20 Tips for an Effective Presentation

  1.  Always use PowerPoint. By using PowerPoint everyone will understand you better because if they missed what you said, they can still read it on the slides. For this reason it is important that you get everything you are going to say on to your slides.
  2. Pictures can be misleading, and can easily be misconstrued, so stick to text on your slides.
  3. To make the slides look more interesting by using a colourful but consistent background. Always include your company’s logo, on every slide, to help strengthen your brand image.
  4. Use the standard PowerPoint template which includes slide # of ## in the footer, so that your audience knows where you are in your presentation.
  5. If you are using charts, create them in Excel and then copy them across with all the labelling etc intact. This means that people will be able to understand the slides in detail when they look at them after your presentation.
  6. Handouts are essential; always give out copies of your slides as handouts before you start.
  7. If you’re nervous beforehand, drink lots of Irish coffee or a quick shot of tequila, you soon won’t notice the nerves.
  8. Always start a presentation by telling people your name and who you work for, a bit of family history wouldn’t go a miss either. Just so you audience can get to know you as a person.
  9. Anyone who is a bit shy and doesn’t like looking people in the eye should present staring at a point on the back wall, or looking at the tops of people’s heads.
  10. You want to make sure that you are heard and understood, so speak very clearly, enunciate every single word with care. If you speak quietly it makes people listen harder, so that they are more attentive.
  11. Keep your hands still, if you find them waving about put both hands in your pockets.
  12. Don’t worry about remembering everything you are going to say, you can always look at your slides to remind you of the key points and any detailed data.
  13. Emotions have no place in business so just stick to the facts, don’t be tempted to use emotional language as this can be misunderstood.
  14. Don’t try to personalise your presentation or refer to individual audience members and their experiences, you may end up alienating the rest of the audience.
  15. Only talk about things you know about e.g. yourself and your experiences. After all presentations are great opportunities to boost your own ego.
  16. Humour is good in most presentations so start with a joke, the bluer the better.
  17. Keep drinking the water provided, no matter how dry your throat gets.
  18. When presenting to an industry audience it is OK to use lots of jargon and technical terminology, after all they should all know what the TLA’s stand for.
  19. Always end a presentation by asking who has a question they would like answered.
  20. If in doubt just do what everyone else does, they will all be asleep anyway.

Finally, never present on the morning of 1st April



One Response to 20 Tips for an Effective Presentation

  1. Adrian Robinson says:

    Thanks, Mr Young. I always find appologising at the start of a presentation sets the right tone, and talking with my hand in front of my mouth is a useful technique too. And don’t foget to take some spare change to jangle in your pockets.

    I’ve never had any negative feedback to my talks, the audiences just smile and leave quickly at the end.

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