long with 2-3 minutes for questions and transition time to the next speaker. Oral presenters often elect to present using a PowerPoint slideshow. The completed PowerPoint file must be submitted online via the below link no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 26, 2023. The Conference Coordinator will then ensure that Session Chairs have access to all presentations in their session and can load them if necessary. ** Do  NOT  use Google Slides to create or format your PowerPoint. Alternative applications will negatively impact formatting.

Poster Presentation

Posters are created using the SMSU poster template (see downloadable template below). The template is a single PowerPoint slide, and includes suggested layout and font sizes to be used. If you click the “Design” tab, you will see that there are several background color options available. Completed posters should be submitted via the online link below by the due date given to your Research Advisor (usually about 3 weeks prior to the conference date). Posters are printed in a 36”x48” size for presentation at the conference. ** Do  NOT  use Google Slides to create or format your PowerPoint poster. Alternative applications may negatively affect poster formatting.

The morning of the conference, all posters will be delivered to each poster area. Each author is required to show up between 8:00-8:30 am that day to hang his or her poster in the designated location.


Virtual Presentations

Virtual presentations, using the platform Zoom, may be a preferred option for some presenters. Virtual presentations may be in the form of an oral presentation, poster presentation (see poster template above), or could display an artistic performance or exhibit – please consult with your research advisor as far as how to develop your presentation. Student presenters electing to present virtually are encouraged to share their presentation on their own computer screen as opposed to having the moderator share presentations. By sharing your own screen, you as the presenter have control as you move through your presentation and can also highlight things by using the mouse as a pointer, if you choose. Although most presenters will share their own screens, we still require that you submit your presentation prior to the conference, just in case there are any technology glitches. Unless otherwise requested, virtual presentations will have a 15-minute presentation time-slot. Plan on presenting the content of your presentation in 10-12 minutes, leaving 2-3 minutes for questions.

Artistic Performance

This format includes literary readings, theatre, music or dance and are original, or interpretation/research based on an existing work.  Performances may be solo or ensembles. A maximum of 30 minutes would be allotted for each individual performance, including a question and answer period.

Gallery Exhibit

All forms of visual art, including original painting, sculpture, photography, prints, textile arts, drawings, pottery, metal, etc. will be considered for acceptance as gallery exhibits.  When registering and submitting an application for the conference, please indicate any special equipment or space needs. Presenters will be expected to be available to discuss their exhibit at the assigned times.


 **Please adhere to submission deadlines. Late submissions may not be accepted. 

Last Modified: 8/7/23 2:51 PM | Website Feedback

Website Feedback

  • Writing Home
  • Writing Advice Home

Oral Presentations

  • Fair-Use Policy

Like anything else, oral presentations become easier with preparation and practice .

I. Sign up early.

Although doing your presentation first isn’t a great idea because you don’t have the chance to note the strengths and weaknesses of other presenters/presentations, be careful not to wait too long.

  • If you go early, you have a greater chance of being “original”—sometimes, if you delay your presentation, you get a “great” idea…and then someone else grabs it first.
  • Often the beginning of a semester is less crowded with other assignments, tests, etc. than the middle or the end. It’s useful to do your presentation when you’re not panicking about getting other things done.
  • It’s nice to get oral presentations out of the way–that way you can relax and enjoy the other guy’s show!

II. It helps to know what’s expected of you

Before you start researching your project, it’s a good idea to ask your professor the following things:

  • Will you be expected to leave some time to address the questions of your professor or classmates?
  • Are you expected to read from a text? If so, are you expected to hand out copies of your text to your professor and classmates for consideration?
  • Are you allowed to read from a text?
  • Are you expected to use notes?
  • Are you allowed to use notes?
  • Are you expected to use various media—slides, an overhead projector, hand-outs—to illustrate points you are making?
  • Are you allowed to use various media to illustrate points you are making?
  • If you are expected or allowed to use media, who is going to arrange for such things as a projector and slides; an overhead projector and transparencies; the reproduction and distribution of hand-outs?
  • Is there a particular style of oral presentation that your professor expects? (Is it acceptable to simply come with a number of provocative questions? Are you in fact going to be expected to engage your peers in a discussion? Or are you only responsible for conveying a certain amount of information?)
  • Are you expected to use secondary sources?
  • Are you allowed to use secondary sources?
  • What criteria are being used to evaluate your presentation? (Delivery? Information? Ability to field questions? etc.)

III. Choose your topic carefully.

  • When selecting the topic for your presentation, it’s frequently a good idea to find a particular—frequently an oblique—angle, a clear and narrow focus for your material.

