Presentation Skills

High school students should be prepared to give 10 minute 3 point presentations. This breaks down like this

  1. 30 second introduction
  2. Point 1: 2 minutes
  3. Point 2: 2 minutes
  4. Point 3: 2 minutes
  5. 30 second conclusion [Total 7 minutes]
  6. 3 minute Q and A

If you have a three year programme for high school, say Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12, then you should work on presentations through all three years, like this:

In Year 10 you will have the students use a basic presentation script and get the students to practice this as much as possible, with sound scripting of their presentations (see example here).

In Year 11 you would add more practice and work on adjusting the basic script by adding a ‘bang’ to the introduction and conclusion. The students might want to sound script their presentation but they should be speaking from notes by this stage.

In Year 12 they should be speaking without notes, or referring to their notes as a last resort. They should not need to sound script at all.

You should give feedback on their efforts. You are their presentations coach and your only objective is to help them give better presentations.

But how long is this all going to take? you cry. And what about those students who refuse to present in class, often for medical reasons?

You should aim for each student to make five 3-point presentations each year in class.

Presentation preparation should be done in class but the presentations, except the final one each year, do not necessarily need to be done in class. each student can record themselves giving the presentation and send it to you electronically. Sending just the slides is not enough. The student has to present.

This shifts the time from the class, to your post-lesson feedback-giving time. Obviously this is a lot of work for you. You should be actively cutting back on the amount of time you spend preparing lessons and shifting this time to the time you spend on giving feedback on student performance.