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How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

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  • 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}hotmail.com

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

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication


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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

Five tips to set yourself apart.

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

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

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

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Introduction to Oral Communication

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

Learn foundational concepts and best practices for communicating orally.

Communicating orally is a cyclical process that requires you to assess and prepare in order to deliver your message.  

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

To learn about different oral presentation formats, visit our page Types of Talks .  

  • Types of Talks
  • Prepare for Any Talk
  • Elevator Pitches


Oral Communication: Definitions, Importance, Methods, Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is Oral Communication?
  • 2 Definitions of Oral Communication
  • 3.1 Clear Pronunciation
  • 3.2 Brevity
  • 3.3 Precision
  • 3.4 Conviction
  • 3.5 Logical Sequence
  • 3.6 Appropriate Word Choice
  • 3.7 Use natural voice
  • 3.8 Communicate With Right Person
  • 3.9 Do Not Get Guided by Assumptions
  • 3.10 Look for Feedback
  • 3.11 Allow to Ask Questions
  • 4.1 Face-to-Face Conversation
  • 4.2 Telephone
  • 4.3 Presentation
  • 4.4 Public Speech
  • 4.5 Interview
  • 4.6 Meeting
  • 5.1 Speak in a Clear, Confident Strong Voice
  • 5.2 Be Coherent
  • 5.3 Avoid Using Filler Words
  • 5.4 Be an Active Listener
  • 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Communication
  • 7.1 Quickness in Exchange of Ideas
  • 7.2 Immediate Feedback
  • 7.3 Flexibility
  • 7.4 Economic Sources
  • 7.5 Personal Touch
  • 7.6 Effective Source
  • 7.7 Saves Time and Increases Efficiency
  • 8.1 Unfit for Lengthy Message
  • 8.2 Unfit for Policy Matters
  • 8.3 Lack of Written Proof
  • 8.4 Expensive Method
  • 8.5 Lack of Clarity
  • 8.6 Misuse of Time
  • 8.7 Presence of Both the Parties Necessary
  • 9 Oral Mode is Used Where
  • 10.1 What is oral communication in one word?
  • 10.2 What is oral communication according to different authors?
  • 10.3 What is the importance of an oral communication essay?
  • 10.4 What are the methods of oral communication?
  • 10.5 What is oral communication according to the authors?
  • 10.6 What is the importance of oral communication?
  • 10.7 What are the six types of oral communication?
  • 10.8 What are the advantages of communication?
  • 10.9 What are the disadvantages of communication?
  • What is Oral Communication?

Oral communication implies communication through the mouth. It includes individuals conversing with each other, be it direct conversation or telephonic conversation. Speeches, presentations, and discussions are all forms of oral communication .

Oral communication is generally recommended when the communication matter is of a temporary kind or where a direct interaction is required. Face-to-face communication (meetings, lectures, conferences, interviews, etc.) is significant so as to build rapport and trust.

What is Oral Communication

In other words, Oral communication is the process of expressing information or ideas by talking. It is predominantly referred to as speech communication.

  • Definitions of Oral Communication

These are the following definitions of oral communication :

  • Importance of Oral Communication

The following are the importance of oral communication :

Clear Pronunciation

Logical sequence, appropriate word choice, use natural voice, communicate with right person, do not get guided by assumptions, look for feedback, allow to ask questions.

Importance of Oral Communication

The message should be pronounced clearly, otherwise, the receiver may not understand the words of the sender.

A brief message is considered the most effective factor since the receiver’s retention capacity is limited in oral communication . The sender should be as brief as possible.

The sender should ensure the exactness of the message. The only relevant issue should be included in the message and that too with accuracy.

The sender should believe in the facts that are being communicated to others. The oral presentation should evince the confidence of the sender.

The sender should present the message logically. The points to be spoken first and what should follow to convey the meaning and motives of the sender effectively to the receiver need to be looked into.

Words are symbols. They have no fixed or universal meanings. The meanings of words at that moment are in the mind of the sender. Therefore, the sender should select the words which are suitable and understandable to the other party and those which convey exactly the same meanings as the sender wanted.

A natural voice conveys integrity and conviction. It is advised to use a natural voice in oral communication .

It is essential to know with whom to communicate. If you communicate the right message to the wrong person, it may lead to a lot of problems. Be sure in recognizing the right person to communicate with.

Never assume that your listener has knowledge already of the subject matter. You may be wrong many times in such assumptions. You can be good only when you are confident in your message without any omission.

When communicating, if you are smart enough in collecting feedback verbally or non-verbally, you can quickly alter the message, if necessary.

It is important to give freedom to the receiver to rise questions whenever he feels ambiguity or confusion. In a way, the communicator should encourage the receiver to ask questions. Such questions are opportunities to clarify doubts.

Types of Oral Communication

These are the types of oral communication discussed below in detail:

Face-to-Face Conversation

Presentation, public speech.

Oral communication is best when it is face-to-face . A face-to-face setting is possible between two individuals or among a small group of people in an interview or in a small meeting; communication can flow both ways in these situations. There is always immediate feedback, which makes clarification possible.

Telephone talk depends entirely on the voice. It does not have the advantage of physical presence. Clarity of speech and skillful use of voice is important. There can be confusion between similar sounding words like pale and bale or between light and like.

Names and addresses communicated on the telephone are sometimes wrongly received. It is therefore customary to clarify spellings by saying C for Cuttack, B for Bal sore, and so on.

A presentation has a face-to-face setting. It is a formal and well-prepared talk on a specific topic, delivered to a knowledgeable and interested audience. Visual aids are used to enhance a presentation. The person who makes the presentation is expected to answer questions at the end.

It is the responsibility of the presenter to ensure that there is a clear understanding of all aspects of the topic among the audience.

A public speech or lecture, with or without microphones, has a face-to-face setting, but the distance between the speaker and audience is great; this distance increases as the audience gets larger, as in an open-air public meeting.

The purpose of a public speech may be to entertain, encourage and inspire. Much depends on the speaker’s skill in using gestures and using the microphone. Feedback is very little as the speaker can hardly see the facial expressions of people in the audience. A public speech is followed by applause rather than by questions from the audience.

An interview is a meeting in which a person or a panel of persons, who are the interviewers, ask questions from the interviewee. The purpose is, usually, to assess and judge whether it would be worthwhile to enter into a business relationship with the other.

Each side makes an assessment of the other. An interview is structured and is characterized by the question and answer type of communication .

Usually, a meeting involves many persons; there is a chairman or a leader who leads and guides the communication and maintains proper order. There is a fixed agenda, i.e., a list of issues to be discussed at the meeting.

Meetings are of many types, from the small committee meeting consisting of three or four persons to the large conference or the shareholders’ meeting. This type of oral communication is backed up by note-taking and writing up minutes.

  • Methods to Improve Oral Communication Skills

These are some methods to improve oral communication skills :

Speak in a Clear, Confident Strong Voice

Be coherent, avoid using filler words, be an active listener.

Methods to Improve Oral Communication Skills

one should speak in a confident, clear, and strong voice so that it is audible to everyone in the audience. Keep the pace of your speaking average, not very slow not very fast. While speaking, face the audience.

One should speak coherently with a concentration on your subject only. Try not to be distracted from your subject, try to prevent other thoughts at that time.

It is better to pause for a second rather than using filler words, such as “Yeah”, “So”, “Um”, and “Like” frequent use of filler words disturbs coherence and distracts the audience.

Verbal communication is a two-way process; you should, therefore, be an active listener too. Try to understand a question/query quickly, because it looks odd to ask to repeat the question.

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Communication

These are the following advantages and disadvantages of oral communication :

Advantages of Oral Communication

Disadvantages of oral communication.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Communication

Following are the advantages of oral communication :

Quickness in Exchange of Ideas

Immediate feedback, flexibility, economic sources, personal touch, effective source, saves time and increases efficiency.

Advantages of Oral Communication

Quickness in Exchange of Ideas : The ideas can be conveyed to distant places quickly because this medium does not require the message to be written.

Immediate Feedback : Oral communication helps in understanding the extent to which the receiver has understood the message through his feelings during the course of the conversation.

Flexibility : Oral communication has an element of flexibility inherent in it. Flexibility means changing ideas according to the situation or changing ideas according to the interest of the receiver.

Economic Sources : It is an economic source of communication because the message is communicated only orally.

Personal Touch : Oral communication has a personal touch. Both sides can understand each other’s feelings, being face to face. The conversation takes place in a clean environment, which increases mutual confidence..

Effective Source : Oral Communication leaves much impression on the receiver. It is said that sometimes a thing can be communicated more effectively with the help of some sign. The use of signs or gesticulation can only be made in oral communication.

Saves Time and Increases Efficiency : This communication consumes less time and the superiors can utilize the time saved for some other more important work. As a result of this the efficiency of the sender increases.

Let’s discuss some disadvantages of oral communication :

Unfit for Lengthy Message

Unfit for policy matters, lack of written proof, expensive method, lack of clarity, misuse of time, presence of both the parties necessary.

Disadvantages of Oral Communication

Unfit for Lengthy Message : Oral communication is profitable in having a brief exchange of ideas only. It is not possible for the receiver to remember a long message.

Unfit for Policy Matters : Where policies, rules, or other important messages are to be communicated, oral communication has no importance.

Lack of Written Proof : In the case of oral communication no written proof is left for future reference. Therefore, sometimes difficulty has to be faced.

Expensive Method : When less important information is sent to distant places through telephone, etc. oral communication proves costly.

Lack of Clarity : This is possible when there is little time for conversation. Sometimes wrong can be uttered in a hurry, which can lead to adverse results.

Misuse of Time : Oral communication is considered a misuse of time when during meetings the conversation is lengthened unnecessarily. Parties involved in the communication waste their time in useless talks.

Presence of Both the Parties Necessary : In oral communication, it is essential for the sender and the receiver to be present face to face, it does not mean in the physical sense. But in written communication , one party is required.

