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How to Give a Killer Presentation
- Chris Anderson
For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:
- Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
- Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
- Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
- Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
- Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).
According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.
Lessons from TED
A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”
- CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.
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How to give a good presentation that captivates any audience
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What are the main difficulties when giving presentations?
How to create an effective presentation, after that, how do i give a memorable presentation, how to connect with the audience when presenting.
If you’ve ever heard someone give a powerful presentation, you probably remember how it made you feel. Much like a composer, a good speaker knows precisely when each note should strike to captivate their audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression.
No one becomes a great public speaker or presenter without practice. And almost everyone can recall a time one of their presentations went badly — that’s a painful part of the learning process.
Whether you’re working within a small creative team or a large organization, public speaking and presentation skills are vital to communicating your ideas. Knowing how to present your vision can help you pitch concepts to clients, present ideas to your team, and develop the confidence to participate in team meetings.
If you have an upcoming presentation on the horizon and feel nervous, that’s normal. Around 15-30% of the general population experience a fear of public speaking . And, unfortunately, social anxiety is on the rise, with a 12% increase in adults over the last 20 years .
Learning how to give a good presentation can dismantle your fears and break down these barriers, ensuring you’re ready to confidently share your point of view.
It’s the week before your presentation, and you’re already feeling nervous . Maybe there’ll be an important mentor in the room you need to impress, or you’re looking for an opportunity to show your boss your value. Regardless of your countless past presentations, you still feel nervous.
Sharing your vision and ideas with any sized group is intimidating. You’re likely worrying about how you’ll perform as a presenter and whether the audience will be interested in what you offer. But nerves aren’t inherently negative — you can actually use this feeling to fuel your preparation.
It’s helpful to identify where your worries are coming from and address your fears. Here are some common concerns when preparing for an upcoming presentation:
Fear of public speaking: When you share your ideas in front of a group, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position to be critiqued on your knowledge and communication skills . Maybe you feel confident in your content, but when you think about standing in front of an audience, you feel anxious and your mind goes blank.
It’s also not uncommon to have physical symptoms when presenting . Some people experience nausea and dizziness as the brain releases adrenaline to cope with the potentially stressful situation . Remember to take deep breaths to recenter yourself and be patient, even if you make a mistake.
Losing the audience’s attention: As a presenter, your main focus is to keep your audience engaged. They should feel like they’re learning valuable information or following a story that will improve them in life or business.
Highlight the most exciting pieces of knowledge and ensure you emphasize those points in your presentation. If you feel passionate about your content, it’s more likely that your audience will experience this excitement for themselves and become invested in what you have to say.
Not knowing what content to place on presentation slides: Overloading presentation slides is a fast way to lose your audience’s attention. Your slides should contain only the main talking points and limited text to ensure your audience focuses on what you have to say rather than becoming distracted by the content on your slides.
Discomfort incorporating nonverbal communication: It’s natural to feel stiff and frozen when you’re nervous. But maintaining effective body language helps your audience stay focused on you as you speak and encourages you to relax.
If you struggle to incorporate body language into your presentations, try starting small by making hand gestures toward your slides. If you’re working with a large audience, use different parts of the stage to ensure everyone feels included.
Each presenter has their own personal brand and style. Some may use humor to break the ice, while others might appeal to the audience’s emotional side through inspiring storytelling.
Watching online presentations, such as TED talks, is an excellent way to expose yourself to various presentation styles and develop your own. While observing others, you can note how they carry themselves on stage and learn new ways to keep your audience engaged.
Once you’ve addressed what’s causing your fears, it’s time to prepare for a great presentation. Use your past experience as inspiration and aim to outshine your former self by learning from your mistakes and employing new techniques. Here are five presentation tips to help you create a strong presentation and wow your audience:
1. Keep it simple
Simple means something different to everyone.
Before creating your presentation, take note of your intended audience and their knowledge level of your subject. You’ll want your content to be easy for your intended audience to follow.
Say you’re giving a presentation on improving your company’s operational structure. Entry-level workers will likely need a more straightforward overview of the content than C-suite leaders, who have significantly more experience.
Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation and emphasize those important points. Doing this ensures they remember the most vital information rather than less important supporting ideas. Try organizing these concepts into bullet points so viewers can quickly identify critical takeaways.
2. Create a compelling structure
Put yourself in your audience member’s shoes and determine the most compelling way to organize your information. Your presentation should be articulate , cohesive, and logical, and you must be sure to include all necessary supporting evidence to strengthen your main points.
If you give away all of your answers too quickly, your audience could lose interest. And if there isn’t enough supporting information, they could hit a roadblock of confusion. Try developing a compelling story that leads your audience through your thought processes so they can experience the ups and downs alongside you.
By structuring your presentation to lead up to a final conclusion, you’re more likely to keep listeners’ attention. Once you’ve reached that conclusion, you can offer a Q&A period to put any of their questions or concerns to rest.
3. Use visual aids
Appealing to various learning styles is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they absorb your content. Visual aids are necessary for visual learners and make it easier for people to picture your ideas.
Aim to incorporate a mixture of photos, videos, and props to engage your audience and convey your key points. For instance, if you’re giving a presentation on anthropology subject matter, you could show your audience an artifact to help them understand how exciting a discovery must have been.
If your presentation is long, including a video for your audience to watch is an excellent way to give yourself a break and create new jumping-off points for your speech.
4. Be aware of design techniques and trends
Thanks to cutting-edge technology and tools, you have numerous platforms at your disposal to create a good presentation. But keep in mind that although color, images, and graphics liven things up, they can cause distraction when misused.
Here are a few standard pointers for incorporating visuals on your slides:
- Don’t place blocks of small text on a single slide
- Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
- Ensure text stands out against the background color
- Only use high-resolution photos
- Maintain a consistent font style and size throughout the presentation
- Don’t overuse transitions and effects
5. Try the 10-20-30 rule
Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides , last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30. Following this strategy can help you condense your information, eliminate unnecessary ideas, and maintain your audience’s focus more efficiently.
