How to prepare a presentation

For a complete guide to creating a presentation, see The Quick and Easy Guide to Creating an Effective Presentation. The check out these articles for more help:

Approaches to presentation planning

The 4 reasons why brainstorming will sabotage your presentation
Brainstorming is not the best way to plan a presentation – this post explains why.

Quiz: Are you a winger or a stickler?
This post will help you find the right balance between structure and spontaneity.

The opening of your presentation

How to establish your credibility without bragging
If the audience doesn’t know you, it’s useful to establish your crediblity at the beginning of your presentation. This post explains who to do it without sounding like a show-off.

The Attention-getting myth and Attention-getting – The Evidence
These two posts explain that, contrary to the popular myth, you don’t have to grab people’s attention right a the beginning of a presentation. As the evidence shows – that’s the one time in your presentation when people are paying attention.

5 strategies to defuse the audience
If you’re faced with a hostile audience or a controversial topic you may need to address this in the opening of your presentation. This post explores how to do this.

The Key Message

A presentation should have a Key Message – the one thing that you want your audience to do or take-away from your presentation. Some people call this the theme or the core message.

A Simple and Concrete Key Message
Guidelines on how to craft your Key Message

Taking charge on what your audience remembers
This post shows how you can reinforce your Key Message throughout your presentation.

The structure of your presentation

Answer your audience’s questions
This post shows you how to structure your presentation around your audience’s questions. It demonstrates this using a presentation by Al Gore.

Using evidence in your presentation

Every point you make in your presentation should be backed up by evidence, in the form of stories, statistics, and endorsements (or social proof).

The power of anecdotal evidence and How to multiply the power of a single anecdote
These two posts look at the strength of emotional anecdotal evidence and the technique of combining emotional evidence with statistics

Lessons from Cialdini: What we can learn from hotel towels
This post looks the phenomenon of social proof, and how we can use it to persuade our audiences.

Are our brains wired to enjoy stories?
This post explores why stories are so powerful and why you should them in your presentation.

Examples of great presenters

Six lessons in public speaking from Obama

Will Smith’s keys to a great presentation

What can you learn about presenting from Seth Godin?

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