6 Ways to Make Presentation Tasks Work in Your Classroom
A lone student stands self-consciously at the front of the class, hiding behind a sheet of notes. she almost has to shout to be heard over the fragmented conversations of the rest of the class. even the more polite and conscientious students are glazing over as the speaker struggles to get through her presentation….
As a teacher you sit there, trying to lead by example and listen intently. You may glare at whoever is chatting on the back table and wonder whether it is appropriate to interrupt and remind everyone to listen. You are probably making a silent vow that you will never set a task involving presentations again.
Presentations CAN be beneficial in the ESL classroom. They encourage clarity, good pronunciation and a structured approach to speaking . However, these advantages only benefit the student who is giving the presentation. The problem is that the rest of the class often has nothing to do and as a result, they lose focus. Listed below are 6 ways to remedy the situation and make presentations work in your classroom.
How to Make Presentation Tasks Work
Allow students to work in groups.
Teachers tend to forget that it can be pretty daunting for students to be hauled up in front of a class individually and made to talk for several minutes. Allowing students to work in groups creates a more relaxed and dynamic environment. It enables the incidental use of English during the planning process; students must communicate within their group to decide who is going to say what. Importantly, a change of speakers energises a presentation and keeps the audience engaged.
Get multiple groups to present at the same time
If you have 6 groups in your class, pair groups together so that each group is presenting to one other group . This way there are 3 presentations going on at once. This means more interaction and communication, making your classroom a hive of activity.
Speakers may feel more relaxed because they can stay seated and present their work to a smaller audience. A smaller audience is also more likely to pay attention, ask questions and give helpful feedback.
After round 1, you could move the groups around and repeat the process. Students will have learnt from the first presentation and can put the feedback they have gained directly into practice.
Make it competitive
The task is for each group to plan a holiday and present their ideas to the class. Explain to students that they are going to vote for which holiday they would like to go on. The winning group is the one with the most votes. This gives students an incentive to listen to the presentations of the other groups.
If you are practicing using vocabulary about houses , get each group to be real estate agents and try to sell a house to the class. After the presentations you could hold an auction where students bid on the houses that they liked the best!
If the groups are presenting an invention or a design they have created, get other groups to score each invention out of 10. Students should score the ideas presented, not the language used.
By adding a competitive edge to the exercise, you inspire the speakers and the listeners to really engage with the task and with each other.
The teacher asks questions
Make the activity into a listening exercise for the rest of the class. Before each presentation, tell students that you will ask them questions afterwards about what was said. As you listen, make notes and write some comprehension questions to ask the class.
Students ask questions
This will make the presentation more interactive and give students something to think about as they listen. Tell students to prepare one question each for the speaker. They can prepare their question during the presentation. Afterwards, choose 2 or 3 students to ask the speaker their questions.
Students give feedback
This has 2 benefits; it focuses the listeners on the presentation and provides valuable feedback to the speaker. Feedback can be as structured or unstructured as you like. It could be done with forms, by writing comments on slips of paper or on post-it notes .
By making the listeners feel involved and making the exercise communicative, presentation tasks can be more fun, more productive and much easier to manage.
Like it tell your friends:, no teleprompters here: 5 reasons your students should present from up front (and how you can help them).
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Presentation Assignment Example
The following is an example of an individual presentation assignment and a group presentation. The individual presentation assignment explains that students will give two presentations over the semester on a topic of the student's choice. The student should submit a 1 to page paper explaining the presentation also. The group presentation provides four areas of focus: interpretive approach, important issues raised by the text, a comparison to another work, and using a scholarly source to further understand the work. A handout follows the assignment that clearly explains the criteria.
- You will each be responsible for giving two presentations this semester. The presentations should be between five and ten minutes long, and the topics will be of your own choosing. Along with each presentation, please submit a 1-2 page paper that summarizes your topic. I will return these to you with comments and a grade for your efforts. Please take these presentations seriously as we will often use them as starting point for our class discussions.
- The collaborative group presentation will require you to: 1) share your interpretive approach; i.e., explain how you accessed the text to make it “mean.” For example, was your interpretation influenced by one of the formal features of the novel (plot, point of view, etc.), by the presence of certain ideas or beliefs you related to, or a critical approach that helped you dis-entangle the complexities of the narrative? 2) identify, for discussion, the important issues and questions raised by the text; 3) contextualize the reading by relating it to another work by the same author, another contemporary text that invites comparison in terms of shared ideas, themes and "horizons" that respond in some way to the major concerns of the core text, or by locating it in some literary or paraliterary movement; 4) summarize a scholarly response to the work and try to identify the author’s critical approach.
Guidelines for Presentations
Equal Participation Each team member should contribute equally. Teams will compile a list of major topics to be covered in their presentation, and assign one to each member to research and present. Each member should speak for approximately three to five minutes. The presentation can reflect the diversity of viewpoints of the presenters. Designate one team member as the team leader. This person will be responsible for introducing the presentation as a whole, and each presenter. The team leader will also summarize the presentation at its conclusion, and lead a class discussion.
Grading Since grading is based on the presentation as a whole, team members should notify the professor before the date of the presentation if any member does not do their share. Shyness or stumbling do not negatively affect the grade.
Prepare Handouts Team members may decide among themselves how to distribute the work of preparing the following information sheets.
