How to present successfully

Pay attention in class

Time with a public speaking instructor is valuable. They are teaching for a reason! Ask questions, get clarification, stay after class to speak privately.

Learn what works for you

You may feel overwhelmed by all the information. Test out tips and tricks during practice to find what works with you and your needs and stick to them. Focus on what works.


Whether you are a virtual or classic classroom student, video taping yourself practicing your speech can be an effective way to pick up on and eliminate distracting nonverbals and filler words.

Drop the mic

Confidence is key. Don't be afraid to fake it til you make it. A strong opening and closing statement and your favorite outfit help boost the feeling of "I got this!"



Can your source pass the test?

C - Credibility

  • How relevant is the information? An article 50 years old may not have currency.
  • Can you locate a date?

R - Reliability

  • If it is a scientific article, is it peer reviewed?
  • Does the information check out with other sources?
  • Has it been verified?

A - Authorship

  • Can you determine who the author/creator is?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Is there a way to contact them?
  • If there is a publisher/sponsor for the site, is reputable?

P - Purpose

  • Is the content fact or opinion? Fact-based articles are better.
  • Is is biased?
  • What is the author's purpose? To inform or to sway you?


Informative vs. Persuasive

An informative speech aims to inform the audience about a specific topic. A persuasive speech aims to persuade the audience to perform a certain action or convince the audience to adopt the belief or opinion of the speaker.


Three activities for ESL students

Reciting famous speeches

This allows you to dive directly into improving vocal skills without worrying about writing an outline and speech from scratch.

Small group presentations

This takes the pressure off the student by having multiple presentations going on at the same time instead of having everybody focusing on them.

Drama activities

Much like reciting famous speeches, these activities allow your students to isolate and improve certain skills (body language in this case) without worrying about other aspects of public speaking.

Eye contact

Making eye contact with individuals gives them a sense of involvement in your presentation and helps to convey your objectives on a personal level.





The Basic Speech Structure as a Menu: A feast to delight your audience


Imagine you are both host extraordinaire and server, and you will be taking care of our "dining" needs.

As you approach our table to greet us, start by gaining our attention-this is essentially our FIRST taste of our meal experience, make it delectable so we cannot wait for the meal that is coming!

Share with us your "special" (your thesis!) and tell us what's on your menu today (your summary of points), allowing us to anticipate the yummy dishes we will be served. Your summary of points is our appetizer.


The "main dish" you are serving is the body of your presentation - usually consisting of 3-5 main points or "sides". Each side compliments each other - all relating to each other AND your thesis - or else they wouldn't be served together!


Summarize how delicious our meal was! We cannot move on to dessert until our last bites are chewed. Likewise, your summary of points allows us time to finish our main course. Dessert is the best part, here you get to offer us your emphasis on what you want us to remember and give us a yummy definitive final statement. And voila! Dinner has been served!


Rate the Speed of Speaking

Rate is how fast or slow a person speaks. Along with volume and expressiveness, rate is incredibly important for giving an easy to follow speech. THere are some facts and tips about rate.


Rate can convey emotion. For example, speaking very quickly can convey joy or surprise, while speaking very slowly may convey boredom or uncertainty.


It is important to very the rate at which you speak. If one part of your topic is particularly complex, you may want to slow down while explaining it.


Consider the setting of your speech. If you are speaking at a sports event, you may want to speak more quickly than if you are presenting your speech at a more solemn occasion.


Record yourself while practicing and listen back to your speech. Note the number of words you are speaking per minute. Adjust it according to the knowledge you have gained regarding rate in this section.