A guide I use for students to prepare their oral presentations

In my teaching universe we are currently going through the second practice for our students at the oral presentation. Our process introduced them to it in December, where they prepare a series of slides on a sequence addressing the full pressie assessment criteria (well, all except the socio-cultural context). This is a weighted assessment task for semester one and helps determine semester performance grades. At the beginning of semester two our students, acting on detailed feedback from their slide ‘presentation’, deliver their first attempt at the oral presentation itself,  a daunting task for them and teachers alike, but this sets a powerful agenda of having to prepare properly and perform to a recording device, and there’s no way to avoid this in IB film so starting early permits our students to overcome their reticence and understand that the quality of their performance is all down to proper preparation. Anyhow, with this mind I wrote the following which is supposed to help students prepare both at a macro and micro level for their second attempt. This include the matrix which I’ll use to find the best fit in scoring their presentations, which may or may not be useful in setting up your own presentation practices.


I think for most students, using cue cards is key to your preparation (Actually I believe this is the case for all IB film students).
However, the order these are placed in is absolutely crucial, so that you cover all the material you need to in a coherent and logical manner (and don’t repeat yourself), and that you permit time to showcase your analytical skills supporting your argument about the film makers intentions through the ways they created meaning using film language (not plot).


This is part of your preparation (you could make a sequencing diagram or bullet points to help you with this), remember this is an important reheaersal for anactual IB exam so take your prep seriously. Use the assessment descriptors as your guide and you should always have enough material without repeating yourself.

  • Break the descriptors down phrases by phrase – this is what the examiner does to measure your performance against each phrase in each mark band.
    What follows is the top mark band descriptors broken down into each area you should cover in your presentation(I see no reason to explore any lower band, the phrases are broadly similar in each, the performance adjectives are modified).

  1. There is a coherent, incisive, insightful and detailed evaluative interpretation of the extract,

  2. displaying an excellent understanding of how meaning is constructed through the use of flm language,

  3. with an excellent awareness of the extract’s relationship to the flm as a whole.

  4. There is a persuasive explanation for the selection of the extract.

  5. The critique shows an excellent awareness of the flm’s genre

  6. and/or its place in a broader sociocultural context.

  7. There is an insightful analysis of the director’s intention.

  8. Simple description is negligible and

  9. analysis is clear and thorough.

  • I. and II. assess the general level of your analysis and the coherence of your argument.

  • III. And IV. assess your understanding of the bigger picture that your film and the selection of your sequence fits into

  • to some degree this also applies to V. and VI. as well.

  • VII. VIII. and IX. seek to assess the specifics of how you support your argument using detailed analysis of the ways that film makers have used film language to communicate themes, and how they have manipulated audiences understanding.


Use th
ese to help prepare your material and to place it in the right order. Rehearse and record yourself, then assess it against these descriptors and refine your plan, and find additional material if necessary, edit what you have, or re-order it, so that it covers each of the descriptor phrases in the best way you can.

It is crcial that your work makes the formal time requirement of ten minutes (otherwise you will be grade capped at 15/25).

On this page is the matrix I will use to assess your work use this for your rehearsal.

Film Descriptors.xlsx

View the PDF here.

What you should do is try to meet all of the descriptor phrases in the top band.
The way I’ll assess this to try to find a ‘best fit’ for your performance, so you may score well against one descriptor phrase but not so well against another, I will highlight which level you meet each of the descriptor phrases to find my overall score for you.

Just a note about genre, merely saying your film belongs to a particular genre is not enough, you need to argue and show that you understand how its use of film language conform to the conventions of the genre you identify it as belonging to.

Some general advice about good practice in the presentation

  1. Base your presentation on supporting a hypothesis, of how it relate to the film as a whole. This should also provide you with justification for your selection of the extract. Exploring the film makers intentions is a crucial part of this (and of film analysis in general), it is isn’t explicitly stated in the guide, but usually a theme (or themes) is the most coherent spine for your presentation. You are permitted to use secondary research sources to help you to identify themes, but you should be careful in choosing a sequence which communicates the thematic ideas through film language, so that it supports the ideas you identify through your analysis of film language not just plot (it generally means you have to know the film very well [watch the film as a whole at least twice and make notes while doing so in relation to your chosen theme]).
    Some of you did this very well in the recent oral.

    If you have difficulties with this aspect, use where your sequence is located within the narrative structure to justify your selection. Then explore why this is important to the film maker (and the film as a whole) and how they highlight the sequence in their use of film language.

  2. Also once you’ve identified theme and your sequence to support it, there are three other crucial elements you need to cover (which you didn’t in the mock).

  • Firstly, justifying your selection of the sequence in relation to the film as a whole (best done in how it communicates themes through the use of film language).

  • Secondly, how the themes and the iconography of the sequence relate to socio-cultural context, ie. Issues and concerns of the day and the culture which the film was made in. (not just US) – the next oral mock may have no Hollywood films.

  • Thirdly, how your chosen sequences relates to the film as a whole, and/or how the use of film language in the sequence is consistent with the conventions of genre (if appropriate, not always).

    These three elements are closely related and may require research from secondary sources, perhaps asking a history or English teacher for their input here would work for historical or cultural context and point you in the right direction for more research.

  1. Remember planning for the allotted time is crucial, your time limit is as close to ten minutes as you can manage, if you diverge from this by more than (at most) 10% minutes your work will be grade capped at 15/25

  2. Planning and rehearsal clearly helps, having a recording is good, but working with another film study buddy helps you to put an even clearer perspective and more coherence in connecting ideas. Doing this will see your scores soar (see my remarks above in relation to this).

  3. Practice is essential. Present as many mock oral presentations as you can against the assessment descriptors(on different films, which means you develop a skill set, rather than familiarity with one film).
    Try to use the advice your given to prepare yourself rehearse the work with someone you can trust to give you an objective appraisal (give them copies of the assessment criteria).

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