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12 Reasons Why Presentation Skills Are Important for Students 

Hrideep barot.

  • Education , Presentation

Presentation skills for Students

Learning presentation skills as a student is like striking gold in the treasure hunt of life! It’s like having a superpower at your fingertips because, let’s be honest, your learning capacity right now is off the charts! But wait, there’s more! Presentation skills aren’t just about talking in front of the class (although that’s super cool too). They’re like the secret ingredient that helps you master the art of communication.

Think about it – you’re not just learning how to present your science project; you’re learning how to navigate the whole wide world. 

So, why’s this the primo time to become a presentation ninja?

  • Super Learning Mode: Your brain is in turbo mode right now, absorbing info like a champ. What you learn about presentations during this time becomes your lifelong sidekick.
  • Ace Communicator: Being a student means you’re in a constant chat with teachers, friends, and books. Presentation skills give you the superpower to communicate like a pro.
  • World Domination: Okay, maybe not the world, but you’re certainly setting yourself up to shine in any situation life throws at you.

Remember, these skills aren’t just for school. They’re for life! So, grab that mic (or marker or mouse) and get ready to rock those presentations. You’re gearing up to be the superhero of communication! 🎤


Have you ever thought about what makes some presentations stick in your memory while others vanish into oblivion? Well, here’s the scoop: presentation skills are the secret sauce, and they’re not just a bag of clever tricks. Nope, they’re the mighty keys to cracking the code of effective communication, letting you hook, enlighten, and amuse your audience.

At their very core, these skills are all about forging a connection with your crowd, whether it’s your school buddies, coworkers, or even a gang of pals at a shindig. They’re like the crafters of a message that’s crystal clear, totally convincing, and as smooth as a jam session with your favorite jazz band.

But wait, there’s more! Presentation skills are your golden ticket to success in all sorts of life’s adventures, from nailing that class project to wowing your boss in a big meeting. They’re the secret tools that turn everyday tasks into unforgettable experiences, etching your message deep into the minds of your audience.

So, as you embark on the journey to master these presentation skills, remember it’s not just about what you say; it’s how you say it. Whether you’re facing a jam-packed auditorium or a cozy gathering of pals, may the enchantment of presentation skills guide you, transforming every moment into a mesmerizing performance.

The 12 Reasons Why Presentation Skills are Important:

Presentation skills are not just crucial for students but also for individuals of all ages and professions. Here’s why they matter and how they impact everyone:

1. Effective Communication :

  • Effective communication is the backbone of all human interactions. Presentation skills equip individuals with the ability to convey information clearly, concisely, and persuasively. Whether it’s explaining a project at work or delivering a compelling speech, the capacity to communicate effectively is indispensable.
  • Example : In a business meeting, a project manager adept in presentation skills can elucidate a complex project plan. They articulate the project’s goals, milestones, and potential challenges, ensuring that everyone understands the roadmap to success.

2. Career Advancement :

  • The workplace is highly competitive, and presentation skills can be the differentiating factor that propels individuals forward in their careers. Being able to present ideas, strategies, and accomplishments with confidence and clarity garners recognition and opens up opportunities for advancement.
  • Example : A marketing professional who excels in presenting marketing campaigns not only impresses the team but also demonstrates leadership qualities. This can lead to promotions and increased responsibilities.

3. Building Credibility :

  • Credibility is vital in professional and personal relationships. When you can present your ideas convincingly, you gain the trust of your peers, colleagues, and superiors. Your credibility extends to the content you’re presenting, making it more likely to be accepted and acted upon.
  • Example : An environmental scientist delivering a presentation on climate change with well-researched data and compelling visuals gains credibility among policymakers and the public, potentially influencing policy decisions.

4. Persuasion and Influence :

  • Presentation skills encompass the art of persuasion. Individuals who can engage their audience, create a compelling narrative, and support their arguments effectively are more likely to influence others. This skill is invaluable in negotiations, sales, and leadership roles.
  • Example : A charismatic motivational speaker can use their presentation skills to inspire audiences, motivating them to take action or adopt new perspectives.

5. Problem Solving :

  • Strong presenters are often adept problem solvers. They can analyze complex issues, break them down into understandable components, and present solutions clearly and persuasively. This ability is crucial for addressing challenges in personal and professional life.
  • Example : During a corporate crisis, a CEO who can present a well-structured crisis management plan to stakeholders demonstrates effective problem-solving skills and reassures concerned parties.

6. Personal Branding :

  • Effective presentation skills contribute to personal branding. Consistently delivering engaging and informative presentations enhances one’s reputation as a knowledgeable, confident, and trustworthy professional.
  • Example : A tech entrepreneur known for captivating product launch presentations builds a strong personal brand, attracting media attention, investors, and customers.

7. Adaptability :

  • Presentation skills encompass the ability to adapt to various formats, audiences, and settings. This adaptability is invaluable in today’s diverse and ever-changing work environments, where individuals must navigate different communication channels and styles.
  • Example : A teacher who can seamlessly transition from in-person classroom presentations to delivering engaging online lessons demonstrates adaptability in response to changing circumstances.

8. Lifelong Learning :

  • Embracing presentation skills encourages individuals to engage in lifelong learning and self-improvement. As presentation techniques evolve and audiences change, individuals who continually refine their communication abilities remain relevant and effective.
  • Example : A retired professional who continues to develop presentation skills for community workshops and public speaking engagements not only shares their expertise but also stays engaged in lifelong learning, adapting to new challenges and opportunities.

Presentation skills are universally essential as they enhance communication, facilitate career advancement, build credibility, enable persuasive influence, promote problem-solving, strengthen personal branding, foster adaptability, and encourage lifelong learning. These skills empower individuals to succeed in various personal and professional endeavors, making them essential for everyone.

Let’s look at a comprehensive overview of these trending presentation skills:

Allow me to introduce you to the 12 skills that encapsulate the very essence of the world’s most exceptional presenters.

1. Effective Communication:

Presentation skills are the ability to communicate ideas, information, or messages to an audience clearly and persuasively. It’s about conveying your thoughts with impact and resonance.

2. Audience Engagement:

These skills encompass techniques to engage and capture the attention of your audience. It’s not just about talking; it’s about connecting with your listeners on an intellectual and emotional level.

3. Organization and Structure: 

Presentation skills involve structuring your content logically and coherently. It’s about creating a roadmap that guides your audience through your message, ensuring they follow and understand your points.

4. Visual Aids Usage:

Effective use of visual aids, such as slides, graphics, and multimedia elements, is a crucial component. It’s about enhancing your message with visuals that reinforce your content without overwhelming your audience.

5. Confidence and Presence: 

Presentation skills entail projecting confidence and a strong presence while speaking. This includes body language, tone of voice, and maintaining eye contact.

6. Adaptability: 

These skills are versatile. You must adapt your presentation style to suit different contexts, audiences, and purposes. Whether you’re giving an academic lecture, a business pitch, or a motivational talk, adaptability is key.

7. Preparation and Research: 

A significant part of presentation skills is the preparation phase. It involves conducting thorough research on your topic, understanding your audience, and meticulously planning your content.

8. Problem Solving: 

Effective presenters are skilled at handling unexpected situations, such as tough questions or technical difficulties during a presentation. Presentation skills also encompass the ability to think on your feet and respond confidently.

9. Storytelling: 

Storytelling is a potent tool for presentation skills. It involves weaving narratives that resonate with your audience, making your message memorable and relatable.

10. Time Management: 

Presentations often have time constraints. These skills include managing your time wisely, and ensuring you cover all key points within the allocated time frame.

11. Feedback Utilisation: 

Presentation skills are a continuous learning process. It involves actively seeking and utilizing feedback to improve your future presentations. Constructive criticism is invaluable for growth.

12. Audience-Centred Approach: 

A critical aspect of presentation skills is adopting an audience-centred approach. It’s about tailoring your content and delivery to meet the needs and interests of your specific audience.

What is the purpose of a presentation?

A) information sharing:.

At its core, the purpose of a presentation is to share information. Whether you’re in a classroom, boardroom, or on a stage, you’re conveying knowledge, insights, or ideas to an audience. This information can range from academic research findings, business proposals, and project updates, to even personal stories or creative concepts.

B) Education and Understanding:

Presentations are powerful tools for education and comprehension. They provide a structured format to break down complex topics into manageable, digestible pieces. By presenting information in a clear, organized manner, you help your audience grasp concepts more easily.

C) Persuasion and Influence:

In many situations, presentations aim to persuade and influence. Whether you’re convincing potential investors to fund your startup, persuading your classmates to support your project, or advocating for a cause, effective presentations can be a catalyst for change.

D) Engagement and Connection:

A well-crafted presentation can engage your audience emotionally and intellectually. It’s an opportunity to connect on a human level, share personal experiences, and evoke empathy or enthusiasm. Storytelling is a powerful technique to create this connection.

E) Problem Solving:

Presentations often tackle real-world issues and problem-solving. Whether it’s proposing solutions to business challenges, addressing societal problems, or discussing scientific breakthroughs, they serve as a platform to present ideas that can bring about positive change.

F) Decision-Making: 

In professional settings, presentations play a pivotal role in decision-making processes. They provide decision-makers with the necessary information and insights to make informed choices. Presenters aim to influence these decisions in their favor through compelling arguments and evidence.

G) Inspiration and Motivation: 

Some presentations are designed to inspire and motivate. They encourage the audience to take action, pursue their goals, or embrace change. This purpose often applies to keynote speeches, commencement addresses, and motivational talks.

H) Celebration and Recognition: 

Presentations aren’t always about serious business; they can also serve as a platform for celebration and recognition. Think of award ceremonies, where individuals or teams are honored for their achievements.

I) Entertainment and Artistic Expression: 

Presentations can be a form of entertainment and artistic expression. Think of performances, artistic displays, or creative storytelling. Here, the purpose is to captivate, entertain, and stir emotions.

J) Knowledge Transfer: 

Lastly, presentations facilitate the transfer of knowledge from one person to another or from one generation to the next. This is particularly important in educational settings, where teachers present information to students in a structured manner.

In essence, presentations are versatile tools with multifaceted purposes. They are not just about delivering information but about connecting, persuading, educating, and inspiring. Understanding the specific purpose of your presentation is the first step toward creating a compelling communication experience for your audience.

Why is it important to have good presentation skills for students?

Imagine this scenario: You’re sitting in a classroom, and your professor asks you to present your research findings. Your heart races, your palms sweat, and the butterflies in your stomach have a party of their own. Sound familiar? Well, that’s where good presentation skills come into play for students, and they’re more than just a ticket to survive the classroom spotlight. They’re a gateway to personal and professional success.

First and foremost, presentation skills are the ultimate communication tool.

They help students articulate their thoughts, ideas, and findings with clarity and confidence. In an academic setting, this means you can engage your peers and professors effectively, making your voice heard and your ideas stand out.

But it doesn’t stop at the classroom door. These skills are your secret (because not everyone knows this) key in the professional world. Picture yourself in a job interview. Your potential employer asks you to discuss your qualifications and why you’re the right fit for the role. With polished presentation skills, you’re not just answering questions; you’re painting a vivid picture of your capabilities and potential.

Furthermore, good presentation skills are a confidence booster.

They transform nervous jitters into a sense of empowerment. When you can stand before an audience and convey your message convincingly, it’s a feeling like no other. This newfound confidence seeps into other aspects of your academic and professional life, making you a more resilient and adaptable individual.

In essence, good presentation skills are the key to unlocking doors of opportunity. Whether you’re excelling in class discussions, wowing your professors with a well-structured thesis defense, or nailing that crucial client pitch, these skills are your trusty companions on the journey of personal and professional growth.

So, the next time you find yourself in the spotlight, remember that presentation skills aren’t just about public speaking; they’re about showcasing your potential, building confidence, and paving the way for success. Embrace them, and watch your academic and professional horizons expand like never before.

What are the benefits of learning presentation skills for students?

I. effective communication: .

Good presentation skills are the linchpin of effective communication . In both academic and professional settings, students must articulate their thoughts, ideas, and findings clearly and persuasively. Without these skills, even the most brilliant concepts can get lost in translation.

II. Academic Success: 

Strong presentation skills can significantly impact academic success. Students who can express themselves eloquently often excel in class discussions, group projects, and thesis defenses. They stand out as knowledgeable and confident learners.

III. Confidence Booster:

 Public speaking and presentation practice are fantastic confidence boosters. They empower students to express themselves in front of their peers and teachers, gradually reducing anxiety and building self-assuredness.

IV. Leadership Development:

 Presentation skills are often associated with leadership qualities. Students who master these skills tend to emerge as leaders in group projects, clubs, and extracurricular activities. They can effectively convey their vision and rally others behind it.

V. Professional Readiness:

 In the world of work, professionals are frequently required to present their ideas, proposals, and reports. Students who develop strong presentation skills are better prepared for their future careers, making a positive impression on potential employers and clients.

VI. Critical Thinking: 

Preparing a presentation necessitates critical thinking. Students must organize their thoughts, conduct research, and analyze information to craft a compelling narrative. This enhances their analytical and problem-solving skills.

VII. Time Management: 

Creating a presentation involves managing time effectively. Students must set priorities, meet deadlines, and allocate resources wisely. These time management skills are valuable both in academia and the professional world.

VIII. Adaptability:

Presentation skills encompass various formats, from traditional speeches to multimedia presentations and virtual meetings. Students who can adapt to these different modes of communication are better equipped to thrive in today’s technology-driven world.

IX. Networking Opportunities:

Presentations often provide opportunities to network with peers, professors, and professionals. Building connections can open doors to collaborations, mentorships, and job opportunities down the road.

X. Problem Solving:

During presentations, unexpected challenges may arise, such as tough questions from the audience or technical glitches. Students learn to think on their feet, respond confidently, and solve problems as they arise.

XI. Enhancing Creativity:

Crafting engaging presentations encourages creativity and innovation. Students seek unique ways to capture their audience’s attention, whether through storytelling, visuals, or interactive elements.

XII. Global Communication:

In an increasingly interconnected world, students with strong presentation skills can effectively communicate with diverse audiences from different cultures and backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

These skills equip students for success in various aspects of life and contribute to their personal and intellectual growth.

How can students improve their presentation skills?

