For my class, I wanted students to present on a final subject topic, as well as work on their public speaking abilities.

Step-by-Step Implementation

  1. Began by asking students to complete a survey about their confidence levels relating to presenting.
  2. Introduce the Ignite format for presenting. Students use 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds for a five-minute presentation. The short duration and lack of control over slide advancement forces students to practice the presentation and thoroughly research their chosen topic. The use of the Ignite format is thought to help improve student speaking confidence while teaching effective presentation skills.
  3. After the presentation, students complete the survey about confidence levels again.


When first asked about their confidence levels for presenting, 25 of the 53 students confessed their confidence level was low. Afterward, when thinking about the Ignite presentation, 38 of 51 students rated their confidence level as having improved. When initially asked if students understood why instructors had them present in class, 12 students did not understand the need for a presentation. Afterwards, only one student stated they could not understand why a presentation was necessary, with one other student “undecided.”

I have used the Ignite presentation format in the past simply because it helped students present professional, interesting presentations without the use of notes or wordy PowerPoint slides. However, the survey provided me with information as to the effectiveness of the technique in terms of student outcomes. Based on this assessment, I will continue to use this technique as a method of helping students meet program learning objectives for public speaking and presentation skills.

Finally, the post-survey indicated 47 of the 51 students agreed or strongly agreed that the Ignite presentation format helped them improve presentation skills.