Teaching how to speak to an audience

How to deliver a great presentation

At some point we all have to do a presentation and that is certainly true for students today. They are presenting projects all the time and the question is; how to do this without boring your fellow classmates! How much of your presentation will your audience remember and understand? Here are some easy rules and websites to explore.

  1. Be Entertaining – Speeches should be entertaining and informative
  2. Slow Down – Nervous and inexperienced speakers tend too talk way to fast.
  3. Eye Contact – Match eye contact with everyone in the room
  4. Don’t Read – This one is a no brainer, but somehow PowerPoint makes people think they can get away with it.
  5. Speeches are About Stories – If your presentation is going to be a longer one, explain your points through short stories
  6. Have Fun – Sounds impossible? If you have fun the audience will have fun too.
  7. What is the big idea you want to leave people with? If you were to ask them after the presentation, will they remember?
  8. Create Twitter-like headlines, easy for you, easy for your audience.
  9. Create a list of three main points. Makes the presentation more manageable for you and your audience. 
  10. If possible no more then 5 minutes! 15 tops!
  11. Here are some other great points to rememberSimple Unexpected  Concrete Credible Emotional
  12. Have a look at this video about YouTube videos going viral. What can you say about this presentation?
  13. Teachers should listen to the students, look at this student and her arguments!

Lesson plan:

Watch this presentation by a 6th grader. In groups of 2-3 discuss the following:

  • What is his passion, how does he present. What kinds of tools does he use. Can you apply any of the above points to his presentation? What do you remember from his presentation? Compare all three presentations and use the rubric below to grade them in your group. Compare with the rest of the class.
  • Make a presentation of your own. Find a topic that really interests you. It does not have to be school related. It should be no more than 5 minutes. If you get your message through you could make it in 3. Your Power Point (if used) should be limited to pictures and/or graphs. Remember to include all 10 points above in your presentation.


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