Improving presentation skills is a gradual process that requires dedication and practice. By following these steps and staying committed to self-improvement, students can become confident and effective presenters.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice:

The foundation of presentation mastery is practice . Start small by presenting in front of a mirror or recording yourself. Pay attention to your voice modulation, gestures, and overall delivery. This self-assessment helps you identify areas for improvement and build self-confidence.

2. Preparation is Key: 

The best presenters are often those who are the most prepared. Know your topic inside-out. Create a well-structured presentation with a compelling opening to grab your audience’s attention and a memorable closing to leave a lasting impression. Visual aids can enhance your message, but use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming your audience.

3. Real-Life Experience: 

Gain real-life presentation experience by participating in clubs, engaging in debates, or volunteering for class presentations. The more you expose yourself to different audiences, the more comfortable and adept you’ll become in handling diverse situations.

4. Learn from the Pros: 

Study presentations by seasoned speakers and experts in various fields. Watch TED talks, analyze speeches, or follow your favorite orators. Observe their techniques, storytelling abilities, and audience engagement strategies. Incorporate these insights into your style to make your presentations more captivating.

5. Feedback Fuels Growth: 

Don’t be afraid to seek feedback. Share your presentations with peers, friends, or teachers and ask for their honest opinions. Constructive criticism is like a roadmap to improvement. It highlights your strengths and pinpoints areas where you can refine your skills.

6. Embrace Growth as a Journey: 

Remember that improving presentation skills is a journey, not a quick fix. It takes dedication and time to refine these skills. Be patient with yourself, and celebrate small victories along the way. With consistent effort, you’ll see significant progress and reap the benefits of enhanced communication and self-assuredness.

So, as you embark on your journey to become a presentation pro, keep these elements in mind. Each step, from practice to feedback, preparation, real-life experience, and learning from experts, contributes to your growth. Over time, you’ll not only become a confident and persuasive presenter but also open up doors to academic and professional opportunities. You’ve got the potential; now, let it shine!


So, here’s the scoop—presentation skills aren’t just about fancy speeches. They’re your superpower for rocking academics, acing your career, and unleashing personal growth. Mastering these and mastering your life would be the best way to put it. We wish you all the best for your presentation and hope this article helps you.

If you wish to know more about how you can communicate effectively, you can try our coaching here .

Hrideep Barot

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why are presentation skills important for students

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The Importance of Presentation Skills: That You Must Know About

Uncover The Importance of Presentation Skills in this comprehensive blog. Begin with a brief introduction to the art of effective presentations and its wide-reaching significance. Delve into the vital role of presentation skills in both your personal and professional life, understanding how they can shape your success.


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Table of Contents  

1) A brief introduction to Presentation Skills 

2) Importance of Presentation Skills in personal life 

3) Importance of Presentation Skills in professional life 

4) Tips to improve your Presentation Skills 

5) Conclusion 

A brief introduction to Presentation Skills  

Presentation skills can be defined as the ability to deliver information confidently and persuasively to engage and influence the audience. Be it in personal or professional settings; mastering Presentation Skills empowers individuals to convey their ideas with clarity, build confidence, and leave a lasting impression. From public speaking to business pitches, honing these skills can lead to greater success in diverse spheres of life.  You can also refer to various presentation skills interview questions and answer to build you confidence! This blog will also look into the advantages and disadvantages of presentations .It is therefore important to understand the elements of presentations .

Importance of Presentation Skills in personal life  

Effective Presentation skills are not limited to professional settings alone; they play a significant role in personal life as well. Let us now dive deeper into the Importance of Presentation Skills in one’s personal life:    

Importance of Presentation Skills in personal life

Expressing ideas clearly   

In day-to-day conversations with family, friends, or acquaintances, having good Presentation skills enables you to articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly. Whether you're discussing plans for the weekend or sharing your opinions on a particular topic, being an effective communicator encourages better understanding and engagement. 

Enhancing social confidence  

Many individuals struggle with social anxiety or nervousness in social gatherings. Mastering Presentation skills helps boost self-confidence, making it easier to navigate social situations with ease. The ability to present yourself confidently and engage others in conversation enhances your social life and opens doors to new relationships. 

Creating memories on special occasions  

There are moments in life that call for public speaking, such as proposing a toast at a wedding, delivering a speech at a family gathering, or giving a Presentation during special events. Having polished Presentation skills enables you to leave a positive and lasting impression on the audience, making these occasions even more memorable. 

Handling challenging conversations  

Life often presents challenging situations that require delicate communication, such as expressing condolences or resolving conflicts. Strong Presentation skills help you convey your feelings and thoughts sensitively, encouraging effective and empathetic communication during difficult times. 

Building stronger relationships  

Being a skilled presenter means being a good listener as well. Active listening is a fundamental aspect of effective Presentations, and when applied in personal relationships, it strengthens bonds and builds trust. Empathising with others and showing genuine interest in their stories and opinions enhances the quality of your relationships. 

Advocating for personal goals  

Whether you're pursuing personal projects or seeking support for a cause you're passionate about, the ability to present your ideas persuasively helps garner support and enthusiasm from others. This can be beneficial in achieving personal goals and making a positive impact on your community. 

Inspiring and motivating others  

In one’s personal life, Presentation skills are not just about delivering formal speeches; they also involve inspiring and motivating others through your actions and words. Whether you're sharing your experiences, mentoring someone, or encouraging loved ones during tough times, your Presentation skills can be a source of inspiration for others. 

Exuding leadership traits  

Effective Presentation skills go hand in hand with leadership qualities. Being able to communicate clearly and influence others' perspectives positions you as a leader within your family, social circles, or community. Leadership in personal life involves guiding and supporting others towards positive outcomes. 

Unlock your full potential as a presenter with our Presentation Skills Training Course. Join now!  

Importance of Presentation Skills in professional life  

Effective Presentation skills are a vital asset for career growth and success in professional life. Let us now explore the importance of Presentation skills for students and workers:  

Importance of Presentation Skills in professional life

Impressing employers and clients  

During job interviews or business meetings, a well-delivered Presentation showcases your knowledge, confidence, and ability to communicate ideas effectively. It impresses employers, clients, and potential investors, leaving a positive and memorable impression that can tilt the scales in your favour. 

Advancing in your career  

In the corporate world, promotions and career advancements often involve presenting your achievements, ideas, and future plans to decision-makers. Strong Presentation skills demonstrate your leadership potential and readiness for higher responsibilities, opening doors to new opportunities. 

Effective team collaboration  

As a professional, you often need to present projects, strategies, or updates to your team or colleagues. A compelling Presentation facilitates better understanding and association among team members, leading to more productive and successful projects. 

Persuasive selling techniques  

For sales and marketing professionals, Presentation skills are instrumental in persuading potential customers to choose your products or services. An engaging sales pitch can sway buying decisions, leading to increased revenue and business growth. 

Creating impactful proposals  

In the corporate world, proposals are crucial for securing new partnerships or business deals. A well-structured and compelling Presentation can make your proposal stand out and increase the chances of successful negotiations. 

Gaining and retaining clients  

Whether you are a freelancer, consultant, or business owner, Presentation skills play a key role in winning and retaining clients. A captivating Presentation not only convinces clients of your capabilities but also builds trust and promotes long-term relationships. 

Enhancing public speaking engagements  

Professional life often involves speaking at conferences, seminars, or industry events. Being a confident and engaging speaker allows you to deliver your message effectively, position yourself as an expert, and expand your professional network. 

Influencing stakeholders and decision-makers  

As you climb the corporate ladder, you may find yourself presenting to senior management or board members. Effective Presentations are essential for gaining support for your ideas, projects, or initiatives from key stakeholders. 

Handling meetings and discussions  

In meetings, being able to present your thoughts clearly and concisely contributes to productive discussions and efficient decision-making. It ensures that your ideas are understood and considered by colleagues and superiors. 

Professional development  

Investing time in honing Presentation skills is a form of professional development. As you become a more effective presenter, you become a more valuable asset to your organisation and industry. 

Building a personal brand  

A strong personal brand is vital for professional success. Impressive Presentations contribute to building a positive reputation and positioning yourself as a thought leader or industry expert. 

Career transitions and interviews  

When seeking new opportunities or transitioning to a different industry, Presentation Skills are essential for communicating your transferable skills and showcasing your adaptability to potential employers. 

Take your Presentations to the next level with our Effective Presentation Skills & Techniques Course. Sign up today!  

Tips to improve your Presentation Skills  

Now that you know about the importance of presentation skills in personal and professional life, we will now provide you with tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills .

1) Know your audience: Understand the demographics and interests of your audience to tailor your Presentation accordingly. 

2) Practice regularly: Rehearse your speech multiple times to refine content and delivery. 

3) Seek feedback: Gather feedback from peers or mentors to identify areas for improvement. 

4) Manage nervousness: Use relaxation techniques to overcome nervousness before presenting. 

5) Engage with eye contact: Maintain eye contact with the audience to establish a connection. 

6) Use clear visuals: Utilise impactful visuals to complement your spoken words. 

7) Emphasise key points: Highlight important information to enhance audience retention. 

8) Employ body language: Use confident and purposeful gestures to convey your message. 

9) Handle Q&A confidently: Prepare for potential questions and answer them with clarity. 

10) Add personal stories: Include relevant anecdotes to make your Presentation more relatable.   

Presentation Skills Training

All in all, Presentation skills are a valuable asset, impacting both personal and professional realms of life. By mastering these skills, you can become a more effective communicator, a confident professional, and a persuasive influencer. Continuous improvement and adaptation to technological advancements will ensure you stay ahead in this competitive world. 

Want to master the art of impactful Presentations? Explore our Presentation Skills Courses and elevate your communication prowess!  

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Explaining concepts to their peers helps students shore up their content knowledge and improve their communication skills.

why are presentation skills important for students

A few years ago, my colleague and I were awarded a Hawai‘i Innovation Fund Grant. The joy of being awarded the grant was met with dread and despair when we were informed that we would have to deliver a 15-minute presentation on our grant write-up to a room full of educational leaders. If that wasn’t intimidating enough, my colleague informed me that he was not going to be in Hawai‘i at the time of the presentation. I had “one shot,” just a 15-minute presentation to encapsulate all of the 17 pages of the grant I had cowritten, but how?

I worked hard to construct and deliver a presentation that was concise yet explicit. I was clear on the big picture of what the grant was composed of and provided a visual of it in practice. I made sure the audience understood the “why” behind the grant. I showed how it worked, the concrete elements of it, and how they made it successful. I finished with a scaffold that would help others know how to initiate it within their context, giving them the freedom to make it authentically their own.

I received good feedback from the presentation, and more important, what was shared positively impacted student learning in other classrooms across the state.

A Simple Framework for Presentations

That first presentation took me over a month to prepare, but afterward I noticed that my prep time for presentations shrank exponentially from a few months to a few (uninterrupted) days. Interestingly enough, as a by-product of creating the original presentation, I created an abstract framework that I have used for every professional learning presentation I have delivered since then. The “What, Why, How, and How-To” framework goes as follows:

  • What? What can the audience easily connect to and know as a bridge to the unknown for the rest of the experience?
  • Why? Why should they care to listen to (and learn from) the rest of the presentation? What’s in it for them to shift from passive listeners to actively engaged? The audience needs to know why you believe in this so much that you are compelled to share it.
  • How? What are the key elements that make it unique? How is it effective in doing what it does? What are the intricacies of how it works?
  • How-to? How could they start doing this on their own? How could this knowledge serve as a foundational springboard? Connect it to “why.”

Benefits for Students

One of the best parts of presentations is that they help the presenter to improve their communication skills. The presenter is learning how to give a presentation by doing it. To prepare a presentation, the presenter must know the intricate elements of what they are presenting and the rationale for their importance. In the presentation delivery, the presenter must be articulate and meticulous to ensure that everyone in the audience is able (and willing) to process the information provided.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that preparing and delivering presentations could provide a valuable learning opportunity for my students.

I recall teaching mathematical concepts whereby students would immediately apply knowledge learned to accomplish the task in silence and without any deeper questioning. Only after I asked them to provide presentations on these concepts did they regularly ask me, “Why is this important, again?” or “What makes this so special?” My students’ mathematical literacy grew through preparing presentations with the “What, Why, How, and How-To” framework, which supported them in their ability to demonstrate content knowledge through mathematical rigor (balancing conceptual understanding, skills and procedural fluency, and real-world application).

  • The “what” served as the mathematical concept.
  • The “why” demonstrated the real-world application of the concept.
  • “The “how” demonstrated conceptual understanding of the concept.
  • The “how-to” demonstrated skills and procedures of the concept. 

In addition to content knowledge, the sequential competencies of clarity, cohesiveness, and captivation ensured that the presenter could successfully share the information with their audience. When combined, these framed a rubric that supported students in optimizing their presentation deliveries. The competencies are as follows:

1. Content knowledge. The presenter must display a deep understanding of what they are delivering in order to share the “what, why, how, and how-to” of the topic.

2. Clarity. The presenter must be clear with precise, academic language. As the content they deliver may be new to the audience, any lack of clarity will alienate the audience. Providing multiple modes of representation greatly addresses a variety of processing needs of a diverse audience.

3. Cohesiveness. When making clear connections, the presenter bridges gaps between each discrete component in how they all work together as integral elements of the topic. Any gaps too large may make the elements look disjointed or, worse, the audience feel lost.

4. Captivation. The presenter must captivate the audience through any combination of audience engagement or storytelling . They make the presentation flow with the energy of a song , and in the end, they leave the audience with a delicate balance of feeling fulfilled and inspired to learn more.

Anyone can build an effective presentation with the “What, Why, How, and How-To” framework, along with competencies of content knowledge, clarity, cohesiveness, and captivation. The better we teach and coach others on how to create and deliver presentations, the more we learn from these individuals through their work.

In my class, one multilingual learner responded to the prompt “What are the non-math (life lessons) you have found valuable from this class?” with “I learn what is learning and teaching... I truly understood how teaching is actually learning when I had presentation. I found a bit of desire to being a teacher. I hope you also learned something from this class.” I always learn from my students when they present.



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Presentation Skills:

  • A - Z List of Presentation Skills
  • Top Tips for Effective Presentations
  • General Presentation Skills
  • What is a Presentation?
  • Preparing for a Presentation
  • Organising the Material
  • Writing Your Presentation
  • Deciding the Presentation Method
  • Managing your Presentation Notes
  • Working with Visual Aids
  • Presenting Data
  • Managing the Event
  • Coping with Presentation Nerves
  • Dealing with Questions
  • How to Build Presentations Like a Consultant
  • Self-Presentation in Presentations
  • Specific Presentation Events
  • Remote Meetings and Presentations
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  • Elsewhere on Skills You Need:
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Presentation Skills

Presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill in getting your message across. Today, presentation skills are required in almost every field, and most of us are required to give presentations on occasions. While some people take this in their stride, others find it much more challenging.

