A student presenting in a seminar

A student presenting

Skills for presenting in seminars

It's really important to express your ideas clearly and support them with examples. You should also try to present both sides of the argument, whatever your own opinion is. - Haia

One of the things you might be asked to do on your university course is to give an oral presentation during a seminar. Formal speaking in front of an audience can be challenging if you have not done this before, and plenty of preparation beforehand can help to increase your confidence if you are asked to do this.

In these activities you will think about what skills are needed to give a good oral presentation. You will also watch a video of a student presenting in a seminar in order to recognise some techniques that he uses, and then identify the effects of using certain techniques.

Activity 1What skills are needed for presenting?

You are going to think about the skills and preparation that are needed to give an oral presentation. Think of a good lecture, presentation or talk that you have attended. Think particularly about how the speaker delivered it. What skills did they use to help communicate their ideas effectively?

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Make a list below of all the different aspects of the presentation which made it effective. When you have listed everything you can think of, read the feedback and compare your list with the answers that British students gave to the same question.

Activity 2Recognising good presentation techniques

You are going to watch part of a video of an international student presenting in a seminar on his university course and identify some effective techniques that he uses.

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Watch the video extract showing the beginning and the end of Tarek's seminar presentation on 'The Language and Identity of the Berbers'. Look at the list below and select any good presentation techniques that Tarek uses. Then read the feedback.

Video transcript (pdf, 24kb).

Watch the video extract again with the transcript above if you need to check your understanding. The parts of the transcript containing the answers to the listening task are highlighted.

Activity 3How can different techniques help?

In this activity, you are going to think about how the use of different techniques can help when giving an oral presentation.

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Select a presentation technique from the list on left and then match it with the reason for using it in the list on the right. When you have selected and matched up all of the items, check your answers and read the feedback.

Would you like to review the main points?