Oral Presentation: Characteristics, Elements, Structure, Types

The oral presentation is a type of spoken presentation where one or more people disclose, to an audience of listeners, a given topic. It is a common practice for students during their training, however, for some, speaking in front of an audience can be a source of stress and concern.

To avoid these problems, it must be borne in mind that an oral presentation requires the same quality of preparation as any other academic task. For this reason, a common feature of all oral presentations is the need to prepare carefully and in advance.

An oral presentation requires the same quality of preparation as any other academic assignment

It is important to note that, although oral presentations are used mainly in colleges and universities, they are also an indispensable tool in the workplace.

For example: a person can make an exhibition with the aim of selling a product or convincing an audience to act in a certain way; This is why we are taught from a very young age to make exhibitions.

Article index

  • one

    Characteristics of oral exposure

    • 1.1

      – It has a clear purpose

    • 1.2

      – Adapts to the audience

    • 1.3

      – Avoid unnecessary details

    • 1.4

      – Use well-designed visual supports

    • 1.5

      – Limited time

  • two

    Support elements for oral presentations

    • 2.1

      – The blackboard

    • 2.2

      – The slide

    • 23

      – The videos

    • 2.4

      – The script

  • 3

    Structure of an oral presentation

    • 3.1

      – Title

    • 3.2

      – The introduction

    • 3.3

      – The body of the oral exposition

    • 3.4

      – The closing of the exhibition

  • 4

    Types of oral presentations

    • 4.1

      -Individual expositions

    • 4.2

      -Group exhibitions

  • 5

    Oral exposure techniques

    • 5.1

      – Techniques to prepare the oral presentation

    • 5.2

      – Techniques to initiate and develop oral exposition

    • 5.3

      – Techniques to finish the oral presentation

  • 6

    Examples of oral presentations

    • 6.1

      – Individual oral presentation on climate change

    • 6.2

      – Symposium-type oral presentation on molecular biology techniques

  • 7

    References

Characteristics of oral exposure

– It has a clear purpose

An oral presentation can be given in front of members of a business or government organization, or in a classroom. In any case, it is necessary that its purpose is clearly defined.

The objective of an oral presentation can be to explain a process, defend a point of view, contrast opinions, relate historical events, among others.

– Adapts to the audience

An exhibition must be prepared specifically for the public to which it is directed, in order to achieve this way that the information reaches the audience in an efficient way.

The interlocutors must be clearly identified. It helps a lot to know what their background is and what level of knowledge they have about the material that is being presented. Also, it is important to know what they expect to get out of the presentation.

– Avoid unnecessary details

In quality presentations, the phrase “less is more” is fulfilled. It is a common mistake for presenters to try to say too much. 
As a result, the main message can be lost.

A clear and concise presentation that is provocative and leads to a dialogue during the question and answer session is preferable.

– Use well-designed visual supports

Another characteristic of the oral presentation is related to visual aids.  Misspelled and poorly designed visuals can damage a speaker’s credibility.

Even if the speech is excellent, the speaker will be perceived as unprofessional if the visual aids are poorly executed.

So, in addition to containing important information, this material must be clear, clean, organized and large enough so that the public can see and interpret it correctly.

– Limited time

This is one of the most important characteristics of oral presentation. When a presentation is not completed on time, credibility can be lost.

You also run the risk of offending the public. Similarly, there are fewer opportunities to make a strong conclusion because attendees are not listening or have already left.

Support elements for oral presentations

The support elements in oral presentations are those physical resources that facilitate communication between the speaker and the listeners.

The choice of the appropriate element depends on a series of factors, such as the availability of the material, the physical characteristics of the place where the exhibition will take place, the size of the group to which it will be spoken, the time available for its preparation and the knowledge that is had of the management of the resource.