Once you’re confident in creating a memorable presentation, it’s time to learn how to give one. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your audience invested during your talk:
Tip #1: Tell stories
Sharing an anecdote from your life can improve your credibility and increase your relatability. And when an audience relates to you, they’re more likely to feel connected to who you are as a person and encouraged to give you their full attention, as they would want others to do the same.
Gill Hicks utilized this strategy well when she shared her powerful story, “ I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned .” In her harrowing tale, Hicks highlights the importance of compassion, unconditional love, and helping those in need.
If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal stories, that’s okay. You can use examples from famous individuals or create a fictional account to demonstrate your ideas.
Tip #2: Make eye contact with the audience
Maintaining eye contact is less intimidating than it sounds. In fact, you don’t have to look your audience members directly in their eyes — you can focus on their foreheads or noses if that’s easier.
Try making eye contact with as many people as possible for 3–5 seconds each. This timing ensures you don’t look away too quickly, making the audience member feel unimportant, or linger too long, making them feel uncomfortable.
If you’re presenting to a large group, direct your focus to each part of the room to ensure no section of the audience feels ignored.
Tip #3: Work on your stage presence
Although your tone and words are the most impactful part of your presentation, recall that body language keeps your audience engaged. Use these tips to master a professional stage presence:
- Speak with open arms and avoid crossing them
- Keep a reasonable pace and try not to stand still
- Use hand gestures to highlight important information
Tip #4: Start strong
Like watching a movie trailer, the first seconds of your talk are critical for capturing your audience’s attention. How you start your speech sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and tells your audience whether or not they should pay attention. Here are some ways to start your presentation to leave a lasting impression:
- Use a quote from a well-known and likable influential person
- Ask a rhetorical question to create intrigue
- Start with an anecdote to add context to your talk
- Spark your audience’s curiosity by involving them in an interactive problem-solving puzzle or riddle
Tip #5: Show your passion
Don’t be afraid of being too enthusiastic. Everyone appreciates a speaker who’s genuinely excited about their field of expertise.
In “ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ,” Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the importance of passion in research and delivery. She delivers her presentation excitedly to show the audience how excitement piques interest.
Tip #6: Plan your delivery
How you decide to deliver your speech will shape your presentation. Will you be preparing a PowerPoint presentation and using a teleprompter? Or are you working within the constraints of the digital world and presenting over Zoom?
The best presentations are conducted by speakers who know their stuff and memorize their content. However, if you find this challenging, try creating notes to use as a safety net in case you lose track.
If you’re presenting online, you can keep notes beside your computer for each slide, highlighting your key points. This ensures you include all the necessary information and follow a logical order.
Tip #7: Practice
Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes progress. There’s no way of preparing for unforeseen circumstances, but thorough practice means you’ve done everything you can to succeed.
Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or to a trusted friend or family member. Take any feedback and use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your speech. But remember: who you practice your presentation in front of may differ from your intended audience. Consider their opinions through the lens of them occupying this different position.
Tip #8: Read the room
Whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event or presenting to a small group of clients, knowing how to read the room is vital for keeping your audience happy. Stay flexible and be willing to move on from topics quickly if your listeners are uninterested or displeased with a particular part of your speech.
Tip #9: Breathe
Try taking deep breaths before your presentation to calm your nerves. If you feel rushed, you’re more likely to feel nervous and stumble on your words.
The most important thing to consider when presenting is your audience’s feelings. When you approach your next presentation calmly, you’ll put your audience at ease and encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence.
Tip #10: Provide a call-to-action
When you end your presentation, your audience should feel compelled to take a specific action, whether that’s changing their habits or contacting you for your services.
If you’re presenting to clients, create a handout with key points and contact information so they can get in touch. You should provide your LinkedIn information, email address, and phone number so they have a variety of ways to reach you.
There’s no one-size-fits-all template for an effective presentation, as your unique audience and subject matter play a role in shaping your speech. As a general rule, though, you should aim to connect with your audience through passion and excitement. Use strong eye contact and body language. Capture their interest through storytelling and their trust through relatability.
Learning how to give a good presentation can feel overwhelming — but remember, practice makes progress. Rehearse your presentation for someone you trust, collect their feedback , and revise. Practicing your presentation skills is helpful for any job, and every challenge is a chance to grow.
Content Marketing Manager, ACC
How to write a speech that your audience remembers
How to make a presentation interactive and exciting, reading the room gives you an edge — no matter who you're talking to, tell a story they can't ignore these 10 tips will teach you how, your ultimate guide on how to be a good storyteller, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, 8 clever hooks for presentations (with tips), 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, learn types of gestures and their meanings to improve your communication, similar articles, the importance of good speech: 5 tips to be more articulate, the 11 tips that will improve your public speaking skills, 30 presentation feedback examples, how to not be nervous for a presentation — 13 tips that work (really), how the minto pyramid principle can enhance your communication skills, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..
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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)
Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.
At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.
Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.
Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.
Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.
What are presentation skills?
Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.
You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:
Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event
Making a toast at a dinner or event
Explaining projects to a team
Delivering results and findings to management teams
Teaching people specific methods or information
Proposing a vote at community group meetings
Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors
Why are presentation skills important?
Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.
No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:
Enriched written and verbal communication skills
Enhanced confidence and self-image
Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities
Better motivational techniques
Increased leadership skills
Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity
The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.
Effective presentation skills
Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?
These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.
How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.
Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.
The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.
How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.
Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.
Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.
During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.
Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.
Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.
Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.
Understanding an audience
When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.
Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:
How to improve presentation skills
There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:
Work on self-confidence.
When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.
Develop strategies for overcoming fear.
Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.
Learn grounding techniques.
Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.
Learn how to use presentation tools.
Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:
Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize
Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy
PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations
Practice breathing techniques.
Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain. For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.
Tips to help you ace your presentation
Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.
Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.