It is, however, possible to improve your presentation skills with a bit of work. This section of SkillsYouNeed is designed to help.

Many people feel terrified when asked to talk in public, especially to bigger groups. However, these fears can be reduced by good preparation, which will also lay the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

There are Different Types of Presentations, but They’re All Presentations

There are any number of occasions when you may be asked to speak in public or to a group of people. They include:

  • Presenting or making a speech at a conference or event.
  • Objecting to a planning proposal at a council meeting.
  • Making a speech at a wedding.
  • Proposing a vote of thanks to someone at a club or society.
  • On behalf of a team, saying goodbye and presenting a gift to a colleague who is leaving.
  • Seeking investment or a loan to help you set up a new business.

These can all be considered presentations.

They do not, however, all require the same approach. You would not, for example, use PowerPoint to thank a colleague who was leaving. It would be unusual (though it has been done) to use it in a speech at a wedding. However, a conference audience would be somewhat surprised NOT to see slides projected onto a screen.

It follows, therefore, that there is no single set of rules that apply to all presentations. There are, however, some things that every presentation opportunity has in common. These include:

You will present better if you have prepared effectively . This does NOT necessarily mean that you have written out your speech verbatim and rehearsed it until you know it off by heart—although that might work for some people. It does, however, mean that you have to be confident that you are saying the right thing, in the right way, to the right people.

You need to be clear about your audience and your message . Every presentation will be better if you have clearly considered the message that you want or need to convey, and how best to convey it to your audience. These two pieces of information drive your style, structure, content, and use of visual aids.

You must never overrun your allocated time .  In other words, don’t outstay your welcome. Almost every speech or presentation is better if it is shorter. Nobody minds going for coffee early or finishing before they expected to do so. Everybody minds being held up.

Generally speaking, your audience starts on your side. As a rule, your audience is there (more or less) voluntarily. They have chosen to listen to you, and they want to enjoy your presentation. The occasion is yours to lose.

An Important Point

There is one very important point to remember: if what you’re doing or saying is not working, do something else.

One of the worst feelings as a presenter is that you have lost your audience. You know that’s happened, but you continue to stumble through your remaining PowerPoint slides for the next 15 minutes, as your audience checks their phones and wishes it was coffee time. You think you have no choice, but that’s not actually true.

When you present, you are in charge of the room . The audience has effectively handed you control and is sitting back waiting for you to do something. You may have prepared a specific talk, but if you see that isn’t working, you can always change it. You are, after all, the expert.

You can, for example:

  • Skip through some slides to a section that they may find more interesting;
  • Ask your audience whether there is particular information that they were expecting that you are not providing;
  • Suggest that everyone looks a bit sleepy, and maybe it would be better to start questions early, or have a discussion; or
  • Ask the audience at the start of the presentation what they are expecting and what they want you to cover. That way, you can tailor the presentation to fit their expectations.

Just as when you are facilitating, you want to help your audience get the most out of your presentation. The best way to do that is to accept feedback—which may include smiles, nods of interest, or people getting their phones out.

Quick Guide to Effective Presentations

If you need to improve your presentation skills quickly, then a really good place to start is with our Top Tips for Effective Presentations .

This will give you some ‘quick wins’ that will help you improve your presentations. If you’re already an experienced presenter, this page should be a useful refresher, or even take your skills from good to great.

Our tips include general ideas about connecting with your audience, information about the importance of voice and body language, and detailed tips about preparing slide-shows.

The most important tip of all, however, is to remember that it's all about your audience.

Keep that in mind, and your presentation skills will almost instantly improve.

If you have more time to develop your presentation skills…

…then the Presentation Skills section of SkillsYouNeed is designed to help.

Our Presentation Skills section is split into two parts.

  • The first gives you a step-by-step guide to putting together and delivering a professional and effective presentation .
  • The second provides more detailed information about presenting and communicating in particular circumstances .

You can either use our step-by-step guide to walk you through the presentation preparation and delivery process, or you can focus on particular areas that are an issue for you.

Preparing for Your Presentation

The guide starts by explaining What is a Presentation?

We define a presentation as a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team. Effective presentations usually require careful thought and preparation—although this preparation need not take very long.

Preparation is the most important part of making a successful presentation.  Our page on Preparing For A Presentation explains what information you need before you can really start to plan your presentation and decide what you are going to say. The most important aspects include the objective of the presentation, the subject, and the audience.

Irrespective of whether the occasion is formal or informal, you should always aim to give a clear, well-structured delivery. To do so, you need to organise your presentation material . You can either do this in your head, or use a technique like mind-mapping to help you identify links and good flow.

By the time you come to write your presentation , you should know exactly what you want to say and the order in which you want to say it. You may want to use one of the standard presentation structures, such as ‘What, Why, How?’. You will also find it helpful to consider how to tell your story most effectively, and to use stories in your presentation to illustrate points. There is more about this in our page on writing your presentation .

You also need to decide on your presentation method . Presentations range from the formal to the informal. Your choice of presentation method will depend on many factors, including the audience, the venue, the facilities, and your own preferences.

Visual aids can add another dimension to your presentation, helping to hold your audience’s attention, and also act as a reminder of what you wanted to say. However, they need handling with care. Only use visual aids if they are necessary to maintain interest and assist comprehension . If visual aids are not used well, they can ruin a presentation.

See Working with Visual Aids to avoid falling into the trap of the dreaded ‘ Death by PowerPoint’ .

A particular case of visual aids is the use of data in a presentation.

There are times when using data in a presentation can really help you to tell the story better. It is, however, important not to blind your audience with statistics. You also need to remember that many people find numbers difficult to understand. Our page on Presenting Data gives some hints and tips about using data effectively in a presentation situation.

On the Day of the Presentation

There are a number of aspects to delivering your presentation on the day.

The practicalities of how you manage your presentation can make a significant difference to its success, and to your nerves! For example, turning up early means that you have will have a chance to see the room, and ensure that you can operate all the necessary equipment. There is more about how to cope, including managing sound systems, audio-visual equipment and lecterns in our page on Managing the Presentation Event .

Many people also feel very nervous before and during a presentation. This is entirely normal, and can even be helpful if you can channel it in the right way. There are some tried and tested strategies and techniques to manage your nerves so that you can concentrate on delivering an effective and engaging presentation.

See Coping with Presentation Nerves for some ideas that will help.

How you present yourself can also affect how your audience responds to your presentation.

You need to fit with your audience's expectations if they are not going to spend quite a large chunk of your presentation dealing with the differences between expectations and reality.

For more about aspects of self-presentation, see our page on Self-Presentation in Presentations .

You also need to consider how to manage your presentation notes .

Few people are able to give a presentation without notes. You will need to know your own abilities and decide how best to make the presentation. You might manage your talk by using full text, notes on cue cards, keywords on cue cards, or mind maps. There is more about this in our page on Managing your Presentation Notes .

After the presentation, you may be faced with a question-and-answer session. For many people, this is the worst part of the event.

Decide in advance how and when you wish to handle questions. Some speakers prefer questions to be raised as they arise during the presentation whilst others prefer to deal with questions at the end. At the start of your presentation, you should make clear your preferences to the audience. See our page on Dealing with Questions for more ideas about how to make the question session pleasant and productive, rather than something to dread.

Presenting Under Particular Circumstances

You may find that you need to give a presentation under certain circumstances, where your previous experience is less helpful.

Circumstances that may be new to you include:

  • Giving a Speech , for example, at a wedding.

One particular special case is attending public consultation meetings.

Our pages on Attending Public Consultation Meetings , and Managing Public Consultation Meetings provide information to help whether you are a concerned member of the public, or responsible for organising a public meeting.

You may also find yourself required to organise or manage a press conference.

Although this may not strictly be what you would describe as a ‘presentation’, it is nonetheless an event at which you are required to present your organisation in a particular light.

Our page on Managing a Press Conference gives some ideas about how best to do that.

Finally, should you be unlucky enough to be involved in a serious crisis or disaster that affects your organisation, our page on Crisis Communications gives some ideas about how to manage press and public relations on these occasions.

Start with: What is a Presentation? Top Tips for Effective Presentations

See also: Personal Appearance Interpersonal Communication Skills

  • Professional development
  • Planning lessons and courses

Student presentations

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.

Student presentations - speaking article

  • 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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Home Blog Education Presentation Skills 101: A Guide to Presentation Success

Presentation Skills 101: A Guide to Presentation Success

Getting the perfect presentation design is just a step toward a successful presentation. For the experienced user, building presentation skills is the answer to elevating the power of your message and showing expertise on any subject. Still, one can ask: is it the same set of skills, or are they dependable on the type of presentation?

In this article, we will introduce the different types of presentations accompanied by the skillset required to master them. The purpose, as always, is to retain the audience’s interest for a long-lasting and convincing message.

cover for presentation skills guide

Table of Contents

The Importance of Presentation Skills

Persuasive presentations, instructional presentations, informative presentations, inspirational presentations, basic presentation skills, what are the main difficulties when giving a presentation, recommendations to improve your presentation skills, closing statement.

Effective communication is the answer to reaching business and academic goals. The scenarios in which we can be required to deliver a presentation are as diverse as one can imagine. Still, some core concepts apply to all presentations.

 We define presentation skills as a compendium of soft skills that directly affect your presentation performance and contribute to creating a great presentation. These are not qualities acquired by birth but skills you ought to train and master to delve into professional environments.

You may ask: is it really that evident when a presenter is not prepared? Here are some common signs people can experience during presentations:

  • Evasive body language: Not making eye contact with the audience, arms closed tightly to the body, hands in pockets all the time.
  • Lack of interest in the presenter’s voice: dull tone, not putting an effort to articulate the topics.
  • Doubting when asked to answer a question
  • Irksome mood

The list can go on about common presenter mistakes , and most certainly, it will affect the performance of any presented data if the lack of interest by the presenter is blatantly obvious.  Another element to consider is anxiety, and according to research by the National Institute of Mental Health, 73% of the population in the USA is affected by glossophobia , which is the fear of public speaking, judgment, or negative evaluation by other people.

Therefore, presentation skills training is essential for any business professional who wants to achieve effective communication . It will remove the anxiety from presentation performance and help users effectively deliver their message and connect with the audience.

Archetypes of presentations

Persuasive presentations aim to convince the audience – often in short periods – to acquire a product or service, adhere to a cause, or invest in a company. For business entrepreneurs or politicians, persuasive presentations are their tool for the trade.

Unless you aim to be perceived as an imposter, a proper persuasive presentation has the elements of facts, empathy, and logic, balanced under a well-crafted narrative. The central pillar of these presentations is to identify the single factor that gathered your audience: it could be a market need, a social cause, or a revolutionary concept for today’s society. It has to be something with enough power to gather critiques – both good and bad.

That single factor has to be backed up by facts. Research that builds your hypothesis on how to solve that problem. A deep understanding of the target audience’s needs , concerns, and social position regarding the solution your means can offer. When those elements are in place, building a pitch becomes an easy task. 

Graphics can help you introduce information in a compelling format, lowering the need for lengthy presentations. Good presentation skills for persuasive presentations go by the hand of filtering relevant data and creating the visual cues that resonate with what your audience demands.

One powerful example of a persuasive presentation is the technique known as the elevator pitch . You must introduce your idea or product convincingly to the audience in a timeframe between 30 seconds and less than 2 minutes. You have to expose:

  • What do you do 
  • What’s the problem to solve
  • Why is your solution different from others 
  • Why should the audience care about your expertise

presentation skills an elevator pitch slide

For that very purpose, using engaging graphics with contrasting colors elevates the potential power of your message. It speaks professionalism, care for details, and out-of-the-box thinking. Knowing how to end a presentation is also critical, as your CTAs should be placed with care.

Therefore, let’s resume the requirements of persuasive presentations in terms of good presentation skills:

  • Identifying problems and needs
  • Elaborating “the hook” (the element that grabs the audience’s attention)
  • Knowing how to “tie” your audience (introducing a piece of information related to the hook that causes an emotional impact)
  • Broad knowledge of body language and hand gestures to quickly convey your message
  • Being prepared to argue a defense of your point of view
  • Handling rejection
  • Having a proactive attitude to convert opportunities into new projects
  • Using humor, surprise, or personal anecdotes as elements to sympathize with the audience
  • Having confidence
  • Be able to summarize facts and information in visually appealing ways

skills required for persuasive presentations

You can learn more about persuasive presentation techniques by clicking here .

In the case of instructional presentations, we ought to differentiate two distinctive types:

  • Lecture Presentations : Presentations being held at universities or any other educative institution. Those presentations cover, topic by topic, and the contents of a syllabus and are created by the team of teachers in charge of the course.
  • Training Presentations : These presentations take place during in-company training sessions and usually comprise a good amount of content that is resumed into easy-to-take solutions. They are aimed to coach employees over certain topics relevant to their work performance. The 70-20-10 Model is frequently used to address these training situations.

Lecture presentations appeal to the gradual introduction of complex concepts, following a structure set in the course’s syllabus. These presentations often have a similar aesthetic as a group of professors or researchers created to share their knowledge about a topic. Personal experience does tell that course presentations often rely on factual data, adequately documented, and on the theoretical side.

An example of a presentation that lies under this concept is a Syllabus Presentation, used by the teaching team to introduce the subject to new students, evaluation methods, concepts to be learned, and expectations to pass the course.

using a course syllabus presentation to boost your instructional presentation skills

On the other hand, training presentations are slide decks designed to meet an organization’s specific needs in the formal education of their personnel. Commonly known as “continuous education,” plenty of companies invest resources in coaching their employees to achieve higher performance results. These presentations have the trademark of being concise since their idea is to introduce the concepts that shall be applied in practice sessions. 

Ideally, the training presentations are introduced with little text and easy-to-recognize visual cues. Since the idea is to summarize as much as possible, these are visually appealing for the audience. They must be dynamic enough to allow the presenter to convey the message.

presentation skills example of a training presentation

Those key takeaways remind employees when they revisit their learning resources and allow them to ruminate on questions that fellow workers raise. 

