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Classroom Communications

Whether you are presenting virtually or in-person it is important you know your audience. This will help you know the level of content to include, the terminology to use and give you an idea of expected questions. It is often easier to read your audience while presenting in-person however using an interactive component when presenting virtually keeps the audience engaged and makes it easier for you to determine their level of understanding.

Delivering your Presentation

A good presentation will have smooth transitions when moving from one point to another, one person to another, and even when using visual aids. Use transitional phrases such as “next I will”. Websites such Manner of Speaking or Virtualspeech can provide some good examples of when and how to use them. 

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Grab your listener’s attention. Ask a question or start with an interesting fact about your topic to hook them on your topic.
  • Give a brief outline. Your audience will follow along better when they know where you are heading and what you are trying to prove. 
  • Present your main points in a logical order. What does your audience need to know first in order to understand the subject?
  • Use clear examples sparingly to illustrate your points/arguments such as an image, chart, etc. 
  • Emphasizing your key points, by explaining how they relate to each other and your key message. Pause briefly for questions or clarification.
  • Summarize your main points again
  • Restate the purpose of your presentation and how you achieved that outcome 
  • Confidently conclude. Use language that clearly indicates you are concluding your presentation (In conclusion…)
  • Invite questions or comments from the audience


Be Prepared 

The best way to make sure your presentation goes smoothly is to be prepared. Whether you are presenting individually, in a group, in-person or virtually, knowing what you are going to say is the first part - now you need to practice and work out the fine details.

Practice speaking naturally. Know your topic well so even if you lost your train of thought, you can quickly recover and carry on. Be yourself and speak confidently. Only use your notes if you have to quickly refer to them.

Practice with a friend. A trustworthy friend or classmate who can give you constructive criticism and can be an asset to know how your audience will see and hear things.

Practice with equipment and time it. Do a complete run-through using all visual aids, technology to make sure everything flows together and works well and you are within your allotted time frame.

Record yourself. This will show what the audience will see and hear and allow you to decide if what you are saying is coming across the way you mean it to and make any changes if necessary.

Back-up plan. Have a  plan in case the technology doesn't work on the day, such as having the slides on a memory stick or having handouts of the slides to give out.


Virtual Presentations 

There are more online or blended courses, so students are having to do virtual presentations.  There are a few more things to consider that you don't think about with in-person presentations.  Here are a few. 

Be prepared.

  • Practice how you will display any visual aids and that you can transition from one screen to another easily. 
  • Test to be sure that all devices you are using (computer, headphones, etc) are functioning and fully charged.  
  • Set your camera at, or just above, eye level.
  • Consider using a virtual background.

Be early, be organized.

  • Make sure all technology is working smoothly,
  • Documents are ready,
  • Close your bookmark bar and all unnecessary documents and windows.
  • Turn off your phone.

Use an assistant. Choose someone who can be your eyes & ears and ask them to facilitate any questions from the chatbox.  

Use an interactive component. People Generally people have a harder time staying focused when watching an online presentation. Keep it brief and keep your audience engaged. Polls, quizzes, and the chatbox are all available through Teams.

Be connected. Look straight into your camera, not the screen. Put a small note or picture right under your camera so you are reminded to keep your eyes on your audience. Dress in neutral colors with no busy patterns.

Don't slouch - beware of your posture and sit up straight.  This will help you to stay focused, breathe correctly and speak more clearly. 

Printable Handouts

Tips to Film and
Submit your Presentation

Using Visual Aids

Carefully consider what aids you use. Make these visual aids count - do they add to your presentation or take the attention away from you - the presenter.

This PowerPoint tutorial will teach you the basics of creating and formatting slides, using themes, working with embedded videos or add graphs and charts as well as adding notes to slides and recording your presentation.

Here are some general tips:

  • 30pt font and above is best for large audiences.
  • Beware of sound effects on animations
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds, and keep lots of white space between lines/sections.
  • Choose a writing colour that shows up clearly on the background (avoid green & red), and stick to simple fonts and avoid cartoons.
  • If you're going to use images, make sure they are there for a reason - to illustrate your point or make it memorable.

It can be effective to break a presentation up with a short video clip to illustrate a key point. Videos from our collections can be used in your presentations, all have created citations available.

  • Always ask yourself why you are using it and if you haven't got a good reason, leave it out.
  • Check the sound, and internet connection beforehand and have an alternative plan in case the video won't play on the day.

    Props are still not widely used but can be very impactful when used appropriately. For example, if you are talking about robotics - you could use have a robotic arm to show how technology has changed. 

    • Consider the size of the group and if the prop can be easily seen by everyone. 
    • They can inject humour into a presentation, however, remember your audience and make sure it is appropriate.

      Handouts are great a way to give your audience added resources or summarizing your talking points, but they can be distracting as people tend to read them instead of listening.

      • Consider offering to send them out by email afterwards. If you're going to share them, send them as a PDF.

      Group Presentations

      Presenting in a group can be harder as you need to rely on others and work together as a cohesive team to give a successful presentation.

      Practice as a team. Know what each member is going to say, and where everyone will stand while others present.

      Watch your time limit.  Although each person is responsible to keep to their time limit, however, you are a team if someone takes more time than expected, work together to come back on track and end professionally. This should be practiced.

      Present as a team. Using transition phrases between each speaker such as "I have shown you..... Kyle Jones will now discuss....."  It gives a more professional feel. Most times your instructor will mark your presentation as a group so it is important to all work together as one cohesive group.