Teaching Skills: evaluate yourself

Tools for Teaching Navigation

Tools for Teaching: Introduction

Facilitation Skills: The art of group facilitation

Teaching and Presentation Skills: Keep these techniques in mind

Tips for Programs: Practical examples and resources

Evaluate Yourself and Others

Strategies to Help Improve Your Skills

  • Assess skills with a self-evaluation.Start with a pre-assessment of your perceptions of your skills. (See Mandel, 1993, pp.4-5, for sample form.) This provides you with an opportunity to reflect on your abilities and to set some personal goals.
  • Make a videotape of yourself and then critique yourself. It’s not as scary as it sounds. Watch it first to have a sense of your overall performance. Most people, on their first viewing, comment more on how they look and sound than on the delivery of their presentation. After these initial feelings, decide what you want to observe first: non-verbal communication, annoying habits like rattling change in you pocket or saying “umm” or “OK” too often, smooth transitions, or use of visuals. Use one or more of the following samples of instruments to help you decide what to look for. Practice and then re-tape yourself while you work to improve one skill or one bad habit.
  • Show your tape to a friend or colleague. Be brave! Other people’s insights are invaluable. They will be honest and open because you are asking for their feedback so you can improve.
  • Invite a friend or colleague to come to one of your presentations. Seeing someone in person is much different than seeing them in a videotape. 
  • Watch how other people teach and present. Look for techniques or approaches that you think are particularly effective and that you would like to try.
  • Enroll in a professional development program. Workshops, courses or other programs that focus on how to become an effective teacher or presenter can be extremely helpful and enjoyable.


Mandel, S. (1993). Effective presentation skills: A practical guide for better speaking. Ontario, Canada: Reid Publishing Ltd.


Adapted with permission from Soil and Water Conservation District Outreach: A Handbook for Program Development, Implementation and Evaluation. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, 2003.