Student Reflection Videos

If you’re new to scholarly speaking, you probably have some questions about what oral presentations look like in academic contexts. Instead of writing a FAQ, we spoke with undergraduate students who had just given presentations at an academic conference. We asked them about how they prepared, what strategies they used to communicate their research, and how they navigated the discussion period. We also asked them how they felt about academic oral presentations: we talked about their anxiety, their excitement, and their experiences.

Below, you’ll find video compilations of their responses, organized by theme.

Remember: these responses don’t provide definitive answers to any of these questions—but hopefully they get you thinking as you decide how to approach your presentation.


In this video, students share their strategies for turning an essay or written assignment into an oral presentation. They also talk about one of the challenges of presenting: how to start.

Questions answered in this video:

  • In what ways do you approach writing for a scholarly oral presentation differently than writing for a term paper or scholarly essay? [0:04-1:57]
  • How do you introduce your work when giving a conference or classroom presentation? Can you give examples of how you start and explain why you start that way? [1:57-end]

In this video, students discuss strategies for citing in oral presentations and positioning themselves in scholarly conversations. Plus, they share tips for using effective visual aids.

Questions answered in this video:

  • How do you understand the difference between citing in oral and written contexts, and what do you keep in mind when citing in an oral presentation? [0:04-1:37]
  • How do you position your argument using "I"? How have you made the transition from student to student scholar? [1:38-4:15]
  • How do you use visuals in your presentations? [4:16-end]

In this video, students open up about their anxieties around academic presentations and share the strategies they've used to help overcome their nerves.

Questions answered in this video:

  • Can you share any anxieties you have about giving presentations? [0:04-1:52]
  • Were there times in your presentation where things were not going as plan? What did you do in those moments? [1:53-end]

In this video, students reflect on the relationship between the presenter and the audience. They consider how to anticipate the audience's needs and how to engage in productive discussion with audience members. Finally, they reflect on the audience member's role in scholarly communication.

Questions answered in this video:

  • What strategies did you use to introduce your research to an audience that might not be familiar with your topic? [0:04-1:34]
  • Do you enjoy the Q&A period? Does it make you nervous? Any strategies for success? [1:35-3:14]
  • What makes a good audience member? [3:15-end]

In this video, students share from their experiences giving academic oral presentations at a student conference. They discuss what they learned about academic presenting and how it changed their feelings about scholarly speaking.

Questions answered in this video:

  • Can you describe an academic conference? [0:04-1:13]
  • How was your experience presenting at your first academic conference? [1:14-2:39]
  • What makes academic presentations different from other types of presentations? [2:40-3:58]
  • Do you enjoy giving presentations? [3:59-end]