Oral Presentation Rubric: How to Get Great Presentation Grades

Oral surgery may be preferable to oral presentations but you can successfully improve your public speaking with this oral presentation rubric.

(To save you wandering off to do a Google Define, a rubric is a marking scale, commonly used by teachers or lecturers to evaluate student performance)

So how can a classroom tool be useful in the workplace?

As a manager, the oral presentation rubric can be used in an interview scenario. If public speaking is a key part of the role you’re hiring for, you’ll want to see your candidate’s presentation skills in action. Give each candidate the opportunity to present, with a little or a lot of time to prepare, and assess their performance using the marking guide. Using a standard guide will ensure you are fairly and consistently assessing each candidate and get the best person for the job.

As a “worker”, you may want to improve your presentation skills. You can successfully use the oral presentation rubric to define and refine your public speaking skills.

As part of your personal development plan, you may have identified you need to improve specific parts of your presentation skills, such as better audience participation. The oral presentation rubric gives you the granular detail you need to know what those changes look like, and make those improvements. An ideal way to make this work for you is to have a member of the audience use the marking grid to give you highly structured and objective feedback on your presentation. You can use this feedback process again and again until you and your audience is happy with your performance.

Okay, so we’ve established what the marking grid can be used for, let’s get into the detail of what it actually looks like. This sample oral presentation rubric shows;

  • which criterion are important when you are speaking in public, and
  • the range from low to high of observable behavior.
Criteria 1 2 3 4
Subject Matter Knowledge Does not have grasp of information, cannot answer audience questions Is uncomfortable with information and can only answer basic questions Is comfortable with information, answers questions briefly Full knowledge of information, able to elaborate easily and provide thorough answers
Structure Difficult to follow, no obvious sequence of information Difficult to follow as skips around topic, and loses thread Information presented logically, easy to follow Information presented logically, in a fresh and interesting way, easy to follow
Non Verbal Commu-nication Minimal eye contact, reading from notes/visual aid, audience switched off Eye contact some of the time/some of the audience, turns back, reads notes Audience engaged but not fully relaxed or absorbed Good rapport, including all audience, eye contact, welcoming questions
Verbal Commu-nication Mumbles, uses jargon, difficult to hear, hesitates. Difficult to hear some of the time, only some jargon explained Most of audience can hear and understand Can be clearly heard and understood by all audience
Use of Visual Aids, Graphics and Support Material No supporting visual aids, graphics or support material to increase audience understanding Visual aids, graphics or support material do not increase audience understanding Relevant and timely use of visual aids, graphics and support material, increasing audience understanding Confident use of quality visual aids, graphics and support material, furthering audience understanding.
Accuracy Multiple mistakes, such as mis-spelling, incorrect explanation, mis-use of terminology 3 mistakes, such as mis-spelling, incorrect explanation, mis-use of terminology No obvious mistakes Potential audience mis-understandings clarified or explained up front.

Feel free to tweak the criterion or the levels of performance, to suit your needs!

This oral presentation rubric can be used to assess presentation skills fairly and consistently and improve your own performance by allowing you to objectively assess and then improve your presentation skills.

Download ‘Oral Presentation Rubric’ in pdf format