By George Hulbert, Director of The Clarity Business

If you operate within a competitive business environment, chances are you have some element of presenting to an audience within your role.

Whether you bid for work and have to present to a tender evaluation team (TET), or you pitch for new work, or even if you present new services or changes to your internal teams or external stakeholders and shareholders, nailing the art of the presentation is a valuable skill to have - but unfortunately not everyone has it down pat.

This post will offer 10 simple to apply tips that can take your presentation from a corporate snooze-fest to a memorable and effective performance.


1. Ask yourself: what presentations do you like / find boring?

- Think about why this is - and then emulate what you like

2. Work out what you want to say:

- What is the title you will give this presentation – what is its purpose?

- Who is your intended audience - and what do they need to see?

- What is the key message you want to get across?

- What do you want your audience to do as a result of what you say?

- Decide on the data / information you need to include

- How will the information flow from start to finish?

3. Focus also on the why, not the what, for your audience:

- Think about the audience – why should they care about what you say?

- Why must this topic / issue be dealt with now?

- Why is your solution, product of value?

- Why should your audience do something about it?

4. Prepare and use notes

- It's not a memory test!

5. Keep it simple

- Eliminate non-essential detail

- Put the data you want to give in a leave-behind for distribution after you speak

6. NEVER fill a slide with words

- Your audience can read quicker than you can speak. And they're not listening to you if they're reading your words…

- The 6x6 rule is rubbish - more slides, fewer words is better: 3 or 4 max per slide

- I run by a 30-second-per-slide rule

7. Practise

- The day of your presentation is not the time to try out your new material for the first time

- Time yourself: running over time is then not a worry

8. Plan B

- Think ahead: what will you do if the power goes out / no cables to connect to the screen?

- Print a copy of your slides to take with you if necessary


9. Command the space

- You are the focal point in the room: the audience is there to listen to YOU

- Your slides should support you, not replace you – so be the focus of the room

10. It's supposed to be interesting – yes, even FUN!

- There's no excuse to be boring. Any topic can be visually interesting… and should be, if you want to engage your audience

- Use powerful images

- Tell stories if you can

For more information - or for assistance in creating presentations - please contact George or Mikela at The Clarity Business on: 09 950 2690


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