Teaching: Presenting effectively

Last updated: Sunday, July 02, 2023

Speaking to a group of people can be nerve wracking. However you are prepared as you can beyou know your learners, you have planned your session and you have rehearsed what you are going to say, so take a deep breath. Your learners are there to learn from you and listen to what you have to say, rather than judge you and your teaching style. 

You can use your body language and voice to get your message across effectively and appear super confident.

Breathe and be yourself
Face your audience and look at learners' faces (not the back of the room)
Move around the room
Use your hands to express yourself
Look interested and smile
Ensure everyone can hear and speak clearly and steadily
Vary your pitch carefully
Pause to let your learners absorb what you have said
Ask questions to seek engagement, the sharing of experiences, and to check on understanding
Read from your notes, or off the screen with your back to your learners
Hide behind a lectern, or switch off the lights so your learners are in darkness
Pace the room
Stand with your arms crossed or hands in pockets
Fiddle with your hair/pen/phone
Look bored
Speak in a monotone or mumble
Speak too quickly
Use questions to intimidate your learners or to show off

If you are using slides as part of your session, you can help your learners concentrate on what you are trying to teach them by;
    • Using bullet points and aligning your text to the left 
    • Using simple animation to drop one bullet point in at a time 
    Pause after each bullet point before moving on
    • Including only essential information, using keywords, not cramming the slides with text 
    • Using pictures to display information instead of text 
For more help with delivering your teaching confidently, you could try CPPE's package called 'Presenting well'. 

After your teaching session

It is useful to personally reflect upon what went well and whether there are any learning points after you have delivered a teaching session. This guide may help you evaluate your performance. You can also seek feedback from your learners to help you develop your teaching.