Become familiar with the layout of the room.
Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.
Listen to presenters ahead of you.
When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.
Use note cards.
Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.
Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.
Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.
Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.
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Presentation Skills: 15 tips for effective presentations
A successful presentation requires good presentation skills and effective presentation techniques. Here we provide you with 15 presentation tips for effective presentations. Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you improve your presentation skills.
Presenting successfully: 15 tips to improve your presentation skills and give a killer presentation
How do you give a good presentation this is how to succeed.
In order to be able to present successfully, not only the layout and the content of the presentation must be convincing. The decisive step is to convey the content of the presentation to the audience in the best possible way by presenting it correctly. The tips listed below should help you do this by improving your presentation skills. The most important thing to keep in mind is a healthy combination of the tips listed below. (The order of the tips does not give any information about their importance).
Not every tip will lead to a successful presentation. What is important in a presentation?
As mentioned earlier, you should try to implement a combination of the tips to give a successful presentation. It should be noted that not every one of these tips needs to fit in your own presentation. In addition, too many of these tips can make the presentation look overloaded and too "rehearsed". Therefore, think carefully in advance about what you want to pay particular attention to.
Here are 15 tips for killer presentations:
Tip 1: maintain eye contact while presenting and smile.
In order to give each of your listeners the feeling of being important and to make them feel personally addressed, it is particularly important to maintain eye contact with the audience during the presentation. Not only does this exude confidence, but it also helps your audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you feel less nervous. Easier said than done right? Here's what can help:
Find someone in the audience who seems to be genuinely interested in the topic and is listening attentively (for example, your lecturer). Make eye contact with this person at the beginning of the presentation. Once you start feeling more calm and confident let your gaze drift over the audience to address the other listeners as well. Keep returning your gaze to the initial person to stay calm throughout the whole presentation.
Another alternative is to find a fixed point in the room (preferably on the wall behind the audience) which you fix at the beginning of the presentation. Similar to the first example, after you have achieved confidence, you can let your gaze wander over the audience and return to the previously selected fixed point again and again.
Don't look at the screen! Don't look at the floor! Don't just look at your index cards! Don't just look at the laptop!
Tip 2: Use of gestures and facial expressions
To emphasize the content of your presentation, it is advisable to use appropriate gestures and body language to get your message across. Avoid crossed arms, hands behind your back, or in your pockets during a presentation. Always stand up straight, and try not to appear tense or stressed. You can do that by using your hands and arms to emphasize what you are saying and get your message across. Your facial expressions should always be friendly and open. Smile and show that you enjoy the topic and you are confident in the information you are presenting.
Tip 3: Avoid distractions
Often you will not be able to avoid the use of aids. For example, you may need to use a laser pointer to show something on the screen, or you may need to use a pen to write something down on a flipchart. To avoid distractions for you and the audience, get into the habit of putting down tools you don't need! That way you will not be tempted to deal with them in the first place. You will also have your hands free for gestures.
Tip 4: Be prepared: Practice makes perfect
Practice makes perfect, right? If you prepare well before the presentation, you will feel more relaxed and confident while presenting and it will also improve your body language.
Here are some ways to help you prepare for a presentation:
Rehearse in front of a crowd
Tip 5: Be confident
By appearing self-confident, you convey to the listener that you are confident in your topic and have prepared yourself sufficiently. Try to relax and not appear too stressed or nervous. Another tip for advanced speakers: Step out in front of the podium and walk around the room and get closer to the audience. This also exudes self-confidence and helps in attracting your audience's attention.
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Tip 6: Effective beginning/end
Good presentation skills can help you in captivating your audience straight away. In order to do that, you should start your presentation with a bang. Many studies show that if you can capture someone’s interest straight away, there’s a good chance they’ll listen to the rest of the presentation. Shock the audience, ask them to imagine something or think of a what-if situation, share a personal story, share a joke, u se a quote, or a video. You should also give an overview of the time and structure of your presentation. This outline should run through your presentation so that you can always assign the individual contents to an outline point. It is also helpful for your audience to have the outline displayed in a slimmed-down form during the whole presentation.
How you end the presentation is as important as how you start it. A weak ending will leave the audience uninspired. But a good ending will motivate them and help them walk away on a positive note. For example, include a call to action, end the presentation with a memorable quote, or a personal story, and don't forget to thank and acknowledge the audience.
Tip 7: Speak freely
The headline speaks for itself. To make the presentation as lively and enjoyable as possible, you should avoid reading it off. Speak freely, slowly, and clearly. If you are not yet confident in what you are presenting, try using note cards. But keep in mind: No continuous text, but only short, concise bullet points! If you use note cards to support you, it is especially advisable at this point to memorize at least the beginning and end of your presentation, as eye contact is crucial at these points.
Tip 8: Avoid filler words
In order to make your presentation flow as smoothly and confidently as possible, you should avoid using filler words such as "um," "so," and so on. For your listeners, these words convey insecurity and inadequate preparation.
Tip 9: Bring along something to share
In addition to a handout, other small takeaways can also significantly improve your presentation. For example, if you are giving a presentation on gummy bears, why not offer some to your audience? If you are giving a presentation about your fishing hobby, why not show the audience your fishing equipment?
Tip 10: Use different types of media
A presentation can quickly become boring and monotonous. To avoid this, it is advisable to use different types of media. For example, combine videos and flipcharts, use the whiteboard, or show something practical on a model. This will increase the attention of your audience enormously and will help in keeping them engaged until the end.
Tip 11: Use effective pauses
When giving a presentation, you should keep in mind that you have already heard the content several times - your audience probably hasn't! Therefore, give your audience enough time to read and understand the content of your slides.
Effective use of speech pauses is a master technique. It is one of the most versatile tools in a presenter's toolbox. Yet very few people perform it well. A pause, if used correctly, can add a great deal to your presentation or speech. Pause before, during, or after saying something that you would like to emphasize. Pausing between two different parts of your presentation can indicate to the audience that something new is coming. A quick pause could also help you in remembering your next point, without the audience noticing that you forgot what to say.