  • Oral Mode is Used Where

These are the following points where we used oral mode :

  • Personal authentication is needed. e.g., between an officer and her personal secretary; a journalist and her source (“I heard it from a reliable source”)
  • Social or gregarious needs must be met. e.g.,’ speaking with a visiting delegation
  • Warmth and personal qualities are called for. e.g., group or team interaction
  • Exactitude and precision are not vitally important. e.g., brainstorming for ideas I
  • Situations demand maximum understanding. e.g., sorting out problems or differences between individuals, or between two groups such as administration and students.
  • An atmosphere of openness is desired. e.g., talks between management and. workers
  • Added impact is needed to get the receiver’s focus. e.g., a chairperson of an organization addressing the staff; a presidential or royal address to a nation
  • Decisions or information have to be communicated quickly. e.g., officers issuing officers during natural disasters such as floods or an earthquake
  • Confidential matters are to be discussed. e.g., exchange of positive or negative information about an organization or an individual. In the process of appointments or promotion or selection of individuals, a period of open discussion may precede the final decision that is recorded in writing.

Read More Related Articles

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  • Meaning of Communication
  • Definitions of Communication
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  • Importance of Communication
  • Principles of Communication
  • Process of Communication

Types of Communication

  • Elements of Communication
  • Mass Communication
  • What is Mass Communication?
  • Definitions of Mass Communication
  • Functions of Mass Media
  • Characteristics of Mass Communication
  • Types of Mass Communication
  • Importance of Mass Communication
  • Process of Mass Communication

Verbal Communication

  • Non-Verbal Communication

Written Communication

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  • What are the 7 principles of communication?

Nonverbal Communication

  • What is Nonverbal Communication?
  • Advantages of Non verbal Communication
  • Disadvantages of Non Verbal Communication
  • Functions of Nonverbal Communication
  • Types of Nonverbal Communication
  • Principles of Nonverbal Communication
  • How to Improve Non Verbal Communication Skills
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  • Functions of Verbal Communication
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Verbal Communication
  • What is Written Communication?
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  • Principles of Written Communication
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Written Communication

Oral Communication

Business Communication

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  • Definition of Business Communication
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  • 7 Cs of Communication in Busi n ess
  • 4 P’s of Business Communication
  • Purpose of Business Communications
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Organizational Communication

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  • Directions of Organizational Communication
  • Importance of Organizational Communication

Formal Communication

  • What is Formal Communication?
  • Definition of Formal Communication
  • Types of Formal Communication
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Informal Communication

  • What is Informal Communication?
  • Types of Informal Communication
  • Characteristics of Informal Communication
  • Advantages of Informal Communication
  • Limitations of Informal Communication

Interpersonal Communication

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  • Elements of Interpersonal Communication
  • Importance of Interpersonal Communication
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  • 10 Tips for Effective Interpersonal Communication
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  • Importance of Development Communication

Downward Communication

  • What is Downward Communication?
  • Definitions of Downward Communication
  • Types of Downward Communication
  • Purposes of Downward Communication
  • Objectives of Downward Communication
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Upward Communication

  • What is Upward Communication?
  • Definitions of Upward Communication
  • Importance of Upward Communication
  • Methods of Improving of Upward Communication
  • Important Media of Upward Communication

Barriers to Communication

  • What are Barriers to Communication?
  • Types of Barriers to Communication
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Horizontal or Lateral Communication

  • What is Horizontal Communication?
  • Definitions of Horizontal Communication
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Self Development

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  • Characteristics Of Effective Communication
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Theories of Communication

  • What is Theories of Communication?
  • Types of Theories of Communication
  • Theories Propounded to Create Socio-cultural Background Environment
  • Theories based on Ideas of Different Scholars

FAQ Related to Oral Communication

What is oral communication in one word.

Oral communication expresses ideas through the spoken word.

What is oral communication according to different authors?

Oral communication takes place when spoken words are used to transfer information and understanding from one person to another. BY S. K. Kapur

What is the importance of an oral communication essay?

The following are the importance of oral communication: Clear Pronunciation, Brevity, Precision, Conviction, Logical Sequence, Appropriate Word Choice, Use of natural voice, etc.

What are the methods of oral communication?

Following are some methods to improve oral communication skills: Speak in a Clear, Confident Strong Voice, Be Coherent, Avoid Using Filler Words, Be an Active Listener, etc.

What is oral communication according to the authors?

Oral communication expresses ideas through the spoken word. By  Bovee

What is the importance of oral communication?

Following are the importance of oral communication: 1. Clear Pronunciation 2. Brevity 3. Precision 4. Conviction 5. Logical Sequence 6. Appropriate Word Choice 7. Use a natural voice 8. Communicate With Right Person 9. Do Not Get Guided by Assumptions 10. Look for Feedback 11. Allow to Ask Questions.

What are the six types of oral communication?

These are the six types of oral communication: 1. Face-to-Face Conversation 2. Telephone 3. Presentation 4. Public Speech 5. Interview 6. Meeting.

What are the advantages of communication?

Advantages of Communication given below: 1. Quickness in Exchange of Ideas 2. Immediate Feedback 3. Flexibility 4. Economic Sources 5. Personal Touch 6. Effective Source 7. Saves Time and Increases Efficiency.

What are the disadvantages of communication?

Disadvantages of Communication: 1. Unfit for Lengthy Message 2. Unfit for Policy Matters 3. Lack of Written Proof 4. Expensive Method 5. Lack of Clarity 6. Misuse of Time 7. Presence of Both the Parties Necessary.

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what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication



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The formal presentation of information is divided into two broad categories: Presentation Skills and Personal Presentation .

These two aspects are interwoven and can be described as the preparation, presentation and practice of verbal and non-verbal communication. 

This article describes what a presentation is and defines some of the key terms associated with presentation skills.

Many people feel terrified when asked to make their first public talk.  Some of these initial fears can be reduced by good preparation that also lays the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

A Presentation Is...

A presentation is a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team.

A presentation can also be used as a broad term that encompasses other ‘speaking engagements’ such as making a speech at a wedding, or getting a point across in a video conference.

To be effective, step-by-step preparation and the method and means of presenting the information should be carefully considered. 

A presentation requires you to get a message across to the listeners and will often contain a ' persuasive ' element. It may, for example, be a talk about the positive work of your organisation, what you could offer an employer, or why you should receive additional funding for a project.

The Key Elements of a Presentation

Making a presentation is a way of communicating your thoughts and ideas to an audience and many of our articles on communication are also relevant here, see: What is Communication? for more.

Consider the following key components of a presentation:

Ask yourself the following questions to develop a full understanding of the context of the presentation.

When and where will you deliver your presentation?

There is a world of difference between a small room with natural light and an informal setting, and a huge lecture room, lit with stage lights. The two require quite different presentations, and different techniques.

Will it be in a setting you are familiar with, or somewhere new?

If somewhere new, it would be worth trying to visit it in advance, or at least arriving early, to familiarise yourself with the room.

Will the presentation be within a formal or less formal setting?

A work setting will, more or less by definition, be more formal, but there are also various degrees of formality within that.

Will the presentation be to a small group or a large crowd?

Are you already familiar with the audience?

With a new audience, you will have to build rapport quickly and effectively, to get them on your side.

What equipment and technology will be available to you, and what will you be expected to use?

In particular, you will need to ask about microphones and whether you will be expected to stand in one place, or move around.

What is the audience expecting to learn from you and your presentation?

Check how you will be ‘billed’ to give you clues as to what information needs to be included in your presentation.

All these aspects will change the presentation. For more on this, see our page on Deciding the Presentation Method .

The role of the presenter is to communicate with the audience and control the presentation.

Remember, though, that this may also include handing over the control to your audience, especially if you want some kind of interaction.

You may wish to have a look at our page on Facilitation Skills for more.

The audience receives the presenter’s message(s).

However, this reception will be filtered through and affected by such things as the listener’s own experience, knowledge and personal sense of values.

See our page: Barriers to Effective Communication to learn why communication can fail.

The message or messages are delivered by the presenter to the audience.

The message is delivered not just by the spoken word ( verbal communication ) but can be augmented by techniques such as voice projection, body language, gestures, eye contact ( non-verbal communication ), and visual aids.

The message will also be affected by the audience’s expectations. For example, if you have been billed as speaking on one particular topic, and you choose to speak on another, the audience is unlikely to take your message on board even if you present very well . They will judge your presentation a failure, because you have not met their expectations.

The audience’s reaction and therefore the success of the presentation will largely depend upon whether you, as presenter, effectively communicated your message, and whether it met their expectations.

As a presenter, you don’t control the audience’s expectations. What you can do is find out what they have been told about you by the conference organisers, and what they are expecting to hear. Only if you know that can you be confident of delivering something that will meet expectations.

See our page: Effective Speaking for more information.

How will the presentation be delivered?

Presentations are usually delivered direct to an audience.  However, there may be occasions where they are delivered from a distance over the Internet using video conferencing systems, such as Skype.

It is also important to remember that if your talk is recorded and posted on the internet, then people may be able to access it for several years. This will mean that your contemporaneous references should be kept to a minimum.


Many factors can influence the effectiveness of how your message is communicated to the audience.

For example background noise or other distractions, an overly warm or cool room, or the time of day and state of audience alertness can all influence your audience’s level of concentration.

As presenter, you have to be prepared to cope with any such problems and try to keep your audience focussed on your message.   

Our page: Barriers to Communication explains these factors in more depth.

Continue to read through our Presentation Skills articles for an overview of how to prepare and structure a presentation, and how to manage notes and/or illustrations at any speaking event.

Continue to: Preparing for a Presentation Deciding the Presentation Method

See also: Writing Your Presentation | Working with Visual Aids Coping with Presentation Nerves | Dealing with Questions Learn Better Presentation Skills with TED Talks

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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.

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

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

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

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

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNOXZumCXNM&ab_channel=TheOregonian ↵

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The Importance Of Oral Communication

The South Korean film Parasite made history at the 2020 Oscars when it became the first non-English language film to…

683. 10 Behavioral Interview Questions To Prepare For

The South Korean film Parasite made history at the 2020 Oscars when it became the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. For his acceptance speech, director Bong Joon Ho said, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

Bong was trying to change the way people perceive foreign language films. And he did. His words resonated not just with the South Korean audience, but with moviegoers worldwide.

