This page contains links to publications, studies, articles and other references related to presentation skills. As new items are submitted in posts from other areas of the blog, they will be archived on this page.

Teaching Effectiveness Study

Characteristics of Effective Classroom Teachers as Identified by Students and Professionals: A Qualitative Study

Leila Jahangiri, D.M.D., M.M.Sc.; Thomas W. Mucciolo, B.B.A.
Journal of Dental Education, April 2008, Volume 72, Number 4, p 484-493

Linked article: Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 72, Number 4, April 2008.
© 2008 by the American Dental Education Association.


This study identified criteria for teacher quality preferences as perceived by current and past students. The findings also apply to any communication activity involving a speaker (presenter) and one or more listeners (audience). A two-question, open-ended survey, asking what qualities learners liked most and least in a teacher/presenter, was given to two groups: students and professionals.

A student learner is defined as one who requires information in order to participate in an activity. A professional learner is one who desires information on order to enhance the participation in an activity. The learner can be the same person, as in someone who attends a training program or hands-on workshop (student learner) versus someone who attends a seminar or conference presentation (professional learner). In each case the learning preferences (skills desired by the learner) are different.

In this study, a total of 300 subjects provided 2,295 written responses to the two-question survey. Descriptive words within the responses were coded and grouped according to similar relationships, resulting in the emergence of twenty-one skills, grouped into three major areas: personality, process, and performance.

Results showed that the two groups of learners appear to have different preferences in speaker characteristics. For student learners, the skills related to content design, content organization, and content development were at the forefront of their preferences. Professional learners overwhelmingly favored elements of speaker self-confidence, expertise and energy. Both groups highly valued expertise and speaking style.

These findings reveal that the same presentation (in both content and delivery) given to different groups of learners will yield different outcomes, based on audience preferences.

In addition, the research offers an opportunity to classify speakers according to the skills that appeal to specific groups for specific purposes. A presenter whose skills are better suited to a student learner, may not be as effective delivering a seminar to a group of professional learners. Perhaps such a speaker can be better utilized in a hands-on workshop/training venue, rather than in a general lecture.


The study was conducted at New York University College of Dentistry using the most readily accessible groups of students, faculty and healthcare professionals from the medical and dental communities. However, using indicators from the initial data in the study, and prior to the research publication, the authors (Leila Jahangiri and Tom Mucciolo) conducted similar studies using the same method (two-question survey) with a number of specific groups within organizations including: economists, sales consultants, technical writers, accountants, technical engineers, software programmers, and marketing managers; as well as with diverse groups across organizations, such as: politicians, CEOs, communication professionals, speechwriters, politicians, scientists, and lawyers.

In analyzing the responses from all of these other groups, the results were highly consistent with the published research findings, thereby increasing the confidence that this research has universal applications beyond the subjects studied.

To bring the research to life, the authors designed an instrument to measure the effectiveness of a speaker. A series of Skills Assessment tools, were peer-reviewed and published in 2010. The assessments are currently used to evaluate up to 80 independent elements in a presenter’s style to arrive at a measurement of the speaker’s effectiveness in relation to different audience types or learners (students, professionals and a mix of both). In 2008, the assessment tools were applied across diverse cultures, beyond the United States, by evaluating speakers in more than 15 countries (Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, England, Italy, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Singapore, India, and Australia).

The authors of the study collaborated on a new book, A Guide to Better Teaching, which offers comprehensive descriptions and specific techniques for developing each of the 21 skill categories. The book is linked to a variety of interactive assessment tools, with the express purpose of increasing the effectiveness of teachers, presenters and speakers.

Assessment Methods Study

Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness in U.S. Dental Schools and the Value of Triangulation

Leila Jahangiri, D.M.D., M.M.Sc.; Thomas W. Mucciolo, B.B.A.; Mijin Choi, D.D.S., M.S.; Andrew I. Spielman, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Journal of Dental Education, June 2008, Volume 72, Number 6, p 707-718

Linked article: Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 72, Number 6, June 2008.
© 2008 by the American Dental Education Association.


Evaluations are assessment tools that are used to judge speaking, presenting, or teaching performances in many environments. In education, student evaluations are used to assess teachers. Similarly, in business, audience evaluations are used to rate presenters. In both cases the analysis of the speaker is from the perspective of the group. But there are other methods of evaluation, such as peer review and self-assessment which, if used properly, can offer a greater picture of a speaker’s performance. Using all three methods of evaluation is called TRIANGULATION. While this article focuses on evaluation methods for teachers, the findings are applicable to all those who wish to gain a more complete perspective of a speaker’s effectiveness, based on observations from audiences, peers and self.

The purpose of this study was to identify commonly used methods of assessing teaching effectiveness and to suggest the use of a triangulation model, which has been advocated in the literature on performance assessment as an optimal approach for evaluating teaching effectiveness. The study was done at New York University College of Dentistry, where accessibility to dental school administrators and department chairs made the study possible. However, the findings apply to anyone seeking to improve the scope and quality of speaker evaluations.

A twelve-question survey was sent to all U.S. dental schools to identify evaluation methods as well as to find evidence of triangulation. The majority of the schools used student evaluations (81 percent) and peer reviews (78 percent). A minority of schools reported using self-evaluations (31 percent). Less than one in five dental schools reported using all three strategies to achieve triangulation (19 percent).


The findings suggest that a small percent of dental schools use all three methods of assessment (triangulation). While further study into other environments is needed, it is conceivable that many organizations, beyond academics, such as corporate and government, may be less stringent in the evaluation of speakers, presenters and trainers; and, therefore may be less inclined to employ a triangulation model.

However, organizations should implement a triangulation process, in which evaluation data are obtained from students (audiences), peers (managers), and self to provide a comprehensive and composite assessment of presentation effectiveness.