How To Write A Presentation: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

How To Write A Presentation: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

Jane Ng • 22 Aug 2023 • 7 min read

Is it difficult starting of presentation? You’re standing before a room full of eager listeners, ready to share your knowledge and captivate their attention. But where do you begin? How do you structure your ideas and convey them effectively?

Take a deep breath, and fear not! In this article, we’ll provide a road map on how to write a presentation covering everything from crafting a script to creating an engaging introduction.

So, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is a presentation , what should be in a powerful presentation.

  • How To Write A Presentation Script
  • How to Write A Presentation Introduction 

Key Takeaways

Tips for better presentation.

  • How to start a presentation
  • How to introduce yourself

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Presentations are all about connecting with your audience. 

Presenting is a fantastic way to share information, ideas, or arguments with your audience. Think of it as a structured approach to effectively convey your message. And you’ve got options such as slideshows, speeches, demos, videos, and even multimedia presentations!

The purpose of a presentation can vary depending on the situation and what the presenter wants to achieve. 

  • In the business world, presentations are commonly used to pitch proposals, share reports, or make those sales pitches. 
  • In educational settings, presentations are a go-to for teaching or delivering engaging lectures. 
  • For conferences, seminars, and public events—presentations are perfect for dishing out information, inspiring folks, or even persuading the audience.

How To Write A Presentation

How To Write A Presentation? What should be in a powerful presentation? A great presentation encompasses several key elements to captivate your audience and effectively convey your message. Here’s what you should consider including in a winning presentation:

  • Clear and Engaging Introduction: Start your presentation with a bang! Hook your audience’s attention right from the beginning by using a captivating story, a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful quote. Clearly state the purpose of your presentation and establish a connection with your listeners.
  • Well-Structured Content: Organize your content logically and coherently. Divide your presentation into sections or main points and provide smooth transitions between them. Each section should flow seamlessly into the next, creating a cohesive narrative. Use clear headings and subheadings to guide your audience through the presentation.
  • Compelling Visuals: Incorporate visual aids, such as images, graphs, or videos, to enhance your presentation. Make sure your visuals are visually appealing, relevant, and easy to understand. Use a clean and uncluttered design with legible fonts and appropriate color schemes. 
  • Engaging Delivery: Pay attention to your delivery style and body language. You should maintain eye contact with your audience, use gestures to emphasize key points and vary your tone of voice to keep the presentation dynamic. 
  • Clear and Memorable Conclusion: Leave your audience with a lasting impression by providing a strong closing statement, a call to action, or a thought-provoking question. Make sure your conclusion ties back to your introduction and reinforces the core message of your presentation.

oral presentation script example

How To Write A Presentation Script (With Examples)

To successfully convey your message to your audience, you must carefully craft and organize your presentation script. Here are steps on how to write a presentation script: 

1/ Understand Your Purpose and Audience:

  • Clarify the purpose of your presentation. Are you informing, persuading, or entertaining?
  • Identify your target audience and their knowledge level, interests, and expectations.
  • Define what presentation format you want to use

2/ Outline the Structure of Your Presentation:

Strong opening: .

Start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Some types of openings you can use are: 

  • Start with a Thought-Provoking Question: “Have you ever…?”
  • Begin with a Surprising Fact or Statistic: “Did you know that….?”
  • Use a Powerful Quote: “As Maya Angelou once said,….”
  • Tell a Compelling Story : “Picture this: You’re standing at….”
  • Start with a Bold Statement: “In the fast-paced digital age….”

Main Points: 

Clearly state your main points or key ideas that you will discuss throughout the presentation.

  • Clearly State the Purpose and Main Points: Example: “In this presentation, we will delve into three key areas. First,… Next,… Finally,…. we’ll discuss….”
  • Provide Background and Context: Example: “Before we dive into the details, let’s understand the basics of…..”
  • Present Supporting Information and Examples: Example: “To illustrate…., let’s look at an example. In,…..”
  • Address Counterarguments or Potential Concerns: Example: “While…, we must also consider… .”
  • Recap Key Points and Transition to the Next Section: Example: “To summarize, we’ve… Now, let’s shift our focus to…”

Remember to organize your content logically and coherently, ensuring smooth transitions between sections.


You can conclude with a strong closing statement summarizing your main points and leaving a lasting impression. Example: “As we conclude our presentation, it’s clear that… By…., we can….”

3/ Craft Clear and Concise Sentences:

Once you’ve outlined your presentation, you need to edit your sentences. Use clear and straightforward language to ensure your message is easily understood.

Alternatively, you can break down complex ideas into simpler concepts and provide clear explanations or examples to aid comprehension.

4/ Use Visual Aids and Supporting Materials:

Use supporting materials such as statistics, research findings, or real-life examples to back up your points and make them more compelling. 

  • Example: “As you can see from this graph,… This demonstrates….”

5/ Include Engagement Techniques:

Incorporate interactive elements to engage your audience, such as Q&A sessions , conducting live polls , or encouraging participation.

6/ Rehearse and Revise:

  • Practice delivering your presentation script to familiarize yourself with the content and improve your delivery.
  • Revise and edit your script as needed, removing any unnecessary information or repetitions.

7/ Seek Feedback:

You can share your script or deliver a practice presentation to a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor to gather feedback on your script and make adjustments accordingly.

More on Script Presentation

oral presentation script example

How to Write A Presentation Introduction with Examples

Looking for introduction ideas for presentation? As mentioned earlier, once you have completed your script, it’s crucial to focus on editing and refining the most critical element—the opening of your presentation – the section that determines whether you can captivate and retain your audience’s attention right from the start. 

Here is a guide on how to craft an opening that grabs your audience’s attention from the very first minute: 

1/ Start with a Hook

To begin, you can choose from five different openings mentioned in the script based on your desired purpose and content. Alternatively, you can opt for the approach that resonates with you the most, and instills your confidence. Remember, the key is to choose a starting point that aligns with your objectives and allows you to deliver your message effectively.

2/ Establish Relevance and Context:

Then you should establish the topic of your presentation and explain why it is important or relevant to your audience. Connect the topic to their interests, challenges, or aspirations to create a sense of relevance.

3/ State the Purpose

Clearly articulate the purpose or goal of your presentation. Let the audience know what they can expect to gain or achieve by listening to your presentation.

4/ Preview Your Main Points

Give a brief overview of the main points or sections you will cover in your presentation. It helps the audience understand the structure and flow of your presentation and creates anticipation.

5/ Establish Credibility

Share your expertise or credentials related to the topic to build trust with the audience, such as a brief personal story, relevant experience, or mentioning your professional background.

6/ Engage Emotionally

Connect emotional levels with your audience by appealing to their aspirations, fears, desires, or values. They help create a deeper connection and engagement from the very beginning.

Make sure your introduction is concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Aim for clarity and brevity to maintain the audience’s attention.

For example, Topic: Work-life balance

“Good morning, everyone! Can you imagine waking up each day feeling energized and ready to conquer both your personal and professional pursuits? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll explore today – the wonderful world of work-life balance. In a fast-paced society where work seems to consume every waking hour, it’s vital to find that spot where our careers and personal lives harmoniously coexist. Throughout this presentation, we’ll dive into practical strategies helping us achieve that coveted balance, boost productivity, and nurture our overall well-being. 

But before we dive in, let me share a bit about my journey. As a working professional and a passionate advocate for work-life balance, I have spent years researching and implementing strategies that have transformed my own life. I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you today, with the hope of inspiring positive change and creating a more fulfilling work-life balance for everyone in this room. So, let’s get started!”

Check out: How to Start a Presentation?

oral presentation script example

Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or new to the stage, understanding how to write a presentation that conveys your message effectively is a valuable skill. By following the steps in this guide, you can become a captivating presenter and make your mark in every presentation you deliver.

Additionally, AhaSlides can significantly enhance your presentation’s impact. With AhaSlides, you can use live polls, quizzes, and word cloud to turn your presentation into an engaging and interactive experience. Let’s take a moment to explore our vast template library !

Frequently Asked Questions

1/ how to write a presentation step by step .

You can refer to our step-by-step guide on How To Write A Presentation Script:

  • Understand Your Purpose and Audience
  • Outline the Structure of Your Presentation
  • Craft Clear and Concise Sentences
  • Use Visual Aids and Supporting Material
  • Include Engagement Techniques
  • Rehearse and Revise
  • Seek Feedback

2/ How do you start a presentation? 

You can start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Consider using one of the following approaches:

3/ What are the five parts of a presentation?

A typical presentation consists of the following five parts:

  • Introduction: Capturing the audience’s attention, introducing yourself, stating the purpose, and providing an overview.
  • Main Body: Presenting main points, evidence, examples, and arguments.
  • Visual Aids: Using visuals to enhance understanding and engage the audience.
  • Conclusion: Summarizing main points, restating key message, and leaving a memorable takeaway or call to action.
  • Q&A or Discussion: Optional part for addressing questions and encouraging audience participation.

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Scared for Your Oral Presentation in English? Follow This 6-step Example

When you stand up for an oral presentation, you want to feel like a rockstar .

Confident. Cool. Ready to blow the audience away.

That is the ideal situation, anyways.

In real life, most people—even native English speakers—feel totally the opposite before an oral presentation.

Nervous. Self-conscious. Scared the audience will fall asleep.

Most of us have been there. Every student and professional, at some point, will have to do an oral presentation . Of course that includes English language learners. In fact, oral presentations might happen more often in an English class because they are a good way for teachers to assess your speaking and writing skills.

This article will provide a six-step example of how to ace your oral presentation in English . We will provide key English phrases, tips and practice techniques you can use for any presentation you have coming up.

Soon you will be presenting in English with the confidence of a rockstar !

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Follow This Example to Rock Your Oral Presentation in English

Every country has different cultural standards for communication. However, there is a general consensus in English-speaking colleges and universities about what makes a good oral presentation.

Below, we will show you how to write a presentation in English that your listeners will love. Then we will show you the English speaking skills and body language you need to present it effectively.

