Top 10 tips for delivering your presentation


It doesn’t matter how well you know your subject, if you mumble your way through your presentation you might as well have stayed at home.

Here are a few expert tips to help you deliver a great presentation.

1.    Use the 10-20-30 rule

Follow Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule – presentations should have no more than ten slides, last no longer than 20 minutes and no font should be smaller than 30 points.

With thanks to Matthew Stibbe, Articulate Marketing

2.    Create a sense of trust

You should engage with your audience and create a sense of trust by providing a human connection.

You could offer personal information about yourself, such as hobbies and interests, which will help to break the ice and form the basis of a common point of reference.

With thanks to Jo Ellen Grzyb, Impact Factory

3.    Use an ice-breaker at the very start

Ice-breakers belong at the very start of your presentation. Never kick off with an introduction of the subject or the attendees.

Go straight into the ice-breaker and start with a bang! Once your audience is warmed up, then you can do the necessary introductions.

With thanks to Hugh Williams, Hughenden Consulting

4.    Sound like you’re talking to a friend over dinner

When people put on a fake persona to present, it makes them boring.

During your presentation you should sound like you’re talking to a friend over dinner. Tell stories, vary the tone and pitch of your voice, and be yourself. That’s the way to be interesting.

With thanks to Andy Atalla, atom42

5.    Make eye contact with your audience

If you don’t connect with your audience you won’t succeed in conveying your message.

It is important to make eye contact, speak clearly and create an open communication channel.

With thanks to Jamie Smart, Innate Thinking

6.    Don’t worry about mistakes

Recovering well from a mistake is far more powerful than struggling to make a ‘perfect’ presentation. The audience wants to be on your side and displaying some vulnerability can help you to connect.

With thanks to Jo Ellen Grzyb, Impact Factory

7.    Don’t use put-downs during your presentation

If someone is checking their emails, avoid telling them off. It will imply there is a parent–child relationship between you and the audience and will create a bad feeling.

Instead, you could invite this person to contribute to a particular point, or move towards their part of the room and engage with their neighbour. Your proximity and the fact that others are looking in this direction should be enough to stop the person in their tracks.

8.    Encourage questions throughout your presentation

Try to avoid planning a ‘questions and answers’ session at the end of your presentation, as you can risk finishing on a flat note.

Instead, encourage questions throughout your presentation so that any last queries happen naturally. You can then finish your presentation with a positive and enthusiastic summary.

9.    Compensate for language barriers

When addressing an audience where the presentation language is not everyone’s first language, you need to make an extra effort.

Without any prompt from the audience, repeat important sentences twice but using entirely different words. That way, you double the chance that the audience will understand the meaning.

You should also avoid all colloquialisms (language expressions) and remember to speak loudly and clearly.

With thanks to Hugh Williams, Hughenden Consulting

10.    Avoid the projector casting a shadow

Few things make a presenter look as silly as their shadow appearing on the projector screen.

To prevent this from happening, arrive at the presentation room early and, using small tabs of electrician’s tape, mark where you can and can’t stand.

Helpful hint: using brightly coloured tape will make it easier for you to see your boundaries while you are presenting.

With thanks to Simon Raybould, Curved Vision

What techniques do you use to deliver your presentation successfully ?

Please leave your comments in the box below.


Published On: 23rd Nov 2013

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1 Comment
  1. Usefull article, I will try to use your advice

    Sara 2 Dec at 6:30 pm