This page contains a range of resources and links for the development of presentation and dicussion skills.

Planning a presentation

The AberSkills guide to Planning a presentation contains information on the following points:

  • Considering positive and negative aspects of presentations
  • Written and spoken style (avoid reading unless you have prepared a spoken manuscript)
  • Business and professional presentations: tell them, tell them, tell them
  • Rhetorical aspects of speaker and audience perceptions
  • Plan for a presentation: a practical checklist
  • Other things to consider
    • Focus: specialist focus from larger project, or general overview of whole project
    • Activity: types of activity or interaction (performance, demonstration, planned audience interaction)
    • Timing: plan your timing carefully and rehearse with a timer
    • Media: use of supporting media and whether it is the best way to deliver your message
  • Common problems with language and structure


Speaking Up is a very useful series of videos from ASK Academic Skills available on Vimeo (Brunel University). You will find more of these videos in the Delivering a presentation tab below:

Tackling nerves: a guide to relaxing, breating, confidence building and handling mistakes

Speaking Up - Tackling Nerves from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo


Hooking your audience: useful pointers on first impressions and use of questions, images and interaction

Speaking Up - Hooking your Audience from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo


The importance of planning: reminders on maintaing audience attention and respect through adequate prior planning

Speaking Up - The Importance of Planning from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo

Delivering a presentation

When all of your presentation plans are clear, make sure you set some time aside to rehearse your presentation. This is best done in a classroom if possible, so you can look at available facilities, furniture, use of computer and projector, body language and position of team members for group presentations. It is usually very clear when a presentation has been rehearsed and when it has not.

The Speaking UP series of videos (Brunel University) provides some very useful summaries of things to remember for delivery of your presentation.

Group presentations: useful tips on transitions and introducing speakers at strategic points in the presentation

Speaking Up - Group Presentations from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo.


Outlining your talk: always include an overview with statement of aims that you can refer back to during your presentation

Speaking Up - Outlining your Talk from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo.


Interacting with your visual aids: summarise your slides and data for the audience and avoid reading text to them or expecting them to read it for themselves

Speaking Up - Interacting with your Visual Aids from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo.


What NOT to do when presenting: a lighthearted, but truly informative guide on avoiding unnecessary distractions

Speaking Up - What NOT to do when presenting from ASK Academic Skills on Vimeo.

Seminar discussions

Planning and interacting in seminar discussions

Seminars are most often led by teaching staff. You may also need to organise discussions yourself or as a member of a student group. The guide provided here includes a way of observing how seminars work and how you may organise your own discussion for maximum participant engagement and interaction.

Planning and interacting in seminar discussions

The guide includes:

  • Ways of looking at seminars: what a seminar is supposed to do
  • Balancing input with interaction to maximise discussion time
  • Activities for communication and engagement
  • Seminar structures and stages based on a premise of fact, feeling, opinion or action (or a combination)
    • Formal statement
    • Formal question
    • Exploration
    • Conclusion
  • Creating and facilitating a discussion
  • Referencing in seminar discussions and documents

Resources for presentations and discussions

Royal Literary Fund guide to Presentations

Open University guide to Giving presentations