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Oral Communication Center

Planning a Presentation

Basic Structure for a Research Presentation

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I. Introduction
  • Engage the audience.
  • Focus the presentation.
  • Preview the presentation's structure or content.
 
II. Body

For each major section of your presentation, follow the "4 S Structure"1:

  • Signpost the point ("First I'm going to point out the problem with..." "My second argument is that..." "Now let me explain my methodology.")
  • State the point clearly and succinctly.
  • Support the point with data, cases, description, relevant studies, etc.
  • Summarize the point
 
III. Conclusion
  • Summarize and re-focus
  • Close
  • Audience Questions

For more details on structural and content elements, see "How to Engage Your Audience and Keep Them with You," available online at the Oral Communication page of the Hamilton College website and in hard copy at the Oral Communication Lab.

1 Adapted from Joyce Ferguson, "Speaking Across the Curriculum at UNCG," in Communication Across the UNCG Curriculum: A Guide for Faculty, ed. Karen Meyers, University of North Carolina— Greensboro, 2002.