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Blog Beginner Guides

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

guide to oral presentations

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

guide to oral presentations

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

guide to oral presentations

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

guide to oral presentations

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

guide to oral presentations

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

guide to oral presentations

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

guide to oral presentations

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

guide to oral presentations

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

guide to oral presentations

The secret structure of great talks

guide to oral presentations

The beauty of data visualization

guide to oral presentations

TED's secret to great public speaking

guide to oral presentations

How to speak so that people want to listen

guide to oral presentations

How great leaders inspire action

Argonne National Laboratory

Guide to oral research presentations.

An important aspect to any research project is the oral presentation of the experiment to other people.  As with a research report, you want to tell the story of your experiment: why the experiment was done, how it was done, the results, interpretation of the results, and why the experiment matters.  

However, a good presentation is different from a good paper.  The presentation should not consist of simply reading from a paper that was previously prepared.  Care should be taken to not overwhelm the listener with needless detail.  Much more detailed information can be presented and understood in a written paper than in an oral presentation.

The style of a presentation is also important.  The presenter must try to keep the listener focused on the key information that is being conveyed.

The following are specific things that should be considered when preparing an oral presentation.


Oral presentations should be organized to have introduction, body and conclusion sections.


This section should be brief.  It should provide enough background information so that the listener understands the general hypothesis and why the experiments were done.  It should also state the specific research question that was studied.

This section is the major portion of the talk.  It should include research methods as well as research results.  The methods should be briefly stated, providing detail when necessary for understanding a particular result.

This section should also be brief.  A clear, concise statement of what the results prove should be made.  The data can be related to experiments others have performed, but this should not be overdone.  Future experiments to test unanswered questions could be suggested.  State why this experiment matters.

Presentation Style

The following are things that should be considered when designing a presentation.

Pay attention to the time.  Most research talks are short and no more than 15 minutes.

Do not talk too quickly.  Slow down so that the listener has time to hear you. 

  • If you think you are speaking too slowly, then you probably are going at the right pace.


Talk loud enough so that your listener can hear you.  Use a variety of voice inflections and pitches so that the listener stays interested. 

  • Nothing is more boring than a monotone presentation. 
  • Alterations in volume/tone gives the listener the feeling that the presenter is interested in the topic.

Eye Contact

Try to maintain eye contact with the listener; this helps them stay focused on the talk. 

  • DO NOT SIMPLY READ YOUR PAPER !  Whether or not you are presenting from notes, a fully prepared script, or from memory, eye contact must be made frequently.
  • Face the audience: DO NOT READ OFF OF YOUR SLIDES !  You are talking to the people so look at them.

The presentation should be made in a formal, professional manner.

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Maintain good, erect posture
  • Refrain from informal speech patterns and actions.
  • Minimize unnecessary movements such as excessive walking, hand motions, etc.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets

Visual Aids

In general, all research presentations need some sort of visual aid.  This is most often done using PowerPoint. 

  • Graphs, tables, photographs etc. of data help the listener sort through the material. 
  • Complex methods can be presented clearly through visuals. 
  • A list of conclusion statements helps the listener focus on the final statement. 
  • A clearly stated research question when visually presented helps.  
  • Be sure that the visuals are not too complicated.  Include only the information you will be discussing.
  • Be sure the visual is large enough to be clearly seen by the listener.
  • Point to the visuals during the presentation
  • Leave the visual up long enough so that the listener can assimilate it.

Present Information Clearly

The information in a presentation should be organized logically and clearly in a way that the listener can understand and follow. 

  • Use of visuals helps here. 
  • Details should be included when they are important in reaching a particular conclusion.  They should be omitted when they get in the way of seeing a particular point. 
  • Remember: it is not what you say that is important, it is what the listener hears, understands, and takes with him/her that is important.

Subject Knowledge

The presenter should demonstrate that he/she understands the subject being presented.  This is done by:

  • presenting accurate information,
  • by responding to controversies in an appropriate way,
  • by answering reasonable questions from the audience.


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How to Give a Killer Presentation

  • Chris Anderson

guide to oral presentations

For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:

  • Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
  • Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
  • Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
  • Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
  • Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).

According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.

Lessons from TED

A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”

  • CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.

guide to oral presentations

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How to Do an Oral Presentation

Last Updated: April 15, 2024

This article was co-authored by Vikas Agrawal . Vikas Agrawal is a Visual Content Marketing Expert & Entrepreneur, as well as the Founder of Full Service Creative Agency Infobrandz. With over 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing visually engaging content, such as infographics, videos, and e-books. He’s an expert in Making content marketing strategies and has contributed to and been featured in many publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and INC.com. This article has been viewed 48,259 times.

The power of words can control the thoughts, emotions and the decisions of others. Giving an oral presentation can be a challenge, but with the right plan and delivery, you can move an entire audience in your favor.

Researching Your Presentation

Step 1 Determine your topic.

  • If speaking about the effect of junk food on an adult’s mind, include the increase of serotonin, a happiness hormone. Then inform the audience how fast the hormone drastically depletes to give out worse feelings. This gives the perspective that even the advantages of junk food are outweighed by the negative effects.

Step 4 Research, research, research.

Writing Your Script

Step 1 Write the body of your script.

  • Make sure to begin each argument with a clear description of the content such as. "The result of eating junk food has increased negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem". This gives the audience a quick outlook of what the argument is about. Always remember to state how the argument relates and supports the topic question.

Step 2 Start the introduction.

  • If necessary, this is where you could include, "My name is ___ and I will be speaking about the effect on junk food on our minds." Then you include a brief out view of each argument you will be speaking about. Do not include any information about your arguments in the introduction.

Step 3 Prepare a strong conclusion.

  • Some example concluding sentences include, "The entire process of the mind, changed by a simple bite of a cookie. Our entire body's control system, defined by our choices of food. The definite truth. You are what you eat."

Practicing and Performing

Step 1 Prepare your cue cards.

  • Taking the effort to memorize your script allows you to keep eye contact with the audience and brings confidence to your speech. Reading from an entire script can easily cause you to lose your place and stutter. Also make sure they are the same size and only put important key words or those that are hard to remember. This allows you to easily flip through and read off the cue cards.

Step 2 Use the aid of visual images or videos if allowed.

What Is The Best Way To Start a Presentation?

Expert Q&A

  • Research persuasive language techniques. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Watch online speeches to get an idea of how to tone your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Color code each sentence on your cue cards to never lose track. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

guide to oral presentations

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  • ↑ https://www.princeton.edu/~archss/webpdfs08/BaharMartonosi.pdf
  • ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/give-good-speech-presentations-college-1147.html

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
  • Group Presentations
  • Dealing with Nervousness
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  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
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  • Leading a Class Discussion
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Works
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  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Reflective Paper
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • Acknowledgments

In the social and behavioral sciences, an oral presentation assignment involves an individual student or group of students verbally addressing an audience on a specific research-based topic, often utilizing slides to help audience members understand and retain what they both see and hear. The purpose is to inform, report, and explain the significance of research findings, and your critical analysis of those findings, within a specific period of time, often in the form of a reasoned and persuasive argument. Oral presentations are assigned to assess a student’s ability to organize and communicate relevant information  effectively to a particular audience. Giving an oral presentation is considered an important learning skill because the ability to speak persuasively in front of an audience is transferable to most professional workplace settings.

Oral Presentations. Learning Co-Op. University of Wollongong, Australia; Oral Presentations. Undergraduate Research Office, Michigan State University; Oral Presentations. Presentations Research Guide, East Carolina University Libraries; Tsang, Art. “Enhancing Learners’ Awareness of Oral Presentation (Delivery) Skills in the Context of Self-regulated Learning.” Active Learning in Higher Education 21 (2020): 39-50.

Preparing for Your Oral Presentation

In some classes, writing the research paper is only part of what is required in reporting the results your work. Your professor may also require you to give an oral presentation about your study. Here are some things to think about before you are scheduled to give a presentation.

1.  What should I say?

If your professor hasn't explicitly stated what the content of your presentation should focus on, think about what you want to achieve and what you consider to be the most important things that members of the audience should know about your research. Think about the following: Do I want to inform my audience, inspire them to think about my research, or convince them of a particular point of view? These questions will help frame how to approach your presentation topic.

2.  Oral communication is different from written communication

Your audience has just one chance to hear your talk; they can't "re-read" your words if they get confused. Focus on being clear, particularly if the audience can't ask questions during the talk. There are two well-known ways to communicate your points effectively, often applied in combination. The first is the K.I.S.S. method [Keep It Simple Stupid]. Focus your presentation on getting two to three key points across. The second approach is to repeat key insights: tell them what you're going to tell them [forecast], tell them [explain], and then tell them what you just told them [summarize].

3.  Think about your audience

Yes, you want to demonstrate to your professor that you have conducted a good study. But professors often ask students to give an oral presentation to practice the art of communicating and to learn to speak clearly and audibly about yourself and your research. Questions to think about include: What background knowledge do they have about my topic? Does the audience have any particular interests? How am I going to involve them in my presentation?

4.  Create effective notes

If you don't have notes to refer to as you speak, you run the risk of forgetting something important. Also, having no notes increases the chance you'll lose your train of thought and begin relying on reading from the presentation slides. Think about the best ways to create notes that can be easily referred to as you speak. This is important! Nothing is more distracting to an audience than the speaker fumbling around with notes as they try to speak. It gives the impression of being disorganized and unprepared.

NOTE:   A good strategy is to have a page of notes for each slide so that the act of referring to a new page helps remind you to move to the next slide. This also creates a natural pause that allows your audience to contemplate what you just presented.

Strategies for creating effective notes for yourself include the following:

  • Choose a large, readable font [at least 18 point in Ariel ]; avoid using fancy text fonts or cursive text.
  • Use bold text, underlining, or different-colored text to highlight elements of your speech that you want to emphasize. Don't over do it, though. Only highlight the most important elements of your presentation.
  • Leave adequate space on your notes to jot down additional thoughts or observations before and during your presentation. This is also helpful when writing down your thoughts in response to a question or to remember a multi-part question [remember to have a pen with you when you give your presentation].
  • Place a cue in the text of your notes to indicate when to move to the next slide, to click on a link, or to take some other action, such as, linking to a video. If appropriate, include a cue in your notes if there is a point during your presentation when you want the audience to refer to a handout.
  • Spell out challenging words phonetically and practice saying them ahead of time. This is particularly important for accurately pronouncing people’s names, technical or scientific terminology, words in a foreign language, or any unfamiliar words.

Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kelly, Christine. Mastering the Art of Presenting. Inside Higher Education Career Advice; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th edition. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact . Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

Organizing the Content

In the process of organizing the content of your presentation, begin by thinking about what you want to achieve and how are you going to involve your audience in the presentation.

  • Brainstorm your topic and write a rough outline. Don’t get carried away—remember you have a limited amount of time for your presentation.
  • Organize your material and draft what you want to say [see below].
  • Summarize your draft into key points to write on your presentation slides and/or note cards and/or handout.
  • Prepare your visual aids.
  • Rehearse your presentation and practice getting the presentation completed within the time limit given by your professor. Ask a friend to listen and time you.


I.  Introduction [may be written last]

  • Capture your listeners’ attention . Begin with a question, an amusing story, a provocative statement, a personal story, or anything that will engage your audience and make them think. For example, "As a first-gen student, my hardest adjustment to college was the amount of papers I had to write...."
  • State your purpose . For example, "I’m going to talk about..."; "This morning I want to explain…."
  • Present an outline of your talk . For example, “I will concentrate on the following points: First of all…Then…This will lead to…And finally…"

II.  The Body

  • Present your main points one by one in a logical order .
  • Pause at the end of each point . Give people time to take notes, or time to think about what you are saying.
  • Make it clear when you move to another point . For example, “The next point is that...”; “Of course, we must not forget that...”; “However, it's important to realize that....”
  • Use clear examples to illustrate your points and/or key findings .
  • If appropriate, consider using visual aids to make your presentation more interesting [e.g., a map, chart, picture, link to a video, etc.].

III.  The Conclusion

  • Leave your audience with a clear summary of everything that you have covered.
  • Summarize the main points again . For example, use phrases like: "So, in conclusion..."; "To recap the main issues...," "In summary, it is important to realize...."
  • Restate the purpose of your talk, and say that you have achieved your aim : "My intention was ..., and it should now be clear that...."
  • Don't let the talk just fizzle out . Make it obvious that you have reached the end of the presentation.
  • Thank the audience, and invite questions : "Thank you. Are there any questions?"

NOTE: When asking your audience if anyone has any questions, give people time to contemplate what you have said and to formulate a question. It may seem like an awkward pause to wait ten seconds or so for someone to raise their hand, but it's frustrating to have a question come to mind but be cutoff because the presenter rushed to end the talk.

ANOTHER NOTE: If your last slide includes any contact information or other important information, leave it up long enough to ensure audience members have time to write the information down. Nothing is more frustrating to an audience member than wanting to jot something down, but the presenter closes the slides immediately after finishing.

Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact . Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

Delivering Your Presentation

When delivering your presentation, keep in mind the following points to help you remain focused and ensure that everything goes as planned.

Pay Attention to Language!

  • Keep it simple . The aim is to communicate, not to show off your vocabulary. Using complex words or phrases increases the chance of stumbling over a word and losing your train of thought.
  • Emphasize the key points . Make sure people realize which are the key points of your study. Repeat them using different phrasing to help the audience remember them.
  • Check the pronunciation of difficult, unusual, or foreign words beforehand . Keep it simple, but if you have to use unfamiliar words, write them out phonetically in your notes and practice saying them. This is particularly important when pronouncing proper names. Give the definition of words that are unusual or are being used in a particular context [e.g., "By using the term affective response, I am referring to..."].

