Instructions for
Oral Presentations and Outlines


Fall 2005  Generation 23
Dr. Leon James, Instructor

The Web address of this document is:

The link to the Oral Presentation Schedule is on the class home page:

You will be required to give 3 oral presentations, as scheduled on the assigned topics.  The format of the presentations is varied and this will be discussed in class. Each oral presentation is worth 10 points -- total 30 points. Part of this total includes your participation in class discussions following each oral presentation. You are required to hand in a typed one-page Outline of the weekly readings assigned for the oral presentations. Each Outline is worth 1 point and you must hand in 10 Outlines, for a total of 10 points. Together, that makes 40 points for the requirements associated with oral presentations. The Outlines must be uploaded no later than two weeks after the readings covered by that Outline (so you can't upload them all in at the end of the semester if you want the full 10 point credit).

You will receive by email feedback from the instructor after each presentation. This will include your grade, what you did well, and a critique of what you could improve on regarding rapport with the audience, voice quality, and communication aids you might use to get your points across. You will also receive explicit  training in class regarding oral communication concerns and how to give a good oral presentation. Training Methods, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria are given below.

1) Read through the assigned material for your presentation, take notes, and think about it for a few days. Then discuss the content informally with someone. Explain what the main concepts are. See if you can define them without your notes. Note the reaction, and the comprehension or misunderstanding.

2) Create a new file in your word processor and name it lastanme-outline1.htm and save it as a Web Page (not a .doc file!).  Replace the name with your last name (which will be the name of the folder where you upload all your own work).

Be sure you name it exactly lastname-outline1.htm   (no spaces, no upper case letters). Type your Outline in this file. This Outline will also serve for your Handout. Be sure to bring 21 copies with you. Your Handout should give the Web address of your file.

You must also include at least three helpful Web links that deal with the topic you're presenting. You find these links by searching on the Web. Do not forget these links on your Outline if you want your full points.

You must submit 10 Outlines in all. Three Outlines must be the oral presentation handouts you gave out in class, and seven Outlines will be of your own choosing from the weekly assignments (see Oral Presentation Schedule). The Outlines must be uploaded two weeks after the date of the class presentations. You cannot upload your Outlines out of sequence or all at once at the end, if you want full credit. Each time you upload an Outline, you need to email the instructor that you did it. However, you can edit or improve your Outline at any time without having to email the instructor about it. The Outlines will be graded at the end of the semester.

3) Each Outline must have the following title lines in bold face (first half centered, second half not centered)

Course and Date presented or uploaded  here
My First [Second, etc.] Outline of Assigned Readings
By (your first and last name or your pseudonym)
type a title of your choosing here (make it to reflect the theme and content)

(not centered) type the full citation for the assigned reading here as given in the Oral Presentation Schedule, including page numbers
(blank line)
Instructions for this activity are found at: 
Instructor: Dr. Leon James
(blank line)

4) Add the required links at the bottom of the Outline.

(i)   Your Home Page:
(change to 409bf2005 or 459f2005 for the other two courses as appropriate)

(II)   The G23 Class Home Page:

(iii)   Related Web Links:  At the end of your Outline there must be three Web links that you found after searching. These links connect to sites or articles that you feel are related to the three concepts in your presentation or in the assigned readings you are selecting for the Outline. Give a brief explanation of the links as you finish your oral presentation.

5) Be sure that your typed Outline shows an organization along the three Parts listed in point 10 below!

Here are some examples from prior generations. Please note that these are only for illustration and there might be slight differences in the instructions, so be sure to follow the current instructions for G23 (this file).


6) For your presentation select 3 concepts or principles from the assigned material -- ideas that you find worthwhile to present to the other people. That's about 3 minutes per concept. This may also be a table, chart, or diagram.

7) First, switch seats to the front of the room so all students can see your face. Second, distribute the handout. Wait till everyone has one and the instructor gives you the go ahead to begin.

8) Do not wear a cap with a flap that covers your forehead and eyes. First, look around the room and introduce yourself by saying, "Hi, my name is First name, Last name." Note: Do not say only your first name. Say your first name and last name. Practice this so you can use a firm voice that everyone can hear clearly. Look at people while you are introducing yourself.

Next say: My presentation today covers pages xx in the book called xx." Be sure to look around the room to everyone while you do this. Use a clear voice and give the full reference. This is an important part of the presentation.

Note: It is expected that you actually look at people's faces. Pause one second on one face, then go on to another face. This will create rapport between you and the audience and you will feel less nervous and more comfortable. The audience also will feel more comfortable. So remember: Look at people's faces around the room -- the front, to the left side of the room, to the right side of the room. Keep moving around the room throughout your presentation. This will make the other students feel more at ease and you will feel more connected. The result will be a better and clearer presentation.

