Oral Presentation Ideas

Scroll down to view ideas for oral presentations and to find the oral presentation topic sheet to be used for the unit portfolio.

Oral Presentation Ideas for English

These are resources for you to choose from when working on oral presentations for class. Students are required to present one (two to three minute) oral presentation on assessment day as well as complete peer assessments for oral presentations given by other students. Visuals and multimedia presentations are encouraged. Research and study your subject so that you create a presentation which enables you to feel confident. Practice in front of family and friends to polish speaking skills.

1) Speaking and Listening Worksheets – I will have several worksheets with topics available for each unit. These are the easiest resources to use.

2) Textbook – Adapt any of the "Review the Selection" questions for an oral presentation (see pages 18-19 for example). Write your presentation and/or speaking notes for your presentation and be sure to follow the time restriction of two to three minutes.

3) Historical Research – Since literature relies heavily on history, research a relevant historical topic. Present how/why this history is important in understanding the literature selection. For example, research dialects in different parts of the U.S. and relate your findings to the story "Luckiest Time of All."

4) Become a Character – Present "your" views, insights, and thoughts to the audience as a character from a reading selection.

5) Literary Term/Skill – Explain how a literary device is used in the literature. Create a list, chart, illustration, etc. to show how the author develops this device.

6) Debate- Student should take one point of view, research that view, and argue that view persuasively

7) Dramatic reading- Student will read a work while using voice and facial expressions to convey emotions.

8) Games- Create a board or computer game to represent themes or plots of a story.

9) Imaginary conversation/Improvised dialogue- Create a conversation between two authors or between two characters within a work.

10) Interior monologue- From a character’s traits and context clues, create a monologue that reveals that character’s inner workings of his mind.

11) Journalist’s meeting- Students act as editors and reporters, role-play a staff meeting for a sensational tabloid newspaper, discuss covering an author, theme, plot, etc. of a work.

12) Mock Trial- Students will decide on an accusation from the selected reading, take on the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney, plaintiff, defendant, and judge, prepare questions for both sides of the case, conduct a trial while the rest of the class acts as the jury.

13) Movies- READ a work, then view the film of that work. Acting does not always explain what is going on inside the characters’ minds. Not all movies are true to the original work.

14) Multimedia presentation- Use Powerpoint, overhead projector, slide machine, videos, audio tapes to present something which focuses on literature, literary elements or a related theme.

15) Music- Add musical accompaniment to an oral reading; using an original or borrowed song, create a ballad from a selected reading; set a sonnet to music; create recording of background music from an instrumental work (or excerpts from several pieces) that complement the mood of the work read aloud

16) Opinion poll- Student will ask ten or more participants to complete a sentence, answer a question, comment on a work, etc. and record the responses in writing, video or audio tape.

17) Oral interpretation- Read aloud and compare/contrast different poems and/or works within a literary period (example: Walt Whitman & Henry David Thoreau)

18) Oral retelling- Student will simplify details and language of a work to suit an audience of younger children, go to a library or an elementary school, and tell the "new" story.

19) Performance presentation- Student will perform or recreate a scene from a work; include analyzing, planning, delivering, and evaluating performance.

20) Personal Interview- Student will prepare by researching background information and making a list of questions, participating as an interactive, respectful listener, summarizing notes immediately following the interview, and sending a thank-you note to the person interviewed.

21) Poems- Students should always read poetry aloud.

22) Radio play- Rewrite a scene from a work, relying heavily on dialogue and sound effects, including descriptive passages for a narrator.

23) Role-playing- Assume a different point of view from the one taken in the work and role-play how the work would be different; role-play the author’s or character’s answers from an interview; role-play a counseling session with a character within a work; role-play a conversation between two characters.

24) Socratic discussion- Choose a few questions of issue from themes, characters, plot, etc. from a work. Students will express thoughts on these issues by supporting details from the work.

25) Soliloquy- Memorize a famous soliloquy and perform; paraphrase a soliloquy into modern language and read aloud.

26) Soundtrack - Using sound effects, voices, and passages from recordings, create a soundtrack that captures the mood of a work.

27) Speech- Memorize or read aloud a famous speech; write and deliver a speech from an author’s point of view; write and deliver a speech in which you nominate an author or character for an award.

28) Survey- Conduct a class survey using a reasoned judgment question, tabulate the results, and discuss why people responded as they did.

29) Telephone conversation- Act out a modern telephone conversation in which one character tries to persuade another character to do something different than he did in the selected reading.

30) Town meeting- Pretend you are in the historical period of the selected reading, appoint a moderator and record keeper, as well as character types from this period, discuss problems and proposed solutions.

31) TV or radio talk-show- Student will use props, interview literary guests.

Please do not deliver a simple summary of the literature for monthly oral presentations.


Topic Sheet for Oral Presentation

Month ________

Directions: Students are required to present a 1-2 minute oral presentation on unit test day. Practice in front of family and friends (together answer the questions on the back of this sheet) and make sure to meet the time requirements. The presentation should include a visual aid of some sort. Complete the information below and file this paper in the Speaking/Listening section of your portfolio.




Speech notes:


My student has practiced his/her oral presentation for me and has met the requirements for this assignment.

Parent Signature


Speaking/Listening Parent Response

Presenter: _____________________ Listener: ___________________________


Directions: Please listen to your student’s oral presentation and review these points with him/her. Answer all questions about the speaker truthfully and review details of the presentation in order to help improve speaking skills.


1. Was the speaker prepared? (note cards, knew what to do?)


2. Did the speaker make eye contact and use appropriate gestures? (did not read directly from paper, move around too much, play with hair, etc.?)


3. Did the speaker speak clearly? (speak too fast, too slow, and pronounce words properly?)


4. Was the introduction interesting? (use a catchy intro like a question, statistic, fact, etc.)


5. Did the speaker use visual aids effectively? (too small, clear print, readable?)


6. Was the presentation well-organized and easy to follow? Did it include enough details to support the main idea?


7. How can the presentation be improved?


8. How long was the presentation?










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