Not every speaker leaves a lasting impression on their audience. But imagine if you could always speak with impact in your professional setting.

Strong oral communication is one of the best skills you can have in the workplace. Not only can you move, persuade and encourage others to think and act differently, your speaking skills also help you stand out among your co-workers.

Let’s explore the importance of different types of oral communication you need to become a competent professional.

What Is Oral Communication?

Importance of oral communication, types of oral communication.

Oral communication is communicating with spoken words. It’s a verbal form of communication where you communicate your thoughts, present ideas and share information. Examples of oral communication are conversations with friends, family or colleagues, presentations and speeches.

Oral communication helps to build trust and reliability. The process of oral communication is more effective than an email or a text message. For important and sensitive conversations—such as salary negotiations and even conflict resolution, you can rely on oral communication to get your point across, avoid misunderstandings and minimize confusion.

In a professional setting, effective oral communication is important because it is built on transparency, understanding and trust. Your oral communication skills can boost morale, encourage improved performance and promote teamwork .

Here are some benefits of oral communication:

It saves time by letting you convey your message directly to the other person and getting their response immediately.

It’s the most secure form of communication for critical issues and important information

It helps to resolve conflicts with face-to-face communication

It’s a more transparent form of communication as it lets you  gauge how others react to your words

There are different examples of oral communication in a business setting. You need several oral communication skills for career advancement. Let’s look at different types of oral communication:

Elevator Pitch

Imagine you meet the CEO of your organization in the elevator. Now, you have 30 seconds to introduce yourself before they get out on the next floor. This is your elevator pitch. It’s a form of oral communication where you have to succinctly explain who you are and what you want from the other person.

Formal Conversations

These are common at work because you have to constantly interact with your managers, coworkers and stakeholders such as clients and customers. Formal conversations are crisp, direct and condensed. You have to get your point across in a few words because everyone has only limited time to spare.

Informal Conversations

These are conversations that you have with your team members or friends and family. They are mostly without an agenda. You can talk about your day, what you’re going to eat for lunch or discuss weekend plans. These are friendly conversations peppered with light banter.

Business Presentations

This is where you need to make the best use of your speaking skills. Public speaking is an important skill to develop if you want to command a room full of people. For this, you need to leverage Harappa’s LEP and PAM Frameworks as well as the Four Ps of Pitch, Projection, Pace and Pauses.

Speeches are important in businesses like event management or community outreach. In a corporate setup, speeches are reserved for top management and leaders.

Arming yourself with effective oral communication skills will boost your confidence, prepare you for challenging tasks like meeting and impressing clients.

Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course is carefully designed to teach you how to improve your communication skills. You’ll learn about both oral and nonverbal communication with important frameworks like the Rule of Three and Aristotle’s Appeals of logic, credibility and emotion. Persuade your audience, deliver well-crafted ideas and connect with others with advanced speaking skills.

Explore topics & skills such as Public Speaking , Verbal Communication , Speaking Skills & Oratory Skills from Harappa Diaries and learn to express your ideas with confidence.

Reskilling Programs

L&D leaders need to look for reskilling programs that meet organizational goals and employee aspirations. The first step to doing this is to understand the skills gaps and identify what’s necessary. An effective reskilling program will be one that is scalable and measurable. Companies need to understand their immediate goals and prepare for future requirements when considering which employees to reskill.

Are you still uncertain about the kind of reskilling program you should opt for?  Speak to our expert   to understand what will work best for your organization and employees.


The Importance of Communication Skills in Oral Presentations

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Nonverbal Communication in Interviews

Tips on a great capstone presentation, steps to a good retirement speech.

  • How to Give an Informative Speech
  • How to Use Good Communication Skills for Cross-Cultural Diversity

The importance of communication and presentation skills can sometimes go unnoticed or be the hardest to develop. Even though presentations are a common occurrence in business and student life, the skills necessary to speak effectively in public are often the weakest.

Importance of Communication and Presentation Skills

Sometimes, there is a tendency to brush aside communication and presentation skills in the workplace and student life due to the anxiety caused by public speaking. However, whether you are looking to make a deal or receive a grade, how you communicate with others is essential to your success.

Since there is no denying the importance of oral presentations, the first step to becoming better communicators and presenters is understanding the structure and goals of an oral presentation.

Oral Presentation Anatomy

An oral presentation has three parts: the opening, the body and the conclusion. Just like an essay, an oral presentation needs to have a clear and precise structure so that the audience does not get lost during your presentation. Inc. notes that the opening of oral presentations should establish an emotional connection with the audience. This can be done through an anecdote, a question or relevant statistics. Whatever method you use, it should somehow represent the audience or a connection that will be important to them.

Keep your presentation’s goal in mind throughout the body. Stick to a few key points, only expanding on them when necessary with relevant, supportive materials. Whatever information you are forced to leave out due to time constraints may be covered through follow-up questions.

The closing section of the presentation should leave the audience with something that resonates. Reiterate a significant phrase or your key points; don’t let the presentation’s point get lost.

Improving Communication and Presentation Skills

Nonverbal communication is an essential part of the communication skills arsenal. Thomas Jefferson University experts explain that body language and other nonverbal cues play a significant role in how others perceive you. Awareness of your nonverbal cues such as eye contact, posture and tone can be used to your advantage in keeping an audience engaged.

In addition to maintaining an organized structure, you may need to reshape your view of rehearsal to improve presentation skills. According to Inc., rehearsing is not memorizing. Most people are not actors and therefore cannot emote when reciting memorized words the same way they would if they were making it up on the fly.

To improve your communication and presentation skills, try not to perfectly memorize your speech. Instead, memorize the structure and become familiar with the words. This way, when you feel you have the presentation down, take a step back and focus on calming your nerves rather than cramming until the very last moment so that you can speak clearly when needed. It’s also critical to know your audience. Do your research so you can match their demographic in tone, semantics and speech patterns, Inc. explains. Tailor your descriptions and word choice to who will be listening.

Active Listening Is Key

Communication skills extend beyond how well you can illustrate your point; many people forget that the other half of communication is active listening. Strong communicators are active listeners.

According to Insider , a key reminder to improve communication skills is not to monopolize the conversation. Let others speak and ask follow-up questions so they know you are listening.

Don’t forget to follow-up with questions and comments, demonstrating that you have been paying attention by considering the presentation. When you can convey to others that you are actively listening to what they have to say, they will return the favor.

  • Inc.: How to Improve Your Presentation Skills
  • Thomas Jefferson University: The 5 Most Critical Business Communication Skills for Getting Ahead
  • Insider: I'm a CEO and the Most Underrated Business Skill Is One Most People Are Terrible At

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.

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This article was co-authored by Vikas Agrawal . Vikas Agrawal is a Visual Content Marketing Expert & Entrepreneur, as well as the Founder of Full Service Creative Agency Infobrandz. With over 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing visually engaging content, such as infographics, videos, and e-books. He’s an expert in Making content marketing strategies and has contributed to and been featured in many publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and INC.com. This article has been viewed 48,673 times.

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

Researching Your Presentation

Step 1 Determine your topic.

  • If speaking about the effect of junk food on an adult’s mind, include the increase of serotonin, a happiness hormone. Then inform the audience how fast the hormone drastically depletes to give out worse feelings. This gives the perspective that even the advantages of junk food are outweighed by the negative effects.

Step 4 Research, research, research.

Writing Your Script

Step 1 Write the body of your script.

  • Make sure to begin each argument with a clear description of the content such as. "The result of eating junk food has increased negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem". This gives the audience a quick outlook of what the argument is about. Always remember to state how the argument relates and supports the topic question.

Step 2 Start the introduction.

  • If necessary, this is where you could include, "My name is ___ and I will be speaking about the effect on junk food on our minds." Then you include a brief out view of each argument you will be speaking about. Do not include any information about your arguments in the introduction.

Step 3 Prepare a strong conclusion.

  • Some example concluding sentences include, "The entire process of the mind, changed by a simple bite of a cookie. Our entire body's control system, defined by our choices of food. The definite truth. You are what you eat."

Practicing and Performing

Step 1 Prepare your cue cards.

  • Taking the effort to memorize your script allows you to keep eye contact with the audience and brings confidence to your speech. Reading from an entire script can easily cause you to lose your place and stutter. Also make sure they are the same size and only put important key words or those that are hard to remember. This allows you to easily flip through and read off the cue cards.

Step 2 Use the aid of visual images or videos if allowed.

What Is The Best Way To Start a Presentation?

Expert Q&A

  • Research persuasive language techniques. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Watch online speeches to get an idea of how to tone your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Color code each sentence on your cue cards to never lose track. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

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  • ↑ https://www.princeton.edu/~archss/webpdfs08/BaharMartonosi.pdf
  • ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/give-good-speech-presentations-college-1147.html

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How to Prepare and Give a Scholarly Oral Presentation

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what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

  • Cheryl Gore-Felton 2  

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Building an academic reputation is one of the most important functions of an academic faculty member, and one of the best ways to build a reputation is by giving scholarly presentations, particularly those that are oral presentations. Earning the reputation of someone who can give an excellent talk often results in invitations to give keynote addresses at regional and national conferences, which increases a faculty member’s visibility along with their area of research. Given the importance of oral presentations, it is surprising that few graduate or medical programs provide courses on how to give a talk. This is unfortunate because there are skills that can be learned and strategies that can be used to improve the ability to give an interesting, well-received oral presentation. To that end, the aim of this chapter is to provide faculty with best practices and tips on preparing and giving an academic oral presentation.

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Pashler H, McDaniel M, Rohrer D, Bjork R. Learning styles: concepts and evidence. Psychol Sci Public Interest. 2009;9:105–19.

