Carl Storz

Oral Presentation Skills


This text is the result of years of experience and is intended to be an aid for anyone wishing to speak to a group. Anyone can give a good presentation. Don't worry if you are not naturally extrovert. Preparation and practice can be the keys to success! This text provides the essential elements and some tips on preparing and organizing a successful oral presentation in English or any other language. The same structure can also be used to some extent in the context of the written text, i.e. dividing the text into three parts - introduction, development and conclusion.

Other useful elements for the written text include: expressions to indicate lists, links, examples, etc. In return, we would ask you the reader and practitioner to send any comments, corrections or questions to make about this document, to please send them to Carl Storz

This short paper is divided into several sections, each one being based on a particular point which is important to think about in preparing for and giving an oral presentation. The first ones deal with the preparation and planning stage, the most important stage. The second one deals with the structure of the speech and language needed to express it. The third speaks about how to create interest; the fourth discusses the use of visual aids and establish and maintain a relationship with the audience. The fifth deals with body language and finally, the sixth contains a few comments on using the voice and correct pronunciation. Actual language used to express the above is given is in italics, bulleted and boxed.

Comments and questions you could ask yourself in preparing each part are also included. At the end, you will find a bibliography of materials available in the mediathèque for further work on oral presentations or listening practice. It is also important to remember that there are perhaps several formulae for an oral presentation, this being just one.

There are also cultural aspects to take into consideration in that different communities: English-speaking vs. French-speaking; scientific vs. literary groups or managers vs. sales reps. Different people speak in different ways with different language and different conventions depending on to whom, where, when and why they are speaking. All of these questions are, of course, vital to take into consideration during the preparation.


Technical requirements: Flash Player and Javascript.

To listen to how words and phrases are pronounced:

  • Roll the mouse over the hypertext link and the flag(s) appears below.
  • One flag means the pronunciation is very similar in British and American English.
  • Two flags indicate that the pronunciation is rather different between British and American English.

Please note that in many cases words have been added to the bas ic phrase in the sound version to make a complete example.

Download Oral Presentation Skills in PDF format
page updated 16/10/2013