Presentation Checklist

This checklist is to help you with presentations. If your answer to a question is ‘No’, refer to the books indicated, which are in CILL, or the internet sites.

On this page: Content, organisation, interaction, style & tone, accuracy, range, pronunciation, fluency, and support materials.

1.    Content

    1. Is your topic interesting? (Practise your presentation in front of your classmates and ask their opinions.)
    2. Is your topic related to your main field of study, or a serious general interest topic?
    3. Have you checked with your teacher that your topic is O.K.?
    4. Have you thought of some main points covering the most important aspects of your topic?

2.    Organisation

            a. Have you got an introduction containing:

  1. the topic of your whole presentation?
  2. some background information to show why the topic is important?
  3. a sentence describing the aim or purpose of your presentation?
  4. an outline of the main points you will talk about?
  5. a sentence telling the audience when they can ask questions; e.g. "Finally, due to the short time we have today, I’d like to ask you to keep your questions 'til the end."?

            b. Have you got some main points containing:

    1. an ordering word or phrase; e.g. Firstly, next, lastly, finally, I'd now like to move on to talk about...?
    2. the main idea?
    3. the reason why this main idea is important?
    4. details of the idea point?
    5. the use of a visual aid?
c. Are these main points in order? The order can be in order of importance, time, cost, quality, quantity, points for and against, or comparison and contrast, etc.

            d. Have you got a conclusion containing:

  1. some words showing that you have finished your main points and are now moving on to the conclusion.
  2. a reminder of the purpose of the presentation
  3. a short summary of the main points
  4. the result or recommendation based on the purpose and the main points.
  5. an invitation for the audience to ask questions?


3.    Interaction

    Interaction is two-way communication with your audience. Have you planned to make eye-contact with your audience and to use hand movements to help you to explain things? Optionally you can ask the audience simple questions, or ask them to raise their hands to vote on something. The audience may ask you questions at the end of your presentation, so you will need to interact by answering them.


4.    Style and Tone

    1. Is your presentation formal enough? However, as you know your classmates well, don't use English which is too formal.
    2. It is O.K. to make funny comments, as long as they are funny, and not rude.
    3. If there are any words in your presentation that you think your audience, including your teacher, will not understand, explain them.


5.    Accuracy of grammatical structures and vocabulary


6.    Range of grammatical structures and vocabulary

    If you don't know how to say something in English, have you found out; e.g. from your teacher or from a teacher in the Centre for Independent Language Learning (CILL)?


7.    Pronunciation

           Can you correctly pronounce all the important words in your presentation? You can:

    1. listen to a word on the Internet
    2. ask your teacher.
    3. ask a CILL teacher.
    4. use the Longman CD-ROM dictionary in CILL to listen to a word.

    Common pronunciation problems:


8.    Fluency of speech

    1. Will you use small cards with notes to remember what to say next?
    2. Will you practise your presentation to improve your fluency?
    3. If someone asks you a question and you need some time to think of an answer, will you use fill-in expressions; e.g. "Well, that's an interesting question. Very interesting. Now let me see. Yes. Well. Hmmm."?
    4. If you can't understand a question, will you ask, "I'm sorry, could you explain your question in more detail?"


9. Will you use high-quality support materials?

    You can use:

    1. The overhead projector
      Check before the presentation that you know how to turn it on, that the light is shining at the screen or whiteboard, and that it is in focus so the audience can see clearly. Your transparencies must be of high quality. Use a pen, not your finger, to point to things on the transparency. Use a piece or paper to cover parts of the transparency that you don't want the audience to read yet. You can write notes on this piece of paper.
    2. Photographs
      They must be at least A4 paper size so that the audience at the back of the room can see them clearly. If you want to pass them round the audience, do it after the presentation, so that the audience’s attention is always on you.
    3. The white board
      Make sure you have pens, and an eraser to clean the board before the next presenter uses it. You can put pictures on the board using small magnets, tape or blu-tack.
    4. Short audio or video recordings
      Make sure that you have a video or audio tape player, and test it to make sure it works. Have some pictures or the script in case something goes wrong.
    5. Objects
      You can show objects to the audience.
      • Do not hand them round until the end of the presentation, otherwise the audience will concentrate on the object, and not on you.
      • The objects should be large enough so that the audience at the back can see them clearly.
      • Hide the object until you need it; e.g. keep it in a box.
      • Hide the object after you have used it to avoid distracting the audience.
    6. A computer presentation
      Common problems (and solutions):
      • using too much text on screen (use less than 20 words per screen)
      • the text is too small (test whether you can read it by standing at the back of the presentation room when you are practising, and trying to read it)
      • reading from the screen and not looking at the audience (use note cards, don't look at the screen)
      • no pictures or graphics (add some)
      • the computer cannot connect to the projector (test it at least a day in advance)
      • wasting time starting the program (all students should use the same computer)
      • not having backup materials in case the computer doesn't work
      • the audience watching the screen and not the presenter (don't use the computer all the time: only use the computer to present multimedia material. In PowerPoint, when a presentation is running you can press 'B' to make the screen go black. Then the audience will look at you when you talk to them.)


Useful Materials in CILL and the Library

  • Presenting Facts and Figures (Business Shelf – Intermediate Level) Library: PE1115 .K47 1992
  • Effective Presentations (Learning Video Shelf – Intermediate level) Library: PE1115 .C65 1995
  • Giving Presentations (Business Speaking Shelf-Upper-intermediate level) Library: P91.M37 Ca

Online Presentation Materials


Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012