- Things to Know -- One to two sheets listing major facts relevant to your topic, significant concepts, key points, terminology with definitions, and other interesting points of information_
- Quotes -- One sheet containing salient quotes from your readings, with explanations of their significance.
- References -- A compilation of references used for the presentations, including two or more for each presenter, written in MLA style, with one sentence summarizing the content of the text.
Format Many students elect to use PowerPoint. This is not absolutely required, but provision of some visual aids is helpful.
Class Presentation Talk to us, don't read. You may use notes when you make your presentation, but you may not read from a fully written out text. Here is one way to make a successful presentation:
- Do plenty of reading and research. Explore the topic as fully as possible. Make notes.
- Read over your notes, and think over the results of your reading.
- Discuss your results with your team members. Tentatively plan the presentation in its general outlines.
- On your own again, and setting notes aside, brainstorm and write down all the interesting ideas that you have come up with.
- Organize these ideas into a coherent sequence. Return to your notes and add any information relevant to your major ideas which will illustrate or explain them..
- Add an introduction, which tells what you will talk about, and a conclusion which sums up what you have discussed and learned. Cut out any irrelevant or uninteresting material.
- Meet with your team members to organize and streamline the presentation.
- Visualize yourself giving a talk to the class, going through all these ideas, in a comfortable and relaxed fashion. If you wish, practice talking about your subject to a mirror.
- Using only brief notes, give your presentation to the class and have fun!
- The team leader will also prepare a short general introduction to the presentation, lead-ins for each individual presenter, and a very brief possible conclusion, which may change according to how the presentations unfold.
Discussion Topic Prepare three possible questions with which to lead a class discussion_ Designate one team member as the discussion leader. Other team members may contribute to the discussion, but the discussion leader will be responsible for organizing and controlling the discussion. Lead a discussion utilizing your prepared questions, along with any others which have occurred to you during the presentation. Conclude your presentation by opening the floor for questions and comments from the class audience.
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Education | Sep 21 2019
5 Interactive Presentations Ideas that will Engage Students
Interactive presentations should always be an educator’s goal. Dry, teacher-centered lectures lose students’ interest, while interactive presentations grab and hold attention. Getting students involved improves retention, understanding, and enjoyment. And it’s remarkably easy to involve the audience with just a few easy principles (especially with the right technology at your disposal).
Start creating interactive presentations with the tips and tricks below or get more insights on modern education technology.
Students today expect the classroom to be both educational and enjoyable at the same time. Interactive presentations help engage students by having them participate in the lessons instead of passively listening to lectures. This reduces boredom and gives students a sense of responsibility to be attentive.
A Gallup Poll of about 3,000 schools shows that around the 5 th grade 74% of students feel they are engaged in school, but by the 10 th , 11 th , and 12 th grade those numbers fall to the 30% range. It is important for educators from K-12 and on to higher education to recognize that keeping students engaged in the classroom is important and the adoption of interactive learning environments can be a key driver.
Millennials and Generation Y students are especially accustomed to being a part of the lessons and not just a spectator. Students are encouraged to talk and offer their ideas to create a collaborative atmosphere where both teachers and students are sources of knowledge and insight. The teacher plays more of a facilitator role in moving the lesson along and encouraging students to participate in their own learning outcomes. Students offer their own input, additional information, and give examples of how they would apply the key concepts.
The learning task is the central aspect of the interactive presentations (instead of the teacher’s energy level and hold on the students’ attention spans) and the lessons evolve around it. Even though the teacher is normally, the ‘presenter’ in most cases the ‘interaction’ part comes in a variety of ways to get students participating in the lesson. Many activities, games, role-plays, quizzes, and discussions can be integrated into the presentation flow and the lessons will take different directions from there. We will discuss later many examples of tools and techniques to encourage collaborations.
Technological Aid in Interactive Presentations
Although interactive presentations can be done without technology, it is greatly aided with the adoption of tools designed to facilitate the learning process. For example, a quiz is given in the middle of the presentation. On one side, traditionally a teacher can write the quiz before the lesson starts, print out copies for all students, pass out the quiz, and collect answers. To provide feedback for the exercise the teacher will also need to grade and start a discussion on the results before moving on to the next topic. This process is time-consuming and restrictive.
With technological aid such as an interactive digital whiteboard or a classroom quizzing application on individual devices, the students and teacher can come up with the quiz questions on the spot. This digital quiz can be administrated wirelessly to all students and within seconds, the results can be shared with all participants to discuss. This greatly increases spontaneity, variability, and class involvement.
5 Interactive Presentations Ideas and Corresponding Technology Aids
The teacher does not have to be the only star. The glory of the presentation can go to all participants who have a story to tell. The main concepts can be discussed and students should be given time to come up with a personal example. This exercise helps students relate to the subject matter and getting to listen to other students’ examples will drive home the concepts further. The need for the teacher to plan extensive examples and be the only one talking during the presentation is reduced. Teachers can also judge by the stories shared how much the students are understanding.
Storytelling with technology: Many digital whiteboards have Cast and Throw functions that will allow students to work on their own examples on their devices and send this to the whiteboard when sharing. This allows students to quickly go up and share their stories without sending files by email, wires, or USBs.
