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PowerPoint vs Other Presentation Tools: Which is Right for You?
When it comes to creating impactful presentations, there are numerous tools available in the market. However, one of the most popular and widely used applications is Microsoft PowerPoint. While PowerPoint has been the go-to choice for many professionals and educators, it’s important to consider other presentation tools as well. In this article, we will compare PowerPoint with other presentation tools to help you decide which one is right for you.
PowerPoint: The Classic Choice
Microsoft PowerPoint has been around since 1987 and continues to dominate the presentation software market. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities that make it ideal for creating visually appealing slideshows. With its user-friendly interface, anyone can quickly learn how to use it effectively.
One of the key advantages of PowerPoint is its compatibility with various operating systems, including Windows and Mac. This means you can easily create presentations on one device and present them on another without any compatibility issues.
PowerPoint also provides a vast library of templates, themes, and design elements that allow users to create professional-looking presentations in no time. It offers a plethora of customization options, allowing you to tailor your slides according to your specific needs.
Prezi: The Dynamic Alternative
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that takes a different approach than traditional slide-based tools like PowerPoint. Instead of using slides, Prezi allows users to create dynamic presentations on a virtual canvas where they can zoom in and out and navigate through content freely.
This unique feature makes Prezi an excellent choice for storytelling or when you want to present information in a nonlinear format. It enables presenters to create engaging visuals that captivate their audience’s attention from start to finish.
Additionally, Prezi offers seamless collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same presentation simultaneously. This makes it an excellent choice for teams or individuals who need real-time collaboration capabilities.
Google Slides: The Collaborative Solution
Google Slides is a web-based presentation tool that is part of the Google Workspace suite. Similar to PowerPoint, it offers a range of features to create visually appealing presentations. Its intuitive interface and easy-to-use tools make it accessible to users of all skill levels.
One of the standout features of Google Slides is its collaborative capabilities. Multiple users can work on a presentation simultaneously, making it ideal for team projects or remote collaboration. It also allows for real-time commenting and editing, ensuring seamless communication among team members.
Another advantage of Google Slides is its integration with other Google Workspace apps such as Google Docs and Sheets. This integration allows users to import data directly from these apps, saving time and effort when creating presentations.
Keynote: The Mac-Friendly Option
If you are an Apple user, Keynote is the presentation software designed specifically for you. Keynote offers a sleek and modern interface with powerful tools that allow users to create stunning presentations effortlessly.
One of the key advantages of Keynote is its seamless integration with other Apple devices and software. You can easily create presentations on your Mac and present them using your iPhone or iPad without any compatibility issues.
Keynote also provides a wide selection of pre-designed templates that cater to various presentation styles. Additionally, it offers advanced animation and transition effects that can enhance the visual appeal of your slideshows.
Choosing the right presentation tool depends on your specific needs and preferences. PowerPoint remains a solid choice for its versatility, while Prezi offers a dynamic alternative for nonlinear storytelling. Google Slides excels in collaborative capabilities, especially for remote teams, while Keynote provides an excellent option for Apple users seeking seamless integration across devices.
Consider the features, ease-of-use, collaboration options, and platform compatibility when deciding which presentation tool suits you best. Ultimately, selecting the right tool will empower you to create impactful presentations that engage and impress your audience.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Giving effective presentations: 5 ways to present your points with power, not just PowerPoint
The prospect of giving a presentation fills some people with dread, while others relish the experience. However you feel, presenting your work to an audience is a vital part of professional life for researchers and academics. Presentations are a great way to speak directly to people who are interested in your field of study, to gather ideas to push your projects forward, and to make valuable personal connections.
In this article, I'll give some tips to help you prepare an effective presentation and capitalize on the opportunities that giving presentations provides.
Also, you might want to try our e-learning module and quiz on how to change the style of phrases we commonly write in research papers into those we would naturally say aloud in presentations. See Tip 4 below for details.
Tip 1: Know your audience
The first and most important rule of presenting your work is to know your audience members. If you can put yourself in their shoes and understand what they need, you'll be well on your way to a successful presentation. Keep the audience in mind throughout the preparation of your presentation.
By identifying the level of your audience and your shared knowledge, you can provide an appropriate amount of detail when explaining your work. For example, you can decide whether particular technical terms and jargon are appropriate to use and how much explanation is needed for the audience to understand your research.
What is your audience's level of expertise and what knowledge do you have in common?
You can also decide how to handle acronyms and abbreviations. For example, NMR, HMQC, and NOESY might be fine to use without definition for a room full of organic chemists, but you might want to explain these terms to other types of chemists or avoid this level of detail altogether for a general audience.
It can be difficult to gauge the right level of detail to provide in your presentation, especially after you have spent years immersed in your specific field of study. If you will be giving a talk to a general audience, try practicing your presentation with a friend or colleague from a different field of study. You might find that something that seems obvious to you needs additional explanation.
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Tip 2: Create a clear, logical structure
Next, you'll need to think about creating a clear, logical structure that will help your audience understand your work. You're telling a story, so give it a beginning, middle, and end.
To start, it can be helpful to provide a brief overview of your presentation, which will help your audience follow the structure of your presentation. Then, in your introduction, get everyone "on the same page" (i.e., provide them a shared reference point) by giving them a concise background to your work. Don't swamp them with detail, but make sure they have enough information to understand both what your research is about and why it is important (e.g., how it aims to fill a gap in the research or answer a particular problem in the field). By making the foundation of your research clear in the introduction, your audience should be better able to follow the details of your research and your subsequent arguments about its implications.
In the main part of the presentation, talk about your work: what you did, why you did it, and what your main findings were. This is like the Methods and Results sections of a manuscript. Keep a clear focus on what is important and interesting to your audience. Don't fall into the trap of feeling that you have to present every single thing that you did.
