.css-1qrtm5m{display:block;margin-bottom:8px;text-transform:uppercase;font-size:14px;line-height:1.5714285714285714;-webkit-letter-spacing:-0.35px;-moz-letter-spacing:-0.35px;-ms-letter-spacing:-0.35px;letter-spacing:-0.35px;font-weight:300;color:#606F7B;}@media (min-width:600px){.css-1qrtm5m{font-size:16px;line-height:1.625;-webkit-letter-spacing:-0.5px;-moz-letter-spacing:-0.5px;-ms-letter-spacing:-0.5px;letter-spacing:-0.5px;}} Best Practices 5 essential preparation steps for a successful presentation

by Tom Rielly • June 15, 2020

how you prepare your presentation

Keeping your presentation visuals minimalistic, simple, and clear is just one important step to remember when designing a hit presentation. Leaving nothing to chance, great presenters prove quite methodical as they prepare. Here’s a checklist for everything you need to keep in mind before your next presentation:

1. Choose the right software for your needs

visualpres blogpost 2 softwares

The easiest way to select the right presentation software for you is to simply find the one that is native to your device. For example, if you have a Mac, use Apple Keynote, if you work on Windows, use PowerPoint. Google Slides is recommended if you’re working with someone, as it makes collaboration very easy. Another software option is Prezi: a specialty tool called Prezi that creates a presentation using motion, zoom, and panning across one giant visual space.

2. Organize your files

As you develop your script and visuals, you will need to start assembling all the assets for your slides. Create a unique folder on your computer to hold these items. Keep the folder organized by media type (presentation drafts, photos, videos, scripts) and back them up frequently to the Cloud or external disk. Label each file with a specific descriptive name, e.g. “Susan Johnson singing magpie 2020”, as opposed to “IMG_4043.jpg”, which can make it confusing to find your assets. The more organized you are up front, the easier preparing for your presentation will be.

3. Prepare your presentation materials

Make sure your presentation materials (script, graphics, actual slides) are saved in at least two safe spots (for example, your computer and an external USB drive) and are backed-up frequently. If you are using an online presentation software, such as Google Slides, be sure to also download a copy of your presentation in case the internet connection is unreliable. Having all the individual assets on hand in addition to your presentation slides can be helpful if you experience tech issues before presenting, or if you need to make any last minute changes. Make sure to label your final presentation with the title and your name so it’s easy to find.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Remember, practice makes perfect. People often run out of time making their presentations and have no time to practice. Most TED speakers practice at least ten times. Neuroscientist Jill-Bolte Taylor gave one of the most successful Talks in TED history with nearly 27 million views. How did she do it? She practiced her Talk over 40 times! By rehearsing multiple times you will naturally memorize your Talk, which means you won’t need note cards when you give your final presentation.

5. Do a final test run

Before presenting, make sure the equipment you need is working properly. It’s generally good practice to rehearse standing on the exact stage with the exact lighting using the exact computer that you will be using in your final presentation.

Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for when testing your equipment:

  • If you're not using your own computer, the one provided might be slower and have trouble playing media. If you have videos or other media, make sure they play correctly
  • Test the projector to make sure it’s HD
  • Make sure images are clear
  • Test the sound of any clips you use, as this is what goes wrong most frequently
  • If you’re using a mic, test the volume

Don’t let technical issues or other blunders overshadow your presentation. By following these guidelines, and with a little preparation, you can engineer out the problems BEFORE they happen.

Ready to learn more about how to make your presentation even better? Get TED Masterclass and develop your ideas into TED-style talks

© 2023 TED Conferences, LLC. All rights reserved. Please note that the TED Talks Usage policy does not apply to this content and is not subject to our creative commons license.

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Blog Beginner Guides

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

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: 

how you prepare your presentation

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.

how you prepare your presentation

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.

how you prepare your presentation

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 . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

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. 

how you prepare your presentation

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.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

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 . 

how you prepare your presentation

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.

how you prepare your presentation

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.

how you prepare your presentation

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.

how you prepare your presentation

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!

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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.

[Featured Image]: The marketing manager, wearing a yellow top, is making a PowerPoint presentation.

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.

Verbal communication

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

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.

Voice projection

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.

Storytelling

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

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.

Stage presence

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.

Self-awareness

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 skills

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.

Gain experience.

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.

Arrive early.

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.

Article sources

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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How to prepare for a presentation step by step

Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.

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Michael Lee September 22, 2020

It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting on stage, in a meeting room, or online. You need to properly prepare for a presentation to deliver your message effectively. You need to plan out your talking points, prepare visual aids, practice your speech, and more. Ultimately, the more you prepare ahead of time, the more polished and professional your presentation will be.

If you want to find out how to prepare for a presentation step by step, read on to discover four simple tips to help you make your future presentations successful. 

1. Create a mind map

This is perhaps the most important step and should happen long before the day of your presentation. Creating a mind map will help you organize your thoughts and structure them in a way that makes sense for both you and your audience. It’ll also keep you centered on your main idea, so you never lose sight of the primary purpose of your presentation. The process of creating a mind map will also help you with remembering the content of your presentation.

To create a mind map, you can either use a pen and paper or you can also use Prezi Present . There are different types of templates that you can choose from in Prezi’s library, or you can also start creating from scratch.

Learn how to get started with mind mapping in this video: 

2. Set up your space

If you’re presenting online, you’ll want to set up your filming space for success. How you appear on camera depends on many factors that you should consider before presenting. Start with positioning yourself in the camera frame so you’re in good light. It’s always better to face the light instead of having your window or another light source behind you. Also, adjust your camera so it’s not cutting off the top of your head or it’s not too far away. Make sure your audience can actually hear what you’re saying by testing out your mic first. And, remove any distracting or overly busy backgrounds to keep viewers focused on you and your content.  If you’re presenting offline, setting up your space is equally as important. Take 5 minutes before your presentation to work out the technicalities. For example, if you need to connect your USB or laptop to a device in the meeting room, make sure to do that before it’s your time to start your presentation. Also, make sure you have a glass of water nearby if your presentation is rather long to keep you hydrated. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the space where you’re going to present to feel more comfortable presenting there.

If you want more tips on presenting in the virtual space from public speaking masters, watch this video: 

3. For online presentations, use presenter notes

No matter how much you practice, it’s still helpful to have some notes (or even your script) next to you for reference. They will keep you on track with your main talking points and ensure that you deliver your message in an organized manner. While sticky notes around your computer are a serviceable solution, it often results in you trying to keep track of which piece of paper you’re supposed to be looking at. You don’t need to worry about a messy space around your laptop. Instead, use presenter notes directly in Prezi Video, making your life easier as you present or record. 

how you prepare your presentation

You can add notes as you create your content. This way you can keep track of everything that’s going on in the meeting and take notes at the same time. If you already have an existing Prezi or PowerPoint presentation with notes, you can import those into Prezi Video as well. You’ll also get a preview of the next frame, so you will never be lost as you present. Learn more about using presenter notes in Prezi Video . 

4. Practice your presentation

Imagine: You have started your presentation but suddenly realize that one of the slides contains incorrect information, or there’s a technical glitch as you try to zoom in on another slide. Sounds like a stressful situation. With practice and preparation, you can easily avoid or minimize the stress in a situation like this.

One of the best ways how to prepare for a presentation is by simply practicing your speech ahead of time. Create an online meeting with yourself, start sharing your Prezi Video slides, and talk through the presentation as you would in the call. Or ask your friends or family to give you feedback as you talk through the talking points in front of them. You can even play out a scenario where you encounter a technical glitch and plan out what you’ll do. By going over your presentation a couple of times, you’ll feel more prepared. The more prepared you’ll feel, the more relaxed and confident you’ll appear when presenting in front of your audience.

Follow these tips on how to prepare for a presentation quickly and effectively. Once you have everything set up, get more tips from Jessica Chen on public speaking tips to build confidence , and then jump right into creating your own Prezi video . 

how you prepare your presentation

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

how you prepare your presentation

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

how you prepare your presentation

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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Preparing for a Presentation

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Preparation is the single most important part of making a successful presentation. It is an absolutely crucial foundation, and you should dedicate as much time to it as possible, avoiding short-cuts. Good preparation will ensure that you have thought carefully about the messages that you want (or need) to communicate in your presentation and it will also help boost your confidence.

There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when preparing a presentation. They include the aim of the presentation, the subject matter, the audience, the venue or place, the time of day, and the length of the talk. All these will affect what you say and how you say it, as well as the visual aids that you use to get your point across.

The Objective

Whenever you are asked to give a presentation or speak to a group of people, you need to start by asking the purpose of the presentation.

In other words, what is the presentation expected to achieve, and what outcome(s) do the organisers and the audience expect?

These outcomes will shape your presentation, because it must be designed to achieve the objective and deliver the desired outcomes.

For example, you might be asked to give a talk to a gardening club. You might be told that the purpose of the talk is to fill a regular meeting slot, and that the members of the club have expressed a desire to learn more about pruning. You therefore know that your talk needs to be entertaining, fairly light, but knowledgeable, and that your audience wants to learn something new.

As you prepare your presentation, make sure you keep asking yourself:

“How is saying this going to help to achieve the objective and outcomes?”

The Subject

The subject of your presentation or talk about comes from the objective. They are linked, but they are not necessarily exactly the same thing.

For example:

The subject may be given to you by the organisation that has invited you (such as talking about pruning to the gardening club).

You may be knowledgeable in a particular field (perhaps you have an interest in local history).

The subject may be entirely your choice within certain limitations (you might, for example, be asked to give a presentation at an interview on a project which you feel has particularly developed your skills).

The Audience

Before preparing material for a presentation, it is worth considering your prospective audience.

Tailoring your talk to the audience is important and the following points should be considered:

The size of the group or audience expected.

The age range - a talk aimed at retired people will be quite different from one aimed at teenagers.

Gender - will the audience be predominantly male or female?

Is it a captive audience or will they be there out of interest?

Will you be speaking in their work or leisure time?

Do they know something about your subject already or will it be totally new to them?  Is the subject part of their work?

Are you there to inform, teach, stimulate, or provoke?

Can you use humour and, if so, what would be considered appropriate? If you are in any doubt about this, it is probably best to avoid anything even remotely risqué.

It is important to have as much advance information as possible about the place where you are going to speak.

It can be helpful to arrange to see the venue before the event. It does much to quell fear if you can visualise the place while you are preparing your talk. However, even if you cannot visit, you will probably find it helpful to know:

The size of the room;

The seating arrangements (for example, theatre-style, with rows of seats; or round-table);

The availability of equipment, e.g., microphone, laptop and projector, flip chart;

The availability of power points and if an extension lead is required for any equipment you intend to use;

If the room has curtains or blinds. This is relevant if you intend to use visual aids, and so that you can ensure the correct ambiance for your presentation;

The position of the light switches.  Check if you need someone to help if you are using audio/visual equipment and need to turn off the lights;

The likelihood of outside distractions, e.g., noise from another room; and

The availability of parking facilities so you do not have a long walk carrying any equipment you might need to take.

If this information is not available ahead of time, it will help to get there a bit early, to give you time to set up.

There will often be no flexibility in the time of day that a presentation is made. However, it does affect what you can do, and how you might organise your presentation, because of the likely state of your audience (see box).

How time of day can affect your audience

The morning is the best time to speak because people are generally at their most alert. However, as it gets towards lunch time, people begin to feel hungry and lose concentration. This is particularly true if the event has not included a coffee break.

After lunch, people often feel sleepy and lethargic. If you are given a slot immediately after lunch, it is a good idea to get your audience involved. A discussion or getting your audience moving about will work a lot better than simply presenting a lot of slides. A flip chart may also be a more useful tool than a laptop and projector, especially if it means you can open blinds and use natural light.

Towards the end of the afternoon, people again tend to lose concentration as they start to worry about getting home, the traffic or collecting children from school.

Evening or Weekend:

Outside regular office hours, people are more likely to be present because they want to be rather than because they have to be there.  There is a better chance of audience attention in the evening. However, if the presentation goes on for too long, people may have to leave before you have finished. People will also be less tolerant of a poor presentation because you are in their time, not their employer’s.

Length of Talk

Always find out how long you have to talk and check if this includes or excludes time for questions.