2. Non-linear presentation
Presentations that do not follow a strict order but organically flow from topic to topic based on the audience’s feedback are a great way to engage participants. Once prepared, the presenter can flow from one topic to the next by asking questions, polling, or receiving requests at the end of each key point. This allows the audience to ‘build’ their own presentation on what they want to hear not in a rigid manner as with traditional slide-based presentations.
Non-linear presentation with technology : There are non-linear presentation applications like Prezi which helps presenters build presentations on easy-to-customize templates. They offer a zoomable canvas (not slides) to help people share knowledge, stories and inspire audiences to act. The canvas shows relationships between points and offers a recommended flow but not a set path to follow.
3. Polls, surveys, and quizzes
One of the most recognizable and used tools in the classroom to get a fast reaction from students are polls, surveys & quizzes. For polls, simple questions that have limited answers are used to gather a consensus. This could be in the form of a raise of hands, ballots, or having students form groups. Surveys would require printed paper sheets with multiple choices, scales, or short answers to gather opinions. Quizzes are used to quickly test a student’s knowledge on what was just covered, so the class can identify weak areas and crystalize main concepts.
Polls, surveys, and quizzes can be anonymous or not. Openly requiring students to share their ideas on results such as a debate or open discussion would increase the interactives of the activity. Students can also be tasked to create questions and grade their own surveys and quizzes for an added layer of participation within the presentation.
Polls, surveys, and quizzes with technology : Many classroom management software such as Google Classroom has built-in tools to create polls, surveys, and quizzes along with assignments, communication, and other educational features. Once submitted, the collection and grading are instantaneous. The results can be shared easily with students both individually or as a group.
Is there a student – of any age – who does not like a good game, contest, or competition? Adding a small game into a presentation breaks up the normal lecture format and gets the audience to think critically to help their team win. There are many versions and adaptions of basic educational games . Teachers can take games such as Pictionary, Jeopardy, Casino, and Bingo then adapt them to their needs.
Free interactive teaching materials
Gamifying your interactive presentation : By integrating into the presentation links to applications like ClassCraft or Kahoot a teacher can quickly launch an interactive digital game. These applications help teachers tailor their own games by adding their questions, facts, and materials for individuals, small teams, or the whole class to participate.
5. Discussions and groups breakout sessions
Having the class only listen to a lecture marks the end of any interactive presentation. Adding sections where students can have an open discussion or breakout sessions can help students learn from each other, share insights, and have an opportunity to ask questions to their peers. It is also an opportunity for the teacher to take a break from talking and help small groups or students individually as the rest of the class converse.
Taking the discussion online for interactive presentations : Live discussion applications like NowComment allow students to markup and discuss a text in real-time which is great for peer-review activities and gather student input into one place quickly. Alternatively, Yo Tech is great for teachers to create and moderate real-time chat rooms. Students can send text-like messages, reply to other messages, and share pictures and drawings. Online chat groups are a great way for large groups of students to collaborate and interact in one place while keeping the noise level down in a classroom.
Tips for Creating Interactive Presentations
Here are some tips when creating a presentation that has interactive components:
Add in places within your lecture notes or presentation slides reminders for you to engage the audience. This could be a small image or phrase. When using digital whiteboards or other display technology you could also use a sound, empty slide, or pop-up link to prompt you to start.
It is great to keep going a good game or discussion in the class where everyone is really engaged. However, keep the maximum amount of time you can dedicate to these activities in mind. Have a watch or a timer on hand and keep things moving. Give enough time for students to get engaged without overdoing it. Spread out chances for students to talk and share. When it is time to move on to the next topic prepare a transition to the next part of the presentation.
Think of ways to let all students have a chance to share. You can select students randomly or have them take turns in some kind of order. Remind students that this is a learning activity and not everyone will get it right the first time. The interactive activity should be open and inclusive. Students who are introverted may be given activities that can be done without going to the front of the class or public speaking.
Benefits of Having Interactive Components in Your Presentation
- Retention: Actively having students engage with the concepts of the presentation in different ways and hearing it from different people (besides the teacher) helps with long-term retention.
- Personalization: Students are given the choice of where the presentation is heading and participate in their own learning outcomes.
- Fun: Having a break from the routine, getting a chance to move around, developing teams, and sharing are all much better than sitting silently and taking notes.
- Feedback: Adding interactive activities into a presentation gives you instant feedback about students’ comprehension.
- Vocalization: Having students actually vocalize their ideas helps them internalize the concepts.
- Summarization: Students review and summarize their own main points while doing the activities so there is less need for repetition.
Learning Solutions For the Future
Build Your Own Version of Interactive Presentations for Your Next Lesson
Bringing in the interactive components and increasing the engagement of your presentations will both help you – a teacher – and your students. Make presentations both educational and entertaining with Edutainment! With or without technology, consider incorporating some new ideas into your next interactive presentation.
If you liked reading this article, you might also want to explore our complete guide to technology in the classroom or gain more insights on engaging lessons with ViewSonic’s education solutions.
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Task ⑥ ⇒ presentations
A very professional self-running presentation.
Your task this time is to create a self-running presentation summarizing what we have covered in this semester. You may use this opportunity to create a presentation that both displays expertise with presentation tools and is a tool to convey a message to a specific audience.
You may use any presentation tool you prefer for this task, but not all of them can do all that the task calls for. If you choose to use PowerPoint, you have all the components you need. If you choose to use something else, be sure it can do everything that is needed.