To sum up this point, building presentation skills for instructional presentations requires:

  • Ability to put complex concepts into simpler words
  • Patience and a constant learning mindset
  • Voice training to deliver lengthy speeches without being too dense
  • Ability to summarize points and note the key takeaways
  • Empathizing with the audience to understand their challenges in the learning process

skill requirements for instructional presentations

The informative presentations take place in business situations, such as when to present project reports from different departments to the management. Another potential usage of these presentations is in SCRUM or other Agile methodologies, when a sprint is completed, to discuss the advance of the project with the Product Owner.

As they are presentations heavily dependent on data insights, it’s common to see the usage of infographics and charts to express usually dense data in simpler terms and easy to remember. 

a SCRUM process being shown in an informative slide

Informative presentations don’t just fall into the business category. Ph.D. Dissertation and Thesis presentations are topics that belong to the informative presentations category as they condense countless research hours into manageable reports for the academic jury. 

an example of a thesis dissertation template

Since these informational presentations can be perceived as lengthy and data-filled, it is important to learn the following professional presentation skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Be able to explain complex information in simpler terms
  • Creative thinking
  • Powerful diction
  • Working on pauses and transitions
  • Pacing the presentation, so not too much information is divulged per slide

skill requirements for informational presentations

The leading inspirational platform, TEDx, comes to mind when talking about inspirational presentations. This presentation format has the peculiarity of maximizing the engagement with the audience to divulge a message, and due to that, it has specific requirements any presenter must meet.

This presentation format usually involves a speaker on a stage, either sitting or better standing, in which the presenter engages with the audience with a storytelling format about a life experience, a job done that provided a remarkable improvement for society, etc.

using a quote slide to boost inspirational presentation skills

Empathizing with the audience is the key ingredient for these inspirational presentations. Still, creativity is what shapes the outcome of your performance as people are constantly looking for different experiences – not the same recipe rephrased with personal touches. The human factor is what matters here, way above data and research. What has your experience to offer to others? How can it motivate another human being to pursue a similar path or discover their true calling?

To achieve success in terms of communication skills presentation, these inspirational presentations have the following requirements:

  • Focus on the audience (engage, consider their interests, and make them a part of your story)
  • Putting ego aside
  • Creative communication skills
  • Storytelling skills
  • Body language knowledge to apply the correct gestures to accompany your story
  • Voice training
  • Using powerful words

skills required for inspirational presentations

After discussing the different kinds of presentations we can come across at any stage of our lives, a group of presentation skills is standard in any type of presentation. See below what makes a good presentation and which skills you must count on to succeed as a presenter.


Punctuality is a crucial aspect of giving an effective presentation. Nothing says more about respect for your audience and the organization you represent than delivering the presentation on time . Arriving last minute puts pressure on the tech team behind audiovisuals, as they don’t have enough preparation to test microphones, stage lights, and projector settings, which can lead to a less powerful presentation Even when discussing presentations hosted in small rooms for a reduced audience, testing the equipment becomes essential for an effective presentation.

A solution for this is to arrive at least 30 minutes early. Ideally, one hour is a sweet spot since the AV crew has time to check the gear and requirements for your presentation. Another benefit of this, for example, in inspirational presentations, is measuring the previous presenter’s impact on the audience. This gives insights about how to resonate with the public, and their interest, and how to accommodate your presentation for maximum impact.

Body Language

Our bodies can make emotions transparent for others, even when we are unaware of such a fact. Proper training for body language skills reduces performance anxiety, giving the audience a sense of expertise about the presented topic. 

Give your presentation and the audience the respect they deserve by watching over these potential mistakes:

  • Turning your back to the audience for extended periods : It’s okay to do so when introducing an important piece of information or explaining a graph, but it is considered rude to give your back to the audience constantly.
  • Fidgeting : We are all nervous in the presence of strangers, even more, if we are the center of attention for that moment. Instead of playing with your hair or making weird hand gestures, take a deep breath to center yourself before the presentation and remember that everything you could do to prepare is already done. Trust your instincts and give your best.
  • Intense eye contact : Have you watched a video where the presenter stared at the camera the entire time? That’s the feeling you transmit to spectators through intense eye contact. It’s a practice often used by politicians to persuade.
  • Swearing : This is a no-brainer. Even when you see influencers swearing on camera or in podcasts or live presentations, it is considered an informal and lousy practice for business and academic situations. If you have a habit to break when it comes to this point, find the humor in these situations and replace your swear words with funny alternatives (if the presentation allows for it). 

Voice Tone plays a crucial role in delivering effective presentations and knowing how to give a good presentation. Your voice is a powerful tool for exposing your ideas and feelings . Your voice can articulate the message you are telling, briefing the audience if you feel excited about what you are sharing or, in contrast, if you feel the presentation is a burden you ought to complete.

Remember, passion is a primary ingredient in convincing people. Therefore, transmitting such passion with a vibrant voice may help gather potential business partners’ interest.  

But what if you feel sick prior to the presentation? If, by chance, your throat is sore minutes before setting foot on the stage, try this: when introducing yourself, mention that you are feeling a bit under the weather. This resonates with the audience to pay more attention to your efforts. In case you don’t feel comfortable about that, ask the organizers for a cup of tea, as it will settle your throat and relax your nerves.

Tech Skills

Believe it or not, people still feel challenged by technology these days. Maybe that’s the reason why presentation giants like Tony Robbins opt not to use PowerPoint presentations . The reality is that there are plenty of elements involved in a presentation that can go wrong from the tech side:

  • A PDF not opening
  • Saving your presentation in a too-recent PowerPoint version
  • A computer not booting up
  • Mac laptops and their never-ending compatibility nightmare
  • Not knowing how to change between slides
  • Not knowing how to use a laser pointer
  • Internet not working
  • Audio not working

We can come up with a pretty long list of potential tech pitfalls, and yet more than half of them fall in presenters not being knowledgeable about technology.

If computers aren’t your thing, let the organization know about this beforehand. There is always a crew member available to help presenters switch between slides or configure the presentation for streaming. This takes the pressure off your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on the content to present. Remember, even Bill Gates can get a BSOD during a presentation .

Presentations, while valuable for conveying information and ideas, can be daunting for many individuals. Here are some common difficulties people encounter when giving presentations:

Public Speaking Anxiety

Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, affects a significant portion of the population. This anxiety can lead to nervousness, trembling, and forgetfulness during a presentation.

Lack of Confidence

Many presenters struggle with self-doubt, fearing that they may not be knowledgeable or skilled enough to engage their audience effectively.

Content Organization

Organizing information in a coherent and engaging manner can be challenging. Presenters often grapple with how to structure their content to make it easily digestible for the audience. Artificial Intelligence can help us significantly reduce the content arrangement time when you work with tools like our AI Presentation Maker (made for presenters by experts in presentation design). 

Audience Engagement

Keeping the audience’s attention and interest throughout the presentation can be difficult. Distractions, disengaged attendees, or lack of interaction can pose challenges.

Technical Issues

Technology glitches, such as malfunctioning equipment, incompatible file formats, or poor internet connectivity, can disrupt presentations and increase stress.

Time Management

Striking the right balance between providing enough information and staying within time limits is a common challenge. Going over or under the allotted time can affect the effectiveness of the presentation.

Handling Questions and Challenges

Responding to unexpected questions, criticism, or challenges from the audience can be difficult, especially when presenters are unprepared or lack confidence in their subject matter.

Visual Aids and Technology

Creating and effectively using visual aids like slides or multimedia can be a struggle for some presenters. Technical competence is essential in this aspect.

Language and Articulation

Poor language skills or unclear articulation can hinder effective communication. Presenters may worry about stumbling over words or failing to convey their message clearly.

Maintaining appropriate and confident body language can be challenging. Avoiding nervous habits, maintaining eye contact, and using gestures effectively requires practice.

Overcoming Impersonal Delivery

In virtual presentations, maintaining a personal connection with the audience can be difficult. The absence of face-to-face interaction can make it challenging to engage and read the audience.

Cultural and Diversity Awareness

Presenting to diverse audiences requires sensitivity to cultural differences and varying levels of familiarity with the topic.

In this section, we gathered some tips on how to improve presentation skills that can certainly make an impact if applied to your presentation skills. We believe these skills can be cultivated to transform into habits for your work routine.

Tip #1: Build a narrative

One memorable way to guarantee presentation success is by writing a story of all the points you desire to cover. This statement is based on the logic behind storytelling and its power to connect with people .

Don’t waste time memorizing slides or reading your presentation to the audience. It feels unnatural, and any question that diverts from the topic in discussion certainly puts you in jeopardy or, worse, exposes you as a fraud in the eyes of the audience. And before you ask, it is really evident when a presenter has a memorized speech. 

Build and rehearse the presentation as if telling a story to a group of interested people. Lower the language barrier by avoiding complex terms that maybe even you aren’t fully aware of their meaning. Consider the ramifications of that story, what it could lead to, and which are the opportunities to explore. Then, visualize yourself giving the presentation in a natural way.

Applying this technique makes the presentation feel like second nature to you. It broadens the spectrum in which you can show expertise over a topic or even build the basis for new interesting points of view about the project.

Tip #2: Don’t talk for more than 3 minutes per slide

It is a common practice of presenters to bombard the audience with facts and information whilst retaining the same slide on the screen. Why can this happen? It could be because the presenter condensed the talk into very few slides and preferred to talk. The reality is that your spectators won’t retain the information you are giving unless you give visual cues to help that process. 

Opt to prepare more slides and pace your speech to match the topics shown on each slide. Don’t spend more than 3 minutes per slide unless you have to introduce a complex piece of data. Use visual cues to direct the spectators about what you talk about, and summarize the principal concepts discussed at the end of each section.

Tip #3: Practice meditation daily

Anxiety is the number one enemy of professional presenters. It slowly builds without you being aware of your doubts and can hinder your performance in multiple ways: making you feel paralyzed, fidgeting, making you forget language skills or concepts, affecting your health, etc.

Meditation is an ancient practice taken from Buddhist teachings that train your mind to be here in the present. We often see the concepts of meditation and mindfulness as synonyms, whereas you should be aware that meditation is a practice that sets the blocks to reach a state of mindfulness. For presenters, being in the here and now is essential to retain focus, but meditation techniques also teach us to control our breathing and be in touch with our body signals when stress builds up. 

The customary practice of meditation has an impact on imagination and creativity but also helps to build patience – a skill much needed for connecting with your audience in instructional presentations.

Having the proper set of presentation skills can be quite subjective. It goes beyond presentation tips and deepens into how flexible we can be in our ability to communicate ideas.

Different presentations and different audiences shape the outcome of our efforts. Therefore, having a basic understanding of how to connect, raise awareness, and empathize with people can be key ingredients for your career as a presenter. A word of advice: success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and patience to build communication skills . Don’t condition your work to believe you will be ready “someday”; it’s best to practice and experience failure as part of the learning process.

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Presentation skills

Techniques to develop your skills and confidence as a presenter.

A picture of a female teacher pointing towards a presentation on a SMART board behind her

Overcoming presentation worries

Standing up in front of other people and sharing your ideas can be a stressful experience, but also extremely rewarding intellectually.

In formal presentations, you make both the strength of your knowledge and any gaps in it immediately and publicly visible.

This is risky and rewarding because it means you are both teaching others and learning from them. That is, you are doing what education is all about.

In addition, the way you communicate and how you present yourself will influence the response of the audience, and that can make you feel self-conscious.

But, by learning more about the best strategies and techniques for formal presentations in academic settings, you can make the most of this valuable learning environment.

301 Recommends:

Our workshop on Planning and Delivering Presentations examines what makes a presentation effective, and what things to consider when preparing for delivery. You will learn a planning technique which will lead to clear and concise delivery, so you can go into your presentations feeling confident and well-prepared. The workshop will also provide you with tips on getting your message across.

This short  Study Skills Hacks video  offers tips and suggestions on preparing for a presentation and getting it right on the day.

Planning your presentation

Three main focus points.

The more you plan your presentation, the more confidence you will have in the information you are delivering. You need to consider three things throughout this process: topic, time limit, and audience.

1. Your topic

Your topic is what your presentation should be about.

This seems obvious, but unless you keep a clear idea of the message you are trying to convey, it's easy to go off on a tangent. You will then lose the clarity of your presentation.

2. Your time limit

Again, this seems obvious, but you will be kept to time and you need to prepare for this.

If you're asked to deliver a short presentation, keep this in mind as you do your background research, to avoid doing unnecessary amounts of reading. You only have a certain amount of time you can spend on your preparation, so make sure you use your time wisely.

3. Your audience

Your audience is key to how you deliver your presentation.

You need to consider what they already know, what they need to know, and the type of language that is appropriate for your delivery.

Unlike a written piece of work, an audience only gets one chance to engage with the content of a presentation.

With this in mind, your presentation should follow a very simple structure of reinforcement:

  • Tell your audience what you are going to tell them.
  • Tell them again what you told them.

This may sound repetitive, but that's exactly what you want: to repeat the key points so that they are clear to your audience and provide a take-home message.

Having a clear structure not only helps your audience to follow your presentation but helps you to keep track of what it is you are trying to explain.

301 Recommends: Horizontal Planning

Use the  Horizontal Planning Template (google doc)  to organise your presentation. Start from the middle with roughly three main points, before moving out to complete a plan for your introduction and conclusion.

Starting in the middle is essential as it will allow you to pin down the main areas of your message, before moving on to identify how to introduce these main points to your audience and summarise them again at the end.

Individual presentations

Spoken reports detailing your work can take place in a range of settings: the small group classroom, in a one-to-one tutorial, in the workplace or at an academic conference. 

Presentations take different forms, from a read-out mini-lecture to an improvised explanation or elaboration of a series of key points, a question-and-answer session, an audience-activity workshop, or a blend of all of these.

An individual presentation can feel intense as you take centre stage. However, the advantage of this is that you have complete control over your preparation (see below), content and timing.

If you are finding the prospect of a solo presentation in front of an audience stressful, there are a number of strategies you can use to build confidence and overcome the nerves:

  • Think about how to organise your presentation. Are you planning to present using the slides as a prompt (in which case be sure to look up from the screen to engage your audience)? Or are you planning to use notes or flash cards? Flash cards can be a great way to give yourself some key prompts and something to do with your hands. 
  • If you are finding it difficult to engage with your audience directly, try focusing on a point at the back of the room. This will encourage you to look up and present to the room, while avoiding the pressure of direct eye contact.
  • Think about your physical presence. There is evidence that standing tall can help to increase confidence and can make the audience perceive the speaker as more confident. 