Find out if there are other speakers and, if so, where you are placed in the running order.  Never elect to go last.  Beware of over-running, as this could be disastrous if there are other speakers following you.

It is important to remember that people find it difficult to maintain concentration for long periods of time. This is a good reason for making a presentation succinct, well-structured and interesting. Aim for 45 minutes as a maximum single-session presentation, and preferably leave at least 10 or 15 minutes for questions. Nobody minds finishing a session early.

Providing Information in Advance

Always check what information you will need to provide in advance.

Organisers of big events and conferences often like to have all the PowerPoint presentations several days ahead of the event. This gives them time to load all the presentations, and make sure that they are properly branded for the event.

Some events also need speakers’ biographies ahead of time, to put in conference literature. When you are asked to give the presentation, make sure you ask what is needed by when—and then supply it.

You will not be popular if you turn up on the day and announce that you have completely rewritten your presentation on the train. It is entirely possible that the organisers may even not be able to accommodate that, for example if the audio-visual is being supplied by a separate company or by the venue.

And finally…

Being asked to give a presentation is an honour, not a chore.

You are representing your organisation or yourself, if you are self-employed. You are also not there by right, but by invitation. It is therefore important that you put in the time and effort to ensure that you deliver what your audience wants. That way, you may just be invited back another time.

Continue to: Organising the Presentation Material

See also: Can Presentation Science Improve Your Presentation? Preparing for Oral Presentations Managing the Presentation Event Coping with Presentation Nerves

How to Prepare for a Presentation: Your 9-Step Guide to a Successful Presentation

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Say you walked into your office on Monday morning, and your boss tells you that you need to prepare a presentation for Wednesday. Now your head is spinning, because you are not sure where to start and how to approach your subject and present it to the team in a fun and informative way. But don’t sweat, we have all been there. 

That’s why we have assembled a complete guide that will help you: 

  • Make a compelling presentation,
  • Deal with public speaking and anxiety, 
  • Put together great visuals to keep your audience focused, and
  • Understand what makes the presentation and the presenter stand out. 

So let’s take it from the top, and start with a simple explanation of why we need presentations.

How to prepare for a presentation-cover

Table of Contents

The role of presentations in the business world and why are they important

The business world deals with facts, numbers, and statistics on the daily basis. When you spend your days with your eyes glued to the infinite spreadsheets and never-ending blocks of text, it can be very useful to break out of the mold with a fun and informative presentation.

So, why are presentations so important in business? 

We use presentations as a tool in business to educate, inform or persuade our audience. Presentations can help you showcase your: 

  • Work, 
  • Research, 
  • New products to a wider audience in an entertaining and informative way .

Some examples of good business presentations can be seen by big companies such as Apple when they are introducing a new product or new features to their software. In their presentations or events, Apple showcases glimpses of their new products, focusing on new features and designs that will interest their consumers in buying the product. 

Additionally, they completely envelop their in-house and online audience in a spectacular show, along with their main presentation. This gives their consumers a sense of importance and value.

However, delivering presentations is no easy task, because a lot of people suffer from stage fright or public speaking anxiety, or simply, they don’t know how to prepare for a presentation in the first place. 

Let’s first examine what stage fright is and what can you do to ease your anxiety before presenting.

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Helpful skills that will take your presentation to a new level

A presentation is a tool that we use to deliver an idea or information in a compelling and persuasive manner. But to deliver a great presentation, and to be a good presenter yourself, you need to have a few skills that are linked to presenting. 

Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Skill #1: The ability to connect with the audience

The first presentation skill that you need to have and work on is the ability to connect with your audience. What we mean by that is that you need to take into consideration not only the material you will be presenting but also the demographic you are adhering to. Ask yourself what generations will be attending your presentation and what you want your audience to take from your presentation. 

Once you have answered those questions, you can try some of these simple and generic ways to connect with any audience: 

  • Keep eye contact with your audience.
  • Share a few smiles with your audience.
  • Give out a few handshakes.  

Skill #2: Maintaining audience’s attention

When we get overly excited about a topic or we have a lot to say on the subject, sometimes we tend to overexplain — which causes our audience to lose focus. 

So, when you catch yourself giving your audience an information overdose, a smart thing to do is to take a breather and slow down . Not everything needs explaining. To make sure that you don’t get carried away, we suggest that you structure your presentation to a T , so you know exactly what you want to convey.

Moreover, be aware that the human attention span has decreased in the last decade. According to psychologist Neil A. Bradburry and his research paper ‘Attention span during lectures: 8 seconds, 10 minutes or more?’ , lecturers have similar problems as presenters, such as:

  • Losing the audience’s attention,
  • Not delivering the material correctly, and
  • Being too entertaining or not entertaining enough.

His research showed that students were engaged in the first 10-15 minutes of the lecture, but their interest after the initial 15 minutes decreased. 

Bradburry states that “ even the most interesting topic can seem uninteresting if presented in a dull manner ” . Therefore, avoiding overexplaining is a great first step to making sure you are not boring your audience.

Skill #3: Storytelling

If you want to avoid leaving a dull impression, storytelling is a skill that can be a meaningful asset to your presentation. 

To incorporate storytelling into your presentation you need to tell a compelling story out of your material , while still sticking to your facts, ideas and goals. It captures audience members’ attention and helps them have an easier time following your presentation. 

For example, you can use personal stories or anecdotes that support your material. And to make a story compelling, remember to be specific and to make the story as vivid as you can.

Here is what, Amanda Nell Edgar , a Ph.D. in communication, had to add on this topic: 

AmandaNellEdgar

“If the tip, trick, idea, or story doesn’t help your audience to understand and implement that main idea, cut it.

Replace those cut pieces with things that will help your audience understand and implement. Examples are always appreciated. So are stories, particularly if they’re funny or inspiring. Words of caution also help — share the top mistakes they’re likely to make as they try out your advice for the first time. But no matter what, everything you include should help reinforce that one thing you want to share.

It seems overly simplistic. But when you’re an expert, it’s easy to forget that others are beginners. Your audience needs you to simplify, so choose one thing and lean into it.”

Skill #4: Diction and pronunciation

Remember Eliza Doolittle? She is a fictional character in the play ‘Pygmalion’. If you remember the plot, Ms. Doolittle had a problem with her accent and the way she pronounced her words, which people gave her a lot of trouble for. But luckily for her, she had help, and with training and practicing, her accent and her pronunciation became proper and polished in no time. 

What can you take from this story? Well, diction and pronunciation are everything. While we do suggest that you use everyday English when you are presenting rather than formal English, you should also work on how you say words and not just which words you say. 

One way to improve your diction and pronunciation is to practice, practice, practice.

Skill #5: Body language

Body language and non-verbal cues can help you a lot in delivering a great presentation. While you should still focus a larger part of your energy on your words and your speech, don’t forget about your body language. 

When you step on that stage or in that meeting room, your audience will expect someone who looks confident and knows what they are talking about. 

You can use some of these body language tips to demonstrate confidence: 

  • Stand tall, 
  • Use calm hand movements when you speak, and
  • Maintain eye contact.  

Even if you don’t feel like that person at the moment, working on your body language can help you get there in no time.

How to use technology to your advantage when making a presentation?

We live in the new-tech age, and while technology can be scary and overwhelming, it can be of great help when used right. 

For example, putting up a summary of every point you make on a bigger screen behind you is a wonderful way to help your audience keep up with you. 

But, technology nowadays can be used in many more ways in presentations than just using a big screen. 

To break down monotone blocks of text and make sure you keep your audience engaged and focused, you can use different visuals such as:

  • Sound effects,
  • Graphs, 
  • Illustrations, and 
  • Photographs.

With technology, you can bring your presentation to life. But the trick is to use it in doses and not let glamour overpower your ideas. 

Hence, in the next paragraph, we will be discussing whether visuals are truly helpful or are they distracting.

Tip #1: Use visuals in moderation

Using visuals in your presentation is a no-brainer, correct? But maybe you should slow down and think about what kind of visuals you are adding to your presentation. While we do agree that visuals can be very helpful to your audience and to you when you are trying to illustrate your point, sometimes we can get carried away. 

Everything is good in small doses, and visuals are no different. So, to avoid your visuals taking over and stealing the show, you should: 

  • Disperse them throughout your presentation.
  • Only include visuals that help you prove your point or move your story forward.
  • Add graphs if you are dealing with numbers. 
  • Add illustrations to simplify your point and make it more comprehensible.

Some say that even the text you display is a visual, but since the text on slides is essential to every work presentation, we excluded it from the list above. 

At the end of the day, visuals are aids and are here to push your idea closer to your audience, and here, less is more.

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We have an article that will deepen your knowledge of visuals, check it out here: 

  • What is visual communication and how to use it?

Tip #2: Utilize templates

Using templates is easier than making your own slides from scratch. 

When you are using, for example, PowerPoint layouts and templates for your presentation, the important thing to remember is to not go crazy with it. The advice here to remember is to stick to one theme and not change the layout of your slides with every slide. Doing this can be confusing to your audience, and in the end, they might pay attention more to the screen behind you than to you or your words.

Tip #3: Share screen during virtual meetings

Technology helped us evolve in a lot of different ways, and when it comes to presentations, we can now utilize virtual meetings or presentations in our work and cut out the physical reality completely. 

This can be done via e-conferencing tools. We can make a presentation, and instead of physically going into a meeting, we can share our screen during a video meeting and present, for example, from our home. 

The great thing about e-conferencing is that we can also share important files immediately with our audience or teams. Team communication apps like Pumble can also have a great feature for video conferencing and for any file sharing that is needed during those conferences.

How to overcome stage fright

If you have ever stepped on a stage and been blinded by the lights or frightened by the many pairs of eyes in the audience, you might have experienced stage fright. 

Stage fright is, by definition, a feeling of nervousness before or during an appearance before an audience. However, knowing what stage fright is not the main problem here — it’s overcoming it. 

Tip #1: Change your mindset

So, what can help you overcome stage fright before a big presentation?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , there are quite a few things you can do to help you overcome your stage fright: 

  • Remind yourself that it is okay to make mistakes and that perfection is unattainable and overrated. 
  • Visualize your success .
  • Reduce your self-doubt to a minimum by forbidding yourself from letting negative thoughts take over. 
  • Forget about yourself, and focus on the topic and information you will be sharing . Remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.
  • Stop trying to scare yourself with worst-case scenarios . Instead, when those thoughts arise, replace them with calming thoughts or mental images.
  • Connect with your audience with eye contact and reassuring smiles , and try to think of them as friends.

As you can see, the key is changing your mindset and looking at the situation from a different angle. Next time you have a big presentation coming up, try out some of these tips and see if your anxiety levels drop.

Tip #2: Don’t over-correct your behavior on stage

Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed, scared, and nervous before a meeting or a presentation, we research how to calm down or how not to appear nervous on stage. The answers that we find are usually very helpful, but overindulging in some of them can be more hurtful than helpful to our performance. 

In this paragraph, we want to talk about how not to over-correct our behavior on stage.

But, what do we mean by that? 

Over-correction means fixing a mistake or an error too much, and it usually happens when a certain way of our behavior is deemed inappropriate. 

For example, if we are worried that our material is dull or not engaging enough, we might try to be overly entertaining by putting on a show to keep the audience engaged. And that over-correction usually leads to our performance overshadowing the material, instead of the two working together. 

When we realize we approached a topic or a problem wrong, we naturally overcorrect. So if you think that your body language is too stiff, you shouldn’t become too aloof or relaxed to fix that. 

Being aware of your behavior or body language on stage, for example, is helpful. But overthinking is where you should pull the breaks.

Tip #3: Remember it is okay to be nervous

Feeling nervous or worried about your presentation is a natural and normal human response. You shouldn’t feel guilty or feel less worthy as a presenter if you get stage jitters. 

One way to ease your anxiety is to accept your feelings and do some calming exercises or rituals, such as: 

  • Meditation 
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Walking exercises
  • Getting creative 
  • Listening to music

Moreover, be kind to yourself, and remember that it is human to make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with you making an honest mistake such as stuttering for a moment or forgetting which point comes next. 

The best thing to do is to forgive yourself and move on. 

9-step guide to help you deliver a great presentation

Now that we have covered why we should use presentations in the workplace and what are some of the best skills to have when presenting, it’s time to look at our 9-step guide on how to turn yourself into a confident presenter.  

