Oral Communication

Rehearsing your Presentation

Rehearsing your presentation is essential for practising and assessing your timekeeping, body language (such as eye contact and hand gestures), voice projection, pace of speech and logical order of content. It gives presenters a chance to amend their presentation and envisage how they will go about presenting on the day.

It may be useful to record your voice on a mobile phone, or video yourself and watch it back, noting good points and areas for improvement. Use the Assessing Oral Presentations document to assess your recorded rehearsal.

Things to think about when you rehearse:

  • Ideally rehearse in the venue that your presentation will take place in, or at least visit it to familiarise yourself.
  • Ask friends to sit and watch your presentation, and to give feedback at the end. You might ask them to use the Assessing Oral Presentations document to help them to structure their feedback.
  • Look at your watch or clock before and after your rehearsal to ensure you haven't gone over your allocated time.
  • Ask your friends to sit far back while you rehearse and ask them whether you are loud and clear enough for them to hear, and whether your visual aids are easy to see/read.
  • Practise using your visual aids. Click through your PowerPoint presentation (if you choose to use this) several times, to ensure that you are familiar with the order of the slides and know how to move forwards and backwards through the slides
  • Practise using your prompt cards with keywords or phrases to help you remember what to say next. Then edit them to make them more useful.
  • Ask friends to let you know if your gestures or movement are distracting. (See the Body Language section for suggestions).
  • Ensure that all the equipment you need is available and you feel confident about using it.
  • Reflect on your rehersal presentation; think which aspects you are happy with and and how you will improve on it for the 'real thing'. This How Did my Presentation Go? document will enable you to record your thoughts.

Watch and Learn

The video clips on the right hand side of the screen illustrate several of the points made above and the discussion points aim to support you in evaluating these examples and your own practice.

Follow the reading list and useful websites links for further suggestions.



Brunel University (West London)

Rehearsing to Get the Set-up Right

Rehearsing with Friends