Preparing and Delivering Your Presentation


Presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill to get your message or opinion across and, today, presentation skills are required in almost every field.

The greatest advice about presentation is – “Be enthusiastic and honest, and the audience will respond.”

Your voice can reveal as much about your personal history as your appearance.

Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you to improve.

Preparing for your presentation:

  1. Audience analysis

  2. Content (e.g., clear message; focused on audience’s interests; timely)

  3. Beginning

  4. Ending

  5. Compelling facts, figures, and/or quotations

  6. Preparing anecdotes

  7. Presentation materials (e.g., whiteboard, PowerPoint, video, handouts, props)

  8. Speaker’s notes (If you use them, how effective are they?)

  9. Rehearsals

  10. Getting sufficient rest beforehand

Delivering your presentation:

  1. Appearance (clothing, accessories, grooming)

  2. Posture

  3. Facial expressions

  4. Eye contact (cultural appropriateness notwithstanding)

  5. Hand gestures (i.e., natural movements; no fidgeting)

  6. Other movements (e.g., getting onstage, walking around during presentation)

  7. Vocal variety (e.g., tone, volume, pace)

  8. Natural vocal pitch (i.e., not higher or lower than your normal speaking voice)

  9. Speaking clearly

  10. Speaking concisely (no rambling)

  11. Minimal verbal filler (e.g., um, er, you know)

  12. Engaging audience

  13. Giving a clear outline of what’s ahead (when applicable)

  14. Telling anecdotes

  15. Using visual aids (i.e., not turning your back to your audience; advancing your slides)

  16. Summarizing key points (when applicable)

  17. Managing Q&A

  18. Handling challenging situations (e.g., technical difficulties, longwinded question askers)

  19. Time management (i.e., sticking to allotted time slot; not rushing)