Oral Presentations: Basics

The Big Rule: Tell them what you're going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.

In other words, your presentation should have three parts: an introduction, body, and conclusion. Let's look at these three parts and see what you should include in each.

The Introduction

The purpose of the introduction is not only to introduce your topic, but also to interest your audience in the topic.

  1. Grab the audience's attention by somehow involving them in your topic. You can do this by asking a question, offering an interesting fact, using a quotation or telling a short story. (The question "How many people here have a home computer?" is a lot more interesting than "Today I'm going to tell you about the Internet.")
  2. You should preview the content of your presentation by offering a brief outline of what you will be discussing. You may also want to include why you choose this topic to present on.

The Body

The body of your presentation should support your introduction by offering facts, opinions, and reasons to support your topic. It should contain at least three ideas with supporting details to illustrate your point.

The Conclusion

The conclusion should restate the main points without giving examples. Think of it as a brief summary which emphasizes what you want the audience to remember. You can finish with a recommendation, a personal thought, an observation, or a question. Your closing statement (the last statement) should pull your presentation together.

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