Resource 3: Getting Presentations Started: For Educators and Facilitators


Getting Presentations Started: For Educators and Facilitators

Presentations don’t appear out of nowhere – they take a great deal of preparation and practice, which no one ever talks about! As a facilitator, you can help people present in a way that engages the audience (instead of simply reciting information). Encourage people to think about their purpose and the unique, creative ways they can portray information or opinions in a way that connects to their audience. Use this guide as a set of reminders for how you can help improve the quality of presentations in your classroom or workplace. Note: These suggestions are intended as personal checkpoints rather than used as a formula. Feel free to add steps or skip suggestions that do not work for you or the situation you are in – make it your own!

Build Culture

  1. Discuss presentations: why we present, who we present for, and what we hope to achieve.
  2. Watch examples of presentations that recite information vs. ones that connect and make people think.
  3. Create audience norms and routines, such as having the audience share what resonated.

Co-Create Rubrics

  1. Outline a rubric with categories for content, delivery, and process-oriented skills. Define specific elements. Weight each category to emphasize immediate goals.
  2. Work with people to revise the rubric, including adjusting language and the weighting or suggesting other categories.

Avoid Overwhelm

  1. During preparation, keep an eye on the scope of someone’s presentation and research. How much do they want to cover? Help them narrow their ideas.
  2. Help people identify their specific preparation steps and how long they plan to spend. Create checklists to guide work.

Define an Authentic Purpose

  1. Define a powerful “why” for the presentation. Make the presentation meaningful with an authentic audience that matters.
  2. Help people set short-term and long-term goals for their presentations, including how they want to feel and what they hope to achieve with their remarks.

Group Thoughtfully

  1. Instead of assigning groups, do an activity to identify common interests and views. Later, have people pair up with others with similar interests.
  2. For peer coaching, do an activity where people state where and how they need help and find peers that match their needs and style.

Practice and Preparation

  1. Make dedicated time for practice, standing and speaking out loud.
  2. Gradually practice small parts of presentations, first seated, then snippets at the front. Lower the stakes by beginning with phrases like “This is what I have so far…”
  3. Prepare outside audiences and guest judges thoroughly.
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