Finally, summarize your main results and discuss their meaning. This is your opportunity to give the audience a strong take-home message and leave a lasting impression. When crafting your take-home message, ask yourself this: If my audience remembers one thing from my talk, what do I want it to be?
When you are considering how long each section should be, it is helpful to remember that the attention of the audience will usually wane after 15–20 minutes, so for longer talks, it's a good idea to keep each segment of your presentation to within this amount of time. Switching to a new section or topic can re-engage people's interest and keep their attention focused.
3. Write for your specific readers: consider shared knowledge
Visual materials, probably in the form of PowerPoint slides, are likely to be a vital part of your presentation. It is crucial to treat the slides as visual support for your audience, rather than as a set of notes for you.
A good slide might have around three clear bullet points on it, written in note form. If you are less confident speaking in English, you can use fuller sentences, but do not write your script out in full on the slide.
As a general rule, avoid reading from your slides; you want the audience to listen to you instead of reading ahead. Also, remember that intonation can be 'flattened' by reading, and you don't want to put the audience to sleep. However, if you need to rely on some written text to explain some difficult points and calm your nerves, make sure you pause and look at the audience between these points; then go back to talking and not reading the next slide.
Ideally, the slides should focus on relevant visual material, such as diagrams, microscope images, or chemical structures. A good diagram can be far easier for people to understand than words alone. Make sure that you point to the slides as you talk. This will help guide the audience's attention to the correct part of the slide, and can keep them engaged with what you are explaining.
Make sure your visual materials are easy to read. Use dark lettering on a pale background for maximum visibility; pale lettering on a dark background can be difficult to read. Choose a standard clear font, like Arial or Times New Roman, and make sure that the size is large enough to be seen from the back of the room. Lay out the slides so that the elements are properly spaced. It is better to split a slide into two or three separate slides instead of overfilling one slide. Although your time is limited, your number of slides is not!
Remember that you are not writing a manuscript, so you don't have to use complete sentences. On your slides, verbs (especially "be" verbs) can be omitted. An example is shown in the figure.
Tip 4: Talk in "spoken English" style, not in "written English" style
The style of spoken English is quite different from that of written English. If you are preparing your script from text in a research paper, you will need to change the style of the written phrases into that of spoken phrases.
The written English we read in research papers often has a very formal style, using complex vocabulary and grammatical structures. This level of complexity is possible because readers can take their time reading papers to understand the content fully and can look up unfamiliar words or grammatical phrases as needed. This is not possible when listening to spoken English, when the audience hears your point once and fleetingly (this is why brief text and images on your slides can help convey your message fully).
You can learn about the characteristics of written English versus those of spoken language in a free e-learning module and quiz we have prepared.
Also, check back for a later edition of our newsletter to find out how best to deliver your spoken presentation.
Tip 5: Practice your presentation and practice again!
Public speaking is the part of presentations that most people dread. Although it might not be possible to get over your nerves completely, good preparation and practice will give you confidence. Most confident speakers do lots of preparation and use notes well.
After you've written your script, practice and learn is—not so that you learn to say it by rote, but so that it will become easier to remember the important points to say, the links between the points (to maintain the flow of your 'story'), and the words and phrases that express your points clearly.
One way that we at ThinkSCIENCE can help you with this is through our audio recording service, in which a native speaker records your script at your chosen speed (native speed, slightly slower, or considerably slower). You can then use the recording to practice pronunciation, intonation, and pacing.
Again, if possible, try to avoid reading directly from your slides or script. Once you know your script, you can make a simple set of notes to jog your memory. If you are speaking instead of just reading, you can better engage with your audience and capture their attention.
Leave yourself adequate time to practice your presentation with your notes and slides. Check your timing, remembering that you might speak a little faster if you are nervous, and that you will need to account for changing slides and pointing at visual material.
As you rehearse, you will probably notice some words that are awkward to say, particularly if English is not your first language. Check pronunciation with a reliable source, such as www.howjsay.com , an online dictionary, or a native speaker, and then practice to avoid stumbling and putting yourself off during the presentation.
Practice can help you feel more comfortable with your material and more confident to present it to others.
Remember the importance of knowing your audience, giving yourself time to prepare thoroughly, and structuring your talk appropriately. And, don't panic!
At ThinkSCIENCE, we have years of experience helping people prepare effective research and conference presentations. From comprehensive editing and translation of your slides and scripts to our audio recording service, we can help you get ready for your presentation. We also offer one-on-one private presentation coaching sessions to help you make the most of your opportunities to present, and provide semester courses to young researchers.
I hope these tips will help you to prepare your English presentations with confidence.
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How to Create a Video Presentation in PowerPoint
Table of Contents
Once the iSpring Narration Editor window appears, you can either record a new video narration or import an existing video file.
Importing a video file
To import an existing video file, click on the Video button in the Import tab.
Find the video file and click on the Open button.
Pro tip : You can insert multiple videos at once. To do that, press and hold the Ctrl key while choosing several files.
In the Import Video window, you have the choice of importing your video at the current cursor position or at the beginning of a slide of your choice.
Note: If you choose to import your video at the beginning of a certain slide, you will have the option of selecting the Adjust slide duration option. This will adjust the slide you have selected to the length of your video.
Recording a narration
To film yourself on a webcam, click on the Record Video button on the editor’s toolbar.
The Record Video Narration panel will appear.
You can add a video narration for one or several slides at a time. To record video for the current slide, mark Process current slide only.
Step 2. Synchronize video with slides
Now it’s time to synchronize your video with your slides and animation effects. The latter are displayed as yellow bars on the Slides timeline. The great thing is that you’ll be able to choose the exact moment when an animation will appear while watching the video. This way, the effects will perfectly correspond to the narration in your video presentation.