With this in mind, the most common support elements are the following:

– The blackboard

The blackboard is one of the most used support elements in oral presentations. Source: Pixabay.com

The blackboard or blackboard is a support medium that does not need technical elements (on the contrary to the slides, which require a computer). On the blackboards you can write phrases or concepts about the topic being exposed, graphs or diagrams are also drawn to facilitate understanding of the topic.

– The slide

The slides are elements created with a computer program where texts, images, graphics and figures can be placed. The slides are presented in series according to the development of the topic.

– The  videos

These systems for reproducing images and sounds are widely used in oral presentations. With them it is possible to introduce, summarize or illustrate very effectively the content of the subject discussed.

– The script

The script consists of a series of notes in which the fundamental points that will be developed in the oral presentation are detailed in an orderly manner. For these reasons, the script is of great help for the exhibitor to gain confidence.

However, it should be noted that the script is only a support and should not be read literally during the course of the exhibition.

Structure of an oral presentation

Oral presentations generally follow the following structure:

– Title

The title constitutes the first orientation on the subject that will be treated. That is, the title must communicate what will be discussed in the exhibition and the objective that is being pursued.

An example of a title for an oral presentation could be: Characteristics and life contexts of the student population in Latin America between the years 2018-2021.

– The introduction

The introduction reveals the topic to be discussed, its importance and scope. Similarly, this part expresses the objectives that are intended to be met in the presentation.

– The body of the oral exposition

It is about the development of the topic, which must be ordered in different points. However, the exhibitor must take care that this development is not tedious, for which it is recommended to use examples, analogies, stories, drawings, graphs or images.

– The closing of the exhibition

At the closing or end of the oral presentation a summary of the most important points that were exposed is made. With this, the exhibitor seeks to fix the exposed concepts in his audience.

Types of oral presentations

Oral presentations are generally classified into two groups: individual and collective. According to this classification, different types of exposure can be established.

-Individual expositions

The lecture is a type of individual oral presentation. Source: Pixabay.com

Only one exhibitor takes part in these exhibitions. The most used exhibition structures in this case are the following:

The talk: whose main characteristics are informality and the possibility that the public interrupts to ask questions.

The conference: defined by its formality. In this case, the listeners ask the questions or intervene at the end of the presentation.

The speech: this is a forceful presentation that has the characteristic of being formal and generally does not use supporting elements.

-Group exhibitions

At the round table the presenters have different points of view on the issue raised. Via: Pixabay.com

These oral presentations are made by several people, among whom the elaboration of the exhibition is distributed. The speakers agree on the parts of the exhibition that each one will address, the duration and the order of the interventions.

Some types of group presentations are:

The round table: in this type of exhibition the presenters propose different points of view on the raised topic.

The symposium : in this type of exhibition the participants are experts in the different aspects of the subject to be presented. That is, it is a group of people who handle a topic of their specialty or profession.

Oral exposure techniques

Below are some techniques or steps that show how to prepare an exhibition, as well as how to develop and finish it correctly.

– Techniques to prepare the oral presentation

The exhibitor should research and read about the topic. This research will facilitate the selection of the different aspects of the topic that will be exposed. Source: pixabay.com
  1. It begins by defining the topic and the objectives to be met.
  2. The exhibitor should research and read about the topic. This research will facilitate the selection of the different aspects of the topic that will be exposed.
  3. It is recommended that the exhibitor previously know the characteristics of the audience. For example, the age and level of knowledge they have on the subject.
  4. In advance, the exhibitor must specify the support materials that he will use; for example if a blackboard, slides or audiovisual elements will be used.
  5. It is very helpful to make a scheme where the way in which the body of the exhibition will be developed is established.
  6. Finally, the exhibition must be practiced and studied in order to master it and present it fluently.

– Techniques to initiate and develop oral exposition

  1. Every oral presentation begins with the presentation of the exhibitor, his name, affiliation or place where he studies.
  2. Then, the title of the exhibition is presented and a starting point is established which must be related to the topic. For example: if the theme of the exhibition is child malnutrition, it could begin by saying “do you know the number of malnourished children in the world?”
  3. Subsequently, the presentation is developed as planned.

