​Presentation Skills

Presentation Skills


Purposes of Presentations (Partial List)

  • For public address on any subject

  • For debates in Parliament

  • For company meetings

  • For outlining strategies

  • For presenting business plans

  • For presenting marketing plans

  • For selling goods, services, concepts and ideas

  • For presenting financial status

  • For presenting project status

  • For training programs and workshops

  • For giving key note address in professional conferences

  • For employee induction

  • For presentation about a company profile

  • etc

Three Keys for Successful Presentations

  • Overcoming nervousness

  • Thorough preparation

  • Good delivery

Overcoming Nervousness

  • Know your subject

  • Know your audience

  • Know your objective

  • Prepare

  • Rehearse/Practice

  • Practice

  • Practice

  • Practice


  • Checking if I am competent to talk on the subject?

  • Agreeing to make a presentation, agreeing to talk

  • Getting informed on purpose of talk, schedule, audience profile and size, venue

  • Deciding what to say

  • Structuring your talk

  • Prepare your notes

  • Prepare visual aids

  • Rehearse

  • Check and prepare arrangements on site

Structuring a Presentation

  • Prepare overall design: opening, body and wrap-up

  • Introduction and objectives, reasons for presentation: 10% of the time available.

  • Introduction of main themes, issues: 20% of the time available.

  • Development of main themes, issues: 40% of the time available.

  • Integration of main themes, issues: 20% of the time available.

  • Summary or conclusion: 10% of the time available.

You may like to keep aside some time for questions and answers. Announce it at the start of the talk. Practice

  • Reading through the material for your talk several times.

  • Practicing in front of a mirror or using your friends as guinea pigs, if you feel the need.

  • Assisting another person on a particular topic before presenting it yourself.

  • Run through the entire talk. Don't just stop where you run into problems.


  • Technique

  • Manner

Profile of a Presenter

  • Authentic

  • Enthusiastic

  • Confident

  • Well mannered

  • Well groomed (check for personal neatness; cleanliness; hair; nails; clothes- color, fashion, design, cut; accessories- shoes, belt, pen, spectacles, watch, jewelery; bad breath, body odor etc)

  • Excellent presenter

  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and non-verbal- body language)

  • Excellent interpersonal skills

  • High emotional intelligence in addition to high IQ

  • Time conscious

  • Action oriented

  • Can relate to as to how his presentation will benefit the audience

Some Tips on Presentation Slides

  • If a visual does not explain something better than words, do not use it.

  • 5 minutes per slide- ballpark.

  • One main idea with 5-9 points per slide.

  • 5-7 words or say, around not more than 25 characters per point (talking points, not whole presentation- only highlights).

  • Use graphics when they add to or help explain material.

  • Don't overuse graphics.

  • Use special effects if they help in improving the presentation quality.

  • Do not overuse special effects.

  • Any decent font.

  • Large and bold enough to be seen on a big screen by the person sitting in the last row.

Some Tips on Opening a Talk or Presentation An effective opening of presentation is half the battle won. It must aim to seek audience attention and interest. Different presenters try different things at different occasions to achieve this. Some of them are:

  • Bringing the audience to the cross roads and then presenting your solutions.

  • Presenting current startling facts in an authentic style.

  • Highlighting the urgency of the situation.

  • Interesting anecdote or story.

  • Creating suspense.

  • Humorous story.

  • Presenting posers or questions to audience.

  • Interesting authentic history on the topic.

  • Painting future scenarios.

  • Presenting the highlights of benefits of your talk to the audience.

Physical Setting of Venue of Presentation

  • Appropriate.

  • Good in size and shape to accommodate the number in audience. Will the people in the back be able to see?

  • Comfortable.

  • Flexible.

  • Neat and clean

  • Well ventilated.

  • Well lighted.

  • Acoustically effective.

  • Has noise control.

  • If familiar- it's bonus.

  • Effective and comfortable seating arrangement and seating layout.

  • Presentation gadgets and materials available, placed at convenient locations and in working condition.

  • Rest room/bath room conveniently located, nearby.