Category Archives: Oral Presentation

Writing Lessons from Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech

The First Lady gave a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention recently. You can watch the full speech below:

Question is – what is it about her speech that tugs at our emotions, that makes us focus in and hang on intently on her every word? Audience awareness aside, there is plenty to learn from the way her speech itself is worded. 

Some key lessons in writing from her speech have been conveniently analyzed by this article from Poynter. Notable lessons include: using appropriate language, employing visual images to tell stories, the power of three, and short sentences. 

When preparing for your Oral Presentation, a good script is fundamental in helping you engage the audience. Hopefully some of these tips will be use to you – happy scripting!


Using Stories to Persuade Your Audience

Often your projects in PW will concern some form of persuasion, be it written as a strategy in your report, or orally at the year end. Thing is, while sound logic, compelling arguments and relevant evidence are certainly important, what really draws your audience in will often have to be more emotional in nature – a gentle tugging at people’s hearts before you persuade their minds.

Here are some story-telling techniques from the creative Sparkol blog you can employ to help hook the reader or listener in before you present the core message. For example, we’ve seen students use the ‘Monomyth’ during oral presentations to add their personal narrative to illustrate the problem and solution. Groups sometimes use ‘In Medias Res’ to really draw the audience in with the problem before  beginning the analysis proper.

Give the site a look and we look forward to hearing your stories 🙂

You Have a Voice


The oral presentation can be very daunting – it takes a lot to stand up there and speak persuasively in front of audience.

But what might be more important to note in preparation for it is that this isn’t a mere performance of enunciation and articulation – ultimately this exercise gives you an opportunity for you to speak about your work, your passion, your ideas.

An opportunity for you to cultivate your voice. 

Presentation Break Down


So recently Michael Bay, director of your most explosive movies ever, recently had a meltdown during a Samsung press event when his teleprompter wasn’t working. The incident hit home a point – most of us present with a ‘script’, whether on cue cards, lodged somewhere in our minds or scribbled on our hands. And this mental dependence on the script handicaps us when we are suddenly caught without it.

So how do you prepare for the sudden unpreparedness that might befall you during a presentation? This Forbes article on the matter has some key learning points, reminding us to think about improvisation and how to leverage on passion and audience interaction to salvage the situation.