What is an oral presentation?
Assignments come in many forms one of these being oral presentation. Oral presentation is the art of capturing the attention of the audience and presenting concrete well thought and planned content. This could be by use of visual aids like PowerPoint or just by the use of notes. The process is an art because it does not just involve presenting the content but also involves maintaining the audience’s attention. Oral midterm presentations are an example of oral presentation assignments. Depending on the situation, there are four types of oral presentation.
The four types of oral presentations
Memorization is the oral presentation that requires prior preparations. It requires a mastery of a speech from the start to finish before delivering it. This method enables the speaker to maintain eye contact with the audience. It also allows the speaker to be able to move around the stage or the podium since they do not have to keep referring to a written script or notes. However, the speakers who use this mode of presentation have to keep notes nearby to avoid forgetting important key points. They also add inflection to their voices hence making the presentation come out natural.
This type of oral presentation requires the presenter to give a speech using text. With this type of oral presentation, the speaker will write the presentation, word by word then practice how they will deliver the speech. This type of presentation, however, has a downside to it which is that it may sound stiff and too rehearsed. To avoid this, the presenter may try to use glances at the audience while using facial expressions and eye contact with the audience. Vocal variations could as well be used to make it natural.
This type of oral presentation is good for speaking situation. The presenter is required to prepare for the presentation before delivering the presentation. This is the most ideal presentation method as it is usually conversational and only knowledge of key points is required. The speaker does not have to master word-for-word but instead capture the key points of speaking. In preparation for this method, the presenter may prepare notes or outlines that help them remember. With this kind of presentation, the speaker may decide to memorize a few parts of the presentation and mix with conversational tone engages with the audience. This hence gives the speaker the power to engage with the audience while maintaining eye contact. The difference between this and manuscript is that for the manuscript, the presentation is a word for word and only a few glances to the audience while extemporaneous is 90% engagement with the audience and only a few glances on the text.
Impromptu oral presentation as the name suggests is a spur-of-the-moment presentation. Usually, this requires little to no preparation when asked to present. This is the kind of method of presentation that you are required to contribute to a subject on discussion by giving your thoughts or giving a few remarks in a specific group. Key points to remember for this kind of presentation is that you need to make your presentation short with just two to three key points to speak on and a simple conclusion. Your conclusion needs to include your main idea.
How do you start an oral midterm presentation?
As already seen, the first three types of presentation on our list require prior preparation. All types of presentation, however, require prior knowledge on the subject; therefore to make a successful presentation, research on the subject is required. Now that you have done your research, prepared the material and ready to start presenting, here are a few key points to note when you start making your presentation and maintain your audiences’ attention.
Before starting your oral midterm presentation, here are the things you need to follow:
• Prepare an outline to help you remember the key points. This way you will be able to go back to the subject of discussion even if you forgot. This is like having a map of your entire midterm presentation.
• Make sure that your audience is in the room and wait patiently for them to settle down. This way, you will be able to make an interesting and attractive catchphrase or joke that will grab the audiences’ attention. Otherwise, starting a presentation in a noisy room will only wear you out trying to grab everyone’s attention with all the commotion.
• Make a small self-introduction. Before presenting any content, introduce yourself briefly. This is not only a good way to attract your audiences’ attention but also make the audience know your area of study and the objective of your oral midterm presentation.
After the first part of self-preparation and preparing the audience; there are a few things you need to observe. They include:
• First, you need to control your speaking speed. If your speaking is slow, you might end up boring your audience, if your speaking is too fast, your audience may not be able to follow.
• Make sure your voice is audible otherwise your audience may have a hard time hearing you where they might end up interrupting you amid your oral midterm presentation.
• Be in control of your time. Time is not only important for you but also for your audience. This is because you can only maintain your audiences’ attention for so long.
• Finally, do not forget to give your audience an opportunity to ask questions. This way you will be able to know if your oral midterm presentation made any impact.
These are the kind of exams where you are required to answer specific questions through word of mouth and not written. This kind of exam is most applicable in foreign languages. They are meant to demonstrate students, proficiency in the subject.
How to prepare for an oral exam
For you to ace any exam, the first step is studying for the exam. The first step in preparation for this exam is by writing down questions that you think might be asked in the exam, research on the question and also discuss answering techniques with the people in the field or who have already done the test. Practice answering with your classmates, in a similar setting as the exam room, and in front of a mirror. This way you will have the confidence to face the examiner(s). Confirm the venue of the exam and if you are required to use computing, projection or any other systems, practice with the equipment the day before and verify this an hour before the test if possible.