Track Training Tips No. 51

Top 10 Tips to Making Great Presentations


I guess we can all think of poor presentations that we have seen. Sometimes from a really senior person who has clearly not been trained, coached or given any feedback. When you are standing on your feet in front of a group of people, be it 20 or 200, you are representing your business and your products. You need to get this right and you may only have one chance to do so.

So, here are my top 10 tips to successful presentations (but really there are lots more).

  1. Be clear as to your purpose/objectives/outcomes required. Why are you doing this? The contents and style of what comes next should flow from this starting point. “If you don’t know where you are going – chances are you will end up somewhere else” (Peter Drucker).
  2. Gather your materials – are they relevant, are they current, think beginning/middle/end, prioritise your key points that you wish to get across.
  3. Now before you go any further, answer the following – what is the venue like, where is it, who are the audience, how many will there be, what do they already know, what do they need/want to know, how long have I got, are there other speakers, where does my slot fit in.
  4. Finalise your materials- assuming PowerPoint slides – is there a corporate style, have I got too many, do they look great, don’t overfill each slide, are they in the right order, can the person sitting at the back of the room read them, do your colours that look good on your PC work in a large conference centre?
  5. Now learn your material, prepare some easily managed notes, remember to speak to the audience and not the slides, “proper planning prevents poor performance” , deliver and time it to a colleague, get some quality/objective feedback.
  6. Make sure you know exactly where you are going, arrive in good time, control those nerves, breath deeply, have some water to hand. Make sure the IT systems are working correctly.
  7. Engage with the audience, think empathy and rapport, smile, speak to everyone not just the front row, start with a bang, speak clearly, concisely and to the back of the room.
  8. Set the style you want – relaxed/formal, dress codes, questions at any time/only at the end?
  9. Go For It! Keep to time, answer questions, repeat your key messages at the end.

10. Review your performance. What went well – how can you get even better next time? What went poorly – why/how will your improve for the next time?

 Speaking in public is near the top of most peoples stress list and ultimately it may not be for you. However, if this is something required for your job role then you need to be professional. Get some help, learn and improve.

 Remember that practice does not make perfect, it just ingrains bad habits, You need feedback from a trusted source to help you improve.


Links to workshops:

 Powerful Presentation Skills

Advanced Presentation Skills


For further information and business support contact Dave Chesters on 01785 823583 or take a look at our website 


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