The University of Queensland Homepage
Go to the UQ Tutors Homepage You are at the UQ Tutors website

 Presenting and facilitating

It is important to ensure that your physical environment allows for face-to-face contact. Non-verbals (gestures, facial expressions, etc) are often just as important as the spoken voice in the delivery and comprehension of people’s ideas.

Student feedback suggests that a ‘good’ tutor is one who:

  • Is enthusiastic, confident, and well prepared
  • Is approachable and accessible for consultation
  • Is encouraging and supportive
  • Is knowledgeable of the relevant course topics, course details, organizational issues
  • Uses a variety of teaching and learning methods to engage students
  • Manages the group well
  • Uses the knowledge and experiences of the group to facilitate learning
  • Treats students equitably and fairly
  • Reflects on their own performance as a teacher
  • Seeks to continually improve.

Effective presentation and facilitation involves:

  1. Structuring your tutorial well

    • Always start with an introduction (10% of tutorial time), then
    • Move to the body of information you want to cover (80% of tutorial time)
    • Always have a strong conclusion (10% of tutorial time)
    • If you are going to use PowerPoint , use it well

  2. Using your body effectively

    • Dress appropriately
    • Smile
    • Establish eye contact before speaking (eye contact portrays confidence and involves the audience)
    • Regularly make eye contact and focus on each person 3-5 seconds
    • Use gestures to draw attention to your message
    • Keep gestures inoffensive, and open (e.g. open palms, hands up and out)

  3. Speaking with confidence and authority

    • Speak with enthusiasm, with and not at the audience
    • Pronounce your words correctly and clearly
    • Do not cut off the ends of words, such as "ing"
    • Avoid 'uh', 'um', 'you know'
    • Avoid words that create doubt, such as - kind of, sort of, I hope, I guess, perhaps

  4. Starting your tutorial effectively

    • Introduce yourself and tell your students a bit about yourself (what you are studying, where you are working)
    • Along with telling your students your name, write it clearly on the board
    • Call students by their first name
    • Provide students with your office hours and contact details (work phone number, office number)
    • Establish ground-rules which you will follow as well as students
    • Talk to the group about your expectations of the group
    • Don’t forget to make sure students know where the nearest fire exits are and where they should gather if there is a fire alarm

  5. Conducting the tutorial well

    • It's important to ask questions skillfully and frequently, to promote discussion and clarify understanding. See Bloom's levels of thinking (pdf) as a basis for questioning and setting small group tasks
    • Repeat questions to make sure everyone has heard the question. 
    • Answer questions  carefully
    • Encourage discussion 
    • Make sure you include all students, ask non-participators for their views
    • Let students know your expectations, the process you want them to adopt and exactly how long they have to do a task
    • Provide clear instructions on how to solve a problem step-by-step
    • Show students how to approach a problem – use a series of questions to progressively reveal the solution to a problem
    • Provide assistance for student presentations

  6. Ending the tutorial well

    • Summarise the key points that arose in the tutorial
    • Go around the group and ask students for one thing they learned from the tutorial
    • Tell students what you expect them to do next
    • Tell students what will be covered in the next tutorial so that they can prepare.

Don’t forget to reflect on your first tutorial session, work out what went well, what didn’t and how to prevent that happening next time.

  The Teaching Resources page on this   site provides links to more resources

More Information
Use powerpoint well
Ground rules
Asking questions
Answering questions
Encouraging discussion
Student presentations


The Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI) has developed material for lecturers on practical aspects of teaching. Some of the ideas are relevant for tutors, too.