Focusing on Swedish student teachers’ oral presentations in a rhetoric class, this article studies interactional role shift as a multimodal practice. The role shifts under scrutiny concern shifting from student teacher to teacher, thus anticipating the students’ future profession. A central feature of the article is a discussion of how role shift may be conceptualised as a communicative project, thus highlighting the different modes of communication used by the students, and consequently to examine its potential as a facilitator of students’ professional and academic development. The data was collected using an ethnographical approach, resulting in a collection of 21 video-recorded oral presentations, together with other relevant semiotic resources. The data is analysed by the employment of concepts from nexus analysis and the notion of communicative projects. Through a discourse analytical approach to social action in interaction, the analysis shows how role shifts are constructed of patterns of smaller actions that add up to three primary actions: setting the scene, changing perspective, and performing the new role. These primary actions are multimodally chained together, and the results demonstrate how social actors use instructional texts in combination with multimodal recourses in order to perform their role shifts.