IV. Define the scope of your research.

  • It’s better to have too much material and to cut it down during your “rehearsal” sessions than to find yourself standing there with nothing to say. BUT don’t prepare a full-length essay. Remember that the good delivery of an oral presentation takes time. You want to speak slowly and clearly—you may occasionally want to repeat material for emphasis—so, in general, it will take quite a bit longer to read a paper aloud than it will to read it to yourself.

V. Organize your talk as you would an essay.

  • Clear and logical organization is even more important in seminars than it is in written papers.
  • Start out with a very clear thesis statement in which you outline your subject and the main points you will be addressing—in the order in which you will be addressing them.

VI. Try to make use of supplementary media to illustrate or illuminate aspects of your talk.

  • The use of visual or auditory material to highlight points in your seminar will encourage your audience to attend to and remember what you are saying.
  • It will also divert a roomful of staring eyes from looking at you to looking at something (anything!) else for some of the time.
  • Supplementary media can include slides, overhead projections, hand-outs, segments on videotape and so on.
  • Find interesting, unexpected and unusual material—but be sure that it does have direct relevance to your topic.
  • Be sure, too, that you have the mechanics of your media worked out in advance—don’t waste time trying to figure out how to use a slide projector or putting slides or overheads in upside down!
  • Be sure to leave time, too, for a little bit of fiddling with equipment and for the visual images to sink in—remember that this may take time away from your oral presentation, so adjust your visual aids—and your presentation—accordingly.

VII. Leave time to rehearse your presentation.

  • how much to write—or how many notes to have—to fill the time;
  • how to hold your notes so you don’t just bury your head in them and read;
  • how quickly—or slowly—to talk;
  • whether you need to make notes on the blackboard; etc.
  • Be sure you have a clock handy so that you can time yourself.
  • If you don’t have enough material, look carefully at what you do have and mark places where you could expand upon points or develop more complex concepts.
  • If you have too much material, look to see where you can cut your paper down. Don’t actually delete “superfluous” material. Often, ‘though it’s not ideal, you speed up when you’re nervous—you might find yourself able to cover more material than you did in rehearsal. (NOTE: One way to deal with this is to highlight central points; then, if you find you have extra time, you can make use of elaborating or supporting material.)
  • Reading over your notes silently is not enough; you must run through the speech out loud .
  • Say each word you’re uncomfortable with 5 to 10 times to make sure you have mastered it.
  • If you keep making mistakes on any word or phrase, replace it!
  • where you’re going to be emphatic;
  • where you’re going to repeat points;
  • where you might make a (seemingly) casual remark, etc.
  • Make sure you know your material well enough to talk comfortably without depending too much on notes.
  • Pay attention to any distracting habits that you might have (shuffling your feet, waving your hands excessively, playing with your hair).
  • Finally, you may want to try your talk out on a very supportive and honest friend, brother, sister, dog…

VIII. It’s important to feel comfortable about the way you look, and to be relaxed and confident, during your presentation.

  • Make sure that you are well-rested and relatively stress-free on the day of your presentation.
  • Leave lots of time to shower, eat and get dressed.
  • You don’t want to be surprised to find that you have nothing clean or that you can’t find a pair of matching socks.
  • Don’t go out and buy something new to wear. You might be unpleasantly surprised to find that your new sweater drives you crazy because it’s made of a particularly itchy yarn
  • Above all, choose something that makes you feel comfortable and attractive.
  • You may want to plan to bring something into the class with you: a cup of coffee, cough drops—but nothing too distracting—to fiddle with.

IX. Treat your presentation like a well-planned performance.

  • Be sure you get to the class in plenty of time to see to any arrangements that need to be made (check the operating condition of VCRs, etc.).
  • If you find yourself getting nervous, practice relaxation techniques: deep breathing, the “wet-dog” shake, focusing, etc.
  • Figure out before you start talking where you’re going to situate yourself for the presentation: standing at the front of the class, sitting on a desk, etc.
  • Decide what you’re going to do with notes: Is there a lectern? A desk? Are you going to just hold them?
  • Talk slowly.
  • Talk clearly (enunciate).
  • Talk loudly.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Avoid staying in one place. Try not to simply stand or sit in one spot; it’s a good idea to walk around a bit, to gesture and change the direction of your focus in order to keep all of the audience interested.
  • Be sensitive to your audience. If you notice that people are looking bored or distracted, change your position, the speed or volume of your voice

X. Handle questions with confidence.

  • Don’t panic (!) when you’re asked a question. Give it careful—but quick—consideration and answer it to the best of your ability.
  • It’s acceptable to tell someone that you don’t understand his or her questions. (This is also a good way to stall for time!) Ask them to rephrase or clarify it—or rephrase it yourself and ask them if that is what they meant.
  • It’s also all right to admit that you’re not sure about the answer to a question—sometimes a lively discussion can ensue if you turn the question over to the class.
  • Try to give everyone who wants to ask a question a turn. Don’t just “call on” friends.

