Home > Communication > 10 Thoughts on Making a Winning Presentation

10 Thoughts on Making a Winning Presentation

42-15529695Each year, as I approach our annual users conference, Taleo World, we get into the full swing of putting together our presentations. I thought I’d share some thoughts that I’ve picked up around giving good presentations. Hope they help you too.

  1. Organize your speech outline first. If you can’t outline it in a logical way, it will probably show when you talk.
  2. Write out your speech – it will help you build “sound bites” and organize your thoughts
  3. Try not to talk for longer than 25 minutes. People will start to lose focus at 30 minutes, make sure you close while they are still alert.
  4. If your presenting demos – start with demos. They generate the most interest and get your audience to sit-up and engage. There is nothing worse than the person who speaks for 15 minutes before they ever show a demo.
  5. Use power point to enhance your talk – don’t write down everything you are saying on your slides.
  6. Use analogies, metaphors and stories – these are great reinforcements to points you are making. Besides stories are interesting and provide a good mental refresher for your audience.
  7. Practice a lot! You’ll want to get so familiar with it, you don’t have to look down. You’ll really want to nail the beginning and ending of your speech. That is what they will remember the most!
  8. Throw away the written speech and keep only the outline. If you are worried (see item #7).
  9. Make sure you tell them what you want them to take away (or what action to take) from your talk in the intro and during your closing remarks. This will let them know what to listen for and it will remind them at the end.
  10. Get excited about your talk and topic – if you are not, it’s not likely any one else will.

QUESTION: What tips and tricks do you use to keep your audience engaged?


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