How to Give Great Presentations (Part Two)

Last Updated Mar 19, 2008 10:17 AM EDT

Yesterday, I shared the first five of my Top 10 Tips for Giving Great Presentations. Today's post continues with the second half of the list:
  1. Simplify your presentation: No matter how technical your audience is, they aren't as versed in your subject matter as you. Simplify difficult concepts, explain jargon, give examples, use anecdotes.
  2. Start by giving the audience a roadmap to follow: Different than simply stating your "agenda" â€" the roadmap tells them the 3 or 4 key concepts you want them to take away.
  3. Flag the concepts you want to make sure they don't miss: Flags direct the audience's attention to the most important material and bring wandering minds back to your presentation. Examples of flags: "Here's the most important point--" "Here's what I really want to get across--"
  4. Repeat your points at the end: Don't assume the audience was following your presentation to the letter. Include a brief summary slide that re-emphasizes your key points.
  5. Relax: It's not as stressful a situation as you think. The audience is rooting for you to do a good job and will happily forgive small gaffes or lapses. Give yourself permission to make small mistakes â€" everyone does. Don't panic if you make a more serious mistake â€" stay calm, take your time and resolve the problem carefully.
And here's a repeat of my "uber-message" from yesterday -- it's all about the content and the storytelling. If your story makes sense because it has a beginning, middle and end, if you organize your speech to take the audience from Point A to Point B in a reasonable amount of time, then everything else will fall into place. If your presentation is an organizational mess, no amount of coaching or tips will save it.
  • Jon Greer

    Jon Greer has been analyzing media and PR for more than 25 years. He's been a journalist and a PR executive, and has been a featured speaker for many years at the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, and served as Bulldog's Editorial Director for their PR University series of weekly how-to audio conferences.

    Jon provides PR services including media relations and freelance writing to clients including start-ups, law firms, corporations, investment banks and venture capital firms. In addition, Jon provides spokesperson training. Learn more about Jon's training programs at The Media Bridge.