Exploring the Latent Factor Structure of Oral Presentations from a Novice Audience's Perspective




Weber, David R.

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Oral presentations are important forms of communication in the scientific community and tend to be difficult to master. The literature is full of advice about how to give such presentations; however, little empirical research has evaluated the effectiveness of this advice. Moreover, the literature is fragmented and no comprehensive theoretical framework has emerged that offers a reliable way to organize and integrate this advice. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the latent factors that potentially underlie the different elements of an oral presentation and influence the perception of the overall quality of oral presentations. Using archival data collected from 78 students who took psychology research classes over the course of 3 semesters, this study will evaluate the most prominent elements of an oral presentation from a novice audience's perspective. Prior to proposing possible ways to evaluate and analyze the data, this paper will discuss the relevant literature and the methodology used for data collection. If successful, findings from this study can serve as an important starting point in the development of a more comprehensive and empirically based curriculum for teaching effective public speaking and oral presentation.


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factor structure, latent structure, novice audience, oral presentations, presentaions, scientific communication