10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: The Whole List

My last 10 posts have been talking about how to improve your presentations. Hope you found some of the tips useful! Here are all 10 tips in one handy list:

10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me:

  1. Don’t Use Templates
  2. Use Presenter Notes
  3. Use Presenter View
  4. Learn Your PC
  5. Use Screenshots
  6. Do What You Said You’d Do
  7. Tidy up Those Transitions
  8. Rehearse
  9. Interact with the Audience
  10. It’s a Performance

Have anything to add? Something I missed? Please add it in the comments!

10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: It’s a performance

Tip #10: It’s a performance.

Oh yes it is.
Your talk is most definitely a performance, and you are most definitely a performer.

Are you on a stage? On a podium? Talking to a room full of people? Ever gotten an anxiety attack before your talk? Yep – you’re a performer.

Your presentation isn’t just the words you’re saying. It’s not just the slides, or your movements, or your transitions … it’s not even just your content. It’s all of that – content, delivery, visual cues, the way you talk, etc – all rolled up into a big wad of performance.

Those people who read “academic papers” word for word? Those people who do the PowerPoint 10-points-per-slide thing, and basically read their outline? They probably have great content. Sit down with them for dinner, and let them share – it’ll be amazing, I’m sure. But that thing they just did on the stage, in front of people? It was a performance … but probably not a very good one (and believe me – I’ve been there, done that, so I’m guilty as charged).

But you? You know better. You have great content. A great idea or new angle that you want to share. And you know that to deliver it well in a presentation setting … well, you have to deliver great content, and turn in an engaging performance, too.

No, you don’t have to be the most amazing presenter in the world. But DO give what you’re doing on stage some thought, and I’m guessing that you’ll be much more interesting than “those other presenters.”


Pic by libraryman

10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: Interact with the audience

Tip #9: Interact with the audience!

OK. You’re in the middle of a presentation. Look up for a sec – what do you see? People! They came to hear you talk. Why not let them do some of the talking, too?

Make sure to interact with your audience. Why? Well – first, a selfish reason: it makes the presentations much more fun for the speaker. Lively audiences with lots of questions or comments just makes the presentation that much more interesting for everyone (assuming those comments relate to the topic).

Interaction also makes you, the presenter, seem friendlier and more approachable, too. Sometimes, I’d guess it even helps the audience develop bond, even just a little bit (you know, that “oh, they have the same questions I do” type of thing).

How do you get interaction during a presentation? Some ideas:

  • Ask for it. Ask a question … then be quiet. Someone is bound to answer. If they mumble the answer, it’s your job to ask them to speak up.
  • Include some “what do you think” questions in your presentations.
  • Tell people up front to ask questions as they come up (then actually stop presenting and answer the question)
  • Do a Q&A at the end of your talk. If it’s a long talk, pepper Q&A times in with the talk.
  • For longer talks, break up the audience into teams and have them do some 5-10 minute project, then report back to the larger group.

And there are probably others. What works for you? How do you encourage your audience to interact with you?