How to Make a Great Presentation

Doing a big presentation can be nerve-wracking. It requires preparation and, whenever possible, a cool head. By doing your research and background work on the topic, you can create a great presentation.


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    Don’t Panic! (But do prepare). The essential preparation you absolutely need to do to be able to present well (even at short notice) is:
    • Decide what your presentation will be about. This is also called your topic or main idea. The topics are endless and depend a lot on what setting you're presenting in, and for what purpose.
    • Create a simple structure based on your key messages which is easy to remember.
    • Familiarize yourself with your words, stories and flow.
    • Practice. Take index cards with you just in case, but ideally, you'll know the presentation inside and out by the time you're in the hot seat.
    • Check you have all the details you need (time and place, timing for your slot, audio/visual support requirements, other speakers, audience profile).
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    Focus on your outcome. Why are you doing this? What will a good result be for you and the audience? Why are you excited about what you will be presenting? What makes you feel passionate about this subject or message? When you start to feel apprehension, remind yourself of the outcome you want to create by giving this presentation, for you and your audience. How will listening to you benefit them? What can you share that will make a positive difference to their lives?
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    Keep it simple. Your audience will be grateful if you keep it short, simple and relevant to them. You need to decide on your central message, 3 key points that support your message and a powerful opening and close. Simple. Easy to learn, easy to remember (for you and the audience).
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    Make it memorable. You can add interest to your simple structure through examples and stories that demonstrate your message in action, statistics or facts which add credibility, and memorable props that will help people to remember your message.
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    Manage your state of mind. Before your presentation, you need to get in the right mental state and feel energised about your opportunity to stand up and speak. Challenge any negative thoughts you are having by finding corresponding thoughts that are more resourceful for you to be thinking and set up a good experience. For each negative thought, ask yourself ‘What is the more positive thought that I could focus on (that could also happen)?’. Thinking about what you want to happen is more likely to reassure you and set you up for a good experience than focusing on undesirable outcomes.


  • Before publishing your work always remember to check your work and revise if needed. Sometimes we type lines twice or misspell words and that doesn't look professional. You also have to make sure that all your sentences have correct punctuation and stay on topic.For example, if I am talking about how dogs and cats don't like each other and then go onto say why the dogs don't like the cats I'm focusing more on dogs now more than cats.
  • When making a presentation decide if you are going to make a power point presentation or just say what you are going to talk about. If you decide to just talk about your topic you may want to use note cards and have pictures or bar graphs for the audience to look at or relate to.


  • Some websites you may go to on the internet may not have accurate information. Always do a background check on the person, what other writings they have published, and what is their profession. For example, if you are looking up things about space and you find an author who seems to have accurate info, but then you do a background check on him and find out he writes about aliens and then end of the world you may not want to use the info provided by him. Another thing you must be aware of is if the information you have researched on the internet, a book, or even a magazine article may be out of date. Always look for a date and see if there is more recent info on the subject.

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Categories: Presentations