Student Area|Teacher Area

Presentation Skills for Research Students

(Course Developer: Dr Richard Moore)

Subject Code: ELC6001

Contact Hours: Seminars 28 hours


This course aims to develop the language and skills research students need to present their research project to an academic audience, such as in a conference and at a viva.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to present their research to an academic audience in contexts such as conferences and vivas through

  1. Planning, organising and delivering effective presentations
  2. Reporting and defending their research

To achieve the above outcomes, students are expected to use language and organisational structure appropriate to the context, select information critically, justify various aspects of the research, present and support stance and opinion, and analyse the impact and significance of the research.


This syllabus is indicative.The balance of the components, and the weighting accorded to each, will be based on the specific needs of the students.

  1. Planning and organising presentations
    Identifying purposes and audiences; selecting and organising information and ideas; using appropriate organisational patterns.

  2. Delivering presentations
    Using transitions; signposting the presentation; selecting appropriate register; employing non-verbal interactive strategies; handling questions.

  3. Using visual aids in presentations
    Analysing the characteristics of different types of commonly-used visual aids; selecting visual aids; planning and preparing visual aids; describing graphics; practising the techniques of using different visual aids.

Teaching and Learning Approach

The study method is primarily seminar-based. Seminar activities include teacher input as well as individual and group work. Students will be provided with opportunities to practise giving oral presentations related to their research. Through the practical work supported by video-recording facilities, students will learn to evaluate their presentations and obtain advice on presentations related to their research. Students will be referred to information on the Internet and the ELC's Centre for Independent Language Learning.

Learning materials developed by the English Language Centre are used throughout this course. Additional reference materials will be recommended as required.


Continuous assessment 100%

Students' oral skills are evaluated through assessment tasks related to the learning outcomes. Students are assessed on the fluency, accuracy and appropriacy of the language used in fulfilling the assessment tasks, as well as the selection and organisation of ideas.

Indicative References

Cauldwell, R. (2002). Streaming speech: Listening and pronunciation for advanced learners of English. Birmingham: Speechinaction.

Hancock, M. (2003). English pronunciation in use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jay, A. and Jay, R. (2000). Effective presentation. London: Prentice Hall.

Madden, C. G. and Rohlck, T. N. (1997). Discussion and interaction in the academic community. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Reinhart, S. (2002). Giving academic presentations. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.