Do’s and Don’ts of Slide Show Presentations


When students share a slide show presentation they have created with the class, prepare them for success with a discussion of effective public speaking strategies. A few basic guidelines can turn a presentation into an engaging, interesting, and compelling learning experience for both the speaker and the audience.


  • Rehearse by yourself, to a friend, or in front of a small group and ask for helpful suggestions.
  • Prearrange for a friend to signal if you are talking too fast or using distracting gestures.
  • Take a breath to relax before beginning.
  • Greet the audience and smile.
  • Use a clear voice.
  • Speak loudly enough for others to hear.
  • Change the pace and vary your tone.
  • Speak in an upbeat and energetic manner, indicating your enthusiasm in the topic.
  • Let the audience know they can ask questions at the end to encourage them to listen carefully.
  • Add information that is not on the slide: extra details, personal anecdotes, or examples.
  • Make eye contact with a variety of people in the audience.
  • Pause occasionally.
  • Be confident! You are the expert on the topic!


  • Read the information on the slide or speaker notes to the audience.
  • Use distracting gestures such as twirling hair, pacing, or fidgeting.
  • Turn your back to the audience and look at the screen.
  • Maintain focus on only one member of the audience or at the back of the room.
  • Speak in a dull voice or monotone.
  • Talk for too long – try to fit in the time limit you are given.
  • Start sentences with “So…” or repeatedly say “You know” and “Like”.

Competence in public speaking is a valuable asset. It can contribute to success in relationships, school, and careers. Give your students a head start by helping them build this essential skill.


Hella Comat, Curriculum Writer - Hella Comat is a dedicated professional, who has taught in the education system for more than 30 years. As a pioneer of technology integration in Ontario public schools she was one of the first teachers to introduce the internet, video conferencing, web design, and multimedia learning activities to teachers and students in the Halton Board. To inspire teachers to use technology, she has led sessions for the Touch Technology program, ran workshops at education conferences, and sat on numerous advisory committees related to technology-issues. In recent years she taught the Computer in the Classroom course, at York University. Her lifelong commitment to teaching and learning was acknowledged when she was honored as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics. Hella's contribution to the blog includes entries about the importance of technology integration. Drawing from her in-depth knowledge of technology in the classroom Hella writes about teaching strategies and useful resources that can benefit your practice. In addition, she provides innovative lesson ideas that you can implement into your own curriculum.

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