Use Your Voice to Communicate Clearly

  • Speak loud enough for everyone in the room to hear you . Projecting your voice may feel uncomfortably loud at first, but if people can't hear you, they won't try to listen. However, moderate your voice if you are talking in front of a microphone.
  • Speak slowly and clearly . Don’t rush! Speaking fast makes it harder for people to understand you and signals being nervous.
  • Avoid the use of "fillers." Linguists refer to utterances such as um, ah, you know, and like as fillers. They occur most often during transitions from one idea to another and, if expressed too much, are distracting to an audience. The better you know your presentation, the better you can control these verbal tics.
  • Vary your voice quality . If you always use the same volume and pitch [for example, all loud, or all soft, or in a monotone] during your presentation, your audience will stop listening. Use a higher pitch and volume in your voice when you begin a new point or when emphasizing the transition to a new point.
  • Speakers with accents need to slow down [so do most others]. Non-native speakers often speak English faster than we slow-mouthed native speakers, usually because most non-English languages flow more quickly than English. Slowing down helps the audience to comprehend what you are saying.
  • Slow down for key points . These are also moments in your presentation to consider using body language, such as hand gestures or leaving the podium to point to a slide, to help emphasize key points.
  • Use pauses . Don't be afraid of short periods of silence. They give you a chance to gather your thoughts, and your audience an opportunity to think about what you've just said.

Also Use Your Body Language to Communicate!

  • Stand straight and comfortably . Do not slouch or shuffle about. If you appear bored or uninterested in what your talking about, the audience will emulate this as well. Wear something comfortable. This is not the time to wear an itchy wool sweater or new high heel shoes for the first time.
  • Hold your head up . Look around and make eye contact with people in the audience [or at least pretend to]. Do not just look at your professor or your notes the whole time! Looking up at your your audience brings them into the conversation. If you don't include the audience, they won't listen to you.
  • When you are talking to your friends, you naturally use your hands, your facial expression, and your body to add to your communication . Do it in your presentation as well. It will make things far more interesting for the audience.
  • Don't turn your back on the audience and don't fidget! Neither moving around nor standing still is wrong. Practice either to make yourself comfortable. Even when pointing to a slide, don't turn your back; stand at the side and turn your head towards the audience as you speak.
  • Keep your hands out of your pocket . This is a natural habit when speaking. One hand in your pocket gives the impression of being relaxed, but both hands in pockets looks too casual and should be avoided.

Interact with the Audience

  • Be aware of how your audience is reacting to your presentation . Are they interested or bored? If they look confused, stop and ask them [e.g., "Is anything I've covered so far unclear?"]. Stop and explain a point again if needed.
  • Check after highlighting key points to ask if the audience is still with you . "Does that make sense?"; "Is that clear?" Don't do this often during the presentation but, if the audience looks disengaged, interrupting your talk to ask a quick question can re-focus their attention even if no one answers.
  • Do not apologize for anything . If you believe something will be hard to read or understand, don't use it. If you apologize for feeling awkward and nervous, you'll only succeed in drawing attention to the fact you are feeling awkward and nervous and your audience will begin looking for this, rather than focusing on what you are saying.
  • Be open to questions . If someone asks a question in the middle of your talk, answer it. If it disrupts your train of thought momentarily, that's ok because your audience will understand. Questions show that the audience is listening with interest and, therefore, should not be regarded as an attack on you, but as a collaborative search for deeper understanding. However, don't engage in an extended conversation with an audience member or the rest of the audience will begin to feel left out. If an audience member persists, kindly tell them that the issue can be addressed after you've completed the rest of your presentation and note to them that their issue may be addressed later in your presentation [it may not be, but at least saying so allows you to move on].
  • Be ready to get the discussion going after your presentation . Professors often want a brief discussion to take place after a presentation. Just in case nobody has anything to say or no one asks any questions, be prepared to ask your audience some provocative questions or bring up key issues for discussion.

Amirian, Seyed Mohammad Reza and Elaheh Tavakoli. “Academic Oral Presentation Self-Efficacy: A Cross-Sectional Interdisciplinary Comparative Study.” Higher Education Research and Development 35 (December 2016): 1095-1110; Balistreri, William F. “Giving an Effective Presentation.” Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 35 (July 2002): 1-4; Creating and Using Overheads. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Enfield, N. J. How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation . New York: Basic Books, 2017; Giving an Oral Presentation. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra; Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015; Peery, Angela B. Creating Effective Presentations: Staff Development with Impact . Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2011; Peoples, Deborah Carter. Guidelines for Oral Presentations. Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries; Perret, Nellie. Oral Presentations. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Speeches. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Storz, Carl et al. Oral Presentation Skills. Institut national de télécommunications, EVRY FRANCE.

Speaking Tip

Your First Words are Your Most Important Words!

Your introduction should begin with something that grabs the attention of your audience, such as, an interesting statistic, a brief narrative or story, or a bold assertion, and then clearly tell the audience in a well-crafted sentence what you plan to accomplish in your presentation. Your introductory statement should be constructed so as to invite the audience to pay close attention to your message and to give the audience a clear sense of the direction in which you are about to take them.

Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking . 12th edition. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015.

Another Speaking Tip

Talk to Your Audience, Don't Read to Them!

A presentation is not the same as reading a prepared speech or essay. If you read your presentation as if it were an essay, your audience will probably understand very little about what you say and will lose their concentration quickly. Use notes, cue cards, or presentation slides as prompts that highlight key points, and speak to your audience . Include everyone by looking at them and maintaining regular eye-contact [but don't stare or glare at people]. Limit reading text to quotes or to specific points you want to emphasize.

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Oral presentation

Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully. Which tips do they follow? Which ones don’t they follow?


Watch the video of two students doing an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam. Then read the tips below.

Melissa: Hi, everyone! Today I would like to talk about how to become the most popular teen in school.

Firstly, I think getting good academic results is the first factor to make you become popular since, having a good academic result, your teacher will award you in front of your schoolmates. Then, your schoolmates will know who you are and maybe they would like to get to know you because they want to learn something good from you.

Secondly, I think participating in school clubs and student unions can help to make you become popular, since after participating in these school clubs or student union, people will know who you are and it can help you to make friends all around the school, no matter senior forms or junior forms.

In conclusion, I think to become the most popular teen in school we need to have good academic results and also participate in school clubs and student union. Thank you!

Kelvin: Good evening, everyone! So, today I want to talk about whether the sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.

As we all know, cigarettes are not good for our health, not only oneself but also other people around. Moreover, many people die of lung cancer every year because of smoking cigarettes.

But, should the government make it illegal? I don’t think so, because Hong Kong is a place where people can enjoy lots of freedom and if the government banned the sale of cigarettes, many people would disagree with this and stand up to fight for their freedom.

Moreover, Hong Kong is a free market. If there's such a huge government intervention, I think it’s not good for Hong Kong’s economy.

So, if the government wants people to stop smoking cigarettes, what should it do? I think the government can use other administrative ways to do so, for example education and increasing the tax on cigarettes. Also, the government can ban the smokers smoking in public areas. So, this is the end of my presentation. Thank you.

It’s not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations.

  • Use the planning time to prepare what you’re going to say. 
  • If you are allowed to have a note card, write short notes in point form.
  • Use more formal language.
  • Use short, simple sentences to express your ideas clearly.
  • Pause from time to time and don’t speak too quickly. This allows the listener to understand your ideas. Include a short pause after each idea.
  • Speak clearly and at the right volume.
  • Have your notes ready in case you forget anything.
  • Practise your presentation. If possible record yourself and listen to your presentation. If you can’t record yourself, ask a friend to listen to you. Does your friend understand you?
  • Make your opinions very clear. Use expressions to give your opinion .
  • Look at the people who are listening to you.
  • Write out the whole presentation and learn every word by heart. 
  • Write out the whole presentation and read it aloud.
  • Use very informal language.
  • Only look at your note card. It’s important to look up at your listeners when you are speaking.

Useful language for presentations

Explain what your presentation is about at the beginning:

I’m going to talk about ... I’d like to talk about ... The main focus of this presentation is ...

Use these expressions to order your ideas:

First of all, ... Firstly, ... Then, ... Secondly, ... Next, ... Finally, ... Lastly, ... To sum up, ... In conclusion, ...

Use these expressions to add more ideas from the same point of view:

In addition, ... What’s more, ... Also, ... Added to this, ...

To introduce the opposite point of view you can use these words and expressions:

However, ... On the other hand, ... Then again, ...

Example presentation topics

  • Violent computer games should be banned.
  • The sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
  • Homework should be limited to just two nights a week.
  • Should school students be required to wear a school uniform?
  • How to become the most popular teen in school.
  • Dogs should be banned from cities.

Check your language: ordering - parts of a presentation

Check your understanding: grouping - useful phrases, worksheets and downloads.

Do you think these tips will help you in your next speaking exam? Remember to tell us how well you do in future speaking exams!  

guide to oral presentations

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A guide to oral presentation skills

  • Related content
  • Peer review
  • Arun Natarajan , clinical research associate (cardiology) 1 ,
  • John A Kirby , professor of immunobiolog 2
  • 1 University of Newcastle and Freeman Hospital
  • 2 Department of Surgery, Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Arun Natarajan and John A Kirby provide practical advice on how to make the most out of your oral presentation

Oral presentations form an integral part of a trainee doctor's work life. However small it may be, speaking to anaudience can be a daunting task, especially for beginners.

Body language - Be confident. You can get away with blunders if you are supremely confident. Do not hide behind your pulpit, but confront your audience instead. Be enthusiastic, and smile where appropriate. If you are not enthusiastic about your own presentation you cannot expect your audience to be. Dressing smartly and appropriately helps to impress even more. Hand gestures can be used to emphasise an interesting point, but do not overuse them. Use laser pointers freely, and if the little red dot on the screen gets shaky, use both hands to grip the pointer.

Vocalisation - Talk loudly, clearly, and, most importantly, slowly. Keep the talking terse and focused. Remember, a good proportion of the audience may not be native English speakers, and many may not be particularly knowledgeable about your field. Rather than talking in a constant drone, try to pause between sentences and emphasise punctuations and important points. This helps the audience to understand you better. Do not read the slides! Learn at least the first two sentences of your talk. Link one slide to the next in order to maintain continuity. It is useful to hint at the next slide before revealing it, inducing an air of expectation. If using abbreviations, use only the standard ones. Avoid complex sentences and personal remarks.

Types of oral presentations

Audit presentation

Case presentations

Conference presentations of varying length

To disseminate new findings

To increase people's awareness

To enhance your CV

Modes of presentations

Overhead projectors with slides or acetates

Preparing the slides

The slides are the backbone of your presentation. Therefore, you must put your utmost care and judgement into their preparation. PowerPoint is now used almost ubiquitously; as such, it would be a good idea to formally learn its various applications. You will be amazed at what you can do with it. Alternatively, playing around a bit will help you discover its numerous possibilities.

Visual impact - The most important aspect is to keep the slides simple. Minimise any animation and avoid flashy gimmicks. Standardise background colours and fonts on all slides. Aim to maximise contrast by using a dark background with light coloured text. The most popular combination is white or yellow text on a dark blue background. Be careful about usage of colour since a part of the audience can have varying degrees of red-green colour blindness. Use a good number of images and tables. They are often easier to understand than text. Most graphs and pictures can be “copy-pasted” from various sources and formatted on power point.

Text - Refrain from making cluttered slides; be prepared to speak more than write. Remember, the audience cannot both listen and read at the same time. Using bullet points improves readability, but do not use more than five per slide. Universal and Arial are the most popular fonts. Use at least a 36 point font for titles and 28 for body text. Using the master slide at the beginning to standardise your font sizes saves you work.

Manage your presentation - Time your presentation; allow 40 seconds to one minute per slide. If you need to highlight or label things, use text boxes and arrows. Do not forget to enable the slide or paragraph transition with the mouse click, as in many conferences a mouse is all you will have. Use the slide sorter in the end to adjust the order of slides and also to “hide” any during the presentation. Don't forget to compress image files, as there is no point in saving at a higher resolution than you can project; this saves you disk space.

Specific presentations

Case presentations-This is the kind of presentation that everyone is likely to make during their early days as doctors. The case must ideally be a rare presentation of a common problem or a rare condition. Make sure you get plenty of practice, especially before grand-round presentations. Read up the relevant literature beforehand. Go through the case notes and lab reports thoroughly and present a summary only. Have x rays, scans, etc to hand. Anticipate and prepare yourself for possible questions. Most importantly, get the audience involved-when you come across interesting findings, stop and ask the audience what the diagnosis might be or what will happen next. Interactive presentations are always more interesting. Be honest about any mistakes that you or your team might have made when dealing with the case. Finish with a positive “take home” message.

Teaching - This can take the shape of a journal club, where a recent paper is discussed, a clinical topic, or even a case presentation. Journal clubs usually involve discussing an important clinical trial among junior doctors and colleagues at departmental meetings. The study design, methodology, results, and clinical implications are all commented on, and it would be prudent to discuss the paper beforehand with a senior registrar or consultant If talking about clinical topics, organise the presentation into aetiology, symptoms and signs, diagnosis, and treatment. It would also be useful to cite a recent case as an example.

Audit presentation - Audit presentations disseminate findings of audits, which were designed to identify deficiencies in practice regarding a particular field and ultimately improve them. As such, the presentation must begin by stating why the audit was undertaken, current evidence based standards, findings of the initial audit, recommendations made, and the re-audit, demonstrating improvement in practice.