Note : This is only applicable if you have animation effects attached to your slides.
The sync process is quite simple to use. Just place the cursor where the sync should begin and click the Sync button on the toolbar.
A Sync panel will appear above the timeline. Click on the Start Sync button to start the process.
The Start Sync button will be replaced with the Next Slide or Next Animation button, depending on the next element in sequence. Click on those buttons at the appropriate moments. Hit the Next Animation button at the point in the narration where you would like to start the next animation. For example, if you are listing information, you can have each new item appear when the narrator mentions it in the video narration.
Once you have finished, click on Done to quit the Sync mode. Then hit the Save & Close button in the upper-left corner.
Step 3. Switch layouts in slide properties
iSpring allows you to publish materials using one of two players: the highly customizable Universal player or the Video Lecture player. The latter displays the video presentation in a 50/50 layout and allows viewers to change the proportion between video and slides at any time.
The Universal player features three layouts for a video presentation:
- The Full layout displays the slide, sidebar, and navigation panel.
The No Sidebar layout displays the slide and the navigation panel only.
The Maximized Video layout displays the video in the center, the slide on the sidebar, and the navigation panel.
Your presentation doesn’t have to have the same layout everywhere. You can highlight key points by changing the proportion between information on screen and the video for each slide. To do that, click on Slide Properties on the toolbar.
In the Layout column, pick the desired layout for a particular slide from the drop-down list.
The layouts for the Video Lecture player can be changed at any time during playback. You can still preset them, and they will work as follows:
- The Full layout displays video and the presentation in equal proportions.
The No Sidebar layout displays the full slide with a miniaturized video.
The Maximized Video layout will show the enlarged video and a smaller slide.
It is insisted that you set slides to advance automatically for the entire presentation. To do that, in the Presentation Explorer , select all slides and click on the Auto button.
Step 4. Customize your player template
The built-in presentation player has flexible customization options: you can provide your viewers with the presenter’s info, a brand logo, outline, and more. First, let’s choose what player to use. Click on Player on the product ribbon, and choose whether to use the Universal or Video Lecture player , as shown in the picture.
For this guide on making a video presentation, we will use the Universal player . To customize it, click on Templates . There are a number of player templates to choose from. We will use the Online Lecture with Video template as an example.
You can also experiment with the settings, doing things like turning off the outline and notes by clicking on the Layout button on the ribbon. Here’s what our player will look like:
Additionally, you can customize a presentation to match your brand colors by choosing one of the built-in color schemes or creating your own.
When you’ve finished customizing the player, click on Apply & Close in the upper left corner. Well done, you’ve put finishing touches for your video presentation.
Step 5. Publish your video presentation
When your video presentation is ready, the last step is to publish it to web format so it can be easily accessed via a browser.
In the Publish Presentation window, select the My Computer tab from the left-hand menu. Enter the presentation title and select a Local folder where the presentation will be saved. Under Output Options , choose a format. We’ll be publishing to HTML5 format to make our video presentation play seamlessly across all platforms and devices. You can learn more about publishing presentations here .
In case you want to know more about other presentation software to create engaging video presentations, there are software solutions available that also come with a shallow learning curve. These apps range from video recording or video editing software all the way to animating your own cartoons. Here’s an overview of five of the most powerful yet still easy-to-learn video presentation makers.
If you want to create a video presentation but don’t have the time to put layouts together, you can use the Camtasia video recorder software. Camtasia offers a library of video presentation templates and assets that users can use to make their own presentation videos. Users can also create their own video templates and save them for later projects.
Like iSpring, Camtasia allows you to record both screen and webcam. You can’t create a slidedeck in it, but it’s a good solution if you need to record and show yourself as well as everything you do on your screen.
Animation is a universal language without limits: it hooks any audience immediately. Promotional cartoons are now available to everyone, thanks to software like PowToon . The service has an intuitive user interface and amazing comic graphics. You can start from scratch or use ready-made scenes and layouts that are editable with a drag-and-drop feature. The complete animated presentation can then be uploaded to YouTube channels or social media with one click.
Biteable is a video editing software that allows you to make professional-quality video presentations and animated videos online in minutes. It sacrifices the ability to capture video and record voice for powerful animations. The ingredients are your own photos, texts, pre-made templates, and stock video footage. The styles of presentation videos produced vary from animated illustrations to live action. The really cool thing about this video presentation maker is the ability to create engaging video infographics.
With Emaze , spectacular video presentations are at your fingertips. With an intuitive creator interface and a number of ready-made templates available, creating a video presentation is no longer time-consuming. If you already have a PowerPoint presentation that you want to enhance, you can import it into Emaze and use its collection of tools – attaching photos, GIFs, videos, and 3D images.
Animoto is an online video maker that allows you to create video presentations by simply dragging and dropping your own images and video clips into a pre-built video presentation template. To customize your videos, you can quickly adjust colors, fonts, background music, add your company watermark, and more. No video editing experience is required.
If you’d like to know more about other tools for making video presentations, read our article on the Top 10 Video Presentation Makers for Promotion and Education .
By default, you can make your PowerPoint presentation into a video by saving it as one. It can be a solid choice if you don’t need narration for this video. But if you need to, you’ll still be able to record narrations from that menu, without going back to the original PowerPoint presentation.
Here’s what you need to do to download your slides as a video in PowerPoint:
- Click on the Create video tab to start downloading your video.
To make your presentation even better, consider the following tips for creating a successful video presentation:
- Make your videos short and sweet. Keep your video clips long enough to grab the attention of your target audience, but short enough to incite curiosity. Your goal is to maintain the viewer’s interest. Remember, the optimal length of a video presentation is no longer than 4-7 minutes.
