Student oral presentations: developing the skills and reducing the apprehension

Christopher Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


For many students it is important that they develop good oral presentation skills (Campbell, Mothersbaugh, Brammer & Taylor, 2001) since the ability to demonstrate oral communication competence is highly valued in many professions (Cepero, Clapés, & Escalera, 2015), while there has also been a rise in the use of oral presentations in university classrooms (Iberri-Shea, 2013). Despite this, there is doubt cast over whether it is possible to support the development of the required skills and address the fear that many students experience regarding oral presentations as part of the same intervention (Hassall, Arquero, Joyce, & Gonzalez, 2013a). Furthermore, despite being a widely researched topic, there is much in the area of communication apprehension that remains unclear (Byrne, Flood, & Shanahan, 2012). In order to determine suitable interventions, research is required so that pedagogy that might successfully help apprehensive presenters develop their skills and confidence, might be identified (Hassall, Arquero, Joyce, & Gonzalez, 2013a). This paper reports on an intervention which seeks to help students develop oral presentation skills and at the same time help apprehensive presenters reduce their fear of delivering oral presentations. The intervention, which takes place with foundation level undergraduate Accounting students, is underpinned by problem-based learning and contributing student pedagogy and focuses on the development of self-efficacy which has been identified to be a key area for the reduction of oral communication apprehension in public speaking contexts (Hassall, Arquero, Joyce, & Gonzalez, 2013b). The paper will introduce the concept of communication apprehension in oral presentations and discuss causes and possible interventions. It details the progress that has been made in the study which uses qualitative data in the form of research conversations and student reflections. Such an approach is taken, in order to gain insights into the “lived experiences” of students which has been absent in much of the previous research conducted in the area (Byrne, Flood, & Shanahan, 2012, p.577).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED2016 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference Valencia, Spain. 7-9 March, 2016
EditorsL. Gómez Chova, L. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres
PublisherIATED Academy
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9788460856177
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2016
Event10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 7 Mar 20169 Mar 2016
Conference number: 10 (Link to Conference Website)


Conference10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Abbreviated titleINTED 2016
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Student oral presentations: developing the skills and reducing the apprehension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this