1. Introducing a Presentation in English

Having a strong introduction is extremely important because it sets the tone for the rest of the presentation .   If the audience is not interested in your presentation right away, they probably will not pay attention to the rest of it.

To get everyone’s interest, try using attention-grabbing language . If your introduction is engrossing enough, the audience will not care if you have an accent or mispronounce a few words. They will want to learn more about your topic because you did such a great job of making them interested.

Here are some example ideas and phrases you can use in your own presentation introductions:

  • Start with a story or personal anecdote , so the audience will be able to relate to your presentation.

“When I was a child…”

  • Mention a startling fact or statistic.

“Did you know the U.S. is the only country that…”

  • Have the audience imagine something or describe a vivid scene to them.

“Imagine you are sitting on the beach…”

  • Show an interesting picture or video on your presentation screen.
  • Introducing yourself can also help make the audience more comfortable. It does not have to be anything fancy.

“My name is John and I am…”

“I became interested in this topic because…”

2. Supporting Your Claims with Evidence

If you have written an essay in English , you have probably had to do some research to provide statistics and other facts to support your thesis (the main point or argument of your essay). Just like those essays, many oral presentations will require you to persuade someone or inform them about a topic.

Your presentation will need background information and evidence . To persuade someone, you will need convincing evidence. No one will be persuaded if you simply say, “We need to stop global warming because it is bad.”

At the same time, it may be hard to express your thoughts or argument if English is not your first language. That is why doing research and finding credible sources is extra important.

Using information and quoting from sources can make your presentation much stronger. (Of course, always remember to cite your research properly so you do not plagiarize !) If you are not sure how to go about researching or where to look for evidence, the University of North Carolina’s Writing Center provides some excellent examples here .

After you have done research, add a section or a slide that specifically gives facts or evidence for your topic . This should be somewhere in the middle of the presentation, after your introduction but before your conclusion or closing thoughts (basically like the body paragraphs in an essay). This will help keep your ideas logical and make it a really effective presentation.

3. Incorporating Persuasive Language

Specific evidence is crucial for a persuasive argument. But to truly impact your audience, you need to speak persuasively, too .

Need some vocabulary that will catch everyone’s attention? According to Buffer , the five most persuasive words in the English language are surprisingly simple:

  • Free (this one is less relevant to oral presentations, since it is used in the context of persuading people to get a product)

Using these words in your introduction and throughout your presentation will help keep the audience engaged.

For example, if giving a persuasive speech, speaking directly to the audience will have a better effect:

“To help lessen the effects of global warming, the planet needs you .”

4. Using Logical Flow and Transitions

As an English learner, was there ever a conversation that you could not follow because you had no idea what was going on? A language barrier often causes this confusion. However, even if your English is fluent, this can also happen when ideas or information are presented in an order that does not make sense.

This applies to presentations as well. If the sequence is illogical, the audience may become confused. It is important to have a clear sequence of thoughts or events. A distinct beginning, middle and end with logical sequences is needed for your audience to follow along.

As an English language learner, you may not be familiar with certain transitional words or phrases. Below are some example English words and phrases to use as you transition through your oral presentation.

General transitions that show sequence:

  • First…
  • Next…
  • Then…
  • In addition/additionally…

When you are nearing the end of your presentation, it is important to let the audience know you are going to finish soon. Abruptly ending the presentation may confuse the audience. Or, the presentation may not seem as effective. Just like with introductions and transitions, there are certain phrases that you can use to bring your presentation to a close.

Phrases to conclude your presentation:

  • To conclude/In conclusion…
  • To sum everything up…
  • Finally…

5. Speaking Clearly and Confidently

You may be self-conscious about your ability to speak clearly if you are not fluent in English or if you have an accent. But let us be honest. Many people do not have long attention spans (the length of time someone can focus on one thing), so you will need to keep their attention during your presentation. And to do this, you will have to  enunciate (speak clearly, loudly and confidently).

Do not expect this to just happen on the day of your presentation. You will need to practice ahead of time . Here is how:

Pay attention to how your lips, mouth and tongue move.

Practice saying different sounds and words over and over in front of the mirror, or have a friend watch you. What shapes does your mouth make? When does your tongue raise or flick? How can you change those movements to make each word sound clearer?

Listen to others speak English so you know how it should sound.

You can do this with friends or by listening to English audio or watching TV . You can even slow down audio recordings so you can really hear how different sounds or words are supposed to be pronounced.

Record yourself when you practice your presentation.

This will help you get a better sense of how your mouth moves or how you pronounce words. You will also see what kind of mistakes you made and will be able to correct them.

Practice speaking slowly.

Along with enunciation, it is important to practice speaking slowly . Nerves can make us rush through things, but the audience may not understand you if you speak too quickly. Try reading your presentation for a couple minutes a day to get used to speaking slowing.

6. Making Eye Contact

In American society, it is important to keep eye contact. It is considered rude to not look someone in the eyes when you are speaking with them. Avoiding eye contact (even if it is unintentional or out of embarrassment) might frustrate your audience.

Therefore, when giving your oral presentation, you will want to try to make eye contact with your audience, especially if you are in the U.S. The audience will not feel appreciated if you stare down at your note cards or at the presentation screen. They may become bored. Or, they may think you are not confident in your work—and if you are not confident, they will not be, either!

Here is an example of a speaker  demonstrating eye contact during an English presentation . Notice how he is careful to make eye contact with all audience members, looking left, right and forward throughout the presentation.

Following the tips in this article will help make your oral presentation great. Who knows, maybe your teacher or professor will use it as an example for other students!

As an added bonus, all of the skills needed for a good oral presentation are needed in everyday English. Speaking clearly, making eye contact and having a logical flow of ideas will help you communicate better with others when you are speaking with them in English. In addition, knowing how to write an introduction, use attention-grabbing language and provide evidence will help you in English classes. You will be able to get a great grade on your presentation and improve your overall communication skills.

Do you wish you had a better way to learn new English phrases?

Try FluentU! .

Our language learning program is designed to teach you English phrases the natural way—using authentic videos like TV clips, movie trailers and music videos.

Every FluentU video comes with interactive subtitles. Just click or tap on any unfamiliar word or phrase in the captions to get an instant definition, example sentences and native pronunciation audio.

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You can search the FluentU video library for any words or phrases to instantly find authentic English videos that use them. Videos can be sorted by subject, format and difficulty level, so you can discover phrases that fit your learning needs and interests.

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FluentU comes with built-in learning tools like vocabulary lists and personalized quizzes. There are also multimedia flashcards with video clips, audio and images to help you remember words.

You can access FluentU on your browser or by downloading the iOS or Android app.

By combining engaging clips with tools to help you understand them, you'll remember the context phrases are used in and the terms will stick better in your mind.

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oral presentation script example

Sample Presentation Script

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This section provides a sample script for delivering a half-day to full-day presentation covering all of the topics listed in the outline. Tailor the script to your chosen program length, content and audience.

Presentation Outline


  • Success stories
  • Legal issues
  • Definitions and statistics

General Library Access

  • Building and physical environment

Adaptive Technology

  • Hearing and speech impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Mobility impairments
  • Health impairments
  • Beginning the process of planning for adaptive technology
  • Getting started: a list of adaptive technology devices

Electronic Resources

  • Universal design principles
  • General page design
  • Graphical features
  • Special features
  • Web pages test

Distribute handouts .

  • Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities
  • Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
  • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape: Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
  • World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design
  • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape: World Wide Access

Put up overhead transparency.

Universal Access: Electronic Information in Libraries

I'm here today to share with you information and issues related to people with disabilities, electronic resources, and libraries.

Put up overhead transparency .

Recent advances in adaptive computer technology, greater reliance on computers, and increased availability and networking of electronic information resources have resulted in life-changing opportunities for many people with disabilities. In combination, these technologies provide many people with disabilities better access to education, careers, and other life experiences.

Libraries play an important role in ensuring equitable access to information for all members of our society. In addition, federal legislation mandates that public institutions, including libraries, provide accommodations for people with disabilities so that they can utilize the same services and resources as other people.

What are some of the electronic resources currently in your library?

Presenter Note: Solicit audience input to list items such as CD-ROM encyclopedias and indexes, online catalogs, WWW pages, and full-text databases.

The information covered in this presentation will provide you with tools and insights that will help ensure that these electronic resources are accessible to the broadest audience. As an extra benefit, you will find that being sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities can often make access easier for everyone.

Program Outline

  • Legal issues statistics
  • General library access
  • Adaptive technology
  • Electronic resources

Our program today will cover these five topics. To begin I will share some success stories or examples of the impact that adaptive technology for computers and electronic resources has had for people with disabilities. Then we will consider the most important legislative directives on the issue and look at some statistics about people with disabilities. We will then consider the bigger picture of access to libraries and library services for people with disabilities. With that background, a videotape presentation and discussion of adaptive technology for computers will bring our focus to electronic resources in libraries. The last segment of the program will include the second videotape presentation and a discussion of universal design of electronic resources applied to the development of World Wide Web pages.

Today's presentation will help you understand the impact of these technologies for people with disabilities while giving you the tools to begin implementing them in your library. Your packet of handouts is one of the tools that will help you apply the ideas presented. Let's walk through it.

The following handouts are in your packet.

Much of the information presented today is provided in these handouts. I will let you know which handout covers the information we are focusing on as we go through the presentation. Keep the handouts handy to save from taking duplicative notes.

Success Stories

I'm going to start out today by sharing with you a few stories of people with disabilities who are able to access information resources thanks to the availability of adaptive technology and accessible electronic resources. You'll meet them in the videotape we'll view shortly.

