Speaking & Listening Skills: Oral Reports
In many ways, planning an oral report is similar to planning a written report.
An oral report also has the same three basic parts as a written report.
It's important to really know your subject and be well organized. If you know your material well, you will be confident and able to answer questions. If your report is well organized, the audience will find it informative and easy to follow.
Think about your audience. If you were listening to a report on your subject, what would you want to know? Too much information can seem overwhelming, and too little can be confusing. Organize your outline around your key points, and focus on getting them across.
Remember—enthusiasm is contagious! If you're interested in your subject, the audience will be interested, too.
Practicing your report is a key to success. At first, some people find it helpful to go through the report alone. You might practice in front of a mirror or in front of your stuffed animals. Then, try out your report in front of a practice audience-friends or family. Ask your practice audience:
If you are using visual aids, such as posters or overhead transparencies, practice using them while you rehearse. Also, you might want to time yourself to see how long it actually takes. The time will probably go by faster than you expect.
Almost everyone is nervous when speaking before a group. Many people say public speaking is their Number 1 fear. Being well prepared is the best way to prevent nerves from getting the better of you. Also, try breathing deeply before you begin your report, and remember to breathe during the report. Being nervous isn't all bad-it can help to keep you on your toes!
One last thing
Have you prepared and practiced your report? Then go get 'em! Remember: you know your stuff, and your report is interesting and important.