11 top tips for improving your presentation technique


Here are some expert tips to help you transform your presentation from average to fantastic.

It is easy to believe that you can simply recite your script to your audience and leave having done your job. Yet there is a massive difference between presenting and reading out loud.

1.    Don’t make assumptions

Avoid saying things like “you all probably think that…” or “I’m sure that most of you will…”

Instead, ask the audience to tell you what they think.

With thanks to Hugh Williams, Hughenden Consulting

2.    Microphones don’t work miracles

Don’t rely on a microphone for clarity. All it does is make you louder, not clearer.

For better diction, try to practise mouth exercises before you go on stage.

With thanks to Simon Raybould, Curved Vision

3.    Have confidence in what you’re saying

Say things once and say them with power, as people respond more to the way you say something than the words you’re saying.

With thanks to Andy Atalla, atom42

4.    Use visualisation techniques to help you manage your nerves

Standing in a presentation situation is nerve-racking and this is when the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ instinct kicks in. You should use this adrenalin to your advantage as it improves concentration and energy levels.

You could also use visualisation and conditioning techniques to block out all distractions and help you manage your nerves.

5.    Act confident

Even if you are shaking inside, displaying confident body language (such as walking with your shoulders held back) will increase the hormones that help you to feel more relaxed and self-assured.

6.    Watch your hands – they are the first indicators of nervousness

Although facial expressions, hand gestures and repetitive phrases can help to convey the meaning of your words, they can also be unsettling for the audience as they are the first indicators of nervousness.

You should transform these distracting motions into meaningful movements to illustrate key points so that your audience does not lose interest.

With thanks to Jo Ellen Grzyb, Impact Factory

7.    You are the medium, not the message

Remember that you are the medium, not the message.

The point of the presentation is that you convey information to your audience in such a way that they remember it. To avoid losing sight of this, ask yourself at each step in the process “how is this helping my audience?”.

8.    Pause for thought

Placing moments of silence around ideas works the same way as creating space around words.

When you’ve given an audience an idea, be quiet for a few moments and allow what you’ve said to sink in before you continue. This will increase your audience’s level of understanding and the success of your presentation.

With thanks to Simon Raybould, Curved Vision

9.    Make an impression

At the start of your presentation, shock your audience by making a very provocative statement. Everyone loves a bit of controversy. So what better way to get everyone’s attention and engage with your audience?

10.    Create curiosity

Bring a fascinating or ambiguous object that links to your talk and leave it on show throughout your presentation. But only explain it at the end.

This should create intrigue for your audience, as they ponder its relevance, and help to reaffirm your message as you round off your presentation.

11.    Surprise your audience

We often switch off when we see a presenter walk on to the stage and simply introduce themselves.

To grasp your audience’s attention when you make your appearance, surprise them with something delightful that they wouldn’t expect.

With thanks to Barry Holmes, Zoom Creates

What techniques do you use to improve your presentation?

Please leave your comments in the box below.


Published On: 23rd Jan 2014

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  1. Good post. Iwill be experiencing a few of these issues as well..

    rea 26 May at 3:13 am
  2. excellent tips

    Salahuddin 16 Dec at 4:34 pm