Cover Page of
The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
Table of ContentsWriting TimelineIndexHelpCredits

Section 2.10.2

Outlining and Planning an Oral Presentation

Learn the basic outline for any oral presentation. Most consist of four parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Closing
  4. Question-and-answer period


The introduction to an oral presentation usually includes these components:

Your name and other identifying marks you want to include (title, organization usually)

The title of your presentation, including the type of presentation it is (report, proposal, design review, etc.)

The motivation for discussing your topic

The statement of objective

Forecasting the contents of your talk (if your talk is over five minutes)

To lend structure to your oral presentation, repeat key phrases from your introductory overheads throughout your presentation.

For further discussion and examples of overheads, see Examples of Materials for an Oral Presentation: A Design Review.


The body of an oral presentation includes these elements:

An elaboration of the background of your topic, such as a theory or hypotheses for an experimental approach or procedure

Development of specific content relevant to the type of report you are giving: citing equations, displaying relevant graphs or other figures (see Preparing Overheads and Other Display Media), presenting results and discussion of those results


The closing of an oral presentation includes these elements:

A summary statement of your conclusions or recommendations, or other material suited to your report type (such as time schedules in a proposal)

A request for questions from the audience where that is expected and appropriate

Question-and-Answer Period

In the question-and-answer period, you do the following things:

You should try to anticipate what kinds of questions you may be asked and prepare viewgraphs for this possibility.

Reference Link Text
## Outlining an Oral Presentation ##
Reference Link Text

[ Home | Table of Contents | Writing Timeline | Index | Help | Credits]