Tip 12: Speak the language of the audience
When creating your presentation, you should already think about your target audience. This will help you present successfully later on. It is especially important that you speak the language of the audience. Use appropriate and relevant examples. Use "strong" and meaningful words in short sentences to avoid losing the audience. Make sure to use appropriate analogies and anecdotes and avoid foreign words, empty phrases, and clichés. If you have to use foreign words, explain them in a handout or footnote within the presentation.
Tip 13: Engage with the audience
Always try to keep the attention of your audience and keep them engaged during a presentation. To do this, it is advisable to regularly involve the audience. One way to do this is to ask questions. Deliberately ask "easy" questions so that can easily be answered by your audience. Another way to involve the audience in your presentation is by interacting with them. To make a point clearer, you can use an example to explain it in more detail, using a person (whose name you should know). You can address participants directly and refer to their work.
Tip 14: Don't fight the stage fright & take deep breaths
Stage fright is one of the biggest enemies of a presentation, yet you shouldn't let yourself be a victim of your feat. Do not fight it, rather address your fear and try and accept it, and transform it into positive enthusiasm. Don't let your stage fright get you all worked up and nervous. Take a couple of deep breaths to get oxygen to your brain and relax your body.
Tip 15: Choose the right angle on standing during a presentation
One of the most frequent questions that speakers ask themselves during a presentation is, how do I best position myself, and where do I stand in front of the audience?
You have a free stage without a podium
In many cases, you will be facing your audience in a "free space", without a podium. This gives you a lot of room to move, but at the same time, it creates uncertainty because you don't know how to position yourself properly or how to move. Avoid standing frontally in front of the audience! This frontal facing is unconsciously perceived negatively by the audience. It is perceived by the audience as a kind of frontal attack and causes stress in your audience. Make sure to stand slightly to the side of the audience. If you notice during the presentation that you are again standing frontally in front of your audience, simply move your right or left foot 20 cm forward.
You have a podium at your disposal
A podium makes it easier to decide how to position yourself and where to stand in front of the audience. In order not to make your presentation too monotonous, it is advisable to leave the "safe position" behind the lectern from time to time, e.g. to walk to the other side of the screen or to show something on the flipchart. This brings movement into your presentation and helps keep the connection with your audience.
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"The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute you're born and never stops working until you get up to speak in public." (Unknown)
The quality of your presentation is most directly related to the quality of your preparation. Rarely will you have difficulties in your presentation due to being overprepared.
- If you are responsible for the promotion of your presentation, create an accurate, but inviting, description. Emphasize the relevance of the content to the audience.
- Include a statement in promotional materials on how participants with disabilities can obtain disability-related accommodations for the presentation. This statement will provide an example that may be adapted by participants to use in their own publications.
- Believe in the importance of your message.
- Visualize yourself giving a great speech.
- Organize your material in a way that is most comfortable to you by using a script, outline, notes, or 3 x 5 cards. Number them.
- Proofread all printed materials.
- Practice, practice, practice—by yourself or with someone. During practice sessions you can work out the bugs and add polish to your presentation. (Note: a rehearsal usually will run about 20% shorter than a live presentation; adjust your content accordingly.)
- As participants enter, consider providing them with 3 x 5 cards and asking them to write at least one question they have about the topic of the presentation. Read them silently as people settle in. Address the questions throughout the presentation and/or at the closing.
- Have a backup plan for delivering the presentation if all of your audiovisual materials become unavailable. Do not rely on technology to work.
- Test all audiovisual equipment. Practice using your presentation slides and other visual displays. If you are using a video, make sure it is set to the correct beginning point, at the appropriate volume and with captions turned on.
- Check the lighting. If you need to adjust it during your presentation, practice the adjustments before you begin. Consider showing someone else how to make the adjustments for you.
- Have a glass of water available for yourself.
- Think about questions that might be asked and rehearse brief, clear answers to each.
- Memorize the first few minutes of your presentation.
- Review your main points.
- Dress for success.
Create a Comfortable Learning Environment
"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given." (Bertrand Russell)
- It is important to create a learning environment that is comfortable and welcoming.
- Arrive early and get a feel for the room, including its temperature, size, and overall set-up. Re-arrange furniture as needed.
- Warmly welcome participants, use eye contact and a welcoming posture, and thank participants for coming.
- For smaller groups, ask them to introduce themselves and indicate what they hope to learn. For larger groups, poll the audience, asking them to respond to questions related to your topic. For example, ask the audience, "How many of you have had a student with a learning disability in your class?" and then ask one individual to elaborate.
- Create a safe and nonthreatening environment where participants are not afraid to ask questions. Encourage them to share experiences and ask questions of you or other participants.
- Emphasize that everyone can contribute to the learning process.
- Clearly identify the objectives at the beginning of the session.
- Keep to the time schedule, but show that you value participant input by not rushing.
- Frame questions so that they are easy to understand.
- Do not criticize or allow audience members to criticize other participants.
- Maintain confidentiality and ask the audience to respect the privacy of other participants.
Manage Your Anxiety
"There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars." (Mark Twain)
Nervousness before a talk or workshop is healthy. It shows that your presentation is important to you and that you care about doing well. The best performers are nervous prior to stepping on stage. Below are suggestions for assuring that anxiety does not have a negative impact on your presentation.
- Use nervousness to your advantage—channel it into dynamic energy about the topic.
- Remind yourself that you and the audience have the same goal, and, therefore, they want you to succeed as much as you do.
- Speak about what you know. Keeping your presentation within the realm of your knowledge and experience will build confidence and minimize nervousness.
- Focus on delivering your message, not on how you feel.
- Smile. Be relaxed, poised, and at ease on the outside, regardless of how you feel internally. Acting relaxed can help make you relaxed.
- Keep presenting! Your anxieties decrease the more presentations you give.
