Example Speakers: John Oliver & Waleed Aly

John Oliver is a British comedian who hosts the American television show Last Week Tonight on HBO. The show is revered for its journalistic work along with Oliver’s delivery, winning numerous awards including the Emmy for a Variety Talk Series.

For students creating oral presentations where you need to incorporate secondary sources into your presentation, Oliver’s work is a great example to follow. Take a look at the clip below – you’ll see that ultimately, Oliver is delivering an oral presentation as you would in front of a class, speaking directly to the audience while using a PowerPoint behind him and occasionally cutting to video clips. As you watch, think about how Oliver uses secondary sources in order to bring some credibility to what he is saying:

Take a look back at the clip and you’ll see that when Oliver uses a written secondary source, his equivalent of a PowerPoint has the name of the journal he’s taken the article from, the date of its publication, the headline/title, and the major quote he’s using in his speech:

By using his visuals to show this, Oliver causes the audience to feel as if his presentation is grounded in legitimate research, without really focusing on the research at all. He allows the visuals to speak for themselves in this regard, especially when he uses a number of them in a row:

Students who want to can follow Oliver’s lead whenever you are utilising secondary sources to enhance the credibility of your argument in a presentation. In fact, you may find that using more slides with less information per slide allows your audience to focus on a greater number of things that are portrayed by your visuals throughout your presentation too.

For those wanting another example, here’s Waleed Aly from The Project on Channel 10.

As you can see, Aly tells us that ISIS wrote something in their monthly magazine, tells us the date of that magazine, and then proceeds to quote from the magazine while the quote is also being used as the graphic on the screen:

Both Oliver and Aly also use clips from other shows or from interviews they have conducted. In both cases, they ensure that all of the bibliographical information that’s needed for the audience to understand that the source is credible – the name of the show and the date on which it aired, or the name and title of the interviewee – is on the screen too.

Obviously, when you submit your written notes for assessment, you will need to provide a full bibliography containing all of the sources that you have used in your presentation. For help with this, you can check out ‘How to write a bibliography‘. During your presentation though, all you need is for your audience to be engaged with your presentation and also for them to understand that you have used credible sources throughout.