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Encourages academic success by guiding students through the steps of an academic presentation

Table of contents

1.    What is a Presentation?
2.    Presentation Moves
    Move 1: Starting the Presentation (the Introduction)
    Move 2: Flowing Through the Presentation (the Body)
    Move 3: Using Visual Aids
    Move 4: Concluding the Presentation (the Conclusion)
    Move 5: Managing the Q & A
3.    Other Considerations
Overcoming Nervousness
Non-Verbal Communication
Pronunciation and Paralinguistics
4.    Presentation Projects
Appendix 1: Rubrics and Evaluation Forms and Ideas
Extra Reading


The ability to give a successful presentation in an academic setting is critical to success both on and off campus. Making Academic Presentations describes the five moves, or parts, of a typical presentation and provides examples of language that can be used to successfully accomplish these moves. Although language is vital to giving a good presentation, the book also addresses other factors that influence the success of a presentation, such as overcoming nervousness, nonverbal communication, and pronunciation and paralinguistics. 

The book includes a variety of tasks that will help students practice developing and analyzing presentations as well as practice projects for applying these lessons. In addition, rubrics and evaluation forms are included for instructors to adapt and use for evaluation purposes.

Robyn Brinks Lockwood is a Lecturer at Stanford University. Her other books include Office Hours: What Every University Student Needs to Know and Leading Academic Discussions: What Every University Student Needs to Know

“In her extensive teaching career, Robyn Brinks Lockwood has successfully worked with hundreds of university students to show them the important steps they need in order to make great presentations in their academic careers. In her new book Making Academic Presentations: What Every Student Needs to Know, you also learn from the excellent ideas in this book.”

- Keith S. Folse, Professor Emeritus, University of Central Florida

“In Making Academic Presentations, Robyn Brinks Lockwood brings her expertise as a teacher, presenter, and researcher/scholar to the topic of academic presentations. Rather than focusing on types of presentations as these might change from semester to semester and from teacher to teacher, Lockwood focuses on the steps (moves) to crafting presentations regardless of the topic. An added benefit: examples of language that students might use, which is helpful to all but especially useful for English learners. These benefits for teachers and students alike, as well as Lockwood’s ability to merge clarity and brevity, makes Making Academic Presentations a valuable contribution to our field.”

- Deborah Crusan, Wright State University

Making Academic Presentations by Robyn Brinks Lockwood is an outstanding resource for teaching and learning oral presentation skills. Instructors and students will find this to be an engaging, carefully structured, comprehensive, and user-friendly guide to strategies and activities that enhance and reinforce student learning.”

- Seth A. Streichler, Advanced Lecturer, English for Foreign Students, Stanford Language Center, Stanford University

Read: Q&A with the author | November 6, 2023
Listen: Have a Life Teaching Podcast episode | March 5, 2024