Presentation Skills - Leader

Establishing Credibility & Purpose

In 1967, Mehrabian & Wiener and Mehrabian & Ferris, 1967 conducted studies on communication and determined that, in certain circumstances, 55% of communication is body language, 38% is tone of voice and 7% is made up of the words one speaks.  The combination of knowing why we present and the way in which we do so are keys to presenting with credibility and purpose.  

Below are some new learning resources and opportunities to practice this essential presentational skill.

Resources for New Learning

Questions for Reflection Potential Tasks for Skill Development

Start With Why, TEDTalk by Simon Sinek

Nonverbal Communication by HelpGuide

10 Tips For Improving Your Public Speaking Skills by Marjorie North

4 Tips To Improve Your Public Speaking video by Motivation2Study

Presenting With Purpose by Maurice DeCastro

Why are you presenting the content you are? Why are you the person others need to hear from on this topic?

What are the kinds of nonverbal messages you want to send while presenting?  What are the nonverbal messages you are sending? What steps might you take to ensure they are a match?

Exploring Expression provides 3 different types of nonverbal communication.  How might you experiment with each?

Who are the presenters you have seen that reek of credibility to you?  Why?  What pages from their book might you borrow?

The resources for new learning offer many tips for public speaking.  Which ones feel like you?  What is one concrete thing you might try during your next presentation?

Check out Dean Bokhari’s advice on How to Draft a Why Statement.  Create your own why statement around why you are presenting and what that might mean for your audience.

Observe the nonverbal communication of others over the next week or so.  What are the nonverbal communications that “speak loudest” to you?  How might observing nonverbal communication in others allow you to reflect on your own communications?

Video Option: Film several clips from your next presentation.  Watch them back.  Does your nonverbal communication match the intentions of your verbal communication and presentation overall?  What tweaks might enhance that connection?


Practice & Reflection

John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience.  We learn from reflecting on experience.”  As busy as we all are, reflection sometimes draws the short straw in terms of priority, yet it is an important piece of our growth and development.  To give reflection its due, we need to be intentional about reflection as a practice, embedding it as presenters and as part of the experience we are providing our audience.  

Below are some resources and opportunities to practice this essential presentational skill.

Resources for New Learning Questions for Reflection

Potential Tasks for Skill Development

How to Practice Effectively...For Just About Anything video by Annie Bolster and Don Greene

Identifying Problems of Practice. Article by Rachel Blundell via Learning Forward

Critically Thinking about Practice, video via The Teaching Channel

Setting Intentions: A Powerful Tool to Help us Learn, blog post by Elena Aguilar via Edutopia

Frameworks for Reflection by Anna Durfee

21st Century PD: Retention, Reflection, and Redistribution of Knowledge by Bob Dillon

The How to Practice Effectively video gives concrete advice for maximizing the effectiveness of your practice.  What are the presentational skills that lie “at the edge of your current ability?”  How might you be intentional about practicing them?

What is the difference between thinking critically and being critical of our practice?

In her blog post, Setting Intentions: A Powerful Tool to Help us Learn, Elena Aguilar describes how she sets an intention before any professional development.  What might this look like for you? How might you apply the suggestions in a collaborative setting? How is the process the same or different if your audience is intimate or extremely large?

How might some of the ideas presented within the Edutopia articles translate to ideas for reflection either for you as a presenter or that you might incorporate within your presentation to facilitate reflection among participants?

Consider incorporating a Problem of Practice Tuning Protocol as part of your presentation reflection.  Use that Problem of Practice to focus professional learning and match intentions with outcomes for those who attend.

Heard of the - #observeme protocol in classrooms? Consider using it as a presenter.  Encourage colleagues to view your presentation in person or via video and provide feedback.  Offer to do the same for them. Sample Peer Observation Form- feel free to use, modify, or create your own.

Take a look at the plan for your next presentation. What opportunities exist to embed reflection within that plan?  How might you be intentional about reflection afterwards? What simple structures or protocols might help you carry forward what you learn as an outcome of your reflection?


Presentation Skills Toolkit Contact

Sue Schwartz
Executive Director