Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Interpreting (cod. 8060)

Learning outcomes

The student knows and is able to use the fundamental techniques of oral presentation for interpretation - is able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired also to other professional fields - is able to independently develop further knowledge and skills higher level specifications and use them in different areas.

Course contents

Training techniques aimed at presenting in public, borrowed from both theatrical and cinematographic training, are today commonly called public speaking. Public speaking is the art of knowing how to speak in public, engage the audience, be incisive and persuasive using verbal, paraverbal and non-verbal communication. These skills are increasingly required in the business world of any sector and beyond: they have acquired extensive literature and recognized utility also in the social sphere and in all fields of communication. This teaching at DIT of Alma Mater Studiorum, in particular, was conceived for interpreters and helps to apply these techniques to their work. In fact, it is enriched by a multi-year educational path (since 2011) for students of the Master's Degree Course in Interpretation of the Forlì Campus. It therefore has the further purpose of providing techniques and skills in the field of vocal training, of diction of standard Italian, of the composition of a speech to be given in public. In short, it deals with the formal work that the interpreter, like any public speaker, has to face in transmitting, without betraying or bullying, the verbal and non-verbal message of the speaker, both in consecutive and simultaneous mode.

In each lesson we will deal with different levels:

- techniques and exercises for correct breathing, use of the diaphragm and its dissolution; the various vocal registers, how to bring / deepen / give color and quality to one's voice.

- training and awareness work for the body, emotions and stress with single, couple, or group exercises.

- presentation and historical contextualization of the Italian diction (from the Unification of Italy, the choice of the Florentine / Sienese as the language of Dante and Petrarca, to represent the Italian "standard"); difference between phonetics (phonemes) and diction (vowel sound);

- correct articulation, spelling, intonation of the phrasing inherent to the subject of public speaking

- will and spirit of communication: looking at the whole public, wanting to communicate, how to keep the attention of listeners / interlocutors high;

- expressive reading and in public.

In the first lessons of the course, attention will be paid to the breathing, voice, diction and phonetics of standard Italian and to the management techniques of gestures; in the following lessons: techniques for individual and group empowerment, preparation and composition and exhibition techniques for a conference and mock conferences.

The mock conference is a real conference that is organized within the Campus, open to the public of students and teachers, in which the students of "Oral Presentation Techniques and vocal coaching" test themselves in public exposing a speech prepared by them during the course.

Therefore one of the points of the work is:

- the preparation of a conference intervention (on a topic chosen or borrowed from the studies that the students are conducting in the other subjects); activity which is also the main test of the exam.

Time stages:

first lessons: respiratory-vocal training, diction and phonetics, proxemics, expressive reading, exercises for the management of emotions and stress control; first reflections on the topic of "conference intervention"; first public speaking techniques;

second phase of the lessons: Preparation of public Mock Conferences where the student trains as a speaker and is interpreted by the students of the Second Year of Magistral Interpretation; vocal training, expressive reading, exercises borrowed from the theater for awareness and expressiveness (short monologues or dialogues, self-representations); writing, reading and first corrections (also in the matter of speech organization and language rhetoric) about the "conference intervention" work;

last lessons: mock conferences, physical vocal training, further refinement and training on one's "conference intervention" in view of the exam; exercises of consecutive interpretation from Italian to Italian (from person to person or from audio-video support).

Teaching can be carried out both in presence and remotely, although preferably in presence.


The first text, written by the best Italianists, will be a continuous reference for the rules of diction and phonetics of standard Italian, as well as for the etymology of the words:

1 - D.O.P. Multimedia and Multilingual Italian Dictionary of Spelling and Pronunciation. Edited by Bruno Migliorini, Carlo Tagliavini, Piero Fiorelli. ERI editions.

The handouts provided by the teacher contain an easy to use guide and exercises to do both in class and at home:

2 - Teacher's notes distributed in class.

3 - For those who want to have an updated and printed manual of diction and phonetics, one of the following texts:

- Ughetta Lanari, "Manuale di dizione e pronuncia". Ed. Giunti, 2019. Contains two audio CDs

- Corrado Veneziano: "Manuale di Dizione, Voce e Respirazione". Ed. Controluce, 2019.

Teaching methods

Frontal laboratory lessons as well as individual and group exercises where students are helped to share experiences of self and hetero evaluation. Practical activities, during the lectures, of oral presentation in the conference, through specific preparations of speeches for the public Mock Conferences at the Forlì Campus. Shared and commented audiovisual projections.

Assessment methods

In addition to the Mock Conferences in which the student can put into practice the didactic objectives that she/he is achieving during the lessons/exercises, the exams consist of:

- Simulation of a conference speech on a topical issue and / or international political and social history.

(After the preparation of his conference speech for the Mock Conference, the student can re-present the same speech; during his speech other spectators are invited to attend the oral presentation)

- Free conversation to verify the student's skills in managing emotions and voice in professional interviews and, more generally, in the field of interpersonal relationships.

- Expressive reading of an Italian or international fiction text of recognized value.

Evaluation criteria:
(the main criteria are indicated here)

The assessment is based on the following aspects of the three tests:

- quality of presentation,

- fluidity of prosody,

- ability to control breath and voice,

- ability to use a pleasant register for vocal emission, to have an assertive tone and at the same time balanced and convincing.

- ability to be incisive and persuasive using verbal, paraverbal and non-verbal communication,

- ability to involve the audience on the subject,

- quality of the presentation topic,

- ability to control the diction and phonetics of standard Italian (at least 60% and above all in free conversation),

- absence of full breaks and disfluences.

Teaching tools

Alongside traditional classroom teaching, use will be made of audio, audio-video and printed material, slides, for further information.

If the remote mode is required, use will be made of the MS Teams University platform.

We will also use the IOL Platform to share course materials and to initiate discussion activities

Office hours

See the website of Angela Malfitano


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.