Top Tips – For Effective Presentations

From your first job interview, to meeting new clients or updating your manager on a project, we all have to present in our job (and increasingly at school or university too). The presentations you deliver might not always be formal public speaking events, but the same basic techniques to get across your main points or arguments apply, whatever the setting.

We’ve put together these top tips to help you; think about, prepare and deliver your next presentation more effectively.


Planning – begin your research by asking yourself these questions; what are you trying to achieve? What do you really want to get across? What does this audience want or need to hear?

Start big! The opening of your presentation is vital – this is likely to be when you have the highest level of audience attention, so you need to grab them at the start. Think about newspapers; they use big ‘loud’ headlines to sell the story and draw you in to read more. Consider using; humour, an emotional story, an unusual fact, or a question/problem for them to think about.

Slow… down… Your delivery will lose impact if you rush through the presentation and the audience will find it hard to follow you. Think carefully about the right pace that will work with the audience but it’s usually slower than you think.

Don’t underestimate the pause – using pauses allows you a moment to gather your thoughts and it can be used to add some drama to your presentation. They can also be helpful in getting the audience’s attention and in giving them a moment to digest what you have just said.

Adjust your tone to highlight certain elements of your presentation – it REALLY helps ENSURE certain words HIT home, which is very useful in delivering key messages that you want the audience to remember.

Use repetition – if you have an important message to get across, don’t be afraid to mention it more than once. Using a quick recap towards the end of your presentation will help this to be more natural.

Examples – supporting and illustrating what you are saying will bring it to life. Ideally make these ‘human’ stories that you have experienced and the audience can relate to – there’s a saying that; ‘facts get forgotten and stories get remembered’. Each of your messages should have examples to ‘prove’ them.

You know too much – it can be easy to go off track in a longer presentation and this is why it’s so important to have a strong structure that will help you to stick to your content. Remember to only give the audience the information they actually need rather than trying to squeeze everything in.

Be yourself – if you are comfortable using humour then it’s usually ok to add that into your presentation – but don’t try and force a style you are not used to using.

Bullets points – this simple technique helps you to remember your content and allows the audience to follow what you are saying more easily. It’s normally best to use around 3 bullets at a time, more than this can feel like a long list.

Eye contact – the best way to lose an audience is to look away from them. Engage with them by making contact with each person in the room (or by looking at sections of the room if it’s a large audience).

Important and interesting? Think about what the audience will want to hear and think about your most important message – try and deliver these thoughts early on in the presentation so they get remembered and you can repeat them.

Passion – Even dry subjects will be helped by a passionate presenter – inject some emotion into the topic to keep the audience engaged with your message.

Practice – whether it’s in a training session or just using your own camera, make sure you practice, practice, practice to become familiar with the content and work out any nerves.


It’s not easy to be great at public speaking – to be a good presenter you need to have the right skills and confidence to make it a success. The Bluewood presentation training courses are perfect to ensure you’re ready to deliver effectively, whatever the audience or event. For more information on how we can help please get in touch.


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