  • Ben cannot use his hands, but muscular dystrophy doesn't interfere with his use of the Internet; he uses a voice input program that allows him to talk his way through the Net - six hours a day!
  • Sarah uses her library's online catalog and the Internet to research and write papers for school. Her learning disability makes it difficult for her to read so she uses a speech output system to read the screen.
  • Anna is blind. She uses a screen reader and speech output system to access her library's full-text databases and CD-ROMs. Her system works well until she runs into programs not designed according to universal design principles.
  • Shane surfs the Net with a small tube in his mouth. The computer obeys his every command as he inputs Morse code - sip for a dot, puff for a dash. His cerebral palsy is only a minor inconvenience as he researches information on his special interest, naval communication.
  • Sherri is legally blind, but has enough sight to use enlarged screen images as she uses governmental resources on the World Wide Web in pursuing her master's degree in public administration.
  • Katie is hearing impaired. She often uses a sign language interpreter. On the Internet, however, Katie communicates with the reference librarian quickly and easily through electronic mail.

These stories provide examples of people with disabilities who are successfully pursuing avocations, education, and careers thanks to adaptive technology and electronic resources. During our presentation today, we will be learning how to ensure that there will be many more success stories like these for people with disabilities.

Legal Issues

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), "no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity." Footnote 1

The ADA and the regulations promulgated to implement it have stressed that people with disabilities should be provided the same services as others, unless this would be less effective. The Department of Justice has stated that "Integration is fundamental to the purpose of the American with Disabilities Act." If accommodation, or an adjustment is needed to make a resource, program or facility accessible to a person with a disability, the individual's preference of accommodation must be given primary consideration. Footnote 2

In short, libraries must assure that people with disabilities can participate in library programs and utilize library resources as independently as possible. And this includes electronic information resources. As legal questions about the implications of the ADA for access to electronic information resources are tested, libraries are being required to provide access to these services.

According to decisions in recent cases on access to electronic resources, libraries in academic institutions must proactively and deliberately plan for accessibility. A recent letter from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights noted:

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires a public college to take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with persons with disabilities "are as effective as communications with others" [28 C.F.R. ss 35.160(a)]. OCR has repeatedly held that the term "communication" in this context means the transfer of information, including (but not limited to) the verbal presentation of a lecture, the printed text of a book, and the resources of the Internet.

The letter continues:

"Title II further states that, in determining what type of auxiliary aid and service is necessary, a public college shall give primary consideration to requests of the individual with a disability" [28 C.F.R. ss 35.106(b)(2)]. Footnote 3

In providing guidance on expectations for libraries in providing access to electronic resources, the letter states:

Modern adaptive technology has radically affected the degree to which it is economically feasible to make printed materials and computer based information systems accessible to blind patrons. The larger and more financially endowed the library, the higher the expectation that a greater volume of information will be made available within a shorter amount of time, particularly when reasonably priced adaptive technology is available to replace tasks that previously required personnel. An important indicator regarding the extent to which a public library is obligated to utilize adaptive technology is the degree to which it is relying on technology to serve its non-disabled patrons. The more technology that has been purchased by a public library to serve non-disabled patrons, the more reasonable the expectation that it will employ technology such as scanners to serve its patrons with disabilities. Footnote 4

As libraries increasingly provide electronic resources, they are legally obligated to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.

Definitions and Statistics

So, what exactly does "person with a disability" mean?

"Person with a disability" means "any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment."

Examples of qualifying disabilities covered by legislation may include, but are not limited to, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, visual impairments, speech impairments, specific learning disabilities, head injuries, psychiatric disorders, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.

The examples listed here are conditions which limit people's abilities to perform specific tasks. Some of these conditions are readily apparent; some are invisible. Some require that we provide special accommodations in the library; some do not. Additionally, some people who have conditions with the same label may have very different abilities when it comes to performing specific tasks. For example, one student who has cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking. For another student, cerebral palsy may result in no functional use of her/his hands or voice.

Now that we discussed the definition of disability according to the ADA, let's consider some statistics to gain a better understanding of this service population.

According to surveys conducted in 1991-1992, 9.6% or 1 in 10 Americans has a severe disability that substantially limits at least one major life activity. 19.4 % or 1 in 5 Americans has a disability. Footnote 5

In addition, we can expect the number of library patrons with disabilities to increase. Some reasons for this increase include:

Advances in medical technology and techniques result in greater numbers of people who survive traumatic accidents and problematic births.

Improvements in technology make it possible for more people with disabilities to live independently and have productive lives for which they will want and need library resources.

Increased awareness of people with disabilities' rights to accommodations and equal opportunities in education and employment, guaranteed by 504 and the ADA, has, and will continue to encourage more people to pursue these activities and request accommodations.

The creation of federal and state mandated K-12 and higher education academic support programs helps more students with disabilities complete high school and enter college and careers. The number of students with disabilities enrolled in universities and colleges has already increased. In 1994, 9.2% of all full-time, first-time entering freshman reported a disability, up from 2.6% in 1978.6 This trend will create a greater demand for accessible information resources in academic libraries.

The aging of the baby boomer generation will cause a significant demographic shift in our society, increasing the number of people with low vision, hearing impairments, and other disabilities related to the aging process.

Among people aged 18-44, 5% have a severe disability; among people aged 65-74, 25% have a severe disability; and among people aged 75-84, 42% have a severe disability. Footnote 7

All of these factors are leading to increased numbers of people with disabilities who are and will be requesting services at libraries.

The purpose of this introduction is to help you understand why libraries need to be prepared to serve people with disabilities. The legal imperatives of the ADA and other laws and the expected increase of people with disabilities in our constituencies and argue strongly for immediate action. Libraries will be best prepared to serve patrons with disabilities if they strive to include them in regularly provided services. This is best achieved by using universal design principles when designing facilities, equipment, services and resources; by providing a base level of adaptive technology; and by developing a policy and procedures for handling requests for accommodation. By taking these steps the library will be better able to respond quickly to more specialized requests for accommodation.

The rest of today's presentation will help you develop an understanding of adaptive technology and of universal design principles so that you can help develop accessible services and resources for your library.

How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

Updated august 03, 2018 - dom barnard.

For many people the thought of delivering a presentation is a daunting task and brings about a great deal of nerves . However, if you take some time to understand how effective presentations are structured and then apply this structure to your own presentation, you’ll appear much more confident and relaxed.

Here is our complete guide for structuring your presentation, with examples at the end of the article to demonstrate these points.

Why is structuring a presentation so important?

If you’ve ever sat through a great presentation, you'll have left feeling either inspired or informed on a given topic. This isn’t because the speaker was the most knowledgeable or motivating person in the world. Instead, it’s because they know how to structure presentations - they have crafted their message in a logical and simple way that has allowed the audience can keep up with them and take away key messages.

Research has supported this, with studies showing that audiences retain structured information 40% more accurately than unstructured information.

In fact, not only is structuring a presentation important for the benefit of the audience’s understanding, it’s also important for you as the speaker. A good structure helps you remain calm, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences.

What will affect your presentation structure?

Generally speaking, there is a natural flow that any decent presentation will follow which we will go into shortly. However, you should be aware that all presentation structures will be different in their own unique way and this will be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Whether you need to deliver any demonstrations
  • How knowledgeable the audience already is on the given subject
  • How much interaction you want from the audience
  • Any time constraints there are for your talk
  • What setting you are in
  • Your ability to use any kinds of visual assistance

Before choosing the presentation's structure answer these questions first:

  • What is your presentation's aim?
  • Who are the audience?
  • What are the main points your audience should remember afterwards?

When reading the points below, think critically about what things may cause your presentation structure to be slightly different. You can add in certain elements and add more focus to certain moments if that works better for your speech.

Good presentation structure is important for a presentation

What is the typical presentation structure?

This is the usual flow of a presentation, which covers all the vital sections and is a good starting point for yours. It allows your audience to easily follow along and sets out a solid structure you can add your content to.

1. Greet the audience and introduce yourself

Before you start delivering your talk, introduce yourself to the audience and clarify who you are and your relevant expertise. This does not need to be long or incredibly detailed, but will help build an immediate relationship between you and the audience. It gives you the chance to briefly clarify your expertise and why you are worth listening to. This will help establish your ethos so the audience will trust you more and think you're credible.

Read our tips on How to Start a Presentation Effectively

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2. Introduction

In the introduction you need to explain the subject and purpose of your presentation whilst gaining the audience's interest and confidence. It's sometimes helpful to think of your introduction as funnel-shaped to help filter down your topic:

  • Introduce your general topic
  • Explain your topic area
  • State the issues/challenges in this area you will be exploring
  • State your presentation's purpose - this is the basis of your presentation so ensure that you provide a statement explaining how the topic will be treated, for example, "I will argue that…" or maybe you will "compare", "analyse", "evaluate", "describe" etc.
  • Provide a statement of what you're hoping the outcome of the presentation will be, for example, "I'm hoping this will be provide you with..."
  • Show a preview of the organisation of your presentation

In this section also explain:

  • The length of the talk.
  • Signal whether you want audience interaction - some presenters prefer the audience to ask questions throughout whereas others allocate a specific section for this.
  • If it applies, inform the audience whether to take notes or whether you will be providing handouts.

The way you structure your introduction can depend on the amount of time you have been given to present: a sales pitch may consist of a quick presentation so you may begin with your conclusion and then provide the evidence. Conversely, a speaker presenting their idea for change in the world would be better suited to start with the evidence and then conclude what this means for the audience.

Keep in mind that the main aim of the introduction is to grab the audience's attention and connect with them.

3. The main body of your talk

The main body of your talk needs to meet the promises you made in the introduction. Depending on the nature of your presentation, clearly segment the different topics you will be discussing, and then work your way through them one at a time - it's important for everything to be organised logically for the audience to fully understand. There are many different ways to organise your main points, such as, by priority, theme, chronologically etc.

  • Main points should be addressed one by one with supporting evidence and examples.
  • Before moving on to the next point you should provide a mini-summary.
  • Links should be clearly stated between ideas and you must make it clear when you're moving onto the next point.
  • Allow time for people to take relevant notes and stick to the topics you have prepared beforehand rather than straying too far off topic.