- Keep to the point. Make your goals and objectives known at the start of the presentation and don’t stray from the message. Your text and visuals should relate to the subject matter and not detract from the goal of your video presentation.
- Add engaging elements. Enrich your video presentation with useful and interesting content. For example, add background music, colorful infographic, embed YouTube videos, or insert interactive quizzes to effectively engage learners.
- End on a meaningful note. Leave your audience with something they can take away from the presentation. A new idea, a short story, a visual representation of your product, or even a link to your website works to provide the strong ending needed to create a lasting impression.
FAQ on Creating Video Presentations
Feel free to learn the answers to a few popular questions about making a video presentation.
How do I make an effective video presentation?
First and foremost, think about your target audience. What are their ages, genders, and occupations? What is their prior knowledge on a topic or their level of proficiency? After you define this, choose the way you will be presenting accordingly. You should connect with your audience emotionally and ‘speak their language.’ In this way, you’ll communicate the right message to the viewers.
Second, it will be useful to prepare a script for your video. Of course, the slideshow will support you, and you can base your speech on its content. But if you write an intro, outro, some key points, and transition words in advance, you will present more confidently, and reduce rambling or unnecessary pauses. This will help you focus on the effectiveness of your message.
How can I prepare myself for a video presentation?
Make sure you’re physically and technically ready. When delivering a presentation, prevent your mouth and throat from getting dry. You can use a lip balm and have a glass of water nearby to refresh during pauses. This will make you sound better, and your recording will be clearer. For recording, it’s better to choose a smaller quiet space to avoid echoes, and check your microphone sound.
Also read : → How To Record PowerPoint Presentation With Audio
What is the best video format for a PowerPoint presentation?
PowerPoint allows you to save your presentation in these video formats: MPEG-4 (or MP4 / .mp4) , Windows Media Video (.wmv) or MOV (if it’s PowerPoint on a Mac). MPEG-4 is the most common video format and is widely supported. Opt for this if you have PowerPoint versions 2013, 2016, or 2019. With PowerPoint 2010, the Windows Media format is preferable.
We hope this post will help you turn static presentations into an engaging video lecture. To start creating video presentations and other kinds of eLearning content, try iSpring Suite today. Get a 14-day trial and access all of its advanced features without spending a cent.
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Best AI Tools for Presenters and Teachers in 2023
As the world continues to embrace technology, AI tools are becoming increasingly popular in various industries, including education. AI tools have revolutionized the way teachers present information and interact with students. In this blog, we'll be looking at the best AI tools for presenters and teachers in 2023, with a focus on AI presentation makers and AI presentation tools.
What are AI Tools?
AI tools are software programs that use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks or augment human decision-making. These tools are designed to learn from data and improve their performance over time. In education, AI tools can help teachers personalize learning, automate grading, and improve student engagement.
Why use AI-powered tools in education?
For educators, the advantages of utilizing AI-powered tools are numerous and noteworthy. These tools can automate tedious tasks, freeing up valuable time for teachers to focus on more meaningful educational activities.
Furthermore, AI can optimize educational operations, resulting in improved cost-effectiveness and efficacy. AI-powered educational tools, such as automated grading systems, can reduce teacher workload and provide more consistent and unbiased assessments.
Overall, the adoption of AI-powered tools in education can lead to increased productivity, cost savings, and better outcomes for both teachers and students.
AI Presentation Maker
An AI presentation maker is a tool that uses AI to create visually appealing and engaging presentations. These tools can help presenters save time by automating the process of creating a presentation. Here are some of the best AI presentation makers for both teachers and presenters:
Sendsteps.ai - generate interactive presentations in minutes!
If you're looking for an AI-powered tool to take your presentations to the next level, check out Sendsteps.ai – the first AI-powered interactive presentation tool. With Sendsteps.ai, you can engage your audience with interactive polls , quizzes , and other interactive question types, and get real-time feedback to improve your presentation. You don't have to worry about spending too much time on your presentation. Just provide your subject, language, audience, and preferred length, and Sendsteps.ai will take care of the rest. Sendsteps AI-powered tool creates a stunning presentation with speaker notes and interactive elements, making your job easier and allowing you to focus on delivering a memorable presentation.
To discover the vast benefits of an AI presentation tool in education, check out our blog about all the benefits of an AI presentation. This discusses in depth what an AI presentation maker can do for you. Don't overlook the exciting benefits Sendsteps.ai could add to your presentations!
AI Tools for Education
In addition to AI presentation makers and AI presentation tools, there are several other AI tools that can benefit teachers and students. These tools can help automate tasks, personalize learning, and improve student engagement. Here are some of the best AI tools for education:
Gradescope - Streamline Your Grading with AI
Grading student work is a time-consuming task that can take up a lot of a teacher's time and energy. Fortunately, Gradescope's AI tool is here to help. Using a combination of machine learning and AI, Gradescope makes it easier to grade students work quickly and efficiently.
One of the key features of Gradescope is its AI-assisted grading system, which can be used to grade paper-based exams, online homework, and projects all in one place. Teachers can also benefit from the platform's AI-assisted and manual question grouping, as well as student-specific time extensions, ensuring fairness and accuracy in the grading process.
Nuance’s Dragon Speech Recognition - AI-Driven Accessibility for Education
Nuance offers a powerful speech recognition software that can revolutionize the way students and teachers interact with their devices. The Dragon Speech Recognition product can transcribe up to 160 words per minute, helping students who find it difficult to write or type. It also supports verbal commands to navigate documents, which is essential for students with accessibility requirements.