Create a Strong Beginning
"The greatest talent is meaningless without one other vital component: passion." (Selwyn Lager)
Keep your opening simple and exciting to engage your audience in your content.
- Consider using a short icebreaker activity.
- A tasteful, humorous commentary can be effective if related to the topic.
- Explain the purpose of your presentation in one sentence that is free of professional jargon and emphasizes what participants will gain.
- Start off with a natural pace—not too fast and not too slow—to establish a strong, positive image. Make a strong ending statement that reinforces the objectives of the presentation.
Incorporate Universal Design Principles
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." (Confucius, 451 BC)
Model accessible teaching methods that your participants can use. Incorporate universal design principles to address the needs of participants with a wide range of knowledge, abilities, disabilities, interests, and learning styles. Examples are listed below.
- Use large fonts in your visuals. Make copies of slides available for participants.
- Be prepared to provide your materials in an alternate format, which may include electronic text, audio recording, large print, or Braille.
- Show captioned videos. If not available, provide a transcription of the content upon request.
- Arrange for a sign language interpreter if requested by a participant.
- Use a clear, audible voice. Use a microphone as needed. Face the audience at all times.
- Make sure the room is well-lit.
- Use multimedia in your presentation, such as videos, visual aids, props, and handouts.
- Demonstrate how to speak the content presented on slides and other visuals. For example, verbally describe graphs and cartoons.
Create a Dynamic Presentation
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." (Albert Einstein)
If your audience enjoys and remembers your presentation, it is because you presented it in a dynamic or compelling manner.
- Talk to your audience, not at them.
- Project enthusiasm for the topic without preaching. The majority of communication is nonverbal, so how you look and sound are vital.
- Present your material in a well-organized manner. However, be flexible to adjust to your audience. Let participants know if you wish to field questions during or after your presentation.
- Speak to the knowledge level of your audience. Define all terms they might not be familiar with.
- Choose your major points carefully and illustrate them with examples or stories.
- Incorporate real-life experiences into your presentations. Recruit students with disabilities or faculty to share their experiences. Ask audience members to share experiences and use these examples to illustrate key points or to answer questions.
- Role-play interactions between students and professors.
- Use natural gestures and voice inflection to add interest to your presentation.
- Address different learning styles by incorporating a variety of instructional methods that use a variety of senses (e.g., visual, auditory, kinesthetic).
- Repeat questions participants pose to ensure that the entire audience hears and understands them.
- Redirect the discussion if it strays from the topic at hand.
- Postpone questions related to resolving specific or individual problems to private discussions later. Do not get locked into an extended dialogue with one person; move on to questions from other participants and offer more time to talk after the presentation.
- If people ask questions that you cannot answer, say that you will locate the answer and get back to them (and then do!), suggest appropriate resources that will provide the answer, or ask for suggestions from members of the audience.
- Give demonstrations.
- Never apologize for your credentials or your material.
- Tailor your topic to audience interests.
- Never read your presentation word for word.
- Talk clearly and in well-modulated tones. Avoid speaking too rapidly, softly, or loudly. Make sure that the ends of your sentences don't drop off.
- Maintain eye contact. It conveys confidence, openness, honesty, and interest. It also lets you know how the audience is responding to your presentation. In large groups, mentally divide up the room into sections, and then make eye contact with different people in each section on a rotational basis.
- Use hand gestures naturally, gracefully, and to emphasize points. When not gesturing, let your hands drop to your sides naturally. Keep them out of pockets, off your hips, or behind your back. Avoid fiddling with clothes, hair, or presentation materials.
- Maintain good posture, but do not be rigid.
- Occasionally move from one spot to another, stop, then continue to speak. Don't pace.
- Remember that adult learners have a wealth of experience; are goal oriented and appreciate outcomes more than process; have set habits, strong tastes, and little time to waste; have strong feelings about learning situations; are impatient in the pursuit of objectives, and appreciate getting to the point; find little use for isolated facts and prefer application of information; and have multiple responsibilities, all of which draw upon their time and energy.
Make Your Presentation Interactive
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." (James Thurber)
Avoid simply lecturing to your audience. Engage your audience in an active discussion.
- Listen attentively before responding to questions.
- Encourage interactions between audience members.
- Present an accommodation challenge and ask audience members how they would address the issue.
- Respectfully reflect back to people what you observe to be their attitudes, rationalizations, and habitual ways of thinking and acting.
- Allow plenty of time for questions. Address all questions within your presentation or direct participants to appropriate resources.
- Demonstrate or provide hands-on experiences with assistive technology.
- Give useful or entertaining prizes for responses from the audience or have a drawing for a larger prize at the end of the presentation.
- If your audience is small, ask members to identify themselves and their
- experiences and interests related to the topic.
- Involve the audience in a learning activity. People remember more of what you teach them if they are able to learn it via an activity.
- Ask audience members how they have used specific accommodations or worked with students with specific disabilities. Ask questions like, "Has anyone done this? How did it work for you?"
- Stimulate group interaction and problem-solving.
- Promote discussion to help participants integrate themes and key points.
Include a Group Activity
"Real prosperity can only come when everybody prospers." (Anna Eleanor Roosevelt)
Include a short activity that makes an important point and encourages participation and discussion. Here's one to try. Announce that you're going to have a five-minute activity, then ask your participants to choose someone sitting nearby and share with each other two things:
- One thing you are very good at.
- One thing you are not very good at.
Have the instructions written on a presentation slide or write them on a flip chart. Read the instructions aloud. Give participants three to four minutes (there will be a lot of laughter and lighthearted talk), and then say you're not really interested in what they do well; ask people to share things that their partner does not do well. (This usually ends up funny—participants enjoy sharing that he can't do math, he hates public speaking, she's not good at fixing things around the house.)
