In many different sectors of today’s world, presentations have taken the place of long-form written reports. Typically, a presentation involves several components, including PowerPoint or Google Slides visuals, a verbal component, and a relatively concise written piece, or white sheet. Presentation skills are an essential part of communication in business, industry, technology and education, and educators should work to support this key aspect of student learning. 

Traditionally, class presentations have been limited or even non-existent in many classes; they’re time-consuming and difficult to include in the curriculum. Students lack the opportunity to practice the essential presentation skills the they will need in the workplace. Fortunately, with easy-to-use mobile and software capture tools, students can practice these skills, receive valuable critiques, and become comfortable speaking without using critical in-class time. In addition, video offers additional options for peer interaction and feedback.

Making Video Presentations Work for Students

There are several things you can do to support your students and help them to succeed as presenters, both now and in the future.

Prepare your Students

Presentations can be uncomfortable as can being on camera. Talk your students through the process of preparing a presentation and recording it. Make sure they understand how to use software or mobile capture tools, and how to publish their presentation. Let them know that it’s normal to need more than one take to capture a good presentation, and this is the plus to recording! They can practice until it looks great and is ready to share. 

Set an Appropriate Deadline and Make a Plan to Review

Make sure your students understand when to have their recording completed and uploaded. You may want to allow some time for small groups, or in the case of a smaller class, an entire class to watch presentations. Use in-class time, for a flipped class or a hybrid class, or an online discussion feed to review presentations. Remind students to give constructive criticism and feedback and to make an effort to be kind to one another.

Complete your own Presentation Review

For a graded assignment, faculty or graduate assistants should also review each video presentation, provide feedback, and assess the student’s work. It may be helpful to consider assigning more than one presentation over the course of a semester to assess developing and improving presentation skills.