How to do a multi-modal presentation

United Nations Assembly Hall
© History Skills

Multi-modal presentations are typically audio-visual presentations that present the results of your historical research.


As a result, you need to undertake the research process and create an argument, very similar to that used in written history essays.


However, the unique format of this category allows you to use a variety of modes to present your information: either spoken, visual, video, performance, group discussion, etc.



Possible formats include:

  • dramatic presentation followed by an out-of-role explanation
  • visual performance, such as dance, artwork, etc.

  • video presentation

  • computer simulation or website creation

  • seminar presentation, such as a university lecture

  • formal speech


The most important element of this kind of assessment is that it is informative, based upon research and is engaging for the audience.

Crucial Elements

To ensure you achieve the best marks in a History presentation, make sure you cover all of the elements below at some time in your talk:

  • state your hypothesis clearly at the start so the audience can understand what your entire presentation is about
  • clearly highlight your topic sentences
  • use images of your artefacts and show important direct quotes to your audience
  • take the time to talk through these key quotes so your audience understands how they prove your hypothesis
  • incorporate your analysis and evaluation of these sources into your script
  • restate your hypothesis clearly at the end of your presentation so that your audience remembers what you were arguing throughout your talk

Have a look at the example below to see how these different elements work together:

Speaking Advice

Many people are nervous when asked to talk in front of a crowd. The best piece of advice has always been: practice. The more your practice, the more confident you will be on the day. As you practice, try and implement the following advice for your verbal and non-verbal techniques:


Verbal Techniques

  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Take your time
  • Don’t be afraid to pause


Non-Verbal Techniques

  • Use eye-contact when appropriate

  • Use different facial expressions

  • Pronounce your words clearly
  • Use hand gestures when needed

Here is an example of a multi-modal presentation that demonstrates excellent verbal and non-verbal skills:

Christian, D. (2011, April 11). The History of Our World in 18 Minutes. TED Conference.

Presentation Advice

Using a Script

  • Try not to use a full script – you’ll be tempted to read it
  • Use dot-point speech notes or palm cards
  • Put in action cues {like this} into your script to remind yourself to use hand gestures or move around

Designing a Slideshow


Try to keep any slideshow very simple. Limit slide information to a few short sentences. The audience should be listening to what your say, not reading chunks of text off slides.


A good rule of thumb is to have approximately one slide per paragraph in your script, and only have additional slides for specific sources you intend to discuss in-depth during your presentation.


Also, any movement on the screen will be a distraction to audience from what you are saying. Therefore, only use moving images or pieces of film for moments when you're not talking.




In your presentation, you only need to provide referencing for sources you’ve used in your argument. For example:

Therefore, the only pictures that require referencing are any artefacts you’re going to show your audience. For example:

If you have other graphics and images in your presentation that are there for solely aesthetic reasons, you are not required to reference them.