In my time recruiting, coordinating and observing speakers, I’ve witnessed a wide array of speakers. An interesting topic cannot survive a bad speaker, yet a boring subject can come alive with an excellent presentation. While I’m far from an amazing speaker, I’m constantly trying to improve, as such I’ve built a collection of resources that you may find helpful.
Tips & Reminders
If you’ve presented before, you’ve likely heard these suggestions, but if you’re new to presenting before a group, you should know that these ideas can make a huge difference to your success.
- Practice. This is the most important thing you can do. At a minimum you should run through your full presentation, out loud, as if you had a group in front of you a minimum of five times. The more the better.
- Present to one or two other people first and learn what questions they have. Weave the answers into your presentation.
- Be prepared. Ensure all of your equipment and materials are ready and check with the organizer to verify that they’ll have all the other required equipment that you aren’t providing.
- Verify that your computer will be able to hook up to the projector – VGA, DVI, Min-port… there’s a lot of room for problems.
- Will you be using a microphone? If so, ask which type – it will impact how you present and you should account for it in your practice runs.
- Make it easy for people to follow-up. Include contact information at the end of the presentation. Even if you don’t plan to use slides, you should have one that includes your contact info (URL, e-mail and Twitter).
- Do you plan to post the slides online? If so, include the URL at the end of your presentation.
- Have fun. Really. Your attitude will flow into the presentation, making it more engaging and memorable for all.
- Rands In Repose: Keynote Kung-fu in two parts. Parts The first covers “basic Keynote blocking and tackling”. The second provides a great walk-through of advanced tips and practices for Keynote presentations.
- Note & Point is a “gallery devoted to making your Keynote & Powerpoint presentations look that much better”
- How to Speak – “Every year during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP), Professor Patrick Winston gives a wonderfully reflexive and recursive talk about giving talks titled How to Speak.”
- 7 Ways to Improve your Public Speaking
- 20 tips for better conference speaking “is geared towards one-hour sessions rather than panels and workshops, some of the same principles apply.”
- Executive Presentation Tips is a handy set of tips for presenting well and keeping the audience engaged.
- Out Loud discusses how developing “a compelling presentation involves a series of decisions and exercises to align your head with the fact that you’re delivering your content directly to people. No internet. No weblog. Just you.”
- Deliver a Presentation like Steve Jobs Business Week’s communications coach provides a”10-part framework you can use to wow your own audience.”
- Everything I Know About Presentations, I Learned in Theatre School
- Checklist for Speakers: Getting What You Need from Conference Organizers
This is a small sampling of books, chock-full of ideas that should help you get started.