When planning your presentation write a list of main points you want to make and ask yourself "What I am telling the audience? What should they understand from this?" refining your answers this way will help you produce clear messages.

4. Conclusion

In presentations the conclusion is frequently underdeveloped and lacks purpose which is a shame as it's the best place to reinforce your messages. Typically, your presentation has a specific goal - that could be to convert a number of the audience members into customers, lead to a certain number of enquiries to make people knowledgeable on specific key points, or to motivate them towards a shared goal.

Regardless of what that goal is, be sure to summarise your main points and their implications. This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there.

Follow these steps:

  • Signal that it's nearly the end of your presentation, for example, "As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…"
  • Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation - "In this speech I wanted to compare…"
  • Summarise the main points, including their implications and conclusions
  • Indicate what is next/a call to action/a thought-provoking takeaway
  • Move on to the last section

5. Thank the audience and invite questions

Conclude your talk by thanking the audience for their time and invite them to ask any questions they may have. As mentioned earlier, personal circumstances will affect the structure of your presentation.

Many presenters prefer to make the Q&A session the key part of their talk and try to speed through the main body of the presentation. This is totally fine, but it is still best to focus on delivering some sort of initial presentation to set the tone and topics for discussion in the Q&A.

Questions being asked after a presentation

Other common presentation structures

The above was a description of a basic presentation, here are some more specific presentation layouts:


Use the demonstration structure when you have something useful to show. This is usually used when you want to show how a product works. Steve Jobs frequently used this technique in his presentations.

  • Explain why the product is valuable.
  • Describe why the product is necessary.
  • Explain what problems it can solve for the audience.
  • Demonstrate the product to support what you've been saying.
  • Make suggestions of other things it can do to make the audience curious.


This structure is particularly useful in persuading the audience.

  • Briefly frame the issue.
  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it 's such a problem. Use logos and pathos for this - the logical and emotional appeals.
  • Provide the solution and explain why this would also help the audience.
  • Call to action - something you want the audience to do which is straightforward and pertinent to the solution.


As well as incorporating stories in your presentation , you can organise your whole presentation as a story. There are lots of different type of story structures you can use - a popular choice is the monomyth - the hero's journey. In a monomyth, a hero goes on a difficult journey or takes on a challenge - they move from the familiar into the unknown. After facing obstacles and ultimately succeeding the hero returns home, transformed and with newfound wisdom.

Storytelling for Business Success webinar , where well-know storyteller Javier Bernad shares strategies for crafting compelling narratives.

Another popular choice for using a story to structure your presentation is in media ras (in the middle of thing). In this type of story you launch right into the action by providing a snippet/teaser of what's happening and then you start explaining the events that led to that event. This is engaging because you're starting your story at the most exciting part which will make the audience curious - they'll want to know how you got there.

  • Great storytelling: Examples from Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma

Remaining method

The remaining method structure is good for situations where you're presenting your perspective on a controversial topic which has split people's opinions.

  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it's such a problem - use logos and pathos.
  • Rebut your opponents' solutions - explain why their solutions could be useful because the audience will see this as fair and will therefore think you're trustworthy, and then explain why you think these solutions are not valid.
  • After you've presented all the alternatives provide your solution, the remaining solution. This is very persuasive because it looks like the winning idea, especially with the audience believing that you're fair and trustworthy.


When delivering presentations it's important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it's all relevant. This can be done using speech transitions which are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.

Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence - there are many different forms, here are some examples:

Moving from the introduction to the first point

Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:

  • Now that you're aware of the overview, let's begin with...
  • First, let's begin with...
  • I will first cover...
  • My first point covers...
  • To get started, let's look at...

Shifting between similar points

Move from one point to a similar one:

  • In the same way...
  • Likewise...
  • This is similar to...
  • Similarly...

Internal summaries

Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:

  • What part of the presentation you covered - "In the first part of this speech we've covered..."
  • What the key points were - "Precisely how..."
  • How this links in with the overall presentation - "So that's the context..."
  • What you're moving on to - "Now I'd like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at..."

Physical movement

You can move your body and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.

A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:

  • Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
  • For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
  • You discuss your second point from the centre again.
  • You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
  • The conclusion occurs in the centre.

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Key slides for your presentation

Slides are a useful tool for most presentations: they can greatly assist in the delivery of your message and help the audience follow along with what you are saying. Key slides include:

  • An intro slide outlining your ideas
  • A summary slide with core points to remember
  • High quality image slides to supplement what you are saying

There are some presenters who choose not to use slides at all, though this is more of a rarity. Slides can be a powerful tool if used properly, but the problem is that many fail to do just that. Here are some golden rules to follow when using slides in a presentation:

  • Don't over fill them - your slides are there to assist your speech, rather than be the focal point. They should have as little information as possible, to avoid distracting people from your talk.
  • A picture says a thousand words - instead of filling a slide with text, instead, focus on one or two images or diagrams to help support and explain the point you are discussing at that time.
  • Make them readable - depending on the size of your audience, some may not be able to see small text or images, so make everything large enough to fill the space.
  • Don't rush through slides - give the audience enough time to digest each slide.

Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a 10-20-30 rule :

  • There should be a maximum of 10 slides - people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there's no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
  • The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
  • The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.

Here are some additional resources for slide design:

  • 7 design tips for effective, beautiful PowerPoint presentations
  • 11 design tips for beautiful presentations
  • 10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea

Group Presentations

Group presentations are structured in the same way as presentations with one speaker but usually require more rehearsal and practices. Clean transitioning between speakers is very important in producing a presentation that flows well. One way of doing this consists of:

  • Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: "So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody"
  • Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: "Now Elnaz will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety."
  • Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: "Elnaz".
  • The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: "Thank you Joe."

From this example you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.

Example of great presentation structure and delivery

Having examples of great presentations will help inspire your own structures, here are a few such examples, each unique and inspiring in their own way.

How Google Works - by Eric Schmidt

This presentation by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt demonstrates some of the most important lessons he and his team have learnt with regards to working with some of the most talented individuals they hired. The simplistic yet cohesive style of all of the slides is something to be appreciated. They are relatively straightforward, yet add power and clarity to the narrative of the presentation.

Start with why - by Simon Sinek

Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world. The message itself is very powerful, however, it’s not an idea that hasn't been heard before. What makes this presentation so powerful is the simple message he is getting across, and the straightforward and understandable manner in which he delivers it. Also note that he doesn't use any slides, just a whiteboard where he creates a simple diagram of his opinion.

The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout - by Rick Rigsby

Here’s an example of a presentation given by a relatively unknown individual looking to inspire the next generation of graduates. Rick’s presentation is unique in many ways compared to the two above. Notably, he uses no visual prompts and includes a great deal of humour.

However, what is similar is the structure he uses. He first introduces his message that the wisest man he knew was a third-grade dropout. He then proceeds to deliver his main body of argument, and in the end, concludes with his message. This powerful speech keeps the viewer engaged throughout, through a mixture of heart-warming sentiment, powerful life advice and engaging humour.

As you can see from the examples above, and as it has been expressed throughout, a great presentation structure means analysing the core message of your presentation. Decide on a key message you want to impart the audience with, and then craft an engaging way of delivering it.

By preparing a solid structure, and practising your talk beforehand, you can walk into the presentation with confidence and deliver a meaningful message to an interested audience.

It's important for a presentation to be well-structured so it can have the most impact on your audience. An unstructured presentation can be difficult to follow and even frustrating to listen to. The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked.

Research suggests that the audience remember the first and last things you say so your introduction and conclusion are vital for reinforcing your points. Essentially, ensure you spend the time structuring your presentation and addressing all of the sections.

Argonne National Laboratory

Guide to oral research presentations.

An important aspect to any research project is the oral presentation of the experiment to other people.  As with a research report, you want to tell the story of your experiment: why the experiment was done, how it was done, the results, interpretation of the results, and why the experiment matters.  

However, a good presentation is different from a good paper.  The presentation should not consist of simply reading from a paper that was previously prepared.  Care should be taken to not overwhelm the listener with needless detail.  Much more detailed information can be presented and understood in a written paper than in an oral presentation.

The style of a presentation is also important.  The presenter must try to keep the listener focused on the key information that is being conveyed.

The following are specific things that should be considered when preparing an oral presentation.


Oral presentations should be organized to have introduction, body and conclusion sections.


This section should be brief.  It should provide enough background information so that the listener understands the general hypothesis and why the experiments were done.  It should also state the specific research question that was studied.

This section is the major portion of the talk.  It should include research methods as well as research results.  The methods should be briefly stated, providing detail when necessary for understanding a particular result.

This section should also be brief.  A clear, concise statement of what the results prove should be made.  The data can be related to experiments others have performed, but this should not be overdone.  Future experiments to test unanswered questions could be suggested.  State why this experiment matters.

Presentation Style

The following are things that should be considered when designing a presentation.

Pay attention to the time.  Most research talks are short and no more than 15 minutes.

Do not talk too quickly.  Slow down so that the listener has time to hear you. 

  • If you think you are speaking too slowly, then you probably are going at the right pace.


Talk loud enough so that your listener can hear you.  Use a variety of voice inflections and pitches so that the listener stays interested. 

  • Nothing is more boring than a monotone presentation. 
  • Alterations in volume/tone gives the listener the feeling that the presenter is interested in the topic.

Eye Contact

Try to maintain eye contact with the listener; this helps them stay focused on the talk. 

  • DO NOT SIMPLY READ YOUR PAPER !  Whether or not you are presenting from notes, a fully prepared script, or from memory, eye contact must be made frequently.
  • Face the audience: DO NOT READ OFF OF YOUR SLIDES !  You are talking to the people so look at them.

The presentation should be made in a formal, professional manner.

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Maintain good, erect posture
  • Refrain from informal speech patterns and actions.
  • Minimize unnecessary movements such as excessive walking, hand motions, etc.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets

Visual Aids

In general, all research presentations need some sort of visual aid.  This is most often done using PowerPoint. 

