It’s the end of the year, and you just finished a major project with students.

In less than 48 hours they will be sharing their work with peers, adults, classmates and the community.

Do you give them a quick pep talk and set them loose? 


Chances are they are going to need some support. And similar to the story of Goldie Locks and the 3 bears, it helps to know just the right amount of support to provide.

Too ‘hot’- a fill in the blank presentation packet or pre-made slide deck; too ‘cold’- a suggested presentation length and some words of encouragement; and then there’s support that is just right. 

Here are five quick and dirty tips and resources that provides just the right amount of support to help students shine on exhibition day:

  1. Use small stations rather than front of the classroom presentations: Lots of our students freeze up in front of a big crowd. Make it easier on them and instead provide them with a small table, favourite spot in the classroom, and a monitor to share with rotating guests.
  2. Provide them with a presentation format/structure: Without some suggested frameworks for their presentations, chances are your students are going to create the dreaded 20+ powerpoint slide deck that bore audiences to tears. Here are 3 frameworks, including the ‘hook, meat, and payoff’ that will have your students’ audience eating out of their hands.
  3. Provide or co-create a simple rubric of expectations: While we don’t want to be too heavy handed with cumbersome rubrics, a simple one pager can help students improve their delivery and identify potential blind spots. Here is a simple one from ‘Read, Write, Think.’ Even better-co-create one together by critiquing a few of your favourite presentations on Youtube.
  4. Provide audience with feedback forms: There’s nothing worse than a lengthy, one way presentation that ends with ‘any questions?’ Set your students up for an interactive conversation with three simple feedback prompts: ‘I like,’ ‘I wish,’ and ‘I wonder.’ Here are the forms to distribute at each student station.
  5. Reflect on the Experience: It’s easy to get carried away with the content of a presentation and stress over slide fonts. But that’s of far less importance than the learning that took place over the course of a project. To keep students focused on what matters, provide some reflective prompts that allow students to share more deeply. Here are some of my favourite.

The finish line for the school year is just around the corner!

Here’s to ending the year with confident, reflective student presenters.

P.S. Got a strategy you use to support students in their project presentations? Hit ‘reply’ and share it with me!