Effective presentations

Great presentations are interesting, engaging and informative. Preparation can make all the difference between a mediocre presentation and one that leaves your audience wanting more.

  • Prepare your content and delivery.
  • Structure your presentation logically and include an introduction, discussion and conclusion.
  • Focus on your audience – who they are, what they already know, and what they need/want to know.
  • Aim to grab your audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds.
  • Choose your major points carefully and illustrate them with examples, case studies or stories.
  • Practice your presentation and check the timing.
  • Only use brief key points or simple diagrams on PowerPoint slides.
  • If you're using slides, try to limit words to a maximum of 10 per slide and avoid complicated transitions and animations.
  • Don’t try to cram too much content into your presentation. Keep it simple.
  • Never read from notes or a script.
  • Pause to emphasise key points and give your audience the chance to reflect on what you have said.
  • Try to talk to your audience rather than present at them.
  • Use a conversational tone.
  • Maintain eye contact with the audience.
  • Convey your enthusiasm for the topic.
  • If appropriate, involve the audience and encourage interaction.
  • Allow five minutes for discussion/questions at the end if possible.
  • Attend a Professional Presentation course facilitated by the Organisational Development Unit to develop your presentation skills.