After the fun, make the point that, "You have experienced, in a small way, what a person with an obvious disability experiences all the time—that people first notice something they are not particularly good at (e.g., walking, seeing, hearing) and don't take the time to learn his or her strengths. A disability may impact 10% of a person's life, yet is considered a defining characteristic by others. We need to pay attention to what everyone, including those with disabilities, can do, rather than accentuating what they can't do." To emphasize the point ask participants to reflect on how they felt when you said you weren't really interested in what they do well.
This activity is short, fun, and effective. It addresses the issue of attitudes, yet does not have some of the negative elements of traditional simulations that leave people feeling like having a disability is an impossible problem with no solution. This activity is also good to use when talking about internal and external barriers to success for students with disabilities, which can include lack of self-advocacy skills (internal barrier), and negative attitudes or low expectations on the part of individuals with whom they interact (external barrier).
Incorporate Case Studies
"Learning is an active process. We learn by doing . . . Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind." (Dale Carnegie)
Have participants discuss case studies in small groups. At the end of this section are sample case studies that can be used in your presentation. They are all based on real experiences at postsecondary institutions. Each case study is formatted as a handout that can be duplicated for small group discussion. On the back of each activity sheet is the full description, including the solution actually employed. This version can be used for your information only or can be distributed to the group after the initial brainstorming has occurred. Participants can compare their ideas with the resolution in the actual case.
Address Key Points
"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic, and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Be sure that your presentation covers the most important content for your audience.
- Explain the legal requirements regarding accommodating students with disabilities in clear, simple terms. Make it clear that legislation, such as the ADA, provides broad statements about accessibility, but our judicial system ultimately decides what is legal or illegal in a specific situation.
- Explain the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities, faculty, and the disabled student services office.
- Describe specific situations that have occurred on your campus, including what was successful and situations that could be improved, and how.
- Demonstrate low-tech and high-tech accommodations, including adaptive computer technology.
- Explain how accommodations that are useful to students with disabilities can also benefit all learners.
- Provide information on campus-specific resources and procedures.
Provide Resources for Participants to Keep
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it." (Karl Marx)
Make sure that you provide your audience with information on which they can follow up after your presentation.
- Provide written materials of key content for future reference.
- Provide contact information and invite participants to contact you with questions after the presentation. Distribute business cards.
- For further exploration refer participants to The Faculty Room and to the Center for Universal Design in Education .
Conclude with a Strong Ending
"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own." (Benjamin Disraeli)
The most important and remembered words you speak are the last ones.
- Summarize key points.
- Consider concluding with examples that show the importance of providing educational opportunities for students with disabilities. One idea is to have an alumnus with a disability discuss how they navigated your campus, worked with the disability services office, received the accommodations they needed, graduated with a degree, and went on to succeed in employment.
- Empower your audience to use information you presented to improve access for and education of all students with disabilities.
Improve Each Presentation
"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." (Oscar Wilde)
Take steps to gain feedback about your presentation that will lead to improvements.
- Practice your presentation with colleagues or friends and ask for their feedback.
- Record your presentation for self-analysis.
- Evaluate your presentation through an anonymous written survey. Two examples of evaluation instruments are included on pages 188-190.
- Incorporate suggestions into subsequent presentations.
"When you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." (George Washington Carver)
In summary, to give effective presentations where participants gain valuable information in a dynamic way, make sure to:
- prepare well in advance
- incorporate universal design principles
- facilitate interaction, sharing of experiences, and creative problem?solving within the session
- promote a welcoming and non?judgmental learning environment
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6 steps to a successful presentation
If you feel nervous at the thought of having to stand up in front of your peers and deliver a presentation you're not alone, but you're unlikely to get through university without having to do it. Follow these six steps to ensure success
Your tutor or lecturer mentions the word 'presentation' and the first thing you do is panic but there's no need.
Depending on your subject, you might be expected to summarise your reading in a seminar, deliver the results of a scientific experiment, or provide feedback from a group task. Whatever the topic, you'll usually be presenting to your tutor and fellow students.
While getting up and making your case in front of an audience isn't easy, especially when you're not used to it, it really is good practice as many graduate employers use presentations as part of the recruitment process.
To help ensure that your presentation stands out for the right reasons, Graham Philpott, head of careers consultancy at the University of Reading provides some advice.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare thoroughly, as a last-minute rush will leave you flustered when it comes to delivering your presentation.
'There are two important things to think about when preparing for a presentation,' says Graham. 'What do you want the audience to do once you have finished, and who are the audience? If you know these two things, preparation becomes so much easier.'
Plan out the structure and format of your presentation. 'A simple and successful way to structure your presentation is - agenda, message, summary - or to explain it a different way, tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you've just told them,' advises Graham.
To help plan your content, Graham explains that 'there are only two purposes to a presentation, one is to inform, the other is to persuade. So, your content will either tell the audience what they need to know or convince them.' To make sure you stay on track ask yourself what you're hoping to achieve.
You can make detailed notes as part of your planning, but don't rely on these on the day, as reading from a prepared text sounds unnatural. If you want to take a memory aid with you use small index cards, as referring to A4 sheets of paper during your presentation can be distracting and highlight your nerves if your hands shake.
At the planning stage also consider the timings of your presentation. Time limits are set for a reason - falling short or going over this limit will likely result in a loss of marks, especially if it's part of an assessment or exam.
Don't forget to also devise answers to common questions you may be asked at the end of your presentation. You might think this adds to your workload, but it actually prevents you from being caught off guard on the day.
If you have to give a group presentation, discover three tips for successful group work .
Use visuals wisely
'A presentation doesn't necessarily need a visual aid,' says Graham. 'However, if you decide to use them, they can help the audience understand what you're saying, and give you a framework to talk around.'
Bear in mind that visual aids should complement your oral presentation, not repeat it, nor deliver the presentation for you. While your slides should offer a summary of points, or illustrate the concept you're discussing, you need to remember that you are the main focus.
When putting together your slides and visual aids:
- Keep them simple . Stick to one idea per slide to avoid cluttering them and use short phrases or sentences.
