Aim: To help you think, prepare, revise, and deliver writing for oral presentations.
Writing for an audience isn't all that different from writing for a reader. The basic strategies (i.e. keep your audience's attention, convey your ideas, and support them with evidence) are the same you would use in other kinds of writing. But the conditions for public speaking favor some qualities over others.
The structure of the oral presentation is crucial: the audience can't go back and hear the last sentence again, as you do when reading. For that reason, you must design your presentation with your audience in mind, looking for ways to keep your message as clear and brief as possible, even if that means writing in a more mechanical, less flourished, manner. Also, most presentations have a time limit, and the single most common mistake made by speakers is to spend too much time in the introduction and then have to hurry up.
Skim over the following oral presentations. Both are introductory paragraphs.Which one do you think is best?
Why do you think this example was better? Click on the qualities that you think make it more appropriate.
As you can see, using a more conversational style, with a less formal choice of words, works best. But, apart from certain stylistic restrictions, the facts of having an audience and a time limit affect the whole of the writing process, from deciding on the content to actually delivering your speech. The following pages will go through every one of the following steps: