Oral Communication

Introduction to the Oral Communication Rubric

The importance of the art of effective oral communication has been noted for ages. Pericles, more than 2,500 years ago, said that "one who forms a judgment on any point, but cannot explain [it clearly], "might as well never have the thought at all on the subject." More recently, Norman Cousins, in discussing education, remarks, "The first purpose of education is to enable a person to speak clearly and confidently."

The ability to talk with other people and have them understand what you are saying, fully and comprehensively, is a skill that leads to success on a personal and professional level.

The art of effective communication of ideas and information is essential to students at BCC.

These communication skills include organizing and delivering ideas and information while engaging listeners.

Oral Communication Rubric Guidelines

A viable rubric for the BCC oral communication competency includes a student presentation that demonstrates proficiency in:

Organization, Content, Delivery, and Audience Awareness.

Suggested Criteria:


Has appropriate and discernible introduction, body, conclusion; effective transitions


Has a clear central idea; main points clear and supported; language accurate, clear, and appropriate


Maintains strong eye contact; practices articulation; presents visual aids well; projects for enthusiasm or involvement in topic; avoids distracting mannerisms

Audience Awareness:

Demonstrates the speaker is aware of the "target audience" and what they need to know or feel or do by the end of the presentation.

Suggested Venues:

Presentations may include fulfilling assignments for:

  • Informational or "training" presentations
  • Persuasive presentations including panels, debates,    advocating, call-to-action and others
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature including other criteria for planning, research, delivery and original introduction

Suggested Portfolio Presentation:


Student submits outline and works cited section, other (could include: other research, audience survey, power point outline, assignment sheet, tape), faculty feedback and grade.

In the Future: E-Portfolio Student will also upload presentation on disc to their E-portfolio file and their written work as above.

(The student goes to the on-campus studio and tapes presentation to be uploaded to the e-portfolio. Arrangements for the studio have been made for this coming semester. Bob DeLuca will explain logistics.

SOME GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTING RUBRIC That some faculty may find helpful

The superior presentation (grade A) should

  1. Deal with a challenging topic
  2. Fulfill all major functions of a speech introduction and conclusion 
  3. Display clear organization of main points and supporting materials 
  4. Support main points with evidence that meets the tests of accuracy, relevance, objectivity, and sufficiency 
  5. Exhibit proficient use of connectives-transitions, internal previews, internal summaries, and signposts 
  6. Be delivered skillfully enough so as not to distract attention from the speaker's message

And include some of these attributes: *

  • Constitute a genuine contribution by the speaker to the knowledge or beliefs of the audience
  • Sustain positive interest, feeling, and/or commitment among the audience 
  • Contain elements of vividness and special interest in the use of language 
  • Be delivered in a fluent, polished manner that strengthens the impact of the speaker's message

The average speech (grade C) should meet the following criteria:

  1. Conform to the time limit
  2. Fulfill any special requirements of the assignment-preparing an outline, using visual aids, conducting an interview, etc.
  3. Have a clear specific purpose and central idea
  4. Have an identifiable introduction, body, and conclusion
  5. Show reasonable directness and competence in delivery
  6. Be free of serious errors in grammar, pronunciation, and word  usage

A sample checklist for evaluating an oral presentation:


Gained attention and interest Introduced topic clearly Related topic to audience Established credibility Previewed body of speech  


Began speech without rushing Maintained strong eye contact Avoided distracting mannerism Articulated words clearly Used pauses effectively Used vocal variety to add impact Presented visual aids well Communicated enthusiasm for topic Departed from lectern without rushing



Main points clear Main points fully supported Organization well planned Language accurate Language clear Connectives effective  


Met assignment goals Topic challenging Specific purpose well chosen Mess age adapted to the audience Held interest of audience Completed within time limit


Prepared audience for ending Reinforced central idea Vivid ending