Remember, no matter what platform you use for your presentation, it will be viewed on a standard Windows 8 laptop. Don't be in for an unhappy surprise when something that works on your laptop does not work on the instructor's laptop.
You may choose the topic of your presentation. if you cannot think of a topic you want to use, select one of the following:.
- create a visual résumé that introduces you to a potential employer or to someone or some organization you want to hire/select you for something
- create a presentation talking about your home town, home state, or anything else associated with your roots. Make it a product that will help the viewer learn about the topic and entice the viewer to want to learn more
- do a critique of this class - what did it cover, what was good about it, what could be done better. Be critical and make recommendations. I will take the comments to heart and put them into effect where possible, but your grade on this task and this course will be based solely on how well you meet the specification on the specs sheet.
- comment on the utility of one or both of the newsletters I had you subscribe to - talk about the newsletter, the authors, the topics they focus on, and on how useful the subscription turned out to be for you
If you have a need to create a presentation that satisfies a requirement for another class you are taking, you may use this presentation to do just that.
If you choose the last option, tell me via email
- the two objectives should be complementary. In particular, the specs preclude use of bulleted lists in most cases, so you may have to make significant modifications to your existing presentation
- and, where one or more of the specifications is not appropriate for the class the presentation is made for, you can display your skill with the tool by using hidden slides
You may work alone or in teams. If you choose to work as a team, I need to hear the voices of all the team members in the slide narrations.
Your goal is to create a single presentation that simultaneously satisfies two objectives:
- this presentation will run automatically just as if you were delivering the presentation live
- I will see the slides, hear your narration, and observe images and objects in the order and timing you wish them to appear
- I will use this version to decide on the points for Esthetics
- it should be set up with delivery tools, in particular with on-screen navigation tools, so that you could present it and have total control over how it would run
- we will cover this requirement in more detail during the delivery session
- I will use your design to decide on the points for Formatting Decisions
You may create this presentation alone or you may work in teams of your own selection. When you or your team has completed the task, you or one member of a team will store it in a single password protected directory. Each of the members of the team will place a hyperlink to it on their respective web sites (the individual storing it will have a relative link to it, the others will have absolute links to the finished task). When it's ready for me to download and grade, send me a note telling me to retrieve it from your websites.
The saved presentation will include both the visuals and any accompanying sound files.
We will all see all of the presentations together in the lab together during the scheduled exam time
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13 Interactive Presentation Ideas to Engage Students in Class
If you’re a teacher, you’ll know that there’s a lot to think about when you’re in class. It’s important to ensure that what you’re teaching the children is as educational and as interesting as possible - with the aim of engaging the students in the subject and hopefully even enabling them to enjoy learning!
This can be a very difficult balance to strike. However, it’s made easier by these interactive presentation ideas listed in this article, which can engage even the most distracted of students!
How to display presentations
The best classroom gadget to show these presentations on is an interactive display. These are large devices that are mounted to the wall and can connect seamlessly with any video collaboration applications. You can connect interactive displays to the internet and further use them as a powerful classroom teaching tool, to help students learn in a fully interactive and efficient way. We sell interactive displays for classrooms here at Avocor.
Interactive class presentation ideas
Many work-related presentations start with an icebreaker, and there’s no reason why a presentation to a class of students should be any different.
The icebreaker question will depend on the class and age of students, but could be something like the following:
- If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
- What would be your dream place to go on holiday?
- If you could have dinner with three historical characters, who would they be and why?
- If you could make any kind of potion, what would it do?
Incorporating video is one of the best interactive presentation ideas for students. Even if the video is about the same topic as the presentation, the fact that it’s a different type of media will interest the class.
You can either find a suitable video on YouTube or another video software or, if you have a file saved, paste it directly into the presentation .
Questions and answers
Questions and answers are a great way to get the whole class involved. You could invite one student to ask a hypothetical question about the topic, and another could answer.
For example, if you’re learning about Henry VIII and his six wives , you could ask a student to ask a question about them. Their question could be “what was Henry VIII’s favourite food?” or something similar.
When another student answers, you could ask them to explain their answer - for example, if they say “meat and bread”, they might carry on to explain that that was the main diet for royalty at the time.
Songs are a good way to interest younger kids in a topic. You can find songs about all sorts of subjects on YouTube. For example, this seven continents song could be suitable for a Geography song.
Many songs on YouTube have lyrics, so you could encourage your class to practice their reading as they sing along.
Some presentations are made more interactive by external objects - and if you want to engage younger kids, bringing some props can really help the lesson to come alive.
For example, if you’re doing a history lesson about the Ancient Egyptians , you could bring some figures of Tutankhamun, the Sphinx and the ancient pyramids for everybody to see.
Asking for direct class involvement throughout the presentation is a good way to ensure that students stay engaged. For instance, if you’re doing a presentation about animals, you could ask students to make a noise every time you mention a certain animal.
You could ask them to roar each time you mention lions, or make a monkey noise each time you talk about monkeys. This is a great way to ensure that the students are paying attention!
Transitions and animations
A simple way to ensure that your students are paying attention is to use different transitions and animations throughout your presentation.
If you’re teaching older kids or teenagers, you might not want to have too many of these, but younger kids will love seeing every item bounce onto the screen. It’s a wonderful way to get them interested in technology in the classroom !