Abstract presentations - An abstract presentation is a formal, short, scientific talk, where PowerPoint is almost always used. It summarises one's research study and usually lasts between five and 20 minutes depending on the conference. This is always followed by an allocated time slot for questions, so be prepared! The presentation should be crisp, clear, and strictly conform to the time limit. Speakers may be stopped midway through their talk for overshooting the time limit. Never attempt to extemporise in these sessions. Write your talk word by word, at least three to four weeks in advance, and practise thoroughly. It's not improper to have a printed version of your talk to hand on stage. It would be helpful to practise the talk in the presence of your supervisor or other senior staff in the department (ideally in a large lecture theatre). This will help overcome the fear of the stage and also elicit questions and useful criticisms. It is best to spot the bugs early and on home ground.

The background must be brief and focused. Quote only vital references. Describe the key methods by only using images. Results are best displayed as tables and graphs, since you can take your audience through them. Emphasise the positive (or negative) outcome in your discussion. Do not forget to add a few words about the limitations of your study. Conclude by commenting on the practical implications of your study and future prospects.

Speak slowly and clearly

Rehearse your talk to perfection

Keep the talk terse and focused

Be enthusiastic

Anticipate and prepare for questions

Learn how to make the most of PowerPoint

Keep the slides simple

Include plenty of images

Stick to the time limit

Give a final “take home” message

Major don'ts

Don't extemporise

Don't read the slides

Don't use complex jargon or abbreviations

Don't make busy slides

Don't use small or decorative fonts

Don't overanimate the slides


Speaking to an audience can be a dauntinf task, especially for beginners

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Originally published as: Student BMJ 2005;13:376

guide to oral presentations

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How to deliver an oral presentation

Georgina wellstead.

a Lister Hospital, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Katharine Whitehurst

b Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

Buket Gundogan

c University College London

d Guy's St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Delivering an oral presentation in conferences and meetings can seem daunting. However, if delivered effectively, it can be an invaluable opportunity to showcase your work in front of peers as well as receive feedback on your project. In this “How to” article, we demonstrate how one can plan and successfully deliver an engaging oral presentation.

Giving an oral presentation at a scientific conference is an almost inevitable task at some point during your medical career. The prospect of presenting your original work to colleagues and peers, however, may be intimidating, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that although daunting, an oral presentation is one of the best ways to get your work out there, and so should be looked upon as an exciting and invaluable opportunity.

Slide content

Although things may vary slightly depending on the type of research you are presenting, the typical structure is as follows:

  • Opening slide (title of study, authors, institutions, and date)
  • Methodology
  • Discussion (including strengths and weaknesses of the study)


Picking out only the most important findings to include in your presentation is key and will keep it concise and easy to follow. This in turn will keep your viewers engaged, and more likely to understand and remember your presentation.

Psychological analysis of PowerPoint presentations, finds that 8 psychological principles are often violated 1 . One of these was the limited capacity of working memory, which can hold 4 units of information at any 1 time in most circumstances. Hence, too many points or concepts on a slide could be detrimental to the presenter’s desire to give information.

You can also help keep your audience engaged with images, which you can talk around, rather than lots of text. Video can also be useful, for example, a surgical procedure. However, be warned that IT can let you down when you need it most and you need to have a backup plan if the video fails. It’s worth coming to the venue early and testing it and resolving issues beforehand with the AV support staff if speaking at a conference.

Slide design and layout

It is important not to clutter your slides with too much text or too many pictures. An easy way to do this is by using the 5×5 rule. This means using no more than 5 bullet points per slide, with no more than 5 words per bullet point. It is also good to break up the text-heavy slides with ones including diagrams or graphs. This can also help to convey your results in a more visual and easy-to-understand way.

It is best to keep the slide design simple, as busy backgrounds and loud color schemes are distracting. Ensure that you use a uniform font and stick to the same color scheme throughout. As a general rule, a light-colored background with dark-colored text is easier to read than light-colored text on a dark-colored background. If you can use an image instead of text, this is even better.

A systematic review study of expert opinion papers demonstrates several key recommendations on how to effectively deliver medical research presentations 2 . These include:

  • Keeping your slides simple
  • Knowing your audience (pitching to the right level)
  • Making eye contact
  • Rehearsing the presentation
  • Do not read from the slides
  • Limiting the number of lines per slide
  • Sticking to the allotted time

You should practice your presentation before the conference, making sure that you stick to the allocated time given to you. Oral presentations are usually short (around 8–10 min maximum), and it is, therefore, easy to go under or over time if you have not rehearsed. Aiming to spend around 1 minute per slide is usually a good guide. It is useful to present to your colleagues and seniors, allowing them to ask you questions afterwards so that you can be prepared for the sort of questions you may get asked at the conference. Knowing your research inside out and reading around the subject is advisable, as there may be experts watching you at the conference with more challenging questions! Make sure you re-read your paper the day before, or on the day of the conference to refresh your memory.

It is useful to bring along handouts of your presentation for those who may be interested. Rather than printing out miniature versions of your power point slides, it is better to condense your findings into a brief word document. Not only will this be easier to read, but you will also save a lot of paper by doing this!

Delivering the presentation

Having rehearsed your presentation beforehand, the most important thing to do when you get to the conference is to keep calm and be confident. Remember that you know your own research better than anyone else in the room! Be sure to take some deep breaths and speak at an appropriate pace and volume, making good eye contact with your viewers. If there is a microphone, don’t keep turning away from it as the audience will get frustrated if your voice keeps cutting in and out. Gesturing and using pointers when appropriate can be a really useful tool, and will enable you to emphasize your important findings.

Presenting tips

  • Do not hide behind the computer. Come out to the center or side and present there.
  • Maintain eye contact with the audience, especially the judges.
  • Remember to pause every so often.
  • Don’t clutter your presentation with verbal noise such as “umm,” “like,” or “so.” You will look more slick if you avoid this.
  • Rhetorical questions once in a while can be useful in maintaining the audience’s attention.

When reaching the end of your presentation, you should slow down in order to clearly convey your key points. Using phases such as “in summary” and “to conclude” often prompts those who have drifted off slightly during your presentation start paying attention again, so it is a critical time to make sure that your work is understood and remembered. Leaving up your conclusions/summary slide for a short while after stopping speaking will give the audience time to digest the information. Conclude by acknowledging any fellow authors or assistants before thanking the audience for their attention and inviting any questions (as long as you have left sufficient time).

If asked a question, firstly thank the audience member, then repeat what they have asked to the rest of the listeners in case they didn’t hear the first time. Keep your answers short and succinct, and if unsure say that the questioner has raised a good point and that you will have to look into it further. Having someone else in the audience write down the question is useful for this.

The key points to remember when preparing for an oral presentation are:

  • Keep your slides simple and concise using the 5×5 rule and images.
  • When appropriate; rehearse timings; prepare answers to questions; speak slowly and use gestures/ pointers where appropriate; make eye contact with the audience; emphasize your key points at the end; make acknowledgments and thank the audience; invite questions and be confident but not arrogant.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the content of this report.

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Published online 8 June 2017

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1. What is an Oral Presentation? 2. What are you expected to cover? (Oral Presentation Criteria) 3. Choosing your Topic 4. Choosing your Contention 5. Writing your Speech 6. Presenting your Speech 7. Writing the Written Explanation 8. Resources to help you prepare for your Oral Presentation

What is an Oral Presentation?

For many VCE English students, the oral presentation is the scariest part of the course; it’s often also the first.

Doing a speech can indeed be daunting— you’re marked in real time, you can’t go back and edit mistakes, and the writing part itself is only half the battle. Nonetheless, the Oral SAC can also be one of the more dynamic and engaging tasks you complete in VCE English, and there’s plenty of ways to make it more interesting and also more manageable for yourself.

Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of what you need to know to succeed in your Oral Presentation. We’ve got you covered- from choosing your topic and contention, to writing and presenting your Speech.

We’ll also be suggesting useful resources, Study Guides and YouTube videos that will provide more detailed information and give you more confidence. Let’s get into it!

What are you expected to cover in an Oral Presentation? (Oral Presentation Rubric)

1. Your Oral Presentation SAC has two components. The first is the Oral Presentation itself (“a point of view presented in oral form”), and the second is a Written Explanation, also known as a Statement of Intention.

2. Your selected topic needs to be an issue that has appeared in the media since 1 September of the previous year

3. Your aim for this entire Oral Presentation SAC is to persuade your audience to agree with your contention (whatever that may be) based off the issue you’ve selected.

Here’s the raw version of VCAA’s expectations from you, taken from the VCAA website :

guide to oral presentations

How to choose your Oral Presentation topic

1. select a topic that has appeared in the media since 1 september of the previous year.

This can be time consuming and tricky, especially if you want to choose something a bit more original or fresh.

Firstly, you need an event.  An event in the VCE English context is anything that happens which also generates opinionated media coverage—so, it’s not just an event but it has to be an event that people have published opinions about, and they have to have been published since September 1.

You might wonder why we don’t go to the issue straight away. Here’s a hypothetical to illustrate: if you asked me to name an issue, the best I could probably come up with off the top of my head is climate change. However, if you asked me to name an event, I’d pretty easily recall the Australian bushfires—something much more concrete which a) has generated specific and passionate opinions in the media; and b) can easily be linked to a wider issue such as climate change.

The ABC news archive is also really helpful for finding events since you can pick dates or periods of time and see a good mix of news events from then. Otherwise, Wikipedia has helpful pages of  events that happened in specific years in specific countries, so “2023 in Australia” might well be a starting point. 

When you have your event, you can then look for an issue. This will be a specific debate that comes out of the event, and can usually be framed as a “whether-or-not” question. The bushfires, for example, might generate debate around whether or not the Australian government is doing enough to combat climate change, whether or not Scott Morrison has fulfilled his duties as Prime Minister.

Most importantly, choose an issue from an event that’s interesting and important to you. After all, you’re going to be spending the time researching, writing and presenting!

2. Filter out the boring events/issues

Understand who your audience is.

Once you know who your audience is, ask yourself: Does this event and issue relate to my audience?

This question matters because “your aim of this entire Oral Presentation SAC is to persuade your audience to agree with your contention (whatever that may be) based off the issue you’ve selected.” This means that what you say to your audience and how they respond to your speech matters.

Even if your assessor isn’t counting exactly how many people are still listening to your speech at the end, everyone knows a powerful speech when they’re in the presence of one - it hooks the audience from start to end - and an assessor, consciously or subconsciously, cannot deny that the collective attentiveness of the room has an influence on their marking of your Oral Presentation.

That’s why you should choose a topic that your audience can relate to. Also, avoid topics that have too many unfamiliar words, because as soon as there’s something they don’t understand, it becomes much harder for them to follow your speech.

Now you may be asking yourself; what is the best topic for oral presentation?

Here are some example topics from previous years to give you inspiration:

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2014

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2015

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2016

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2017

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2018

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2019

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2020

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2021

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2022

VCE English Oral Presentation Topics 2023

For more detailed information on choosing a topic, read my blog Choosing a WOW topic for your VCE Oral Presentation ‍

How to choose your oral presentation contention

Once you've chosen an interesting topic and have researched all of its different viewpoints, it's time to formulate your contention.

Often, creating a killer contention is about avoiding some common traps that will make your overall presentation boring, bland and just like the rest of your cohorts'.

So, there are three things I like to AVOID:

1. Broad, Overarching statements

2. A Contention That Is Just Plain Obvious

3. Avoid A Contention That Is Generally Accepted As True In Today’s Age

For more information on writing a contention, read my blog Creating a Killer Contention for your Oral Presentation ‍

How to write your speech 

1. Have a CAPTIVATING introduction sentence; use a short, clear and powerful sentence.

2. RELATE to your audience so that it keeps them interested so they actually WANT to listen.

3. If you are taking on a persona, firstly study and UNDERSTAND your character.

4. Don’t forget your persuasive techniques. I usually use repetition in conjunction with the ‘rule of three’.

5. Remember that you are writing a SPEECH, not an essay. Instil your oral with emotion, varied tone and sentence lengths.

In fact, I've talked about a few of these in a 'Must Dos and Don'ts' video. If you haven't seen it yet, watch below before you read on.

4 tips on presenting your Speech

1. Body Language

Confidence is key. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and, more importantly don’t move your legs. Especially if you’re nervous, swaying or shuffling will be noticeable and make you appear more nervous—when you practise, pay attention to the lower half of your body and train it to stay still if possible.

That being said, do use your arms for gestures. Those are more natural and will help engage the audience, though don’t overdo it either—usually, holding cue cards in one hand frees up the other but also stops you from going overboard.

2. Eye contact

Cue cards brings up another important consideration- eye contact. Hold cue cards in one hand as high as you can without it feeling uncomfortable. This means you don’t have to take your eyes away from the audience for too long or too noticeably to check your notes.

Eye contact increases your engagement with the audience. It also gives the impression of confidence and that you’ve been practicing and know your speech inside and out!

3. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

In a best case scenario, you won’t need to rely on your cue cards as you will have your speech basically memorised! Read your speech aloud and pretend that you’re actually delivering your speech. This means:

- Looking up ahead

- Holding the cue cards in the right spot; and

- Not just reading the words, but speaking as if to an audience

 It’s extremely helpful to also practice your speech to an actual audience! Practice in front of your family and friends. An alternative is to put a sticker next to your camera and record yourself. The sticker will help indicate where you should create eye contact. Look back at the video and give yourself some feedback, you might be surprised at your presentation!

