How To Become a Good Presenter: 13 Actionable Steps

In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to become a good presenter.

Are you feeling anxious about an upcoming presentation? It can be daunting to speak in front of your peers and colleagues, but don’t worry!

We have compiled numerous helpful tips and strategies to assist you in becoming a more effective presenter, allowing you to excel on your big day. You can do this!

How To Become a Good Presenter:

1. It is crucial for a competent presenter to identify their audience.

Knowing your audience can assist in tailoring your presentation to their needs and interests, resulting in a more engaging and memorable presentation. For instance, if your audience is a group of experienced microbiologists, there’s no need to explain scientific terms that are widely understood in the field.

On the other hand, if your audience lacks knowledge in the subject, providing additional definitions can be beneficial. If you’re presenting to potential investors, it’s necessary to include background information about yourself and your company to persuade them to invest.

2. Thoroughly researching your topic is crucial for delivering a successful presentation.

Imagine yourself as an audience member- how would you feel if the presentation skipped essential points or lacked valuable information? Chances are, you wouldn’t take it seriously. In-depth knowledge of the topic enables you to create a presentation that is coherent, direct, captivating, and easy to comprehend.

This is particularly important when there’s a Q&A session following your presentation. Therefore, conducting extensive research is necessary for delivering an effective presentation.

3. Incorporating a narrative approach in your presentation is more likely to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Simply providing information can cause the audience’s frontal lobe to become overwhelmed with information. Transforming your presentation into a story enables the audience to utilize their memory and emotion centers to comprehend and retain the information, increasing their chances of recalling it in the future.

For instance, when presenting about breast cancer prevention, beginning with a personal story of a woman’s visit to the doctor’s office can be more engaging than simply presenting a list of statistics. Similarly, describing a typical day in a low-income household can be more relatable to the audience than using a lot of economic jargon and poverty statistics.

4. Commencing your presentation with a thought-provoking question is an excellent way to establish a connection with your audience.

It’s essential to set expectations for the audience, regardless of the setting, such as a classroom, a business meeting, or a conference. By starting with a question, you can engage your audience and make them feel included in your presentation from the outset.

It’s recommended to personalize the opening question to your presentation’s topic. For example, if your presentation concerns the significance of charity and community involvement, your opening question could be “How would you contribute to your community with a million dollars?”

SEE ALSO: How To Let Go of Something You Cannot Change: 13 Top Ways

5. It’s crucial to optimize your PowerPoint presentation to make it engaging and effective.

A well-balanced slideshow should include brief and concise text along with engaging visuals. In fact, it’s recommended to limit a 20-slide PowerPoint presentation (1) to just two slides to maintain professionalism.

Pairing the text on your slides with a dynamic image is another effective way to enhance your presentation. Following are some additional tips to keep in mind while creating a PowerPoint presentation:

  • The 5/5/5 Rule: Each slide should have no more than five lines of text, with each line containing five words or fewer. Also, avoid having more than five text-heavy slides in a row.
  • Choose simple and sleek fonts that are easy to read. Extravagant fonts can be difficult for the audience to read and may not look professional.
  • Ensure high contrast between your slide background and text color to make it easier for the audience to read.
  • Keep your transitions simple to avoid distracting your audience. Avoid using fancy animations like big loops and fly-ins that do not add any value to your presentation.

6. Prepare cue cards for your presentation.

Having cue cards can serve as helpful prompts while delivering your presentation. They are not intended to be a substitute for thorough preparation and memorization, but rather to assist in keeping you on track.

When creating your cue cards, only include key points to prevent relying on them as a script. It’s crucial to write on your cue cards with large, readable letters to avoid struggling to read them during your presentation.

7. Rehearsing your presentation is crucial, even for experienced speakers.

It allows you to identify and refine the most crucial aspects of your speech, and deliver your message more effectively. Furthermore, practicing can help you manage your time better and ensure your presentation doesn’t exceed the allotted time limit. Using a timer or stopwatch to time yourself during practice sessions can help you keep track of which parts of your presentation are taking the most time.

8. Instead of using filler words such as “um,” “so,” “uh,” “like,” and “you know,” it’s better to pause and collect your thoughts.

These words may seem helpful, but they don’t enhance your credibility. During the pause, you can take a moment to gather your ideas and refocus.

You can practice pausing in your everyday conversations to minimize filler words. Recording yourself while practicing your presentation and listening to it later can help you identify how frequently you use filler words.

SEE ALSO: How To Improve Your Clarity of Speech: 16 Proven Tips

9. To keep your audience engaged, it’s important to make your voice sound dynamic and interesting.

Speaking in a monotone voice will not impress your listeners. Instead, try varying your volume and pitch to emphasize important points in your presentation.

This will make your presentation more engaging and motivate your audience to pay attention. When making a strong point, speak louder, and consider pausing for a few seconds to add emphasis to your statement.

10. Confident body language can help you come across as more credible and engaging to your audience.

To improve your posture (2), stand tall with your shoulders back and your weight shifted towards the front of your feet. Keep your arms relaxed and loose at your sides to avoid nervous habits like tapping or fidgeting, which can distract your listeners. Remember to smile and stay relaxed throughout your presentation to help build a connection with your audience.

11. To make your presentation look more engaging and professional, it’s essential to make eye contact with your audience.

Start by scanning through your audience and identify 5-6 people from various parts of the room. These could be people who seem friendly and receptive.

During your presentation, make eye contact with these individuals as you speak. This approach will help you connect with your audience and make them feel involved.

It’s also crucial to avoid focusing on only one direction throughout your presentation. Instead, try to maintain eye contact with different parts of your presentation space to engage your entire audience.

12. It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous before a presentation, so it’s best to acknowledge and accept your nerves instead of fighting them.

Take deep breaths and use your nervous energy to enhance your presentation. Remember, most people in the audience have experienced the same feeling, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

13. Before going on stage, take some time to give yourself a motivational speech.

Positive affirmations can do wonders for boosting your confidence. Use “you” statements to reinforce positive thinking and help manage any nervousness or anxiety you might be feeling. Some examples of affirmations you could use are:

  • “You can do this!”
  • “You’ve prepared well, and you’re going to deliver a great presentation!”
  • “You are confident, engaging, and fully capable of captivating your audience!”

To be a good presenter, there are several key tips to keep in mind. First, it is important to be well prepared and know your material inside and out. This includes creating an outline or structure for your presentation, as well as drafting notecards to keep you on track during the presentation. Practice as much as you can, using a timer to ensure your presentation stays within the allotted time frame.

During the presentation, focus on your body language, making sure it is confident and engaged. Eye contact with audience members is also important, as it makes you appear more professional and connected. In terms of speaking, try to avoid filler words and instead use pauses to recenter your thoughts. Make your voice dynamic and engaging, adjusting your pitch and volume when trying to emphasize a point.

Finally, accept that it is normal to feel nervous before a presentation, and try to use that energy to your advantage. Give yourself a pep talk beforehand, using affirming statements to boost your confidence. By following these tips, you can become a more effective and engaging presenter.

Thank you for reading this article about how to become a good presenter and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here