Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik


Guidelines for Oral Presentations
Information about grading criteria for oral presentations

The Structure of a Presentation

Begin your presentation by saying what your topic is. Explain to your audience why your presentation is important, how it fits into the topic of your class, and how you are going to approach it. Indicate briefly what the results of your presentation will be.

Main Section
This is where you engage with specific aspects of your topic. Logic and cohesion are very important. One point should lead to the next; think about providing satisfactory transitions from one aspect of your talk to another.

Your guiding questions for the argument should be: What do I want to explain? How do I best illustrate my points, approach the topic? In other words, you should carefully select the important information as well as putting yourself into the audience's position in evaluating their knowledge of the topic.

The conclusions summarise the main points of your argument. If appropriate, your personal opinion can be expressed; it may stimulate a discussion. Make an obvious conclusion (body language, intonation); pause for a moment and, perhaps, thank the audience for their attention.

Create a Handout
An ideal handout clarifies your presentation and gives your audience something to refer to later.
Click here for more information about handouts.

General Remarks about Presentations
Create an opportunity for yourself to practise the presentation with a fellow student, a friend, or a family member before the crucial moment. Talking through your presentation will give you a sense of how to manage the time you have. Do not to exceed the time limit. Use short notes and key words; try not to simply read from your manuscript. This makes it much easier, and pleasanter, for participants to follow your presentation. Pay attention to your speech: speak slowly and evenly; avoid slang and jargon; short pauses are better than "um" and "aah"; speak clearly and check difficult pronunciations before you deliver your paper. Establish eye contact with your audience and try to reach as many people as possible; avoid staring at one person.

Audiovisual Aids
Think about using material to supplement your talk. Audiovisuals can enliven and clarify your verbal presentation. An overhead projector is available in each classroom, a CD player can be provided upon request. If you make a reservation ahead of time, a beamer for a PowerPoint presentation can also be brought into the classroom.

All information you provide should be well labeled, titled, and referenced when necessary. Use large fonts and simple style.

Every overhead transparency should be meaningful. Do not employ media for media's sake.

Based upon: Wolfram R. Keller's Website (Marburg University), TESAG Center, James Cook University, Australia
  Version vom 30.08.2018