XI. After your seminar, take time to assess your “performance.”

  • Pose specific questions: Did you cover enough material? Did you allow enough—or too much—time for questions and discussion?
  • We improve only by asking for, and positively acting on, constructive feedback.

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

Four Methods for Delivering Oral Presentations

How to Establish Credibility in an Informative Speech

How to Establish Credibility in an Informative Speech

You never know when you might be asked to give a speech or presentation. Whether job or school related you will probably have to give a presentation. What about a toast at a wedding? Or even a roast! The important thing to remember is that it's a matter of when, not if, therefore, there are a few things to learn that will help in your delivery. You should always have a clear understanding of your audience and your purpose. Also, knowing the types of delivery and which to use when can add to your success.

The manuscript method is a form of speech delivery that involves speaking from text. With this method, a speaker will write out her speech word for word and practice how she will deliver the speech. A disadvantage of this method is a person may sound too practiced or stiff. To avoid sounding rehearsed, use eye contact, facial expressions and vocal variety to engage the audience. Use frequent glances at highlighted key points instead of reading the speech word for word.


The memorization method is a form of speech delivery that involves fully memorizing a speech, from start to finish, before delivering it. This method of delivery allows a speaker to move around the stage or platform and maintain eye contact with the audience without relying on a script or notes. For speakers who deliver their speeches by memorization, add inflection to the voice and keep notes nearby to avoid forgetting an important key point.

The impromptu speech is spur-of-the-moment, with little to no time to prepare for this type of speech. For this method, you may be asked to give a few remarks, or share your thoughts with the group. The important thing to remember with this type of speaking is to know your main point, limit your thoughts to two to three ideas, and wrap it up with a conclusion. If you can think well enough on your feet, your conclusion will connect to your opening remarks or main idea. Impromptu speeches are best kept brief.


The extemporaneous method is ideal for most speaking situations. While it requires a great deal of preparation, it allows for great flexibility for the speaker, often delivering a much more engaging speech. For this method, a speaker will organize a speech with notes or an outline, and practice the delivery, but not word-for-word. A speaker may highlight key points in the speech and memorize a few portions of the speech, but will also speak in a more conversational tone. The extemporaneous method of delivery gives a speaker the flexibility to deliver a speech in a natural manner while maintaining eye contact and engaging an audience.

Related Articles

How to Write a 3-Minute Speech Fast

How to Write a 3-Minute Speech Fast

Strategies for Effective Communication

Strategies for Effective Communication

How to Give a Dedication Speech

How to Give a Dedication Speech

How Do I Stop Repeating Myself?

How Do I Stop Repeating Myself?

Types of persuasive communication.

Tips on Voice Modulation When Doing Public Speaking

Tips on Voice Modulation When Doing Public Speaking

How to Write a Testimonial Speech

How to Write a Testimonial Speech

How to Ace Speech Class

How to Ace Speech Class

  • Westside Toastmasters: The 4 Delivery Methods
  • Four Types of Speech Delivery


  1. There are four types of oral presentations

    oral presentation types

  2. PPT

    oral presentation types

  3. PPT

    oral presentation types

  4. PPT

    oral presentation types

  5. PPT

    oral presentation types

  6. Oral presentation

    oral presentation types


  1. Oral presentation

  2. Oral Presentation 1

  3. Oral Presentation for ELLS

  4. Oral Presentation Assignment

  5. Oral Presentation



  1. The 6 types of presentation (And why you need them)

    Have a speech coming up? Get the ULTIMATE Public Speaking Checklist to ensure you are 100% ready for it. (Printable PDF) In this article, we will take a look at 6 such types of presentations and when and why you need them. 1. Informative Presentations

  2. PDF Oral Presentations

    Planning Oral presentations are one of the most common assignments in college courses. Scholars, professionals, and students in all fields desire to disseminate the new knowledge they produce, and this is often accomplished by delivering oral presentations in class, at conferences, in public lectures, or in company meetings.