Step #1: Do your research

The first thing you do when you need to make a presentation is to think of a topic, a subject, an idea, or a problem to discuss or solve. Usually, that first step, ‘think of a topic’, is done by our superiors who gave us the topic. So, if you already have that all figured out, feel free to skip the first part of this step.

The next logical step is research. Whether you are or you are not informed on your subject, research is crucial . 

While you are doing your research and organizing your opinions and main points, take notes of what you want to say. In other words, make outlines and drafts . You should also dive into your research with the assumption that your audience knows nothing about your subject. This assumption will help you to not overlook important details or omit information only because you deem it as ‘common sense’.

Skill #1: Approaching your subject

Step #2: Create a structure

A lot of people have trouble reflecting their knowledge onto others, and that is because they tend to learn their material by heart, which can be tricky. When we learn by heart, we memorize everything word for word instead of understanding the gist of it and saying it in our own words. 

If you fill up your mind with every little detail from your presentation, there is a chance that you will get confused or, plain and simple, suffer from your memory blanking. 

Instead, you can structure your speech as a story. Or, in other words, make sure you have:

  • An introduction, 
  • A plot point or a main point, and 
  • A conclusion . 

That way, it will be easier to follow your own train of thought.

If you are having trouble with how long your presentation should be or how to structure your slides, there are rules that you can follow. 

The 5-5-5 rule 

The 5-5-5 rule states that you shouldn’t use: 

  • More than 5 words per line,
  • More than 5 lines per slide,  
  • More than 5 text-heavy slides per presentation. 

how you prepare your presentation

With this rule, you make sure that your audience isn’t overwhelmed or spending too much time reading the screen behind you. 

The 10-20-30 rule 

The 10-20-30 rule was introduced by Guy Kawasaki, and it states that your presentation shouldn’t:

  • Have more than 10 slides per show,
  • Last longer than 20 minutes, 
  • Use less than 30 point size for your font.

how you prepare your presentation

This rule will help you find your margins, so you don’t let yourself ramble on and waste time, but rather get straight to the point. It also makes sure that your presentation is accommodating to everyone in your audience. 

But before you adjust your point size, check to see if your text is readable even from the back rows. 

Here’s what an author and speaker, Barry Maher, had to say about these rules: 

Barry-Maher

“Use few slides and fewer lines of text per slide. Anything you write there (on the slides) will be read before you get to it and if people are reading PowerPoint, they’re not focusing on you or listening to what you say.

NEVER simply read dense PowerPoint slides to your audience. Almost all of them can read, quicker than you can read out loud. If you’ve put your entire presentation — everything — onto your PowerPoint slides, give people a break: send them the slides and skip the presentation.”

Step #3: Ask yourself “Why should they care?”

With every topic comes great responsibility — and that is to relay your knowledge to your audience. But, how can you make sure that your presentation is giving each of the audience members enough information? 

You can start by asking yourself, why should your audience care about your topic ? Your approach to the subject should be in line with the level of knowledge of your audience. 

Also, consider what type of audience is attending, so you can adjust your choice of words according to their knowledge. Keeping it simple and coherent will do your audience a favor, and they won’t struggle to keep up with you.

Additionally, when you are adjusting the language in your presentation, also see if any of the information you put down needs further explanation. 

When you have this advice in mind, your whole point of view shifts, from being a performer on stage to being one of the audience members.

how you prepare your presentation

Step #4: Assume your audience knows nothing

If you assume this is the first time your audience is coming into contact with this information and you dive into your presentation with this attitude, it will help you to make sure that none of the ‘basic’ information isn’t left unsaid or unexplained. 

At the end of the day, you are trying to convey your message to your audience, and your main goal should be for them to leave the auditorium with a new piece of knowledge. 

So, to ensure you reach your goals, start with the assumption that your audience knows nothing about your subject.

how you prepare your presentation

Step #5: Go slow

Getting excited or nervous during a presentation can affect our speech. So try to remember to pace yourself , and take a moment to breathe. If you go slower, you won’t skip any points that you wish to make, and you will seem more calm are collected.

Step #5: Go slow

Step #6: Don’t let the slides overpower what you have to say

It is easy to write everything down on your slides, so you can take a look from time to time during your work presentation as a reminder of what you wanted to say. But overwhelming your audience with too much text will make them shift their focus from you to the slides so that they can read them in time. 

Keep in mind that the main act of your presentation is you, because you hold all the knowledge , and you are the one delivering it. So if you do need a few reminders on some complicated points, you can make flashcards and notes that will keep you on track. To remind you, the 5-5-5 and 10-20-30 rules we mentioned earlier can be of great help here.

Here’s what author and speaker, LB Adams, had to say on the subject: 

LBAdams

“The audience is there because of you and your expertise. Slide decks shouldn’t be used to give giant chunks of information, they’re the sprinkles on your knowledge cupcake. Why would you want people to stop paying attention to you and start reading while you’re speaking?

Use a slide deck to: 

  • Emphasize a point you’re making, 
  • Reinforce your ideas, or 
  • Add color and texture to the presentation. 

The deck is never more important than the speaker.

Technology often fails or doesn’t work in quite the way we need it to in the moment. The best way to deliver a killer presentation is to know your material. Everything else is just…frosting.”

Step #6: Don’t let the slides overpower what you have to say

Step #7: Practice makes perfect

One thing that a lot of experts suggest when prepping for a presentation is to practice relentlessly . Here is what can help you practice: 

  • Record yourself going over your presentation, so you can see what you are doing wrong. 
  • Go over your presentation in front of a friend or a colleague and ask for an opinion. 
  • Read everything you write aloud and be vocal. 

The more you practice, the more ready you will feel — and when you feel prepared, your nerves will ease up on you and let you deliver your presentation smoothly.

Step #7: Practice makes perfect

Step #8: Grab the audience’s attention with suspense

A great way to grab your audience’s attention and pull all the focus on you is to take a break. 

Let us explain what we mean by this. 

When you get on stage or as soon as you are introduced to the stage, pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and let the anticipation build . 

This will allow everyone to settle and revert their eyes back on you. Their interest will peak and they will be curious about what you have to say.

Step #8: Grab the audience’s attention with suspense

Step #9: Set yourself up for success — positive thinking

If we expect to fail, most likely we will fail. 

So, instead of drowning yourself in self-doubt, try to spin your point of view and replace every negative thought with an affirmation . 

When you feel a negative thought or emotion creeping in, switch to a positive thought and watch yourself blossom with confidence. 

Here is what a communication coach Ashira Prossack had to say on this topic: 

Ashira Prossack

“By visualizing yourself delivering an effective presentation, you can build confidence and create a sense of familiarity with the material. This can help to reduce anxiety and make it easier to stay focused and present in the moment during the actual presentation.”

Step #9: Set yourself up for success — positive thinking

How to open your presentation: an attention-grabbing opener

How you open your presentation sets the tone for the rest of your performance. 

Most people would start off with a salutation and an introduction and then go into explaining the summary of their presentation. 

While that is not the forbidden or wrong way to start, you can still lose a lot of the audience’s focus this way. 

Additionally, you should take note of your voice, tone, and body language. So, a big no would be: 

  • Slump shoulders, 
  • A meek voice, and 
  • Stiff body language. 

Instead, you should show confidence and speak with a clear and strong voice.  

Now that you know what to avoid, here is what you should embrace — opening with: 

  •  A quote, 
  •  A statistic, 
  •  A relatable story, 
  •  The problem you will be resolving, and 
  • Enthusiasm. 

Remember that if you seem happy to be up on that stage, your audience will be happy to hear you out.

When you have grabbed the audience’s attention, you can: 

  • Introduce yourself , 
  • Deliver a short summary of your presentation, and 
  • Organically transition into your presentation.

How to close your presentation

The usual way of closing a presentation is by asking whether anyone from the audience has questions. 

While that is still a valid option, sometimes it’s great to mix it up by rephrasing your closing statement. 

This is because most of the time people shy away from asking questions . 

So, if you rephrase the usual ‘Does anyone have any questions?’ into ‘ Are any thoughts coming up after taking in all this information? ’ or ‘ Is there anything that needs clearing up?’, your audience will feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns. 

Since these are less direct requests, it helps the audience feel included and lets them know that their opinion is valued.

Whether you had the pleasure of getting a question from the audience or not, we’ll now examine how you can handle those questions.

How to approach and handle audience questions 

While prepping for your presentation, take some time to think about what the audience could ask you after or during your presentation — anticipate the questions . 

To do that, first, inform yourself about what type of audience will be attending.

Second, make sure you know your material through and through, so you can prepare answers.

If you don’t want to be caught off guard, you can take a breather during your presentation to check if anyone has questions. This way, you’ll avoid being interrupted. Also, you won’t have to leave time for audience questions at the end. 

If you do get interrupted, kindly remind your audience that there will be a dedicated time slot for questions at the end.

Moreover, you can repeat the question back to make sure you understood correctly and give yourself a few more seconds to think about your answer. 

Saying “ I don’t know” or “I am not sure” affects your credibility and looks unprofessional. Instead, if you are not sure of your answer, you can always invite the audience to chime in with their opinions and help you to form your answer. 

If you cannot answer the question on the spot, you can ask to get back to the inquirer after researching and let them know the answer personally via email.

If there are no more questions interrupting you, get back to your topic using phrases like “moving forward with our topic” or “getting back to…”.  

What to do on the day of your presentation

Before the day of your presentation, it’s crucial that you have a good night’s sleep , preferably 7-8 hours. 

Ideally, if you have prepared thoroughly, anxiety shouldn’t keep you up at night. 

To feel better about yourself, pick out a power outfit that will make you feel more comfortable in your own skin and boost your confidence.

Moreover, it’s important to have a healthy, filling, but light meal, to ease your nerves. Also, make sure to hydrate.

Next, you should revise your text, your materials, and your plan for delivering the information .

Try out your performance two or three times before your presentation. Bonus points if you can practice on the stage or in the meeting room where you will be presenting.

Do activities that normally calm your nerves, such as meditation or enjoying a cup of tea.

Most importantly, have faith in yourself and keep your negative thoughts at bay with a serotonin boost. Serotonin is a natural ‘feel good’ hormone, and if you incorporate things and activities that make you feel good in your day-to-day life before your presentation, you are sure to get that boost we mentioned. 

Lastly, make sure to warm up before your presentation with simple speech and physical exercises such as:

  • Stretching 
  • Tongue twisters 
  • Arm swings 
  • Face warm-ups 
  • Practicing pronunciation of different words
  • Deep breathing
  • Humming and chanting 
  • The hero pose 
  • Pretending to chew 
  • Tongue trills

Exercise #1: Stretching

Stretching or doing simple yoga exercises can help you not only to relax mentally but also physically. 

Keeping yourself flexible will ensure that your body language comes across as more natural instead of forced or rehearsed. 

Exercise #2: Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are sentences that are harder to pronounce correctly and coherently, but they make a great speech exercise that will help you to keep your tongue from getting tied up. 

Here are some of the tongue twisters you can try out: 

  • Frivolously fanciful Fannie fried fresh fish furiously. 
  • Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.
  • Seventy-seven benevolent elephants.
  • Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.

Exercise #3: Arm swings

Along with stretching, you can try a few ‘arm swinging’ exercises, which will help you warm up your arms and hands before delivering a presentation. 

Since a lot of people use hand gestures when they speak, these exercises can be very helpful.

Exercise #4: Face warm-ups

Face warm-ups are vocal exercises that help you relax your facial muscles and prepare them for the extent of speaking you intend to do. 

Some examples of face warm-ups are: 

  • Relaxing your jaw, 
  • Opening your mouth in an ‘O’ shape but pronouncing the ‘E’ sound, and 
  • Relaxing your tongue.

Exercise #5: Practicing pronunciation of different words

While tongue twisters are one way to help you perfect your pronunciation, you can also practice on your own material by keeping note of your tone and of more difficult words to pronounce. 

Keep going over your text and materials aloud, and see if any words are giving you a hard time. Those are the words you should be practicing the most.

Exercise #6: Deep breathing

Deep breathing is an exercise that will help with your nerves the most. 

So, make sure to take deep breaths, and remind yourself that simple inhaling and exhaling can be very helpful for your anxiety. 

