Spoken Communication in presentations

Course overview

Giving academic presentations can be challenging for students and researchers, particularly if English is not their first language. This course focuses on how international students can understand academic presentations and improve their own presentation skills. Students will listen to academic presentations from various media, whilst the teacher highlights important communicative features used by speakers. Such features may include how a presenter uses her voice tone, pauses and stresses words, or uses informal vocabulary for effect. Students will then have the opportunity to give presentations on topics related to their field of study and receive feedback from their tutor and fellow students. The tutor’s feedback will include comments on pronunciation, language use, and delivery. Classes will involve tutor input, individual tasks, and pair or small group work. Students will likely be asked to prepare material to present for homework.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Better understand the vocal presentation of academic material, having listened to and practised commonly used voice intonation and rhythm patterns 
  • Better understand the vocabulary used in academic presentations, such as the use of informal, figurative language and signposting phrases for guiding listeners
  • Plan and participate in a group presentation to a general audience
  • Plan and give an individual presentation in your discipline
  • Present data found in graphs, tables and other figures confidently and clearly 
  • Deal confidently and effectively with questions and answers
  • Manage PowerPoint or other audio/visual aids effectively and use grammatically correct and organised language on slides
  •  Improve your pronunciation through classroom input and self-study while working towards a goal of comfortable intelligibility

A certificate of attendance is available upon request if you have attended at least 80% of the course

Enrolment information


For Learners with an Oxford University SSO (Single Sign-On) simply click on the enrol button next to the class that you wish to join. 

For Learners without an Oxford University SSO, or who are not members of the University, please email admin@lang.ox.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Email address and phone number
  • The name of the course you wish to study
  • The start date and time of the course
  • Your connection to Oxford University, if any (to determine course fee)

We will then provisionally enrol you onto the course and send you a link to the Oxford University Online Store for payment. Once payment is received we will confirm your place on the course.