Quizzes are an effective way to engage students of any age. You can include these at the end of the presentation and they can include questions that you’ve covered in the session.
If your students know that there will be a quiz at the end of the class, they may be more likely to pay attention throughout it! You could also ensure maximum engagement by telling students that there will be prizes for the winner of the quiz - such as stickers or sweets.
Interactive games for class presentations are always a popular way to ensure that students stay engaged! Some examples include:
- noughts and crosses or tic tac toe
- hangman or an alternative like spaceman
- 21 questions
It’s best to make these games related to the subject. For example, the game “21 questions” involves you thinking of a character and students asking questions with a yes or no answer about what character you are.
If you’re teaching a history class, the character could be somebody from history (such as Florence Nightingale or Queen Victoria), or if you’re instructing a science lesson, the character could be a famous scientist (like Einstein or Steven Hawking).
Brainstorming is another great way to get the class involved. You can use an interactive display to create the brainstorm diagram on. Students can take turns writing on the board, and it can securely connect to any external devices, so any remote class members can join in.
With an interactive display, you can also immediately share the diagram to the rest of the class once it’s finished, so they can keep it to refresh their knowledge of a topic.
For example, if you’re teaching your class about Australia in geography , you could ask their students what they may already know about Australia. They could come up with some items like the following:
- Sydney Opera House
- Aboriginal art
You could then create a spider diagram with different legs depending on the topic. For this list, there could be an “animals” leg for kangaroos and koalas, an “architecture” leg for the Sydney Opera House, a “landscapes” leg for the rainforest and outback, a “culture” leg for Aboriginal art and a “food” leg for BBQ.
Make a story
Making a story about the topics covered can encourage creativity around the topic. To do this, write down a couple of opening lines to a story related to the topic that you’re teaching.
For example, if you’re teaching students about the Ancient Roman Empire, you could start by saying “Ronald the Roman lived in the British City of Bath, where the Romans had arrived 20 years before. He spent most of his time at work, where he built houses for the rest of the Romans”.
Then, you could invite a student to continue the story, encouraging them to stay as on-topic as possible. You could even give out a prize to the student with the best part of the story. Depending on the size of the class, you could ask every student to contribute.
Stories also work well for English lessons. In these classes, the topic of the story doesn’t matter as much, but you could encourage students to use whatever language they’ve been learning.
For example, if your class has been focused on adjectives, you could ask students to put as many adjectives as possible in each part of their story.
Have a short play
You could take your stories to the next level by creating a short play on one of your slides. This could be based on whatever topic you’re learning about, and you could select a few students to come to the front of the class and read out the lines.
You may wish to create this personally, find a relevant play online or you could even turn a well-known story into a play!
Virtual field trip
One of the most creative interactive school presentation ideas is to take the class on a virtual field trip. This is particularly valuable for geography lessons, where you may learn about places that students might not be able to visit in person, like the Amazon rainforest or even under the sea!
You could link to Google maps, where you could use Google Earth to explore a particular area. Alternatively, there are some YouTube channels that specialise in virtual tours and field trips, such as this one which details all you need to know about rainforests .
If you have a classroom full of students and want to keep them as engaged as possible while teaching them new material, try some of these interactive games for classroom presentations and other ideas!
By incorporating some of these interactive ideas into your presentation, you’ll have the students’ full undivided attention and ensure that they not only enjoy the class but retain the information.
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In this article I would like to give you a few tips and some advice on what I've learned from helping students prepare and deliver presentations.
- Why I get students to do presentations
- Syllabus fit
- Planning a presentation lesson
- Classroom Management
Why I get students to do presentations Presentations are a great way to have students practise all language systems areas (vocabulary, grammar, discourse and phonology) and skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening). They also build confidence, and presenting is a skill that most people will need in the world of work. I find that students who are good presenters are better communicators all round, since they are able to structure and express their ideas clearly.
- Presentation skills are extremely useful both in and outside the classroom. After completing a project, a presentation is a channel for students to share with others what they have learned. It is also a chance to challenge and expand on their understanding of the topic by having others ask questions. And in the world of work, a confident presenter is able to inform and persuade colleagues effectively.
- Presentations can also form a natural part of task based learning. By focussing on a particular language point or skill, the presentation is a very practical way to revise and extend book, pair and group work. The audience can also be set a task, for example, a set of questions to answer on the presentation, which is a way of getting students to listen to each other.
Syllabus fit Normally the presentation will come towards the end of a lesson or series of lessons that focus on a particular language or skill area. It is a type of freer practice. This is because the students need to feel relatively confident about what they are doing before they stand up and do it in front of other people. If I have been teaching the past simple plus time phrases to tell a story, for example, I give my students plenty of controlled and semi controlled practice activities, such as gapfills, drills and information swaps before I ask them to present on, say, an important event in their country's history, which involves much freer use of the target grammar point.
