Designing a Killer Presentation in 8 Steps

Planning and performing a presentation that meets expectations and involves the public requires a lot of care. The details involved in holding a talk will be super important to ensure her success and approval from those who participated.

Therefore, we have prepared a post with a few crucial steps that you should follow to organize a quality talk; these are simple and easy steps to put into practice that will ensure the success of your presentation. Enjoy!

What is a Presentation?

A presentation is a form of communication that aims to show the content of a given topic before an audience. Unlike many other methods, such as writing or audiovisual, the presentation offers information to an audience in the form of speeches, although multimedia tools often accompany it.

In general, a presentation is composed of 3 essential elements:

1. The relevant content;

2. Attractive design; 

3. Excellent public speaking in the delivery.

How to Design a Presentation?

There are 4 Key things to a well designed presentation: always keep in mind the message, get to know the audience, plan for a delivery that will share the message in the best way possible, so that the audience buys the idea, and spend time making the simplest yet clear and interesting to look at slides.

Designing a Killer Presentation in 8 Steps

  1. Define the purpose of the presentation

Knowing the goal you want to achieve is the first step in organizing a presentation; the more targeted this goal is, the greater the chances of successful delivery. Remember that it is the goal that will be the basis of all planning, from the definition of the target audience to the presentation of content.

Think about the topic you want to address and study the best way to do it. Will a more in-depth approach be offered, with more recent and specific information? Or is it a new theme or responsive to the public that deserves a lighter approach?

Also, when setting the goal of your talk, don’t forget to take into account the “wins” or “added value” you intend to offer to attendees. For example, will they improve the quality of life, or will they earn more money with the content presented? It is by planning these “wins” that will motivate the public to engage during the presentation and remember you long after you’re done.

  1. Define your target audience

With the goal in mind, it’s time to define the profile of the participants. Who will be your listener? Check your audience’s gender, age, level of education, interests, and preferences.

These are the different characteristics that will also help you define your talk’s presentation: topics that will be covered, tone of language, and technical level of content.

By having the target audience defined, you will understand how your listener speaks and know the best way to talk to them. What good is unique content if participants don’t see what you want to go through?

  1. Conduct an Audience Analysis and Meet them!

Your audience is the soul of your presentation, and it is from them that you will decide what to talk about, and most importantly, how you will do it. If you do not know your persona, producing something truly captivating and valuable will be impossible, and the result can be disastrous.

So, first of all, do the exercise to answer the following questions:

  • What problems and needs does my persona have about the subject?
  • What are your worldview and your expectations on the subject?
  • How valuable is my presentation to them?
  • What solution can I offer through my presentation?

Be careful with the language

From the moment you have the definition of an expected audience, it is easier to pay attention to the ideal language for these listeners. For example, it’s very different to give a motivational talk about entrepreneurship to young people and a group of senior entrepreneurs.

Each of these audiences requires not only different language tones but also different forms of approach.

For example, using a meme can yield interest, engagement, and a more significant impact on a group of young people. At the same time, this strategy may not work with a more formal group from another generation.

  1. Think of the resources needed

Don’t just consider audiovisual resources when organizing a presentation. It is clear that audio and video equipment is paramount to the display, but a speech goes far beyond that. Evaluate whether you’ll be offering notebooks and pens, for example, or a coffee break for attendees.

  1. Outline the content and order of the presentation

This is the moment when you will punctuate the content of each part of the presentation: a) introduction, b) development, and c) conclusion. If you’re going to use slides, it’s time to score the content of each screen. With the topics of your presentation script set, it’s time to assemble it.

Also, it might be interesting to put a phrase in each to define its content on the use of slides. In this sense, it is necessary to go beyond simple Bullet points.

It is necessary to point out the theme of that slide and talk deeply about the content. Don’t worry about the number of words or information yet.

As you revise the text and control the time, the excesses will naturally be cut.

I have added an article teaching how one can outline a keynote speech, with a few examples. It should prove useful to your outlining exercise here. Learn more about how to outline a keynote speech Presentation by clicking here.

  1. Make storytelling your ally.

In practice, it is up to you to find a narrative that can convey the message you want to convey, the one you set your goals on, remember? You can create a character, tell a personal story, fight a battle or even appeal to the drama depending on who you’re presenting to and where you’re going with it. Use your imagination but remember the story has to be related to the content!

