PTOs and PTAs often tackle topics that are important to the parents in their school community, such as Internet safety, bullying, and healthy habits. And sometimes, that puts the volunteers in the position of teaching other parents more about those topics.

It can be nerve-racking if you’re not an experienced presenter, but keep calm and PTO on! The following steps will help you give a great presentation whether you’re a first-time public speaker or a veteran.

Write down the relevant points.

If your presentation has script notes, go through them in advance to make sure you understand them all (and to rewrite them in your own speaking style, if needed).


Practice, practice, practice.

Rehearse at home in front of a mirror or even your kids; they’ll be a forgiving audience! When you’re ready to run through it with another adult, ask for feedback.


Give yourself enough time to arrive early.

You can get a feel for the space and check that your equipment—projector, microphone, etc.—is working properly. If anything runs on disposable batteries, put in new ones. Make sure that your laptop is charged and that your email and messaging programs, such as Skype, are shut down.


stevanovicigor/Thinkstock


Take a deep breath.

Try to center yourself and remain calm; this will help you avoid talking too quickly. Focus on your message—it’s the reason you’re giving the presentation and the reason parents are coming to hear it.


Introduce yourself.

You’ll be most nervous at the very beginning, so allow yourself a few minutes to connect with the audience. You might also tell a joke or share a personal story related to the topic of the presentation.


Solovyova/Thinkstock


Have a plan for dealing with questions.

You might consider asking for questions in advance; that way, you can enlist help to come up with the answers and turn it into a frequently asked questions document to pass out on the night of the presentation. (Our free Family Tech Talk Night planning kit does the work for you; it comes with a handy FAQs sheet to share with parents.)


More Communications Resources for Parent Groups

Create an Effective Parent Handbook

Create and Send Emails Easily With Parent Express Email

Family Tech Talk Night™ is a trademark of School Family Media®.