Planning a presentation lesson Normally a presentation lesson will have an outline like this:
- Revision of key language areas
- Example presentation, which could be from a textbook or given by the teacher
- Students are given a transcript or outline of the presentation
- Students identify key stages of the example presentation – greeting, introduction, main points in order of importance, conclusion
- Focus on linking and signalling words ('Next…', 'Now I'd like you to look at…', etc.). Students underline these in the transcript/place them in the correct order
- Students are put into small groups and write down aims
- Students then write down key points which they order, as in the example
- Students decide who is going to say what and how
- Students prepare visuals (keep the time for this limited as too many visuals become distracting)
- Students practise at their tables
- Students deliver the presentations in front of the class, with the audience having an observation task to complete (see 'Assessment' below)
- The teacher takes notes for feedback later
It is important that the students plan and deliver the presentations in groups at first, unless they are extremely confident and/or fluent. This is because:
- Shy students cannot present alone
- Students can support each other before, during and after the presentation
- Getting ready for the presentation is a practice task in itself
- When you have a large class, it takes a very long time for everyone to present individually!
I find it's a good idea to spend time training students in setting clear aims. It is also important that as teachers we think clearly about why we are asking students to present.
Aims Presentations normally have one or more of the following aims:
- To inform/ raise awareness of an important issue
- To persuade people to do something
- Form part of an exam, demonstrating public speaking/presentation skills in a first or second language
I set students a task where they answer these questions:
- Why are you making the presentation?
- What do you want people to learn?
- How are you going to make it interesting?
Let's say I want to tell people about volcanoes. I want people to know about why volcanoes form and why they erupt. This would be an informative/awareness-raising presentation. So by the end, everyone should know something new about volcanoes, and they should be able to tell others about them. My plan might look like this:
- Introduction - what is a volcano? (2 minutes)
- Types of volcano (5 minutes)
- Volcanoes around the world (2 minutes)
- My favourite volcano (2 minutes)
- Conclusion (2-3 minutes)
- Questions (2 minutes)
Classroom Management I find that presentation lessons pass very quickly, due the large amount of preparation involved. With a class of 20 students, it will probably take at least 3 hours. With feedback and follow-up tasks, it can last even longer. I try to put students into groups of 3 or 4 with classes of up to 20 students, and larger groups of 5 or 6 with classes up to 40. If you have a class larger than 40, it would be a good idea to do the presentation in a hall or even outside.
Classroom management can become difficult during a presentations lesson, especially during the final presenting stage, as the presenters are partly responsible for managing the class! There are a few points I find effective here:
- Training students to stand near people who are chatting and talk 'through' the chatter, by demonstration
- Training students to stop talking if chatter continues, again by demonstration
- Asking for the audience's attention ('Can I have your attention please?')
- Setting the audience an observation task, which is also assessed by the teacher
- Limiting the amount of time spent preparing visuals
- Arranging furniture so everyone is facing the front
Most of these points are self-explanatory, but I will cover the observation task in more detail in the next section, which deals with assessment.
Assessment The teacher needs to carefully consider the assessment criteria, so that s/he can give meaningful feedback. I usually run through a checklist that covers:
- Level - I can't expect Elementary students to use a wide range of tenses or vocabulary, for example, but I'd expect Advanced students to have clear pronunciation and to use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar
- Age - Younger learners do not (normally) have the maturity or general knowledge of adults, and the teacher's expectations need to reflect this
- Needs - What kind of students are they? Business English students need to have much more sophisticated communication skills than others. Students who are preparing for an exam need to practise the skills that will be assessed in the exam.
I write a list of language related points I'm looking for. This covers:
- Range / accuracy of vocabulary
- Range / accuracy of grammar
- Presentation / discourse management- is it well structured? What linking words are used and how?
- Use of visuals- Do they help or hinder the presentation?
- Paralinguistic features
'Paralinguistics' refers to non-verbal communication. This is important in a presentation because eye contact, directing your voice to all parts of the room, using pitch and tone to keep attention and so on are all part of engaging an audience.
I find it's a good idea to let students in on the assessment process by setting them a peer observation task. The simplest way to do this is to write a checklist that relates to the aims of the lesson. A task for presentations on major historical events might have a checklist like this:
- Does the presenter greet the audience? YES/NO
- Does the presenter use the past tense? YES/NO
And so on. This normally helps me to keep all members of the audience awake. To be really sure, though, I include a question that involves personal response to the presentation such as 'What did you like about this presentation and why?'. If working with young learners, it's a good idea to tell them you will look at their answers to the observation task. Otherwise they might simply tick random answers!
Conclusion Presentations are a great way to practise a wide range of skills and to build the general confidence of your students. Due to problems with timing, I would recommend one lesson per term, building confidence bit by bit throughout the year. In a school curriculum this leaves time to get through the core syllabus and prepare for exams.
Presentations - Adult students
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I've read your article. I agree with you. You gave some tips of how the students can present their presentations. During the presentation most students feel confidently themselves. I think if the students work together on their presentations, it will be perfectly. I also agree with the time limit. I think it is the most thing to present the presentation. If your presentation too long, it will be boring. Students know about the aim of the presentation. That is to say, they set their aim, why they show this presentation.
