Oral Communication Design Examples
  • Example #1: Cases

    Students in UC 410 were to select a case from a list. They submitted a paper in which they defended what they thought was the most plausible approach. They were also to make a presentation (evaluated by means of the CU Oral Communication rubric) capturing their thoughts. Details are available online at the Indiana University website.

    Example #2: Marketing Plans

    In MBA Marketing Management, students are broken into teams. Each team develops a marketing plan for a local business. This plan is delivered to the client both orally and in written form. The SOM oral and written communication rubrics are utilized to score the marketing plan presentations and the written plans.

    Example #3: Icebreaker / Joke Assignment


    At the end of the next class, you will share a joke with your classmates.

    My only requirements:
    • The joke should be "PG-13." Not even "R" with a fake I.D. (Yeah, I know. You're college students, but there are some things we maybe don't need to know about you this early in the semester.)

    • Don't tell jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes. (The idea behind this assignment is for you & your classmates to enjoy yourselves, not for you to make enemies by Day Two.)

    • Unless you are an International Student, the joke must be memorized. (So if you have a bad memory or get really nervous, keep it short. That's perfectly fine with me.)

    Things that are not requirements:
    • It doesn't have to be long. Two line jokes work as well as 5-minute story jokes.

    • It doesn't have to be funny. 

    Example #4: Individual Topic Assignment


    Your goal for the individual topic presentation is to give your classmates some extra insight into the reading that you choose from the list. If you have questions, I am happy to address them via email. These readings can be a little daunting at first, so be sure to get started right away!

    Some guidelines:
    • The presentations should be 6-12 minutes of concise, logically arranged information.

    • You should provide a “take-away” to the audience – either an outline or a summary of the information you are offering in your presentation. Notes versions of your powerpoint slides, if you choose to use them and if they’re informative enough, would also be legitimate.

    • You are speaking to a high-level audience; pitch your presentation appropriately. Don’t talk down to your classmates or get bogged down reviewing things they should/do already know.

    • Don’t go more than 12 minutes. Really. No one wants that. Especially your classmates. Practice a few times to make sure you’re at or under 12 minutes.

    • If you’re planning to use powerpoint, email it to me the day before so that I can load it onto the computer.

    • IMPORTANT: Wherever possible, connect these readings back to topics we’ve already covered in class, so that your audience is better able to understand your information. Yes, this means you might have to go back and look at your notes.


    You will be evaluated on:
    • The comprehensiveness of your presentation’s content (did you address all of the important insights in the reading)

    • Connections to previous course material (did you identify them where they were present)

    • The effectiveness of the presentation itself (how focused was it, how efficient, how appropriate)

    • The take-away that you provide to the audience

    • Your ability to stay within the designated time frame


    In addition to these evaluations, you will also be evaluated on your public speaking performance; this, however, will have no impact on your grade. Instead, it is part of a university-wide assessment project to improve our students’ oral communication skills. If you’d like more information on this assessment project, please visit me in office hours or make an appointment to see me! 

    Example #5: Group Presentation


    There are two parts – a research portion and a presentation portion. Once the students have completed the research portion, they are given this assignment:
    Your presentation should be concise and logical; to make sure that it is, we will employ a PowerPoint presentation in “pecha-kucha” (pe-chak-cha) format: exactly 20 slides, displayed for 20 seconds each. I will not hold you to perfect timing on each slide, but the whole presentation should not be more than 7 minutes long.