Speaking: Checklist

Speaking in Academic Contexts.

Check list

Here are some useful things to check before you give your presentation:

1. Overall


  • Audience – be aware of your audience.
  • Objectives – have clear objectives (to inform, persuade, welcome etc.)


  • Planning – have a clear structure and a sense of timing
  • Organisation – have clear connections between the different parts or ideas
  • Information – make sure what you say is interesting and relevant to your audience
  • Impact – make sure you have a strong introduction and conclusion


  • Clear, simple and fluent
  • Correct speed
  • Use of natural spoken language
  • Use of pauses for emphasis

Body language

  • Use of strong clear gestures for emphasis
  • Good eye contact with the audience
  • Positive, confident, and relaxed manner
  • No distracting gestures

Visual aids

  • Clear and simple messages
  • Efficient, professional use of equipment

2. Introduction

  • Introduce yourself – your name and position
  • Give the title/subject of your presentation
  • Explain the purpose of your presentation
  • Say how long you will take
  • Summarise the main parts or points you will cover
  • Mention any visual aids you will use
  • Tell the audience when they may ask questions

3. Main Part

  • Relevant content
  • Clear organisation
  • Appropriate argument
  • Linking/Sequencing of ideas

4. Language

  • Eye contact
  • Language – less complex
  • Sentence length – shorter
  • Use of pauses
  • Personal
  • Interested

5. Visuals


  • Do not just repeat what you say.
  • Not too much information.
  • Use visuals to support what you say.
  • Use only key words, not lines of text.
  • Use the right kind of visual for your topic.
  • Use colour (but not too much).


  • Do not use too many visuals.
  • Do not read from the visual.
  • Make sure the visuals are clear.
  • Use a pointer/masking if it is appropriate.
  • Look at the audience as much as possible.
  • Do not stand in front of the visual – can the audience see?

6. Conclusion

  • Clear signal to end
  • Clear summary
  • Conclusion
  • Invitation for questions 
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