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Slide 41 : This is a Dashboard slide to state Low, Medium and High aspects, kpis, metrics etc. Slide 42 : This is a Location slide to show global segregation, presence etc. on a world map and text boxes to make it explicit. Slide 43 : This is a Quotes slide to convey company/ organization message, beliefs etc. You may change the slide content as per need. Slide 44 : This slide is titled as Financials. Show finance related stuff here. Slide 45 : This slide presents a Timeline to show growth, milestones etc. Slide 46 : This is Our Target image slide. State your targets here. Slide 47 : This is a Puzzle image slide to show information, specifications etc. Slide 48 : This slide shows a Mind map for representing entities. 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by Doug Carroll
July 8, 2021
by Dallas Medina
Home » Blog » Trainers » 7 Essential Presentation Skills Examples, Techniques & Tips for Freelance Trainers
7 Essential Presentation Skills Examples, Techniques & Tips for Freelance Trainers
Page Updated on February 8, 2023
With some very simple and basic but essential tips, you can quite quickly learn effective presentation skills and become a more effective trainer or teacher. So in this post, here are 7 tips for you that you can use, whether you are a freelance or corporate trainer, teacher, someone doing a presentation at work, or a student learning to do presentations. These tips should help you all!
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Taken from our >> ‘ Online Train the Trainer Course ‘.
Tip 1: Body Language (Face and Hands)
One of the first things to consider when presenting is to think about how you use your face and hands.
Always make eye contact and look at all of your participants . Do not stare at them but do make an effort to appear to speak to each and every person present.
If the venue is big and the number of attendees numerous (let’s say more than 20) then at least look or glance at each section of people from time to time.
A word of warning though! In some cultures, it is considered rude or aggressive to look someone in the eye . So do factor in the culture and audience to whom you are speaking or teaching, and adapt accordingly.
KEY TIP : Make a point to sometimes speak and do gestures (positive ones of course) to those sitting the furthest from you to make them feel included.
Do also remember to use facial expressions that are congruent with your words. In other words, what you say should match your facial expression so as to avoid confusion. If you are saying something exciting try and look excited by it, for example.
Avoid : No playing with markers, touching your head, or crossing your arms; no hands in pockets unless it is to show informality and relaxation! A great way to avoid these things is to record yourself at home with any camera (a cellphone will do) and practice presenting. You will soon see the habits you have!
Tip 2: Posture and Body Language When Presenting
If you want to make the right impression with your students or whoever you are presenting to, it is important to maintain good posture .
Good posture also helps to project the voice better , in addition to making you look more confident.
If you wish to, you can also highlight a new section in the presentation by changing your posture or position. Opening up your shoulders and arms, for example, could be used to express the idea of something starting.
KEY TIP: The key from our experience is that it often simply comes down to practice! The more times you run through your speech or lesson, the smoother and more fluent you will become. The TRUTH is that most great speakers are only the best because they practice and practice. It is that simple. With this in mind, avoid continuously reading off a piece of paper or script.
Tip 3: Positioning Your Body When Presenting
Body language is also important and given that most eyes will be on you, as the trainer at the front of the room, any unusual actions you do will of course easily be noticed and can distract your audience from focusing on the content that you are delivering.
So, when standing at the front of the room, plant your feet and do not shift your weight, and avoid pacing back and forth on the same spot.
Also, be aware that sitting changes the tone and makes the atmosphere informal. If teaching or presenting to a small group of people (i.e. everyone can easily see you if you are sitting down), you might want to use sitting down as a strategy for mixing the formal with informal.
Never have your back to the group (or as little as possible if you are writing on a board).
Tip 4: Voice – Volume, Pitch, and Pauses
I was in at a conference recently and a well-renowned academic was presenting in front of 100+ people and, despite being in the front row, it was impossible to make out what he was saying.
Make sure when presenting to project your voice ! Also, change the volume and pitch of your voice to add emphasis! If you need to, just ask the people at the back of the venue if they can hear you okay?
KEY TIP : Also learn to use pauses to emphasize something important. Furthermore, pauses are also useful to give time to reflect and for you to observe participants. Do not be afraid of silence!
Tip 5: Fillers and Elocution
One of the things that most of us do when first learning how to give effective presentations, is to use fillers!
Fillers are the words we unconsciously use to try and fill in between the things we are meant to say. Common fillers include ‘ah’, ‘err’, ‘ok’, ‘like’, ‘er’, ‘um’, and ‘right then’.
We all use fillers and trying to avoid using them is not easy at first.
To learn to stop using fillers the best way is the tip I gave earlier and which is to record yourself speaking and play it back. Just grab your iPhone and use the camera on the phone, for example, and record a 3-minute speech (it doesn’t matter what you speak about or how you look). Then play the video back and see what fillers you used when speaking. Keep practicing and you will begin to avoid fillers very quickly.
Finally, do not rush the end of sentences, and do not be afraid to use an informal voice. You want to sound professional of course, but you also want to speak in a way that is friendly and warm.
Tip 6: Making Use of Space in the Training Room or Classroom
Think carefully also about the space that you have available to you in the training room or classroom.
It can be a great idea to move around among participants . Move around the room looking first at a group, then another group. Do not neglect any section of the room.
Also, never sit behind a desk (unless used temporarily and as part of an intentional informal act). You might, for example, want to sit down whilst your participants are doing an activity or task that you have set them.
Or you might sit to emphasize something. Generally speaking though, for the most part, you should be standing when presenting. Also, stand close to the class unless you are using the board a lot.
Tip 7: Extra Presentation Skills Ideas
Let’s finish with four final tips.
It can be difficult when teaching or providing training to find the balance between providing enough explanation and information and giving too much.