  • Graphs, tables, photographs etc. of data help the listener sort through the material. 
  • Complex methods can be presented clearly through visuals. 
  • A list of conclusion statements helps the listener focus on the final statement. 
  • A clearly stated research question when visually presented helps.  
  • Be sure that the visuals are not too complicated.  Include only the information you will be discussing.
  • Be sure the visual is large enough to be clearly seen by the listener.
  • Point to the visuals during the presentation
  • Leave the visual up long enough so that the listener can assimilate it.

Present Information Clearly

The information in a presentation should be organized logically and clearly in a way that the listener can understand and follow. 

  • Use of visuals helps here. 
  • Details should be included when they are important in reaching a particular conclusion.  They should be omitted when they get in the way of seeing a particular point. 
  • Remember: it is not what you say that is important, it is what the listener hears, understands, and takes with him/her that is important.

Subject Knowledge

The presenter should demonstrate that he/she understands the subject being presented.  This is done by:

  • presenting accurate information,
  • by responding to controversies in an appropriate way,
  • by answering reasonable questions from the audience.

TJ Taylor Blog

How to Prepare an Awesome Presentation in English

By Marie-Anne Duffeler

That was a great introduction your boss just delivered. The room is quiet and now it is your turn…your turn to speak.

Maybe you need to present your team, or deliver a sales pitch, or explain some figures and trends.

One thing is for sure: your presentation has to be awesome!

And your presentation will be in English, of course, as it is the language of communication at work.

Let’s think back: your English is quite decent – you can travel abroad and make yourself understood everywhere, you can communicate on the phone with your English-speaking colleagues and get the message across, and you write so many e-mails every day.

True, but these are familiar situations.

This time, however, you feel anxious because this presentation is formal and you have only one chance to get it right.

Speaking in public has always made you nervous, but speaking in public in English makes you twice as nervous.

Inspiration for a presentation - copyright ImagineCup

What can you do? Simply follow this guide, which will help you step by step to prepare an awesome presentation in English.

First I will introduce the steps to create the oral presentation, and second we will look at some tips for the format and the style.

How to Prepare in 5 Steps

Remember that the stress before giving an oral presentation is normal, and even beneficial – it will give you the energy and motivation to prepare a good presentation, and preparation is key to delivering a memorable speech.

Good preparation will also give you confidence, which in turn will make speaking in front of your audience easier.

The five steps to follow to prepare a good presentation are simple to remember: they are the ‘ BASIS ‘ steps.

B = brainstorm A = audience S = slides I = ideas S = simulate

Let’s look at each step carefully.

1. Brainstorm

Brainstorming means putting on paper all the ideas that are connected to the topic of your presentation .

You can brainstorm alone or with colleagues. Ideally you should take a sheet of paper and write on it all the information you know and all the ideas you have about this topic.

A common way of brainstorming consists in writing the main topic inside a circle at the center of your page and then jotting down all around it the ideas and information connected to it. You can use arrows to indicate relationships.

Example of a mind map - copyright jewong1314

2. Audience

Knowing who you will address is vital as it determines what information you need to select from your brainstorming session.

Keep only the information that is important to your audience .

If you add unnecessary information, you will end up losing your audience’s attention and your important message will get lost. So select carefully what to include in your presentation.

Pay attention to your audience - copyright Jeff Werner

Another important reason to know your audience is the degree of formality that you need to use.

For example, how to address the listeners (“Ladies and Gentlemen” as opposed to “Hi everyone”), and whether or not to include humor (but I will come back to that later).

Make sure you find out who your audience will be before preparing your presentation.

Visual aids are key : they help you to remember what to say, and they help the audience to understand your presentation. However they need to be used wisely.

Most presentations will have slides, which can be designed with various software programs (e.g. PowerPoint, Open Office Impress or Prezi ).

Screenshot of a Prezi presentation

Because your slides contain the information about your topic, you do not need to memorize your whole presentation, nor do you need to use clumsy paper notes, and so your hands can move freely during your speech.

When designing your slides remember:

  • include an overview at the beginning of your slideshow
  • present only the information that you have selected in step 2, only the information that is relevant to your audience
  • present only one idea per slide
  • write only keywords. Lengthy text will only detract your audience’s attention
  • include numbers if necessary: long numbers are easier to grasp when they are written
  • include as many pictures (or graphs) as possible – a picture is worth a thousand words.

Now that you have designed your slides, you need to accompany them with explanations. This step is the most difficult one if English is not your native language.

Finding inspiration - copyright TobiaStoft

You need to prepare the explanation for each slide. In order to describe the idea in each slide, you need to use precise vocabulary combined with correct grammar – and to deliver both fluently.

So, sit back and look at each slide, then say out loud (or do it mentally if that is not possible) what you will say in front of your audience.

Describe each idea with your own words in the most natural fashion, as if you were explaining it to a friend or to a close colleague .

If you do not know some terms, look them up in a dictionary and write them down.

However, resist the urge to write a script for each slide. Written speeches generally get in the way of effective communication as the speaker ends up reading a script instead of talking to the audience. Only talented speakers can make written speeches sound natural.

Also, rely on what you already know in English. Now is not the appropriate time to venture into grammatical constructions that make you feel uncomfortable. There are many ways to express ideas, so use the words and grammar that you know well.

5. Simulate

The final step is simulating the actual presentation and it is essential to the success of your presentation.

This is what you need to do:

  • First, record your presentation with a video camera
  • Watch the recording and assess it with a self-assessment grid (I’ve included an example below)
  • Film yourself a second time while making the corrections you identified from the self-assessment
  • Assess your performance a second time.

You can use a simple video camera, your smart phone, a digital camera or even a webcam.

However, it is important when you film yourself that the camera focuses on the upper part of your body, so that you can assess your body language.

Also, make sure you are standing up. This is important for 3 reasons:

First, because this will likely be your position during the real presentation.

Second, it is a position that opens up your lungs and helps you to breathe better (which is very important to speaking loudly and clearly).

Finally, it allows you to move and to accompany your speech with gestures that emphasize the meaning of your words – and so improves your communication.

How to Self-Assess and Improve your Presentation

After you have filmed yourself, watch your presentation with a critical eye – give yourself both positive and negative criticism.

What did you do well? What do you need to improve?

They are many aspects to oral communication besides the words you say – your voice, body and eyes need to complement your speech.

To evaluate your performance you can use the following self-assessment grid:

An example self assessment grid for presentations

Download the Self-assessment Grid

Once you have used the self-assessment to identify your communication problems, you need to address them: correct the English mistakes, improve your voice or your body language, and film yourself a second time.

Then assess your performance again with the same self-assessment grid. If you are happy with the result, you are ready for the final show.

If not, you can continue to rehearse the presentation until you feel ready.

Depending on time constraints you can choose how many times you practise your speech before the actual performance, but remember that practicing it is not optional: if you want to deliver a good presentation, you have to practise it first .

A final consideration goes to the room where you will give your presentation: if possible, practise in that room, or at least get familiar with it (check where the switches for lights, screens, projectors, etc. are located).

Some Tips on Style and Format

Your oral presentation should have 3 parts : an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Your introduction presents the topic and gives an overview of the presentation, the body contains the information, facts or ideas, and the conclusion summarizes the ideas developed previously.

Repetition helps retention : if some information is important and needs to be remembered by your audience, be sure to repeat it. For example, mention it in the body and in the conclusion.

Tell your audience what you are going to tell them Tell them Then tell them what you have told them.

Keep it short and simple : remember that too much information will only result in your audience remembering nothing. Present only the important ideas in your slideshow, and repeat them in the conclusion.

Be credible : avoid spelling mistakes and mispronunciation. You might be a very talented professional but your presentation will be less convincing if it contains errors, spelling mistakes or mispronunciation of English terms.

You need to pay special attention to spelling and pronunciation in titles and keywords as well as in the introduction and the conclusion.

Use spellcheckers to check the spelling of your slides and online dictionaries to listen to the pronunciation of words (such as the Cambridge Dictionary ).

Avoid humor . Although humor can be helpful to defuse tense situations, it can also be dangerous and unpredictable. What makes you smile or laugh might be offensive to a foreigner.

Unless you know your audience well, refrain from using humor in professional presentations as it might lead to the opposite effect.

Engage the audience . When you deliver your speech, you need to establish a relationship between you and your audience.

How to engage the audience - copyright Victor1558

A good way to do that is to keep eye contact and to ask questions. You can ask direct questions and the audience can answer verbally or physically (by raising their hands, for example) or you can opt for rhetorical questions, which are questions that do not require answers.

For example, you can introduce a slide with the following rhetorical question: “So how can we address this problem?” and then you give the solutions. Or start your conclusion with “What have we learnt so far?” and repeat the important ideas.

Asking questions is a good way to keep your audience attentive and to put rhythm into the presentation.

Ready, Set, Go!

You are now ready to stand up in front of your audience and deliver a memorable speech. Relax, take a deep breath, and just do it.

Dreaming of a great presentation - copyright Jonny Goldstein

In conclusion, remember that the more oral presentations you make, the more confident you will be and the easier they will become.

View every opportunity to make a presentation as a challenge and as practice for your next big presentation!

Have you found this article interesting? Which tips will you try out? Tell us by adding your comments below – I look forward to reading your feedback.

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  • Speaking exams
  • Typical speaking tasks

Oral presentation

Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully. Which tips do they follow? Which ones don’t they follow?


Watch the video of two students doing an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam. Then read the tips below.

Melissa: Hi, everyone! Today I would like to talk about how to become the most popular teen in school.

Firstly, I think getting good academic results is the first factor to make you become popular since, having a good academic result, your teacher will award you in front of your schoolmates. Then, your schoolmates will know who you are and maybe they would like to get to know you because they want to learn something good from you.

Secondly, I think participating in school clubs and student unions can help to make you become popular, since after participating in these school clubs or student union, people will know who you are and it can help you to make friends all around the school, no matter senior forms or junior forms.

In conclusion, I think to become the most popular teen in school we need to have good academic results and also participate in school clubs and student union. Thank you!