4. Tone variation

Tone variation involves emphasising certain words, using pauses or slowing down for effect, or modifying volume. Incorporating some of these elements- even writing them into your notes by bolding/italicising/underlining will help you break out of monotony and make the speech more engaging.

Be sure to emphasise emotive language and any evidence you might use to illustrate your arguments. Most importantly, don’t speak too quickly!

5 things to keep in mind while writing the written explanation

For oral presentation based written explanations, the VCAA study design requests students write...

"A written statement of intention to accompany the student’s own oral presentation, articulating the intention of decisions made in the planning process, and how these demonstrate understanding of argument and persuasive language."

Using the topic, 'Why we need to stop crying 'cultural appropriation' when cultural exchange is far more important, ‘let’s see how this can be done with FLAPC with some examples below:

2. Language

3. Audience

For more information on writing a Written Explanation and a sample FLAPC compiled and rearranged for flow and fluency, read my blog How to Write a Stellar Written Explanation (Statement of Intention) .

Resources to help you prepare for your Oral Presentation

Doing this study all by yourself can be rather daunting, so we've got your back. We specialise in supporting VCE English by creating helpful videos, study guides and eBooks. Here are some just to get your started:

guide to oral presentations

‍ A Three Part Guide to Nailing Your Oral Presentation

Advice for A+ Oral Presentations

How I Got A+ in My Oral Presentation | Live QnA With Lisa Tran

How To 'Overcome' Your Fear of Public Speaking

Oral Presentations | How To Do Speeches

5 Common Oral Presentation Mistakes

Our How to Write a Killer Oral Presentation Study Guide has all the information you need to succeed in your Oral Presentations. Sample A+ essays and written explanations are also included!

Get our FREE VCE English Text Response mini-guide

Now quite sure how to nail your text response essays? Then download our free mini-guide, where we break down the art of writing the perfect text-response essay into three comprehensive steps. Click below to get your own copy today!

guide to oral presentations

Access a FREE sample of our How To Write A Killer Oral Presentation study guide

Written by Lisa Tran, who achieved FULL marks in her Oral Presentation:

  • How to choose, plan and write your oral presentation and written explanation
  • A simple, persuasive speech structure that will blow your audience away
  • All essays FULLY annotated so you know exactly what you need to do and what not to do

guide to oral presentations

Don't forget to also check out Our Ultimate Guide to Oral Presentations for everything you need to know for Oral Presentations.

Welcome to 2014! As many of you will already be in your second or third week of schooling, it’s likely that you’re getting plenty of workload from across your subjects. Some of you may very well be preparing for your oral presentation SAC that’s coming up very soon! If that is the case, I’ve collated a list of some popular topics that have cropped up in the Australian media since September last year. The list is intended to help you brainstorm different issues you may wish to debate in your speech, with the contention left for you to decide once you have researched enough on the topic! Check it out below:

  • Treatment of asylum seekers 
  • Processing of asylum seekers
  • ‘One punch law’
  • Street violence
  • Should mathematics be compulsory in schools?
  • Shark culling in South Australia
  • The end of car manufacturing in Australia
  • Sex education and homosexuality
  • Work-for-the-dole scheme
  • Needle vending machines
  • East-West tunnel
  • Cory Bernadi’s book – The Conservative Revolution (Abortion)
  • Should we smack our children?
  • The Indigenous employment gap
  • Tecoma McDonalds
  • Sexism in the media
  • Animal cruelty
  • Treatment of fare evaders
  • Wearing the hijab in schools
  • Childcare wages
  • Should the government fund private schools?
  • See  Oral Presentation Issues in 2013  for other ongoing issues

Since September 2015, the current affairs has been raging with numerous controversial topics - perfect for your oral presentation! Here are some of the more interesting issues that would be a good starting point for your oral. Remember to offer an interesting and unique argument, even if it may mean adopting the unconventional or unpopular point of view on the issue!

Oral presentation topics 2016

1. Should we have 24 hour public transport on weekends?

2. Gender selective abortion in Australia

3. Should the driving age in Australia be lowered?

4. Cricket star Chris Gayle’s treatment of journalist Mel McLaughlin

5. Should children be vaccinated?

6. Should the voting age in Australia be lowered to 16 years?

7. Should singer Chris Brown be denied entry to Australia?

8. Cultural appropriation in Australia

9. Should an Australian Prime Ministers be removed from office without a general election?

10. Should Australia be a republic?

11. Should the Australian flag be changed?

12. Is Australia Day racist against Indigenous Australians?

13. Adam Goodes booing: Are AFL football crowds racist?

14. Australian of the Year - Rosie Batty: Victim blaming

15. Should UBER be made legal in Australia?

16. Should baby formula be limited in sales?

17. Should greyhound racing be banned in Australia?

18. Is Australia’s border security policy justified?

19. Should Australian Open arenas have sports betting advertising?

20. See more Oral Presentation Topics 2017, click here .

The following is a snippet from my study guide, How To Write A Killer Oral Presentation . It's filled with unique advice that takes you from start to finish in mimicking the techniques used by a perfect-scorer VCE Year 12 student. You may want to start off reading Our Ultimate Guide to Oral Presentations and come back to this blog if you haven't already!

This blog covers the first step within Pillar 2: Writing The ‘This Is-Going-To-Blow-You-Away’ Speech. Once you've chosen an interesting topic and have researched all of its different viewpoints, it's time to formulate your contention. Often, creating a killer contention is about avoiding some common traps that will make your overall presentation boring, bland and just like the rest of your cohorts'.

So, I like to avoid: ‍

Broad, overarching statements

If you think your contention is, ‘abortion in Australia’ then you’re wrong. This is simply not a contention! A contention is an opinion. The example, ‘abortion in Australia’ offers no insight into your opinion on the issue at all. Instead, ‘We need to consider women’s mental health when judging their decision on abortion’ is an opinion. ‍

A contention that is just plain obvious

Let’s say we use the issue of ‘homelessness in Australia’. Arguing ‘homelessness in Australia is a problem’ or ‘we need to fix the homelessness issue in Australia’ just isn’t going to cut it because you’d never argue the opposite, ‘homelessness is great’. There are no differing viewpoints against your contention which means that you have nothing to argue against.

You need to be more specific with your issue - that’s why you looked up all those viewpoints in your research. For example, you could contend, ‘We need to fix the problems in homes in order to fix Australia’s homeless issue.’ This does has varied viewpoints because someone else’s solution could be to give homeless people greater access to help.

TEST: Before you move on to writing structure, ask yourself, can people argue against my contention? If yes, proceed ahead! If no, you’ll need to revise your contention again. Do this over and over until you can confidently answer ‘yes’ to the above question.

Avoid a contention that is generally accepted as true in today’s age ‍

When climate change first came onto the radar, the main debate was whether it was a real or a conspiracy theory. These discussions were in full force over 5+ years ago. These days (with the exception of climate change skeptics of course), discussion on climate change revolves more heavily around the slow pace of policy implementation, intergenerational effects of climate change, and mental health surrounding climate change.

Rather than arguing, ‘Climate change is real?’ (which your teacher has probably listened to a dozen times), you’re better suited to argue ‘Young people, not governments, should lead the fight against climate change’. Not only does this tie into the LSG belief that you should be more specific with your issue, it’ll also mean that your contention is relevant to today.

Now it's your turn. Give it a go! You might need to take a few tries to get your contention right, and that's absolutely OK.

If even after that you’re still unsure about your contention, make it a priority to speak to your teacher about it. Ask them if they could review your proposed contention and offer you any constructive feedback. Heck, even if you are confident with your contention, I’d ask your teacher anyway for any insight you mightn’t have thought of.

Wondering where to go from here? Well, luckily, my eBook, How To Write A Killer Oral Presentation, details my exact step-by-step process so you can get that A+ in your SAC this year.

guide to oral presentations

  • Access a step-by-step guide on how to write your Oral Presentation with simple, easy-to-follow advice
  • Read and analyse sample A+ Oral Presentations with EVERY speech annotated and broken down on HOW and WHY students achieved A+ so you reach your goal
  • Learn how to stand out from other students with advice on your speech delivery

Sounds like something that'd help you? I think so too! Access the full eBook by clicking here !

There are a plethora of controversial issues in the current Australian media that may be perfect for your 2017 oral presentation! Below are just a few ideas to get you started on your way towards acing that SAC. Remember, pick a topic that you’re passionate and enthusiastic about. Don’t forget that there is no ‘right’ opinion, however, make sure you offer a distinctive argument, even if it means adopting an alternative point of view. Good luck!

guide to oral presentations

  • Should the Australian Government ban the wearing of the burka in public?
  • Should the homeless be banned from Melbourne’s CBD? (Robert Doyle proposal)
  • Should the Australia Government continue to fund the Safe Schools Coalition?
  • Should gay marriage be legalised in Australia?
  • Should the date of Australia Day be replaced/changed?
  • Treatment of asylum seekers in detention centres (especially women and children)
  • Is enough action being taken to diminish the sugar industry propaganda to minimise obesity?
  • Should on – site pill testing be mandatory at all public events?
  • Cultural insensitivity in Australia
  • Is the development of technology and social media encouraging narcissism in young adults?
  • Victoria’s legal system
  • Stem cell research
  • Is the development of technology and social media encouraging the sexualisation of boys and girls?
  • Drug testing and drug control in Australia (Bourke Street attack)
  • Fake news being published by researchers to the media
  • Should Victoria’s juvenile justice system be improved by the Government?
  • Do students learn as effectively with ebooks compared with traditional, hardcopy books?
  • Should security footage of detention centres be released?
  • Is Australia becoming an alcohol and sugar driven society?
  • Has the notion of privacy been compromised in the 21st century? (internet, technology, terrorism)

Before you start writing your oral presentation, you can't miss our A+ tips that have helped hundreds of students get perfect marks in their SAC. Stand out from others with confidence now .

guide to oral presentations

Here are over 20 Oral Presentation Ideas for you if you're presenting a speech on Australian issues in the media.

  • Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples?
  • Should businesses be required to have a sex quota?
  • Should political parties be required to run a certain percentage of women candidates?
  • Gender workplace diversity
  • Treatment of refugees on Manus Island
  • Should there be a temporary ban on all immigration into Australia?
  • MP citizenship
  • Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency?
  • Homelessness in Australia
  • Obesity in Australia
  • Sexual harassment in the TV/movie/hollywood industry
  • Should gender identity be added to anti-discrimination laws?
  • Should universities provide ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces’ for students?
  • Should workplaces provide ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces’ for staff?
  • Informed consent with online data
  • Religious freedom
  • Same sex marriage freedom
  • Adani coalmine
  • Political donations
  • Penalty rates in Australia
  • Wage theft in Australia
  • Indigenous recognition in the constitution
  • Should we invest in public interest journalism?

See last year's Oral Presentation Ideas here . You might also be interested in Advice for A+ oral presentations here too! Best of luck!

Most people only think about EXECUTING their essay - the writing. Whether that be essay structure, memorising quotes or how to avoid repeating yourself in the dreaded conclusion. However, my strategy places emphasis on the THINK. 

THINK is the brainstorm, exploration, and development of ideas. Get this right, and you'll come up with ideas and a response that pushes you ahead of your peers. The EXECUTION comes next, only strengthening your lead to the finish line.

So what does THINK actually involve? 🤔

You need to consider aspects of an essay topic that most students gloss over, including:

💭What's the essay topic type ?

Knowing the essay topic type will change your essay structure. While you might wish for a one-size-fits-all essay structure, this is a limited viewpoint that stops you from reaching your potential. Different essay types include:

  • Theme-based prompts
  • Character-based prompts
  • Author's message-based prompts
  • Metalanguage-based prompts

By understand what's required in each one of these essay topic types, you'll have a template you can follow to ensure that you answer the prompt (no more complaints from your teacher complaining that you're going off topic!).

💭 What are the question tags ?

Never heard of this term previously? That's because majority of teachers don't teach you to change your Text Response according to the question tag. A ' do you agree?' essay topic expects a different response from a 'discuss' essay topic.

💭 How do I ensure I respond to each keyword ?

This is important so you don't go off topic (we've all at least experienced this once in our high school writing careers 😥). Sometimes, one missed keyword is all it takes to derail your entire essay. No matter how well you've written your essay, an essay that doesn't answer the prompt won't fare well.

For example, have a think about which keywords can be found in this essay topic "Jeff's attempt to pursue justice are entirely without honour. To what extent is this true?".

For me, the keywords include:

- 'Attempt'

- 'Pursue justice'

- 'Entirely'

- 'Honour'

- 'To what extent is this true?'

Even though I've labelled almost every word in the essay topic, individually, each of these keywords will shape my response. Majority of students will pick up the necessity to discuss the keyword 'entirely' in their essays. They will potentially argue that Jeff's attempt isn't entirely without honour, and mention instances where honour was shown. However, a less obvious keyword that needs further exploration is 'justice'. Most students will take this word for granted, and won't really explore what the word 'justice' means in this sentence. A more advanced student will understand that 'justice' in this essay topic is viewed from Jeff's perspective, meaning that what Jeff deems to be 'justice', might not be the same 'justice' for a viewer. These are the nuances in an essay topic that I'd like you to be very confident in.

Knowing how to THINK will ensure that you EXECUTE your essay writing most effectively, optimising your potential to nail that A+. If I went from average to consistent A+s in Year 11 and Year 12, I have no doubt you can do it too. That's why I created the How To Write a Killer Text Response ebook.