Here’s an extra tip to open up your lungs even more: lift your arms above your head when you are inhaling, and lower them back to their natural position when you are exhaling. 

Exercise #7: Humming and chanting

Vocal cords are muscles, and just like any other muscle, they can atrophy if they are not being used. 

To avoid experiencing a voice crack or a complete loss of your voice, practice humming and chanting. 

Sounding out simple sounds such as ‘mmm’, ‘omm’, or ‘amm’ is a practical way to warm up your vocal cords. 

Exercise #8: The hero pose

The hero pose is a popular exercise that can help you boost your confidence. 

To complete this exercise, stand with your legs apart, with your hands on your hips and your head held high, and hold this position for five minutes. 

The point of this exercise is to give you a sense of importance and to help you feel more confident in a matter of minutes. 

Exercise #9: Pretending to chew to loosen up your jaw 

Another helpful exercise is to just chew. 

You can move your jaw around, pretending to chew to further help your pronunciation. 

This exercise relaxes your jaw and mouth, which makes it easier to form words.

Exercise #10: Tongue trills

While tongue twisters use vowels, consonants, and words as their form of exercise, tongue trills are introducing movement in the place of vowels. 

Instead of speaking, tongue trills use the flow of air to create vibrations in the lips, and tongue while also introducing different movements to loosen up the jaw and the mouth. 

For example, you can do a tongue trill and right after you can read a sentence from your presentation aloud. You can do this exercise throughout your texts, and you will notice a change in your voice pitch.

A few extra tips to make your presentation stand out 

There is nothing wrong with going the extra mile to make sure that your presentation is the best it can be. So, what can you do to exceed everyone’s expectations? 

Here are our few extra tips to make your presentation stand out:

  • Bring physical visuals if you can — Do not limit yourself to only visuals such as slides. If your topic can be illustrated with 3D objects that you can show to your audience, don’t shy away from it.
  • Accommodate to your audience — For example, if you know that you will have hard-of-hearing people in your audience, print an info pamphlet so it’s easier for them to follow. 
  • Check your equipment before you start — If you check your equipment before your presentation you will lower the chances of something malfunctioning and therefore derailing your presentation. 

Keep in mind that your audience is still made up of individual humans. 

If you go the extra mile to show them that you appreciate their presence and that this presentation is not another chore to you, but a privilege, they will show their appreciation too.

Wrapping up: Your attitude can make or break your presentation

There is a big difference between presenting and reading off of slides. Since anyone can put together a PowerPoint presentation, it is up to you to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Let’s revise some of the tips we mentioned:

  • Research is your best friend when prepping for a presentation. 
  • Practice makes it perfect, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. 
  • Everyone gets nervous, so don’t be too hard on yourself. 
  • A great attitude and positive energy can contribute a lot. 

Now that we have shared our simple guide on how to prepare for a presentation, it is up to you to make it or break it. 

✉️ What is your way to a perfect presentation? Will you try out any of our tips? 

Let us know what your take on presentations is and how you prepare for one via [email protected] and we might include your answers in this or future posts. If you found this article helpful, share it with someone who would also benefit from it.

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JanaPavlovic

Jana Pavlovic is a communication author and researcher. She enjoys educating herself and others on various team collaboration and technology topics. She found that working from home in a hybrid-type company is her perfect combination for work-life balance, and she’s eager to share her new-found knowledge with you.

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How to Deliver Effective Presentations

Last Updated: October 5, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Maureen Taylor . Maureen Taylor is the CEO and Founder of SNP Communications, a leadership communications company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been helping leaders, founders, and innovators in all sectors hone their messaging and delivery for almost 30 years, and has worked with leaders and teams at Google, Facebook, Airbnb, SAP, Salesforce, and Spotify. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 576,675 times.

Delivering presentations is an everyday art form that anyone can master. To capture your audience's attention, present your information with ease and confidence. Act as if you are in a conversation with your audience, and they will pay attention to you. To get this level of fluency, write an engaging narrative, use more visuals than text in your slides, and practice, practice, practice.

Rehearsing Your Presentation

Step 1 Give it the

  • Deliver your summary to them in friendly, direct language, as if you were telling the story to a friend in a bar.
  • In fact, you can tell the story to a friend in a bar. However, telling a colleague over coffee can work just as well.
  • Get them to tell you what their takeaway was. If they can summarize your message accurately, that's a good sign.

Step 2 Practice your speech in front of a colleague while you're still developing it.

  • Ask them to be your coach.
  • Give them your presentation once or twice and let them ask you questions and give feedback.
  • Ask them to point out moments that are dull or confusing.

Step 3 Prepare for nerves

  • Write down what you're afraid of. What exactly worries you when you give a speech? Looking foolish? Being asked a hard question? Write down your exact fears, and then consider them each individually.
  • Think about what you will do in each situation. For instance, if your fear is, "I'll forget what I'm saying," you can prepare a plan like, "If I forget what I'm saying, I'll pause, scan my notes, and find the next important point I need to make."
  • Catch your negative thoughts, and calm them. If you think, "I'm going to get nervous and sweaty," replace it with, "I have important information to deliver and everyone is going to pay attention to that."

Step 4 Time yourself carefully.

  • Give yourself extra time if you plan to take questions, or if you anticipate lots of digressions.

Step 5 Practice repeatedly.

  • This doesn't mean sticking to a strict script every time. Instead, when you rehearse, improvise freely. Deliver your main points, but include quips and anecdotes that occur to you as you go. You'll remember the best ones when you actually deliver the presentation.

Delivering Your Presentation with Confidence

Step 1 Fake confidence.

  • Remind yourself that your audience likely can't see your nerves.
  • Take a deep breath and exhale before you go on stage.

Step 2 Show your emotion.

  • If there are too many people to really see faces, just look boldly into the crowd.

Step 4 Mind your body...

  • Move your hands as you speak. Don't wave them, as this will make you look nervous. Instead, try calmly gesturing with your palm out when you make a point. If you describe a shape, draw it in the air with your hands.

Crafting a Compelling Presentation

Step 1 Think of your presentation as a story.

  • Have a clear through line that runs through all parts of your presentation, leading to your main point.
  • Include stories that put your listeners into a situation. Get their energy with tactile details (sound, sight, smell, taste, touch) and descriptions of an emotional state.
  • Include moments of reflection in which you share how you felt or feel.

Step 2 Make your slides as visual as possible.

  • As always with humor in a work setting, remember that humor varies widely between cultures. Avoid making any jokes that make fun of anybody's sex, gender, race, class, or ability. Remember to "punch up"—if your jokes take someone on, take on someone with more power than you, rather than less.
  • If you get nervous, try starting your presentation with a simple joke or a funny story. It will put you and your audience at ease.

Step 5 Find ways to make your presentation interactive.

  • Ask the crowd to consider something or imagine something, and hold a moment of quiet while they do.
  • Interactive moments make great pivots from one section of your talk to another.

Step 6 Consider your audience.

  • Will these be experts, or newcomers to your ideas? If they're experts, you'll need to present them with specific, technical, and new ideas. If they're newcomers, plan to introduce them more generally to your topic, and avoid technical terms.
  • Will audience members be on your side from the start, or will they need persuading?
  • Will you have a large, faceless crowd, or a small group? If you're working with a small group, you can include them in parts of your presentation through questions, personal digressions, and conversations.

How Should You End a Presentation? . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Expert Q&A

Maureen Taylor

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  • ↑ http://firstround.com/review/This-Advice-From-IDEOs-Nicole-Kahn-Will-Transform-the-Way-You-Give-Presentations/
  • ↑ https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/rehearse-your-presentation
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/speech-anxiety
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/speech-anxiety
  • ↑ https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/speaking-audience
  • ↑ https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/public-speaking-tips/gestures-and-body-language

About This Article

Maureen Taylor

If you're worried about delivering an effective presentation, go over your notes again and make sure your presentation is telling a story with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. This type of structure will make it easier for people to follow along, and when you finish your presentation, they'll be more likely to remember what it was about! If you're still unsure, try practicing in front of other people before the big day. By rehearsing your presentation in advance, you'll not only feel more comfortable when you present it in front of an audience, but you can also get helpful feedback from your peers to make your presentation even better. Alternatively, if you're feeling a little nervous, identify what exactly you're afraid of happening during your presentation, and then come up with a plan for each scenario so you're less stressed about it. For example, if you're worried about forgetting what to say next, you could make a list of all the important points you need to make and have it with you during your presentation. For tips from our Communications co-author, like how to appear confident during a presentation, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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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.

businesswoman-speaking-from-a-podium-to-an-audience-in-a-conference-room-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

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.

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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. 

Group-of-a-business-people-having-meeting-in-a-conference-room-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

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.

Woman-presenting-charts-and-data-to-work-team-how-to-give-a-good-presentation

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.

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Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

3 stand-out professional bio examples to inspire your own

How to write a speech that your audience remembers, tell a story they can't ignore these 10 tips will teach you how, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, reading the room gives you an edge — no matter who you're talking to, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, your ultimate guide on how to be a good storyteller, 8 clever hooks for presentations (with tips), 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, 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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Storydoc

How to Make Effective Impactful Presentations (Tips & Tools)

Learn how to make a good presentation great - step-by-step with examples. Learn the principles, guidelines & qualities needed to prepare captivating slides.

how you prepare your presentation

Dominika Krukowska

12 minute read

How to make good presentations

Short answer

Short answer: how to make a good presentation.

Start with a surprising statement, a bold promise, or a mystery

Provide context with a bit of background information

Structure your presentation within a story framework

Make every word count, and use as few as possible

Use visuals only to support your presentation text

Use interactive design to make your audience active participants

End by telling your audience what they can do with what they’ve learned

Boring presentations are instantly forgotten. How’s yours?

Lifeless presentations can spell doom for your message, leaving your audience disengaged and your goals unreached.

The price of a mediocre presentation is steep; missed opportunities, unimpressed prospects, and a bad rep.

In a world where everyone has grown to expect a good story, a boring presentation will be instantly forgotten. Like a drop in the ocean.

But not all is lost.

This post will teach you how presentation pros create compelling narratives and leverage the latest tech tools to command attention, drive a powerful message, and get shared like gossip.

Let’s get started!

How to prepare a presentation?

The successful presenter understands the value of small details and thorough preparation like the seasoned chef knows the importance of quality ingredients and careful technique for serving a 5 star dish

But where do you start?

Step-by-step guide for preparing a presentation:

1. Define your objective

Every presentation needs a clear goal. Are you looking to persuade, educate, or motivate? Perhaps you aim to showcase a product, or share insights about a recent project.

Defining your objective early on will guide your content creation process, helping you to focus your message and structure your presentation effectively. Think of your objective as the North Star guiding your presentation journey.

2. Analyze your audience

Next up, who are you talking to? Your audience should shape your presentation as much as your objective does. Understanding their needs, interests, and background will enable you to tailor your message to resonate with them.

Are they experts in your field, or are they novices looking for an introduction? What questions might they have? The more you know about your audience, the more compelling your presentation will be.

3. Research your topic

Once you've defined your objective and analyzed your audience, it's time to delve deep into your topic. Comprehensive research lays the groundwork for a robust, credible presentation.

Don't just scratch the surface – explore different perspectives, recent developments, and key statistics. This will not only enhance your understanding but also equip you with a wealth of information to answer any questions your audience might have.

4. Choose the right delivery format

Finally, consider the best format to deliver your message.

The right format can make all the difference in how your message is received, so choose wisely!

PowerPoint presentations are classic and easy to work with. But PowerPoint and Google slides are not so versatile in terms of their content experience. They're static, packed with information, and all look alike.

Our own presentation maker offers interactive, personalized, and multimedia content experience.

Data from our research of over 100K presentation sessions shows that audiences engage with Storydoc presentations 103% better than PowerPoint.

how you prepare your presentation

How to create an effective presentation?

There’s part art and part science in creating high-engagement high-impact presentations.

An effective presentation is the painstaking result of well-organized content, visuals that support and elevate your message, simplifying complex information, and personalizing wherever possible.

I wrote this post to teach you how to do all these, and a few things more.

Ready to learn? Let's dive in!

How to organize your presentation content?

Crafting a compelling presentation is like writing a page-turner.

