3.2 General Presentation Skills

DO 🙂 Why?DON’T 🙁 Why?
GesturesNodding, Smiling, Talking with your hands, Pointing at objects,Keep it relaxed and natural and the kids will be relaxed and natural too!Arms Crossed, Frowning, Extreme hand movementsThese gestures and body positions could make you come off as cold and uninterested.
PacingUse a pace that children can follow. This would be just a bit slower than your natural talking pace. Don’t be afraid to use short pauses if you need a break.Children need slower speech to understand and learn. It’s okay to pause and have a sip of water if you need it.Talking too slow and talking too fastTalking too slow will lose the children’s interest.
Talking too fast will make it hard for the children to absorb what you are saying.
MovementMove to different spots of the room frequently and fluidly, allowing children to see the screen and also see you. Use your body to explain concepts.Moving can be helpful to indicate a change of focus or to keep the kid’s attention. If you are explaining something that could be acted out to make more sense, then go for it!Swaying back and forth.
Pacing back and forth too quickly.
Back turned to the kids.

Constant movement will distract the kids from what you are saying.
Back turned to the children and they may not hear you.
DO 🙂 Why?DON’T 🙁 Why?
LanguageSimple word choices (eg. Car/Truck instead of Vehicle).
Humor! Try to make as many kid-appropriate jokes as possible.
Inflection and articulation.
Kids need to understand the language in order to learn. Use words they already know.
Laughing is the best kind of engagement! If you are funny, the kids are sure to listen.
Inflect on important words, articulate your words so they hear and understand what you are saying.
Use big words that children don’t understand.
Too serious, not enough jokes.
Slurring your words, saying “ummmm….” or talking in monotone.
Children will lose focus if they do not understand the words you are using.
If you are too serious, they will get bored.
Slurring words, using too many “ummm’s” or talking in monotone takes the meaning out of your words.
DemeanorAddress the kids in a friendly, warm tone.
Respond positively and non-judgementally to questions.
We want them to like transit, to like buses and to like bus drivers!
Try to find the positive in every answer to make them feel good about themselves!
Flat or “frozen” expression.
Curt answers, or telling them that answer is wrong.
Ignore comments or questions.
Kids will not want to answer your questions if you are not being positive about their ideas/answers.
We want them to not be scared to put their hand up and offer up an answer!
Eye ContactKeep eye contact with the audience, frequently switching between kids and teachers.Eye contact will help them stay focused and engaged.Read off the screen.
Look at notes.
Stare only at the teacher.
Reading off the screen will break the focus of the children.
Staring and talking only to the teacher will make the children feel ignored.
DO 🙂 Why?DON’T 🙁 Why?
VolumeProject your voice depending on the size of a room. Always make sure the kid at the very back will be able to hear you.
Ex. Classrooms, Libraries, and the bus are different sizes, make sure you adjust your volume accordingly.
You can check with the kids at the back to make sure they can hear you if you are unsure.Projecting so much you are yelling.
Very quiet voice.

Yelling will be hard on your voice for long periods of time, as well as uncomfortable for the children.
Kids can’t listen if they can’t hear you!
Preparation Be well familar with the content of the presentation
Prepared with questions to ask after each video, or ask if they have any questions frequently.
Timing – make sure you are keeping on time in order to leave enough time for the bus tour.
Kids can tell if you don’t know what you are talking about! Become familiar with the presentation and know what’s coming next.
A list of questions will be provided, but feel free to ask the class if they have any of their own!
Saying “I dont know much about this” or admitting to not knowing the presentation.
Unclear or confused statements.
Remember, you’re the expert! Know your stuff or the children will lose confidence.

Please watch the following video for an example of Taylor presenting the ‘Sustainability’ section of the program in the classroom:

BusReady Ambassador Training - Buses and Sustainability