  3. Oral Presentations

    discourse addressing an audience, without visual aids and audience participation. Types of Oral Presentations Individual Presentation Breathe and remember that everyone gets nervous when speaking in public. You are in control. You've got this! Know your content.

  4. How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

    Abstract 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

  5. PDF Oral Presentations

    Oral presentations are a common feature of many courses at university. They may take the form of a short or longer presentation at a tutorial or seminar, delivered either individually or as part of a group. You may have to use visual aids such as PowerPoint slides. Researching, planning and structuring an oral presentation is

  6. Oral Presentation Structure

    A written document includes many visual clues to its structure: section headings, blank lines or indentations indicating paragraphs, and so on. In contrast, an oral presentation has few visual ...

  7. Seven Tips for Creating Powerful Oral Presentations

    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 ...

  8. Oral presentations

    Different types of oral presentations. A common format is in-class presentations on a prepared topic, often supported by visual aids in the form of PowerPoint slides or a Prezi, with a standard length that varies between 10 and 20 minutes. In-class presentations can be performed individually or in a small group and are generally followed by a ...

  9. Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations

    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 ...

  10. Oral Presentations

    Oral Presentations Oral Presentations Oral presentations can be , depending upon their report type design review . Oral presentations differ significantly from written documents in several ways.

  11. Oral Presentation Skill: What It Is And How To Develop It

    Luckily, there are different types of oral presentations. The type you give will depend on what's needed in the situation!

  12. Types of Oral Presentation

    Extemporaneous Unlike impromptu, extemporaneous allows great flexibility to the speaker. Extemporaneous is considered one of the best methods of presentation. In this type, the presentation is not written out completely. Rather the speaker prepares his presentation in the form of an outline or notes and practices it many times.

  13. Oral Presentations

    16 Oral Presentations Chapter Attribution. David McMurrey and Cassandra Race. Oral Presentations. A common assignment in technical writing courses—not to mention in the workplace—is to prepare and deliver an oral presentation, a task most of us would be happy to avoid. However, while employers look for coursework and experience in preparing ...

  14. Oral presentation

    It's not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations. Do: Use the planning time to prepare what you're going to say. If you are allowed to have a note card, write short notes in point form. Use more formal language. Use short, simple sentences to express your ideas clearly.

  15. Oral Presentations

    Oral presentations are forms of effective verbal communication that may be accompanied by slides. It is critical that you do not read your slides as your presentation; slides help you make a point, but do not replace your verbal communication.

  16. Common Formats for Conference Presentations

    A very brief time is allotted for individual oral presentations. An oral presentation is typically between 15 and 30-minutes in duration. Consequently, the presentation must be clearly and succinctly presented and there will be little if any time for questions from the audience. There are two types of oral presentations:, which can be further ...

  17. Tips and Strategies Supporting Learners' Oral Presentations

    Formal oral presentations in front of class. Formal oral presentations in front of the class usually require individual students to make a longer presentation, supported with effective visual aids. Adequate time has been given for the presenter to prepare the topic. This type of presentation can be used to present research, information in ...

  18. Types of Presentations

    The majority of student presentations at the SMSU Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) typically fall into one of two types, an Oral Presentation or a Poster Presentation. While most presentations will be given in-person, we also have a virtual option, where students can present live via Zoom. There are however, other types of presentations ...

  19. Definition of an "Oral Presentation"

    Skills Oral presentations incorporate a variety of skills including intonation, eye-contact, speech preparation and engaging an audience. The presenter learns to hone their public speaking skills which includes keeping track of time and offering well-researched information.

  20. Oral Presentations

    V. Organize your talk as you would an essay. Clear and logical organization is even more important in seminars than it is in written papers. Start out with a very clear thesis statement in which you outline your subject and the main points you will be addressing—in the order in which you will be addressing them. VI.

  21. Four Methods for Delivering Oral Presentations

    Manuscript. The manuscript method is a form of speech delivery that involves speaking from text. With this method, a speaker will write out her speech word for word and practice how she will deliver the speech. A disadvantage of this method is a person may sound too practiced or stiff. To avoid sounding rehearsed, use eye contact, facial ...

  22. Oral presentation

    oral presentation: 1 n delivering an address to a public audience Synonyms: public speaking , speaking , speechmaking Types: reading , recital , recitation a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance debate , disputation , public debate the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the ...

  23. Oral presentation

    1. oral presentation - delivering an address to a public audience; "people came to see the candidates and hear the speechmaking". public speaking, speechmaking, speaking. recitation, recital, reading - a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance; "the program included songs and recitations of well ...