Guidelines and suggestions for class presentations

Professor Bob Broad

(Updated March 9, 2005)


In nearly all of my classes, I require my students to conduct substantial research projects in the area covered by the course.  This is because as a student and a teacher/professor, I found doing sustained, in-depth, to-be-published research is the activity that created the most challenging and profound learning.  Most of my students report the same thing. 


I also typically require my students to make class presentations based on their research projects.  There are several reasons for this:

  1. The act of presenting one’s research while the project is still in progress often clarifies insights and highlights further possibilities for research.
  2. Presenting to others gives you the chance to see how well your audience understands your project and how interested they are in your question and your findings.
  3. Presenting to others allows you to hear from them their questions, suggestions, resources, and other suggestions that should prove helpful to you as you finish your project. 


I very purposefully do not give my students a set format to follow in creating their presentations.  This is because the creative and critical thinking you do when you decide how to compose your presentation is not only good for you (builds character, makes you smarter, etc.), it helps you understand your project better.  Plus, the variety and surprise makes the presentations a lot more enjoyable. 


That said, below I list suggestions and guidelines that may help you as you create your presentation. 



If you are excited about your presentation and prepare it thoroughly and creatively based on your substantive research, you and your audience (and your professor) are sure to enjoy and learn from it.