SmithNovak guide: The Do's and Don'ts of making Presentations
The Do’s and Don’ts of making
Tips for SmithNovak Speakers
What do we need from you?
As soon as you have confirmed you will present at a
SmithNovak event, we immediately need from you:
A PRESENTATION TITLE
YOUR CORRECT NAME, JOB TITLE & COMPANY
A PROFILE PHOTO
A PROFILE TEXT WRITTEN WITH RELEVANCE TO
The presentation title and bullets are VERY important.
Please take time to CAREFULLY write these.
BULLET TIPS (examples):
• How to ..
• A clear explanation of..
• 10 lessons learned..
• 5 Quick Wins..
• Mistakes to avoid..
When do we need your slides?
BEFORE THE EVENT
..tips start now..
Less is more
Don't illustrate every point with a slide, only the important
Even in a 45-minute presentation, you should only be
making two or three excellent points that you expect the
audience to remember
Everything else can be anecdotes or examples backing
up those points
You are the focus, not your slides
If you're on a stage, you are a performer. The slides are
just a prop that you should be able to get by without
What makes a performance interesting? Humour,
movement, dramatic pauses, audience interaction
Come out from behind the lectern and use body
Ask people to raise their hands for an informal poll or
answer an obvious question, then challenge their answer
Use graphics & images to demonstrate a point
Use as many graphics and other images as possible to
demonstrate and reinforce a point
Sales are up by almost 25%
year on however under the
present climate, we feel
there will be stress on the
market in the 4th quarter
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Presentation Title and Subject
Double check that your presentation title is consistent
with the title published and agreed with SmithNovak
Never read slides
Never read slides word-for-word
Look at the audience
Have the slides on your laptop screen as well as on the
projector screen, and don't look at the projected image
unless you are pointing to it
Limit the amount of text on each slide
There should be a MAXIMUM of 5 bullet points per page
or at most, a short sentence
Font sizes and styles
Make sure Font sizes and styles are consistent
throughout the entire presentation
Don’t put too few words on a slide
Single words per bullet point are normally unhelpful.
Slides are an aide memoir for you as the speaker,
but they should also be useful as notes for the
Don’t use animations
Animations can be very annoying and distracting. Avoid
them at all costs
Watch the TIME very carefully
Please stay within your time limit at all costs!
Please aim for ONE slide per 2-3 minutes
10 slides for a 20 minute presentation + questions
Don't kill the punch line
Whatever you do, don't show the text of your major
conclusion BEFORE you've gotten there in your talk. Not
only do you ruin the surprise, but you make the slides
more important than the speaker
Always try to SUMMARISE the key points you have
made at the end of your presentation
Ask for Questions
Take 2 or 3 questions at the end of your presentation
Take a poll asking for hands-up