Oral Communication Rubric

Bellevue University

Oral Communication Rubric


5. Orator


a.   Keeps audience always excited about the thesis through orientation, summations, and examples

b. Causes audience to consider speaker an expert because of great depth and flexibility in use of knowledge and evidence

c. Challenges the audience to discover new insights and to ask sophisticated questions

d   Uses simple language to make complex ideas easy to comprehend even for those without background

e. Extensively uses non-verbals and timing to keep any audience fully involved


4. Communicator


a. Maintains full attention of audience through orientation, summations, and examples

b. Causes audience to consider the speaker as fully in command of the knowledge and able to generalize to similar contexts or problems

c. Engages the audience in thoughtful consideration that leads them to ask for clarifications

d. Able to adapt language usage to audience on basis of specific questions and other indications of their needs

e. Non-verbals and timing show flexibility in adapting message to the audience


3. Professional


a. Keeps audience aware of the thesis by clear initial orientation and occasional reminders

b. Creates audience impression of solid preparation of the knowledge for the present purpose

c. Helps the audience to attain a solid understanding of the knowledge and some insights

d. Language use is consistent and at a level of complexity appropriate to the present audience

e. Non-verbals and timing give an impression that the presentation is well-planned


2. Information Provider


a. Provides a basic introduction to orient the audience but inconsistent help to audience in tracking logic of the presentation

b. Gives audience impression that knowledge is being “transmitted” as intended by the sources used

c. Gives impression that the knowledge is well-established and unlikely to result in new discoveries

d. Language usage is consistent with that of sources used but not always with needs of audience

e. Non-verbals suggest to audience that questioning or challenging would be uncomfortable for the speaker


1. Reader


a. Provides only a personal perspective about the topic; unaware of the need to orient and to provide summations

b. Causes audience to assume that information is simply being read without full understanding

c. Offers audience only facts and well-established theory stated as if quoted

d. Language usage limits understanding or causes misunderstandings because of use of overly abstract jargon, undefined terms, and incorrect word choices

e. Non-verbals cause discomfort in audience by giving impression of lack of control of the presentation

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