Instructions for Oral Presentations
Oral 2

409a, 409b

Fall 2006  Generation 25
Dr. Leon James, Instructor

The Web address of this document is:

The instructions for Oral 1 will be found here:
The instructions for Oral 3 will be found here:

Note: The instructions given for Oral 1 contain many of the details you need to know on how to make your oral presentations. You must consult those instructions for your Oral 2 as well. Oral 1 instructions also cover the 10 Outlines you must upload.

Oral 2 is presented as a team of three students. Each student plays one of the three roles below for 15 minutes, then there is a switch, twice, so that each student gets to play all three roles:

409a Monday class on driving

409b Tuesday class on marriage

Role A:  a science reporter doing an interview simultaneously with two panelists

Role B:  a committed cynical aggressive driver who has taken this course, but thinks its principles are unrealistic or idealistic

Role C:  a reformed aggressive driver who has taken this course and is now a committed and enthusiastic supportive driver

Role A:  a science reporter is doing an interview simultaneously with two panelists.

Role B: a marriage counselor who provides arguments in favor of the dominance model as the best, the equity model as the second best, and is totally against the unity model as harmful to the happiness of both partners.

Role C:  a marriage counselor who provides arguments in favor of the unity model model as the best, the dominance model as the most harmful, and the equity model as a transition toward the unity model.

Round 1: Student 1 in Role A, Student 2 in Role B and Student 3 in Role C
Round 2: Student 2 in Role A, Student 1 in Role C and Student 3 in Role B
Round 3: Student 3 in Role A, Student 2 in Role C and Student 1 in Role B

Since each Round lasts for 15 minutes, the total time for Oral 2 will be 45 minutes. This will be followed by audience questions to all three students, still in their role mode.

How to Perform the Role of the Reporter -- Role A

1) Your role is to make sure the topics in the assigned reading are adequately covered. Also, make sure that each student has an ID badge or card identifying the role they are enacting: Interviewer, Aggressive, Supportive (409a) or Interviewer, Dominance, Unity (409b). You are also responsible for keeping track of the time during the interview.

2) Your task is to ask questions and direct the answers so the topics of the assigned reading are adequately explored as the audience is listening. To do this effectively you need to make a list of the topics and arguments that need to be covered according to the assigned pages for the week. Note that several arguments need to be stated in different ways for each topic or sub-topic you choose -- hence requires several directional questions. Your task is to get the panelist to make statements about the arguments and topics you listed on your note sheet. As they talk, additional questions will occur to you. Write them down so you can follow up with what they say, directing them to address the point. It's all right to ask a question over and over if you don't get the full answer you expect from the readings.

3) It's a good idea to try to get both panelists to address the same point or issue. This is in order to show up the contrast between their views. If the answer is not sufficient in your estimation, make sure you ask follow up questions to direct the panelist to address the specific issue.

4) Don't just ask one question for each topic and be satisfied with one answer. Your job is to make a platform for the panelists to allow for the contrastive views to come out into the open explicitly. Besides asking prepared questions, you will also need to ask impromptu questions that may come up as a result of an answer. These are "follow up" questions or probes. You can also ask the other panelist to comment on what one of them just said.

If you see that one of the panelists is not being relevant, or is not addressing the issue you want, then you need to ask again in a different way. You must be in charge so the topic gets covered in different aspects. Do not accept "I don't know" answers or joke answers -- repeat the question. However humorous answers that are to the point, are acceptable.

5) You will need to read and study the assigned reading section so you can prepare a list of questions you want to ask each panelist. Next to each question, write down the content of the answer you expect or want. Make sure you bring out this content by asking the right questions as a stimulus, then using follow up questions to home in on it. Do not read your questions, but you can consult your notes.

6) Your job is also to monitor the time, and the distribution of time for each topic and for each panelist. The interview must last 15 minutes -- no more than one minute from this target. Staying within this time limit will be a challenge because you can't predict in advance how long the answers will be. So you must look at your watch as you proceed and adjust things accordingly. You need a good grasp of the material to do this effectively.

7) It is recommended that the three students do not rehearse with each other, or share questions they are going to ask. This is not because of competitiveness or secrecy. The instructor has observed that in the past, the three students earn higher points for the Oral 2 presentation when they don't share the questions and answers with each other. All three students perform their role much better when (i) they have studied the material, and (ii) react spontaneously to questions they are asked about it. The audience can notice right away whether the presentation has been rehearsed or not. It is much less interesting and effective if it has been rehearsed. So by not meeting and sharing the questions in advance, you are increasing everybody's chances to get a better grade -- even if it might feel emotionally more challenging. This is well worth it given the increased skills you are practicing and acquiring, in comparison to a 'canned' performance.

How to Perform the Role of the Panelist -- Role B and C

1) Prepare for these two Roles by making notes as you study the assigned reading. Isolate the sentences, ideas, concepts, or principles from the assigned readings that you want to mention in your Role B and Role C -- which are opposed to each other. Try to make these points effectively when you are answering a question by the reporter. You will earn good points if you stay on topic, and give your answer briefly but effectively. Act like you are on stage with a live audience in the room.

2) Address your comments to the audience, rather than to the interviewer. When you start talking you can look at the interviewer briefly, then face the audience and look at them. You are speaking to them, not to the interviewer. Think of your role -- for or against what the course is teaching, so you want to sound (i) strongly committed to your view and (ii) quite knowledgeable about the topics in the assigned readings for that week.

3) You need to be very familiar with the content, but as well, you need to rehearse the answers that the interviewer might ask. Do not read your answers, but you can consult your notes.

How You will Be Graded

  1. Did student follow all the steps specified in the instructions?

  2. Did student manage to be effective in each assigned role?

  3. Did student adequately represent the specific content of the assigned reading?

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

  5. Did student talk loud enough for all audience members to hear?

  6. Did student express each statement meaningfully and accurately?

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