We have a great article that goes more in depth about how to master the art of storytelling and how to use it during your presentation, to get higher engagement and feedback from the audience.

  1. Read your presentation out loud.

Part of the job of building a good presentation script is rehearsing it. What is the point of having everything well structured but without checking if it works during the presentation? 

Reading aloud is a great way to make your speech sound more and more natural. The loud voice also allows you to notice at which points your speech is hesitant.

Do this as many times as necessary. Repeat, analyze, and point out your mistakes and hits; the training will make you more confident and sharpen your presentation script more and more.

  1. Be aware of the time you will spend

This tip ensures that your presentation is not cut before you reach the goals that guided all your work; remember the content you outlined? This is the time when you will need to cut through the excesses. 

With the readings out loud, you’ll get a better sense of the time you’re taking to complete the ideas. The goal is to be able to fit it into the time available for your speech.

There’s a good chance that getting too excited about the speech, or nervous, can lead to failure in managing time during your presentation. Let all your rehearsals give you a good sense of how much each slide might take, and stick to that.

Presenting your Content to the Audience

Once your presentation is prepared with all the previous points in mind, it is time to face another situation: presenting your content before an audience.

That’s the fear of the vast majority. But don’t worry! Let’s see together below some tips that will help you in the presentation.

  1. Speak with clarity and objectivity

Internalize this mantra from anyone who needs to convey an idea: clarity and objectivity are the best ways to get your message across. People who speak too fast or who are prolific end up losing the interest of the public.

 Your message gets lost in the middle of these details, and the talk ends up not reaching your goals.

Remember to speak slowly, even to give your audience time to process all the information, formulate doubts and understand the subject well. Also, train your diction to correctly pronounce words, especially technical terms and in a foreign language.

  1. Move

Don’t stand on one side of the stage or room while performing. This is the recipe for a tedious talk; instead, try to move around constantly as you speak. This sharpens the audience’s attention and stimulates them to maintain greater interest in what you are discussing.

  1. Set your gaze with the public

Speaking of interest, another exciting strategy to keep public engagement with you is the good old eye-to-eye. Don’t just choose one person to do this during the talk; try to make eye contact with all audience members.

  1. See them as equals to lessen nervousness.

It can be challenging to present to a more experienced or hierarchically superior audience, such as bosses and investors. These experiences are challenging in themselves, but what you can do to ease the nervousness is treat them as equals.

Remember that giving lectures is part of the routine of any successful person, regardless of the area. It is crucial to treat these people naturally and to forget the credentials in each one’s curriculum.

  1. Know how to deal with unforeseen events

Unforeseen things happen! From projectors that stop working to interruptions and unexpected questions. None of this is a reason for you to despair or forgets your presentation script.

Instead, learn to deal with the unforeseen naturally, as if they were opportunities for you to gain experience and professional maturity. Depending on the audience, play with the situation and try to recover the direction of the presentation.

  1. Reveal your personality

Are you outgoing, funny, quiet, or more technical? Go ahead, be yourself! Don’t let your nerves make you hide your true personality.

  1. Avoid reading

If you are accustomed to reading what is in the presentation, try to avoid this practice as much as possible so as not to lose contact with your audience and seem unsure about what it says.

This is why we recommend the use of highlighted images and keywords in the design of your presentation. Presentations are complementary tools, but you dominate the theme!

  1. Focus on the important

Sometimes we start talking and end up missing the course of history, right? It can’t happen in a presentation. If you want the public to remember your message, keep the gist of the matter.

Crucial Tips to Keep in Mind on the Before, During, and at the Day of the Presentation 

  • Stand in front of a mirror and practice your speech but not for long so as not to overload it;
  • Ask someone to listen to your speech before you go on stage;
  • Try to arrive early, and this will help you feel confident with space;
  • When you’re in front of the audience, and you’re still nervous, take a deep breath;
  • Instead, focus on features like slides that have helped you stay firm in your message, you’ll see how, after a few minutes, you’re building confidence;
  • Don’t be afraid to take a few seconds to think before you make the next point during your speech.

Conclusion

Designing a presentation requires time and perspective; when you figure out what message you want to share with the audience, exploring resources that are engaging according to the group you are presenting is crucial.

Check out some recommendations for additional learning below:

Reference and Further Reading

9 Tips for Creating Great Slide Presentations. AcethePresentation.

How to Design a Presentation. 10 Essential Tips. Venngage.

How to make a presentation. Lucidpress.

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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