You need to captivate your audience, maintain their interest, and guide them effortlessly through your narrative.

But how do you transform a heap of information into a well-structured presentation you can’t stop reading? There’s a structure you can follow.

3-step process for organizing a magnetic presentation:

1. Prioritize content

Your presentation should immediately capture interest and demonstrate relevance before moving on to establish understanding .

A) Build interest:

Begin with a strong hook that grabs your audience's attention. This could be an intriguing statistic, a powerful image , or an engaging question. It should stir curiosity and make your audience eager to hear more.

B) Establish relevance:

Once you have their attention it's time to establish why your presentation matters to your audience.

Address your audience's main concerns. Make sure your content directly speaks to these pain points, and address them in order of importance.

2. Build anticipation

A great presentation is like getting a new car – it builds anticipation, takes you on a thrilling ride, and ends with you wanting to share the experience with all your friends.

Start with a compelling problem your audience relates to and follow up with a promise of an amazing way they can solve it. This problem-solution dynamic creates a suspense that keeps your audience glued to your presentation.

3. Use a story framework

Finally, use a story framework to give your presentation structure and flow.

Begin with a big idea that underpins your presentation. Then delve into the problem, showcasing why it needs attention. Present your solution, painting a vision of a better future for your audience.

Weave in concrete examples of how your solution changes lives.

Tell the story of WHO you helped, WHAT the situation was before and after your solution, WHERE and WHEN it happened, WHY it worked and HOW it made them feel.

If you’re writing a business presentation you should follow this with an execution plan that outlines how the solution will be implemented.

Finally, close with clear next steps, guiding your audience on what they should do after the presentation to bring meaningful change into their lives.

Our recommended story framework:

How to write a presentation storyline that creates interest

How to design your presentation?

A good presentation is more than just making it look pretty ; it's about communicating your message effectively and creating a lasting impression.

Good presentation design grabs attention, and leads it to where it’s needed most. It takes your hand and leads you through the easiest and most pleasant path to understanding.

Good presentation design supports your message rather than steals the spotlight. Good design is narrated design.

What is narrated design (Scrollytelling)?

Scrollytelling, where "scroll" meets "storytelling", is an interactive content experience that guides readers through a narrative journey with a simple scroll. It connects text, images, videos, and animations into integrated “scenes” where content is both shown and narrated.

Scrollytelling breaks complex content into digestible chunks and gives the reader control over pace. It has been scientifically shown to enhance engagement, understandability and memorability.

Scrollytelling came up as a central thing when Itai Amoza, our Founder and CEO was building the foundations for Storydoc.

He partnered with one of the world’s leading visualization scientists , prof. Steven Franconeri , to help him bring to Storydoc the means to reduce the complexity, friction, and information overload so characteristic of business presentations.

Scrollytelling is part of the solutions that came up, which led to specialized storytelling slides like our narrator slide (in the example below).

An example of Storydoc scrollytelling:

Narrator slide example

How to design presentation visuals to support your story

Presentation visuals can be unsung heroes or sloppy distractions.

Visuals can bring your message to life, make complex concepts easy to understand, and engage your audience in ways that words alone cannot. Or… they can sit there looking all pretty and distract you from what’s really going on.

4 elements of great presentation visuals:

Support your message: Your visuals should support your text, highlight your main message, and align with your objective. They should reinforce your points and help your audience understand your message.

Represent your audience: The best visuals are relatable. They should resonate with your target audience and reflect their world of associations. Use images and graphics that your audience can identify with – this can enhance their engagement and make your presentation more memorable. Equally important is using clean images - an effective way to do this is by using tools that allow you to remove your image backgrounds . By eliminating distractions and focusing on your subject, you create images that are more impactful and, therefore, can potentially increase audience engagement.

Introduce your product, outcomes, and clients: Wherever possible, use visuals to demonstrate your product, illustrate outcomes, and represent your clients. This can remove doubt and misunderstanding by letting your audience see (and make obvious) what words sometimes struggle to describe.

Follow your branding guidelines: Your presentation is an extension of your brand, so your visuals should conform to your branding guidelines. Consistent use of colors, fonts, and styles not only enhances brand recognition but also creates a cohesive, professional look.

Here’s an example of a well-designed presentation:

How to communicate complex information?

Did you ever have to read a presentation where you felt like you're lost in a maze of jargon, data, and complex concepts?

Are you giving others this same experience?

Communicating complex information is a common challenge in presentations. But there are ways you can simplify your presentation and reengage your audience.

Here’s how you can get complex information across:

1. Use interactive content

Interactive content is your best friend when it comes to simplifying complex information and getting deeply engaged with your content.

It gets the readers more involved in your presentation by letting them play an active part; like choosing the content route they wish to take and controlling the pace.

It keeps your presentation textually lean - giving readers the choice to expand more details on demand (in tabs, live graphs, sliders, accordions, and calculators).

Beyond that, live graphs can illustrate trends, animations can demonstrate processes, and videos can bring concepts to life.

Calculators, questionnaires, and chatbots provide personalized and specific answers to readers as part of your presentation, without them having to get in touch with you or your team.

Elavating your presentations from static to interactive has been tied to increasing the number of people who read your presentation in full by 41% !

Making interactive used to be hard, but now you can just use Storydoc. Go make your first interactive presentation. It’s easy as pie.

2. Show don’t tell

A picture is worth a thousand words. Because no one will read a presentation with a thousand words, do everyone a favor and use images.

Images can be super effective at communicating complex information and save you a lot of needless text.

In fact, visual representation of data and concepts can often convey what words cannot. Use diagrams, infographics, and images to illustrate your points and simplify the complex.

The goal is to create a visual narrative that complements your verbal one.

3. Narrate your content

Storytelling is another powerful tool for communicating complex concepts.

Whether it's through text to speech AI, video bubbles, or a scrollytelling narrator slide, narrating your content can help guide your audience through the complexity.

By giving your information a narrative structure, you can make it more digestible, engaging, and memorable.

According to Sales Hacker’s data, people remember up to 10% of numbers and 25% of images they see. When you center your presentation around a story, this rises to 60-70% .

4. Use examples and allegories

Examples and allegories help unravel the complexity of ideas.

They scaffold your message with concepts we already know and understand, and can easily imagine in our mind. This makes them less new and intimidating and more familiar.

Critically, the real secret lies in selecting examples that are not just familiar but also deeply relevant—those are the ones that will truly ring with your listeners.

If you tailor the allegory to your audience's world, it is guaranteed to lead to an “aha” moment.

5. Open a line of communication

Finally, invite dialogue. This could be through a chatbot or an option to book a meeting for further discussion. This not only helps clarify any confusion but also encourages engagement and deepens understanding.

For example, finishing your presentation with an interactive calendar to book a meeting instead of a generic “Thank you” slide has proven to boost conversion rate by 27% !

Thank you slide

How to personalize your presentation?

Imagine attending a party where the host doesn't remember your name or anything about you. Not a great experience, right? The same holds true for presentations.

In a sea of generic content, personalization can be a lifeline that connects you to your audience on a deeper level. It’s also the single most important predictor of success, getting 68% more people to read your presentation in full .

But how do you add that personal touch?

1. Address reader by name

Just as you wouldn't start a conversation without a greeting, don't start your presentation without acknowledging your audience.

Using your audience's name can make your presentation feel like a personal conversation rather than a generic monologue. It's a simple yet powerful way to engage your audience from the get-go.

2. Use their company logo

Including your audience's company logo in your presentation can make them feel seen and valued. It shows that you've taken the time to tailor your presentation to them, enhancing its relevance and appeal.

Plus, it's a subtle way to reinforce that your message is specifically designed to address their needs and challenges.

3. Add a personal message (video or text)

A personal message can go a long way in building a connection with your audience.

It could be a video message from you, expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity to present to them, or a text message highlighting why the presentation matters to them.

This personal touch can make your audience feel special and more invested in your presentation.

4. Personalize your Call-to-Action

Finally, cap off your presentation with a call to action that speaks directly to your audience.

Swap out the generic 'Contact us' with something that gets to the heart of their needs, something like, 'Let's roll up our sleeves and tackle your [specific issue] at [their company].'

By tailoring your call to action, you show your audience you've truly got their back, that you're not just here to talk, but to make a real, positive impact on their world.

Here’s an example of a personalized slide:

how to make a good personalized presentation slide

How to measure the effectiveness of your presentation

Imagine if you could peek into your audience's mind, understand what resonated, what fell flat, and what drove them to action?

Presentation analytics is essential in order to guide you on how to fine-tune it for maximum impact.

But how do you get your hands on presentation analytics?

Any presentation you create with Storydoc comes with an out-of-the-box analytics suite , ready to track and provide insights.

We give you 100% visibility into how people engage with your presentations and send you real-time engagement alerts.

Here’s a video explaining how you can track performance with our analytics panel:

Storydoc analytics pa

4 critical presentation engagement metrics to keep track of

1. Reading time

Storydoc gives you the precise time prospects spend reading your presentation so you can quickly figure out what's hitting the target and what's not.

Are they soaking up every word or just quickly skimming through? This can help you shape your content to hit the bullseye.

NOTE: Keep in mind that reading time alone might not show you a full picture. A better way is to use a smart engagement score that brings together different metrics like time spent and depth of reading. You can get this kind of total score in Storydoc.

2. Reading completion

Another basic metric we track is how many people read your content from start to finish.

This metric is a strong sign of the prospect’s interest and your content quality. It shows you if they're finding the information relevant, but also worth sticking with till the end.

3. Next step conversion rate

This one tracks how many people take the next step after they check out your presentation. This could be filling out a form, setting up a meeting, or downloading more files.

For business presentations, measuring this can show how well your presentation is pushing people further down the sales funnel.

At the top of your analytics dashboard, you can find a tab that shows you how many people clicked on your CTA divided by presentation, date, and location. If you scroll down to the list of readers, next to each person you can also see whether they clicked on the CTA or not.

Here's what it looks like:

Analytics panel - CTA

4. Number of shares

This metric is particularly important for B2B sales teams . As more people are getting involved in buying decisions, this measure helps you see if and when your content is being passed around inside your prospect’s company.

On the analytics dashboard, under each presentation version, you can find detailed information on how many people read it. So, the higher the number, the more your presentation has been shared internally.

We'll notify you when your presentation has been shared, and who opened it, so you can time your follow-up perfectly to your buyer’s readiness to advance further.

Here's where you can find this information:

Analytics panel - internal shares

Best tool for making an effective presentation

In the realm of presentation tools, classics like Google Slides and PowerPoint offer simplicity and ease, while Canva and Pitch add a dash of design flair and collaboration.

If you're seeking to elevate your presentations to new heights you’ll need to do better than simple PowerPoints or flashy Canvas. Next-gen AI presentation tools like Storydoc are your game-changer.

They break free from the static concept of slides and offer the creation of interactive, immersive content experiences that sweep us along like a good story.

Storydoc - AI presentatio

Grab a template - create your best presentation to date

Ever wished for a secret recipe to whip up a killer presentation? We've got something even better! Our interactive presentation templates are your shortcut to success.

Say goodbye to hours of formatting and hello to captivating, interactive presentations, all with a few clicks.

Grab a template and turn presentation woes into wows!

how you prepare your presentation

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

how you prepare your presentation

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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

Updated august 03, 2018 - dom barnard.

For many people the thought of delivering a presentation is a daunting task and brings about a great deal of nerves . However, if you take some time to understand how effective presentations are structured and then apply this structure to your own presentation, you’ll appear much more confident and relaxed.

Here is our complete guide for structuring your presentation, with examples at the end of the article to demonstrate these points.

Why is structuring a presentation so important?

If you’ve ever sat through a great presentation, you'll have left feeling either inspired or informed on a given topic. This isn’t because the speaker was the most knowledgeable or motivating person in the world. Instead, it’s because they know how to structure presentations - they have crafted their message in a logical and simple way that has allowed the audience can keep up with them and take away key messages.

Research has supported this, with studies showing that audiences retain structured information 40% more accurately than unstructured information.

In fact, not only is structuring a presentation important for the benefit of the audience’s understanding, it’s also important for you as the speaker. A good structure helps you remain calm, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences.

What will affect your presentation structure?