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Gore-Felton, C. (2020). How to Prepare and Give a Scholarly Oral Presentation. In: Roberts, L. (eds) Roberts Academic Medicine Handbook. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31957-1_42

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Oral Presentations Purpose

An Oral Research Presentation is meant to showcase your research findings. A successful oral research presentation should: communicate the importance of your research; clearly state your findings and the analysis of those findings; prompt discussion between researcher and audience.  Below you will find information on how to create and give a successful oral presentation.  

Creating an Effective Presentation

Who has a harder job the speaker? Or, the audience?

Most people think speaker has the hardest job during an oral presentation, because they are having to stand up in a room full of people and give a presentation. However, if the speaker is not engaging and if the material is way outside of the audiences knowledge level, the audience can have a difficult job as well. Below you will find some tips on how to be an effective presenter and how to engage with your audience.

Organization of a Presentation  


How are you going to begin?  How are you going to get the attention of your audience? You need to take the time and think about how you are going to get started!

Here are some ways you could start:

  • Ask the audience a question
  • make a statement
  • show them something

No matter how you start your presentation it needs to relate to your research and capture the audiences attention.  

Preview what you are going to discuss .  Audiences do not like to be manipulated or tricked. Tell the audience exactly what you are going to discuss, this will help them follow along.  *Do not say you are going to cover three points and then try to cover 8 points.

At the end of your introduction, the audience should feel like they know exactly what you are going to  discuss and exactly how you are going to get there.  



Delivery and Communication

Eye Contact

Making eye contact is a great way to engage with your audience.  Eye contact should be no longer than 2-3 seconds per person.  Eye contact for much longer than that can begin to make the audience member feel uncomfortable.

Smiling lets attendees know you are happy to be there and that you are excited to talk with them about your project.

We all know that body language says a lot, so here are some things you should remember when giving your presentation.

  • Stand with both feet on the floor, not with one foot crossed over the other. 
  • Do not stand with your hands in your pockets, or with your arms crossed.
  • Stand tall with confidence and own your space (remember you are the expert).  

Abbreviated Notes

Having a written set of notes or key points that you want to address can help prevent you from reading the poster. 

Speak Clearly

Sometimes when we get nervous we begin to talk fast and blur our words.  It is important that you make sure every word is distinct and clear. A great way to practice your speech is to say tongue twisters. 

Ten tiny tots tottered toward the shore

Literally literary. Literally literary.  Literally literary.

Sally soon saw that she should sew some sheets.

Avoid Fillers

Occasionally we pick up fillers that we are not aware of, such as um, like, well, etc. One way to get rid of fillers is to have a friend listen to your speech and every time you say a "filler" have that friend tap you on the arm or say your name.  This will bring the filler to light, then you can practice avoiding that filler.

Manage Anxiety

Many people get nervous when they are about to speak to a crowd of people.  Below are ways that you can manage your anxiety levels. 

  • Practice, Practice, Practice - the more prepared you are the less nervous you will be.
  • Recognize that anxiety is just a big shot of adrenalin.
  • Take deep breaths before your presentation to calm you down. 

Components of an Oral Research Presentation


The introduction section of your oral presentation should consist of 3 main parts.  

Part 1: Existing facts

In order to give audience members the "full picture", you first need to provide them with information about past research.  What facts already exist? What is already known about your research area?

Part 2: Shortcomings

Once you have highlighted past research and existing facts. You now need to address what is left to be known, or what shortcomings exist within the current information.  This should set the groundwork for your experiment.  Keep in mind, how does your research fill these gaps or help address these questions? 

Part 3: Purpose or Hypothesis

After you have addressed past/current research and have identified shortcomings/gaps, it is now time to address your research.  During this portion of the introduction you need to tell viewers why you are conducting your research experiement/study, and what you hope to accomplish by doing so. 

In this section you should share with your audience how you went about collecting and analyzing your data

Should include:

  • Participants: Who or what was in the study?
  • Materials/ measurements: what did you measure?
  • Procedures: How did you do the study?
  • Data-analysis: What analysis were conducted? 

This section contains FACTS – with no opinion, commentary or interpretation. Graphs, charts and images can be used to display data in a clear and organized way.  

Keep in mind when making figures:

  • Make sure axis, treatments, and data sets are clearly labeled
  • Strive for simplicity, especially in figure titles. 
  • Know when to use what kind of graph
  • Be careful with colors.

Interpretation and commentary takes place here. This section should give a clear summary of your findings. 

You should:

  • Address the positive and negative aspects of you research
  • Discuss how and if your research question was answered. 
  • Highlight the novel and important findings
  • Speculate on what could be occurring in your system 

Future Research

  • State your goals
  • Include information about why you believe research should go in the direction you are proposing
  • Discuss briefly how you plan to implement the research goals, if you chose to do so.  

Why include References?

  • It allows viewers to locate the material that you used, and can help viewers expand their knowledge of your research topic.  
  • Indicates that you have conducted a thorough review of the literature and conducted your research from an informed perspective.
  • Guards you against intellectual theft.  Ideas are considered intellectual property failure to cite someone's ideas can have serious consequences. 


This section is used to thank the people, programs and funding agencies that allowed you to perform your research.


Allow for about 2-3 minutes at the end of your presentation for questions. 

It is important to be prepared. 

  • Know why you conducted the study
  • Be prepared to answer questions about why you chose a specific methodology

If you DO NOT know the answer to a question

Visual Aids

PowerPoints and other visual aids can be used to support what you are presenting about.

Power Point Slides and other visual aids can help support your presentation, however there are some things you should consider: 

  • Do not overdo it . One big mistake that presenters make is they have  a slide for every single item they want to say. One way you can avoid this is by writing your presentation in Word first, instead of making a Power Point Presentation. By doing this you can type exactly what you want to say, and once your presentation is complete, you can create Power Point slides that help support your presentation. ​

Formula for number of visual aids : Length of presentation divided by 2 plus 1

example: 12 minute presentation should have no more than 7 slides.

  • Does it add interest? 
  • Does it prove? 
  • Does it clarify?
  • Do not read the text . Most people can read, and if they have the option of reading material themselves versus listen to you read it, they are going to read it themselves and then your voice becomes an annoyance. Also, when you are reading the text you are probably not engaging with the audience. 
  • No more than 4-6 lines on a slide and no more than 4-6 words in a line.
  • People should be able to read your slide in 6 seconds.
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Oral Presentation Structure

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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.

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Oral Communication: Examples, Importance, Types & Features

Table of Contents

Among the various forms of communication, oral communication stands out as a fundamental and powerful tool. In this guide, we will explore its definition, importance, and various forms, while providing practical tips, examples, and strategies to enhance your oral communication skills.

Definition of oral communication

“Oral communication is the process of sharing information and creating meaning through the use of spoken language, including both formal and informal interactions.” Author: Julia T. Wood Reference: Wood, J. T. (2012). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Cengage Learning.

What is oral communication? 

The process of exchanging information, thoughts, and ideas through spoken words is commonly referred to as oral communication. It is a fundamental form of human communication that allows individuals to interact, express themselves, and convey messages directly to others using speech.

Oral communication covers various aspects, including speaking, listening, and understanding. It is a dynamic process involving both verbal and nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.

Nature of oral communication 

The nature of oral communication is essentially dynamic and interactive. Unlike written communication, which relies on written words, oral communication involves direct interaction between individuals through spoken words. It allows for real-time exchanges, immediate feedback, and the ability to respond to the needs of the situation and audience.

Alongside spoken words, oral communication incorporates nonverbal cues, including facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice.  These cues can greatly enhance the message being conveyed. 

Purpose of oral communication

Oral communication aims to effectively convey information through clear and concise vocal words. It fosters interaction, and relationship building, and facilitates collaboration among individuals.

Effective oral communication skills are vital in personal, and professional settings as they enable individuals to express themselves, listen actively, and respond appropriately to the needs of others.

Characteristics of oral communication 

There are several key characteristics of oral communication that shape how it is used and understood. Understanding these characteristics is essential for developing effective oral communication skills and successfully navigating interpersonal interactions in various settings. These characteristics include:

1/ Dynamic and interactive: Oral communication involves a two-way exchange of information between a speaker and a listener. It is an interactive process that allows instant feedback and clarification.

2/ Verbal and nonverbal cues: Oral communication includes the use of spoken words as well as nonverbal cues like facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language.

3/ Less formal: Oral communication is often less formal than written communication and may involve informal language. However, the level of formality can vary depending on the context of the communication.

4/ Spoken Words: Oral communication relies on spoken words as the primary medium of conveying messages. It involves the use of language, including vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, to express thoughts and ideas. 

5/ Contextual and Situational: Oral communication is highly dependent on the context and situation in which it takes place. Factors such as the audience, purpose, and cultural background influence the language, tone, and style used by the speaker. 

Further Reading: What are the characteristics of oral communication

Types of oral communication 

Oral communication can be categorized into several types based on different contexts and purposes. Each type has its own specific characteristics and purposes, and being proficient in each type of oral communication is crucial for effective interpersonal interactions. Here are some common types of oral communication:


1/ Group Discussions: Group discussions involve multiple participants engaging in an exchange of ideas, opinions, and perspectives on a specific topic. This type of oral communication enhances collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making within a team.

2/ Public Speaking: This type of communication involves one individual speaking to a large group of people. Public speaking is often used for informative or persuasive purposes, such as delivering a keynote speech or presenting a proposal.

3/ Interviewing: This type of communication involves one individual asking questions of another individual. Interviews are often used in job interviews, media interviews, and research interviews.

4/ Video Conferencing: This form of communication is similar to face-to-face communication but takes place over video conferencing software. Video conferencing proves beneficial for remote teams and individuals unable to meet in private.

5/ Telephonic Communication: This type of communication involves two or more individuals communicating over the phone. Telephonic communication is useful for situations where face-to-face communication is not possible or practical, such as in long-distance relationships or business negotiations.

6/ Informal Conversations: Informal conversations occur when individuals engage in casual and Unplanned discussions with each other. Informal conversations occur in everyday settings such as social gatherings, family interactions, and friendly conversations.

