I am Jamie Staunton a Communications Manager at the Wyoming Department of Health a Master’s student Colorado State University Global Campus. In today’s professional world, an employee who shows quality public speaking and presentation skills is more likely to advance their career through the ranks of management. A great presentation, for the most part, depends on preparation and practicing. In order to nail your next presentation, I want to share these tips with you.
Many adults are nervous about doing presentations and public speaking. For business professionals, having the confidence and skills to do effective public speaking, training, and presentations is becoming essential for receiving promotions and landing management level positions (Guffey and Loewy, 2011). I want to share with you my tips for doing a successful presentation.your presentation will be clean, professional and effective if you take the time to practice these four tips:KnowWhy you are presentingHow you will presentHow to rock it
Subject matterYou need to know why are you presenting the information. Why do people need to listen to you?Is the topic relevant to the audience that will make them want to listen?In order to successfully reach your audience you need to know who will be in your audience. Are they business professionals, students, people from an international cultures, or from various generations? In a research guide for students (n.d.) posted online, Dale Carnegie tips for public speaking include anticipating your audience, so you can present information in a manner that appeals to them, puts them at ease, and keeps their attention in the way that you want for the type of information you are presenting. Then its important to find out their needs are for your topic. Research what they know or believe on your topic to help you decide how to approach it with them. Think of the audience first and foremost, asking “What’s in it for them?” Deciding on why your audience needs to know the information you are going to present helps you decide your objectives for the training and in essence, your key points. Presenting just to have stage time or the spotlight is a waste of your audience’s time. They should have a need for your information based on prior research or an established need. Think to yourself, if you want your audience to walk away with something to remember or act upon, what would that be?
Prepare and organize your thoughts for what you are teaching by putting together an outline. Identify your objectives or key points, then build the meat of your presentation around the key points. Build subpoints, share examples, stories or scenarios, then think of visual aids to reinforce the information. Develop simple, attractive slides. Adults can usually keep up with about 3-4 bullets with about 6 words per bullet or point. But they may retain much less. Another rule of thumb as recommended by Steve Jobs is to keep the length of your slide to the size of a twitter post (as cited in Kirchoff, 2013). Then word your messages as though you want the message repeated or “retweeted”. To reinforce learning, ensure your slides use the rule of 3 for repetition. First, give them a preview what you are going to tell them, Then give two to four main points, which are each reflected on the body slides (Guffey & Loewy, 2011). Then review what you told them.To create interest, use attractive smart art, images or other visual aids to gain the audience’s interest in your message rather than just using bullet points. Visual aids can reinforce the message or give your audience a mental break from reading a lot of words. To transition between points, take time to give a scenario or tell a story. These moments may have more of an impact by inserting a blank transition slide or blackening the slides so the focus is on what is being said. The next step, and the most important, is practicing!Make speaker notes or outlines to stay on topic. Rehearse, but don’t memorize everything or read a script. Stay natural and conversational but stick to the planned outline so you don’t lose your point or worse, lose your audience.
Now you are ready to nail your delivery. Practicing and rehearsing will help you feel comfortable with the flow of the content. However, Guffey and Loewy (2011) also recommend memorizing your introduction and ending, since these are what grabs the audience’s attention and stays with them when they leave the presentation. The stuff in the middle can be paced by glancing at your notes or sipping some water to keep the audience and yourself relaxed. And if you stumble or stutter on a point, just keep going. If you deliver in a conversational tone, then the pauses or stumbles seem like natural conversation. If you start losing your audience, think of how to mix your presentation up a little and be a little flexible. Share a humorous story or ask the audience a few questions, then get back on point.The important thing is that when you see them looking at their smart phones, which we all have a habit of doing, give them a positive reason to tweet or post about your message or delivery. One way to keep them interested is to involve your audience from the beginning (Guffey and Loewy, 2011). Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, walk off from the podium and connect with them at an even level. Stay friendly and professional, but you want to appear real and approachable. Lastly, close with a solid statement, quote, or action message (Guffey and Loewy, 2011). Stay strong through the end and leave them feeling that they have benefitted from being there. Do not rush off stage, forget to close, or say “that’s it” (Guffey and Loewy, 2011). Have a rehearsed, planned and memorized ending and closing slide.
So to recap, your presentation will be clean, professional and effective if you take the time to practice these four tips:KnowWhy you are presenting so you know What you need to presentThen you need to decide How you will presentFinally, figure out How to rock it through practice and memorizing key parts!
Dale Carnegie (as cited in “The Resource Guide for Students”, n.d.) says “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” The key to a solid performance is preparation and practicing. Even though each presentation you give may be a little unpredictable, following these tips I have mentioned today will prepare you for an professional and polished presentation every time.Thank you for watching!
tips for a successful presentation
February 14, 2014
Tips for a successful presentation
Why you are presenting
What you will present
How to rock it!
Selecting the Subject
Addressing the Needs
of the Audience
HOW TO ROCK IT
deliver your message with ease
engage and involve your audience
nail the beginning and ending
Why are presenting?
What you will present?
How will you rock it?
“There are always three speeches, for every
one you actually gave.
The one you practiced,
the one you gave, and
the one you wish you gave.”
Dale Carnegie (as cited in
“The Resource Guide for Students”, n.d.)
Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2011). Business Communication:
Process & Product (7th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western
Kirchoff, L. (2013, March 25). 4 SlideShare Tips Inspired By
Steve Jobs [Blog post]. Retrieved from
A research guide for students. (n.d.) Chapter 3. Presentation tips
for public speaking. Retrieved from