Tips for Presenting


  • Make a plan. Find a lesson plan template you can use. Think about the process of chunking your presentation into small bits of information. When you break up a presentation into small parts, it's easier for you to deliver.
  • Think about when you first learned the topic or when you’ve helped someone else with the topic, and use that knowledge to anticipate what the attendees might find helpful. Knowing what questions might be asked helps you manage fears of the unknown.
  • Make sure the data you’re going to use does not contain any personally identifiable information (PII), and is set up with the right examples and scenarios.


  • Practice with someone who knows your topic. Practice with someone who doesn’t know your topic. Make adjustments based on feedback.
    • Does it flow logically?
    • Are there any gaps?
    • Can you, and have you, made connections (if they exist) between each part of your presentation?
    • How’s your timing – is the presentation too long, or too short?


  • Become familiar with your physical and virtual presentation room before you record or present your session. Knowing the environment helps settle nerves.
    • Verify that you have the necessary programs to conduct your session (such as Zoom, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, or an equivalent browser).
    • To the greatest extent possible, your physical presentation room should be free from ambient noise and distractions including other people, pets, mobile phones, etc. Think of your session as a radio broadcast—any distractions diminish the experience.
    • Give yourself enough time to become familiar with the tools you will use. If possible, work with someone on your team who understands the software you’ll use for your virtual meeting room.
    • Pay close attention to your audio quality; do a few test recordings to see how you sound.
  • If you are presenting a live session, have your materials (PPT, documents, reports) on a flash drive for backup.
  • Never eat food or chew gum during your online session. If you need to drink water during your session, do so quietly.
  • Dress professionally; choose something that you would wear to present onsite at WASWUG. Plain-colored shirts without patterns/stripes tend to display well on remote sites.
  • Special considerations for presenting to a live audience:
    • Have a colleague in your presentation room or on the recording platform for technical support and moderation. If they know your topic, that’s a bonus and you can call on them as a resource (but only if you really need to, remember it’s your presentation).
    • When possible, engage learners by asking them to open their phone lines and share their thoughts and experiences about the topic. Use open-ended questions to get their feedback.
    • If someone asks a question you don’t know the answer to, that’s okay, but be willing to perhaps work with them to find the solution (after the session).


  • Smile and enjoy yourself – even if your audience cannot see you, it will come through in your presentation!

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