Do not though, go on and on about something and be too repetitive. You can lose the attention of your audience if you do this too much.
Be Careful with Jargon
You will also want to be careful with the jargon you use (or what is known as ‘discourse’ in academia). In different social and cultural circles, we have different ways of speaking in terms of terminology. Even between the UK and the United States, for example, our ways of speaking are different. Differences can include:
- soccer (USA) = football (UK)
- pants (USA) = trousers (UK)
- gasoline (USA = petrol (UK)
The key is to make sure you are speaking with your audience in mind . Know who your audience is and tailor your speech, if necessary, for them.
The best presenters are the best really because of one key reason. They practice and they learn to be great presenters.
That really is the secret! Having interviewed hundreds of presenters, the idea of practicing to improve and become a good presenter was always mentioned as the key tip to presenting well.
Certainly, a few people (the lucky ones) are born with a natural ability just to be brilliant presenters.
The majority though become proficient through practice.
Watching Great Presenters
It can also be worth watching some TED talks to get a feel for what great presenting looks like.
When watching these presentations, observe the pauses at key moments, the way they move or do not move around the stage, the change of intonation for emphasis, the way they use their hands or not, and their facial expressions. And what do they do wrong that you don’t like? Try these two videos:
- Tyler DeWitt : Hey science teachers. Make it fun!
- Nadia Lopez : Open a school to close a prison!
If you are not actually that interested in the topic you are teaching or presenting, TRY TO FIND something about it interesting and show enthusiasm.
If you really can find nothing to be enthusiastic about in terms of what you are teaching, then looking for a new job might be the best option here. Otherwise, be cheerful and you will find that this alone can help you win over those sitting in front of you as you speak. Smiling and being happy can be infectious!
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Explanation is simple and clear. Very useful tips.
This analysis is outstanding ,thank you
Thank you, great post. I have learned a lot about presentation skills. Thank you.
The post is great… I have learnt alot as a teacher student in Kenya
Helped me a lot! Thank you.
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- Speaking exams
- Typical speaking tasks
Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully. Which tips do they follow? Which ones don’t they follow?
Watch the video of two students doing an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam. Then read the tips below.
Melissa: Hi, everyone! Today I would like to talk about how to become the most popular teen in school.
Firstly, I think getting good academic results is the first factor to make you become popular since, having a good academic result, your teacher will award you in front of your schoolmates. Then, your schoolmates will know who you are and maybe they would like to get to know you because they want to learn something good from you.
Secondly, I think participating in school clubs and student unions can help to make you become popular, since after participating in these school clubs or student union, people will know who you are and it can help you to make friends all around the school, no matter senior forms or junior forms.
In conclusion, I think to become the most popular teen in school we need to have good academic results and also participate in school clubs and student union. Thank you!
Kelvin: Good evening, everyone! So, today I want to talk about whether the sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
As we all know, cigarettes are not good for our health, not only oneself but also other people around. Moreover, many people die of lung cancer every year because of smoking cigarettes.
But, should the government make it illegal? I don’t think so, because Hong Kong is a place where people can enjoy lots of freedom and if the government banned the sale of cigarettes, many people would disagree with this and stand up to fight for their freedom.
Moreover, Hong Kong is a free market. If there's such a huge government intervention, I think it’s not good for Hong Kong’s economy.
So, if the government wants people to stop smoking cigarettes, what should it do? I think the government can use other administrative ways to do so, for example education and increasing the tax on cigarettes. Also, the government can ban the smokers smoking in public areas. So, this is the end of my presentation. Thank you.
It’s not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations.
- Use the planning time to prepare what you’re going to say.
- If you are allowed to have a note card, write short notes in point form.
- Use more formal language.
- Use short, simple sentences to express your ideas clearly.
- Pause from time to time and don’t speak too quickly. This allows the listener to understand your ideas. Include a short pause after each idea.
- Speak clearly and at the right volume.
- Have your notes ready in case you forget anything.
- Practise your presentation. If possible record yourself and listen to your presentation. If you can’t record yourself, ask a friend to listen to you. Does your friend understand you?
- Make your opinions very clear. Use expressions to give your opinion .
- Look at the people who are listening to you.
- Write out the whole presentation and learn every word by heart.
- Write out the whole presentation and read it aloud.
- Use very informal language.
- Only look at your note card. It’s important to look up at your listeners when you are speaking.
Useful language for presentations
Explain what your presentation is about at the beginning:
I’m going to talk about ... I’d like to talk about ... The main focus of this presentation is ...
Use these expressions to order your ideas:
First of all, ... Firstly, ... Then, ... Secondly, ... Next, ... Finally, ... Lastly, ... To sum up, ... In conclusion, ...
Use these expressions to add more ideas from the same point of view:
In addition, ... What’s more, ... Also, ... Added to this, ...
To introduce the opposite point of view you can use these words and expressions:
However, ... On the other hand, ... Then again, ...
Example presentation topics
- Violent computer games should be banned.
- The sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
- Homework should be limited to just two nights a week.
- Should school students be required to wear a school uniform?
- How to become the most popular teen in school.
- Dogs should be banned from cities.
Check your language: ordering - parts of a presentation
Check your understanding: grouping - useful phrases, worksheets and downloads.
Do you think these tips will help you in your next speaking exam? Remember to tell us how well you do in future speaking exams!
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