I know that you are probably like I was, searching for a clear, simple way to get better at English without just relying on my teacher (despite the fact that I had a great teacher!). I've compiled my 10 years of tutoring English, refining this strategy year after year. With this knowledge, many of my students achieved a study score they thought was impossible (one student Ruby, wanted a study score of 30 to get into her university course, and ultimately achieved a 40 study score! WOW! 😮).

If you're interested, How To Write a Killer Text Response ebook shows you the inner workings of my brain 💭- what I think when I see an essay topic, how I tackle it, and how I turn these thoughts into a high-scoring essay. The ebook includes:

guide to oral presentations

‍ - 50-pages teaching you how to respond to ANY essay topic

- Examples from 15+ popular VCE English texts

- Know exactly what to  THINK  about so you can formulate the best possible essay response

- Plus a bonus 20-pages of high vs low scoring essays , fully annotated (what works and what doesn't) so you know exactly what you need to do and what not to do

Click here to access the FULL version now!

For a detailed guide on Language Analysis, what you're expected to cover, how to prepare for your SAC and Exam and more, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Language Analysis .

‍ [Modified Video Transcription]

Today we're going to go through the 2019 past VCAA English Exam ( grab a copy of the exam here so you can analyse with me). As you probably know, if you've watched my videos before, you always want to make sure you read the background information when it comes to Analysing Argument. 

I'm going to use Analysing Argument and Language Analysis interchangeably by the way, but I'm talking about the same thing okay? 

Background Information

The background information is pretty important because it gives you context for what is happening in this article. Without reading the background information, you might just head in there and possibly even come up with an entirely different context altogether, which might screw over your actual analysis and the author's intention. So, never skip the background information. Make sure that you read it and also pick out the gems that you find in it. 

What I've always found is background information is great for picking keywords - words I might want to use throughout my own Language Analysis. It also has really good details about the article. In this case, you can see that there's a member of the public who has responded, which tells us a little bit about the author; it's a 'response' as well, so there's going to be two articles; it's an advertorial - an advertorial is a paid advertisement that looks like an article (I'll use the word advertorial as I'm describing the article in my introduction), and, I also know where it's been published. This is already really good information for you to start using in your introduction. 

Finding Your Own Interpretation

Let's move into the analysis itself. By the way, this is my first time doing this analysis, so we're doing it together. What you'll find is that I come up with particular interpretations that you might not have come up with. I might miss something, you might miss something, and what you'll find is my interpretation is not the only interpretation out there. If you come up with something else, it's totally fine for you to go ahead and analyse it, as long as you can back it up. This is what English is all about, so don't stress if I haven't matched up with you in exactly what I'm saying. You can also use my interpretation as a double interpretation. So, what you could do is go into your essay, write your interpretation and if mine compounds on top of yours pretty well, if it's a great addition to what you're saying, add it in and bam! You're showing your examiner that, you're somebody who can look at one particular technique from several different perspectives and that's kind of cool.

Moving on to the Analysis

So, 'A Better, Faster Shopping Experience'. From what I can already see here is there's this sense of convenience already being brought up. Now, at this point in time, I don't know what the point of that convenience is, but I know for me as a shopper, if I can get something for a better experience and I can get it done faster, then hells yeah, I am all for that. Think about yourself in the reader's shoes, after all, you really are the reader reading this article. Think about how it's starting to impact you. 

I've done a video about the TEE rule previously that goes through T echnique, E xample and the intended E ffect on the audience. Make sure you're familiar with that because I will use a lot of that in today's analysis.

'An open letter to our valued customers. As you know, Hailey's Local Store is not your average grocery store.'  

Interesting. The 'As you know' is pretty familiar. It's this familiarity that this person is sharing with us (the author's name is Hailey, so I'll just say Hailey). She says 'As you know, Hailey's Local Store is not your average grocery store' and repeating that familiar 'As you know' reminds the audience - us - of our long-term relationship with the store. So, in a sense, she's drawing upon our good will and our trust in the local shop, which creates this differentiation between herself (as somebody who's more proactive and customer-centric) and your bigger grocery stores. 

'We're a little bit different - we always put our customers first.' 

At this point, we start to feel valued. We know that we are her priority. Her priority isn't about profits, which a lot of stores are about, it's about the people, and as a result, we're more inclined to look at her in a favourable way.

'We offer lots of healthy meals, many specials, locally source food and, as you know, we abolished plastic carry bags four years ago - long before the big stores.'  

This whole sentence is pretty good because it shows us that she is somebody who is forward-thinking and she has actually carried through with her claim that she puts her customer first. We know that because she follows it up with:

'Why did we do those things? Because you told us that was what you wanted and needed.' 

She's got historical proof of putting customers first, which again, serves to build this rapport and relationship between Hailey and us as her customers.

If I look at the first paragraph as a whole, I see that she's building this up, she's setting this up in a particular way and whatever direction she's going to head in next, we're more inclined to follow her, to believe in her and to support her because she's shown us that she has supported us first. She's helped us out, so why can't we help her out? Again, I haven't read the rest of this article yet so these are just the thoughts that are going through my mind as I'm reading this first paragraph - just to give you a little bit of insight into my brain.

In this first paragraph, I can see that she's using a pretty welcoming and warm tone. If you have a look at the photograph that's been placed at the top of this article - and remember that with particular images they're strategically placed, so if it's placed at the start of the article versus at the end, think about how that impacts your perception of the photograph - for me, the first thing I see when I look at this article is the photo and I see a smiling happy owner. As you can see, the first paragraph serves to back up this photograph as well, with what she's talking about in terms of prioritising customers and valuing customers. You can also see products behind her, which look fresh and full and her shelves are full, so in that sense, it furthers this impression of the local and grounded nature of the store. It feels homey and this invites that comfort and trust from us.

Then, as we move into our second paragraph, I'm seeing a lot of exclamation marks, which gives me the sense of this upbeat, exciting environment, or even tone you could say. I think she's doing this because she wants us to jump on board with cashless payments as well, and to not see them as something that's a burden for us. She ties the advantages of cashless payments directly to the customer’s experience of the store by frequently repeating personal terms, such as 'you' and 'your' throughout these first couple of paragraphs. By the way, I'm not going to write down all the language analysis, because I think there's just not enough space, but me chatting about it with you is good enough. Let's move onto the next paragraph.

'you won't need to go rummaging through your bags for coins. You won't ever have to worry that you don't have the cash to cover your essential food supplies - your card will ensure that you do'.  

Not only is she highlighting the advantage. Here, she's arguing for the advantages of cashless payments by showing you the inconveniences of having cash in phrases like 'you won't need to' and 'you won't ever have to'. I also like the phrase 'rummaging through your bags for coins'. It gives this sense of how cumbersome the nature of physical money is in comparison to cashless payments.

In the next paragraph, she highlights cashless payments with the words 'Simple!' which reiterates her point (from the previous paragraph) about how cumbersome coins can be. She finishes off this paragraph with a 'Welcome to the twenty-first century.', so there's this sense of being forward in her decisions and that we should be as well - because nobody wants to be left behind in history. A lot of us like to think of ourselves as people who are open-minded, open to change and will take up things that are better for us, things that are more convenient for us.

So, she's saying that this is it for twenty-first century, join us over here rather than way back when, when we had to use coins. She also highlights 'mobile phone[s]', 'smart watch', 'smart ring' - many things that a lot of people have and this just compounds that idea of, 'yeah, this is a no brainer' essentially. Why shouldn't you move to cashless payments if you're already immersed in this tech world of having mobile phones, smart watches, smart rings, etc.?

She moves into talking about the wider economic context of Australia in this next paragraph. That sense of time I was talking about, comparing the now - the twenty-first century - with a decade ago, you can see that link right here. It's very obvious now. She creates a strong impression of societal inevitability of this technological change, especially because she cites statistics - '70 per cent of household spending was in cash; now it's half of that.' I can see in the next paragraph that she uses expert opinion as well - the 'Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia'. This all connects to this main phrase that we are in a ‘turning point’ now, that cash will be rapidly phased out until we become a cashless society and we should join her; we should make moves on this otherwise we're going to get left behind. 

I like that she's bringing in Australia because it also brings in this additional sense of pride on our behalf. We're Australians, we're proud that we've been one of the biggest users of electronic payments in the world, we're the ones who are making waves, we're the ones who are putting our feet forward first. So, you could talk about appeal to patriotism here as well. It's interesting because here she says that she's a leader, or 

'We've always tried to be a leader in our community and respond to our customer's needs.'

What do you think when you think of a leader? Typically for me, I admire leaders. They're somebody I look up to and I want to follow in their footsteps essentially. So by positioning herself as a leader, I think that's pretty interesting because she's telling us, ‘Hey, I've done all this thinking, I have initiative, I am forward-thinking, so come with me, join with me on this cashless payments movement.’

'you'll breeze through a check-out'  

I like the word 'breeze through', or just 'breeze' because it connects again, back to this idea of convenience with a faster shopping experience, and it is juxtaposed against that cumbersomeness of 'rummaging through...bags for coins'. Something to think about is: as you analyse an article, you don't just have to analyse it chronologically or talk about it chronologically in your essay either. If you see things that connect later on, connect them in your essay and put them together, because what you're showing your examiner is that you can see not just the minor details - i.e. language techniques in each sentence - but you can actually zoom out and see the overall picture, how the arguments are coming together and how she's structuring her piece so that we walk away with a certain perspective. Think about that in a two-step method. There's the zoom in where we're looking at sentence by sentence and what techniques are there, which is basically what we've been doing, but at the same time, you can zoom out and have a look at how the different techniques all come together and work as a whole. If this is something that you're not too comfortable with just yet, just stick with the chronological order and working through the sort of minor details. And then on your next read, you can read through with the focus of, 'okay, what if I was to look at this from a more holistic perspective?' 

We talk about this 'zoom in' and 'zoom out' technique in How To Write A Killer Text Response .

Ahh! I didn't even look ahead enough, there are more words and more phrases that connect to the idea of convenience and ease. It’s 'faster', ‘will save you time', 'safer' as well?! There's a new appeal. It's not necessarily new, it's just a different angle you could come from. If you wanted to talk about the sense of security, that appeal to safety, then you could do that as well. 

'it means not having to spend hours sorting, storing and securing cash'

So, more cumbersome notions. And then in comparison,

'more time', 'We understand the concerns a minority of our customers may have.' 

I love when they do this, acknowledging the opposition essentially is what she's doing. She's saying, ‘yup, like, I can hear you, not all customers want this. Some of you don't.’ And my assumption is that she's going to back it up with her own rebuttal. This not only pulls along the people who are already supportive of her, but she's also trying to pull along those who are a little bit more sceptical of this idea of cashless payments. So let's see, she says, 

'What if you prefer cash, don't feel comfortable using credit or debit cards, or don't have a mobile phone or smart watch? We don't want to leave anyone out. For the next three months we will offer cashless payments, but still accept cash to people to give people time to adjust.' 

It's interesting because she is again, building up this position of hers, where she is friendly, she is helpful, she is thoughtful and she cares about her community. Something you could also say, and this is if you're looking at things more pessimistically, is that she's doing this more so for herself. By saying that these people have three months, there's this unspoken pressure that's happening as well. She's putting pressure on the minority and emphasising the supposed inevitability of a cash-free shopping experience. Even by just saying 'minority' that's in a way applying pressure as well, because it's saying that you are part of this smaller group, the smaller group of people who won't come with us or have not yet come with us, so join us. There's a very clear expectation that these customers need to adapt and catch up. 

Want to see these ideas and annotations turned into a full A+ essay?

If you want more, I have also got a fully written up 2019 essay based on the articles that we're analysing today in my How To Write A Killer Language Analysis study guide. In that study guide, not only do I have the essay for 2019, I also have a fully written up essay for the 2017 & 2020 VCAA English Exams , and we're always working on adding ones from future years as well. Plus, there's heaps of sample A-plus essays in there already and heaps of information that I think will be super helpful for you before you move into your SAC. So please, go ahead and check that out! It's loaded with value and I know it'll be worth your money.

We’ve explored historical context, themes, essay planning and essay topics over on our Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy blog post. If you need a quick refresher or you’re new to studying this text, I highly recommend checking it out!

[Video Transcript]

‘Liz sits there helpless’

• From the beginning of the short story we can see that Liz isn’t, or doesn’t feel in control of her situation. The step by step process where she needs to ‘put the key in the ignition and turn it. Fire up the car and drive away’ showcases how the smallest details of starting the car, something that should be so simple instead requires immense mental effort on her behalf.

‘And he’s in there, alone, where she’s left him’.

• Her guilt bubbles to the surface here because it’s as though she’s the villain here, and she’s to blame for leaving him alone.

‘Abandoned him to a roomful of rampaging strangers’

• What’s really interesting here is her description of the other children. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity for Daniel to befriend others and have a great time, she describes them as ‘rampaging strangers’, giving us a sense that Daniel is subject to an unfamiliar environment that is wild, frenzied, rioting.

“Guerilla warfare”, “Jungle gym”, "seasoned commanders”

• These "fighter” phrases reveal Liz’s anxious mindset, as she imagines a world where her son is almost in the wilderness, every man for himself, as though it’s the survival of the fittest - and which Liz so fearfully express, “not that there’s going to be anybody with enough time to notice that Daniel needs help”, is not an environment where Daniel belongs.

“She digs in her bag for her lipstick, her fingers searching for the small cylinder, and pulls out a crayon, then a battery, then a tampon, then a gluestick.”