- Think about accessibility . Does the design of your presentation interfere with its readability? Will everyone in the audience be able to read your slides? To ensure your presentation is accessible minimise the number of slides, use high contrast colours and a large, clear font. If using graphics, make them as simple as possible and avoid over-complicated charts or graphs. If using videos, make sure they are captioned.
- Don't let them distract you . If you intend to provide hand-outs for your audience, distribute them at the beginning or end of your presentation. Doing it halfway through can disrupt your flow.
Don't fall into the trap of merely reading aloud what is written on your slides - instead use them as a starting point from which you can expand and develop your narrative.
It's also worth pointing out that a presentation is only as good as its content. Your presentation could look visually beautiful, but if it lacks knowledge or substance your audience is unlikely to be fooled.
Consider your audience
Speaking of your audience, it's essential that you keep them in mind at every stage - from the preparation of your presentation right through to the delivery.
To show that you have thought about the audience consider how much background information they will need. Do they already have some knowledge of the topic you're presenting?
Spending the first half of your presentation telling an audience what they already know will be frustrating for them. Equally, if you go straight into the detail, they may get lost. It's vital you get the balance right.
The tone of your presentation will also depend on your audience - if its purpose is to demonstrate to your seminar group that you've understood a certain topic you could strike a light-hearted tone. If it's an assessed piece of work on the other hand, you'll need to be more serious.
Practice with a friend
Before the main event you should run through your presentation in full more than once. 'It's also a good idea to practice the presentation out loud. This will give you a much better idea of how long it takes, and whether there are any parts that don't flow very well,' adds Graham.
'It might feel cringey, but practicing to an audience - friends, coursemates, family, your careers consultant if it's for a job - will really help too. Their feedback will be especially important when it comes to checking that your main point is getting through, loud and clear.'
Ask your practice audience to sit at a distance to check that everyone attending can hear you speaking and that they can see the slides. If possible, try to do this practice run in the room you'll be giving your presentation in.
This level of preparation will enable you to work out whether your presentation is the right length when spoken aloud and give you the chance to get used to expressing yourself in front of others.
While you practice make sure that you:
- Speak slowly - nerves can make you rush but try and moderate your speech. Take a breath at the end of every sentence or point you make.
- Face the audience - to give a confident impression regularly make eye contact with your audience. If using a screen stand at a 45-degree angle so you have a good view of both your audience and your slides. Don't turn your back on your audience.
- Leave time for questions - factor this into your overall time limit and be prepared to field any questions that come your way.
Another good tip is to record the practice run - you can do this on your phone or on Teams or Zoom. Play it back and reflect on it. Ask yourself if it's clear, concise, and if it makes sense. Pay particular attention to less obvious factors such as your facial expression and mannerisms. Do you come across well? Are you talking too fast or waffling? Are you smiling and personable?
Leading up to the presentation try developing a positive attitude. This may seem easier said than done, especially if you're nervous but it will make a huge difference to how you perform.
Acknowledge your nervousness but don't let negative thoughts win. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong visualise a positive outcome and focus on what you can do to ensure it runs smoothly.
On the day nerves can conspire to make you think that the room is against you, but this isn't the case. Remember that your tutor and your coursemates want you to succeed. To set your presentation up for success make sure your introduction is strong. Start with a confident attitude and a smile.
Don't rely on technology
We've all witnessed the agony of a presenter struggling with a faulty USB stick, failing to connect to the internet or not being able to get the projector to work. However, with a little bit of planning, you can minimise the risk of technology tripping you up.
If possible, test your presentation beforehand with the same equipment that you'll be using during the main event. Otherwise, arrive early on the day and have a run through. Make sure you know how to link your laptop to the projector and if your presentation includes links to web pages or video clips make sure these lead to the right places and are working beforehand. Bring back-ups of your documents and print out a few copies of the slides to share if things go wrong.
And if a piece of technology does fail, don't panic. It will happen to everyone in the room at some point. If you prove yourself prepared in the face of a disaster and handle it with grace it could impress your tutor more than if everything went according to plan.
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- Effective Presentation Skills Tutorial
- Delivering the Presentation
Once you have rehearsed the presentation well, here are some simple suggestions to consider in delivering the presentation effectively:
Dress appropriately for the presentation, based on the context, disciplinary protocols, formality of the occasion and the type of audience (faculty, students, clients, etc.). Do not wear inappropriate clothing, jewelry, hats or footwear that distract.
Arrive early for the presentation, and do not arrive just in time or late.
Meet the moderator
If there is a presentation moderator who will introduce you, meet that person well in advance of the presentation so he or she knows you are in the room on time and that you will be ready.
Decide how to handle audience questions
Decide how you will handle questions during the presentation, and either request the audience to wait until you are finished with your presentation or make sure you will have time to answer the question in the middle of your presentation.
Have a plan if the technology fails
Similarly, decide how you will continue your presentation if the presentation technology fails or freezes in the middle of your presentation.
Smoothly Handling Difficulty with Technology
This video clip is an example of a presenter encountering difficulty with technology but handling it smoothly with a backup plan.
Poorly Handling Difficulty with Technology
This video clip is an example of a presenter encountering difficulty with technology but handling it poorly without a backup plan.
Greet the audience
If you have some free time before the presentation starts, walk up to some members of the audience, introduce yourself, and thank them for being there. This may put you at ease during the presentation.
Load your visuals before your allotted presentation time
If you plan to use presentation tools, load your presentation or connect your presentation device to the projector before you are asked to present so you do not use up your presentation time to load your files and make the audience wait.
Be pleasant and smile when you stand in front of an audience so it makes the audience feel comfortable listening to you.
Don't eat or chew gum
Do not chew gum or eat during your presentation. You may drink water or other allowed beverages during the presentation.
Take a deep breath
Before you begin to speak, take a few deep breaths and calm yourself.
Speak slowly and clearly, and do not rush through sentences, as some do when they get nervous.