Be sure to speak with a loud voice that carries to the last seat in the room. From time to time the instructor may say to you, You need to speak louder. At that point, say, O.K. and raise your voice. Keep thinking that you must raise your voice as you continue talking. The entire success of your presentation depends on your voice being strong and loud enough to blanket the room. No matter how much you prepared and how intelligent your comments, if your voice is not strong, your effort is lost on the audience.

Note: For non-native speakers of English, it is normal to feel that people don't understand because you speak with a foreign accent. But that is almost never the case. The problem is almost always that you don't speak loud enough. If you speak loud enough, everyone will understand you, regardless of your accent. So practice, practice, practice -- speaking loud enough. Use a tape recorder to record your voice from different distances so you get feedback on how loud you have to speak to be loud enough. You might think it's very loud, but actually, it's almost impossible to be too loud. It's always the problem of not being loud enough. This is also true for the native speakers because shyness or nervousness makes you speak less loud, so you need to counteract it consciously. Tighten the stomach muscles as you speak. This will help project your voice to the wall and blanket everyone in the room.

9) After introducing yourself, state what the three concepts and definitions on the handout are. Be sure to (a) name the concept or title, and (b) give a one sentence definition of each concept. Do not forget to do both.

10) Then, start with concept 1:

Part A  Explain again what is the concept, idea, principle, diagram, or chart.

Enlarge upon the definition using your own words--do not quote the original.

Do not read your notes.

Look up and around and act like you are speaking spontaneously.

If you practice and prepare sufficiently, you won't have to read your notes at all. Reading your notes will cost you points. But you are allowed to look at your notes from time to time for brief moments.

Not looking around the room while you talk, will cost you points.

Keep thinking about what your purpose is, namely, to give the other students the benefit of your thinking about the concepts you selected from the assigned pages. This means your thinking. It's your thinking on the original that you are presenting rather than just the original. Remember this: You have to do some thinking about the original, and that's the content of your presentation -- your thinking about the original. This is why you need to talk about it with some people before your presentation. This will insure you are doing some thinking about it, so  you can give your presentation appropriately.

Part B  Now give an illustration or specific example of how this idea occurs in your everyday life experience or in society.

This is the larger psychological and cultural significance of the concept  you picked to present.

Part C  Now give your own opinion about this concept.

11) Now move on to concept 2, then concept 3. Repeat the three sub-steps with each concept. Monitor your time carefully. You only have 3 minutes per concept. Move quickly from one to the other.

Be sure to keep looking around to people's faces while you talk, not just to one or two faces. Do not act like you are speaking to the instructor, who is just one audience member. It's good to maintain eye contact for one or two seconds, then move on to the next face. Be sure to speak with a strong or loud voice, addressing yourself to the person furthest in the room. If there is vehicular noise coming through the window, you need to compensate by speaking louder above the noise (or just wait a few seconds).

You can consult your notes as often as you want to, but do not read.

12)   Time Limits:   Stay within the assigned time limit of no less than 10 minutes and no more than 12 minutes. The instructor will tell you to wrap it up in one minute when your time is up. If you take less than 10 minutes to finish, it will cost you points. That's why you need to prepare enough material to make sure you don't finish too soon! And if the instructor tells you that the time is up, have the last minute of your presentation ready in reserve, so you can do that and finish within one minute of the warning. Do not go over that one minute or it will cost you points.

Study the Assessment Tools given below. It lists the criteria by which you will be graded.

13) Make outline notes for yourself, not full sentences, so you will be making up the sentences spontaneously as you talk. This helps you to stay in rapport with the audience. The skills you practice here are the same that will make you successful on your job and in your relationship with other people.

14) When you finish, say: "And that's my presentation for today. Thank you." The audience will then applaud and the instructor will open up the discussion period.  You must answer at least 3 questions. Be sure you maintain a strong voice while you are answering. The other students should be prepared to ask questions. It's a good idea to write down your question during the presentation, while you are thinking about it. Students who do not ask questions or do not speak up in class discussions, cannot earn the grade of A. Participating in class discussions is a requirement of the course for the grade of A. It's not difficult to do, if you write down the question while the person is still speaking, while you are still thinking about it. It's all right to take notes while the person is speaking. It shows that you are listening seriously.

15) Do not read while the person is presenting. It shows off very vividly and obviously when you are working on something else while everybody else is listening. This is obvious to the instructor as well. Do not talk to the person next to you. This is extremely disturbing and disrupts the class atmosphere, which is to be together and not to break off. You cannot earn a good grade in this course if you ignore these expectations of appropriate behaviors while in class. You are allowed to leave the class for brief periods, if you need to.

