Presentation Skills - Facilitator

Presenting With Clarity & Confidence

Confidence may sound like something you either have or you don’t.  But like anything, confidence can be learned, practiced and improved upon.  Motivational speaker Ron Kaufman says, “Be confident enough to encourage confidence in others.”  And as a presenter, your ability to inspire confidence in others is a huge piece of your work as a presenter.  

The resources and activities below will help you develop, practice, and reflect upon confidence and clarity as essential presentational skills.

Resources for New Learning Questions for Reflection Potential Tasks for Skill Development

Creative Confidence by David Kelley

4 Secrets to Communicating With Clarity by IAEI Magazine

5 Mindfulness Techniques to Help You Present With Confidence, Clarity, and Impact by Maurice DeCastro

The Surprising Secret to Speaking With Confidence, TEDx Caroline Goyder

Clarity is the Key to Communicating Purpose by Jamie Glass


When have you been the most confident version of yourself?  

How might you recreate at least some of the conditions that contributed to that confidence every time you present?

How does mindfulness contribute to your confidence?

How are clarity and confidence interconnected?

How might you get feedback on the clarity of your presentation?

What do audience members that have clarity do and say?

Experiment with some of the tools in the Creative Confidence Toolkit from IDEO.  From which did you learn something new?  Which contributed your own confidence?  Which might bring additional clarity to your presentations?

In Clarity is the Key to Communicating Purpose, Glass recommends testing your message for clarity.  Try her recommended test. What did you learn? How might what you learned inform future presentations?


Emotion: Power and Pitfalls

Public speaking ranks consistently among America’s Most Common Fears.  And even if you don’t have a fear of public speaking, you may find presenting for an adult audience more nerve-wracking than presenting in front of a student audience.  And if that doesn’t fit either education, because it is something with which we all have personal experience, is a topic to which we all connect emotionally.  Emotion is a good thing.  It means we care about education, are invested in its success, and we are always in pursuit of how to do education better.  In the resources for new learning section, you will find tips for how to manage your own emotion and the emotions of others while presenting as well as advice for how to leverage emotion to maximize the engagement of your audience.

Resources for New Learning Questions for Reflection Potential Tasks for Skill Development

How to Manage Emotions in a Speech by Meghan Gonzalez

15 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation by Larry Kim

How to Achieve Emotional Power in Speeches and Presentations by Gary Genard

The Power of Vulnerability, TED Talk, Brené Brown

7 Helpful Tips to Build an Emotional Connection With Your Audience by Maria Brown

Using Mindfulness to Make a Powerful Presentation by Brittany Krueger

What are the physical clues you are nervous about something?  

What are the three strategies you might try when you notice these clues?

How might you humanize the content you are presenting?

How might learning into vulnerability allow you to connect with your audience?

How might being curious about your audience facilitate connection?

What is your self-talk before, during, and after presentations?  How might you reframe negative thoughts?  

What opportunities exist to practice mindfulness and gratitude?

Experiment with some of the strategies shared within the resources in the left-hand column. Discard the ones that don’t work for you.  Write down and practice the ones that do.

Host a lunch & learn with other educators who are working on their presentation skills.  If you can’t get together physically, share videos of one another talking about any topic for 3-5 minutes.  Ask a framing question to solicit specific feedback tied to emotion.  Reflect on what you might keep, tweak, or stop doing in response to that feedback and try again. What did you learn from the experience?


Presentation Skills Toolkit Contact

Sue Schwartz
Executive Director