Examples of oral communication 

Examples of oral communication channels 

  • Oral Reports
  • Interpersonal Conversations
  • Speeches and Lectures
  • Customer Service Calls
  • Team Huddles
  • Radio Broadcasting

Oral communication tools examples 

  • Voice Assistants: Virtual assistants activated by voice commands, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, offer convenient and hands-free interaction.
  • Voice Recorders: Portable voice recorders or smartphone voice recording apps.
  • Video Conferencing Tools: Video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet.
A demonstration of how we use Google Meet for day-to-day oral communication for remote working.
  • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): VoIP services, such as Skype, or Nextiva.
  • Telephones: Traditional landline phones and mobile phones.

Elements of oral communication 

1/ Speaker: The speaker is the individual or source who initiates and delivers the oral message. They are responsible for formulating their thoughts, organizing the message, and selecting appropriate language and delivery style to effectively communicate their ideas to the listener(s).

2/ Message: The message refers to the content and information intended by the speaker for communication. It combines both verbal and nonverbal components, such as words, tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.

3/ Listener: The listener is the recipient of the oral communication. They receive process, and interpret the speaker’s message. 

4/ Feedback: Feedback is the response given by the listener(s) to the message conveyed by the speaker. It can be verbal or nonverbal and helps the speaker understand the effectiveness of their communication.

5/ Channel: The channel refers to the medium or mode of communication used to transmit the oral message. It can include face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, video conferences, presentations, and more.

6/ Context: The context includes the environment in which oral communication occurs. It includes factors like physical location, cultural norms, social dynamics, and the topic of communication.

7/ Noise: Noise encompasses any form of interference or barriers that affects the smooth flow of effective communication . It can be external noise like distractions or internal noise like language barriers .

8/ Purpose: The purpose of oral communication is the objective or intention behind the communication.

What are oral communication skills? 

Oral communication skills refer to the abilities and competencies that enable individuals to effectively convey their ideas, thoughts, and messages through spoken words.

These skills involve using language, tone of voice, body language, and other forms of nonverbal communication to engage listeners and convey messages clearly and persuasively.

1/ Active Listening skills: Active listening is a crucial skill in oral communication. It involves fully focusing on and understanding the speaker’s message, responding appropriately, and providing feedback or clarification when necessary. 

2/ Presentation Skills: Presentation skills involve effectively delivering information to an audience in a well-organized manner. These skills encompass organizing content, using visual aids effectively, maintaining audience engagement, and delivering a confident and impactful presentation.

3/ Flexibility and Adaptability skills: Being flexible and adaptable in oral communication allows individuals to adjust their message, language, and approach based on the needs and preferences of the audience. It involves being open to different communication styles, cultural differences, and unexpected changes in the communication context.

4/ Conversation Skills: Conversation skills refer to the ability to engage in meaningful and productive conversations with others. This involves initiating and maintaining conversations and showing interest in others’ contributions.

5/ Discussion Skills : It involves participating in structured group discussions. It involves contributing ideas, listening to others, and providing feedback or responses. Effective discussion skills can help facilitate group decision-making, resolve conflicts, and promote collaboration and teamwork.

6/ Telephonic Communication Skills : Telephonic skills involve the ability to communicate effectively over the telephone. It includes speaking clearly and audibly, using appropriate language and tone, and being attentive to the listener’s needs and concerns.

Techniques for improving oral communication skills 

  • Practice Active Listening: Actively listening to others is a fundamental aspect of effective oral communication. Practice focusing your attention on the speaker, avoiding distractions can help you improve your oral communication skills.  Active listening encompasses three key aspects : 
  • Cognitive: This involves actively paying attention to all information being communicated.
  • Emotional: This aspect involves remaining calm and compassionate during the conversation.
  • Behavioral: The final aspect of active listening involves conveying interest and comprehension both verbally and nonverbally.
  • Expand Vocabulary: Enhancing your vocabulary can improve your ability to express ideas accurately and precisely.
  • Use appropriate tone and pitch: Adapt your tone and pitch to match the context and audience.
  • Seek Opportunities for Conversations and Discussions: Engage in conversations and discussions with others as much as possible.
  • Use Visualization Techniques: Before important presentations or conversations, visualize yourself speaking confidently and effectively.
  • Seek feedback and practice: Actively seek feedback from trusted individuals, such as mentors or colleagues, and work on areas that need improvement.

Benefits of improving oral communication skills 

Improving oral communication skills can bring a range of benefits to both personal and professional environments. For instance, it can enhance one’s ability to express ideas clearly and effectively, which can help in building strong relationships, both at work and in personal space. 

Moreover, clear communication can also help in avoiding misunderstandings, reduce conflicts, and promote collaboration and teamwork. Additionally, it can improve one’s public speaking abilities, which can help in presentations and speaking engagements. 

Importance of oral communication 

Effective interpersonal interactions rely heavily on oral communication. It allows us to express our thoughts, emotions, and ideas and enables us to understand others more deeply. Strong oral communication also fosters positive relationships, builds trust, and facilitates collaboration.

  • Clarity and understanding: Through oral communication, individuals can effectively express complex ideas and information with clarity. It promotes better understanding and minimizes confusion or misinterpretation.
  • Collaboration and teamwork: Effective oral communication is crucial for successful collaboration and teamwork. It enables individuals to exchange ideas, provide feedback, and work together towards common goals.
  • Enhance Customer Service: In customer-facing roles, oral communication is essential for providing exceptional service. Clear communication helps understand customer needs, address concerns, and provide solutions.
  • Persuasion and influence: Oral communication is a key tool for persuasion and influence. Through effective speaking skills, individuals can convince others to adopt their viewpoints, take action, or change their behavior.
  • Problem-Solving: Effective oral communication is crucial for problem-solving and decision-making processes. It allows for effective sharing of information, active listening, and collaborative discussions.

Significance of oral communication at the organization level 

Oral communication holds immense significance at the organizational level as it impacts various aspects of operations, leadership, decision-making, and external interactions. Effective oral communication ensures smooth information flow and coordination, improving productivity and collaboration within the organization.

It plays a critical role in leadership, allowing leaders to articulate their vision and inspire teams. Decision-making processes benefit from clear communication, facilitating informed discussions and consensus. Externally, effective oral communication builds relationships and satisfaction with stakeholders.

Role of oral communication in a professional context 

In a professional context, oral communication plays a pivotal role in several aspects. It is essential for effective presentations and public speaking, allowing professionals to convey their ideas, and influence decision-making.

In fact, the Corporate Recruiters Survey indicates that oral communication skills are at the top of the list of abilities and skills that employers seek in their candidates.

Furthermore, oral communication is crucial in meetings and discussions, enabling effective collaboration, brainstorming, and problem-solving. It facilitates clear and concise instructions, and delegation, enhancing management abilities.

Overall, oral communication in a professional context is the cornerstone of effective teamwork, leadership, client interactions, and career advancement.

Methods of oral communication 

The methods of oral communication can be divided into two categories, mechanical channels, and non-mechanical channels: 


The mechanical channels include:

  • Telephone conversations: Communication using telephones, where spoken messages are transmitted electronically.
  • Voicemail: Leaving voice messages on an answering machine or voicemail system for others to listen to later.
  • Conference calls: Communication between multiple parties in different locations through a telephonic connection, allowing for group discussions.
  • Television broadcasting: Transmitting spoken messages along with visual content to a wide audience through television channels.
  • Automated phone systems: Interactive voice response (IVR) systems that use pre-recorded prompts and voice recognition to provide information to appropriate destinations.

Non-Mechanical Channels 

  • Debates: Structured discussions involve participants presenting arguments and counterarguments on a specific topic in an organized manner
  • Interviews: Verbal exchanges between an interviewer and interviewee(s), often used for research or employment purposes.
  • Speeches: Prepared and structured presentations that convey a message or express thoughts and opinions, often delivered at public events.
  • Conferences: Organized events that bring together experts, and professionals in a specific field to share information, discuss ideas, and network.

Modes of oral communication

Understanding the various modes of oral communication can help individuals effectively adapt their communication strategies based on the context, purpose, and audience involved in a given interaction.

There are two broad modes of oral communication: 

1/ Intrapersonal communication: Intrapersonal communication refers to the mode of communication that occurs within an individual’s own mind. It involves the internal exchange and processing of thoughts and ideas. While it may not involve direct interaction with others, intrapersonal communication is essential for self-reflection, self-analysis, and decision-making.

2/ Interpersonal communication: This mode involves communication between two or more people in a face-to-face interaction, with each person taking turns to speak and listen. Interpersonal communication can be either formal or informal, and it is used in a variety of contexts, including personal relationships, business transactions, and social interactions.

Different styles of oral communication

There are several styles that individuals can employ when communicating orally, depending on the context, purpose, and audience. Here are a few common styles:

1/ Formal style: This style of oral communication is characterized by a structured and professional approach. It is commonly utilized in formal scenarios such as business meetings, presentations, or public speaking engagements.

2/ Persuasive style: This style of oral communication aims to influence or persuade the audience. It is often used in sales presentations, debates, or negotiations.

3/ Interactive style: Interactive style of oral communication involves active participation and engagement between the speaker and the audience.

4/ Storytelling style: This style involves the art of storytelling to captivate and engage the audience. It is often used in presentations, speeches, or public performances.

5/ Assertive style: Assertive style focuses on expressing thoughts, opinions, and needs confidently. 

These are just a few examples of different styles of oral communication. It’s important to note that individuals may employ a combination of styles depending on the specific communication context. 