Group presentations

Group presentations share many of the demands of the individual format, but collaboration brings its own benefits and challenges. Strength in numbers can provide a sense of comradeship and relieve individual pressure. But working together means you need to find ways to share the burden of work equally and incorporate the efforts and skills of each group member.

The additional pressures of a group presentation can be particularly significant when a presentation forms part of university coursework.

Like any form of group work, group presentations rely on sharing responsibility and developing strategies to manage group disagreements or imbalances. Remember to take time to understand one another's strengths and areas of confidence so that tasks and responsibilities can be divided up in a way that makes the most of individual skills and abilities. 

And just like an individual presentation, making sure you find the time to practice and rehearse the presentation together as a group can be decisive to its success on the day. Consider the following points and build them into your rehearsal time:

  • What order are you presenting in?
  • Who is taking over from whom? Can you stand in a logical order to cut down on transition times?
  • Who is advancing the slides, or are you taking it in turns?
  • Who is managing time and how are you going to warn group members to speed up?
  • Don't forget to build in time for transitions between presenters!

Read more about group work and collaboration here .

Presenting online

Whilst the fundamentals of good in-person presenting remain true when presenting online, there are some important considerations that are unique to presenting remotely.  Read tips on online presentations here.


Most importantly, for all kinds of presentations, allow time to practice! Make sure you think about how you are going to deliver your presentation and make it engaging.

This is especially important if you are presenting in a group, as transitions can be costly time-wise if unrehearsed. Make sure you have time to revise and edit your presentation, with enough time to rehearse the final edit too.

Make sure you have your ending prepared! Do not simply stop, think about how you will signal to your audience that you are done and ready for questions (if appropriate).

Finally, make sure that you are as comfortable as possible on the day. Plan out what you are going to wear the night before, arrive early to check equipment, and have a bottle of water with you.

The majority of your confidence will come from having a well-researched, structured and practised presentation, so don't worry, take a deep breath, and you will now be ready to go!

Once you have delivered your presentation, seek feedback from your peers or tutors, to help you develop your skills further. Think reflectively about the whole presentation process, as you continue to build this skill.

Learn more about how to use feedback here.

  • Preparation is key! You need to consider your topic, time limit, and audience. If you are working as a group, be organised in allocating how this preparation will be done.
  • A strong structure will help your presentation to flow. Signpost and wrap up for your audience, make it easy for them to follow, and easy for yourself too.
  • Practise! Think about what you are going to say, time how long it takes you to say it. Make sure you are fully comfortable and confident before you need to present. If you are presenting as a group, decide who will say what, and practice transitions.
  • Think about yourself as the presenter: plan what you'll wear, take some water with you
  • Build-in contingency plans: know where you can cut things out or add bits in to keep to time, and plan how you will deal with difficult questions.

Library-  Group work vs collusion  

Student Services Information Desk (SSiD)-  Public Speaking and Communicating with Impact 

Counselling Service-  Communicating with Impact Workshop  

Counselling Service-  Public Speaking Workshops 

Creative Media Team-  Production Resources  

English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC)- Language Resources  

Digital Learning- Guidance for creating accessible content .

Digital Learning-  Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations

University of Manchester-  Working in Groups  

University of Reading-  Effective Group Work  

Learn Higher-  Group work  

BBC BiteSize-  Speaking Skills 

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6 presentation skills and how to improve them


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What are presentation skills?

The importance of presentation skills, 6 presentation skills examples, how to improve presentation skills.

Tips for dealing with presentation anxiety

Learn how to captivate an audience with ease

Capturing an audience’s attention takes practice. 

Over time, great presenters learn how to organize their speeches and captivate an audience from start to finish. They spark curiosity, know how to read a room , and understand what their audience needs to walk away feeling like they learned something valuable.

Regardless of your profession, you most likely use presentation skills on a monthly or even weekly basis. Maybe you lead brainstorming sessions or host client calls. 

Developing effective presentation skills makes it easier to contribute ideas with confidence and show others you’re someone to trust. Although speaking in front of a crowd sometimes brings nerves and anxiety , it also sparks new opportunities.

Presentation skills are the qualities and abilities you need to communicate ideas effectively and deliver a compelling speech. They influence how you structure a presentation and how an audience receives it. Understanding body language , creating impactful visual aids, and projecting your voice all fall under this umbrella.

A great presentation depends on more than what you say. It’s about how you say it. Storytelling , stage presence, and voice projection all shape how well you express your ideas and connect with the audience. These skills do take practice, but they’re worth developing — especially if public speaking makes you nervous. 

Engaging a crowd isn’t easy. You may feel anxious to step in front of an audience and have all eyes and ears on you.

But feeling that anxiety doesn’t mean your ideas aren’t worth sharing. Whether you’re giving an inspiring speech or delivering a monthly recap at work, your audience is there to listen to you. Harness that nervous energy and turn it into progress.

Strong presentation skills make it easier to convey your thoughts to audiences of all sizes. They can help you tell a compelling story, convince people of a pitch , or teach a group something entirely new to them. And when it comes to the workplace, the strength of your presentation skills could play a part in getting a promotion or contributing to a new initiative.

To fully understand the impact these skills have on creating a successful presentation, it’s helpful to look at each one individually. Here are six valuable skills you can develop:

1. Active listening

Active listening is an excellent communication skill for any professional to hone. When you have strong active listening skills, you can listen to others effectively and observe their nonverbal cues . This helps you assess whether or not your audience members are engaged in and understand what you’re sharing. 

Great public speakers use active listening to assess the audience’s reactions and adjust their speech if they find it lacks impact. Signs like slouching, negative facial expressions, and roaming eye contact are all signs to watch out for when giving a presentation.

2. Body language

If you’re researching presentation skills, chances are you’ve already watched a few notable speeches like TED Talks or industry seminars. And one thing you probably noticed is that speakers can capture attention with their body language. 

A mixture of eye contact, hand gestures , and purposeful pacing makes a presentation more interesting and engaging. If you stand in one spot and don’t move your body, the audience might zone out.


3. Stage presence

A great stage presence looks different for everyone. A comedian might aim for more movement and excitement, and a conference speaker might focus their energy on the content of their speech. Although neither is better than the other, both understand their strengths and their audience’s needs. 

Developing a stage presence involves finding your own unique communication style . Lean into your strengths, whether that’s adding an injection of humor or asking questions to make it interactive . To give a great presentation, you might even incorporate relevant props or presentation slides.

4. Storytelling

According to Forbes, audiences typically pay attention for about 10 minutes before tuning out . But you can lengthen their attention span by offering a presentation that interests them for longer. Include a narrative they’ll want to listen to, and tell a story as you go along. 

Shaping your content to follow a clear narrative can spark your audience’s curiosity and entice them to pay careful attention. You can use anecdotes from your personal or professional life that take your audience along through relevant moments. If you’re pitching a product, you can start with a problem and lead your audience through the stages of how your product provides a solution.

5. Voice projection

Although this skill may be obvious, you need your audience to hear what you’re saying. This can be challenging if you’re naturally soft-spoken and struggle to project your voice.

Remember to straighten your posture and take deep breaths before speaking, which will help you speak louder and fill the room. If you’re talking into a microphone or participating in a virtual meeting, you can use your regular conversational voice, but you still want to sound confident and self-assured with a strong tone.

If you’re unsure whether everyone can hear you, you can always ask the audience at the beginning of your speech and wait for confirmation. That way, they won’t have to potentially interrupt you later.

Ensuring everyone can hear you also includes your speed and annunciation. It’s easy to speak quickly when nervous, but try to slow down and pronounce every word. Mumbling can make your presentation difficult to understand and pay attention to.


6. Verbal communication 

Although verbal communication involves your projection and tone, it also covers the language and pacing you use to get your point across. This includes where you choose to place pauses in your speech or the tone you use to emphasize important ideas.

If you’re giving a presentation on collaboration in the workplace , you might start your speech by saying, “There’s something every workplace needs to succeed: teamwork.” By placing emphasis on the word “ teamwork ,” you give your audience a hint on what ideas will follow.

To further connect with your audience through diction, pay careful attention to who you’re speaking to. The way you talk to your colleagues might be different from how you speak to a group of superiors, even if you’re discussing the same subject. You might use more humor and a conversational tone for the former and more serious, formal diction for the latter.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to presenting. Maybe you’re confident in your use of body language, but your voice projection needs work. Maybe you’re a great storyteller in small group settings, but need to work on your stage presence in front of larger crowds. 

The first step to improving presentation skills is pinpointing your gaps and determining which qualities to build upon first. Here are four tips for enhancing your presentation skills:

1. Build self-confidence

Confident people know how to speak with authority and share their ideas. Although feeling good about your presentation skills is easier said than done, building confidence is key to helping your audience believe in what you’re saying. Try practicing positive self-talk and continuously researching your topic's ins and outs.

If you don’t feel confident on the inside, fake it until you make it. Stand up straight, project your voice, and try your best to appear engaged and excited. Chances are, the audience doesn’t know you’re unsure of your skills — and they don’t need to.

Another tip is to lean into your slideshow, if you’re using one. Create something colorful and interesting so the audience’s eyes fall there instead of on you. And when you feel proud of your slideshow, you’ll be more eager to share it with others, bringing more energy to your presentation.

2. Watch other presentations

Developing the soft skills necessary for a good presentation can be challenging without seeing them in action. Watch as many as possible to become more familiar with public speaking skills and what makes a great presentation. You could attend events with keynote speakers or view past speeches on similar topics online.

Take a close look at how those presenters use verbal communication and body language to engage their audiences. Grab a notebook and jot down what you enjoyed and your main takeaways. Try to recall the techniques they used to emphasize their main points, whether they used pauses effectively, had interesting visual aids, or told a fascinating story.


3. Get in front of a crowd

You don’t need a large auditorium to practice public speaking. There are dozens of other ways to feel confident and develop good presentation skills.

If you’re a natural comedian, consider joining a small stand-up comedy club. If you’re an avid writer, participate in a public poetry reading. Even music and acting can help you feel more comfortable in front of a crowd.

If you’d rather keep it professional, you can still work on your presentation skills in the office. Challenge yourself to participate at least once in every team meeting, or plan and present a project to become more comfortable vocalizing your ideas. You could also speak to your manager about opportunities that flex your public speaking abilities.

4. Overcome fear

Many people experience feelings of fear before presenting in front of an audience, whether those feelings appear as a few butterflies or more severe anxiety. Try grounding yourself to shift your focus to the present moment. If you’re stuck dwelling on previous experiences that didn’t go well, use those mistakes as learning experiences and focus on what you can improve to do better in the future.

Tips for dealing with presentation anxiety 

It’s normal to feel nervous when sharing your ideas. In fact, according to a report from the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, public speaking anxiety is prevalent in 15–30% of the general population .

Even though having a fear of public speaking is common, it doesn’t make it easier. You might feel overwhelmed, become stiff, and forget what you were going to say. But although the moment might scare you, there are ways to overcome the fear and put mind over matter.

Use these tactics to reduce your stress when you have to make a presentation:

1. Practice breathing techniques

If you experience anxiety often, you’re probably familiar with breathing techniques for stress relief . Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine can help you stop worrying and regulate anxious feelings. 

Before a big presentation, take a moment alone to practice breathing techniques, ground yourself, and reduce tension. It’s also a good idea to take breaths throughout the presentation to speak slower and calm yourself down .

2. Get organized

The more organized you are, the more prepared you’ll feel. Carefully outline all of the critical information you want to use in your presentation, including your main talking points and visual aids, so you don’t forget anything. Use bullet points and visuals on each slide to remind you of what you want to talk about, and create handheld notes to help you stay on track.

3. Embrace moments of silence

It’s okay to lose your train of thought. It happens to even the most experienced public speakers once in a while. If your mind goes blank, don’t panic. Take a moment to breathe, gather your thoughts, and refer to your notes to see where you left off. You can drink some water or make a quick joke to ease the silence or regain your footing. And it’s okay to say, “Give me a moment while I find my notes.” Chances are, people understand the position you’re in.


4. Practice makes progress

Before presenting, rehearse in front of friends and family members you trust. This gives you the chance to work out any weak spots in your speech and become comfortable communicating out loud. If you want to go the extra mile, ask your makeshift audience to ask a surprise question. This tests your on-the-spot thinking and will prove that you can keep cool when things come up.

Whether you’re new to public speaking or are a seasoned presenter, you’re bound to make a few slip-ups. It happens to everyone. The most important thing is that you try your best, brush things off, and work on improving your skills to do better in your next presentation.

Although your job may require a different level of public speaking than your favorite TED Talk , developing presentation skills is handy in any profession. You can use presentation skills in a wide range of tasks in the workplace, whether you’re sharing your ideas with colleagues, expressing concerns to higher-ups, or pitching strategies to potential clients.

Remember to use active listening to read the room and engage your audience with an interesting narrative. Don’t forget to step outside your comfort zone once in a while and put your skills to practice in front of a crowd. After facing your fears, you’ll feel confident enough to put presentation skills on your resume.

If you’re trying to build your skills and become a better employee overall, try a communications coach with BetterUp. 

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The 11 tips that will improve your public speaking skills

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Powerful and Effective Presentation Skills: More in Demand Now Than Ever

why are presentation skills important for students

When we talk with our L&D colleagues from around the globe, we often hear that presentation skills training is one of the top opportunities they’re looking to provide their learners. And this holds true whether their learners are individual contributors, people managers, or senior leaders. This is not surprising.

Effective communications skills are a powerful career activator, and most of us are called upon to communicate in some type of formal presentation mode at some point along the way.

For instance, you might be asked to brief management on market research results, walk your team through a new process, lay out the new budget, or explain a new product to a client or prospect. Or you may want to build support for a new idea, bring a new employee into the fold, or even just present your achievements to your manager during your performance review.

And now, with so many employees working from home or in hybrid mode, and business travel in decline, there’s a growing need to find new ways to make effective presentations when the audience may be fully virtual or a combination of in person and remote attendees.

Whether you’re making a standup presentation to a large live audience, or a sit-down one-on-one, whether you’re delivering your presentation face to face or virtually, solid presentation skills matter.