Generally speaking, there is a natural flow that any decent presentation will follow which we will go into shortly. However, you should be aware that all presentation structures will be different in their own unique way and this will be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Whether you need to deliver any demonstrations
  • How knowledgeable the audience already is on the given subject
  • How much interaction you want from the audience
  • Any time constraints there are for your talk
  • What setting you are in
  • Your ability to use any kinds of visual assistance

Before choosing the presentation's structure answer these questions first:

  • What is your presentation's aim?
  • Who are the audience?
  • What are the main points your audience should remember afterwards?

When reading the points below, think critically about what things may cause your presentation structure to be slightly different. You can add in certain elements and add more focus to certain moments if that works better for your speech.

Good presentation structure is important for a presentation

What is the typical presentation structure?

This is the usual flow of a presentation, which covers all the vital sections and is a good starting point for yours. It allows your audience to easily follow along and sets out a solid structure you can add your content to.

1. Greet the audience and introduce yourself

Before you start delivering your talk, introduce yourself to the audience and clarify who you are and your relevant expertise. This does not need to be long or incredibly detailed, but will help build an immediate relationship between you and the audience. It gives you the chance to briefly clarify your expertise and why you are worth listening to. This will help establish your ethos so the audience will trust you more and think you're credible.

Read our tips on How to Start a Presentation Effectively

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2. Introduction

In the introduction you need to explain the subject and purpose of your presentation whilst gaining the audience's interest and confidence. It's sometimes helpful to think of your introduction as funnel-shaped to help filter down your topic:

  • Introduce your general topic
  • Explain your topic area
  • State the issues/challenges in this area you will be exploring
  • State your presentation's purpose - this is the basis of your presentation so ensure that you provide a statement explaining how the topic will be treated, for example, "I will argue that…" or maybe you will "compare", "analyse", "evaluate", "describe" etc.
  • Provide a statement of what you're hoping the outcome of the presentation will be, for example, "I'm hoping this will be provide you with..."
  • Show a preview of the organisation of your presentation

In this section also explain:

  • The length of the talk.
  • Signal whether you want audience interaction - some presenters prefer the audience to ask questions throughout whereas others allocate a specific section for this.
  • If it applies, inform the audience whether to take notes or whether you will be providing handouts.

The way you structure your introduction can depend on the amount of time you have been given to present: a sales pitch may consist of a quick presentation so you may begin with your conclusion and then provide the evidence. Conversely, a speaker presenting their idea for change in the world would be better suited to start with the evidence and then conclude what this means for the audience.

Keep in mind that the main aim of the introduction is to grab the audience's attention and connect with them.

3. The main body of your talk

The main body of your talk needs to meet the promises you made in the introduction. Depending on the nature of your presentation, clearly segment the different topics you will be discussing, and then work your way through them one at a time - it's important for everything to be organised logically for the audience to fully understand. There are many different ways to organise your main points, such as, by priority, theme, chronologically etc.

  • Main points should be addressed one by one with supporting evidence and examples.
  • Before moving on to the next point you should provide a mini-summary.
  • Links should be clearly stated between ideas and you must make it clear when you're moving onto the next point.
  • Allow time for people to take relevant notes and stick to the topics you have prepared beforehand rather than straying too far off topic.

When planning your presentation write a list of main points you want to make and ask yourself "What I am telling the audience? What should they understand from this?" refining your answers this way will help you produce clear messages.

4. Conclusion

In presentations the conclusion is frequently underdeveloped and lacks purpose which is a shame as it's the best place to reinforce your messages. Typically, your presentation has a specific goal - that could be to convert a number of the audience members into customers, lead to a certain number of enquiries to make people knowledgeable on specific key points, or to motivate them towards a shared goal.

Regardless of what that goal is, be sure to summarise your main points and their implications. This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there.

Follow these steps:

  • Signal that it's nearly the end of your presentation, for example, "As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…"
  • Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation - "In this speech I wanted to compare…"
  • Summarise the main points, including their implications and conclusions
  • Indicate what is next/a call to action/a thought-provoking takeaway
  • Move on to the last section

5. Thank the audience and invite questions

Conclude your talk by thanking the audience for their time and invite them to ask any questions they may have. As mentioned earlier, personal circumstances will affect the structure of your presentation.

Many presenters prefer to make the Q&A session the key part of their talk and try to speed through the main body of the presentation. This is totally fine, but it is still best to focus on delivering some sort of initial presentation to set the tone and topics for discussion in the Q&A.

Questions being asked after a presentation

Other common presentation structures

The above was a description of a basic presentation, here are some more specific presentation layouts:

Demonstration

Use the demonstration structure when you have something useful to show. This is usually used when you want to show how a product works. Steve Jobs frequently used this technique in his presentations.

  • Explain why the product is valuable.
  • Describe why the product is necessary.
  • Explain what problems it can solve for the audience.
  • Demonstrate the product to support what you've been saying.
  • Make suggestions of other things it can do to make the audience curious.

Problem-solution

This structure is particularly useful in persuading the audience.

  • Briefly frame the issue.
  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it 's such a problem. Use logos and pathos for this - the logical and emotional appeals.
  • Provide the solution and explain why this would also help the audience.
  • Call to action - something you want the audience to do which is straightforward and pertinent to the solution.

Storytelling

As well as incorporating stories in your presentation , you can organise your whole presentation as a story. There are lots of different type of story structures you can use - a popular choice is the monomyth - the hero's journey. In a monomyth, a hero goes on a difficult journey or takes on a challenge - they move from the familiar into the unknown. After facing obstacles and ultimately succeeding the hero returns home, transformed and with newfound wisdom.

Storytelling for Business Success webinar , where well-know storyteller Javier Bernad shares strategies for crafting compelling narratives.

Another popular choice for using a story to structure your presentation is in media ras (in the middle of thing). In this type of story you launch right into the action by providing a snippet/teaser of what's happening and then you start explaining the events that led to that event. This is engaging because you're starting your story at the most exciting part which will make the audience curious - they'll want to know how you got there.

  • Great storytelling: Examples from Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma

Remaining method

The remaining method structure is good for situations where you're presenting your perspective on a controversial topic which has split people's opinions.

  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it's such a problem - use logos and pathos.
  • Rebut your opponents' solutions - explain why their solutions could be useful because the audience will see this as fair and will therefore think you're trustworthy, and then explain why you think these solutions are not valid.
  • After you've presented all the alternatives provide your solution, the remaining solution. This is very persuasive because it looks like the winning idea, especially with the audience believing that you're fair and trustworthy.

Transitions

When delivering presentations it's important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it's all relevant. This can be done using speech transitions which are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.

Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence - there are many different forms, here are some examples:

Moving from the introduction to the first point

Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:

  • Now that you're aware of the overview, let's begin with...
  • First, let's begin with...
  • I will first cover...
  • My first point covers...
  • To get started, let's look at...

Shifting between similar points

Move from one point to a similar one:

  • In the same way...
  • Likewise...
  • This is similar to...
  • Similarly...

Internal summaries

Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:

  • What part of the presentation you covered - "In the first part of this speech we've covered..."
  • What the key points were - "Precisely how..."
  • How this links in with the overall presentation - "So that's the context..."
  • What you're moving on to - "Now I'd like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at..."

Physical movement

You can move your body and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.

A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:

  • Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
  • For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
  • You discuss your second point from the centre again.
  • You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
  • The conclusion occurs in the centre.

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Key slides for your presentation

Slides are a useful tool for most presentations: they can greatly assist in the delivery of your message and help the audience follow along with what you are saying. Key slides include:

  • An intro slide outlining your ideas
  • A summary slide with core points to remember
  • High quality image slides to supplement what you are saying

There are some presenters who choose not to use slides at all, though this is more of a rarity. Slides can be a powerful tool if used properly, but the problem is that many fail to do just that. Here are some golden rules to follow when using slides in a presentation:

  • Don't over fill them - your slides are there to assist your speech, rather than be the focal point. They should have as little information as possible, to avoid distracting people from your talk.
  • A picture says a thousand words - instead of filling a slide with text, instead, focus on one or two images or diagrams to help support and explain the point you are discussing at that time.
  • Make them readable - depending on the size of your audience, some may not be able to see small text or images, so make everything large enough to fill the space.
  • Don't rush through slides - give the audience enough time to digest each slide.

Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a 10-20-30 rule :

  • There should be a maximum of 10 slides - people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there's no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
  • The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
  • The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.

Here are some additional resources for slide design:

  • 7 design tips for effective, beautiful PowerPoint presentations
  • 11 design tips for beautiful presentations
  • 10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea

Group Presentations

Group presentations are structured in the same way as presentations with one speaker but usually require more rehearsal and practices. Clean transitioning between speakers is very important in producing a presentation that flows well. One way of doing this consists of:

  • Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: "So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody"
  • Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: "Now Elnaz will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety."
  • Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: "Elnaz".
  • The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: "Thank you Joe."

From this example you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.

Example of great presentation structure and delivery

Having examples of great presentations will help inspire your own structures, here are a few such examples, each unique and inspiring in their own way.

How Google Works - by Eric Schmidt

This presentation by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt demonstrates some of the most important lessons he and his team have learnt with regards to working with some of the most talented individuals they hired. The simplistic yet cohesive style of all of the slides is something to be appreciated. They are relatively straightforward, yet add power and clarity to the narrative of the presentation.

Start with why - by Simon Sinek

Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world. The message itself is very powerful, however, it’s not an idea that hasn't been heard before. What makes this presentation so powerful is the simple message he is getting across, and the straightforward and understandable manner in which he delivers it. Also note that he doesn't use any slides, just a whiteboard where he creates a simple diagram of his opinion.

The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout - by Rick Rigsby

Here’s an example of a presentation given by a relatively unknown individual looking to inspire the next generation of graduates. Rick’s presentation is unique in many ways compared to the two above. Notably, he uses no visual prompts and includes a great deal of humour.

However, what is similar is the structure he uses. He first introduces his message that the wisest man he knew was a third-grade dropout. He then proceeds to deliver his main body of argument, and in the end, concludes with his message. This powerful speech keeps the viewer engaged throughout, through a mixture of heart-warming sentiment, powerful life advice and engaging humour.

As you can see from the examples above, and as it has been expressed throughout, a great presentation structure means analysing the core message of your presentation. Decide on a key message you want to impart the audience with, and then craft an engaging way of delivering it.

By preparing a solid structure, and practising your talk beforehand, you can walk into the presentation with confidence and deliver a meaningful message to an interested audience.

It's important for a presentation to be well-structured so it can have the most impact on your audience. An unstructured presentation can be difficult to follow and even frustrating to listen to. The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked.

Research suggests that the audience remember the first and last things you say so your introduction and conclusion are vital for reinforcing your points. Essentially, ensure you spend the time structuring your presentation and addressing all of the sections.

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Steps in Preparing a Presentation

Planning your presentation, step 1: analyze your audience, step 2: select a topic, step 3: define the objective of the presentation, preparing the content of your presentation, step 4: prepare the body of the presentation, step 5: prepare the introduction and conclusion, practicing and delivering, step 6: practice delivering the presentation.

A labyrinth

The first step in preparing a presentation is to learn more about the audience to whom you'll be speaking. It's a good idea to obtain some information on the backgrounds, values, and interests of your audience so that you understand what the audience members might expect from your presentation.

Next, if possible select a topic that is of interest to the audience and to you. It will be much easier to deliver a presentation that the audience finds relevant, and more enjoyable to research a topic that is of interest to you.

Once you have selected a topic, write the objective of the presentation in a single concise statement. The objective needs to specify exactly what you want your audience to learn from your presentation. Base the objective and the level of the content on the amount of time you have for the presentation and the background knowledge of the audience. Use this statement to help keep you focused as you research and develop the presentation.

After defining the objective of your presentation, determine how much information you can present in the amount of time allowed. Also, use your knowledge about the audience to prepare a presentation with the right level of detail. You don't want to plan a presentation that is too basic or too advanced.

The body of the presentation is where you present your ideas. To present your ideas convincingly, you will need to illustrate and support them. Strategies to help you do this include the following:

  • Present data and facts
  • Read quotes from experts
  • Relate personal experiences
  • Provide vivid descriptions

And remember, as you plan the body of your presentation it's important to provide variety. Listeners may quickly become bored by lots of facts or they may tire of hearing story after story.