Media of oral communication 

In oral communication, the term “media” denotes the various means or channels through which information is transmitted. Vocal communication can be conveyed through various media, which can impact the message’s effectiveness and reach. Here are a few common media of oral communication:

  • Broadcasting: Broadcasting involves transmitting oral communication through mass media channels such as television or radio. It allows for the spread of information to a large audience, but it is typically a one-way communication channel.
  • Video conferencing: Video conferencing combines audio and video to enable communication between individuals or groups in different locations. It allows for visual and verbal communication, which can enhance the effectiveness of communication in remote settings.
  • Press Conference: A press conference is a media event where a spokesperson or organization addresses the press and journalists to make announcements, provide information, or respond to questions. It allows for oral communication between the spokesperson and the media. 
  • Teleconferences : Teleconferences involve audio communication between multiple participants who are located in different places. It allows individuals or groups to hold meetings or discussions remotely, using telephonic connections or audio conferencing tools.
  • Grapevine: Grapevine refers to the informal and unofficial communication network within an organization or community. It involves the transmission of information, rumors, or gossip through oral channels among individuals.

Principles of effective oral communication 

The following principles serve as guidelines for enhancing the effectiveness of oral communication, allowing speakers to deliver their messages clearly and achieve the desired communication outcomes.

1/ Preparation: Effective oral communication requires proper planning and preparation, including understanding the audience, and determining the topic, timing, and other relevant factors.

2/ Clarity of Pronunciation: Clear and correct pronunciation is crucial for ensuring that the oral message is understood by the receivers. As communication can become confusing when there is a lack of clarity in the message being conveyed.

3/ Natural Voice: Using a natural voice helps maintain the authenticity and effectiveness of oral communication. Avoiding artificial or unnatural tones enhances the overall impact.

4/ Logical Sequence: Organizing ideas in a logical and sequential manner enhances the communicative and appealing nature of the message. 

5/ Use of Suitable Words: Choosing appropriate and familiar words is crucial in oral communication. A simple and common language helps ensure that the receiver can easily understand and respond to the message.

6/ Courtesy: Demonstrating courtesy while addressing listeners creates a positive impression and fosters effective communication. 

7/ Emotional Control: Effective oral communication requires the speaker to maintain emotional control. 

8/ Control of Gesticulation: Conscious control of gestures is important in oral communication. Avoiding excessive or distracting gesticulation ensures that the focus remains on the message. 

Further Reading: Guidelines for effective oral communication

Similarities between principles of oral communication and written communication 

Both oral and written communication share fundamental principles that contribute to effective communication. Starting with clarity which is essential in both forms, emphasizing the need for clear and concise messages.

Understanding the audience which ensures that the message is tailored to the needs and interests of the receiver. Effective communication in both forms requires careful planning and preparation. Additionally, the use of appropriate tone and style enhances communication in both oral presentations and written documents. 

Related Reading: Similarities of Oral and written communication

Barries of oral communication 

  • Technical barriers: Problems with equipment, technology, or software can interfere with good oral communication, especially in remote or virtual settings.
  • Semantic barriers: Misinterpretation of words, phrases, or symbols due to ambiguity, double meanings, or lack of context can hinder the clarity and effectiveness of oral communication.
Related Reading: What are Semantic barriers of communication 
  • Language barriers: When the speaker and the listener don’t share a common language or when the speaker uses jargon, technical language, or unfamiliar words, it can create communication barriers.
  • Physical barriers: Factors in the environment, such as noise, distance, and unfavorable conditions, can pose challenges to mutual understanding between the speaker and listener.
Related Reading : What are physical barriers in communication 
  • Lack of attention and active listening: When listeners are distracted, disengaged, or not actively paying attention to the speaker, it can hinder effective communication.
  • Lack of feedback: Feedback plays a crucial role in oral communication as it allows the speaker to gauge the listener’s understanding and adjust their message accordingly. When there is a lack of feedback it can hamper effective communication.

Difference between communication and oral communication

Oral communication vs aural communication, oral vs purposive communication, oral communication vs public speaking, advantages and disadvantages of oral communication.

Further Reading: Strength and Weakness of oral communication

Advantages of written communication over oral communication 

Written communication has several advantages over oral communication. Firstly, written communication is permanent, which means that the message can be revisited, reviewed, and referred back to if needed. Secondly, written communication is more precise and accurate, as it allows the writer to carefully choose the words and phrasing they use to convey their message.

Further Reading: Advantages of written communication over oral communication

Advantages of oral presentation 

The oral presentation has several advantages that make it a powerful communication tool. One significant advantage is the ability to provide the opportunity for speakers to use body language, and tone to engage with the audience and create a strong emotional connection. Additionally, oral presentations allow for immediate feedback from the audience, which can help speakers to adjust their message in real-time.

Importance of audio visual aid on oral communication 

Audiovisual aids are essential in oral communication as they enhance the effectiveness of the message by making it more engaging and memorable for the audience. It plays a crucial role in illustrating complex ideas and reinforcing key points, enhancing the overall verbal message. By using visual aids, the speaker can also maintain the audience’s attention, reducing the likelihood of distraction and increasing their engagement with the message.

Related Reading: Audio-visual communication advantages and Disadvantages

What factors to consider while choosing oral communication 

When choosing oral communication as a means of conveying your message, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Purpose and Audience: Clearly define the purpose of the communication and identify the target audience.
  • Clarity: Focus on clarity and simplicity in your message.
  • Content and Structure: Determine the key points and information to be delivered. 
  • Delivery Style: Consider the appropriate delivery style based on the nature of the message, audience, and context.
  • Timing: Consider the appropriate timing for your communication. 
  • Technology and Visual Aids: Assess the need for technology or visual aids to enhance your oral communication. 

Frequently Asked Question

Q1) what is oral communication and examples.

Ans: Oral communication involves communicating thoughts or concepts using spoken language. Examples include face-to-face conversations, phone calls, presentations, and group discussions.

Q2) Why is oral communication important?

Ans: Oral communication is important as it allows for immediate feedback, clarification, and personal connection, facilitating effective understanding and collaboration among individuals or within a group.

Q3) What is oral information?

Ans: Oral information refers to the transmission of knowledge or data through spoken words or verbal communication rather than in written or visual form.

Q4) What is oral communication in business communication?

Ans: Oral communication in business communication involves the verbal exchange of information, ideas, and instructions within an organizational context, such as meetings, negotiations, presentations, and interpersonal interactions.

Q5) What is another name for oral communication?

Ans: Another name for oral communication is spoken communication.

Q6) What is oral language?

Ans: Oral language refers to the ability to communicate effectively using spoken words. It encompasses vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and fluency in a particular language.

Q7) What is an oral presentation?

Ans: An oral presentation involves verbally conveying findings to an audience through spoken delivery. It often involves the use of visual aids and aims to inform, persuade, or entertain listeners.

Q8) Short note on oral communication?

Ans: Oral communication encompasses the interactive sharing of information. It allows for immediate interaction, feedback, and emotional connection, enhancing understanding and collaboration.

Q9) What is visual communication?

Ans: Visual communication refers to the conveyance of information or ideas through visual elements, such as graphs, charts, images, and videos, to effectively communicate and engage with an audience.

Q10) What is written communication?

Ans: Written communication utilizes written words as a means to effectively convey messages. It includes emails, reports, memos, letters, and other written forms of expression.

Q11) What is verbal communication?

Ans: Verbal communication is the use of spoken words to convey messages, ideas, or information between individuals or within a group. It includes face-to-face conversations, phone calls, and oral presentations.

Q12) What is non-verbal communication?

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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.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
  • Group Presentations
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
  • Group Project Survival Skills
  • Leading a Class Discussion
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Works
  • Writing a Case Analysis Paper
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Reflective Paper
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • Acknowledgments

In the social and behavioral sciences, an oral presentation assignment involves an individual student or group of students verbally addressing an audience on a specific research-based topic, often utilizing slides to help audience members understand and retain what they both see and hear. The purpose is to inform, report, and explain the significance of research findings, and your critical analysis of those findings, within a specific period of time, often in the form of a reasoned and persuasive argument. Oral presentations are assigned to assess a student’s ability to organize and communicate relevant information  effectively to a particular audience. Giving an oral presentation is considered an important learning skill because the ability to speak persuasively in front of an audience is transferable to most professional workplace settings.

Oral Presentations. Learning Co-Op. University of Wollongong, Australia; Oral Presentations. Undergraduate Research Office, Michigan State University; Oral Presentations. Presentations Research Guide, East Carolina University Libraries; Tsang, Art. “Enhancing Learners’ Awareness of Oral Presentation (Delivery) Skills in the Context of Self-regulated Learning.” Active Learning in Higher Education 21 (2020): 39-50.

Preparing for Your Oral Presentation

In some classes, writing the research paper is only part of what is required in reporting the results your work. Your professor may also require you to give an oral presentation about your study. Here are some things to think about before you are scheduled to give a presentation.

1.  What should I say?

If your professor hasn't explicitly stated what the content of your presentation should focus on, think about what you want to achieve and what you consider to be the most important things that members of the audience should know about your research. Think about the following: Do I want to inform my audience, inspire them to think about my research, or convince them of a particular point of view? These questions will help frame how to approach your presentation topic.

2.  Oral communication is different from written communication

Your audience has just one chance to hear your talk; they can't "re-read" your words if they get confused. Focus on being clear, particularly if the audience can't ask questions during the talk. There are two well-known ways to communicate your points effectively, often applied in combination. The first is the K.I.S.S. method [Keep It Simple Stupid]. Focus your presentation on getting two to three key points across. The second approach is to repeat key insights: tell them what you're going to tell them [forecast], tell them [explain], and then tell them what you just told them [summarize].

3.  Think about your audience

Yes, you want to demonstrate to your professor that you have conducted a good study. But professors often ask students to give an oral presentation to practice the art of communicating and to learn to speak clearly and audibly about yourself and your research. Questions to think about include: What background knowledge do they have about my topic? Does the audience have any particular interests? How am I going to involve them in my presentation?

4.  Create effective notes

If you don't have notes to refer to as you speak, you run the risk of forgetting something important. Also, having no notes increases the chance you'll lose your train of thought and begin relying on reading from the presentation slides. Think about the best ways to create notes that can be easily referred to as you speak. This is important! Nothing is more distracting to an audience than the speaker fumbling around with notes as they try to speak. It gives the impression of being disorganized and unprepared.