Speak at an even pace
Pay attention to the pace in which you speak, to avoid your pace of delivery being either too fast or too slow for the audience to follow.
Pace Too Slow
This video clip is an example of a presentation pace that is too slow.
Pace Too Fast
This video clip is an example of a presentation pace that is too fast.
This video clip is an example of the presenter's pace of delivery being appropriate for the audience to follow.
Change the inflection of your voice to gain audience attention or to emphasize content
If you are trying to make a point about a particular idea, enunciate or pronounce the words clearly and distinctly. At this point, you can slow down and raise the volume of your voice to clearly express what you have to say. Speak with authority, confidence and enthusiasm.
Effective Voice Quality & Emphasis
This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating effective voice quality and emphasis on significant words.
Ineffective Voice Quality & Emphasis
This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating ineffective voice quality and emphasis on significant words.
Use appropriate gestures
Use appropriate gestures to emphasize appropriate points, and do not make wild gestures or pace back and forth in front of the screen in a distracting manner.
This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating effective hand gestures and body language.
This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating ineffective hand gestures and body language.
Make proper eye contact
Make proper eye contact: that is, look at the audience from one side of the room to the other side, and from the front row to the last row. Do not look down the whole time, and do not focus on just one side of the room or just the front row of the audience.
Effective Eye Contact
This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating effective eye contact.
Ineffective Eye Contact
This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating ineffective eye contact.
Stand beside the screen
If you plan to use projected visuals on a screen, stand to one side of the screen. Ideally, you should be facing your audience at all times and just glance at the screen to look at cues from the slides.
Effective Position Near Screen
This video clip is an example of a presenter standing by the side of the screen during a PowerPoint presentation so the audience view of the screen is unobstructed, and glances at the screen only occasionally.
Ineffective Position Near Screen
This video clip is an example of a presenter standing in front of the screen during PowerPoint presentation, obstructing the audience view of the screen.
Do not talk to the screen or board
Do not talk to the screen or the presentation device; look at the audience and talk. It is alright to look at the screen occasionally and point to something important on the screen as you present.
Looking at Screen
This video clip is an example of a presenter looking mostly at the screen (instead of the audience).
Writing on the Board
This video clip is an example of a presenter writing on the board while talking and the writing is difficult to read.
Do not read line-by-line
Do not read presentation materials line-by-line unless there is someone in the audience who is visually-impaired and cannot see the slide, or if it is a quote that you have to read verbatim to emphasize.
Reading Each Word
This video clip is an example of a presenter reading word by word from an overly dense slide that is difficult to read.
Talking from a Slide
This video clip is an example of a presenter talking from a slide with easily readable bullet points, using them as cues.
If you get stuck, look at your notes
If you get stuck on a point and do not know what to say, feel free to look at your notes to continue.
Use the microphone effectively
If you are presenting in a large room where a handheld microphone is needed, hold the microphone near your mouth and speak directly into it.
Using Microphone Effectively
This video clip is an example of a presenter using the microphone effectively.
Using Microphone Ineffectively
This video clip is an example of a presenter using the microphone ineffectively.
Do not curse or use inappropriate language
Do not curse or use inappropriate language if you forget a point during the presentation or if the presentation technology fails.
Be considerate of your team
If you are part of a team and giving a group presentation, be considerate to other team members by not using up their time or dominating the presentation. Smoothly transition from one presenter to another.
This video clip is an example of transitioning from one presenter to another in a polished manner.
This video clip is an example of awkward or unpolished transitions from one presenter to another.
Do not conclude abruptly
Do not conclude the presentation abruptly by saying "This is it" or "I'm done." Conclude properly by summarizing the topic and thanking the audience for listening.
This video clip is an example of the presenter concluding a presentation properly by summarizing the important points and thanking the audience.
This video clip is an example of the presenter abruptly concluding a presentation.
Be considerate of the next presenter
After your presentation and the question and answer part are over, remove your presentation materials from the desk or the podium, and close any open presentation software so the next presenter can get ready quickly.
Thank your moderator
Remember to thank your moderator (if there is one) and the audience, and if you were part of a panel presentation, make sure to thank the panel members.
Participate in the audience
If there are other presentations scheduled after yours, do not leave the room, but stay and listen to their presentations.
- Preparing for the Presentation
- Organizing the Presentation
- Designing Effective Presentation Materials
- Rehearsing the Presentation
- Handling Questions and Answers
- Presentation Skills Quiz
- Presentation Preparation Checklist
- Common Reasons for Ineffective Presentations
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Blog Beginner Guides
How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]
By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023
A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .
Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.
In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!
These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters.
No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.
Click to jump ahead:
What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?
Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.
When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:
1. Clear structure
No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.
Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion:
2. Engaging opening
Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!
The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.
3. Relevant content
Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.
4. Effective visual aids
Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.
With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.
5. Clear and concise communication
Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message.
6. Engaging delivery
Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!
7. Interaction and audience engagement
Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.
Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.
8. Effective storytelling
Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.
A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.
9. Well-timed pacing
Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.
10. Strong conclusion
Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.
In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations .
Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software .
Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.
1. Understand the audience and their needs
Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!
2. Conduct thorough research on the topic
Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.
3. Organize the content with a clear structure
No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.
Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.
Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong.
4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids
Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.
Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.
5. Practice, practice and practice
Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.
6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.
With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.
7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues
Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.
8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation
As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!
In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively .
Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!
From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.
1. Confidence and positive body language
Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence.
2. Eye contact with the audience
Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.
3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement
A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!
4. Utilize storytelling techniques
Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.
5. Incorporate multimedia elements
Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload.
Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.
6. Utilize humor strategically
Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.
7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback
Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.
8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule
Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!
9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule
Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.
Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.
1. How to start a presentation?
To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.
2. How to end a presentation?
For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.
3. How to make a presentation interactive?
To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.
In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started.
Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs.
Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:
Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account.
Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).
Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.
Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations.
Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!
By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!