How to become a great presenter

Network She How to become a great presenter

Whether you are engaging with your audience as a business owner, or speaking at professional event or charity fundraisers your presentation skills are the key to a successful outcome.  How you communicate can make a huge difference to how you and your message are perceived and remembered.


Let me share some tips, gained from experience to help you hone your presentation skills.

1. Clarify your purpose and your message

A well-structured presentation helps your audience follow your message more easily. Start with a clear introduction that establishes the purpose of your presentation and outlines what you will cover. Organize your main points logically, using headings or bullet points to create a roadmap for your audience. Finally, conclude with a concise summary of your key takeaways to reinforce your message.

2. Adapt for your audience

Understanding your audience is the foundation of a successful presentation. Tailor your content, tone, and examples to resonate with your listeners’ interests, knowledge level, and expectations. Consider factors such as age, profession, cultural background, and familiarity with the topic. Addressing your audience’s specific needs and concerns will keep them engaged and invested in your presentation.

3. Make the most of your visuals

Visual aids such as slides, images, and graphs can enhance your presentation’s impact. Use visuals sparingly and make sure they are relevant and easy to understand. Aim for a clean and uncluttered design, with legible fonts and a consistent color scheme. Visuals should complement your spoken words, not compete with them.

4. Weave in relatable stories

People remember stories far better than facts alone. Weave anecdotes, case studies, and firsthand experiences into your presentation to make your content more relatable and memorable. A well-crafted narrative can help create an emotional connection with your audience, fostering engagement, holding their concentration and thereby their memory.

5. Rehearsal

Rehearsing your presentation is crucial. Practice not only helps you refine your delivery but also boosts your confidence. Run through your presentation multiple times, ideally in front of a trusted friend or colleague who can provide feedback. This will help you identify areas for improvement and ensure a smoother delivery on the day of the presentation.

6. Convey confidence

Confidence is key to captivating your audience. Maintain good posture, make eye contact, and use open gestures and movement to convey confidence and authority. Avoid fidgeting or distracting mannerisms that can undermine your message. Remember that your body language speaks volumes, so project a positive and composed demeanor.

7. Make the experience memorable

Engage your audience by incorporating interactive elements into your presentation. Pose thought-provoking questions, facilitate brief discussions, or include interactive polls. This not only keeps your audience engaged but also invites them to actively participate in the presentation, making the experience more memorable.

8. Keep nervousness at bay

Feeling nervous before a presentation is natural, but there are strategies to manage it. Deep breathing, positive self-talk, reflecting on previous successes and focusing on your audience’s needs can help alleviate anxiety. Remember that your audience wants you to succeed, so channel nervous energy into enthusiasm for your topic.

9. Keep to time

Respect your audience’s time by adhering to the allotted presentation time. Practice pacing yourself during rehearsals to ensure you cover all key points without rushing. If time permits, allow for questions and discussions at the end, but always ensure you stay within the overall time limit.

10. Focus on continuous improvement

After your presentation, seek feedback from peers, mentors, or the audience itself. Constructive criticism can provide valuable insights for improvement. Take note of what worked well and areas that need enhancement and use this feedback to refine your presentation skills for future engagements.

In summary, the art of great presentations combines preparation, practice, and effective communication skills. By clarifying your message, understanding your audience and tailoring it to their interests, you’ll be able to engage your listeners, and deliver presentations that make a lasting impact.




Nick Ronald is a Division Director at Toastmasters International

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