4imprint, LLC

| Updated: January 21, 2021

Just saying the words “public speaking” will cause many Canadians to break out in a cold sweat. In fact, it ranked as one of the top 5 biggest fears in a survey by the Canadian Cancer Society, with 28 percent of men and 37 percent of women including speaking in front of a group on their list of top fears—only slightly behind snakes. Yet, helping students hone their public speaking skills could affect their lifelong earning potential. Studies show that fear of public speaking may cut into wages by as much as10 percent.

Regardless of the subject you teach, helping students give better presentations provides them with a skill they’ll use in everyday life. Here are a few presentation ideas for students, along with presentation giveaways, that will help your students put their best foot forward.

Help them be prepared … and practice

Most people get butterflies in their stomach when it comes time to speak. But in the case of public speaking, the adage is true: Practice makes perfect, especially since knowing how to make a great speech is a learned skill, not an inherited talent. Encourage students to conduct a “dress rehearsal” by practicing in front of family, friends, or even a few teachers or staff. For students still getting used to public speaking, it can often be easier to read the speech directly instead of working off notecards. A presentation folder is a great presentation prop, giving their rehearsal a more “official” feel.

Give your students a low-stakes opportunity to speak

Give impromptu presentation ideas for students based on a simple or silly topic as a fun way for students to test their speaking skills. Have them deliver a speech where they give facts that are intentionally wrong—to help students learn that making mistakes is okay. Or, have them pick an object out of a bag and then give a short speech about why they like the object, why they dislike the object, or why the object is a metaphor for something else. Try unique objects, like a Smiley Guy Cell Phone Holder, or a Light-Up Fidget Spinner Pen.

Encourage visuals and stories

Delivering facts and figures can be difficult for listeners to remember. Studies show that a speech made up of facts has a 5 to 10 percent retention rate. By incorporating visuals into the presentation, students are likely to get a 25 to 30 percent retention rate from their audience. But a presentation made up of engaging stories with examples and emotion raises retention to a whopping 65 to 75 percent.

Have a backup plan

Things don’t always go as planned, especially when a speaker has to rely on technology. Keeping an extra copy of the presentation on a USB drive can be a huge help when technical problems occur. Giving your students presentation giveaways, like a wearable USB drive—such as a USB bracelet or USB lanyard—will ensure your students are prepared for minor mishaps.

Remember to breathe and have fun!

When we feel nervous, our breathing becomes shallow, and we may even hold our breath. Remind your students to take a few deep, relaxing breaths before they start their speech. You could even try a relaxing room spray to encourage everyone to practice their deep breathing before presentations begin.

Helping students perfect a valuable skill

While it can take a lot of practice for some of your students to feel comfortable giving presentations, offering them some presentation giveaways and reminding them to breathe, rehearse, and be ready for technical problems can help them build skills they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives.



Rated 4 out of 5
March 6, 2020

Naturally, you’ll want to rehearse your presentation multiple times. While it can be difficult for those with packed schedules to spare time to practice, it’s essential if you want to deliver a rousing presentation. I’m famous around the office for staying up late the night before a big presentation, practicing over and over. If you really want to sound great, write out your speech rather than taking chances winging it – if you get nervous about speaking, a script is your best friend.
Try to practice where you’ll be delivering your talk. Some acting strategists suggest rehearsing lines in various positions – standing up, sitting down, with arms open wide, on one leg, while sitting on the toilet, etc. (OK, that last one may be optional.) The more you mix up your position and setting, the more comfortable you’ll feel with your speech. Do a practice run for a friend or colleague, or try recording your presentation and playing it back to evaluate which areas need work. Listening to recordings of your past talks can clue you in to bad habits you may be unaware of, as well as inspiring the age-old question: “Is that what I really sound like?”
2. Transform Nervous Energy Into Enthusiasm.
It may sound strange, but I’ll often down an energy drink and blast hip-hop music in my earphones before presenting. Why? It pumps me up and helps me turn jitters into focused enthusiasm. Studies have shown that an enthusiastic speech can win out over an eloquent one, and since I’m not exactly the Winston Churchill of presenters, I make sure that I’m as enthusiastic and energetic as possible before going on stage. Of course, individuals respond differently to caffeine overload, so know your own body before guzzling those monster energy drinks.

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One Response to “Standout tips to make your students’ presentations remarkable – Canada”
  1. asim shah

    I’ve been doing a lot of presenting recently, and I have no problem admitting that it’s tough. For those not born with natural eloquence, public speaking can be remarkably nerve-racking. But I’m getting a lot better!

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