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What are Presentations and how can they help me learn?

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Presentations are a critical part of third-level assessment, as they aim to prepare students for the professional workforce, which often requires employees to have a strong ability to present and communicate.

Presentations enable you to demonstrate your learning visually, orally as well as textually.  A presentation is usually conducted as an individual assignment or within a group setting, often based on a project or a piece of research you have carried out (either on your own or within a group context).   Presentations, as a form of assessment, allow you the opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking, communication, planning, collaboration and use of other media (such as photographs and PowerPoint) to present your message.  Regardless of the medium of presentation, knowing how to organise, synthesise and effectively present material is a skill that will be useful to you long after graduation.

word jumble of presentations

Which Graduate Attributes will this assessment help me develop?

graduate attributes developed based on presentations

Creating and delivering a presentation can help you to develop and improve some or all of the Graduate Attributes, depending on your experience and skill level, and the assessment criteria.  Here are some examples:

  • To Think Independently
    • The preparation and delivery of a presentation can challenge you to think more creatively and critically about the topic.
  • To Communicate Effectively
    • By listening to and persuading your audience.
    • In particular, your ability to present work through all media.
  • To Develop Continuously
    • For example, by building confidence if you’ve never presented before.
  • To Act Responsibly
    • For example, being motivated and taking responsibility for delivering the presentation and/or being an effective participant on a team.

What is expected of me?

Your lecturer will often give you guidelines on the focus of the presentation and the duration (e.g. 15- minute presentation followed by 10-minute  Question and Answer session – involving interaction with the audience) as well as the recommended format for delivery (e.g. PowerPoint).  You will generally be assessed on:

  • Clarity of message and extent to which your presentation addresses the question, topic or project under examination
  • Structure and flow
  • Good use of verbal and non-verbal behaviour (e.g. voice, eye content, body language and interaction with audience)
  • Use of visuals and technical aids (e.g. PowerPoint)

student presenting

Further resources

Giving Presentations