Six simple tips for superb Presentation Delivery

So you have prepared your presentation, your speech, your pitch and are happy with your content.  How do you deliver it so that you make the maximum impact?  Here are 6 tips to help you deliver superbly!

1.    Apply the 3-S’s to Start Superbly

When you stand up to speak it is important to make a super impact from the get go.  Before you open your mouth – your listeners are already sizing you up.

The first of our three S’s relates to standing up Straight – it’s a really simple but effective way to make you look and feel more confident.  The second S is to Settle yourself, take time to settle yourself into position, move anything that may be in your way and become comfortable in your own space.  The final S is to Smile – plenty of reasons for smiling!  It makes you look happy and people like happy people.  It also releases endorphins, which are a great antidote to nerves and signals to your audience that you are looking forward to speaking with them.  Caveat – if you are delivering bad news, best leave out the smiling.

2.    Speech Rate

The fastest speaker in the world is Steve Woodmore from the UK who can speak at 637 words per minute (wpm).  Needless to say this is not to be recommended when presenting!  An average speed of 120 wpm is slow enough for your audience to understand your message.  However, if you speak at the same rate all the time it is very b-o-r-i-n-g.  For added impact, it’s a good idea to speed up occasionally and then slow right down.

3.    SOS it’s music to the ear

The Sound Of Silence.  Occasionally just stop speaking ….… this lets your mouth catch up with your brain and your listeners catch up with your message.

4.    Gesture to add impact

It is obvious – isn’t it!  Yet, so many people talk with their hands clasped together, or even behind their back.  Use your hands as you would if you were chatting to friends or family.  Watch the gestures you use in your normal habitat and try to include them in your presentation.  When you are practising your presentation out loud, look for opportunities to add gestures that match what you are saying.  Interesting research recently by the Science of People on TED Talks, found that the more hand gestures in a TED talk, the more views that the talk received.

So, do include plenty of gestures but a word of caution – do not “act” out your presentation with carefully crafted gestures.  People will spot immediately if you are trying to be someone you are not.

5.    Eye contact

If you look at one person and talk to them for a few seconds, it is going to make you feel less intimidated.  Talking to one person is a lot more comfortable for most people, than talking to a big group.  Look at their eyebrows if you find looking into their eyes too intimidating.

Having great eye contact makes your listeners feel important (which they absolutely are) and also makes you go into a more conversational tone.

6.    Use your face

We have over 80 muscles in our face and boy are we great at using them when watching a great match on the TV, describing a delicious meal or even talking about a hilarious incident.

Why is it then, that when we get up to speak we leave our facial gestures in our seats?  Using your face makes you feel more ‘normal’ – because that is what we do in normal conversation.


So the next time you get on your feet, do try to use at least some of the tips above.  You never know, they could help you to deliver a super presentation!

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PowerPoint Presentation Mistakes: What to Avoid

Here are some common but easy to avoid PowerPoint presentation mistakes…

Avoid using too small font

Using small font size is a big mistake you should avoid at all cost. If you use small fonts, slide titles are usually barely noticeable. Additionally, a small font makes everything almost confusing. This is because the hierarchical importance of your slide title is almost lost. Using the recommended size ensures your slides command more attention. The smaller your font size in the title text or body, the more you encourage presenters to include much more text. Generally, this is not a prudent practice.

Avoid using weak contrast

Just like with a small font size, a weak contrast is also disastrous. Combining small texts and a weak contrast makes your titles essentially worthless and invisible. Moreover, the text can disappear depending on a projector, if a designer selects a faded orange color on the bullets. To be on the safe side, change the title text to white. Additionally, ensure the bullet color is bold. This eliminates any chances of the text appearing washed out by a projector even if it is bright.

Off-center bullets

Designers often reduce the bullet character size as a ratio or percentage of the text, for example 80%. This is especially true if they need to use a smaller bullet. What the designers fail to realize is that by changing the bullet mark size, they create bullets that are no longer line centered. A better approach would be to use a smaller version of a similar object (dash, square, circle etc.) on one of the standard fonts such as normal text, webdings, wingdings, etc.

The use of a default color theme

Every PowerPoint template ought to have a color theme, which matches perfectly with the business or corporate brand colors. Do you only have default PowerPoint colors in your template? If so, you have missed a golden opportunity to assist presenters select colors that are used across the company.

Mismatched shape formatting

Most often, most designers place much emphasis on aspects such as color themes, layout or slide background. A good number of designers often forget to come with a standard format for objects or shapes that match the overall template presentation (for example text font, outline color, fill color etc.).

It is very simple to come up with a default style through creating your desired formatting. After this, right click on the specific shape. Finally, select the “Set as Default Shape” before you save the template file.

No blank slide

With the escalating use of images in many PowerPoint presentations, a good number of presenters appreciate and embrace a layout option for the simple blank slides. The template designers frequently neglect to include this particular option. However, it ought to remain a standard option in any great PowerPoint template.

No dark/light background options

At one point in time, the need to use a light background presentation for internal meetings might arise. Excellent presentation templates have both dark and light versions for presenters to select from.

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