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Being a presenter


Whether being a new entrant presenting their first news talk, or a secondary school student presenting a report on an inquiry study, standing up unaided with no props or prompts, can be a daunting task.  The five year old often brings something to show to the class and talk about - maybe something they got for their birthday, as this prop helps to give them confidence and remind them of the topic in hand.

There are some great e-Learning tools that can assist the presenter, giving them confidence and providing the prompts for their presentation.  Students should be engaged in the use of such tools from an early age.  They need to practise their use until they become fluent, clearly audible, not distractingly mobile and able to remember what comes next.

Slideshow tools are often the starting place, gradually adding audio and video to bring variety and richness to the presentation.  It is important to make sure that these add to rather than distract from the key messages.

Students need to learn that the slides need to work for them, rather than distracting the audience into reading large chunks of text when they should be listening.  therefore slides with mostly graphics and little text are the most powerful.

Which of these slides about increasing achievement has the least impact?




varied diet

text heavy

That last one of course - it has too much text, even with the highlighting, for quick reading of important ideas. The visuals and humour of the previous four have much more impact.  A few keywords that you then speak to in detail is much better.

The following is a big improvement:

A big improvement

As for any performance, students need to practise their presentation and receive feedback that will help them to improve.  This could be done with a classmate or virtually with other people beyond the classroom.  The tools exist for a student to plug themselves into video recording web 2.0 tools and practise their presentation.  These tools can then be the source for sharing direct with others who can provide feedback, or the video can be embedded in a class wiki, blog or LMS from which sharing and seeking feedback can be arranged.

You and your students could develop a rubric that could be used as the basis for this feedback so that they get more useful comments than just "awesome" and so that they have definite things to work on in preparing for the final presentation.  There are lots of speechmaking tutorials online so have students do a Google search and visit lots of sites to find useful ideas for this rubric.  Here are some I found - click on the text graphic to link to the source site:

Forbes speechmaking tutorial

Wikihow speechmaking tutorial




Forbes 5 secrets to success in speechmaking





WikiHow - This site also has sections on writing, practising and presenting your speech








Six Minutes Speech preparation and presentation site



Six Minutes Speaking and Presenting Skills

This site sets out the 5 Ps for success 






Six minutes continued 

and 10 components to consider at the speech preparation phase.  

Presentation props

It also recognises that effective speaking can be aided by technology and has a section on Powerpoint and visuals use, and has tips for stance, gesture, voice and critique.

There are many more great sites to assist with speechmaking so have your students check some of them out.