On this page a selection of useful presentation tips is given. A lot of tips seem quite obvious but they can make a big difference and even for experienced presenters. If implemented well they can make the difference between a good and an amazing presentation. The presentation tips are drawn from experience, courses and literature and they can be used in any presentation or public speech.
- Practice, practice, practice! This is mentioned more often on this site but we cannot stress this enough. By practicing you’ll improve and even to experienced presenters practice is advantageous. If you can film yourself while practicing, do it! Analyze your behaviour afterwards and see where you can improve!
- Smile and be enthusiastic! Enthusiasm is contagious so make yourself enthusiastic and show it. Don’t try to fake enthusiasm, be enthusiastic. Motivate yourself in front of a mirror before a presentation if you’re not enthusiastic about the topic at all then be enthusiastic about the presentation itself or that you are doing well. The crowd cannot look into your head so they don’t know what you are enthusiastic about but they can surely feel your enthusiasm.
- Connect to your audience! Make eye contact with every person in the crowd. Move your eyes over the crowd and stop at every person. Not too long to make them uncomfortable, but long enough for them to notice.
- Be sure to have some water available when presenting. A dry mouth is a frequent problem when presenting so be sure you can rehydrate. Check politicians and stand up comedians, they do it all the time. Drinking can also give you a needed pause to catch your breath or get back into a story after making a mistake.
- Don’t look back! If you make a mistake, so be it. Everybody does now and again. Most of the time the crowd will barely notice, so don’t worry about it and focus on what you are telling the crowd right now. After the presentation you’ll have plenty of time for evaluation.
- Show authority! Don’t start the presentation when the audience is talking amongst themselves. Ask for their attention and don’t start before you have it! Use big gestures and speak loud and clear. The audience will respect you for it.
- If people are talking and it is bothering you, simply stop and look at them. The rest of the crowd will focus on them as well and you’ll be amazed at how effective this is.
- Start strong and finish strong. Be sure to plan the beginning and the end of the presentation meticulously. In the beginning you need to grab the attention of your audience and the end will be the last thing the audience hears so the most likely to remember
- Speak slow and pause here and there! During a presentation you should speak slower than during normal conversation. Especially if you have visual aides you should give your audience the time to check them and it it sink in. A pause seems much longer for you than for the crowd.
- Focus on your audience, see how they respond and work with it! Some people prefer not to speak in a full room, then don’t make them. Some audiences do not like certain humour, then don’t use it. Every audience is different, you are there to entertain them not to force them to do stuff they don’t like.
- Be entertaining! You want to entertain your crowd. It’ll keep them interested. Even if you have boring stuff to tell you should find a way to spice it up a bit. Check how to make a presentation for more information.
- Relax before you start! Be sure to relax and focus for about 30 minutes before any presentation. You can even do some relaxation or breathing exercises to calm yourself down.
- Breathe! This seems pretty obvious, but a lot of people tend to get out of breath while doing a presentation. This is caused by shallow breathing induced by our fight or flight response. Try to breathe deep and if you do get out of breath, pause and drink a bit and use this time to breathe deeply and catch your breath again.
- Be honest! If you make a mistake just admit it, everybody makes mistakes and the crowd will not think less of you. If you use a quote, mention the person who said it, you are the one who found it so the the audience will still appreciate you for informing them about it and they will respect you for being honest. If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say so. Compliment the person who asks the question with their creativity and tell him or her you need to think about it for a while or you need to do some research. If necessary you can arrange to get back to him/her after the presentation or in a couple of days.
- Keep it simple! Don’t overcomplicate your story. Don’t try to look smart by throwing around fancy terms. If nobody understands them your story won’t get across. Your goal is to give information and you want your audience to understand and be able to follow it.
If you found these presentation tips you useful you should check out related pages below or go to the webshop and buy our exclusive Presentation Simulator VR-app and start practicing for a realistic VR-audience:
Disclaimer: the presentation simulation software is developed based on scientific background, but every person reacts differently so no rights can be reserved on the effectiveness of the software.