Presentations to Students

Delivering effective presentations to students is very similar to giving a presentation to a board meeting, group of peers, or even complete strangers. There are common characteristics of effective presentations. This article will look at presenting in a class type environment where the presenter has control of the environment and topic, however it will be chalked full or useful information for anyone looking to improve their public speaking skills.

For starters, the role of the instructor is to identify the learning and communication needs of the students while focusing and directing them along the way. Student involvement is very important and the instructor should aim discussion toward course objectives and give all students a chance to participate. These goals are accomplished by asking questions, listening, leading by example, and student observation.

Characteristics of Effective Presentations

There are many characteristics that lead to an effective presentation. Below is a brief list of some of the most useful and powerful methods of delivering a great presentation.

  1. Know your material by practicing out load and in front of a mirror. Practice with any aids you may be using as well so you know how they will fit into your presentation.
  2. Use language familiar to the students, avoiding jargon or unfamiliar terms when possible.
  3. Speak loudly enough for everyone to hear and speak clearly.
  4. Be aware of the tone and pace of your speech.
  5. Make eye contact with the students and look around the room.
  6. Minimize the use of filler words such as “uh” and “um”.
  7. Encourage student participation.
  8. Avoid nervous habits, fidgeting, and pacing.
  9. Use natural body language and facial expressions.
  10. Be yourself.

Meeting the Needs of Your Target Audience

Not all groups are the same; some have more knowledge than others. By taking into account the students previous training, needs, goals, experience, and skills you can tailor your presentation to better meet their requirements. In some instances you may have to talk to the class before the presentation to see where they are.

Pre-assessing the students allows you to schedule the topics that may need more attention than others. While some you will discuss briefly and others in more detail based on the students knowledge and understanding of the subject.

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