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Section 2.10.2

Outlining and Planning an Oral Presentation

Learn the basic outline for any oral presentation. Most consist offour parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Closing
  4. Question-and-answer period


The introduction to an oral presentation usually includes these components:

Your name and other identifying marks you want to include (title, organization usually)

The title of your presentation, including the type of presentation it is(report, proposal, design review, etc.)

The motivation for discussing your topic

The statement of objective

Forecasting the contents of your talk (if your talk is over fiveminutes)

To lend structure to your oral presentation, repeat key phrases from your introductory overheads throughout your presentation.

For further discussion and examples of overheads, see Examples ofMaterials for an Oral Presentation: A Design Review.


The body of an oral presentation includes these elements:

An elaboration of the background of your topic, such as a theory or hypotheses for an experimental approach or procedure

Development of specific content relevant to the type of report you are giving: citing equations, displaying relevant graphs orother figures (see Preparing Overheads and Other DisplayMedia), presenting results and discussion of those results


The closing of an oral presentation includes these elements:

A summary statement of your conclusions or recommendations, or other material suited to yourreport type (such as time schedules in a proposal)

A request for questions from the audience where that is expected and appropriate

Question-and-Answer Period

In the question-and-answer period, you do the following things:

You should try to anticipate what kinds of questions you may be asked and prepare viewgraphs for this possibility.

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