Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Seminar Participation and Discussions

Ask Us: Chat, email, visit or call

Click to chat: contact the library

Video: #PresentLikeAPro

Video: Present Like A Pro

Get assistance

The library offers a range of helpful services.  All of our appointments are free of charge and confidential.

Why participate?

  • To understand a topic more fully.
  • Learn ideas and perspectives different from your own.
  • Provides an opportunity to ask questions and clarify difficult concepts.

Tips for preparing for class

  • Check your syllabus for the weekly topic and assigned readings.
  • Note points that you agree or disagree with. Be sure to use specific examples and provide evidence.
  • Note ideas, points or concepts that you do not understand.
  • Formulate questions to bring with you to class.

During class

  • If you are reluctant to speak. get involved in the discussion early.;
  • Jump into the discussion:
    • When someone asks a question you can answer.
    • You have a comment to make on what someone has said.
    • Give further information to clarify a topic.
    • Ask a question.
  • During the discussion, jot down additional ideas and comments as you think of them.
  • Make your comments brief and to the point.

Etiquette for discussions

  • Demonstrate respectable behaviour
    • Some topics may raise personal issues or experiences. Remember to keep these comments confidential.
    • Direct your comments to the group rather than getting involved in a disagreement or argument with an individual class member.
    • Watch your tone, body posture and activities while others are talking. Avoid whispering, eye rolling or doing other work.
    • Do not interrupt. Be sure the individual has finished speaking before making a comment.
    • You can challenge opposing points of view, but do so in a respectful manner.
  • Practice good listening.
    • Compliment class members who have made good points.
    • Ask clarification questions if you do not understand an individual's point.
    • Maintain focus on the discussion and think about relevance before adding additional comments.
  • Monitor your participation:
    • Are you speaking too much?
    • Are you reacting quickly? Jumping in with your ideas immediately?
    • Give other class members a chance to participate. Some students will need more time to reflect on the points being presented.

Resources to help with presentations

Guide: Present like a ProVideo: Present Like A ProHandout: Presentation Planning 101

Suggest an edit to this guide

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.