Presentation skills for effective teaching and learning

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Although we tend to concentrate on our presentation skills when teaching, they will not be effective unless the session had been carefully designed. However, it is important that we have a level of competence in presentation skills. These include the following points:

  • Start with smiling at the audience, and introduce yourself. Greet them with “Good Morning” etc.
  • Start with stating the purpose and learning outcomes of the lecture.
  • Speak so that you are audible, keep a steady pace, take some pauses, and introduce some variety of tone.
  • Use language which is accessible to your audience, avoid jargon unless you are talking to specialists.
  • Avoid reading directly from your notes or a text, unless it is a very short key section.
  • If you are not sure that you are audible check with someone in the back row.
  • Maintain eye contact with the audience. Ensure this spans the entire room, not just the middle and the front row.
  • As you move from topic to topic during the lecture introduce the change of ideas.
  • When you introduce an activity make sure the instructions are clear to the students. It is often helpful to display these visually as well as explaining them orally.
  • Ensure that there is time for summarising the main points at the end

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