Even the most seasoned and accomplished presenters may need to fine-tune or update their skills. Expectations have changed over the last decade or so. Yesterday’s PowerPoint which primarily relied on bulleted points, broken up by the occasional clip-art image, won’t cut it with today’s audience.

The digital revolution has revolutionized the way people want to receive information. People expect presentations that are more visually interesting. They expect to see data, metrics that support assertions. And now, with so many previously in-person meetings occurring virtually, there’s an entirely new level of technical preparedness required.

The leadership development tools and the individual learning opportunities you’re providing should include presentation skills training that covers both the evergreen fundamentals and the up-to-date capabilities that can make or break a presentation.

So, just what should be included in solid presentation skills training? Here’s what I think.

The fundamentals will always apply When it comes to making a powerful and effective presentation, the fundamentals will always apply. You need to understand your objective. Is it strictly to convey information, so that your audience’s knowledge is increased? Is it to persuade your audience to take some action? Is it to convince people to support your idea? Once you understand what your objective is, you need to define your central message. There may be a lot of things you want to share with your audience during your presentation, but find – and stick with – the core, the most important point you want them to walk away with. And make sure that your message is clear and compelling.

You also need to tailor your presentation to your audience. Who are they and what might they be expecting? Say you’re giving a product pitch to a client. A technical team may be interested in a lot of nitty-gritty product detail. The business side will no doubt be more interested in what returns they can expect on their investment.

Another consideration is the setting: is this a formal presentation to a large audience with questions reserved for the end, or a presentation in a smaller setting where there’s the possibility for conversation throughout? Is your presentation virtual or in-person? To be delivered individually or as a group? What time of the day will you be speaking? Will there be others speaking before you and might that impact how your message will be received?

Once these fundamentals are established, you’re in building mode. What are the specific points you want to share that will help you best meet your objective and get across your core message? Now figure out how to convey those points in the clearest, most straightforward, and succinct way. This doesn’t mean that your presentation has to be a series of clipped bullet points. No one wants to sit through a presentation in which the presenter reads through what’s on the slide. You can get your points across using stories, fact, diagrams, videos, props, and other types of media.

Visual design matters While you don’t want to clutter up your presentation with too many visual elements that don’t serve your objective and can be distracting, using a variety of visual formats to convey your core message will make your presentation more memorable than slides filled with text. A couple of tips: avoid images that are cliched and overdone. Be careful not to mix up too many different types of images. If you’re using photos, stick with photos. If you’re using drawn images, keep the style consistent. When data are presented, stay consistent with colors and fonts from one type of chart to the next. Keep things clear and simple, using data to support key points without overwhelming your audience with too much information. And don’t assume that your audience is composed of statisticians (unless, of course, it is).

When presenting qualitative data, brief videos provide a way to engage your audience and create emotional connection and impact. Word clouds are another way to get qualitative data across.

Practice makes perfect You’ve pulled together a perfect presentation. But it likely won’t be perfect unless it’s well delivered. So don’t forget to practice your presentation ahead of time. Pro tip: record yourself as you practice out loud. This will force you to think through what you’re going to say for each element of your presentation. And watching your recording will help you identify your mistakes—such as fidgeting, using too many fillers (such as “umm,” or “like”), or speaking too fast.

A key element of your preparation should involve anticipating any technical difficulties. If you’ve embedded videos, make sure they work. If you’re presenting virtually, make sure that the lighting is good, and that your speaker and camera are working. Whether presenting in person or virtually, get there early enough to work out any technical glitches before your presentation is scheduled to begin. Few things are a bigger audience turn-off than sitting there watching the presenter struggle with the delivery mechanisms!

Finally, be kind to yourself. Despite thorough preparation and practice, sometimes, things go wrong, and you need to recover in the moment, adapt, and carry on. It’s unlikely that you’ll have caused any lasting damage and the important thing is to learn from your experience, so your next presentation is stronger.

How are you providing presentation skills training for your learners?

Manika Gandhi is Senior Learning Design Manager at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. Email her at [email protected] .

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why are presentation skills important for students

14 Practical Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills

  • The Speaker Lab
  • May 11, 2024

Table of Contents

Ever felt complete dread and fear at the thought of stepping up to deliver a presentation? If so, you’re not alone. The fear of public speaking is more common than you might think, but with the right presentation skills , it’s a hurdle that can be overcome.

In this article, we’ll help you master basic confidence-building techniques and conquer advanced communication strategies for engaging presentations. We’ll explore how body language and eye contact can make or break your connection with your audience; delve into preparation techniques like dealing with filler words and nervous habits; discuss tailoring content for different audiences; and much more.

Whether you’re prepping for job interviews or gearing up for big presentations, being prepared is key. With adequate practice and the proper attitude, you can crush your speech or presentation!

Mastering the Basics of Presentation Skills

Presentation skills are not just about speaking in front of a crowd. It’s also about effective communication, audience engagement, and clarity. Mastering these skills can be transformative for everyone, from students to corporate trainers.

Building Confidence in Presentations

Becoming confident when presenting is no small feat. But fear not. Even those who feel jittery at the mere thought of public speaking can become masters with practice and patience. Just remember: stage fright is common and overcoming it is part of the process towards becoming an effective presenter.

Taking deep breaths before you start helps calm nerves while visualizing success aids in building confidence. Also, know that nobody minds if you take a moment to gather your thoughts during your presentation—everybody minds more if they cannot understand what you’re saying because you’re rushing.

The Role of Practice in Enhancing Presentation Skills

In line with old wisdom, practice indeed makes perfect, especially when improving presentation skills. Consistent rehearsals allow us to fine-tune our delivery methods like maintaining eye contact or controlling body language effectively.

You’ll learn better control over filler words through repeated drills. Plus, the extra practice can help you troubleshoot any technical glitches beforehand, saving you the sudden panic during your actual presentations.

Remember that great presenters were once beginners too. Continuous effort will get you there sooner rather than later.

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Body Language and Eye Contact in Presentations

The effectiveness of your presentation can hinge on more than just the words you say. Just as important is your body language .

Impact of Posture on Presentations

Your posture speaks volumes before you utter a word. Standing tall exudes confidence while slouching could signal nervousness or lack of preparation.

If there’s one lesson to take away from our YouTube channel , it’s this: good presenters know their message but great ones feel it through every fiber (or muscle) of their being. The audience can sense that energy when they see open body language rather than crossed arms.

Maintaining Eye Contact During Your Presentation

Eyes are often called windows to the soul for a reason. They’re communication powerhouses. Making eye contact helps build trust with your audience members and keeps them engaged throughout your speech.

Avoid staring at note cards or visual aids too much as this might give an impression that you’re unprepared or uncertain about your chosen topic. Instead, aim to maintain eye contact between 50% of the time during presentations. This commonly accepted “50/70 rule” will help you exhibit adequate confidence to your audience.

If stage fright has gotten a hold on you, take deep breaths before you start speaking in order to stay calm. Make sure that fear doesn’t disrupt your ability to maintain eye-contact during presentations.

If body language and eye contact still feel like a lot to manage during your big presentation, remember our golden rule: nobody minds small mistakes. It’s how you handle questions or mishaps that truly makes a difference—so stay positive and enthusiastic.

Preparation Techniques for Successful Presentations

Presentation skills are like a craft that requires meticulous preparation and practice. Aspects like visual aids and time management contribute to the overall effectiveness of your delivery.

The first step towards delivering an impactful presentation is research and organization. The content should be well-researched, structured logically, and presented in simple language. This will make sure you deliver clear messages without any room for misinterpretation.

Dealing with Filler Words and Nervous Habits

Nervous habits such as excessive use of filler words can distract from your message. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that can address these issues. For instance, try taking deep breaths before speaking or using note cards until fluency is achieved. In addition, practice regularly to work on eliminating these verbal stumbling blocks.

Avoiding Distractions During Presentations

In a digital age where distractions abound, maintaining focus during presentations has become an even more crucial part of the preparation process. This video by motivational speaker Brain Tracy provides insights on how one could achieve this level of focus required for effective presentations.

Maintaining Confidence Throughout Your Presentation

Confidence comes from thorough understanding of the chosen topic combined with regular practice sessions before the big day arrives. Make use of note cards or cue cards as needed but avoid reading from them verbatim.

Taking control over stage fright starts by arriving early at the venue so that you familiarize yourself with the surroundings, which generally calms nerves down considerably. So next time you feel nervous before a big presentation, remember—thorough preparation can make all the difference.

Engaging Your Audience During Presentations

Connecting with your audience during presentations is an art, and mastering it can take your presentation skills to the next level. Making the message conveyed reach an emotional level is essential, not just conveying facts.

Understanding Your Target Audience

The first step towards engaging your audience is understanding them. Tailor the content of your presentation to their needs and interests. Speak in their language—whether that be professional jargon or everyday slang—to establish rapport and ensure comprehension.

An effective presenter understands who they’re speaking to, what those individuals care about, and how best to communicate complex ideas understandably.

Making Complex Information Understandable

Dense data or complicated concepts can lose even the most interested listener if presented ineffectively. Breaking your key points down into manageable chunks helps maintain attention while promoting retention. Analogies are especially useful for this purpose as they make unfamiliar topics more relatable.

Audience Participation & Questions: A Two-Way Street

Incorporating opportunities for audience participation encourages engagement at another level. It allows listeners to become active participants rather than passive receivers of knowledge.

Consider techniques like live polls or interactive Q&A sessions where you invite questions from attendees mid-presentation instead of saving all queries until the end.

This gives you a chance not only engage but also address any misunderstandings right on spot.

  • Treat each question asked as an opportunity—it’s evidence someone has been paying attention. Even challenging questions should be welcomed as they demonstrate an engaged, thoughtful audience.
  • Encourage participation. It can be as simple as a show of hands or the use of interactive technologies for live polling during your presentation. This keeps your audience active and invested in the content.

Remember, your presentation isn’t just about putting on a show—it’s about meaningful interaction.

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Presentation Skills in Specific Contexts

Whether you’re nailing your next job interview, presenting an exciting marketing campaign, or delivering insightful educational content, the context matters. Let’s take a look.

The Art of Job Interviews

A successful job interview often hinges on effective communication and confidence. Here, the target audience is usually small but holds significant influence over your future prospects. Body language plays a crucial role; maintain eye contact to show sincerity and interest while open body language communicates approachability.

Bullet points summarizing key experiences are also helpful for quick recall under pressure. This allows you to present your chosen topic with clarity and positive enthusiasm without relying heavily on note or cue cards.

Pitching in Public Relations & Marketing

In public relations (PR) and marketing contexts, presentations need to capture attention quickly yet hold it long enough to deliver key messages effectively. Visual aids are valuable tools here—they help emphasize points while keeping the audience engaged.

Your aim should be highlighting presentation benefits that resonate with potential clients or partners, making them feel as though ignoring such opportunities would mean missing out big time.

Educational Presentations

An educational setting demands its own unique set of presentation skills where deep understanding trumps flashy visuals. You must make complex information understandable without oversimplifying essential details—the use of analogies can be beneficial here.

Keeping the audience’s attention is critical. Encourage questions and participation to foster a more interactive environment, enhancing learning outcomes for all audience members.

Tips for Becoming a Great Presenter

No single method is suitable for everyone when it comes to speaking in public. However, incorporating continuous improvement and practice into your routine can make you an exceptional presenter.

Tailor Your Presentation to Your Audience

Becoming an excellent speaker isn’t just about delivering information; it’s also about making a connection with the audience. So make sure that you’re taking setting, audience, and topic into consideration when crafting your presentation. What works for one audience may not work for another, so be sure to adapt your presentation styles according to the occasion in order to be truly effective.

The Power of Practice

The art of mastering public speaking skills requires practice —and lots of it . To become a great presenter, focus on improving communication skills through practice and feedback from peers or mentors. Try to seek feedback on every speech delivered and incorporate those pointers in your future presentations. Over time, this cycle of delivery-feedback-improvement significantly enhances your ability to connect with audiences and convey ideas effectively.

If you’re looking for examples of good speakers, our speech breakdowns on YouTube provide excellent examples of experienced presenters who masterfully utilize speaking techniques. Analyzing their strategies could give you great ideas for enhancing your own style.

Finding Your Style

A crucial part of captivating any audience lies in how you deliver the message rather than the message itself. Developing a unique presentation style lets you stand out as an engaging speaker who commands attention throughout their talk. Through — you guessed it — practice, you can develop a personal presentation style that resonates with listeners while showcasing your expertise on the chosen topic.

Your body language plays a pivotal role here: open gestures communicate confidence and enthusiasm towards your subject matter, two qualities essential for keeping audiences hooked. Similarly, using vocal variety adds dynamism to speeches by emphasizing points when needed or creating suspense during storytelling parts of your talk.

Cultivating Passion & Enthusiasm

Showcasing genuine passion for the subject helps keep listeners engaged throughout even lengthy presentations. Sharing stories related to the topic or expressing excitement about sharing knowledge tends to draw people in more than mere data recitation ever could.

Recognize that everybody is distinctive; don’t expect identical results from every speaker. The path to becoming a great presenter involves recognizing your strengths and working tirelessly on areas that need improvement.

FAQs on Presentation Skills

What are good presentation skills.

Good presentation skills include a clear message, confident delivery, engaging body language, audience understanding, and interaction. They also involve effective preparation and practice.

What are the 5 steps of presentation skills?

The five steps of presenting include: planning your content, preparing visual aids if needed, practicing the delivery aloud, performing it with confidence, and finally post-presentation reflection for improvements.

What are the 5 P’s of presentation skills?

The five P’s stand for Preparation (researching your topic), Practice (rehearsing your talk), Performance (delivering with confidence), Posture (standing tall), and Projection (using a strong voice).

What are your presentation skills?

Your personal set of abilities to deliver information effectively is what we call your presentation skill. It can encompass public speaking ability, clarity in speech or writing as well as visual communication talent.

Mastering presentation skills isn’t an overnight process, but practice and perseverance will put you well on your way to becoming an effective speaker.

You’ve learned that confidence plays a crucial role in effective presentations, so take deep breaths, make eye contact, and keep your body language open. As always, preparation is key. Tackle filler words head-on and get comfortable with visual aids for impactful storytelling.

Remember the importance of audience engagement — it’s all about understanding their needs and tailoring your content accordingly. This way, complex information turns into digestible insights.

Above all else: practice! After all, nothing beats experience when it comes to improving public speaking abilities.