Kelvin: Good evening, everyone! So, today I want to talk about whether the sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.

As we all know, cigarettes are not good for our health, not only oneself but also other people around. Moreover, many people die of lung cancer every year because of smoking cigarettes.

But, should the government make it illegal? I don’t think so, because Hong Kong is a place where people can enjoy lots of freedom and if the government banned the sale of cigarettes, many people would disagree with this and stand up to fight for their freedom.

Moreover, Hong Kong is a free market. If there's such a huge government intervention, I think it’s not good for Hong Kong’s economy.

So, if the government wants people to stop smoking cigarettes, what should it do? I think the government can use other administrative ways to do so, for example education and increasing the tax on cigarettes. Also, the government can ban the smokers smoking in public areas. So, this is the end of my presentation. Thank you.

It’s not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations.

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

Useful language for presentations

Explain what your presentation is about at the beginning:

I’m going to talk about ... I’d like to talk about ... The main focus of this presentation is ...

Use these expressions to order your ideas:

First of all, ... Firstly, ... Then, ... Secondly, ... Next, ... Finally, ... Lastly, ... To sum up, ... In conclusion, ...

Use these expressions to add more ideas from the same point of view:

In addition, ... What’s more, ... Also, ... Added to this, ...

To introduce the opposite point of view you can use these words and expressions:

However, ... On the other hand, ... Then again, ...

Example presentation topics

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

Check your language: ordering - parts of a presentation

Check your understanding: grouping - useful phrases, worksheets and downloads.

Do you think these tips will help you in your next speaking exam? Remember to tell us how well you do in future speaking exams!  

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Best Oral Presentation Examples

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oral presentation script example

The outline for this oral presentation is going to be a series of slides that describe each part of the process for authorship in a curated series of quality articles. This outline will also help you prepare questions for any audience that is unfamiliar with the topic in this particular presentation.

Here are some oral presentation examples ideas you could use. Use these as a guide to making your own presentations. If you need more ideas, check out the WPS blog or simply download the WPS application to get free access to the best oral presentations example templates.

1. Graduation Thesis Defense Presentation Template

The thesis defense is the end of a graduate student's journey and the culmination of many years of hard work. This template is designed to help you organize your thoughts and present your work in a concise, structured, and persuasive manner to convince your grad school's dean to grant you your thesis.

2. Medical Oral Defense of Graduation Presentation Template

Through the use of templates, you can make sure you're giving a strong, well-organized, and gripping presentation to a large audience of your peers and professors. You can record the audio portion, speak from notes (important notes on the screen do not work well), or just present from your flash drive.

3. Cartoon Oral Defense for Graduates presentation

An oral defense of graduation thesis is a formal, official document that is written to defend a student's merits of graduating. The thesis is written to defend a thesis graduate's thesis. This defense of graduates will provide the speeches, outlines, and materials of the defense with the graduate's defense of their thesis.

4. Yellow and Green Presentation Template

The different uses of oral presentations in life and in the work world will be shown, covering a variety of various examples. Whether you come from an education background, an engineering background, or a non-academic area, there are likely to be examples provided that might help to inspire you to engage in more oral presentations.

5. Fresh General Graduation Thesis Defense Presentation Template

It is important to make sure that your oral defense of a thesis is done well with care and precision. When preparing this type of presentation, it is necessary to consider the audience and the occasion. You should identify who will be attending, outline the most important aspects of your research, and plan the presentation talk accordingly.

6. General Oral Defense of Graduation Presentation Template

If you are required to give a speech in front of a large audience at graduation, you need to have a good plan. Here are some handy oral defense of graduation speech templates you can use. These will help you adjust your speech to the intended audience and make sure that your speech is focused and well-planned.

7. Blue Oral Defense for Graduation presentation template

Give your oral defense a strong start by using a visually stimulating bullet-point presentation for your introduction. Then remind your audience about the purpose of your oral defense and use a broad introduction before diving into the meat of your presentation, with focus points that include: ideas, key points, and audience benefits.

8. Graduation Thesis Presentation Template

Every student has given an oral defense of their thesis, yet few are great. This document is designed to help students prepare for their graduation oral defense. It is easy for students to learn from and emulate common mistakes or to see potential pitfalls to avoid. It is important that students use this template to gain insight into what makes for a memorable oral defense.

9. Blue & White Defense for Graduation Presentation Template

These are all examples of oral presentations that you might use to demonstrate your thesis defense during your graduation ceremony. Use the one that best describes your work and personal style. Several of the templates presented may have only one or two of the needs you need to be fulfilled, so you can swap out templates for ones that better fit your needs.

10. Education Oral Presentation Template

Your Oral Presentation is the one in which all your hard work, research, preparation, and audience involvement happen. It is also the one that you will most likely reference, show to an audience, and be judged on. Your Oral Presentations are pivotal,

Learning to present with good oral communication skills is a very important part of a future career. It is important to have an oral presentation for both jobs interviewing and public speaking. These Oral presentation examples templates will help you with the basics of preparing for these types of presentations. Always have a purpose statement, introduction, and conclusion. Keep your information condensed and relevant.

Download the WPS Office application and find your best presentation templates, as well as access to free tools.

  • 1. 10 Best Business PowerPoint Presentation examples free download
  • 2. 10 Best Handout Examples for Presentation Templates
  • 3. 10 Best Templates for Presentation Speech Examples
  • 4. Best Intern Teaching Presentation Examples
  • 5. 10 Best Educational Examples of Presentation Templates
  • 6. Free examples of oral presentations

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write an Oral Presentation

Ashley Friedman

How to Talk in My First Class Seminar

An oral presentation can be a confusing and intimidating prospect. Often people are unclear as to what it actually is. An oral presentation is a verbal report or lecture or address about a particular topic or set of topics. It may include visual props, slides or video clips, but the bulk of the content is delivered from a speaker to an audience through words. It can be overwhelming to think of how to write an oral presentation, particularly if you've never done it before.

It can also be scary because an oral presentation requires you to speak as the center of attention for a period of at least a few minutes. Many people are afraid of public speaking, and the idea of having to give an oral presentation can cause a great deal of anxiety. However, with preparedness and practice, you'll find that writing an oral presentation is less frightening than it seems.

Oral vs. Written Presentations

Oral presentations are very different from written presentations. For one thing, the language you use in a written presentation, paper or article is significantly more formal than the kind of language that you'll use in an oral presentation. You'll want to make sure that your presentation is accessible to experts and non-experts, so unless they are absolutely necessary, you should take care to eliminate things like jargon, acronyms or insider terms that will make the presentation inaccessible to people who are not experts in your field. Oral presentations also require a connection and interaction with your audience. You'll need to lean heavily on your memory to be sure that you don't forget anything as you won't be reading off of a page. This is why writing an oral presentation requires significant practice and preparation.

Researching for an Oral Presentation

Before preparing your oral presentation you'll likely need to do a decent amount of research. Regardless of whether or not you've written extensively about the topic prior to preparing your oral presentation, research is still a critical piece of preparing. Research is necessary to ensure that the information you're going to be giving is accurate and to the point. You may feel that you're already an expert on the topic you're going to discuss, but there is always the chance that you could learn more, and that the knowledge you gain from some research can change your oral presentation for the better.

Oral presentations, unlike a written report, require that you're able to hold forth on your topic in a relaxed conversational manner. This means that by the time you're ready to give your oral presentation, you'll have become an authority on the subject. The best way to do this is to do extensive research on the topic and get familiar with any adjacent topics that might be relevant or related. First, do a search to get all of the necessary background information on the topic you're planning to focus your oral presentation around. Then see what other research into the area has been done. Is there research that contradicts the research you have already read? Are there sources you have not consulted yet that may have valuable information for you to consider?

Make sure that your research is thorough and extensive, to avoid missing important information about your topic. It's also a good idea to see if there are any video presentations available on similar topics. This way you can see how other people have dealt with your topic in this context before, and perhaps get some tips on what to include and what to leave, and possibly get some help with the format and structure of your presentation.

Preparing to Write an Oral Presentation

As you begin to prepare for your oral presentation, you'll want to keep the focus of your presentation firmly in mind. Having a focus or organizing principle will help you with one of the key pieces of preparing for an oral presentation: creating an outline. Another word for an organizing principle is a thesis statement. As with a paper or an article, the thesis statement is the main point that you're trying to make. If you're speaking about more than one topic in your oral presentation, you may have more than one thesis or one for each topic.

An outline will help you organize your thoughts and the flow of the presentation, so you can take listeners through information that may be very complex in a way that makes sense to them. Many people may find listening to a presentation of new material confusing or challenging, so something to keep in mind is clarity and simplicity. This is where an outline is helpful.

Before beginning your outline, you'll want to get a rough list of everything you want to cover in your presentation. You can look for ideas by searching for an oral presentation example speech online or oral presentation tips for students. Make a list of bullet point topics that come to mind when you imagine the kinds of things you want to talk about. Then go back and cross out any points that are redundant and repetitious, and indicate if any points can be nested under a larger umbrella topic. Once you have a clear list of the items you want to discuss in your oral presentation, you can begin to create an outline.

The Importance of an Outline

An outline is a way to set up your oral presentation before you give it. This will help you structure the presentation and ensure that the information you're giving makes sense and has context. It's also a good idea to make an outline, so you can be sure that you don't leave out or forget any critical information during the course of your presentation. Armed with your list of bullet points, you're ready to begin to organize your presentation from beginning to end. An outline is a sort of like a map for your presentation. Where do you want to begin? What will be the conclusion?

Write down the topic you're planning to open with, then think logically about the sequence of points you want to make to follow it up. Figure out what the most natural flow is; in other words, find out where it makes sense to begin and where to go next. Paying attention to flow in your presentation is a key part of writing an oral presentation that will make sense to listeners. Jumping from topic to topic in a disjointed way can make your presentation confusing to the people listening. Try to make sure all the topics in your outline lead naturally from the one before it to the one after. The clearer your organizational method is, the better understood your oral presentation will be.

