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How to Write an Oral Presentation

by Louise Balle, Demand Media
    Presentation graphics and charts can improve the audience's understanding of your topic.

    Presentation graphics and charts can improve the audience's understanding of your topic.

    The thought of making an oral presentation makes some people queasy, whereas others approach this task with a positive attitude from the start. Your attitude reflects in the content of the presentation. Guess who is most likely to be most successful? In addition to approaching the presentation with a positive attitude, your presentation must be relevant, helpful to attendees and to the point. If you take the time to write and tighten up your oral presentation beforehand you will achieve better results.

    Items you will need

    • Note cards
    Step 1

    Analyze your audience. Will these be underachieving college students or astute business people? Craft the content of your oral presentation based on your audience. In these examples a lighthearted, funny presentation might keep the attention of your student audience, while a fact-rich, intellectual discussion might work best for the group of professionals.

    Step 2

    Keep the sections of your oral presentation short and to the point. You can always go into more detail later during your question and answer session.

    Step 3

    Decide on the main sections of your presentation by analyzing the most important points that you want to get across. Write an introduction and a closing—these are the only two requirements. The middle sections will depend on the subject of your presentation. As an example, for an oral presentation about wild animals your middle section titles might be "evolution," "habitat," "eating habits" and "natural threats."

    Step 4

    Write the main sections of your presentation on note cards. Write the title of the section at the top of the card and then expand upon the section with short bullet points. Use your bullet points as a rough guide as you are speaking—do not attempt to write exactly what you will say during the presentation word for word or you will risk sounding scripted and artificial.

    Style Your World With Color


    • 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.

    About the Author

    Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

    Photo Credits

    • Images

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