Teaching: Presenting effectively

Last updated: Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Standing up in front of a group of people and speaking can be nerve wracking. However you are prepared as you can be; you 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.

  • Face your audience
  • Move around the room
  • Use your hands to express yourself
  • Look interested and smile
  • Ensure everyone can hear
  • Speak at a steady pace
  • Vary your pitch carefully
  • Speak clearly
  • Pause to let your learners absorb what you have said
  • Be yourself!

  • Read off the screen with your back to your learners
  • Hide behind a lectern
  • Pace the room
  • Stand with arms crossed or hands in your pockets
  • Fiddle with your hair/pen/phone
  • Look bored
  • SHOUT!
  • Speak too quickly
  • Speak in a monotone
  • Mumble

For a light-hearted overview on how to give a really BAD presentation, click here [link to Simon’s paper edited].

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.