What Makes for a Good Presentation?

November 5, 2020

Presentations are not just about a group of text and images that look more put together and organized. A presentation is basically the best way to tell a story. There is no better way of properly delivering a message. But, what does a good presentation mean and what should it entail? What’s more important is how do you get there? Of course, we all worry about the end product. But no one wonders about the journey? Here are some tips and tricks that will provide you with the necessary road map to a good presentation.

A Good Presentation Journey: 9 Steps to Success

  1. Know your topic front to back.

    Prepare the presentation as if you are the only expert on the issue and no one knows it better than you do. This requires prior research from different sources, examining the issue from different angles and so forth.

  2. Prepare an outline.

    Know clearly what you would like to include in the presentation so that yoou don’t waste time compiling information that you won’t use later. This will also help create more structure in your presentation.

    outline planning

  3. Practice makes perfect.

    Running it one time will not be enough. Every practice run is an additional point for confidence, knowledge of the material and the structure of the presentation to make sure the presentation goes well on the day of. Even if you think your last run ws great, give it another go.

  4. Substance over everything.

    A fancy slide may look good initially. But if its not really adding anything to your overall message, it is not worth it to be included in your presentation. This includes unrelated visuals, graphics, quotes, and videos as well.

  5. Cut it, and then cut it again.

    Short and to the point is your go to for the presentation. Making it longer may fool you into thinking you have more substance. But, you will see that longer doesn’t necessarily mean more valuable content. It more often means empty sentences. There are tools that help you with word and character counts for your slide content. For our recent blog on why short may mean better refer to this link.

  6. Discuss it with your friends.

    Explaining the material to a friend or a relative may help you better understand the message you are trying to convey. They may also give you positive or negative feedback in your content, highlight what they were most interested in hearing and so on.

  7. Make the audience question your material.

    Asking questions to your audience during the presentation will help your audience synthesize the material better as they turn back to themselves. Questions also make things more interactive and engaging which are known factors of good presentations.

  8. Read the room.

    Empathizing with the audience may be difficult as you think the presenter occupies an extremely different position. It may feel like the distinction teachers feel when they enter a classroom. But in most cases, your relationship with the audience will not be that. It may be your friends, co-workers, classmates, peers watching you present. You were probably grabbing coffee with them 5 minutes ago. Knowing this will help you minimize the distinction and empathize better with their needs.

  9. Open the floor for questions.

    This also shows confidence in your material. At this point, you are so knowledgeable on the topic, that you can answer anything that comes your way. You can also use this opportunity to reiterate your main points.

Presentations are no walk in the park. They take work, practice, preparation… But, the good news is that you are not alone when it comes to preparing! Check out presentation tools like Decktopus that can help you along the way!

Some articles for inspiration:

An Effective Presentation, Why Does it Matter?

Presentation 101: How to Make a Simple Presentation?

Public Speaking Tips to Deliver the Perfect Presentation

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