Dragon goes beyond transcription and navigation, offering features like dictation of lesson plans, syllabi, worksheets, reading lists, and more at a pace three times faster than typing.
With Nuance's Dragon, students and educators can work together more effectively, empowering a more inclusive and equitable educational experience.
Brainly - The Ultimate Collaborative Learning Community
Brainly is a collaborative online learning community where students and educators can come together to share knowledge and help each other learn. Brainly offers a platform where users can snap questions using the app, get help from the community, and find expert explanations for textbooks.
Knowji - Learning Vocabulary Made Fun and Easy
Knowji offers a unique and innovative approach to vocabulary learning. Its vocabulary apps combine entertaining content with scientifically proven methodologies to create an engaging and effective learning platform. The app's built-in memory coach ensures that you retain the words you learn in your long-term memory. Knowji's goal is to help you learn quickly and remember everything, making it an ideal tool for students, professionals, and anyone looking to improve their vocabulary.
The Impressive Benefits of AI-Powered Tools in Education
In conclusion, AI-powered tools have become increasingly popular in recent years, including in the education sector. These tools offer many benefits for teachers and students alike. From automating repetitive tasks and providing data-driven insights to optimizing educational processes and improving learning experiences, the applications of AI in education are versatile and impressive. Whether you are teaching in elementary, secondary, or higher education, AI presentation makers such as Sendsteps.ai, can help you stay ahead and achieve your professional goals. Try Sendsteps.ai today and experience the power of AI in education!
Anouk’s passion for presenting started when she was very young: from voluntarily giving presentations in primary school to winning a speaking award with a self-written and presented speech. This adoration comes to life while working for Sendsteps. A passion for giving and writing speeches turned into writing blogposts about these subjects to help others find their passion in presenting.
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Planning a Teaching Demonstration
Teaching demonstrations are artificial—the students aren’t yours, you won’t see them again for follow-up lessons, you might even be “teaching” faculty, etc.—but they are also a critical part of an academic job interview. Candidates for academic positions need to show more than just knowledge of their content area in their teaching demonstration; they need to show that they have pedagogical content knowledge. That is, the ability to select, structure, and deliver complicated content so that students can learn it. Your teaching demonstration must prove not only that you can create and follow a lesson plan, but also that you can engage and interact with students to enhance their learning.
You’ll want your teaching demonstration to reinforce whatever you’ve said about your teaching in your application materials. For example, if you have said that you create student-centered classrooms and provide students opportunities to actively learn, don't lecture for the entire time during your demonstration.
A successful teaching demonstration ultimately comes down to careful planning and practice. If you showcase your best teaching during your demo, you’ll go a long way toward convincing the committee that you can handle the challenges of teaching day-to-day. The guidelines and tips below will get you started.
A. Know your Audience
- Will you be teaching a class of actual students, a group of faculty, the hiring committee, or some combination of these three groups?
- What level of student should you be preparing for? (E.g., Majors, non-majors, graduate, etc.)
- If you are teaching a class of actual students, ask for a copy of the course syllabus and any relevant assignments. Read the course description and objectives, and review a copy of the textbook. It might also help to get to know the students in general by looking at the university’s website and, if possible, by visiting campus and chatting directly with students. More realistically, you might attend a class at your current institution on the topic you are going to be teaching and then talk with the instructor, the TAs, and the students.
- If you are teaching to faculty members posing as students, be sure to indicate for them the level and background of the students for whom your lesson would be intended, then pretend that the faculty members are those students and teach at the correct level. Expect, however, that faculty might ask questions at a higher level than would actual students and don’t go overboard with pretending that they are students (e.g., don’t confiscate a cell phone if one of them can’t stop looking at it!).
B. Make your Material fit the Course and the Time
- If you’re given a topic to teach in an actual course, find out where that topic fits into the course itself. What have the students learned beforehand? What will they be learning afterward? What assignments will they be working on? What textbook are the students using? Get a copy and read the relevant sections.
- If you’ve been given a broad topic area from which to select a particular lesson, choose something that you can manage in the time given.
- If you’re teaching for a full class period, aim to end no more than 5 to 10 minutes early for questions. Have a back-up plan in case for any reason you end earlier.
- If you’re only teaching a short lesson in 10 to 15 minutes, choose a topic or lesson that will stand on its own in that time. Don’t squeeze a 50-minute lecture into 15 minutes.
- Plan enough time for any activities you’ll include; they can sometimes run long if not properly planned and managed.
C. Engage your Students
- Remember, this is your teaching demo, not your research talk. Don’t just lecture to the students; show that you can do something more by engaging them with active learning. Get the students interested, involved, and interacting positively with you and with one another—they might be evaluating you for the committee.
- Use brief, meaningful activities that last no more than 5-7 minutes each. If you’re teaching faculty members, don’t expect them to be any more interested in participating in activities than are students. Create a handout, ask questions.
- Start with a relevant hook to grab students’ interest (an alarming statistic, a current event, a thought-provoking question, etc.)
- If you’re teaching a small group of students, bring index cards and black sharpies. Have the students write their names on the cards and set them up on their desks. Doing so creates an instant connection with students by allowing you to address them by name as you would in a class of your own.
D. Use Technology Purposefully and Effectively
- If you plan to use technology, be sure that it serves some clear and relevant pedagogical aim; don’t use it just to impress the committee or to show off your techy side. Technology shouldn’t overwhelm the topic you’re teaching, and the contribution that technology makes to student learning should be obvious and significant. Handouts are often a better alternative to technology, since they provide everyone with a concrete takeaway by which to remember you and your demonstration.
