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Elements of a Good Oral Presentation

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Presenting one’s ideas is an art in itself but one popular way of presenting ideas is in the form of oral presentation where a person transmits an idea to another by the use of uttered words. This kind of presentation is very useful when one seeks for a job or when he tries to impress his boss by properly presenting his ideas for his company.

It is also useful in the classroom when a student is tasked to report something in front of the class. Oral presentation must be properly executed to enable the speaker to convey his message and topic effectively. As such, it is wise to consider the elements of good oral presentation which include projection, inflection, diction, timing, eye contact and smile (Using good oral presentation n.d):

  1. Projection . One of the important things to consider in an oral presentation is the voice.  The voice of the speaker should be loud enough so that everybody can hear him. The speaker must also slow down when it comes to the key points of his presentation to ensure that the audience won’t miss them. He must  also sound convincing and must make use of gestures to add emphasis on the details of his topic. Gestures also help lessen the feeling of nervousness. The University of Canberra (2006) advises to use the body to communicate:

Stand straight and comfortably. Do not slouch or shuffle about. Hold your head up. Look around and make eye-contact with people in the audience. Do not just address the lecturer! Do not stare at a point on the carpet or the wall. If you don’t include the audience, they won’t listen to you (Giving an Oral Presentation. 2006).

  1.  Inflection. Speakers should not speak in a monotone voice as this would bore the listeners. A speaker must sound convincing and as such should be able raise or lower his voice during the appropriate parts of the presentation.
  2. Diction. The speaker should be careful to say the words clearly to be comprehensible. An oral presentation, no matter how good it is will be useless when it is communicated through mumbled words. Talk in a manner that people would easily understand.
  3. Timing. Speaker should not talk too fast and too slow. Pauses are sometimes necessary to allow the audience to absorb what the speaker is speaking.
  4. Eye contact. The speaker should maintain that he has the attention of the audience. Looking at the people will help in getting their attention and encourages them to interact with the speaker.
  5. Smile. The speaker should always carry a smile and be more approachable so that the people would not be intimidated to ask questions about certain matters they don’t understand.

Other elements of a good oral presentation may also include:

  1. Good appearance. A speaker should always keep a pleasant appearance. Good appearance will also solicit respect and attention from the audience.
  2. Rapport with the audience. An important concern among speaker in an  oral presentation is nervousness. In dealing with stage fright, a speaker must treat his audience as friends as this would ease the tension between him and the audience
  3. Use of Visual aids. Visual aids are of great help in making the audience understand the topic. Visual aids also get the attention of audience especially when the visual aids presented are attractive and interesting. Overhead transparencies and PowerPoint slide shows are popular means of presenting ideas although notes that can be passed around the audience are good alternatives (Oral presentation n.d).


Giving an Oral Presentation 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2006  from the University of Canberra Website http://www.canberra.edu.au/studyskills/learning/oral

Oral presentation n.d., Retrieved September 12, 2006 from the English for Professional Communication Website http://ec.hku.hk/epc/presentation/

Using Good Oral Presentation n.d., Retrieved September 12, 2006 from http://www.sanjuan.k12.ut.us/Schools/bes/Library/InformationLiteracy/Synthesis/OralTechniques.html

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