By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

It’s about halfway through the semester, which means many instructors will soon be making their lesson plans to prepare students for the most dreaded part of the semester: presentations.

Every semester around this time, I like to dig through the Forward Thinking archives and compile old posts that are worth revisiting as we start prepping ourselves to prep our students to prep for presentations.

So, without further ado, here we go…

Presentation Problems offers resources that I use with my own students: a 3-minute on effective presentations, an article about overcoming presentation anxiety, and a blog post about what NOT to do in a presentation by marketing guru Seth Godin.

This TED Talk by Julian Treasure offers advice for “How to Talk So That People Will Want to Listen”. Of the many interesting facts that Treasure shares is that “we vote for politicians with lower voices”.

PowToon to the Rescue!, written by Dr. Kim Bates, discusses an alternative to PowerPoint. PowToon allows users to create animated movies and slideshows.

In Visualizing Instruction, Stacey Pounsberry shares three pieces of ed tech for creating visual aids.

Strike a (Power) Pose! offers commentary on Amy Cuddy’s TED talk about how our body language shapes our attitudes. This is some powerful scientific data, and I show my students a clip from this talk to give them real, science-based steps they can take to increase their confidence.

And finally, The Right Tool For the Right Job discusses the strengths and weaknesses of PowerPoint in different contexts.


  1. Karen Yanovitch4 years ago

    Ish – this is some info I share with my students about WHY we do PRESENTATIONS in college!!!

    Looks like the up and coming students will have more background in this skill. I can tell you why kids are no longer making presentations in elementary school – – – Viewing student presentations take a good bit of time away from traditional classroom instruction. This skill is not valued so it is not taught or practiced. OK, so the real reason this is not taught in 5th grade? It is NOT on the state test ! Ha!

  2. Ish Stabosz4 years ago

    Good point on the state test, Karen.

    I’d argue one of the other reasons presentation skills don’t get more emphasis is fear on the teacher’s part.

    I was guilty of that one for a long time. Despite having spent years “teaching”, I didn’t know much about “presenting”. Therefore, I was scared–to a certain extent–to teach it.

    Once I actually started learning about presentation strategies and getting opportunities to practice them in authentic situations, the thought of teaching students how to present felt much less daunting to me.

    I’ve even started delivering a model presentation for my students, just so they can see that when I say I want them to deliver a “presentation” I don’t mean a “lecture” with bullet points.

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