- Use visuals only to support your teaching and promote learning. For example, PowerPoint slides should be used sparingly and should ideally include questions or problems to which students can respond. Remember, PowerPoint should support your teaching, it shouldn’t be your centerpiece. If you do use a PowerPoint, be sure to tell students that you’ll write on the board any key information that you would like them to put in their own notes, otherwise students might try to write down everything you have on your slides.
- In terms of PowerPoint design, use pictures, colors, and animations, but do so carefully, and don’t put too much text on any single slide. Choose a light background and dark text, and make sure that the slides are visible in a well-lit room. (You shouldn’t plan to use PowerPoint slides in a darkened room unless you want to put students to sleep.)
- Use the board only if your handwriting is good. When writing on the board, don’t speak to it. That is, face the students and say whatever you want them to hear, and then turn and write it on the board. Doing so maintains your connection with the students and gives them an opportunity to copy down what you write.
- Plan for technology to break down. Have an alternative plan.
E. Have a Backup Plan. Have Another.
- Create your ideal lesson plan, a contingency plan in case you run out of time, a contingency plan in case you finish early and have too much time remaining, a contingency plan in case students simply don’t respond or if things are otherwise not working out as intended. Plan for technology to fail and know what you’ll do if and when it does.
- Plan more material than you can possible use, and make decisions in the moment about what to leave out. Don’t indicate to your students, however, that you’re cutting something out due to time constraints.
F. Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Whether you’ve taught before or not, you can ask colleagues or mentors for the opportunity to lead a session in their classes. Ask them to observe your session and provide feedback. Alternately, gather some colleagues, perhaps from different disciplines, to serve as a group of students whom you can teach. Have them ask you questions just like actual students would. After the lesson, have your colleagues comment on your flow, on the way your topics connected with each other, on your body language and any verbal or physical tics you might have, and, of course, on how you might improve your overall performance.
- If you have taught before, review any observation reports you may have from colleagues or mentors, as well as evaluation feedback from students. Consider what has worked well and what hasn’t. What improvements can you realistically make and practice before your demonstration?
Helpful Tips and Hints
- Aim to be relaxed and confident in your demonstration, but also plan to show your enthusiasm and passion for the topic.
- Remember that you want your demonstration to be accessible to the intended audience, as well as factually or procedurally accurate and also clearly effective in terms of student learning.
- Show respect for students and that you like working with them. Acknowledge their contributions and thank them for participating.
- Don’t let talkative students sidetrack you. Indicate that you are glad they are interested, but that you need to continue the class. Ask them to stay after to discuss the material with you.
- Consider providing students and the committee with suggested follow-up assignments or next steps to show that you are aware of that teaching is a continuum, not a once-off intervention.
- If you use graphs or other data visualizations, don’t let them speak for themselves. Instead, get students to respond to these visualizations. For example, orient students to a graph by briefly explaining what it shows, then pose questions about the graph and ask students to interpret it in some way to get students involved.
- Push yourself to demonstrate your best teaching, but don’t try a technique or technology with which you’re not yet completely comfortable.
Questions to Consider as You Begin Planning your Teaching Demonstration
Don’t be afraid to ask the committee for details and clarification about your demonstration. At the same time, you need to ask yourself a number of important questions as you get started. The list below should help get you going.
Ask the committee:
- How much time will I have? A whole class period or only 10 to 20 minutes?
- Whom will I be teaching? Actual students or faculty posing as students?
- At what level should my teaching be aimed? Majors? Non-majors? Graduate?
- Will a topic and/or materials be provided, or should I select a topic and/or materials on my own?
- If a topic is provided and if I’m teaching in an actual course, how does the topic fit into the course in relation to other topics? Can I get a copy of the syllabus? What textbook do the students use? Have students been given any homework? If so, what? Can I get a copy of the assignment materials?
- Where will I be teaching? What sorts of technology or other resources are available?
- How and by whom will my teaching be evaluated? If I’m teaching actual students, will they provide any feedback to the committee?
- Exactly what information, and how much of it, do I want to convey in the time I have?
- What approach is most appropriate for the topic, the students, and the institution itself? Will I mostly lecture or will I involve students in a discussion or an activity?
- Do I want to use technology? If so, what will that technology add to my demo in terms of helping students learn? Am I comfortable using the technology that is available?
Reference and Resources
- Smith, M. K., Wenderoth, M. P., and Tyler, M. (2013). The teaching demonstration: What faculty expect and how to prepare for this aspect of the job interview. CBE Life Sciences Education , 12(1), 12–18. http://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-09-0161 http://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-09-0161
- CTL's teaching demonstration rubric - the CTL uses this teaching demonstration rubric to evaluate and provide feedback on teaching demonstrations given by graduate students in the Emerging Scholars of College Instruction Program.
The CTL offers a workshop on preparing and delivering an effective teaching demonstration. Watch a recording of the spring 2020 webinar facilitated by Dr. Debbie Herold where she provides several strategies and guidelines for a successful teaching demonstration. Panelists Dr. Katherine Adams and graduate student Matt Walsh share their experiences of having given teaching demonstrations recently with tips to prepare for and navigate the unexpected challenges that may arise during the demonstration!
Updated by Anusha S. Rao, April 20, 2020 Created by James Gregory, November, 2016
Center for Teaching and Learning resources and social media channels
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Writing a marketing strategy and plan
Marketing strategy and planning set the foundation for everything you do. Doing it right enables you to focus your time and budget on the right marketing programs to reach your goals.
Video: Writing a marketing strategy and plan
Watch our video to help you understand why a marketing strategy is the key to what your business stands for.
- why it's important to write or update your marketing strategy
- why strategy must come before tactics
- the 7Ps of marketing and the marketing mix
- a step-by-step model to create a marketing strategy.
Effective marketing should be:
- based on your business plan and goals and shaped by your business strategy
- guided by a clear process and practical know-how.