16) At the end of your presentation, the instructor will hand you a written feedback form and a grade. You can also ask him for oral feedback at the end of class (this is optional).

17) Summary of Tips for Oral Presentations

Practice is key to giving a good presentation.  Do not read your notes--learn them so you can talk while looking at the audience. Look around the class as you talk. Do not talk to the instructor alone--look at the students and make sure you maintain rapport with the audience. Looking directly at people's faces is very important for rapport. Do not wear a cap with a visor that hides your eyes. Make sure your voice is very loud, louder than normal. This is very important. Manage your time so you do about three minutes for each of the three concepts. Remember to name and define the three concepts, first, before you start with the rest. Your job is to present your own thinking about the original. It really helps if you talk about with others as part of your preparation. Finally, act like you are enjoying the presentation and happy to do it as a service to the other students. Reread the instructions again!

18) The Seven Additional Outlines to be Uploaded

In addition to the three handout Outlines for your three oral presentations, you are also required to upload 7 additional Outlines.  These 7 additional Outlines are to be written exactly in the same format as the other three, just as if you would be giving an oral presentation. Be sure you keep the same organization and follow the same detailed instructions. Each additional Outline is to be based on one the weekly assigned readings for one of the oral presentation each week (see Oral Presentation Schedule at Class Home Page). Each uploaded Outline that you select is due no later than two weeks from the week in which the assigned readings were discussed in class. You must email the instructor the week you upload each Outline.

Grading of Presentations: Oral Communication Assessment Criteria:

  1. Did student prepare a coherent handout in 21 copies, and included three Web links?

  2. Did student follow the three steps specified in the instructions?

  3. Did student name the three concepts and define each at the start?

  4. Did student illustrate each concept with psychological and cultural significance?

  5. Did student show evidence of being well prepared and organized?

  6. Did student establish and maintain rapport with the audience from the beginning?

  7. Did student look around the room to all the audience members?

  8. Did student speak spontaneously and avoided reading?

  9. Did student stay within the stated time limits of not less than 9 and not more than 12 mins.?

  10. Did student listen to questions and respond appropriately?

How to Be a Good Audience Member in Class:

a) Speak at least once in every class (it's a community responsibility). You can ask a question or comment on someone else's comment.

b) Look at the speaker during the presentation and act like an audience. Avoid looking down for long periods. This makes a big difference to the speaker. Do not read or write unrelated tasks while the presentation is going on! But you should write down questions to ask at the end, while you're thinking of it. Do not talk to your neighbor (this will cost you penalty points deducted from your overall grade). Do not be late for class.

c) Give others a chance to speak if you have already spoken more than twice in one class.

d) Make comments that address the specific topic. Do not tell stories. We have just a few minutes for the discussions, and brief statements by several people would be the best interaction style. Be ready with your comment and jump in when there is an opportunity. This is excellent practice for everyone!

e) Remember: the speaker must answer three questions as part of the grade, so we can't go on to the next speaker until those questions are asked!!

Additional Information

Oral Communication Training Method:

(1) The instructor will model oral communication presentations and point out the various concerns while performing them.

(2) Students will read out loud to the class and receive feedback on voice quality, loudness, and eye contact.

(3) Students will orally summarize the main points of a paragraph that is read out loud.

(4) Students as audience will learn to use the assessment criteria shown below by emailing a feedback message to class  presenters (optional).

(5) Students will receive written feedback from the instructor following each of their three presentations, focusing on the assessment criteria shown below. This will allow them to work on improvements after each presentation.

Oral Communication Learning Outcomes:

Overall Goals

Students should acquire a clear understanding of the basic concepts and practices associated with public speaking and should appreciate the role of public speaking in academic and work settings. Students should be able to deliver speeches in accordance with the principles of effective oral presentation.

Specific Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to practice and achieve at least seven of the following:

  1. Compose and deliver public presentations on assigned topics in a classroom setting

  2. Effectively create, organize, and support ideas in oral presentations

  3. Delivering an oral presentation on an assigned reading task and adding argument support elements (illustrations, Web links, examples)

  4. Creating a Web Page for each oral presentation, including related links

  5. Maintain effective rapport with the classroom audience (eye contact, voice modulation)

  6. Listen to and answer adequately, questions from the audience

  7. Utilize effective delivery techniques when giving an oral presentation

  8. Use visual aids and techniques (handouts, Power Point slides, overhead projector)

  9. Make use of interactive techniques (making audience participation requests)

  10. Remain within the assigned time limits

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