  • Last Updated: May 9, 2024

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why are presentation skills important for students

Why Presentation Skills are Important for Students ?

Presentation skills help students to develop their self-confidence. When a student has the confidence to stand in front of an audience and deliver a presentation, it can have a significant impact on their overall self-esteem. This newfound confidence can help them in other areas of their life, such as job interviews, social situations, and public speaking events.

Presentation skills allow students to develop their communication skills. Communication skills are essential in almost every aspect of life, and presentations are an excellent way for students to practice and improve these skills. Presentations require students to organize their thoughts and ideas in a coherent and structured manner, ensuring that their message is conveyed effectively to their audience.

Presentation skills help students to develop critical thinking skills. The process of preparing a presentation requires students to research, analyze, and synthesize information from various sources. This process helps students to develop critical thinking skills, which are essential for problem-solving and decision-making in almost every area of life.

Presentation skills help students to stand out from their peers. In today’s competitive world, it is essential for students to differentiate themselves from their peers. Having strong presentation skills can help students to do just that, as it demonstrates their ability to communicate effectively, organize their thoughts, and present their ideas in a compelling and engaging manner.

Presentation skills can help students to prepare for their future careers. Almost every job requires some form of presentation skills, whether it is presenting to clients, colleagues, or at conferences. By developing their presentation skills while still in school, students are better prepared to succeed in their future careers.

Presentation skills help students to develop their creativity. Presentations allow students to showcase their creative abilities by presenting their ideas in a visually appealing and engaging way. This can be done through the use of graphics, videos, and other multimedia elements, all of which can help to bring their ideas to life.

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Lindsay Ann Learning English Teacher Blog

Teaching Effective Presentation Skills in English Language Arts Classrooms


March 27, 2023 //  by  Lindsay Ann //   Leave a Comment

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Presentation skills are a worry for most people . And, let’s face it… public speaking is a part of life (even if it’s just life in middle school or high school). 

In fact, according to a Gallup poll, 40% of Americans indicated public speaking as their biggest fear . Snakes came in first place at 51%. 

why are presentation skills important for students

Now, I speak in front of a classroom full of teenagers five days a week, and my audience is arguably one of the toughest audiences out there.

While I wouldn’t want to be trapped in a room full of snakes (pythons in particular), I don’t mind the thought of presenting or delivering information in front of others. 

But based on how often I’ve seen students get up in front of the class in order to present a project, idea, or understanding, only to turn red, mumble through their slide decks, or freeze altogether, I’m betting many of my students would consider their chances with boa constrictors as a presentation looms.

Public speaking and presenting can be tough for anyone .

There are some days when I don’t even I don’t want to have to do it, but regardless of how we feel about it, it’s an integral part of postsecondary life and it’s important for our students to be able to do well and feel confident when speaking in small or large groups, whether they are participating in a discussion or sharing their ideas more formally.


Today we’re going to explore presentation skills , why they’re important , classroom activities that can make everyone feel less miserable, and how to support students who are struggling to overcome their public speaking anxiety. Let’s jump in! 

What are Presentation Skills?

why are presentation skills important for students

First things first, let’s define what I mean by presentation skills.

To define it simply, presentation skills are the ability to effectively communicate a message to an audience. Speaking can be done in a variety of ways, such as through oral presentations, multimedia presentations (which are very popular with students, but more on that later!), and even written reports.

Presentation skills are not just defined by the clarity of the message, but also by the delivery .

Body language, vocal inflection and tone, audience engagement, and creativity are also important nonverbal characteristics and presentation skills. 


Why are Presentation Skills Important?

In today’s world, communication skills are more valuable than ever. No matter your students’ path in life, they will need to be able to effectively communicate with others.


I don’t know about you, but when I think of presentation skills, I think about boardroom presentations and closing big deals. Ya know the kind with big posters of arrows going up? 

This vision may be a by-product of my age and TV shows in the 80s and 90s, but our world is more connected than ever before, and we’re communicating more than ever in ways that weren’t even possible for my beloved 80s and 90s TV characters. 

Our students may never grow up to present in a boardroom, but they’ll likely need to communicate with their own child’s teacher, present at a city council meeting, share their findings with members of their HOA, or even go live on Instagram. We need to make sure our students are prepared for this reality. 


What are Some Examples of Presentation Skills?

Before I share some ideas on how to help your students improve their presentation skills, I want to take a moment to look at what good presentation skills look like. 

Here are some examples:

  • Clear and concise messaging: A good presenter can take complex ideas and explain them in easy to understand, plain language.
  • Engaging visuals: Strategic use of visuals is important when public speaking. A good presenter will keep their presentation clean and free from clutter (sorry to Mrs. Smith who had to endure my 7th grade PowerPoint presentations that used all of the transitions…I didn’t know what I was doing).
  • Confident body language: Confident body language, including making eye contact, standing up straight, and using gestures to emphasize important points are tell tale signs of a good presenter.
  • Effective use of tone and pace: Knowing how to vary one’s tone and pace when presenting is an essential presentation skill. A good presenter knows when to speed up to build excitement and how to use tone and pacing to emphasize important points.

How to Improve Presentation Skills

Now that we’ve looked at some examples of good presentation skills, let’s explore some tips and tricks to help your students improve their own presentation skills.

  • Practice, practice, practice: The more your students practice presenting, the more comfortable and confident they will become. Build in public speaking to your lessons as often as possible. Even if it’s not a full-length presentation, students can practice this presentation skills by engaging in think, pair, shares , chalk talks, gallery walks, etc.
  • Focus on the audience: Remind your students that their presentation is not about them, it’s about the audience. Encourage them to think about what the audience wants to hear and tailor their message accordingly. Passion projects and other activities that allow students choice and authentic engagement can help them focus on the audience rather than the task at hand.
  • Use storytelling: People love stories, so storytelling is an essential presentation skill. Encourage your students to use storytelling in their presentations, and demonstrate this skill for them by infusing your own lessons with stories. This can be as simple as starting with a personal anecdote or using case studies to illustrate their points. Ted Talks make great mentor texts to show students how professional presenters use storytelling to connect to their audience.
  • Manage anxiety: It’s natural to feel anxious when presenting, but there are things your students can do to manage their anxiety . Encourage them to take deep breaths, practice relaxation techniques, and visualize themselves giving a successful presentation. As students have more experience (and more success!) with public speaking and presenting, their anxiety will decrease. Focus on helping students practice coping skills and manage their anxiety while providing multiple (and fun) opportunities for them to work through their jitters.
  • Use visuals: Multimedia presentations are a favorite for our Digital Natives. Students love to create and embed memes and gifs, videos, songs, and things you and I probably don’t even know exist into their presentations. Creating these things feels natural for most of our students, and visual aids are an important presentation skill, so encourage them to use their existing skills and get creative!
  • Get feedback: Feedback is essential to improving presentation skills. Encourage your students to ask for feedback from their peers or even record themselves and watch it back to see where they can improve. As students are practicing their public speaking skills, have them use Flip to record themselves. Students can post their Flip on the classroom grid (that you have total control over) to provide feedback and encouraging words to their classmates. 


Public Speaking Exercises and Games

Okay, so we’re all in agreement that public speaking is tough but necessary and that presentation skills are important. So…how do we make it more fun and less…like a room full of snakes?

There are some really fun (like, legit fun, I know this because high schoolers told me they’re fun and after all, they’re the kings and queens of cool) exercises and games to help practice public speaking skills and shake off the jitters. 

Here are some to try:

  • Impromptu speeches: Have your students pick a random topic and give a two-minute impromptu speech on it. This will help them practice thinking on their feet and organizing their thoughts quickly.
  • Campfire story: You start a story. Something like, “Two friends are hiking in the woods when they lose track of the trail…” and each student takes turns adding to it. The last student must provide a satisfying ending to the story. To lessen student anxiety, this works in pairs and groups of three, too!
  • Photo story: Show students a photo online (the New York Times Learning Network has a great section for this type of exercise) without any context. Students will share what they think the backstory is, who the people are, their dreams, their motivations, conflicts, and anything else that’ll tell a compelling story about them.
  •   What grinds my gears: Have students take the spotlight to share about their biggest pet peeves. What really grinds their gears?
  • Gush about a basic object: On the opposite end of the spectrum from sharing about what annoys them, have students pick a basic, everyday object they’re indifferent about. Something like a blender, pencil, a chair in the classroom. The challenge is they have to develop a speech to deliver in which they absolutely gush about that object. What makes it so great? This particular exercise really challenges students to use body language and voice to accomplish the task.
  • Minute to Win It: Want to create a little friendly competition in your public speaking practice? Minute to Win It improv debates will up the ante for your students. The gist is this: Students are given one minute to plead their case in front of the class on a topic given to them only when the timer starts. The audience votes for the best case, so their arguments better be good .
  • Commercial: Students can make a commercial for an object of their choosing. This allows them to be serious or playful, to bring in props and other visual aids, and to practice with body language and vocal inflection. This exercise works well for groups, which can really help ease student anxiety when speaking in front of the class.
  • Balderdash: Students write made up words on slips of paper. Place the slips with the made up words in a bin for students to blindly grab from. Taking turns pulling a slip from the bin, students must on the fly create a definition for that word and share it with the class. 


Wrapping Up

I hope you’ve been inspired to bring some fun ways to practice important presentation and public speaking skills into your curriculum. The speaking and listening standards in the ELA curriculum present a unique challenge for us to prepare students for life after high school while still honoring that public speaking is difficult (and downright terrifying for some). We know our students can do difficult things, and we can help them do so with confidence! 

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About Lindsay Ann

Lindsay has been teaching high school English in the burbs of Chicago for 19 years. She is passionate about helping English teachers find balance in their lives and teaching practice through practical feedback strategies and student-led learning strategies. She also geeks out about literary analysis, inquiry-based learning, and classroom technology integration. When Lindsay is not teaching, she enjoys playing with her two kids, running, and getting lost in a good book.

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The Importance of Presentation Skills in Institutions of Higher Learning

The Importance of Presentation Skills in Institutions of Higher Learning

Presentation skills are one of the essential skill sets for students in institutions of higher learning. To help them improve their presentation skills, students are encouraged to use systematic methods to facilitate their presentations in the classroom. The main purpose of emphasising presentation skills in higher education is to help develop professionalism in the learning environment. In this era of technological advancement, students can enhance their presentation skills using high-tech equipment, thus improving their ability to present information in a professional manner.

According to the Malaysia Job Street survey in 2015, employers are dissatisfied with the quality of fresh graduates in Malaysia. The poor ratings were not generally associated with their academic qualifications, but the poor attitude and communication skills shown during interviews or in the workplace.

Students find presenting in or outside the classroom during their studies very challenging. Many feel less confident when speaking in front of large groups. Presentations can be stressful and many students do not enjoy them and feel nervous when asked to present.

To overcome these challenges, students need to be prepared. The following are four key elements to improving presentation skills among students.

  • English proficiency level: English is an important language at institutions of higher learning, particularly in countries where English is commonly used. Students should be aware that enhancing their presentation skills will also improve their competency in communication as well as their proficiency in English. Practising presentations in English will improve performance and at the same time help students master the language in order to communicate confidently. Being proficient in English is important because most jobs advertised require a good knowledge of English, and employers prefer their staff to be proficient in the language and be able write competently. Many international companies in Malaysia use English as their main language, even if the employers are from non-English speaking countries such as Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.
  • Create innovative ideas: Good presentation skills also help one come up with better ideas, find up-to-date information and develop creative thinking. It is common to see students using slides or other sources while presenting, making them feel comfortable in front of an audience. Presentation skills help create innovative ideas when students come up with creative and interesting slides to illustrate their talk. The use of presentation aids makes for a much more interesting talk, and the creation of such aids can help develop students’ confidence. Students are usually given 10 to 15 minutes to present a specific topic in the classroom. Thus, the more talks they give, the more they will learn. As a result, their confidence level will improve. Active involvement in classroom presentations further prepares students for interviews, conferences, forums, workshops and debates.
  • Body language: Body language can be another effective communication tool. In order to attract the audience, the appropriate body language is important in every presentation. Students need to learn suitable skills and effective strategies to ensure the presentation is successful. Gestures and facial expressions help to communicate the students’ feeling and emotions during their presentations. In addition, students who are actively involved in presentations are more prepared and positive when they attend meetings, conferences or interviews.
  • Be well organised: In order to prevent mistakes and technical errors, students must prepare well for a presentation with a proper outline and structure, as well as a good vocabulary and practising pronunciation and intonation.

One must be well organised in order to make the audience understand the purpose of the talk and keep them engaged from the beginning to the end of the presentation. Learning to put together a simple and well-organised presentation will give students confidence and help them be more successful in the future. Therefore, students must realise the importance of presentation skills before stepping into industrial training or a full-time job.

Arumugam Muthusamy Manager, Alumni Relations and Student Professional Development Sunway University Business School

Originally published in The Edge, May 2019

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

why are presentation skills important for students

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

why are presentation skills important for students

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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The Importance of Teaching Presentation Skills to Elementary Students

Public speaking is cited as one of America’s greatest fears. Yet strong public presentation skills are valued as one of the critical and most desirable strengths in any successful student or professional. How do we overcome our innate fears to develop and practice such valuable skills? As with any skill, public presentation and speaking skills must be taught and practiced. The introduction of these skills to our youngest students allows them to meet the challenge associated with speaking publicly from an early age, instilling children with the increased confidence that leads to success.

At school, a core curriculum that emphasizes public presentation skills teaches that creativity makes for memorable presentations; smooth transitions, the right tone, appropriate presentation speed and length, and body language and eye contact all contribute to an effective presentation; and visual enhancements make a good presentation even better. When public presentations are emphasized in school, even the youngest students acquire improved communication skills, increased self-esteem, planning and preparation experience, and the power of persuasion.

Why take the time to teach public presentation in elementary school? Many students never have to speak to large crowds, it’s true. But lessons in presentation cover so many more skills than those required to “speak to the masses.” Lessons include focused communication skills such as eye contact, tone, volume, speed, inflection, gestures, and the recognition and elimination of nervous tendencies. Required practice is the only opportunity to learn and perfect these skills and to build confidence. Confidence when speaking publicly will also increase a child’s self-esteem and increase the awareness of the power of persuasion.

why are presentation skills important for students

How do we teach public presentation? The Institute of Public Speaking provides us with some tips. First, a school may want to avoid calling it “public speaking.” The phrase itself may instill fear or carry a negative connotation. Instead, give the activity another name. At my school, we call it the “Good Morning Show” in the younger grades and “Forum” in the middle school. Young students are less likely to be afraid of an activity that sounds like fun! Allow students to have fun exploring a topic of their choice, with few if any limitations.

