Topics for a College Oral Presentation

Oral presentations are typically informative or persuasive.
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One of the keys to preparing a successful presentation is finding the right topic. Oral presentations are typically informative or persuasive, so consider your format and goal as you brainstorm. It is also important to select a topic that is geared toward the right audience. A talk that suits a diverse class of college freshmen may be less effective at an English graduate school conference. Finally, decide whether you topic resources can support a solid thesis. Make sure that you can provide a fresh outlook and good evidence before you make your ultimate choice.

1 Formats

As a presenter, you will need to educate or convince the audience. Informative, or expository presentations may demonstrate a procedure, discuss an event or explain a phenomenon. Expository presentations are well suited for science, communication, business and history classes. Persuasive presentations aim to convince people to change their mind, reaffirm their beliefs or take action. These work well in law, marketing and political science classes, as well as in courses that discuss disputable subjects.

2 Informative Topics

Informative presentations can be about health topics such as diseases and treatments, nutrition and medical advances. Ones about social subjects can include the impact of Internet communication, online dating strategies or reasons why historical events such as Pearl Harbor occurred. Presentations can also involve live demonstrations, such as mock job interviews or cooking lessons.

3 Persuasive Topics

Argumentative presentations can take a stand on controversial events or contentious points of view. Topics can be law-based, such as the need for gun control laws in light of recent US shootings. They can be political, arguing the benefits and drawbacks of Obama’s healthcare plan. They may also be social, suggesting that mass cell phone use has ironically enabled isolation.

4 Target Audience

Take the audience’s appeal and level of familiarity with a subject into consideration when you prepare. Topics selected for general education courses should be straightforward because students majoring in diverse fields will be listening. If you are presenting for upper-level classmates, your topic and content can be specialized. Students who are nearing graduation have taken various classes in their field, so you can discuss more advanced topics.

Michael Stratford is a National Board-certified and Single Subject Credentialed teacher with a Master of Science in educational rehabilitation (University of Montana, 1995). He has taught English at the 6-12 level for more than 20 years. He has written extensively in literary criticism, student writing syllabi and numerous classroom educational paradigms.