An oral presentation is a form of assessment that teachers frequently use in the classroom. Oral assessments come in a variety of styles, from multimedia projects to group work to speeches. An oral presentation involves explaining something to an audience, usually in a classroom, but sometimes in a work setting. Teachers grade oral presentations based on the quality of the information presented as well as the method of presenting it.


An oral presentation is similar to giving a speech, but the idea that it is a presentation invokes images of visual aids and teaching tools rather than just a single person talking behind a podium, as with a speech. An individual can give an oral presentation alone or as part of a group. An oral presentation might come with the added component of using some type of technology, such as a slide show, video clip or audio portion. In this case, it might be called a multimedia presentation. Most oral presentations require the presenter to use a combination of spoken words and visual aids in order to present an idea or an explanation to a group of people.


An oral presentation is usually for a class, but the purpose goes beyond that. A teacher might assign students to do an oral presentation on a particular topic or set of topics, so they can learn about something new and then teach that new topic to their classmates, so everyone learns. Oral presentations are effective teaching tools in this way because they add variety to the classroom and allow students the opportunity to teach one another instead of always learning from the teacher. Oral presentations sometimes explain a skill or a process; in this case, a person with expertise on a subject might explain that subject to the group. The group members can follow along and learn a new skill as they watch the presentation.


Oral presentations incorporate a variety of important skills. The presenter learns to hone public speaking skills, including using a clear voice and timing a speech. The presenter might also learn multimedia skills as he prepares visual and auditory aids for his presentation and research skills as he studies his topic. He also will learn teaching skills as he prepares his material to teach it to his classmates.


When giving an oral presentation, it is important to clearly explain a topic and pay attention to your audience. Consider how much your audience knows about your topic in advance and teach them the information they do not know. It is important to include visual or auditory aids in your presentation in order to add variety for people who need these in order to process information; visual learners, for instance, have a hard time learning a topic when they only hear someone talking about it. Incorporating technology into your presentation makes it more entertaining for your audience as well, which increases the likelihood that you will hold their attention through the duration of the presentation.


Teachers assess oral presentations in a variety of ways. They assess the quality of the content first. In other words, the speaker must have presented in-depth information using valid references for her research. She must have explained the topic thoroughly and demonstrated a solid understanding of that topic. Teachers also will assess the quality of the speech elements in the presentation. If the speaker speaks clearly, uses strong words and keeps herself focused on the topic, then she likely will earn full credit for that portion of the oral presentation. Teachers also assess the creativity of the presentation and the use of multimedia aids, and may include other criteria such as time allocation or group member participation.