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Another effective way of educating your audience about a particular topic is to provide and discuss a few examples of whatever the topic is. Examples are good because they provide practical, real life instances for the audience to think about. This is sometimes a lot better than burying the audience in theoretical concepts and jargon. Some topics, in fact, can only really be explained with the use of examples.


Example-based orals are sometimes in between an informative and a persuasive presentation. Often a moderate claim or thesis will be made at the beginning of the oral, and the examples will be used to illustrate or back up the claim. At the end of the oral, you can generalise from all the examples you’ve presented to support your claim or initial statement. For a real life example of where example-based presentations are used, consider the following section on the Battle of Thermopylae:

The Battle of Thermopylae


In 484 BC, King Xerses I of the great empire Persia started an invasion to attack the Greek nations. A much smaller Greek army prepared to meet them in battle at the mountain pass of Thermopylae, which was chosen because of its narrowness as a mountain pass - it was a highly defensible location at which to make a stand. Vastly outnumbered, the Greek army held out for three days until a defector led the Persian army via a little known back route to attack the Greeks from behind. King Leonidas of the Spartans, realising they were going to lose, sent home all but 300 of his elite Spartan soldiers. In a fierce battle, the Spartans were driven back into a small hill in the middle of the mountain pass, and were eventually all slain by arrows. This battle is used in military schools all around the world to illustrate to their students two points:

1.        How a small group of elite, well-trained and disciplined soldiers can have a tremendous effect.

2.        How important strategy and terrain is to a battle - in the open, the Greeks would not have had a chance, even though they were excellent soldiers.