What it is....

Effective presentations are increasingly important in business. Gone are the days when dry, boring lectures would do. Now you need to be able to give bright interesting multimedia presentations which showcase the subject matter and your ability to deliver it in an exciting way. For many people this is a real test of nerve. With careful planning and preparation you can overcome your fears and actually enjoy delivering material to one or hundreds of people.

Before you start

  • It is normal to be nervous.
  • Have a clear idea or what you are going to present and why.
  • Identify the subject and don’t be sidetracked.
  • Research your audience:
    •     Age (Younger audiences will have a shorted attention span)
    •     Size (Smaller audiences generally take longer)
    •     Experience (Will they understand what you are talking about or will it be too easy)


  • Preparation = Planning + Practice
  • Good preparation = 75% less nerves and 95% less mistakes

What are the aims of your talk?

  •     Inform
  •     Inspire
  •     Entertain
  •     Demonstrate
  •     Persuade


You can find lots of different sources of information. Some might be:

  •     Web
  •     Books
  •     Interviews
  •     Personal experience


Use a large piece of paper (A3) to write down things as they come into your head.

  •     Put anything down.
  •     Link like topics with coloured lines.
  •     Arrange into subject matter and then into a logical format.

Write a 2D script

Don’t include slides, props or any presentation technique - just the words.

  •     Make sure it has a beginning, a middle with headed sections of subject matter and an ending.
  •     Questions can be incorporated at the end.
  •     Practice it in rough form.

Turn it into a 3D script

By blending in your presentation method. Use:

  •     Case studies
  •     Stories
  •     Examples
  •     Quotes
  •     Statistics
  •     Props (be prepared to hand them around the audience)
  •     Questions and answers
  •     Acronyms

Try to break the script down into 5 to 10 minute chunks and have something fun to do in between

Practice in 3D form

  •     Get an idea of timing.
  •     Don’t forget body language.
  •     Use a friend to give you critique.
  •     Refine it.


  • You are well prepared - nothing will go wrong.
  • Relax, smile, make eye contact with your audience.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Speak your audiences language.
  • Use the opening 10-15 seconds to make an impact.
    • Use a funny quote or story but not a joke.
  • Follow George Bernard Shaw
    • Tell ‘em what you are gonna tell ‘em. Tell ‘em. Tell ‘em what you told ‘em.
  • If people talk amongst themselves just stop and look at them - don’t say anything.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question say so. Then offer to go back with the answer after the presentation.
  • Accentuate the positives.
  • Enjoy


  • Use sparingly.
  • Use a sans-serif font.
  • No more than 2 different fonts.
  • Keep them simple.
  • Don’t put too much text on each slide.
  • Use bullets.
  • Use colour.
  • Use sound if possible.
  • Use pictures and cartoons.
  • Use humour.

What makes a successful presentation?

  • Appear relaxed and enthusiastic.
  • Turn off mobile phone.
  • Take keys and coins out of your pockets.
  • Don’t put your hands in your pockets.
  • Don’t wave a pointer around - it’s distracting.
  • Speak to the audience - not the visual aids.
  • Speak loudly enough so that the people at the back can hear.
  • Vary the pitch and tone of your voice.
  • Don’t be scared to pause.
  • Try to address your audience by name
    • Use name badges or names plaques.
  • Move around but don’t block the screen.
  • Get to the venue early.
    • Set up early and make sure everything works.
  • Don’t kill people with powerpoint slides.
    • These are more effective when sparingly used.

Worthwhile things to remember

  • Presentations always take 20% longer to deliver than when you rehearse.
  • The cone of experience:
    • People will remember:
      • 10% of what they read.
      • 20% of what they hear.
      • 30% of what they see.
      • 50% of what they hear and see.
      • 70% of what they say.
      • 90% of what they say and do.

Wize Tips

  • Understand the purpose of the presentation
  • Research and gather the content and presentation ideas.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Structure the subject matter.
  • Practice and develop.
  • Prepare presentation.
  • Practice and refine.
  • Enjoy, relax and be enthusiastic.
  • Don’t be afraid of pauses.
  • Keep slides simple and few.