Outline Structure and Topic Sentences

Because you're not going to be reading the presentation, the outline can be written in a note format made up of topic sentences that will prompt you to begin discussing the topic, rather than reading a pre-written text. It's important to keep in mind that you aren't going to write out your entire oral presentation. Speaking to an audience is very different than reading to an audience. You don't want the people listening to your oral presentation to feel like they're hearing someone read a paper. Instead, make your presentation as conversational as you can. This requires mastery of the material and a clear outline.

Under each bullet point in your outline, write down any words, phrases or notes that will help you to remember the content for that particular part of the presentation. Build your whole outline this way, laying out the topic sentences at the heading of each section and using them as a jumping off point to start speaking about each one. Once you've arranged your list of bullet points in the order you plan to discuss them, you'll want to jot down the particular topic sentences and points you hope to make in each section. While you want to make sure that you include all the relevant topics in your oral report,

Practicing Your Oral Presentation

Once you have completed your outline, you're ready to do a "dry run" of your presentation. Starting at the beginning, give the oral presentation once all the way through. For the first dry run, do the presentation alone. See if it makes sense, if it feels clear and if you're able to move from topic to topic in a way that flows naturally and seems cohesive. If there are any problems, or if things seem unclear during the presentation, go back and revise your outline. If you find yourself stuck for things to say about a certain part of the outline, that's a sign that you need to go back and do more research on that particular topic to make sure that it all flows together without an issue.

Besides things like speaking slowly, clearly and with authority, a practice run is also to help you weed out unnecessary content in your oral presentation. Very often, people who are preparing for an oral presentation are most used to writing essays and reports and including background details that they feel are necessary or enlightening but may be excessive for an oral presentation.

Practice With an Audience

Once you've gotten your presentation tweaked to your liking, and you can perform it for yourself in a mirror with a feeling of confidence, it's time to bring in an audience. Ask one or two friends, family members or coworkers to help you with your oral presentation by listening to you run through it. After you've finished, ask them if it made sense, if you spoke clearly and if they had any questions. These topics are now very familiar to you, but they may not be familiar to your audience, so listen to their questions and feedback. They may be able to point out places where you need more information or need to be clearer.

Getting feedback from people unfamiliar with your topic is also a good way to find out what questions an audience may have that you hadn't yet thought of. This can be helpful for you in terms of rewriting your outline or rewriting your oral presentation altogether to make it clearer, easier to understand and thus a more effective presentation.

Practicing with an audience will also help you relax and talk about your topic in a more conversational and less stiff manner. Once you give your oral presentation to your audience, you may find that some of the things you wrote in your outline feel redundant or unnecessary. If that's the case, you should plan to revise and remove anything that you think doesn't serve your message. Once you've practiced a few times and feel that you've made all necessary adjustments, keep running through the presentation again, either alone or with an audience, to further help you remember the flow of the topics and guarantee that you won't need to read too much from your outline.

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  • UHawaii: Oral Presentation Outline Format
  • Nature: Oral Presentation Structure
  • Oral Presentation Tips
  • Recommended Reading
  • Practice your oral presentation in front of a trusted colleague or loved one. Modify the content of your presentation and your delivery style as needed. Don't be afraid to rewrite entire note cards if necessary.
  • Improvise during your oral presentation. Take cues from your audience. You do not have to follow your note cards to the letter.
  • You can tell your presentation is going in the wrong direction when the people in the room start talking among themselves or eyes start wandering toward the window. If you see this happening, an immediate change in the direction of your presentation is necessary.

Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience writing about education for a variety of organizations and educational institutions as well as online media sites.


Oral Presentation and Powerpoint


I once attended a talk where the speaker held everyone’s attention for a key five minutes by pulling the Seinfeld trick—putting on "a show about nothing." An engineer at a small, struggling company, he was near the end of a slick Powerpoint presentation about whether the design for a critical machine should be modernized to speed up production, and he presented three options:

  • Retool the machine in-house, which would sacrifice a month of production time but result in faster output in the long run.
  • Buy a new machine from a known distributor, which would involve a hefty up-front expense but save labor costs and time;
  • Do nothing.

That’s right—do nothing. Continue with production and learn to live with the sacrifices.

To dramatize this third point, the speaker filled the presentation screen—which up to then had held colorful Powerpoint slides employing slick transitions and graphics—with nothing. He simply left the screen blank, proposed the option of taking no action, and then shut off the projector. For the next five minutes, he engaged the audience members—which included the company president and the company accountant—by switching to a lecture format, moving around the room without so much as a pointer or note card, and arguing his case: that it was smarter for the company to maintain status quo, especially since it was struggling financially. Ultimately, he impressed his point on the audience not with the magic of presentation software, but with reasoning, creativity, common sense, and the bottom line. As the speaker hoped, the company bought into option number 3.

As this example demonstrates, effective oral presentation is more about creative thinking on your feet and basic skills than about wearing good shoes and knowing how to turn on the computer projector. Companies have long cried for graduates who can give dynamic talks, and they have long relied on talks as a key way to sway concerned parties towards a desired outcome. But many presenters make the mistake of trying to let the computer, bells and whistles blaring, do all the work for them. They forget the fundamentals of oral presentation, and thus whatever polish they have quickly loses its luster.

To become a modern speaker worth listening to, whether you’re serving as a company representative or presenting at a conference, you must come fully prepared, engage your audience’s attention and memory, attend to some visual design basics, and take stock of how you come across as a speaker.

Preparing for a Talk

There’s a rule-of-thumb in carpentry: Measure twice, cut once. The tenets behind this principle should be obvious—once a mistake is made, it’s difficult or impossible to undo. Though the carpenter can usually spackle or glue to repair, as a speaker you simply cannot get back those three minutes you just wasted in a fifteen-minute presentation. The following preparation principles will keep you right on plumb.

  • Practice your talk straight through, and as you go jot quick notes to yourself about how to improve it. If you cannot manage to practice your talk straight through, perhaps you are not yet ready to offer it.
  • Ideally, practice your talk under conditions similar to those in which you will give it, considering such factors as acoustics, distance from the audience, lighting, and room size. Lighting becomes especially important when computer equipment is involved. Be mentally prepared to adapt to the environmental conditions.
  • As a draft, present your talk to a friend or two first and have them critique it. If you’re really gutsy and can tolerate the unforgiving lens of the camcorder, videotape your practice talk and critique it afterwards.
  • View all of your visuals from your audience’s perspective prior to your talk. Be sure that your audience can easily see all that you want them to see, especially material that appears in the lower half of the screen.
  • When you give a talk professionally, always request presentation guidelines from any relevant organizations and conform to them explicitly. It would be embarrassing for you if you were expected to present units in metric, for example, and you did otherwise because you failed to request or follow the available guidelines.
  • As part of your preparation, choose an appropriately snappy and helpful title. You are expected not to come off as stodgy. Which talk would you rather attend: "Specific Geometrical Objects with Fractional Dimensions and Their Various Applications to Nature in General and The Universe At Large as we Know it" or "And On The Eighth Day, God Created Fractals"?
  • Become highly familiar with any technology you’ll be using. Practice with the actual hardware or type of hardware you’ll be working with, making sure that compatibility or speed issues don’t get in your way. I’ve seen students go to present at a conference with a zip disk of their talk confidently in hand, only to find that the computer they were using didn’t have a zip drive. To facilitate faster computer speed, load your presentation onto the desktop if possible rather than run it from a CD or flash drive. If websites are needed as part of your presentation, check connection speeds and make sure all URLs are up and running.

Helping Your Audience Remember Your Key Points

Andy Warhol is known for the comment that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. If your 15 minutes of fame is during your oral presentation, you want to be sure not to blow it. I’m amazed at how many times I’ve sat through a talk and come away with only a vague sense of what it was about. There are many reasons for this—some speakers view their talk as simply a format for reading a paper, while others fill the air with many words but little substance—but the most common reason is the simplest one: the speaker showed uncertainty about the talk's alleged subject. If you don’t spell out your premise, highlight your key points, and make it easy for your audience to remember the thrust of your presentation, you can’t expect your listeners to come away with understanding and investment.

To ensure an engaged audience for your talk, follow these practices:

  • Introduce and Conclude . Use a formal introduction at the beginning of your talk and a summary afterwards to highlight your major points. Make sure your audience can remember your key points by keeping them simple and straightforward—even enumerated.
  • Present in Sections . Give your talk "parts" —usually no more than three major parts for practical purposes—and let us know when we’re transitioning from one part to the next. This will help your audience to remain interested and focused.
  • Spell out the Objective . Give the talk’s objective and even a hint of the conclusion right up front. Articulate the objective on its own slide so we can’t miss it. Revisit the objective at the end if necessary to underscore how it was realized.
  • Use Props . Consider the use of some simple, meaningful props—even pass them around. Props can generate audience interest and, especially if they represent the actual work you did, they make the nature of that work more concrete. I’ve been to great talks where an experimental sample or photographs representing production sites were passed around, and they often generated focused questions from the audience members afterwards.
  • Use Handouts . If appropriate, give a handout. As long as it’s well-designed, a concise written summary with bulleted points on a handout will ensure that your talk can be followed throughout. Such a handout should ideally be just one or two pages long, and be sure to time and manage its distribution so that it doesn’t take away attention from you as you speak. One possibility for handouts is an actual printout of your slides through the "Handouts" option in Powerpoint, but be certain that your audience actually needs all of your slides before electing this option.
  • Offer Q&A . If question and answer is involved as part of the end of the talk, don’t let any questions deflect our interest. Some audience members might try to draw the attention to themselves, or focus on a mistake or uncertainty in your presentation, or even undermine your authority directly with an intimidating challenge. (I recall one speaker at a professional conference being tossed the strange question, "Your data is crap, isn’t it?") Remember that the stage and agenda are yours, and it’s your job to keep it that way and end your talk with a bang, not a whimper. If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it or offer to discuss it privately after the presentation, then move on. One savvy way to handle questions is to turn back to your presentation slides as you answer them—call up a slide that will help repeat or explain the relevant point—and this will remind your audience that your talk had substance.

