Students are first exposed to giving oral presentations are different grade levels. Some students are required to give an oral presentation as early as the first grade, while others may not give their first oral presentation until they enter college. Regardless of the grade level that you are working with, however, there are a few methods for teaching oral presentations that will assist in making the learning process successful.
Provide the students with a list of what is expected of them. This list should include using an introduction, body and conclusion in their presentations, as well speaking to a specific audience. For example, you can tell the students to give an oral presentation about the media and to pretend that they are delivering it to a parent organization. Teaching students to understand how to speak to different audiences is part of building their oral presentation techniques.
Instruct students to write out the presentation. For the first few oral presentations, have the students write out what they will say with a pencil on notebook paper. This will aid them in gaining confidence in front of an audience. Allow them to use their papers while they are giving their oral presentation.
Instruct the students to work in groups. Divide the students into groups so that they can work collaboratively on their presentations and give one another constructive feedback.
Develop a critique policy and share it with the students. You must define what a critique is for the students and provide them with methods for giving a critique, or sharing their ideas about another student's work. For example, explain that critiques are not personal attacks; critiques must be positive and must offer solutions to oral presentation problems.
Allow students to develop at their own pace. Some students will find oral presentations second nature, while others may become ill at the very thought of giving an oral presentation. Therefore, you must focus on each student's strengths and weaknesses and record each student's individual progress as the course unfolds.
Present your grading policy to the students, which defines how they will be graded for an oral presentation, i.e., what you will be looking for when they are presenting. In your grading policy you might also indicate that they will be graded based on their personal improvement, rather than in comparison with other students.
One of the most difficult elements of an oral presentation for students is receiving a critique for their work; this is especially true for students who are giving an oral presentation for the first time.
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