Once you've prepared the body of the presentation, decide how you will begin and end the talk. Make sure the introduction captures the attention of your audience and the conclusion summarizes and reiterates your important points. In other words, "Tell them what you're going to tell them. Tell them. Then, tell them what you told them."

During the  opening  of your presentation, it's important to attract the audience's attention and build their interest. If you don't, listeners will turn their attention elsewhere and you'll have a difficult time getting it back. Strategies that you can use include the following:

  • Make the introduction relevant to the listeners' goals, values, and needs
  • Ask questions to stimulate thinking
  • Share a personal experience
  • Begin with a joke or humorous story
  • Project a cartoon or colorful visual
  • Make a stimulating or inspirational statement
  • Give a unique demonstration

During the opening you want to clearly present your topic and the purpose of your presentation. Clearly articulating the topic and purpose will help the listeners focus on and easily follow your main ideas.

During the  conclusion  of your presentation, reinforce the main ideas you communicated. Remember that listeners won't remember your entire presentation, only the main ideas. By reinforcing and reviewing the main ideas, you help the audience remember them.

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Most people spend hours preparing a presentation but very little time practicing it. When you practice your presentation, you can reduce the number of times you utter words and phrases like, "um," "well," and "you know." These habits can easily diminish a speaker's credibility. You can also fine-tune your content to be sure you make your most important points in the time alloted.

In addition to planning the content of your presentation, you need to give advanced thought to how you want to deliver it. Do you want to commit your presentation to memory, use cards to guide you, or read from a script? Or, you might want to use a combination of methods. To help you decide, read the advantages and disadvantages of the four delivery methods described below.

Speaking from Memory

A human brain.

A distinct advantage of speaking from memory is your ability to speak to the audience without relying on notes or a script. This allows you the flexibility to move away from the podium and to maintain eye contact with the audience. However, speaking from memory has disadvantages, too. Presentations from memory often sound rehearsed and the possibility exists that you'll forget an important point, present information that's inaccurate, or completely lose your train of thought. If you decide to deliver your presentation from memory, have notes handy to jog your memory just in case!

Speaking from Notes

A note card.

Many people like to speak from notes. Typically these notes are either on cards or paper in outline form and contain key ideas and information. If you are using an electronic presentation tool, you may be able to include your notes in the presentation itself. The benefit of delivering a presentation from notes is that you sound natural rather than rehearsed and you can still maintain relatively good eye contact with the audience. The down side is that you might not express your key ideas and thoughts as well as you may have liked had you planned your exact words in advance.

Speaking from Text

Gettysburg Address speech

Speaking from text involves writing your speech out, word for word, then basically reading from the text. As with speaking from memory, an advantage of this method is that you plan, in advance, exactly what you're going to say and how you're going to say it. A disadvantage is that you might appear to the audience to be stiff or rehearsed. You will need to make frequent eye contact and speak with expression to maintain the audience's interest.

Using a Combination of Methods

You may find the best method to be a combination of all three. For instance, experts suggest you memorize the first and last ten minutes of your talk so that you can speak flawlessly and without notes. Notes may be suitable for segments of your presentation that you know very well, for example, relating a personal story. Finally, speaking from a text might be appropriate when you have quotes or other important points that you want to make sure you communicate accurately and completely. You can make a smooth segue to written text by saying something like: "I want to read this quote to you verbatim, to ensure that I don't distort the original intent."

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How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

Jane Ng • 02 Nov 2023 • 8 min read

Is it difficult to start of presentation? You’re standing before a room full of eager listeners, ready to share your knowledge and captivate their attention. But where do you begin? How do you structure your ideas and convey them effectively?

Take a deep breath, and fear not! In this article, we’ll provide a road map on how to write a presentation covering everything from crafting a script to creating an engaging introduction.

So, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is a presentation , what should be in a powerful presentation.

  • How To Write A Presentation Script
  • How to Write A Presentation Introduction 

Key Takeaways

Tips for better presentation.

  • How to start a presentation
  • How to introduce yourself

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Presentations are all about connecting with your audience. 

Presenting is a fantastic way to share information, ideas, or arguments with your audience. Think of it as a structured approach to effectively convey your message. And you’ve got options such as slideshows, speeches, demos, videos, and even multimedia presentations!

The purpose of a presentation can vary depending on the situation and what the presenter wants to achieve. 

  • In the business world, presentations are commonly used to pitch proposals, share reports, or make sales pitches. 
  • In educational settings, presentations are a go-to for teaching or delivering engaging lectures. 
  • For conferences, seminars, and public events—presentations are perfect for dishing out information, inspiring folks, or even persuading the audience.

That sounds brilliant. But, how to write a presentation?

How To Write A Presentation

How To Write A Presentation? What should be in a powerful presentation? A great presentation encompasses several key elements to captivate your audience and effectively convey your message. Here’s what you should consider including in a winning presentation:

  • Clear and Engaging Introduction: Start your presentation with a bang! Hook your audience’s attention right from the beginning by using a captivating story, a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful quote. Clearly state the purpose of your presentation and establish a connection with your listeners.
  • Well-Structured Content: Organize your content logically and coherently. Divide your presentation into sections or main points and provide smooth transitions between them. Each section should flow seamlessly into the next, creating a cohesive narrative. Use clear headings and subheadings to guide your audience through the presentation.
  • Compelling Visuals: Incorporate visual aids, such as images, graphs, or videos, to enhance your presentation. Make sure your visuals are visually appealing, relevant, and easy to understand. Use a clean and uncluttered design with legible fonts and appropriate color schemes. 
  • Engaging Delivery: Pay attention to your delivery style and body language. You should maintain eye contact with your audience, use gestures to emphasize key points, and vary your tone of voice to keep the presentation dynamic. 
  • Clear and Memorable Conclusion: Leave your audience with a lasting impression by providing a strong closing statement, a call to action, or a thought-provoking question. Make sure your conclusion ties back to your introduction and reinforces the core message of your presentation.

how you prepare your presentation

How To Write A Presentation Script (With Examples)

To successfully convey your message to your audience, you must carefully craft and organize your presentation script. Here are steps on how to write a presentation script: 

1/ Understand Your Purpose and Audience:

  • Clarify the purpose of your presentation. Are you informing, persuading, or entertaining?
  • Identify your target audience and their knowledge level, interests, and expectations.
  • Define what presentation format you want to use

2/ Outline the Structure of Your Presentation:

Strong opening: .

Start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Some types of openings you can use are: 

  • Start with a Thought-Provoking Question: “Have you ever…?”
  • Begin with a Surprising Fact or Statistic: “Did you know that….?”
  • Use a Powerful Quote: “As Maya Angelou once said,….”
  • Tell a Compelling Story : “Picture this: You’re standing at….”
  • Start with a Bold Statement: “In the fast-paced digital age….”

Main Points: 

Clearly state your main points or key ideas that you will discuss throughout the presentation.

  • Clearly State the Purpose and Main Points: Example: “In this presentation, we will delve into three key areas. First,… Next,… Finally,…. we’ll discuss….”
  • Provide Background and Context: Example: “Before we dive into the details, let’s understand the basics of…..”
  • Present Supporting Information and Examples: Example: “To illustrate…., let’s look at an example. In,…..”
  • Address Counterarguments or Potential Concerns: Example: “While…, we must also consider… .”
  • Recap Key Points and Transition to the Next Section: Example: “To summarize, we’ve… Now, let’s shift our focus to…”

Remember to organize your content logically and coherently, ensuring smooth transitions between sections.

Ending: 

You can conclude with a strong closing statement summarizing your main points and leaving a lasting impression. Example: “As we conclude our presentation, it’s clear that… By…., we can….”

3/ Craft Clear and Concise Sentences:

Once you’ve outlined your presentation, you need to edit your sentences. Use clear and straightforward language to ensure your message is easily understood.

Alternatively, you can break down complex ideas into simpler concepts and provide clear explanations or examples to aid comprehension.

4/ Use Visual Aids and Supporting Materials:

Use supporting materials such as statistics, research findings, or real-life examples to back up your points and make them more compelling. 

  • Example: “As you can see from this graph,… This demonstrates….”

5/ Include Engagement Techniques:

Incorporate interactive elements to engage your audience, such as Q&A sessions , conducting live polls , or encouraging participation.

6/ Rehearse and Revise:

  • Practice delivering your presentation script to familiarize yourself with the content and improve your delivery.
  • Revise and edit your script as needed, removing any unnecessary information or repetitions.

7/ Seek Feedback:

You can share your script or deliver a practice presentation to a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor to gather feedback on your script and make adjustments accordingly.

More on Script Presentation

how you prepare your presentation

How to Write A Presentation Introduction with Examples

How to write presentations that are engaging and visually appealing? Looking for introduction ideas for the presentation? As mentioned earlier, once you have completed your script, it’s crucial to focus on editing and refining the most critical element—the opening of your presentation – the section that determines whether you can captivate and retain your audience’s attention right from the start. 

Here is a guide on how to craft an opening that grabs your audience’s attention from the very first minute: 

1/ Start with a Hook

To begin, you can choose from five different openings mentioned in the script based on your desired purpose and content. Alternatively, you can opt for the approach that resonates with you the most, and instills your confidence. Remember, the key is to choose a starting point that aligns with your objectives and allows you to deliver your message effectively.

2/ Establish Relevance and Context:

Then you should establish the topic of your presentation and explain why it is important or relevant to your audience. Connect the topic to their interests, challenges, or aspirations to create a sense of relevance.

3/ State the Purpose

Clearly articulate the purpose or goal of your presentation. Let the audience know what they can expect to gain or achieve by listening to your presentation.

4/ Preview Your Main Points

Give a brief overview of the main points or sections you will cover in your presentation. It helps the audience understand the structure and flow of your presentation and creates anticipation.

5/ Establish Credibility

Share your expertise or credentials related to the topic to build trust with the audience, such as a brief personal story, relevant experience, or mentioning your professional background.

6/ Engage Emotionally

Connect emotional levels with your audience by appealing to their aspirations, fears, desires, or values. They help create a deeper connection and engagement from the very beginning.

Make sure your introduction is concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Aim for clarity and brevity to maintain the audience’s attention.

For example, Topic: Work-life balance

“Good morning, everyone! Can you imagine waking up each day feeling energized and ready to conquer both your personal and professional pursuits? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll explore today – the wonderful world of work-life balance. In a fast-paced society where work seems to consume every waking hour, it’s vital to find that spot where our careers and personal lives harmoniously coexist. Throughout this presentation, we’ll dive into practical strategies that help us achieve that coveted balance, boost productivity, and nurture our overall well-being. 

But before we dive in, let me share a bit about my journey. As a working professional and a passionate advocate for work-life balance, I have spent years researching and implementing strategies that have transformed my own life. I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you today, with the hope of inspiring positive change and creating a more fulfilling work-life balance for everyone in this room. So, let’s get started!”

Check out: How to Start a Presentation?

how you prepare your presentation

Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or new to the stage, understanding how to write a presentation that conveys your message effectively is a valuable skill. By following the steps in this guide, you can become a captivating presenter and make your mark in every presentation you deliver.

Additionally, AhaSlides can significantly enhance your presentation’s impact. With AhaSlides, you can use live polls, quizzes, and word cloud to turn your presentation into an engaging and interactive experience. Let’s take a moment to explore our vast template library !

Frequently Asked Questions

1/ how to write a presentation step by step .

You can refer to our step-by-step guide on How To Write A Presentation Script:

  • Understand Your Purpose and Audience
  • Outline the Structure of Your Presentation
  • Craft Clear and Concise Sentences
  • Use Visual Aids and Supporting Material
  • Include Engagement Techniques
  • Rehearse and Revise
  • Seek Feedback

2/ How do you start a presentation? 

You can start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Consider using one of the following approaches:

3/ What are the five parts of a presentation?

When it comes to presentation writing, a typical presentation consists of the following five parts:

  • Introduction: Capturing the audience’s attention, introducing yourself, stating the purpose, and providing an overview.
  • Main Body: Presenting main points, evidence, examples, and arguments.
  • Visual Aids: Using visuals to enhance understanding and engage the audience.
  • Conclusion: Summarizing main points, restating key message, and leaving a memorable takeaway or call to action.
  • Q&A or Discussion: Optional part for addressing questions and encouraging audience participation.