Mastering the Basics of Slide Design

Powerpoint helps us to think of each projected page as a "slide" in a slideshow. But just as someone else’s home movies can be thoroughly uninteresting if they’re grainy, poor in quality, and irrelevant, Powerpoint slides that are too flashy, cluttered, meaningless, or poorly designed can quickly turn a darkened room full of smart people into a mere gathering of snoozers. As you design your slides, consider these factors:

  • Templates . Even though Powerpoint helps you design your slides, don’t assume that someone else’s template will always match your needs. Take charge of slide design by considering first the most efficient way to transmit the necessary information.
  • Simplicity . Keep slides as simple and uncluttered as possible, and if the information must be complex, prioritize it for your audience as you present it (e.g., if presenting a ten-column table, direct your audience to the most significant columns). Offer only one major point per illustration. If you need to focus on more than one point, re-present the illustration in another form on a separate slide with the different point emphasized.
  • Titles . Give most slides titles, with a font size of at least 36 points, and body text with a font size of at least 24 points. If you need to cite a source of information, include the citation in a smaller font size at the bottom of your slide.
  • Rule of 8s. Apply the "rule of 8s": include no more than 8 words per line and 8 lines per slide.
  • Bullets . When using bulleted lists in slides, present each bulleted line in parallel fashion—i.e., if the first line is a fragment, the others should be as well; if the first line opens with a verb, so should the others.
  • Design . Design slides so that their longest dimension is horizontal rather than vertical. Use both uppercase and lowercase letters and orient pictures left to right. Avoid the overuse of animations and transitions, especially audio-based transitions, which can be distracting and downright silly.
  • Color . Make sure the color for both the background and text are highly readable, especially under less than optimal lighting conditions. There’s nothing wrong with basic dark lettering and white background for your slides, particularly if they’re text-based. If you do choose a background theme or color, enhance continuity and viewability by keeping it consistent and subtle.
  • Images . When possible, replace words with images. Use images in particular when presenting data, demonstrating trends, simplifying complex issues, and visualizing abstractions.
  • Spelling. Spelling does count, and you can’t rely on Powerpoint to be an effective proofreader. Be sure your slides are free of grammatical and spelling errors. As Will Rogers quipped, "Nothing you can’t spell will ever work."

Maintaining the Look and Sound of a Professional Speaker

Public speaking is often cited by people as their number one fear (with death, ironically, as number two. Clearly, no one overcomes such fear overnight, and no one set of tips can transmogrify you into a polished speaker. However, you can work through that fear by learning from the successes of others. As Christopher Lasch once noted, "Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success." Good speakers attend first to their wardrobe, dressing as well as their "highest ranking" audience member is likely to dress. An equally important part of looking and sounding like a professional speaker is how you handle your body language and your voice. You must exude confidence if you want to be taken seriously, and remember that a high percentage of your audience’s perception is not about what you say but about how you look when you say it. The following guidelines will help you to look good and sound good as you give a talk:

  • Take care not to stand in the way of your own slides—many speakers do this without even realizing it. Especially when using an overhead projector, point to the projected image of your slide (ideally, use a stick pointer or laser pointer) rather than the original source. This helps you avoid covering up more of the image than you intended and keeps our focus on the projected image rather than your accidental hand shadow puppet.
  • Ideally, use the mouse pointer, a stick pointer, or a laser pointer to draw our attention to a particular item on the screen. One simple circle drawn briefly around the selected information is enough to draw our attention. Beware of slapping a stick pointer loudly against a screen, or leaving a laser pointer on for so long that its bright dot shakes all over the screen as a blazing red mirror of your nervousness.
  • When you are not using a slide directly, keep it out of sight or out of your audience’s line of attention. Turn off the projector or create a dark screen when no visuals are relevant; literally invite your audience to turn its attention away from one thing to another.
  • When working with computer projection, do not trust that hardware will always perform as you anticipate. Sometimes equipment fails midstream, or what worked fine for one speaker in a group doesn’t work for the next. If necessary, take backup transparencies of your slides ready for use on an overhead projector. Be certain that an overhead projector is available beforehand as a fallback.
  • Don’t forget the value of a good old-fashioned easel or chalkboard. Not only do they offer variety, they are especially good for writing down basic information that you also want your audience to muse over or write down, or for presenting a picture as it evolves via its individual pieces (e.g., a flow chart, schematic, or simple experimental set-up).
  • Maintain eye contact with at least a few people—especially those who are being the most responsive—in various parts of the room. Conversely, if you’re especially nervous about one or two audience members or you note some audience members looking sour or uninterested, avoid eye contact with them.
  • Refer to time as an organizational tool: "For the next two minutes, I will summarize the city’s housing problem, then I will move on to . . . " This keeps both you and your audience anchored.
  • Use the "point, turn, talk" technique. Pause when you have to turn or point to something, then turn back towards the audience, then talk. This gives emphasis to the material and keeps you connected with audience members. Strictly avoid talking sideways or backwards at your audience.
  • Use physical gestures sparingly and with intention. For instance, raise three fingers and say "thirdly" as you make your third point; pull your hands toward your chest slightly as you advocate the acceptance of an idea. Beware, though, of overusing your body, especially to the point of distraction. Some speakers habitually flip their hair, fiddle with their keys, or talk with their hands. I’ve heard some people recommend that speakers keep one hand in a pocket to avoid overusing physical gestures.
  • Minimize the amount of walking necessary during your talk, but do stand rather than sit because it commands more authority. As you speak, keep your feet firmly rooted and avoid continual shuffling of your weight. Intentionally leaning slightly on one leg most of the time can help keep you comfortable and relaxed.
  • Take care to pronounce all words correctly, especially those key to the discipline. Check pronunciation of ambiguous words beforehand to be certain. It would be embarrassing to mispronounce "Euclidian" or "Möbius strip" in front of a group of people that you want to impress. I once mispronounced the word "banal" during a speech to English professors and one of the audience members actually interrupted to correct me. Most of that speech was—as you might guess—banal.
  • Dead air is much better than air filled with repeated "ums," "likes," and "you knows." Get to know your personal "dead air" fillers and eliminate them. Out of utter boredom during a rotten speech a few years ago, I counted the number of times the speaker (a professor) used the word "basically" as an empty transition—44 times in just five minutes. Don’t be afraid to pause occasionally to give your listeners time to digest your information and give yourself a moment for reorientation. To quote Martin Fraquhar, "Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech."
  • If you know that you have a mannerism that you can’t easily avoid—such as stuttering or a heavy accent—and it distracts you from making a good speech, consider getting past it by just pointing it out to the audience and moving on. I’ve been to several talks where the speaker opened by saying "Please accept the fact, as I have, that I’m a stutterer, and I’m likely to stutter a bit throughout my speech." One such speaker even injected humor by noting that James Earl Jones, one of his heroes, was also once a stutterer, so he felt in good company. As you might guess, the following speeches were confidently and effectively delivered, and when the mannerism arose it was easy to overlook.
  • Avoid clichés, slang, and colloquialisms, but don’t be so formal that you’re afraid to speak in contractions or straightforward, simple terms. Use visual language, concrete nouns, active single-word verbs. When using specialized or broad terms that might be new or controversial to some audience members, be sure to define them clearly, and be prepared to defend your definition.
  • Be animated and enthusiastic, but carefully so—many notches above the "just-the facts" Joe Friday, but many notches below the over-the-top Chris Rock.

For more advice on giving oral presentations and the use of Powerpoint, visit these websites:

"Powerpoint Presentations That are Not so Pretty" from

"Rethinking the Design of Presentation Slides" Powerpoint by author Michael Alley

oral presentation script example

How to write a presentation script?

A simple way to write a presentation script.

In this article, I want to explain how we can write a presentation script.

As we all know, talking can be tough and we may forget what we wanted to say. Public speaking is the most challenging one. So we need to have a script to prevent this from happening.

Let’s review the most typical ways of memorizing or writing a presentation script.

Some people write the whole script, word by word. When they start to present, they read from this script like they are reading a book, but the fact is that reading the exact words exhausts the audience. The audience will say: well, give us the paper, we can read it for ourselves. Reading from the script word by word will decrease the speaker’s position.

A presentation script

Speakers who write a presentation script and read it word by word in their presentation.

Another mistake that some speakers make is that they write a presentation script and then memorize it. They read it a thousand times to be able to say it in the presentation. But when they want to present it in front of the audience, they keep forgetting things and use filler words like “um” and “uh” to kill the time and remember their sentences.

At this moment when one of the audience asks you a question you get nervous and you can’t remember what you were saying. So it’s best if you don’t read from the presentation script and do not memorize it.

It’s only necessary to write the titles. When you see the title, you remember the whole paragraph you had rehearsed before. And you can talk about them in your simple words. But you have to write the titles with large handwriting.

Write your presentation script big

Write your presentation script with big handwriting.

Because when you have a presentation, you become nervous. It results in increasing adrenaline , and it widens your pupils, and we can’t read things from a close distance.

Your presentation script needs to be readable. It’s embarrassing to say “wait, what did I write here?” in front of the audience.

Sometimes you can use software to do so — for example, PowerPoint, Prezi, some recorded files, mind map and any other thing you can use.

Imagine you want to present this article on a video or in front of people. Its presentation script example will be like this:

You can stick this script beside the camera so that you can see it easily when you are talking, and if it’s a presentation, you can stick the notes on the ground ( so that you get a glimpse while you walk) or put the notes and handouts on the stand.

I hope you can have the best presentation using these methods.

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Cambridge Dictionary

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oral presentation

Meanings of oral and presentation.

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(Definition of oral and presentation from the Cambridge English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

  • Examples of oral presentation


Word of the Day

a first small event or problem that causes a much worse situation to develop

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I’d give my right arm for it: ways of saying ‘want’

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