Many courses at UNSW require students to give oral presentations in tutorials and seminars. During your studies, you may be required to give many presentations.
An oral presentation is a short talk on a set topic given to a tutorial or seminar group. In an oral presentation one (or more) students give a talk to a tutorial group and present views on a topic based on their readings or research. The rest of the group then joins in a discussion of the topic.
Depending on your course, giving an oral presentation can involve:
Presentation topics are usually scheduled early in the semester. You may be able to choose your topic or one may be allocated to you. If you are able to choose a topic, select the one that you have some questions about and that interests you the most. Your presentation may be given as an individual or as part of a group.
In some courses the oral presentation may be the basis for a written assignment. Check with your tutor for details. There may be specific requirements you may need to meet and these are usually detailed in your course outline or study guide.
Preparing an oral presentation is much like preparing any other assignment; it needs to be planned researched and written before it is delivered.
Examine the assignment criteria provided in your course outline carefully and make sure you know exactly what to do. Do you have to answer a set question, present an argument, explain or discuss something, be critical? If you are unsure, check with your tutor.
Oral presentations usually have a time limit and the amount of time you have will determine how much information you are able to cover. To keep within the allotted time, you need to plan carefully and focus on essential points when giving your talk.
Write a draft ‘script’ and allow roughly 400 words for each five minutes. A draft will help you work out the structure, the main points and the supporting information you need to include.