Marketing strategy and planning set the foundation for everything you do. Start with your marketing strategy, then develop a marketing plan to make it real.
Your marketing strategy outlines the why and the what:
- why you're in business
- what you want to achieve.
It sets out your long-term marketing approach.
Your marketing plan describes the how and the when. It:
- is the tactical roadmap to make your strategy happen
- describes your short-term initiatives in the current year.
Having a clear marketing strategy and plan delivers significant benefits for your business. It will help to:
- keep your marketing efforts focused
- connect with the right customers
- make the most of your investment
- measure and improve your results.
Templates for developing your marketing strategy and plan
Choose one of these downloadable templates to customise and complete:
- a one-page marketing strategy template (a concise option, pictured)
- the Marketing Strategy and Plan section in the business plan template (a more comprehensive option).
Develop your marketing strategy in 6 steps
Your marketing approach influences the way you run your business, so it's important to consult your internal team and external partners.
As you work your way through the steps, capture your insights and findings in the relevant templates.
Know your market
Start by capturing insights about your industry and customers.
Market research is an essential part of your marketing strategy. It:
- involves gathering and analysing information about your customers and industry, such as size, growth and trends
- helps you to know more about your customers and the current and future demand for your products and services.
There are 3 main ways to do research:
- desktop research—accessing existing information that is readily available online from credible sources
- quantitative research—using questionnaires to get responses from a specific audience and interpreting the data
- qualitative research—using interviews, discussions or focus groups to explore themes in more detail.
You can do the research yourself or hire an external agency to carry out the research. Find out more about researching your market .
Know your business
Next, you need an honest appraisal of your business from an internal perspective.
A SWOT analysis can be a useful way to assess where you stand in your market relative to competitors. It highlights the major obstacles and business drivers and provides the direction necessary to:
- build on s trengths (S)
- minimise w eaknesses (W)
- seize o pportunities (O)
- counteract t hreats (T).
This diagnostic tool can help you uncover foundational insights to guide your marketing strategy.
Learn more about SWOT analysis and complete the template .
Based on your business plan and goals, the next step will be to define marketing objectives that are:
These objectives will typically have a financial or communication focus and may cover different areas, such as:
- building brand awareness
- shifting customer perception
- generating business leads
- increasing sales volume
- improving customer retention
- boosting customer satisfaction.
It's important to be as clear as possible so you can effectively measure the outcomes. Make sure that each of your marketing objectives meet the SMART criteria:
- Specific—state clearly what you want to achieve.
- Measurable—you must be able to measure and monitor your results and progress.
- Achievable—take your skills and resources into account.
- Relevant—focus on areas that will improve your business.
- Time-bound—set a timeframe to achieve the outcomes.
To measure and report your progress towards your marketing objectives, you should identify and define key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are quantifiable metrics (indicators that can be measured) that are meaningful for your business, such as:
- cost per acquisition
- customer lifetime value
- unique website visitors
- social media engagement.
Read more about tracking your digital performance .
You'll know when your marketing objectives are right when they:
- motivate you and your team
- enable you to track your business performance.
Review and adjust your marketing objectives based on your progress.
A classic and effective marketing framework is commonly known as STP:
To become a customer-focused business , you need to find ways to get and use insights into your market.
As a starting point, summarise the findings from any customer research you've done. This will reveal:
- customer attitudes and behaviours in your industry
- current and future needs for products and services.
Based on this analysis, follow these steps to define your target segments:
- Choose the most appropriate way for you to segment the market (e.g. demographic, geographic, psychographic, behavioural).
- Prioritise target segments based on relevant criteria for your business (e.g. potential value, brand differentiation, ability to serve).
- Document a profile for each of your preferred target segments and then create personas to bring these to life in a meaningful way.
Action item: segment your market
- Discover more about market segmentation .
- Download and complete the customer profile chart .
Your business most likely operates in a competitive market. Customers are typically spoilt for choice. That's why it's essential to establish your brand positioning in a way that achieves sustainable competitive advantage.
As part of your marketing strategy, you should maintain a profile of your key competitors. You can:
- talk to people who might have relevant information, for example, your sales teams and business partners
- review their digital presence, for example, website, social media
- collect readily available marketing material and price lists
- read online ratings and reviews from their customers
- purchase products and services at their premises or online.
If you don't know where to start, find out how to do market research .
Find information about each of your key competitors':
- products and services
- pricing model
- customer service
- supply chains
- brand difference
- marketing approach.
Use this information to help identify what sets your business apart.
- How do you meet the current needs of your customers better than the competition?
- How can you better meet the future needs of your customers?
Competitor profile chart
An easy way to better understand your competitors is to complete a competitor profile chart.
- download the print-optimised version of the competitor profile chart to fill out and save for future reference
- use the online template to profile your competitors .
Make sure your business complies with competition laws .
Brand positioning is much more than just your name or logo. This is your business purpose. It's why you exist. It’s about making sure that your communications, culture and customer experience are all working together in harmony.
The ambition is to build a distinctive brand. This is about what you want to:
- be known for
- want to own in the hearts and minds of your customers.
It will guide everything you do and don't do.
Work through the guidelines to help build your business brand .
It's also beneficial to define your value proposition. In simple terms, it's a statement of the benefits you provide in exchange for payment. Think of this like a win-win for your business and your customers. It explains:
- the promise of value you will consistently deliver to customers
- how your business model meets the needs and wants of customers.
Your value proposition will look closely at the problems you are solving for customers.
Remember to look at your value proposition in terms of the current situation and the ideal future. This will help you to prioritise future improvements.
Discover more about how you can bring your value proposition to life.
