Exemplary: Language choices are imaginative, memorable, and compelling, and enhance the effectiveness of the presentation. Language facilitates retention and attention by being unique to the oral channel. Language in presentation is appropriate to audience.
1. Help Audiences See Your Ideas
Because orally communicated messages are more temporary and necessitate a different audience role, the speaker has a unique responsibility of using language that is clear, relevant, and compelling. Students can engage in activities in which they find different ways to communicating ideas. Asking students to generate synonyms for ideas is a good exercise. Also helpful is giving students complex ideas and having them explain them in clear, easily understood language. Re-framing statistical explanations for ideas, for example, is a great exercise.
2. Less is More
Give students a paragraph that is too verbose. Unnecessary repetition, irrelevant sentences, and multiple modifiers are good things to include in a paragraph like this. Ask students to edit down the paragraph in a manner that eliminates unnecessary language while maintaining the central message.
3. Adapted Text
Give students a written message to adapt to an oral presentation. This can include a section from a text book, a journal article, or any other message written exclusively for the written channel. It is a good idea to give the same artifact to multiple groups or individuals in order to provide a comparison and contrast as part of the post-activity discussion. The adaptations can also become informal speaking opportunities that give students a chance to speak without the pressure of a grade.
4. A checklist of language and oral communication
An outline of suggestions for effective language in orally communicated messages is provided.