– Techniques to finish the oral presentation

It is important to return to the main points at the end of the presentation. They can be placed on the slides. Source: pixabay.com
  1. To end the presentation, a summary of the most important points that were discussed is made.
  2. After the summary, it is recommended to express an idea that encompasses the ultimate purpose of the presentation. For example: “we must promote the implementation of prevention measures that allow reducing the rates of child malnutrition in the world.”

Examples of oral presentations

Individual oral presentation on climate change

Start of presentation

The exhibitor shows the first slide that contains the title of the presentation, which is “Climate change”. He then begins the presentation by asking a question “do you know what climate change is?”

Subsequently, the exhibitor, with the help of a second slide, develops the concept of climate change and the problem.

Then, using a third slide, the exhibitor shows the objectives pursued by the exhibition and expresses them in the following way: “due to the problems exposed, this presentation aims to show the causes of climate change, its effects and the measures taken to minimize its impact ”.

The body of the exhibition

In a fourth slide, the exhibitor can present the points that will be covered throughout the presentation.

This slide begins in this way: “to meet the objectives set, we will develop the causes of climate change, its effects on the ozone layer and biodiversity. We will finish this section by stating what we are doing to avoid this problem. ”

Finally, the exhibitor develops the presentation. For this he uses images, photos and diagrams that will facilitate the understanding of the subject.

Closing of the exhibition

To close the presentation, the exhibitor presents the most important ideas that were presented on a slide. He lists them as follows:

  1. Climate change is a serious problem that affects humanity and all living beings on the planet.
  2. Excessive human activity is the most important cause of climate change.
  3. Technologies for sustainable development must be promoted.

Then, he exposes an idea that encompasses the ultimate goal of the presentation: “to conclude, I want to remind you that we all have the responsibility to generate changes to achieve a reduction in environmental pollution.”

– Symposium-type oral presentation on molecular biology techniques

In this example, the topic to be discussed is molecular biology techniques and it will be presented by four specialists. The slides will be used as support material.

Each speaker was assigned a topic: the first speaker will talk about the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the second will present the sequencing of the human genome and the last speaker will make his presentation on the application of these techniques in medicine and epidemiology.

Symposium start

The coordinator begins the symposium by greeting the attendees and clearly stating the topic to be discussed as follows: “in this symposium we will talk about the most widely used molecular biology techniques.”

Then, the coordinator introduces the topic of the symposium and indicates the main objective: “the main objective of this symposium is to show which are the main techniques in molecular biology and their main applications.” Next, the coordinator introduces each of the participants.

The body of the symposium

At this point, each participant, successively, presents their presentation. All the presentations are introduced by the coordinator and the participants support their presentation in slides.

Closing of the symposium

At the end of the presentations, the coordinator makes a brief summary or synthesis of the main ideas presented. Then begins the section of questions, which are formulated by the audience present.

References

  1. Castro, I. (2017). The Exhibition as a learning and assessment strategy in the classroom . Retrieved on May 19, 2020 from editorialrazonypalabra.org
  2. Bourne P. (2007). Have simple rules for making good oral presentations. Retrieved on May 19, 2020 from: nlm.nih.gov
  3. Blome, C., Sondermann, H., Augustin M. (2017). Accepted standards on how to give a Medical Research Presentation: a systematic review of expert opinion papers. Retrieved on May 20, 2020 from: nlm.nih.gov
  4. Corredor J., Romero-Farfán, C. (2007).  Planning, organization and expression of a type of oral discourse: the exhibition. Considerations, suggestions and recommendations. Retrieved on May 20, 2020 from: duke.edu
  5. Pulpón, A., Icart, M., María Domenjóh, N., López, C., Montserrat S. Recommendations for an oral presentation. Retrieved on May 20, 2020 from: dipositi.ub.edu
  6. Educational blog (2011). Discourse and oral presentation . Retrieved on May 21, 2020 from: blogspot.com

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