Course Syllabus

Welcome to PRDV008: Preparing and Delivering Presentations

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Learn how to prepare and deliver a presentation on any topic that demonstrates an organizational pattern, with supporting materials and appropriate references that support or establish credibility and authority. Explore how to use proper tone, volume, rate, and modulation of voice, body language, eye contact, and other forms of nonverbal communication. Discover how to present online, and strategies for managing public speaking anxiety and planning for the unexpected.


Course Introduction

Your employer will likely ask you to present your ideas and knowledge, whether to make a sales pitch, offer your point of view, or present an award to a colleague. Most oral presentations, whether delivered face-to-face or online, follow specific protocols. In this course, you will practice your skills to become a more proficient, confident presenter, both face-to-face and online.

This course has two parts. First, we explore the elements of communication and what they mean. We study how to analyze an audience to develop a clear, appropriate, and effective presentation that informs, persuades, or entertains. We discuss how to deliver a presentation with expertise, organize presentation materials, offer relevant supporting evidence, and include references to establish credibility and authority. We will also explain how to tailor your speech for your audience with compelling presentation aids.

Next, we explore how to deliver an oral presentation that incorporates appropriate language and effective delivery techniques. We discuss how to use proper tone, volume, rate, and modulation of voice, body language, eye contact, and other forms of nonverbal communication. We also discuss how to present online and explore strategies for managing public speaking anxiety and planning for the unexpected.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: The Elements of Communication
  • Unit 2: Analyze Your Audience
  • Unit 3: Making Your Presentation Relevant
  • Unit 4: Structuring Your Presentation
  • Unit 5: Providing Supporting Content
  • Unit 6: Creating Your Presentation Aids
  • Unit 7: Delivering Your Presentation
  • Unit 8: Categories of Presentation Delivery
  • Unit 9: Speaking to an Online Audience
  • Unit 10: Using Your Presentation Aids
  • Unit 11: Overcoming Anxiety and Uncertainty


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • recognize elements of communication when preparing for and giving a presentation;
  • analyze an audience to create an effective presentation;
  • choose careful and thoughtful language that is appropriate for your audience;
  • choose a presentation topic according to your expertise, audience, and expectations for the occasion;
  • develop an outline that identifies a clear central message with supporting main points;
  • choose a speech pattern to organize a presentation's main points;
  • choose strong, appropriate content that supports a central message;
  • identify strategies for creating presentation aids that enhance the verbal message;
  • explain cohesive oral presentation techniques for style and language, citing authoritative sources, and appropriate presentation aids;
  • discuss the fundamentals of oral presentation, such as tone, volume, rate, and modulation of voice, body language, and eye contact;
  • describe strategies for managing public speaking anxiety; and
  • explain outside factors that affect presentation such as, the audience, the technology available, the location, and time.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.


Tips for Success

PRDV008: Preparing and Delivering Presentations is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 22 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 2:49 PM