Oral Presentations

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Oral Presentations as Assessment Items

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Why are oral presentations part of assessment at university?

Oral presentations as assessment items are becoming increasingly more common at tertiary level. There are a number of very important reasons for this. Oral presentations:


  • test cognitive skills;
  • allow you to demonstrate your ability to generate and synthesise new ideas;
  • give you the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learnt in an analytical way;
  • turn the tertiary classroom into an active learning environment; and
  • give you the chance to learn from your peers and to share your knowledge with them.


The most important reason is that oral presentation skills are an essential graduate attribute and your future employer will be looking for these skills in particular. The skills that you develop by practicing giving oral presentations will have a wide range of practical applications in the workplace. Oral Presentations:

  • prepare you for formal presentations that you may often be required to give in the workplace;
  • help to build confidence in speaking in public;
  • give you the opportunity to think on your feet so that you can learn to articulate your thoughts in a public forum;
  • help you to learn how to synthesise material into a manageable form that is easily comprehended by others;
  • ensure that you learn how to appropriately present your own ideas to an audience; and
  • enable you to practice speaking for a particular audience in a professional manner.

A Thought from a Lecturer

Practice undertaking oral presentations builds confidence and communication skills

It is important to realise that undertaking an oral presentation is about so much more than just gaining a few assessment marks. As a student you need to use the tasks as a valuable opportunity to develop vital skills. The skills that you gain from successfully learning to present effectively will be of enormous help in your career. In a job interview, for example, if you appear to be an articulate, intelligent, and thoughtful candidate, you will be more likely to succeed than if you are unable to communicate your ideas succinctly and persuasively.

Once you are in the workplace, you will often be put in a situation where you are required to speak in public. Most businesses require polished oral presentation skills. Being able to present your ideas well will be extremely important in terms of gaining promotion. In most areas of the corporate world, you will find that you will need to represent your business to clients and the better you are at doing this, the more likely your company is to succeed. This holds true for almost all areas of employment.


A Thought from a Lecturer

Presentations are what make or break you in business

It is easy to see how oral presentations will benefit Education students in their future careers, but the benefits to other professions are also enormous. In nursing, for example, presentation skills are considered vital for all graduates. Practice with oral presentations enables students to develop the ability to understand process and explain key topics. This will be a fact of daily life within the nursing profession. Practice talking in public helps to facilitate student learning, but it also builds skills that will one day be required at work. It is quite common for nurses to be required to explain things to patients and their families in a hospital setting. They will also be required to articulate their concerns to other hospital staff.




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