How to make a successful presentation

Most people are great at communicating with friends, family and acquaintances and never complain about their lack of sociability. But once you get on stage in front of a larger audience, problems start to arise: it becomes harder to express yourself, you feel constrained, and your gestures look unnatural. Your audience will definitely feel it. But how do you deliver a presentation to reduce the impact of anxiety on your performance?

You need to know what you are talking about perfectly and learn how to speak without additional notes. Of course, you should always take notes of your speech on stage, but only to feel more confident, not to read from them all the time. You will have a lot to worry about on stage. So try to avoid at least worrying that you might forget something.

Below is a list of other important nuances of public presentations.

How to make a successful presentation

Make beautiful slides. People absorb 80% of information through sight. By using slides, you have the opportunity to reinforce your speech, make what you say more memorable, and ultimately amuse or entertain your audience with a funny, thematic image. Read more about this point in the article How to make a presentation.

Slides are for the audience, not for you. Don’t try to read the text on the slides during your presentation. The audience can do it themselves. You need to create a harmony between what you say and what you show on the projector. Your words should complement or comment on the slides, and the slides should clearly illustrate what you are saying.

It’s the how that counts, not the what. You can turn any presentation into a boring and uninteresting one if you go out and start reading a pre-written text in a monotone voice. You will quickly lose the emotional connection with the audience if you speak too fast and the audience does not have time to comprehend what you are saying. Speak clearly, at an average pace, emphasise what is important with your tone of voice, and make short pauses between sentences.


, main body, conclusions. This scheme has proven to be the most effective. In the introduction, greet the audience, state your name, surname, position, announce the topic and purpose of your presentation. The main part should be the most information-rich: present certain facts, statistics, and name the advantages of your product over competitors. Conclusions should be the most emotional, summarise everything you have said, repeat the most important things, because this is the part of the presentation that will be remembered by the audience the most.

Speak the «language» of the audience. It goes without saying that you should speak the national language that the audience understands. I mean technical language. If you are speaking to schoolchildren, you will either have to avoid using obscure scientific terms or explain them in an accessible way. If you are speaking to teachers, then you can not limit yourself in this. Always adapt your presentation to a specific audience.

Quote famous people, make jokes. This will give your speech more credibility and entertain the audience a little.
Post slides from your presentation on the Internet. You can do this using the Slideshare service. Do it in advance, the day before your speech. And at the end of your speech, emphasise that all visuals can be viewed here.

Secrets of a successful presentation from Steve Jobs

Maintain eye contact with the audience. Steve Jobs never lost this contact in his speeches. He would select one or another group of people from the audience and address them specifically. Steve had only pictures and illustrations on his slides, so he didn’t have to turn his back on the audience and read the text, losing eye contact with the audience. Steve Jobs was thoroughly prepared and knew his presentation perfectly, and this is what also allowed him to behave confidently and naturally on stage.

Open gestures. During his presentations, Steve Jobs used only open gestures. He walked freely around the stage during his speech, he didn’t even use a lectern to avoid creating a barrier with the audience.

Active gestures. If you want to have the same success on stage as Steve Jobs, actively use gestures that reinforce the words you say. For example, when talking about the scale of the IT industry, Steve Jobs spreads his arms to show how big it is. Don’t try to memorise gestures, all gestures should be as natural and lively as possible.

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