• Her everyday objects are splashed with Daniel’s belongings - the crayon, the gluestick, and demonstrate how intertwined her life is now with her child. This foreshadows her return to her pre-baby life - that things will not be the same.

“The smell of the place, that’s what throws her, the scent of it all, adult perfumes, air breathed out by computers and printers and photocopiers.”

• Even her sense of smell betrays her being away from Daniel. There’s a sense of alienation, of nausea that shows readers like us that Liz doesn’t feel like she belongs. This is in contrast to later in the story when she is reunited with Daniel and is comforted by ‘inhaling[ing] the scent of him again’.

“Same computer, same shiny worn spot on the space bar…"

• The repetition of ’same’ actually heightens how much has actually changed for Liz. Her entire world is now Daniel, whereas everything in the office is as it used to be. Therefore, there’s this sense that the people’s lives in the office remain unchanged, highlighting again Liz’s alienation.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re right, of course they are.”

• This sarcastic internal monologue reflects Liz’s current state of mind, where she’s experiencing a disconnect from her coworkers, and ’the land of the living’.

"Delete, she presses. Punching the key like a bird pecking. Delete, delete, delete.”

• We can feel Liz’s exasperation at this stage. The simile ‘like a bird pecking’ automates Liz’s actions in the workplace, as though she is doing it by switching to a ‘mechanical form’ of herself. The repetition of ‘delete, delete, delete’ gives us the sense that she’s frustratingly attempting to ‘delete’ her self-acknowledged, perhaps over-the-top anxiety surrounding Daniel, or trying to delete herself out of her situation. Whichever is unclear and left up to interpretation. Perhaps both ring true.

‘Returning to work after maternity leave’

• Liz’s narrative interspersed with new mum’s pamphlet. The juxtaposition of the pamphlet’s words ‘being a stay-at-home mum can begin to seem mundane and repetitive’ is contrasted with Liz’s love of motherhood - she is at odds with what society tells her she should be feeling.

‘[Daniel]’d have his thumb in his mouth right now. Not smiling, that’s for sure.’

• There’s a self-projection of anxiety here with Liz  assuming that the childcarers are unable to look after Daniel properly, and that he’s suffering.

‘God, these endless extended moments where you’re left in limbo, the time dangling like a suspended toy on a piece of elastic.’

• This simile highlights how her mindset is completely consumed with Daniel, as she likens her daily experiences with objects and things related to Daniel and childhood. She struggles to switch between her identity as a mother, and her previous identity as a colleague in the workplace.

‘Caroline, Julie and Stella had laughed dutifully enough, but their faces had shown a kind of pained disappointment, something faintly aggrieved.’

• Perhaps this is Cate Kennedy's commentary on society and motherhood. The expectations others have on you as a new mother, and how you should be feeling.

‘He doesn’t run over when he sees her’.

• The opening of this chapter is blunt and brutal. Liz has longed to see Daniel all day, her anxiety getting the best of her, and yet at the moment of their reunion, it’s not as she expects. In this sense, we can to feel that Liz is very much alone in her anxiety and despair and, not the other way around with Daniel.

’She’s fighting a terrible nausea, feeling the sweat in the small of her back.’

• Unlike other stories in this collection, her pain isn’t because the absence of love, but because of its strength. Her love for Daniel is so intense that it’s physiological, making her unwell to have been away from him.

• The symbol of cake represents her pre-baby life, a time when she was concerned with the ‘account of Henderson’s’ and ‘delete fourth Excel column’. Her priorities have now shifted, and the celebrated ‘cake’ tradition in the workplace, one that is at the centre of several conversations, is no longer to significance to Liz. Her husband, Andrew’s attempt to celebrate Liz’s first day back at work with cake is highly ironic. The societal expectation that Liz is happy to be back at work even extends to her husband, and heightens how Liz is very much alone in her experience.

If you found this close analysis helpful, then you might want to check out our Like a House on Fire Study Guide where we analyse EVERY story in the text and pinpoint key quotes and symbols!

Watch our YouTube Video on Like A House On Fire Essay Topic and Body Paragraphs Breakdown

Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy

Like a House on Fire Essay Topic Breakdown

How To Get An A+ On Your Like A House On Fire Essay

Close Analysis Of 'Cake' From Like A House On Fire

We’ve explored themes, literary devices and characters and development amongst other things over on our After Darkness by Christine Piper blog post. If you need a quick refresher or you’re new to studying this text, I highly recommend checking it out!

Here, we’ll be breaking down an After Darkness essay topic using LSG’s THINK and EXECUTE strategy , a technique to help you write better VCE essays. If you’re unfamiliar with this strategy, you can learn about it in our How To Write A Killer Text Response study guide.

Within the THINK strategy, we have 3 steps, or ABC. These ABC components are:

Step 1: A nalyse

Step 2: B rainstorm

Step 3: C reate a Plan

Let’s get into it!

The Prompt: 

‘While Ibaraki clearly suffers the consequences of his actions, it is those closest to him who pay the highest price. Discuss.’

Step 1: Analyse

This is a theme-based prompt, and the keywords are: suffer, consequence, actions and highest price . You want to explore both the evidence that supports the statement and also any evidence that may offer a contradiction to the statement. From here you can find the definition of the keywords to help develop some questions to explore.

Step 2: Brainstorm

To suffer is to be affected by or subject to something unpleasant. 

  • Is Ibaraki the only one who suffers? Who else suffers? Kayoko, Johnny, Stan, Sister Bernice.
  • How do characters deal with their suffering differently? Kayoko and Sister Bernice abandon their relationships with Ibaraki, Johnny becomes agitated and spiteful, Stan becomes depressed. 

A consequence is a result of an action. 

  • Are the consequences negative or positive? Johnny being outspoken in the internment camp angers the traditionalist Japanese, but creates a sense of kinship amongst the half-blood Japanese. 
  • Can characters overcome these consequences or learn from them? Ibaraki eventually learns from his mistakes and grows as a result. 

An action is the process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim. 

  • Is it Ibaraki’s actions, or lack thereof that lead to consequences? It is often his silence and obedience that cause trouble. For example, not telling Kayoko about his work leads to the failure of their marriage.  
  • Is it only Ibaraki who makes mistakes? Sister Bernice ignores her religion to confess her love for Ibaraki. 
  • What are the factors that cause the characters to act in the way that they do? Ibaraki’s guilt and fear of authority and judgement prevent him from speaking up on multiple occasions.  

Highest price refers to Ibaraki’s suffering being above all else. 

  • Is this true? Ibaraki loses his dignity, his friends, his wife, his unborn child, his family, his job and his freedom. However, he does partially regain these.  
  • Who suffers the most? Kayoko has a miscarriage and her marriage to Ibaraki fails. Stan is assaulted by other internees and is eventually killed by a guard. Johnny becomes an outcast in his community and is bullied by other internees.  

At this point, you can begin to group your ideas and evidence from the text to support your claims.

Throughout the novel, Piper uses a variety of literary devices including dialogue, simile and foreshadowing to convey her message of every action having a consequence . The most prominent of these is her use of imagery and metaphor which she uses to illustrate Ibaraki’s guilt and the way it impacts his actions. However, the story is not only centred around Ibaraki. Piper also highlights that people will often face consequences no matter what decision they make. She does this through her use of foil characters (characters who are used to highlight a particular trait in another character). For example, Ibaraki’s fear and obedience are emphasised by the courage of Kayoko and Johnny Chang. These characters, alongside Ibaraki, face suffering as a result of their actions. 

From these ideas, the main themes I am going to explore are what factors affect the character’s actions, and how the consequences of these actions can lead to negative, but also positive change. 

Step 3: Create a Plan

Paragraph 1:

  • Whilst the novel centres around Ibaraki’s actions and their consequences, he is not the only character that makes mistakes and is forced to face the repercussions.

Paragraph 2:

  • It is not necessarily Ibaraki’s actions, but lack of action that often results in the suffering of those around him. Consider the reasons for his lack of action: his blind devotion to authority, his fear of judgement, his ongoing guilt and regret from previous situations.
  • Ibaraki’s lack of action acts as a perpetuating factor for the suffering of those closest to him, but it is not the only factor.

Paragraph 3:

  • Ibaraki may pay the highest price for his actions. The structure of the storyline to include a chapter from Ibaraki’s perspective years later indicates that these consequences have ultimately led to positive change.

Now it is time to write the essay!

Set during the Pacific War, Christine Piper’s After Darkness explores the difficulties and misfortunes many face during wartime. Depicting the rise and fall of Japan’s war efforts (1) , After Darkness highlights that all actions have consequences of varying severity, particularly those of protagonist Dr Ibaraki Tomokazu. Throughout the novel, Ibaraki’s lack of action perpetuates the suffering of those closest to him, however, this is shown to be one of many factors and often initiates positive change within him, allowing his character to develop. Fundamentally, After Darkness highlights that change can only occur if people face the repercussions of their actions. (2)

Annotations (1) In the introduction, it is important to introduce the text with context . As After Darkness is predominantly set in 1942 during wartime in both Japan and Australia, it is important to include this in the introduction in order to explore the essay topic with a complete understanding. 

(2) Another key part of the introduction is to briefly introduce the topics you will discuss throughout the essay.

Throughout the novel, Piper emphasises the idea that all actions have consequences, however, this idea is not limited to Ibaraki. Across the three novel strands, protagonist Dr Tomokazu Ibaraki’s suffering as a result of his mistakes is depicted through both his internal and external dialogue. Ibaraki makes many significant mistakes throughout his lifetime, one of these being his failure to perform a dissection of a child when working at Unit 731. Despite ‘not [being] [him]self’ (3) when asked to perform the operation, Ibaraki is promptly fired. His termination of employment is not the only consequence of his failure, as shame continues to take over his confidence. This is illustrated when he was ‘unable to go on’ during an operation in Broome, despite being in a completely different scenario. Through Ibaraki’s flashback of ‘Black dots on a child’s belly’, Piper indicates the torment and lasting effects of consequences on an individual (4) . Whilst the novel centres around his mistakes, it is revealed that Ibaraki is not the only character who is forced to face the repercussions of their actions. Despite acting as foils for Ibaraki and presenting many different qualities, Australian internees Johnny Chang and Stan Suzuki also struggle immensely to overcome the results of their behaviours. Johnny Chang’s outspoken nature is often shown to cause disruption among the camp, for example, labelling the imperialist Japanese as ‘emperor worshipping pig’s.’ In standing for his beliefs, Johnny creates a tense division within groups, leading to the half Australian internees being treated like ‘outcasts’. Conversely, Stan’s introverted behaviour results in his eventual death (5) . Piper’s contention that all actions have consequences is arguably enforced strongly through Stan’s death, as it results from the failure of many characters to act. Ibaraki’s inability to open up, Johnny’s selfishness and Stan’s loss of self are inevitably all factors leading to his eventual demise. This is ultimately reinforced when Johnny states ‘It should’ve been me Doc’, indicating he has finally realised his role in the tragedy.

Annotations (3) In order to embed quotes , words, prefixes and suffixes can be added to ensure the sentence flows correctly. However, you must indicate that you have edited the quote by placing your changes in square brackets. Here, the original quote was ‘not myself’ but it has been changed to fit the sentence. 

(4) Whilst it is important to include quotes, it is even more important that you analyse how the author uses the quote to convey a message. In this case, the example of one of Ibaraki’s many flashbacks is used to bear Piper’s belief that one cannot escape the repercussions of their actions.

(5) Comparison is a powerful way of exploring the author’s ideas throughout the text. Here, Johnny’s outspoken nature is contrasted with Stan’s ‘introverted behaviour’, yet both concede repercussions. This supports the idea that all actions have consequences, no matter their nature.

Ibaraki’s lack of action acts as a perpetuating factor for the suffering of those closest to him, however, it is not the only factor. After Darkness shows the faults in many of Ibaraki’s actions, suggesting his mistakes lead to the misfortunes of many of those around him but this is only partially true. Stan Suzuki’s death is a pivotal moment in the novel where Ibaraki begins to truly express his emotions and open up about the pain he feels (6). Ibaraki realises that he ‘could have done something’ when opening up to the investigators of Stan’s death, leading to the conclusion that Ibaraki is to blame. Piper illustrates that suffering results as a combination of factors through the later revelations of Johnny’s escape attempt and the instability of the ‘trigger-happy’ guard who shot Stan. This idea is reinforced through the breakdowns of Ibaraki’s close relationships with Kayoko and Sister Bernice. Whilst Ibaraki’s emotionally distant nature catalysed the loss of these significant relationships, it was not the only factor. Both Kayoko and Sister Bernice are structured with similar characteristics in the novel, one being their confidence and strength in their beliefs. Nevertheless, both women lack this characteristic when it comes to their relationship with Ibaraki (7) . Ibaraki admits his separation from Kayoko is his ‘greatest regret’, and whilst the first-person perspective does not give an insight into Kayoko’s side, she is shown to lack her usual self-assuredness. Similarly, Ibaraki’s allowance of ‘silence [to] stretch between…’ him and Sister Bernice is hurtful and a failure on his behalf, yet she still willingly confesses her feelings, aware of the risks involved. This is evident when ‘her eyes dart away from [his]’, implying she is ashamed of her statement as it contradicts her religion and the terms of their work relationship and friendship. This results in an abrupt end to their friendship as the embarrassment of the repercussions of her actions overwhelm Sister Bernice. Whilst the series of mistakes that Ibaraki makes throughout the novel show that his actions cause grief for both him and the people around him, they also highlight that the misfortune of others is not always the fault of one individual.

