Audio presentation sessions feature in-depth presentations on undergraduate research and community engagement projects and may be used in coordination with other multimedia, such as a poster.


Developing an audio presentation is different than writing a research paper or reflection essay, because you are writing for an audience. Audio presentations are a great opportunity to take a fresh look at your research or community engagement projects and tailor your presentation to your audience. As you develop your presentation, keep in mind that one double-spaced page takes about 2-2 ½ minutes to read out loud. Below are a few best practices for developing audio for presentations and engaging your audience.

  • Contextualize your research or project within larger problems, policies, or shared issues to help you connect with your audience.
  • Think strategically about what information your audience needs to know - focus on key details, a single case study, or 2-4 examples to explain and develop your central argument or claim.
  • Use verbal cues (pauses, emphasis, and words like “quote” and “end quote”) to audibly cite sources and distinguish voices and direct quotations in your presentation.
  • Focus on clarity and help your listeners understand by avoiding jargon and complex sentences. Signal transitions, key points, and the organization of your presentation. (For example, “First, I’ll argue . . .” or “Next, I want to discuss . . .”)
  • Practice and prepare your presentation. Read your paper aloud to check for clarity. Make notes in the margins to remind you to make eye contact with your audience or change slides. Practice until you are comfortable with your presentation and any visual or digital aides.

For more help writing and developing your audio, check out the resources listed below.

Visual Aid

While the focus of the presentation should be on the oral presentation, many presenters choose to use a visual aid to supplement their presentations and draw the audience’s attention to key ideas or claims. A visual aid can include PowerPoints, visual displays, digital media, etc. A successful visual aid will reinforce key points and ideas without distracting from the primary presentation.

Learning Portfolios

Learning portfolios make an excellent visual, digital aid for oral presentations. Learning portfolios are flexible, living records of your research or community engagement project, allowing you to incorporate and reflect on a multitude of media artifacts. Additionally, you can make your learning portfolio accessible to the audience and symposium participants unable to attend your session, building on your presentation and sharing your research progress or ongoing project.  

For information about learning portfolios, including examples and tutorials, please visit our Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, & Scholarship or contact us at learningportfolio@luc.edu.