How to Make an Effective Presentation

Throughout this Social Studies course, you may be asked or you may be given the choice to demonstrate your learning through a presentation. A "presentation" is not necessarily a speech given in front of a class. For the purposes of this course, a "presentation" is an alternative to a written response.

As you move through the course, you may see instructions as follows.

Tasks Required Steps/Instructions

The most common statement students make when asked to create a presentation is "I don't know what to do. I'm not an artist or media expert!" That's okay! Keep in mind your teachers are not looking for "slick" or fancy. The purpose of a presentation is to

  • show understanding of content (which can include visuals/maps/graphs/audio files/charts)
  • extend analysis of course content through the synthesis of other resources, and
  • provide students with a choice of how to demonstrate learning.

What do I do before I create a presentation?

  1. Read the instructions carefully. What do you need to include? Do you need to have multimedia (audio files, different types of visuals, graphs, pictures, charts, timelines)? Is there an audio component (where you read out your explanation, or you include your discussion in a verbal recording)?

  2. What are the recommended formats? Are there suggested formats or programs you should use? Investigate these formats to see if you are comfortable using them.

  3. Content/Concepts. What needs to be covered and explained from the course content/concepts covered? Often, an assignment will include a research component where you go and gather information and resources prior to creating the presentation.

What do I do while I create a presentation?

  1. Consider your options. What are you most comfortable creating? There are many formats a presentation can take. Once you review your assignment instructions, consider what format fulfills the requirements of the assignment. The examples below are just a few ways you can create your presentation, and you may need/want to combine formats to complete the assignment!

  1. Review your course content, research, and materials. What do you need to include? Do you need to go out and do more research, find additional files/videos/visuals, etc.? Is what you're going to include important for the assignment? Does it fulfill the requirements?

  2. Organize your presentation. Depending on the format you've chosen, you will need to organize your thoughts and ideas in a way that shows a progression and development of thought. Sometimes, this can be chronological (in order of time, from start to finish), and sometimes the format will follow the development of one concept/idea (such as nationalism in pre-to-post-French Revolution France).

  3. Explain each of your ideas with accompanying media. You need to explain the connection between your ideas/concepts/course content with the media files you've chosen. What is significant about the media? Why does the viewer need to know this information?

Remember: if you need further help or need to clarify the expectations of your presentation, don't hesitate to contact your course teacher!