Annotations (6) Referring to specific events in the text is extremely useful to support your ideas and claims. However, it is important that you avoid over-explaining the event, as this will lead to you retelling , rather than analysing the text. See How To Avoid Retelling the Story for more tips. 

(7) An often-overlooked literary device is the use of foils . A foil is a character that is used to highlight a particular trait in another character, often a flaw. In this case, Piper uses the similarities between Kayoko and Sister Bernice, and the ultimate failure of their relationships. This highlights Ibaraki’s repetition of his mistakes, which we can attribute to his ongoing guilt. 

Ibaraki ultimately pays the highest price for his actions; although this is shown to result in positive change. Through her descriptions of Australia and Japan, Piper uses the juxtaposition of light and dark imagery to illustrate how suffering can lead to learning and growth. Facing racism in Broome when labelled as a ‘Bloody Jap…’, trauma from his experiences in Unit 731 and hardship during his internment at Loveday, Ibaraki is constantly a victim of circumstance. Even so, the pressures and torment of these events force him to seek the support of others. The colourful descriptions of the ‘pink spur of land crested with green’ foreshadow the positive change to come for Ibaraki (8) . This becomes evident when Ibaraki finally opens up to Stan in the infirmary about his separation from Kayoko. Ibaraki’s development as a character continues as he learns to trust despite the unfair circumstances of being interned. Although memories of trees haunting the river’s edge ‘like lost people’ and the bark of red trees appearing ‘like blistered skin’ continue to plague Ibaraki’s conscience, they force him to confront his past and in turn begin to heal. Through the retrospective novel, Piper describes Japan as where ‘darkness crowded the corners’ and Ibaraki worked ‘in the basement’, indicating his misguided obedience and attachment to silence. This not only illustrates (9) Ibaraki’s trauma, but emphasises his drastic development through his experiences. The importance of the consequences Ibaraki has faced throughout his lifetime are reinforced in the final pages of the novel after he reads Sister Bernice’s letter and has an epiphany. The discovery that he had ‘clung to the ideal of discretion’ creates a sense of hope for Ibaraki’s future and emphasises his newfound understanding of life through the consequences he has faced. (10)

Annotations (8) Ensure you don’t just randomly place quotes throughout the essay, but instead, analyse them to give them meaning. An easy way to do this is by including the quote , its connotations and what emotions or ideas they provoke, followed by why the author has used it. In this case, the quote was the ‘pink spur of land crested with green.’ Its connotations were positive such as colour, happiness, and hope. These connotations were used to foreshadow positive change. 

(9) Using a variety of vocabulary such as ‘illustrates’, ‘explores’ and ‘demonstrates’ shows that you are not only identifying what the author is doing but that you understand how and why they have done it in this way. This is ultimately the goal of a text response essay. 

(10) It is important to ensure the flow of your essay to show sophistication in your writing. It is not only the ideas you have, but the way in which you convey and explain them that ultimately indicates your understanding of the text. A simple way to do this is to use a summary sentence at the end of each topic that subscribes to the idea and links to the previous or following paragraph. 

Essentially After Darkness highlights the necessity of facing consequences for our actions to promote learning and growth. Whilst Ibaraki and many other characters suffered as a result of their behaviour, Piper asserts that Ibaraki is not the overall perpetrator but ultimately pays the highest price of all. (11)

Annotations (11) Just like the introduction, the conclusion is a brief summary of the discussion topics throughout your text response. Most importantly, after exploring all of the evidence you must form a stance in relation to the essay topic. Many students believe that this needs to be a simple and definite yes or no, which is not the case. Instead, I have suggested that Ibaraki is not the only one to blame for other character’s suffering, but that ultimately, he paid the highest price. Check out 5 Tips for a Mic-Drop Worthy Essay Conclusion if you need more help finishing your essay off with a bang!

If you found this essay breakdown helpful, then you might want to check out our After Darkness Study Guide which includes 5 A+ sample essays with EVERY essay annotated and broken down on HOW and WHY these essays achieved A+ so you reach your English goals!

After Darkness is usually studied in the Australian curriculum under Area of Study 1 - Text Response. For a detailed guide on Text Response, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

Montana 1948 is narrated by David Hayden, now a middle-aged history teacher, reflecting on the summer of 1948 that changed his entire life.

It begins with David noticing that his Native American babysitter, Marie Little Soldier is unwell. Gail and Wesley, David’s parents, attempt to enlist the help of Wesley’s brother Frank, a well-respected doctor in the community. However, Marie reacts to this idea with fear, anxiety and resistance. Gail concludes that something sinister must be happening for her to have such a reaction and she presses Marie for why she is so afraid. Marie then reveals to Gail that she has heard that Dr Frank has been sexually abusing many of his female Native American patients. Gail immediately confides in Wesley who is both the Sheriff of their town and Frank’s brother. This becomes the central source of tension, as Wes must decide between his duty as the Sheriff and his loyalty to his family.

This is all told from the perspective of David, our protagonist, who has to watch his father confront his Uncle Frank about these taboo accusations. Eventually, it seems they reach an agreement with Frank to stop the abuse.

Marie is discovered dead the next day in her bed when Gail goes to check up on her. Later that night, David admits to his parents that he saw Frank go into their home in the afternoon and immediately, Wesley concludes that Frank “is guilty as sin” for murdering Marie. As the Sheriff of the town, Wesley is obligated to arrest Frank, but in order to spare Frank the embarrassment, he keeps Frank in their basement instead of sending him to jail.  

Upon hearing this news, David’s grandfather, Julian, orders Wesley to release Frank. Julian accuses Wesley of arresting him out of jealousy and he threatens to use his power within the community to set Frank free. At this point, Wesley realises that the power of his father would only be matched by the law, and he decides that he must officially prosecute his brother.

That next day, David, Wes and Gail wake up to find Frank dead, having used broken glass to slit his wrists and commit suicide. Young David believes that this was the right action and hopes that everything would go back to normal. But as the story goes, this is not the case.

Prejudice, discrimination and the abuse of power

Another key theme is prejudice, discrimination and the abuse of power. Frank’s abuse of the Native American women is both an abuse of his power and responsibilities as a Doctor and a way to take advantage of his personal belief in White “racial superiority.” Julian and Frank embody the toxic, violent and bigoted mentality prevalent during that time period, which Watson deplores as reprimandable and unacceptable. Even at the novel’s close, Frank’s death is symbolic in two ways. Firstly, it means that Frank managed to escape persecution, public denouncement and jail time. But more importantly, he is still revered in the community as a “respected man” and a “war hero. '' Therefore, while he physically passes away, his ‘legacy’ and façade of heroism remains alive.

Law vs Justice

One of the central themes of ‘Montana 1948’ is the conflict between abiding by the law and doing what is just. Due to the institutionalised racism that existed in the 1940’s, Frank’s actions were not considered technically illegal, however, by intuitive standards of morality , his rape of Natives in his practice and his subsequent murder of Marie clearly warrant punishment. Thus, Watson touches on the failures of the judicial system to consistently hand out judgements that are morally fair and instead reveals the flaws within the legal system of the time that reflect widespread and corrupt social attitudes .

Loyalty vs Morality

Watson also touches on the conflict between loyalty and morality. This, as we know, forms the crux of narrative’s tension . Should Wes arrest and prosecute his brother Frank or not? Should he stay loyal to his family or uphold the moral values that he must stand by as the towns Sheriff? Gail, David’s mother, embodies all the virtues of morality that we all stand by and she is appalled by Frank’s behaviour and demands that he be persecuted regardless of his relationship with Wes. In sharp contrast, Julian believes that Frank can be excused for his actions because the victims were merely “red meat ” Native American women who he views as subhuman.


Gail is David’s mother and Wesley’s wife. She is a compassionate, idealistic and courageous woman. This can also be seen as she stands up for Marie, despite the prejudices in the society at the time. She also spends a ‘good deal of energy’ protecting herself and her family.  She also doesn’t take part in Wesley’s racist jokes. For example, when Wesley makes a joke about Marie, ‘never been to anyone but the tribal medicine man’, David responds with ‘my mother didn’t laugh.’

David is Wesley and Gail’s son and is the narrator of the text. He doesn’t share Wesley’s beliefs surrounding race and forms his own moral perspective. This is demonstrated when he makes a fuss about wanting to wear moccasins (which Gail sides with him on) while his father says will make him ‘as flat-footed and lazy as an Indian.’ 

Unlike his father, we don’t see David conflicted with his loyalties and he is particularly critical of his father. This is best demonstrated when he ‘was beginning to already think of Uncle Frank as a criminal’ upon hearing sexual assault accusations against Frank. When Wesley spares Gail the details of his investigation into Frank, David believes it could be because he is ‘trying to protect his brother and keeping the number of witnesses to the accounts of his crime to a minimum’. After Wesley arrests Frank and takes him to the basement for imprisonment, David assumes his father killed Frank despite Wesley not being depicted as a particularly violent person in the novel.  All it takes is an indistinct noise from the basement for David to conjure up ways his father could have killed his Uncle Frank.

Frank is Wesley’s brother and is described as a ‘witty and charming’ doctor, and war hero who is widely loved by the community -particularly by his dad, Julian. In reality, Frank is a criminal who abuses his power - both a white man and a doctor to sexually assault Indian women - which he believes he can get away with.  This is compounded when he states, “I am not concerned about social progress.” Through Frank, Watson demonstrates how some individuals can abuse their positions of power and privilege, and to not lose any sleep over it (‘at smiling ease with his life and everything it’).

Wesley is Julian’s son, Gail’s husband, and David’s father and the sheriff of Mercer county. He dislikes Native Americans and frequently makes jokes about them and stereotypes them. He even uses the fact that Marie Little Soldiers is a Native American to belittle and doubt the credibility of her experience. 

Wesley’s conflicting loyalties become more complex and difficult once you consider the prejudices at the time, his job as an officer of the law, Frank’s station in the family and community, Gail’s strong opinions and his constant need to seek validation from his father. An instance that mirrors Wesley’s conflicting loyalties is when he tells Gail, “I wish you wouldn’t have told the sheriff.” When she told informed him of Marie’s sexual assault allegations against Frank. However, in Wesley’s eyes, Frank’s murder of Marie Little Soldier, is where the latter crosses the line. The magnitude of his brother’s crime is too large for him to let his previous conflicting loyalties as a sheriff and a brother hold him back from arresting Frank. After convicting Frank and having to argue about it with his father, we learned ‘for the first time how this experience with his brother was ruining him physically.’ 

Julian is a bigoted racist man who has an unconditional love for his son Frank and unfairly favours him over his son Wesley. When he learns of Franks charges he exclaims, “What kind of bullshit is this?” He belittles the sexual assaults as Frank just ‘feeling them up’ and ‘assaulting an Indian’. At this point, Julian taking Frank’s side exposes how irrationally loyal he is to his son and suggests that even if the women were not Indian, he may still stand by Frank's actions. He protests that the only reason Wesley convicted Frank was that ‘ever since the war, ever since Frank came home in uniform and he [Wesley] stayed here [home],’ he’s ‘been jealous’. However, this comment seems to say more about Julian’s feelings than Wesley’s - perhaps, this is why Julain felt this inclination towards Frank. After this argument, we see Wesley’s feeling of defeat and heartbreak - that despite Frank being a murderer and a rapist, his father still seemed to pick his side over Wesley’s. 

Quotes on Prejudices, Discrimination and the Abuse of Power

  • “He wears those and soon he'll be as flat-footed and lazy as an Indian" - Discrimination is evident in Montana 1948 where Wesley uses stereotypes of Indians to imply they are inferior to them, and that David shouldn’t be like them.
  • "She's an Indian- Why would she tell the truth?”  
  • “Your mother and I thought we’d have more to show than just one grandchild … and white- we want them we want them white”
  • “Screwing an Indian. Or feeling her up or whatever. You don’t lock up a man for that.”
  • “You know Frank’s always been partial to red meat.”  
  • “Well if Sheriff Hayden says it's so, it must be so.”
  • “Wesley, your brother is raping these women. These girls. These Indian girls.”

Quotes on Law vs Justice

  • “Why did my grandfather first run for sheriff? … He wanted, he needed power. He was a dominating man who drew sustenance and strength from controlling others.” This quote shows that many people in society at the time held positions of power such as lawyers or sheriff but didn’t enforce the law or worry about the morality of their actions. Thus creating an unjust legal system that would allow these people to shape how the law is enforced with their own prejudices.
  • “You know what your Grandad said it means to be a peace officer in Montana? He said it means knowing when to look and when to look away.”  
  • “I think the problem has been taken care of. Frank said he’s going to cut it out”

Quotes on Loyalty vs Morality

  • "David, I believe that in this world people must pay for their crimes. It doesn't matter who you are or who your relations are; if you do wrong, you pay. I believe that. I have to."
  • “I wish you wouldn’t have told the sheriff.” 
  • “You don’t lock up your brother. A respected man. A war hero.” “This is a legal matter.” “Bull sh*t. ” “Then why have you got him locked up here and not over at the jail? This is your brother here. My son! ”

Quotes on Destruction of Innocence

  • 'I had gone back into the house -to the kitchen, to my room, out the backdoor, I had left the porch and followed frank's steps down the front walk - I never would have heard the conversation between my father and mother, and perhaps I would have lived my life with an illusion about my family and perhaps the human community’ - page 33
  • “The shock of hearing this about Uncle Frank was doubled because my mother was saying these words. Rape. Breasts. Penis. These were words I never heard my mother use-ever- and I’m sure her stammer was not only from emotion but also from the strain on her vocabulary.”
  • “But I was on a trail that would lead me out of my childhood.”

