Oral Presentation Skills for Students and Teachers

Oral Presentation Skills for Students and Teachers

A new book by Dr Michael Cribb — 12 July, 2017

A new book by Dr Michael Cribb

Hesitation, Equivocation and Pausing

Unveiling the micro-world of political rhetoric and spin

Only £2.99 on Amazon

Every day we are bombarded with political rhetoric in the form of interviews, debates and statements from our political leaders and commentators, on the television, radio and internet. Underlying this rhetoric is the micro-world of spoken discourse that we rarely get to see or explore. This micro-world consists of politicians and commentators hesitating, equivocating, pausing, and using all their rhetorical nounce to get their message across while presenting themselves in the best light and avoiding saying anything that might damage their face.

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Intonation 4 – Pitch Dynamism Quotient — 11 April, 2017

Intonation 4 – Pitch Dynamism Quotient

Pitch Dynamism Quotient is a measure of the variation a speaker has in the pitch of their voice over a length of speech. It can be considered as a measure of the ‘liveliness’ (Hincks, 2004) a speaker puts into their voice when making an oral presentation.

Pitch variation can be measured using the standard deviation, but since males and females normally have different pitch registers, a normalised value of the deviation is necessary in order to make valid comparisons.

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Intonation 3 – Use of pitch range — 7 April, 2017

Intonation 3 – Use of pitch range

When making an oral presentation, a skilled presenter will use the full pitch range in order to structure and segment their monologue. Pitch can be useful in a presentation to highlight, among other things, the division of the talk into spoken paragraphs (paratones). Less skilled presenters often use a narrower pitch range which gives them less headroom in which to show these divisions.

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Oral presentation by random French girl — 27 July, 2016

Oral presentation by random French girl

I am here in Britain for the summer school experience in Coventry and I really got impressed to see that some topics are universal. I have known through my linguistics courses in France that the body language could be, in some way, a national way to express ourselves. But sometimes some gesture will not convey the same message according to the country from which you are coming from. Just to give you an example, I met a girl from Czech Republic and we had this little talk about how to wish for luck. In France we cross the fingers and in her country they just do a fist and shake it.

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Oral presentations, Erasmus and my piece of advice — 3 December, 2015

Oral presentations, Erasmus and my piece of advice


My name is Maria and I am an Erasmus student from Spain. This year I have been studying at Coventry University, this means that I have had to attend to classes which are taught in English, as well as the assignments. Because of this, I have had to work with English students and do my presentations in English. At this point, I would like to share with you my experience, and see if this can help other Erasmus students in order to be prepared when coming to study to Coventry.

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Handling Questions — 11 August, 2015
To steeple or not to steeple? — 22 June, 2015

To steeple or not to steeple?

I often give advice to my students on body language when they are preparing for oral presentations. One important aspect of body language is gestures: what we do with our hands and arms as we speak? Do we put them in our pockets, behind our backs, in front of ourselves, or what?

The convention wisdom these days is that the steeple gesture is the most positive and confident starting position for the hands and arms when making a presentation. The steeple gesture, in case you didn’t know, generally involves the tips of the fingers on each hand being held together and the hands in front of the body, as shown in the picture below.

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ErHelloEveryone — 10 June, 2015
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