You can identify your high-priority marketing programs based on your:
- marketing objectives
- target segments
- brand positioning
- competitive analysis.
Think about these as your strategic themes.
For example, imagine you're running an innovative online store. Based on your analysis of the current situation and assessment of future opportunities, you might identify 4 marketing programs you need to drive growth:
- review and relaunch the brand
- increase new customer acquisition
- grow value though cross selling or upselling
- boost customer loyalty and advocacy.
These work packages will then direct your marketing actions and determine where you'll focus your marketing efforts. Be focused and consistent. If you're doing something outside of these themes, ask yourself why.
Checklist: from strategy to planning
Make sure you've completed the 6 steps discussed above before moving on to your marketing plan:
- I know my business and the current market.
- I've set clear, realistic, and measurable marketing objectives.
- I've defined meaningful target segments.
- I've defined my business's distinctive brand.
- I've completed an analysis of my competitors.
- I've identified the marketing programs I need to focus on.
Translate your strategy into your marketing plan
Once you have a marketing strategy, you can extend it into a marketing plan. The marketing plan reflects and builds on your thinking. It's your roadmap to get where you want to be.
A marketing plan:
- is a practical and detailed document
- sets realistic and measurable activities.
It's about the execution of:
- tactics (methods)
A structured and documented marketing plan has many benefits. It:
- takes the guesswork out of your marketing
- keeps your marketing activities targeted
- ensures that you can monitor your success.
Don't try to do everything at once. Adopt a phased approach based on the skills, time and staff you have available.
Your marketing plan will be implemented repeatedly and change over time. There are different stages to this process:
- Write your marketing plan.
- Implement marketing tactics.
- Measure against key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Refine your marketing plan.
To successfully achieve your marketing strategy, you'll need to:
- identify the tactics (methods) you want to use
- be able to describe these tactics
- be clear on why they're appropriate.
Remember: your tactics should address the needs and wants of your customers.
If you need inspiration, you can:
- read about the right combination of the 7 Ps of marketing
- look at the results of your SWOT analysis to identify opportunities.
Follow this 3-step process to guide your thinking:
- Select a marketing program (work package) from the ones you previously identified.
- Refer to the needs of your relevant target segment to make sure you will be addressing these needs.
- Document specific projects you will deliver.
Repeat this process for each of your high-priority marketing programs.
For example, you may have identified the need to increase awareness of 1 of your products amongst young adults aged 18 to 25 who live within 10km of your business. An appropriate tactic could be to implement a geo-targeted marketing campaign:
- across social media, online advertising and local publications
- with a dedicated website landing page to promote the offer.
Don't be scared to test and learn. Test some ideas on friendly customers, partners and employees. Using the right tactics over time will connect with your target segments and ultimately improve your sales results.
Once you've worked through your tactics for each marketing program, you need to turn this into an action plan . The action plan must capture all the actions you need to perform.
For each marketing tactic, list the specific steps required in as much detail as possible. (You can download and use the action plan template below to guide you through the process.) This can include the following fields:
Regularly refer to, and update, your action plan. This will help you to:
- keep track of your work in progress
- manage the implementation of projects.
Great marketing requires great people. The people in your business will determine how successful your marketing is. They need to be involved throughout the process and believe in what they are doing.
Your marketing approach will also inform your sales techniques . Marketing and sales need to work together. Link your marketing KPIs and sales targets.
Make sure you have assigned responsibility for each of the actions in your action plan.
This is the process that allows you to track and report on your marketing performance and make the necessary changes if needed.
Based on your business plan, you have developed a set of SMART marketing objectives. These will most likely be based on the following outcomes:
- financial (e.g. sales numbers)
- communication (e.g. brand awareness).
Within each of your high-priority marketing programs, you have assigned specific KPIs for each tactic. For example, these KPIs could be:
- responses to a targeted direct mail
- number of leads generated from an event.
Before you run your marketing programs, you need to know how you'll measure and evaluate the results. A review of each activity will then help to:
- identify how well your marketing has worked
- show what areas need to improve
- check if the activity gave a positive return on your investment (ROI)
- establish benchmarks that you can strive to outperform in the future.
Continue to review and revise your marketing. For example, on a quarterly basis, you should ask:
- How are we tracking with budget and timing?
- What tactics are working and not working?
- What has changed in the external market?
- What adjustments do we need to make?
Marketing action plan template
Download and complete the marketing action plan template .
This plan also forms part of your larger marketing strategy and plan.
Implement the marketing plan
To implement your marketing plan successfully, you need to confirm you have everything you need to implement it.
Resources and expertise
Ask yourself these questions about your skills and capacity:
- Have you allocated the right budget?
- Do you have the right knowledge and skills in-house?
- Will you need to upskill your current staff or employ new staff ?
- Should you consider engaging an external marketing partner based on your internal gaps?
Depending on the type of business and your marketing strategy, you may need to prioritise training and development. For example, with an online business, this could include website and social media management.
Communication and collaboration
Your staff need to be engaged and committed to make your marketing efforts to work.
- Make sure your staff understand how marketing fits in with your business plan and goals .
- Involve your staff throughout the marketing strategy and planning process.
- Mentor employees who are enthusiastic about marketing and provide opportunities to increase their skills.
- Keep communicating—your business marketing will always be changing and growing.
- View our marketing strategy and planning webinar for information, tips and resources from our Mentoring for Growth mentors.
- Read about how you can expand and retain your customer base by becoming a customer-focused business .
- Find advice on advertising your business .
- Learn more about branding your business .
- Read more about managing public relations and the media .
- Find tips and advice on using direct marketing .
- Learn more about strategy planning with free, online courses .
- Last reviewed: 29 Aug 2022
- Last updated: 22 Mar 2023