NOTE:   A good strategy is to have a page of notes for each slide so that the act of referring to a new page helps remind you to move to the next slide. This also creates a natural pause that allows your audience to contemplate what you just presented.

Strategies for creating effective notes for yourself include the following:

  • Choose a large, readable font [at least 18 point in Ariel ]; avoid using fancy text fonts or cursive text.
  • Use bold text, underlining, or different-colored text to highlight elements of your speech that you want to emphasize. Don't over do it, though. Only highlight the most important elements of your presentation.
  • Leave adequate space on your notes to jot down additional thoughts or observations before and during your presentation. This is also helpful when writing down your thoughts in response to a question or to remember a multi-part question [remember to have a pen with you when you give your presentation].
  • Place a cue in the text of your notes to indicate when to move to the next slide, to click on a link, or to take some other action, such as, linking to a video. If appropriate, include a cue in your notes if there is a point during your presentation when you want the audience to refer to a handout.
  • Spell out challenging words phonetically and practice saying them ahead of time. This is particularly important for accurately pronouncing people’s names, technical or scientific terminology, words in a foreign language, or any unfamiliar words.

Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kelly, Christine. Mastering the Art of Presenting. Inside Higher Education Career Advice; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th edition. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact . Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

Organizing the Content

In the process of organizing the content of your presentation, begin by thinking about what you want to achieve and how are you going to involve your audience in the presentation.

  • Brainstorm your topic and write a rough outline. Don’t get carried away—remember you have a limited amount of time for your presentation.
  • Organize your material and draft what you want to say [see below].
  • Summarize your draft into key points to write on your presentation slides and/or note cards and/or handout.
  • Prepare your visual aids.
  • Rehearse your presentation and practice getting the presentation completed within the time limit given by your professor. Ask a friend to listen and time you.


I.  Introduction [may be written last]

  • Capture your listeners’ attention . Begin with a question, an amusing story, a provocative statement, a personal story, or anything that will engage your audience and make them think. For example, "As a first-gen student, my hardest adjustment to college was the amount of papers I had to write...."
  • State your purpose . For example, "I’m going to talk about..."; "This morning I want to explain…."
  • Present an outline of your talk . For example, “I will concentrate on the following points: First of all…Then…This will lead to…And finally…"

II.  The Body

  • Present your main points one by one in a logical order .
  • Pause at the end of each point . Give people time to take notes, or time to think about what you are saying.
  • Make it clear when you move to another point . For example, “The next point is that...”; “Of course, we must not forget that...”; “However, it's important to realize that....”
  • Use clear examples to illustrate your points and/or key findings .
  • If appropriate, consider using visual aids to make your presentation more interesting [e.g., a map, chart, picture, link to a video, etc.].

III.  The Conclusion

  • Leave your audience with a clear summary of everything that you have covered.
  • Summarize the main points again . For example, use phrases like: "So, in conclusion..."; "To recap the main issues...," "In summary, it is important to realize...."
  • Restate the purpose of your talk, and say that you have achieved your aim : "My intention was ..., and it should now be clear that...."
  • Don't let the talk just fizzle out . Make it obvious that you have reached the end of the presentation.
  • Thank the audience, and invite questions : "Thank you. Are there any questions?"

NOTE: When asking your audience if anyone has any questions, give people time to contemplate what you have said and to formulate a question. It may seem like an awkward pause to wait ten seconds or so for someone to raise their hand, but it's frustrating to have a question come to mind but be cutoff because the presenter rushed to end the talk.

ANOTHER NOTE: If your last slide includes any contact information or other important information, leave it up long enough to ensure audience members have time to write the information down. Nothing is more frustrating to an audience member than wanting to jot something down, but the presenter closes the slides immediately after finishing.

Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact . Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

Delivering Your Presentation

When delivering your presentation, keep in mind the following points to help you remain focused and ensure that everything goes as planned.

Pay Attention to Language!

  • Keep it simple . The aim is to communicate, not to show off your vocabulary. Using complex words or phrases increases the chance of stumbling over a word and losing your train of thought.
  • Emphasize the key points . Make sure people realize which are the key points of your study. Repeat them using different phrasing to help the audience remember them.
  • Check the pronunciation of difficult, unusual, or foreign words beforehand . Keep it simple, but if you have to use unfamiliar words, write them out phonetically in your notes and practice saying them. This is particularly important when pronouncing proper names. Give the definition of words that are unusual or are being used in a particular context [e.g., "By using the term affective response, I am referring to..."].

Use Your Voice to Communicate Clearly

  • Speak loud enough for everyone in the room to hear you . Projecting your voice may feel uncomfortably loud at first, but if people can't hear you, they won't try to listen. However, moderate your voice if you are talking in front of a microphone.
  • Speak slowly and clearly . Don’t rush! Speaking fast makes it harder for people to understand you and signals being nervous.
  • Avoid the use of "fillers." Linguists refer to utterances such as um, ah, you know, and like as fillers. They occur most often during transitions from one idea to another and, if expressed too much, are distracting to an audience. The better you know your presentation, the better you can control these verbal tics.
  • Vary your voice quality . If you always use the same volume and pitch [for example, all loud, or all soft, or in a monotone] during your presentation, your audience will stop listening. Use a higher pitch and volume in your voice when you begin a new point or when emphasizing the transition to a new point.
  • Speakers with accents need to slow down [so do most others]. Non-native speakers often speak English faster than we slow-mouthed native speakers, usually because most non-English languages flow more quickly than English. Slowing down helps the audience to comprehend what you are saying.
  • Slow down for key points . These are also moments in your presentation to consider using body language, such as hand gestures or leaving the podium to point to a slide, to help emphasize key points.
  • Use pauses . Don't be afraid of short periods of silence. They give you a chance to gather your thoughts, and your audience an opportunity to think about what you've just said.

Also Use Your Body Language to Communicate!

  • Stand straight and comfortably . Do not slouch or shuffle about. If you appear bored or uninterested in what your talking about, the audience will emulate this as well. Wear something comfortable. This is not the time to wear an itchy wool sweater or new high heel shoes for the first time.
  • Hold your head up . Look around and make eye contact with people in the audience [or at least pretend to]. Do not just look at your professor or your notes the whole time! Looking up at your your audience brings them into the conversation. If you don't include the audience, they won't listen to you.
  • When you are talking to your friends, you naturally use your hands, your facial expression, and your body to add to your communication . Do it in your presentation as well. It will make things far more interesting for the audience.
  • Don't turn your back on the audience and don't fidget! Neither moving around nor standing still is wrong. Practice either to make yourself comfortable. Even when pointing to a slide, don't turn your back; stand at the side and turn your head towards the audience as you speak.
  • Keep your hands out of your pocket . This is a natural habit when speaking. One hand in your pocket gives the impression of being relaxed, but both hands in pockets looks too casual and should be avoided.

Interact with the Audience

  • Be aware of how your audience is reacting to your presentation . Are they interested or bored? If they look confused, stop and ask them [e.g., "Is anything I've covered so far unclear?"]. Stop and explain a point again if needed.
  • Check after highlighting key points to ask if the audience is still with you . "Does that make sense?"; "Is that clear?" Don't do this often during the presentation but, if the audience looks disengaged, interrupting your talk to ask a quick question can re-focus their attention even if no one answers.
  • Do not apologize for anything . If you believe something will be hard to read or understand, don't use it. If you apologize for feeling awkward and nervous, you'll only succeed in drawing attention to the fact you are feeling awkward and nervous and your audience will begin looking for this, rather than focusing on what you are saying.
  • Be open to questions . If someone asks a question in the middle of your talk, answer it. If it disrupts your train of thought momentarily, that's ok because your audience will understand. Questions show that the audience is listening with interest and, therefore, should not be regarded as an attack on you, but as a collaborative search for deeper understanding. However, don't engage in an extended conversation with an audience member or the rest of the audience will begin to feel left out. If an audience member persists, kindly tell them that the issue can be addressed after you've completed the rest of your presentation and note to them that their issue may be addressed later in your presentation [it may not be, but at least saying so allows you to move on].
  • Be ready to get the discussion going after your presentation . Professors often want a brief discussion to take place after a presentation. Just in case nobody has anything to say or no one asks any questions, be prepared to ask your audience some provocative questions or bring up key issues for discussion.

Amirian, Seyed Mohammad Reza and Elaheh Tavakoli. “Academic Oral Presentation Self-Efficacy: A Cross-Sectional Interdisciplinary Comparative Study.” Higher Education Research and Development 35 (December 2016): 1095-1110; Balistreri, William F. “Giving an Effective Presentation.” Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 35 (July 2002): 1-4; Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Enfield, N. J. How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation . New York: Basic Books, 2017; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact . Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

Speaking Tip

Your First Words are Your Most Important Words!

Your introduction should begin with something that grabs the attention of your audience, such as, an interesting statistic, a brief narrative or story, or a bold assertion, and then clearly tell the audience in a well-crafted sentence what you plan to accomplish in your presentation. Your introductory statement should be constructed so as to invite the audience to pay close attention to your message and to give the audience a clear sense of the direction in which you are about to take them.

Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th edition. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015.

Another Speaking Tip

Talk to Your Audience, Don't Read to Them!

A presentation is not the same as reading a prepared speech or essay. If you read your presentation as if it were an essay, your audience will probably understand very little about what you say and will lose their concentration quickly. Use notes, cue cards, or presentation slides as prompts that highlight key points, and speak to your audience . Include everyone by looking at them and maintaining regular eye-contact [but don't stare or glare at people]. Limit reading text to quotes or to specific points you want to emphasize.

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Formal communication: Definition and tips to improve

Gain a comprehensive understanding of formal communication along with practical tips and strategies to enhance formal communication in the workplace, fostering clarity, professionalism, and productivity.

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

Table of contents

Formal communication: definition and characteristics

Formal communication refers to the exchange of information or messages following official rules, policies, and hierarchical structure within an organization. It is characterized by the use of formal language, predefined communication channels, adherence to specific formats, and an overall formal tone.


