Tag Archives: Presentation skills

“Presenting Yourself Positively” – building confidence in verbal and non-verbal communication skills (2014)

Paddy Turner

It is axiomatic that the verbal and non-verbal communication of ideas, concepts and knowledge is a vital component of all our lives whether you are a member of staff or a student. It is fundamental to teaching and the engagement of students, it is an assessed skill in most courses, is highly regarded by employers[1] and yet at the same time identified as a skill-set often missing in graduates[2]. In spite of this, there is very little opportunity to develop these skills either as a student, as a tutor or as a staff member.

This session will discuss the variety of practical teaching components and exercises built up over the last two years of successfully delivering sessions to students and staff across a wide range of courses and environments: from post-grad biomedical science to level 4 graphic design, from maths teachers to physiotherapists. This is not about effective use of PowerPoint but is about practical steps and strategies for feeling and appearing more confident, for engaging your audience and for communicating clearly. It is rooted in the skills learned as a professionally trained and working actor and as a sign language interpreter.

Presentation Skills: Co-creating Rubrics (2014)

Kalman Winston, Bangor University

The session will showcase a simple yet innovative method for teaching presentation skills to first year undergraduate students. As part of their learning skills modules, engineering and medical science students were asked to combine individual written reports into small group oral presentations. After eliciting class discussion of key elements of a good presentation, each group of four worked to create an assessment rubric for their course-specific task, which they then presented to the whole class. Key elements from their rubrics were then combined by their teacher into one rubric that each group used as a guide to inform their own presentations.

Students and teachers subsequently used the same rubric to mark the presentations of each group, with good agreement between different graders. Key outcomes included some high-quality presentations, enhanced understanding of the elements of successful presentations, as well as insight into the processes of rubric development and peer-assessment. This work provides a further example of the learning gains made possible by enabling active student participation and staff-student collaboration in assessment design and use, and demonstrates the value of setting high expectations for student engagement.