Next, make presentations a routine part of the core curriculum. Presentations should not be once a year or special events. At my school, students are presenting to multiple grade levels every day, providing all students from kindergarten through grade 8 with opportunities to present publicly three to six times each year.

Then, adopt questioning techniques that ask students to think on their feet as part of the routine activity. At these presentations ask students questions that require them not only to recall, but also to make meaningful connections to something they learned in the past, or something they might have experienced outside of school. Be attentive to Bloom’s Taxonomy (higher order thinking skills), and ensure that these skills are embedded in academic conversations as children become accustomed to open-ended questions requiring them to make connections, predict, apply, etc. Making connections is part of the vernacular at my school – so much so that we have our own hand signal for when a connection is made.

Public speaking techniques have to be taught deliberately and methodically. Teachers start slow and build up, using gradual escalation and frequent practice. At my school, we add required components to presentations, and we do not focus solely on increased duration. As children mature, visuals and enhancements become more defined. Requirements for audience interaction are added. The expectation for the number and types of sources increases.

why are presentation skills important for students

Schools have many demands on their time as curricular and testing requirements become increasingly complex. But despite our hectic schedules, the inclusion of public presentation skills in our core scope and sequence is a critical component that should not be overlooked. Attention to these skills will reap lifelong benefits that outlast other areas we spend time on throughout the year.

Melissa Earls is Head of School at Academy Hill in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership from Boston College. Ms. Earls was named a 2019 Head of School Fellow at Columbia University’s Teachers College. For more information, please visit or email [email protected].

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  • 12 May 2021

Good presentation skills benefit careers — and science

  • David Rubenson 0

David Rubenson is the director of the scientific-communications firm No Bad Slides ( ) in Los Angeles, California.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

You have full access to this article via your institution.

Microphone in front of a blurred audience in a conference hall.

A better presentation culture can save the audience and the larger scientific world valuable time and effort. Credit: Shutterstock

In my experience as a presentation coach for biomedical researchers, I have heard many complaints about talks they attend: too much detail, too many opaque visuals, too many slides, too rushed for questions and so on. Given the time scientists spend attending presentations, both in the pandemic’s virtual world and in the ‘face-to-face’ one, addressing these complaints would seem to be an important challenge.

I’m dispirited that being trained in presentation skills, or at least taking more time to prepare presentations, is often not a high priority for researchers or academic departments. Many scientists feel that time spent improving presentations detracts from research or clocking up the numbers that directly affect career advancement — such as articles published and the amount of grant funding secured. Add in the pressing, and sometimes overwhelming, bureaucratic burdens associated with working at a major biomedical research institute, and scientists can simply be too busy to think about changing the status quo.

Improving presentations can indeed be time-consuming. But there are compelling reasons for researchers to put this near the top of their to-do list.

You’re probably not as good a presenter as you think you are

Many scientists see problems in colleagues’ presentations, but not their own. Having given many lousy presentations, I know that it is all too easy to receive (and accept) plaudits; audiences want to be polite. However, this makes it difficult to get an accurate assessment of how well you have communicated your message.

why are presentation skills important for students

Why your scientific presentation should not be adapted from a journal article

With few exceptions, biomedical research presentations are less effective than the speaker would believe. And with few exceptions, researchers have little appreciation of what makes for a good presentation. Formal training in presentation techniques (see ‘What do scientists need to learn?’) would help to alleviate these problems.

Improving a presentation can help you think about your own research

A well-designed presentation is not a ‘data dump’ or an exercise in advanced PowerPoint techniques. It is a coherent argument that can be understood by scientists in related fields. Designing a good presentation forces a researcher to step back from laboratory procedures and organize data into themes; it’s an effective way to consider your research in its entirety.

You might get insights from the audience

Overly detailed presentations typically fill a speaker’s time slot, leaving little opportunity for the audience to ask questions. A comprehensible and focused presentation should elicit probing questions and allow audience members to suggest how their tools and methods might apply to the speaker’s research question.

Many have suggested that multidisciplinary collaborations, such as with engineers and physical scientists, are essential for solving complex problems in biomedicine. Such innovative partnerships will emerge only if research is communicated clearly to a broad range of potential collaborators.

It might improve your grant writing

Many grant applications suffer from the same problem as scientific presentations — too much detail and a lack of clearly articulated themes. A well-designed presentation can be a great way to structure a compelling grant application: by working on one, you’re often able to improve the other.

It might help you speak to important, ‘less-expert’ audiences

As their career advances, it is not uncommon for scientists to increasingly have to address audiences outside their speciality. These might include department heads, deans, philanthropic foundations, individual donors, patient groups and the media. Communicating effectively with scientific colleagues is a prerequisite for reaching these audiences.

why are presentation skills important for students

Collection: Conferences

Better presentations mean better science

An individual might not want to spend 5 hours improving their hour-long presentation, but 50 audience members might collectively waste 50 hours listening to that individual’s mediocre effort. This disparity shows that individual incentives aren’t always aligned with society’s scientific goals. An effective presentation can enhance the research and critical-thinking skills of the audience, in addition to what it does for the speaker.

What do scientists need to learn?

Formal training in scientific presentation techniques should differ significantly from programmes that stress the nuances of public speaking.

The first priority should be to master basic presentation concepts, including:

• How to build a concise scientific narrative.

• Understanding the limitations of slides and presentations.

• Understanding the audience’s time and attention-span limitations .

• Building a complementary, rather than repetitive, relationship between what the speaker says and what their slides show.

The training should then move to proper slide design, including:

• The need for each slide to have an overarching message.

• Using slide titles to help convey that message.

• Labelling graphs legibly.

• Deleting superfluous data and other information.

• Reducing those 100-word text slides to 40 words (or even less) without losing content.

• Using colour to highlight categories of information, rather than for decoration.

• Avoiding formats that have no visual message, such as data tables.

A well-crafted presentation with clearly drawn slides can turn even timid public speakers into effective science communicators.

Scientific leaders have a responsibility to provide formal training and to change incentives so that researchers spend more time improving presentations.

A dynamic presentation culture, in which every presentation is understood, fairly critiqued and useful for its audience, can only be good for science.

Nature 594 , S51-S52 (2021)


This is an article from the Nature Careers Community, a place for Nature readers to share their professional experiences and advice. Guest posts are encouraged .

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What you need to know about education for sustainable development

What is education for sustainable development  .

Education for sustainable development (ESD) gives learners of all ages the knowledge, skills, values and agency to address interconnected global challenges including climate change, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable use of resources, and inequality. It empowers learners of all ages to make informed decisions and take individual and collective action to change society and care for the planet. ESD is a lifelong learning process and an integral part of quality education. It enhances the cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural dimensions of learning and encompasses learning content and outcomes, pedagogy and the learning environment itself. 

How does UNESCO work on this theme?  

UNESCO is the United Nations leading agency for ESD and is responsible for the implementation of ESD for 2030 , the current global framework for ESD which takes up and continues the work of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD (2015-2019). 

UNESCO’s work on ESD focuses on five main areas: 

  • Advancing policy
  • Transforming learning environments
  • Building capacities of educators
  • Empowering and mobilizing youth
  • Accelerating local level action

UNESCO supports countries to develop and expand educational activities that focus on sustainability issues such as climate change, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, water, the oceans, sustainable urbanisation and sustainable lifestyles through ESD. UNESCO leads and advocates globally on ESD and provides guidance and standards. It also provides data on the status of ESD and monitors progress on SDG Indicator 4.7.1, on the extent to which global citizenship education and ESD are mainstreamed in national education policies, curricula, teacher education and student assessment.  

How does UNESCO mobilize education to address climate change?   

Climate change education is the main thematic focus of ESD as it helps people understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change. The importance of education and training to address climate change is recognized in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change , the Paris Agreement and the associated Action for Climate Empowerment agenda which all call on governments to educate, empower and engage all stakeholders and major groups on policies and actions relating to climate change. Through its ESD programme, UNESCO works to make education a more central and visible part of the international response to climate change. It produces and shares knowledge, provides policy guidance and technical support to countries, and implements projects on the ground. 

UNESCO encourages Member States to develop and implement their  country initiative  to mainstream education for sustainable development. 

What is the Greening Education Partnership?

To coordinate actions and efforts in the field of climate change education the  Greening Education Partnership  was launched in 2022 during the UN Secretary General's Summit on Transforming Education. This partnership, coordinated by a UNESCO Secretariat, is driving a global movement to get every learner climate-ready. The Partnership addresses four key areas of transformative education: greening schools, curricula, teachers training and education system's capacities, and communities.

How can I get involved?   

Every single person can take action in many different ways every day to protect the planet. To complement the ESD for 2030 roadmap , UNESCO has developed the ESD for 2030 toolbox to provide an evolving set of selected resources to support Member States, regional and global stakeholders to develop activities in the five priority action areas and activities in support of the six key areas of implementation. 

UNESCO also launched the Trash Hack campaign in response to the 2 billion tons of waste that the world produces every year, waste which clog up the oceans, fill the streets and litter huge areas. Trash Hacks are small changes everyone can make every day to reduce waste in their lives, their communities and the world.   

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    Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images. You'll make presentations at various ...

  4. How a Simple Presentation Framework Helps Students Learn

    When combined, these framed a rubric that supported students in optimizing their presentation deliveries. The competencies are as follows: 1. Content knowledge. The presenter must display a deep understanding of what they are delivering in order to share the "what, why, how, and how-to" of the topic. 2.

  5. Enhancing learners' awareness of oral presentation (delivery) skills in

    Delivering oral presentations is ubiquitous in tertiary settings across the globe. Presentations play a role in students' acquisition of knowledge and are often a mode of assessment in all disciplines. After graduation, presentation skills are still employed under many circumstances such as in job interviews and assignments in the workplace.

  6. Presentation Skills

    Presenting or making a speech at a conference or event. Objecting to a planning proposal at a council meeting. Making a speech at a wedding. Proposing a vote of thanks to someone at a club or society. On behalf of a team, saying goodbye and presenting a gift to a colleague who is leaving.

  7. Student presentations

    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:

  8. Presentation Skills 101: A Guide to Presentation Success

    Tip #1: Build a narrative. One memorable way to guarantee presentation success is by writing a story of all the points you desire to cover. This statement is based on the logic behind storytelling and its power to connect with people. Don't waste time memorizing slides or reading your presentation to the audience.

  9. The Importance of Presentation Skills in the Classroom

    Graphic Organizer Prompt 1: Create a poster, chart, or some other type of graphic organizer that lists the importance of good presentation skills for both the audience and the presenter. Example ...

  10. The importance of presentation skills in the classroom: students and

    Employers are demanding graduates with excellent communication (written, oral, and listening) skills. Thus, a student's presentation in the classroom becomes an important element in delivering positive learning experiences. This paper explored the role of students' presentation in the classroom from students and instructors' perspectives.

  11. PDF Why do a Presentation?

    Advocacy/persuasion. This presentation usually involves persuading members of the audience to take some action or make a decision. Examples could include: support a cause. join a student society vote for an individual to take up a role on a. buy a product or service choose the best candidate for the job. committee.

  12. Presentation skills

    Three main focus points. The more you plan your presentation, the more confidence you will have in the information you are delivering. You need to consider three things throughout this process: topic, time limit, and audience. 1. Your topic. Your topic is what your presentation should be about.

  13. 6 presentation skills and how to improve them

    To fully understand the impact these skills have on creating a successful presentation, it's helpful to look at each one individually. Here are six valuable skills you can develop: 1. Active listening. Active listening is an excellent communication skill for any professional to hone.

  14. The importance of presentation skills in the classroom: Students and

    Employers are demanding graduates with excellent communication (written, oral, and listening) skills. Thus, a student's presentation in the classroom becomes an important element in delivering ...

  15. Powerful and Effective Presentation Skills

    This is not surprising. Effective communications skills are a powerful career activator, and most of us are called upon to communicate in some type of formal presentation mode at some point along the way. For instance, you might be asked to brief management on market research results, walk your team through a new process, lay out the new budget ...

  16. 14 Practical Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills

    Mastering presentation skills isn't an overnight process, but practice and perseverance will put you well on your way to becoming an effective speaker. ... Remember the importance of audience engagement ... Book a call with our team to get started — you'll learn why the vast majority of our students get a paid speaking gig within 90 days of ...

  17. Why Presentation Skills are Important for Students

    First. Presentation skills help students to develop their self-confidence. When a student has the confidence to stand in front of an audience and deliver a presentation, it can have a significant impact on their overall self-esteem. This newfound confidence can help them in other areas of their life, such as job interviews, social situations ...

  18. Teaching Effective Presentation Skills in English Language Arts

    How to Improve Presentation Skills. Now that we've looked at some examples of good presentation skills, let's explore some tips and tricks to help your students improve their own presentation skills. Practice, practice, practice: The more your students practice presenting, the more comfortable and confident they will become.

  19. The Importance of Presentation Skills in Institutions of Higher

    The main purpose of emphasising presentation skills in higher education is to help develop professionalism in the learning environment. In this era of technological advancement, students can enhance their presentation skills using high-tech equipment, thus improving their ability to present information in a professional manner.

  20. What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

    Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired ...

  21. The Importance of Teaching Presentation Skills to Elementary Students

    But lessons in presentation cover so many more skills than those required to "speak to the masses.". Lessons include focused communication skills such as eye contact, tone, volume, speed, inflection, gestures, and the recognition and elimination of nervous tendencies. Required practice is the only opportunity to learn and perfect these ...

  22. Good presentation skills benefit careers

    Improving a presentation can help you think about your own research. A well-designed presentation is not a 'data dump' or an exercise in advanced PowerPoint techniques. It is a coherent ...

  23. 5 Importance of presentation skills you need to know

    5. Presentation skills help you connect with people. Effective presenters are, undoubtedly, energetic, active, and enthusiastic. And, everyone wants to be with such qualitative people. They have ...

  24. What you need to know about education for sustainable development

    Education for sustainable development (ESD) gives learners of all ages the knowledge, skills, values and agency to address interconnected global challenges including climate change, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable use of resources, and inequality. It empowers learners of all ages to make informed decisions and take individual and collective ...