Presentation Magazine

Presentations – Back to Basics!

Filed under -
Guest Blogs

Look, it’s not hard, is it?! All you have to do is…

  • Stand up in front of people.
  • And tell them things.

But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. After all, dieting is simple – all you need to do is:

  • Eat less.
  • Exercise more.

…But if it was genuinely easy we’d none of us be overweight.

So what is it about making presentations that means it’s not as easy as it is simple?

My experience (nearly ten years as a presentation skills trainer) is that one of the main issues is that we over-complicated it and we think we matter.


This is simply dealt with. Firstly, when you’re asked (or told, or volunteer) to do a presentation, don’t panic. If you can stay calm for just five minutes – long enough to ask yourself these questions – your presentation is a lot, lot less likely to suck.

  1. What does my audience already know?
  2. What do I need them to know?
  3. What’s the best way to tell them the things between 1 and 2?

Like I said, it’s not complicated. The main problem comes from presenters telling people what they know, not what the audience needs to know.


That’s all there is to it, really.

Being overly nervous is a form of arrogance (yeah, okay, I’m over-stating this to make a point, but you get the idea). It stems from the idea that the audience is there to hear you speak. They’re not. They’re there to hear what you have to say.

Ask yourself when the last time was that you rushed into a presentation saying “I’ve got to go to this one because it’s Simon!”. I’ll bet on never or almost never.

What you do is rush along to a presentation saying “I wonder what I can learn about Marketing!”.

Keep yourself out of the picture. You’re a medium, not the message! 😉

Let the world know…

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Simon Raybould – View the original post


About the author


Guest Blog by

Dr Raybould started life as a researcher and become interested in presentations when he got fed up with how bad most of them were! Using his university background, Simon researched the science behind good presentations and he's now one of the UK's leading presentation skills trainers.

Clients range from start-ups to public sector organisations to multinationals such as Dell Computers. His style is challenging but supportive. Simon is the author of three books on presentations, and has also worked as an actor. It is his balance of rigorous intellectual discipline and practical experience of what audiences need which makes him such an effective trainer. Read other posts by

Published On: 23rd Oct 2014

Read more about -
Guest Blogs

Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *