Teachers: Your Job Is To Present Well


If you’re a teacher, you present for a living.  Each day requires a new presentation, and all presentations are comprised of 1) content, 2) delivery, and 3) visual design.  Teachers: if you don’t acknowledge your job as a public speaker and do things to improve your presentation skills, you should be fired.  And if you aren’t presenting well, you certainly better not call yourself a teacher.

My students take my Professional Communication and Presentation class.  Unfortunately, then they have to go back to a bullet-riddled world of ineffective PowerPoints.  Last week, I received an email from one of my May precious angels.  She writes:

Mrs. Rister,

Let me begin by setting the scene:

My teacher speaks about presenting to an investor.  He then shows a TED talk about how to present (Rose, 2007).

The TED speaker talks about minimizing words and bullet points as well as using a single photo on a slide. He then proceeds to discourage reading notes and encourages looking at the audience, making the presentation interesting, and so forth. 

After the TED Talk, my teacher’s response was: “Now this guy just told you the right way to present, everything I do not do (attempt at humor). I don’t need to do this because I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m just teaching you.”

This class sucks. You were right.


A student trapped in (Name of Class)


2 thoughts on “Teachers: Your Job Is To Present Well

    • Joel, I agree with you wholeheartedly! My argument is certainly not that teaching and presenting are one and the same. I’m only arguing that teachers present for a living, so they should know how to present effectively according to Jim Endicott’s three-legged stool or Nancy Duarte’s three-part presentation ecosystem. Of course, knowing how to present well is only one quality of an effective teacher. I am writing a series called “Superteachers” about all of the qualities I think an effective teacher should possess. Check it out, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for your comment! Alex

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