Some key characteristics of formal communication include:

  • Use of formal, professional language: Avoiding slang, colloquialisms, and informal terminology.
  • Communication through official channels: Following proper reporting structures, hierarchies, and protocols.
  • Adherence to standardized formats: Using approved templates, layouts, and communication styles. 
  • Formal, impersonal tone: Maintaining professional distance and avoiding personal opinions or views.
  • Precise, accurate information: Ensuring clarity and correctness of facts, data, and messages.
  • Recordkeeping and documentation: Formally archiving communications for later reference.

The formality helps maintain professionalism and consistency in organizational communications. It also reinforces authority, accountability, and responsibility within predefined organizational structures and processes.

Why is formal communication important?

Formal communication is crucial for maintaining professionalism and consistency within an organization. By adhering to established policies, rules, and structures, formal communication promotes uniformity in how information is conveyed across different levels and departments. This consistency ensures that communications remain clear and accurate as they move through official channels. 

Formal communication also reinforces organizational hierarchies and lines of authority. Employees understand who they report to and who has decision-making powers. This structure facilitates accountability as directives get passed down through proper leadership chains. Information flow becomes more efficient when all employees follow formal protocols.

Overall, formal communication is important because it:

  • Maintains professionalism and consistency across the organization's communications.
  • Ensures clear and accurate information flow through official channels. 
  • Promotes accountability and authority within the organizational structure.

Types of formal communication

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

Vertical communication

Vertical communication refers to the formal flow of information up and down the organizational hierarchy. It includes:

→ Downward communication: Information flows from higher managerial levels down to lower levels. Examples include company policies, instructions, feedback, etc.

→ Upward communication: Information flows from lower levels up to higher managerial levels. Examples are requests, progress reports, grievances, suggestions, etc.  

Vertical communication promotes unified direction and maintains organizational structure. However, it can sometimes limit flexibility.

Horizontal communication 

Horizontal communication refers to the formal exchange of information between departments, teams, or employees at the same level. It helps coordinate activities and tasks. Examples include:

  • Communication between different departments like sales and marketing.
  • Communication between team members working on a shared project.
  • Communication between employees within the same department. 

Horizontal communication improves collaboration and workflow. But it may lack top-down strategic direction.

External communication

External communication refers to formal information exchange with entities outside the organization. Examples include:

  • Communication with customers and clients.
  • Communication with investors, shareholders, and partners. 
  • Communication with vendors, suppliers, and distributors.
  • Communication with government agencies and regulatory bodies.

External communication facilitates business relationships and brand management. But it requires maintaining consistent messaging.

Formal communication methods

Formal communication utilizes several methods to share information within organizations. These can be categorized into written, oral, and non-verbal methods.

Written communication

Written communication includes any exchanges using the written word.

Common examples of formal written communication include:

📧 Emails: Used for internal communication and external correspondence. Email allows quick transmission of messages, data, and documents.

📝 Memos: Short written messages sent internally within an organization. Often used to inform employees of policies, procedures, or events.

✉️ Letters: Official correspondence sent to external stakeholders like customers, partners, etc. 

📊 Reports: Detailed documents conveying information like financials, project updates, analysis, etc.

📒 Proposals: Written presentations of a plan or suggestion for a project/initiative. Used to get buy-in from decision-makers.

Oral communication  

Oral communication refers to spoken exchanges. Examples of formal oral communication:

🤝 Meetings: Gatherings to discuss and exchange information, coordinate tasks, make decisions. Includes team meetings, board meetings, etc.

💼 Presentations: Structured speeches to inform or persuade an audience. Often include visual aids like slides, charts.

🏢 Conferences: Large-scale events where multiple speakers present to an audience. Allow sharing of information among organizations.

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication includes body language, tone, gestures, and other unspoken signals when interacting. Examples of formal non-verbal communication:

👍 Body language: Posture, eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures used when communicating. Conveys additional meaning beyond words.

🗣️ Tone of voice: Pitch, volume, and inflection while speaking. Indicates emphasis, intent, and meaning.

💅 Appearance: Attire, grooming, and overall presentation of oneself. Reflects professionalism in formal settings.

Formal vs. Informal communication

Formal communication is structured, official, and follows predefined rules and policies. It adheres to the formal hierarchies, protocols, and procedures established in an organization. Formal communication is often written, documented, and recorded. Examples include memos, reports, letters, and presentations.

In contrast, informal communication tends to be more casual, spontaneous, and less structured. It does not follow strict rules or predefined communication channels. Informal communication may occur through casual conversations, phone calls, emails, and hallway discussions. It promotes free exchange of information in a relaxed manner.

The key differences between formal and informal communication can be summarized as follow:

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

Both formal and informal communication serve important yet distinct purposes in an organization. Finding the right balance between the two allows for effective communication flow.

Advantages of formal communication

Formal communication provides several advantages in professional settings:

✔️ Promotes clarity and accuracy: The use of official language, predefined formats, and strict protocols promotes clarity and accuracy in communications. Messages are less likely to be misinterpreted when following formal rules and structures.

✔️ Maintains professional image and credibility: Adhering to formal communication guidelines projects a professional image for both individuals and the organization. It shows the business is credible, accountable, and values clear communication.

✔️ Facilitates documentation and record-keeping: Formal communications produce documentation trails as meetings are recorded, emails saved, and reports archived. This facilitates record-keeping and provides evidence if needed to verify communications later.

Disadvantages of formal communication

Formal communication can have some drawbacks and disadvantages, especially compared to informal communication:

❌ Time-consuming: Following strict protocols, procedures, and formats for formal communication can require more time and effort compared to informal communication. Meetings, presentations, written reports, and other formal communication channels often involve extensive preparation, planning and approval processes which can be time-consuming and lead to communication delays.

❌ Lacks flexibility: The rigid rules and structures of formal communication allow little room for spontaneity, personalization or thinking outside the box. This can restrict the flow of creative ideas and prevent the open discussion of issues. Formal communication emphasizes conformity rather than flexibility.

❌ Potential for misinterpretation: The use of formal language, jargon, and standardized formats in formal communication can sometimes lead to misinterpretation or unclear understanding, especially if the receiver is unfamiliar with the terminology. The lack of personal touch and contextual cues can create communication gaps.

Formal communication channels

Formal communication typically relies on established official channels within an organization. Some key formal communication channels include:

Meetings are a common formal communication channel used to exchange information, discuss issues, make decisions, and solve problems.

Examples of formal meetings include departmental meetings, board meetings, shareholder meetings, and staff meetings. These are structured events with set agendas, designated participants, and formal protocols. Meeting minutes are recorded to document the communication.

Written documents 

Written documents like memos, letters, reports, and proposals are formal methods of communicating information in organizations. They follow standard formats and style guidelines.

These documents transmit information, give instructions, analyze problems, and propose solutions through a structured written approach. They provide documentation of the communication.

Communication hierarchy

The organizational hierarchy represents the formal vertical communication structure. It determines the flow of information from top leadership down to staff (downward communication) and from staff back to leadership (upward communication). Communication follows the chain of command and designated reporting relationships. This ensures systematic and controlled communication aligned with authority levels.

Formal communication channels enable structured information sharing through official organizational networks. They promote consistency, accountability, and transparency in communications aligned with business needs and protocols.

Best practices for effective formal communication

Effective formal communication requires following certain best practices to ensure clarity, professionalism, and productivity.

Here are some key tips:

🗣️ Use clear, concise, and unambiguous language. Avoid jargon, acronyms or overly complex terms when communicating with a broad audience. 

🗣️ Adhere to established communication protocols, procedures and formats. This maintains consistency and allows recipients to easily process information.

🗣️ Maintain professionalism and respect organizational hierarchies. Use an appropriate tone and level of formality when addressing different levels of leadership.

🗣️ Ensure timely and accurate flow of information. Verify facts, review for errors, and meet deadlines when sharing formal communication. 

🗣️ Confirm receipt and comprehension of important formal messages. Follow up if needed to prevent miscommunication.

🗣️ Keep communication focused and relevant to audience needs. Avoid unnecessary details that distract from the core message.

🗣️ Use proper channels and mediums for formal communications. Email, memos, and meetings all have appropriate uses.

🗣️ Create documentation trail for critical information. Formal communication should facilitate record keeping and accountability.

🗣️ Balance brevity with sufficient details and context. Convey key facts accurately and comprehensively.

4 Tips to improve formal communication

Effective formal communication requires effort from both senders and receivers.

Here are some tips for overcoming potential barriers to make formal communication successful:

1. Promote open communication and feedback: Encourage employees to provide constructive feedback on formal communication methods. Create channels for them to offer suggestions anonymously if needed.

You can use Oneteam’s Forms feature for this, for example.

Head to the Forms tab in the menu on the left and you’ll be able to create your own form or start from one of our templates.

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

To collect employee suggestions in a formal and standardized way, select our “Idea box” template.

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

With this template, you can create a form with one open-ended question field. Add content to give your employees context about what input you’re looking for and why it’s important for your organization to gather these inputs.

what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication

In the Settings tab, you can customize who can manage this form by adding Moderators as well as who will receive this form by filtering employees by community, function group, days in service, and more.

2. Encourage active listening and clarification: Train employees on active listening skills during formal communications. Encourage them to ask clarifying questions, restate key points, and provide feedback. 

3. Provide training and guidelines: Offer regular formal communication training, especially for new hires. Provide clear guidelines and examples for expected formats, tone, and style.

4. Regularly review and update policies: Schedule periodic reviews of formal communication policies and procedures. Solicit feedback and update policies regularly to match current needs and challenges.

The key is to make formal communication a two-way process focused on understanding. This ensures information is conveyed accurately while respecting organizational needs and objectives. With proper training and an open channel for constructive feedback, organizations can overcome barriers and facilitate effective formal communication.

Inês Pinto

Inês is the Head of Content at Oneteam. She mainly writes about employee experience and other HR topics. Fun fact about Inês: she is originally from Portugal, grew up in Canada and the US, and now lives in the Netherlands with her husband and 3 daughters!

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what is the meaning of oral presentation in good communication


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