Self-presentation: confidence, focus, persuasion

Courses for beginning PhD candidates

Course information

ECTS: 2.5 
Number of sessions: 2
Hours per session: 8
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 475,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information.


Telephone: +31 10 4082607 (Graduate School)

You can only enrol for one edition of this course.

Edition 1

Session 1
November 7 (Wednesday) 2018
Sanders building (directions) room S1-14

Session 2
November 14 (Wednesday) 2018
Sanders building (directions) room S1-11

Edition 2

Session 1
April 5 (Friday) 2019
Mandeville building, (directions), room T3-13

Session 2
April 12 (Friday) 2019
Location will be announced soon.


Nonetheless of how  good you are in presenting, as soon as you step in front of an audience something inside you tends to change. It seems like you’re not completely yourself: your brain is not as quick as you would like it to be, you lack control, are unfocussed at times and/or start to talk faster without pausing. It might even be that you have nerves, moments of panic or black-outs that make presenting into something you’d rather avoid. 

During this two day course we will look into your natural way of doing and try to bring that to the stage, helping you to feel more relaxed and focused when interacting with your audience. 

We will have discussions about presenting and you will get lots of practice in order to develop a toolbox of techniques that will help you to become a better presenter. This course enables you to present yourself as who you are and nothing else, in front of whatever group, with a good feeling, with flair, persuasion and control. Final result: a presentation everyone will remember.

Working method

The workshop uses the following formats:  

  • Discussions on the topic of self-presentation;
  • Presentations and physical exercises;
  • Feedback on self-presentation;
  • Take-home assignments.

A lot of the exercises make use of gamification, making it fun to learn.

Learning objectives

During this course you will learn how to:

  • Increase your focus and reduce your nerves;
  • Create more brain space while presenting;
  • Interact with your audience;
  • Position and move your body to help you present;
  • Introduce your topic in 2 different ways;
  • Construct a slideshow;
  • Present together with your slides.

Suitable for

  • The course is suitable for all PhD candidates.
  • Participant will use their PhD topic to present with.

Preparatory assignment

In advance of the first course session you will be require to prepare an assignment, which will be forwarded well in advance of the first session.

Session descriptions

Session 1:

  • Getting control over your stress and getting focus;
  • Constructing a pitch;
  • Audience interaction;
  • Using 2 focus points: Brain of audience member, Own brain. (Pauses);
  • Effectively transferring content to slide.

Session 2

  • Slide design;
  • Using 3 focus points: Brain of audience member, Own brain, Slides;
  • Opening your speech with questions: The super connect;
  • Positioning your body;
  • Hand usage to free up your brain.

About the instructor

While studying applied physics at the TU-Delft, Gerben Tuin also practiced the art of theatre. He finished his studies, but decided to become a professional actor. During his search for the best way to act he developed the PreSENSE method.

His method is not only useful for presenting in front of large groups, but also makes you aware of who you are, as a presenter of yourself and your work in daily life: your self-presentation. Currently Gerben works as an actor, director, (script-)writer and presentation coach.