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A writer who wants to create practical and valuable content for the audience

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How To Choose A Perfect Presentation Outfit: Best Step-by-Step Guide in 2023

how you prepare your presentation

Prepare your presentation with Copilot for Microsoft 365

You’ve been asked to give a new presentation and Copilot for Microsoft 365 can help! For this example, we’ll imagine you’re a professional landscaper and you’ve been asked to present to a local community organization about tulips.

Start from an outline

Often the best way to prepare a new presentation is to create an outline of what you plan to cover. For our example we’ll start with Copilot in OneNote.

Start OneNote.

Navigate to the section where you want your presentation outline to live.

Create a new page for your presentation.

Start Copilot from the ribbon.

The Copilot pane will open on the right, waiting for your prompt. You can use natural language, and the more details you can give Copilot the better your results will be.

You could just enter:

Create an outline for a 45-minute presentation on tulips.

But you’ll get better results if you do a couple more things.

Give it context

Start by telling it what role you want Copilot to play in creating this content.

Act as a professional landscaper. Create an outline for a 45-minute presentation on tulips.

By setting that context first, you let the AI know how you want the content framed.

Give it more details

Try adding to your prompt details about what you want it to cover, and who the audience is.

Act as a professional landscaper speaking to a group of interested community members. Create an outline for a 45-minute presentation on tulips. Include sections on the history of the flower, different types, best time to plant, care and feeding.

Now when you run the prompt, you’ll get a more detailed response.

Tip:  Don’t be afraid to play around with the specifics – add or remove details, change the order, try different contexts.

If you’re happy (or mostly happy) with the draft outline Copilot has created, select the copy button in the Copilot pane and paste the outline onto your OneNote page.

Review and edit

Now you’ll want to add your own touches. Go through the outline and add or remove things as you see fit.

Tip:  OneNote excels as a research tool. Don’t be afraid to add your own notes, copy in content from websites, or add other supporting materials to the page that will be helpful as you prepare your presentation.

Create your handout

When you’re happy with your outline it’s time to create some handouts for the audience. Select your outline in OneNote and copy it to the clipboard. Then open Microsoft Word to a new, blank, document.

Screenshot shows Draft with Copilot in Word.

When Word opens the Copilot dialog should appear. Let’s give it a prompt:

Act as a professional landscaper creating an article for an audience of interested community members. Make it clear, simple, and engaging. Base it off this outline: <paste outline from OneNote>.

Copilot will draft an article for you based on your presentation outline.

Save to OneDrive

Before you spend much time editing your handout, save it to OneDrive. This will make sure your work is saved as you go and it’s key to our final step in preparing the presentation.

Go through the article and make sure that what Copilot added is what you wanted. Edit for voice and tone and make sure any facts it’s added are accurate. Remove anything you don’t want and add anything it missed.

Tip:  You can ask Copilot to add more content if you like. Place the cursor where you want that content to be, then click the Copilot button on the ribbon. Tell it what you want. Add two paragraphs about other plants that look good with tulips.

Go to the Insert tab, select Pictures , and then Online Pictures . Search for “Tulips” and select one or more nice images to make your article more appealing.

Create the slide deck

Now it’s time to let Copilot in PowerPoint get to work.

Open PowerPoint to a new blank deck.

Select Copilot from the ribbon.

In the prompt box type Create presentation from  file.

Copy Link button in Word share tray

Copilot in PowerPoint will build a draft presentation based on your Word document, complete with images and speaker notes.

As always, it’s important that you review the draft Copilot has created. Add any additional slides or information you want, remove any that you don’t.  Add your own expertise where appropriate.

If you want to change any of the images Copilot has added just right-click the image and select Change picture .

Tip:  Practice with Speaker Coach When you’re happy with the presentation you might want to practice it once or twice with Speaker Coach before the big day. For more information see  Rehearse your slide show with Speaker Coach.

Give it a try!

Next time you have a presentation to create let Copilot for Microsoft 365 help you at each step of the way.

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How to Make Your Google Slides Look Cool

Creating a visually appealing and engaging presentation is an art. With Google Slides, you have a range of tools at your disposal to transform a bland presentation into something cool, dynamic, and eye-catching.

Whether you’re presenting to a classroom, a boardroom, or at a conference, the visual appeal of your slides can make a significant difference.

Here, we’ll explore various techniques to elevate the aesthetics and engagement level of your Google Slides presentations.

2 Million+ Google Slides Themes, Presentation Templates + More With Unlimited Downloads

Download thousands of Google Slides themes, and many other design elements, with a monthly Envato Elements membership. It starts at $16 per month, and gives you unlimited access to a growing library of over 2,000,000 presentation templates, fonts, photos, graphics, and more.

Company Profile Template

Company Profile Template

Google slides.

Creative Template

Creative Template

Ciri Slides Template

Ciri Slides Template

Clean & minimal.

Delica Google Slides

Delica Google Slides

133+ unique slides.

Alloyz Business Template

Alloyz Business Template

Kloe Minimal Template

Kloe Minimal Template

Clean & simple design.

Explore Google Slides Themes

Step 1: Choosing the Right Theme

google slides themes

Using a great Google Slides theme is the key to making your presentation look more professional. Not only that, it will also allow you to get a head start on your design process.

Start with a Strong Foundation

Your choice of theme sets the stage for your entire presentation. Access the “Slide” menu, select “Change theme,” and peruse the available options. The theme should align with your presentation’s purpose and tone, as well as resonate with your audience.

Customize the Theme

Once you select a theme, don’t shy away from tweaking it. Adjust background colors, fonts, and layout elements to tailor the theme to your specific needs. Customization can make your presentation more unique, reflecting your personal or organizational style.

Step 2: Using High-Quality Images and Graphics

google slides images

A picture is worth a thousand words! Always use images, graphics, icons, and charts whenever possible.

Incorporate Professional Images

Utilize high-resolution images to bring visual richness to your slides. Websites like Unsplash or Pixabay offer free, professional-grade images that can significantly enhance the impact of your presentation.

Smart Use of Graphics and Icons

Well-placed graphics and icons can make your slides more engaging and help break up text-heavy content. Use the “Insert” menu to add relevant shapes, diagrams, or icons. Be mindful to keep them complementary to your content and avoid overloading your slides.

Step 3: Playing with Colors and Fonts

Be careful when choosing colors. The presentation should represent your brand style as well as the topic you’re discussing.

Color Schemes

Colors can set the mood of your presentation and influence how your message is perceived. Choose a color scheme that is visually appealing yet maintains professionalism. Tools like Coolors or Adobe Color can assist in finding a harmonious and appealing palette.

Font Pairings

Fonts play a critical role in the legibility and aesthetics of your presentation. Pair a strong, distinctive font for headings with a more subdued, easily readable font for body text. Resources like Google Fonts can be invaluable for finding effective font pairings.

Step 4: Effective Use of Animations and Transitions

google slides animation

Animations in slideshows are important. But make sure not to go overboard with it.

Subtle Animations

Animations add dynamism to your presentation but should be used judiciously. Opt for simple, elegant animations like “Fade” or “Fly in” to introduce new elements or highlight key points, while avoiding overly complex or jarring animations that can distract from your message.

Thoughtful Transitions

Slide transitions should be smooth and consistent. Using the same transition style throughout your presentation can help maintain a professional and cohesive feel.

Step 5: Creating Custom Layouts

Don’t be afraid to customize the designs and create your own custom layouts.

Break the Mold

Standard layouts can be limiting. Experiment with custom layouts by creatively combining text, images, and graphics. This approach can make your slides more engaging and unique, helping to tell your story in an innovative way.

Balance Your Elements

While creativity is key, it’s important to keep your slides uncluttered. Strive for a balance between various elements, ensuring each has enough space and the slide doesn’t feel overcrowded.

Step 6: Adding Multimedia Elements

In addition to using images, try to add video and audio to your slideshow to make it more engaging.

Embed Videos and Audio

Including videos or audio clips can make your presentation more interactive and engaging. Use the “Insert” menu to embed multimedia elements that are relevant and add value to your content.

Interactive Elements

For a more engaging experience, consider adding interactive elements like hyperlinks, embedded surveys, or quizzes. These elements can be particularly effective in educational and corporate presentations.

Step 7: Utilizing Data Visualization

google slides charts

Numbers look great when they are accompanied by graphs and charts.

Include Charts and Graphs

Data visualization can help convey complex information in an easy-to-understand format. Use Google Slides’ built-in chart tools to incorporate graphs and charts that are visually appealing and relevant to your data.

Customizing Data Representation

Customize your charts and graphs to align with your presentation’s color scheme and style. This not only makes your data more coherent with the overall design but also enhances readability.

Best Practices for Cool Google Slides

Follow these best practices to make even cooler and professional slideshows.

1. Consistency is Key

Maintain a consistent use of colors, fonts, and design elements throughout your presentation. This consistency creates a professional and cohesive look.

2. Less is More

Adopt a minimalistic approach. Overuse of colors, fonts, or animations can be overwhelming. Less clutter means your content can shine more brightly.

3. Focus on Readability

Ensure your text is easy to read. Pay attention to font sizes, and ensure there’s a strong contrast between text and background colors.

4. Quality Over Quantity

Prioritize high-quality images and graphics. Low-resolution images can diminish the professional look of your slides.

5. Test Your Slides

Always preview your slides on different screens and in various lighting conditions to ensure they look good universally.

6. Keep Up with Trends

Stay updated on the latest design trends, but make sure your presentation style is appropriate for your message and audience.

7. Tailor for Your Audience

Customize your presentation to resonate with your specific audience. This might mean using industry-specific terminology, relevant cultural references, or appropriate humor.

8. Seek Feedback

Get feedback on your presentation from peers or colleagues. Fresh eyes can offer valuable insights and help identify areas that need improvement.

By incorporating these techniques and best practices, your Google Slides presentations will not only look cool but also be more engaging and effective. Remember, the key is to balance creativity with clarity and professionalism.

Whether you’re presenting complex data or a simple narrative, these tips will help you deliver your message in a visually compelling way.

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    1. Choose the topic of your presentation. Choosing the topic of your presentation is arguably one of the most important parts of presentation creation. If you're a student looking for presentation topics, check out our list of 150+ presentation topic ideas covering various subjects to find something you like.

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    1. Choose the right software for your needs The four main presentation softwares The easiest way to select the right presentation software for you is to simply find the one that is native to your device. For example, if you have a Mac, use Apple Keynote, if you work on Windows, use PowerPoint.

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    Use graphics to help tell your story. Don't overwhelm your audience by adding too many graphics to a slide, however. Make labels for charts and graphs understandable. Use only enough text to make label elements in a chart or graph comprehensible. Make slide backgrounds subtle and keep them consistent.

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    1 Start with a title slide. Download Article Introduce your topic with an eye-catching first slide. Put the name of your presentation in large letters in the middle of the slide so it's easy to read from across the room. Depending on the type of presentation, you can also include your name and title on the slide if your audience doesn't know you.

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    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.

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    Give yourself extra time if you plan to take questions, or if you anticipate lots of digressions. 5. Practice repeatedly. Try practicing in front of your dog, your mirror, or your family. Practice speaking with an engaging tone. Gesture and emote as if you were addressing your audience.

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    This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there. Follow these steps: Signal that it's nearly the end of your presentation, for example, "As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…". Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation - "In this speech I wanted to compare…".

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    Step 1: Analyze your audience The first step in preparing a presentation is to learn more about the audience to whom you'll be speaking. It's a good idea to obtain some information on the backgrounds, values, and interests of your audience so that you understand what the audience members might expect from your presentation. Step 2: Select a topic

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    Select Copilot from the ribbon. In the prompt box type Create presentation from file. Copy the URL of the document you'd like to use by opening the share tray in Word and clicking Copy Link. Paste the URL to your Word document into Copilot in PowerPoint. Copilot in PowerPoint will build a draft presentation based on your Word document, complete ...

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    Best Practices for Cool Google Slides. Follow these best practices to make even cooler and professional slideshows. 1. Consistency is Key. Maintain a consistent use of colors, fonts, and design elements throughout your presentation. This consistency creates a professional and cohesive look. 2. Less is More.

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