Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
MSD 194
Course Title:
Effective Presentation Skills
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

This 10-hour workshop focuses on preparing participants for giving an effective presentation. Topics include selecting topics, analyzing the audience, developing ideas, selecting and using visual aids, handling questions and overcoming objections. Each participant will give a presentation during the session. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  • Describe how to select an appropriate topic for the audience.
  • Explain what to look for when analyzing the audience and approaching the presentation from the listener's perspective.
  • Discuss the variety of visual aids and how to make the best selection.
  • Explain the value of including time for questions and describe how to handle these questions or objections.
  • Identify ways to overcome anxiety.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Make a presentation including selecting the topic, analyzing the audience, using visual aids, and handling questions.
  • Explain the importance of analyzing the audience and describe how this affects the style of presentation.
  • Design a feedback tool that objectively measures the effectiveness of a presentation.
  • Apply learned skills through an outside project.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Outline a presentation.
  • Explain how to use humor effectively to influence listening.
  • Outline the steps for selecting and using appropriate visual aids.
  • Demonstrate how to handle questions or objections.
  • Explain the importance of staying professional under duress.

General Concepts
Effective presentations require a balance of preparation, organization, information, appropriate and stimulating visual aids, question & answer opportunities, and managing anxiety.
Presenters must know the audience, prioritize the information, communicate confidence, and dress appropriately.
Presenters may need to handle a hostile audience, be adaptable when equipment fails, and be sensitive to time requirements.