With contributions from Fae Saberi.

This is a 7 part series of videos teaching you how to analyse articles for your SAC. Your school will give you three texts which can consist of articles (opinion, editorial, letter to the editor) or images (cartoons, illustrations, graphs). We've used VCAA's 2016 English end of year exam for this series of videos.

Steps before you get started:

1. Make sure you download and analyse VCAA 2016 exam yourself first, then join me in analysing the texts together.

2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog post to download my annotations plus the full essay referenced in these videos. Let's get started!

Looking for more VCE Language Analysis videos? Be sure to check out my analysis of the VCAA Sample 2020 exam.

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An EasyGuide to Research Presentations

An EasyGuide to Research Presentations

  • Janie H. Wilson - Georgia Southern University, USA
  • Beth M. Schwartz - Endicott College
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“Presentations can be overwhelming to students . . . the tone [of this book] may help to relieve some anxiety . . . This text is excellent for both novice and more experienced students. It will be a very useful manual for students who are required to prepare a poster presentation for course fulfillment [and] also for students who present research at regional and national meetings.”

“This is a major component to my course—oral and poster presentations—and something my department is looking to enhance within our majors.”

“I like the comprehensive approach to presentations . . . from personal prep beforehand, to creation, to following up afterward.”

This guide helps students to understand better the publishing process and to realize that publishing is an outlet that they, too, can strive to accomplish and that it is not a privilege reserved only for advanced researchers. Upon completion of this guide, students will be better equipped with the skills to share their own research, from the classroom to a conference to a professional journal.

very nice an convenient collection of how to present one's research.

Just what our students needs, easy guide to oral and poster presentations. Suitable material for PC and Mac users, includes material for students planning to publish their work. Very compact guide for all students planning their research presentation.

The volume on 'Research Presentations' offers information on and insight into various perspectives and variations in instruments and tools for presentations of research outcomes as well as proceedings in theory discourses. It integrates the psychological perspectives of presentations in chapters "overcoming fear of public speaking" and "professionalism and managing your audience". It further includes step-by-step instructions on how to submit work for potential publication and checklists for poster and talk presentations. Against the background of alternative well known handbooks with a comparable focus this volume distinguishes positively as it is not centered around the generally most prominent presentation tool 'Power Point', but considers alternative programs like Prezi and Keynote for Mac oral presentations. Thus true alternatives are offered and contrasted with the well known PPT. Further, the explicit emphasis on poster presentations is to be highlighted. This alternative option for presentations has developed to be a true alternative to oral presentations especially at prominent conferences with a high number of offers for presentation and academic contributions. In this perspective the volume offers detailed advices and recommendations including an assessment checklist parallel to the checklist for oral presentations. The volume is highly recommendable both to students and lecturers.

A useful addition to research methods module reading lists

As students have to make presentations about their research projects, I believe this book will provide them a easy to follow guide, which the students will find helpful and therefore I will recommend it.

This is a really good "hands-on" book to use for researchers who are unexperienced in preparing presentations. It´s also a reminder of the fact that "there is more to life than power-point".

  • Step-by-step organization and coverage of the most current information on effective communication in academic settings ensure a clear understanding of research presentations
  • Outstanding pedagogy includes screenshots that show exactly how to create various presentations, examples of poster layouts, checklists and timelines for preparing a presentation, and rubrics that show readers what instructors and audience members are looking for in a presentation
  • The latest presentation software and methods —including Keynote and asynchronous video presentations—are addressed
  • Personal advice from the authors’ own experiences offers unique insight into presenting research

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The ultimate guide to oral proposal presentations.

Jan 28, 2021


An oral presentation with the government is like a job interview. Your goal is to present well and ultimately win the contract.

Oral presentations are becoming a more common requirement in government proposals, so it’s necessary to have a process that empowers both team chemistry and smooth performance.

The KSI Advantage™ Orals Process emphasizes rigorous planning as the pathway to success and breaks down orals into five manageable phases.

In this article, I will discuss the five phases of the KSI Advantage™ Orals Process and share what our KSI Advantage™ Capture & Proposal Guide can do to help you prepare your oral presentation for success!


Phase One: Orals Planning and Slide Preparation

First, you must establish a dedicated team to prepare and execute the Orals Process. You will need four key personnel:

  • Orals Manager – responsible for the overall Orals Process, approving strategies and plans, and directing the team
  • Orals Slidemaster/Coordinator – responsible for providing the orals PowerPoint slides, managing logistics, and directing the production
  • Orals Coach or Training Manager – responsible for executing strategy and plans, leading team building, and orientation
  • Mock Orals Board Chairperson – responsible for simulating the Source Evaluation Board (SEB) review process and conducting Mock Orals

These roles can be combined, but make sure somebody has these responsibilities assigned to them. The Slidemaster is responsible for making an Oral Proposal Development Schedule . This schedule should allocate adequate time for an Oral Proposal Kickoff Meeting, Slide Preparation, Slide Reviews, Team Building, and Mock Orals.

The Slidemaster should also make a Speaker/Slide Matrix  to plan the presentation within the assigned presentation time. This matrix assigns presenters their sections, allocates their presentation time, and develops a speaking order.


Examples of a 30-day Oral Proposal Development Schedule (Exhibit 5-3) and a Speaker/Slide Allocation Matrix (Exhibit 5-4 and Appendix-41) are available in the Guide for your reference.

Each orals presenter is responsible for the final state of their PowerPoint slides and coordinates with the Slidemaster after the Orals Presentation Kickoff to revise and finalize their slides. The slides must be pithy and not dense and should include plenty of color, graphics, and diagrams.

The KSI Guide recommends using our Slide Master© process to develop slides that best present your data and themes. Our Slide Master© template allows you to organize any major points, transitions, graphics, action captions, or major marketing messages you might want to include. A blank template ready for editing is available in Exhibit 5-5 and Appendix-42 of the Guide!

Phase Two: Orientation and Training

The Orals Coach, aka the Training Manager, needs to coach their team to present themselves honestly and directly.

They should give group and one-on-one coaching to their team on public speaking skills and sales pitching, as well as conduct proposal-specific training on win strategy, themes, discriminators, etc. Depending on the proposal, the Training Manager may also need to provide special coaching for the Project Manager and other key personnel, who are sometimes asked to interview individually with the Source Evaluation Board (SEB).

During orals presentations, the government will often ask proposal-specific questions for the presenting team to answer. Q&As can be very stressful, so it’s part of the Training Manager’s job to train presenters on how to answer effectively.

The KSI Advantage™ Process uses the Straight Answer Model Method for Q&As, which entails:

  • Answering the question,
  • Giving details and proof, and
  • Highlighting benefits.

FREE DOWNLOAD: A Beginner's Guide to Oral Proposals 

Phase Three: Rehearsal and Team Building

It’s important that your team members feel connected to one another and motivated to collaborate. A solid Orals team is built upon three principles: a sense of purpose, respect for the customer, and a focus on the customer’s success and satisfaction.

To instill this, KSI recommends orals teams practice our Six-Step Team Building Process:

  • Tell Us Your Story – share with your teammates about who you are and what you add to the team.
  • Define the Extraordinary Business Challenges That Confront You – ask yourself what major issues and challenges you need to surmount with your proposal.
  • Stand for Something That Makes A Difference – demonstrate you understand and care about the customer's needs.
  • Create Strategic Goals/Objectives for Your Organizational Unit – ask yourself what specifically you will do to help the customer achieve the needs and goals of their solicitation.
  • Develop Your Action Plan – get into the details of what success will look like when performing the awarded work, what key actions you’ll need to take, and who specifically you will need to get the job done.
  • Figure Out How to Integrate Steps 1-5 Into Your Presentation – find a way to compliantly integrate your conclusions from Steps 1-5 into your orals proposal.

Phase Four: Reviews and Mock Orals

The review process when building an oral presentation is conducted by performing rehearsals. These Mock Orals are performed in front of a group of participants meant to represent the actual SEB members.

The feedback from this Mock SEB helps ensure the presentation meets the following goals:

  • Compliance – verifying you are meeting the requirements of Sections C, L, and M
  • Clarity – ensuring the material is succinct and understandable
  • Consistency – checking that your terms and data are uniform
  • Accuracy – confirming your information is correct
  • Strategy – articulating your strategy and win themes
  • Performance – ensuring presenters communicate properly

Mock SEB members should be knowledgeable people but unfamiliar with the proposal. They will review the presentation for technical accuracy, compliance, and delivery.

The KSI Orals Process advises scheduling two days for Mock Orals, including time for the Mock SEB to review the RFP and written proposal beforehand. Following this review, the Mock Orals Leader should answer any questions the Mock SEB may have and share with everyone the protocol for the Mock Orals. We suggest a dress rehearsal to mimic the actual oral presentation.

A sample Mock SEB/Orals Schedule is available for reference (Exhibit 5-8) in the Guide, along with a Mock SEB Participant List template (Exhibit 5-7) .

Exhibit 5-8 Mock SEB Graphic 1- Orals Schedule_KSI Advantage Guide

During the Mock Orals Presentation, the Mock SEB will evaluate the presentation using forms similar to what will be used by the real SEB. These forms include:

  • RFP Scoring Tree – to score according to the RFP requirements
  • Criterion/Sub-Criterion Evaluation Form – completed for each criterion/sub-criterion
  • Questions Form – for anything the Mock SEB may want to ask post-presentation
  • Q&A Summary Evaluation Form – to evaluate the Q&A portion of the Mock Orals
  • Presenter Evaluation Form – to evaluate each presenter’s style and effectiveness

Templates for all of these forms, ready for you to use, can be found in Appendices 44-48 in the Guide!


*The Mock Orals Evaluation Forms graphic is from the KSI Advantage™ Capture & Proposal Guide.

Phase Five: Orals Logistics

Once every step has been made to prepare for the day of the presentation, the Orals Manager should remind everyone of all protocols and logistics. This includes dress code, schedule, transportation, post-mortem wrap-ups, and proper note-taking.

If you’ve followed each phase of the KSI Advantage™ Orals Process, learned your part well, practiced your speaking voice, and shined your shoes, you should be ready! Going through each of the five phases of the Orals Process will lead to a better team, a refined presentation, and a good result.

In Conclusion

There are three reasons why the government asks for oral presentations. They want to see how well you know the work of the RFP, how well your team works together, and how easily their agency could work with you. Consciously or unconsciously, these three criteria will be in the SEB’s mind as you talk about your solution and strategy. You must deliver a well-crafted and eloquent presentation.

Solid orals preparation and following the Orals Process of the KSI Advantage™ Capture & Proposal Guide , can lead to a difference-making presentation. Our Guide contains over 35 years of Key Solution’s best practices and discusses the Orals Process in far better detail than I have here. It’s chock full of useful tips, templates, and time-tested processes that can help anybody in a proposal role, whether you’re a Capture Manager, Proposal Manager, Technical Writer, or Orals Coach. Happy presenting! 

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Topics: Orals Coaching KSI Advantage Capture & Proposal Guide Oral Proposals KSI Advantage

Jake Lamarche, CF APMP, CPTC

Written by Jake Lamarche, CF APMP, CPTC

Jake Lamarche is a Proposal Development and Technical Writing Professional. He is certified at the Foundation Level by APMP and is also a Certified Professional Technical Communicator. In his free time, he enjoys writing fiction and is a volunteer editor for an online literary magazine.

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    Personal online tutoring. EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council's one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds. Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully.

  17. A guide to oral presentation skills

    Arun Natarajan and John A Kirby provide practical advice on how to make the most out of your oral presentation Oral presentations form an integral part of a trainee doctor's work life. However small it may be, speaking to anaudience can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. Body language - Be confident. You can get away with blunders if you are supremely confident.

  18. Oral Presentation: A Three-Part Guide To Nailing It

    *** OPEN FOR EBOOK + MORE RESOURCES! *** Here's my three-step plan for how YOU can absolutely ace your Oral Presentation this year! Check out all the oral ...

  19. How to deliver an oral presentation

    Oral presentations are usually short (around 8-10 min maximum), and it is, therefore, easy to go under or over time if you have not rehearsed. Aiming to spend around 1 minute per slide is usually a good guide. It is useful to present to your colleagues and seniors, allowing them to ask you questions afterwards so that you can be prepared for ...

  20. The Ultimate Guide to VCE Oral Presentations

    The first is the Oral Presentation itself ("a point of view presented in oral form"), and the second is a Written Explanation, also known as a Statement of Intention. 2. Your selected topic needs to be an issue that has appeared in the media since 1 September of the previous year. 3.

  21. An EasyGuide to Research Presentations

    An EasyGuide to Research Presentations is an invaluable tool for helping readers learn the ropes of presenting original research and experience the thrill of becoming part of a strong scientific community. With coverage from poster presentations and symposia to oral and video presentations, this handbook offers a concise, easy-to-read guide on professionally presenting research in virtually ...

  22. PDF A Guide to Case Presentations

    2. Basic principles. An oral case presentation is NOT a simple recitation of your write-up. It is a concise, edited presentation of the most essential information. A case presentation should be memorized as much as possible by your 3rd year rotations. You can refer to notes, but should not read your presentation.

  23. The Ultimate Guide to Oral Proposal Presentations

    The Ultimate Guide to Oral Proposal Presentations. Jan 28, 2021. Tweet. An oral presentation with the government is like a job interview. Your goal is to present well and ultimately win the contract. Oral presentations are becoming a more common requirement in government proposals, so it's necessary to have a process that empowers both team ...