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How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

  • Related content
  • Peer review
  • Lucia Hartigan , registrar 1 ,
  • Fionnuala Mone , fellow in maternal fetal medicine 1 ,
  • Mary Higgins , consultant obstetrician 2
  • 1 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin; Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin
  • luciahartigan{at}hotmail.com

The success of an oral presentation lies in the speaker’s ability to transmit information to the audience. Lucia Hartigan and colleagues describe what they have learnt about delivering an effective scientific oral presentation from their own experiences, and their mistakes

The objective of an oral presentation is to portray large amounts of often complex information in a clear, bite sized fashion. Although some of the success lies in the content, the rest lies in the speaker’s skills in transmitting the information to the audience. 1


It is important to be as well prepared as possible. Look at the venue in person, and find out the time allowed for your presentation and for questions, and the size of the audience and their backgrounds, which will allow the presentation to be pitched at the appropriate level.

See what the ambience and temperature are like and check that the format of your presentation is compatible with the available computer. This is particularly important when embedding videos. Before you begin, look at the video on stand-by and make sure the lights are dimmed and the speakers are functioning.

For visual aids, Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Mac Keynote programmes are usual, although Prezi is increasing in popularity. Save the presentation on a USB stick, with email or cloud storage backup to avoid last minute disasters.

When preparing the presentation, start with an opening slide containing the title of the study, your name, and the date. Begin by addressing and thanking the audience and the organisation that has invited you to speak. Typically, the format includes background, study aims, methodology, results, strengths and weaknesses of the study, and conclusions.

If the study takes a lecturing format, consider including “any questions?” on a slide before you conclude, which will allow the audience to remember the take home messages. Ideally, the audience should remember three of the main points from the presentation. 2

Have a maximum of four short points per slide. If you can display something as a diagram, video, or a graph, use this instead of text and talk around it.

Animation is available in both Microsoft PowerPoint and the Apple Mac Keynote programme, and its use in presentations has been demonstrated to assist in the retention and recall of facts. 3 Do not overuse it, though, as it could make you appear unprofessional. If you show a video or diagram don’t just sit back—use a laser pointer to explain what is happening.

Rehearse your presentation in front of at least one person. Request feedback and amend accordingly. If possible, practise in the venue itself so things will not be unfamiliar on the day. If you appear comfortable, the audience will feel comfortable. Ask colleagues and seniors what questions they would ask and prepare responses to these questions.

It is important to dress appropriately, stand up straight, and project your voice towards the back of the room. Practise using a microphone, or any other presentation aids, in advance. If you don’t have your own presenting style, think of the style of inspirational scientific speakers you have seen and imitate it.

Try to present slides at the rate of around one slide a minute. If you talk too much, you will lose your audience’s attention. The slides or videos should be an adjunct to your presentation, so do not hide behind them, and be proud of the work you are presenting. You should avoid reading the wording on the slides, but instead talk around the content on them.

Maintain eye contact with the audience and remember to smile and pause after each comment, giving your nerves time to settle. Speak slowly and concisely, highlighting key points.

Do not assume that the audience is completely familiar with the topic you are passionate about, but don’t patronise them either. Use every presentation as an opportunity to teach, even your seniors. The information you are presenting may be new to them, but it is always important to know your audience’s background. You can then ensure you do not patronise world experts.

To maintain the audience’s attention, vary the tone and inflection of your voice. If appropriate, use humour, though you should run any comments or jokes past others beforehand and make sure they are culturally appropriate. Check every now and again that the audience is following and offer them the opportunity to ask questions.

Finishing up is the most important part, as this is when you send your take home message with the audience. Slow down, even though time is important at this stage. Conclude with the three key points from the study and leave the slide up for a further few seconds. Do not ramble on. Give the audience a chance to digest the presentation. Conclude by acknowledging those who assisted you in the study, and thank the audience and organisation. If you are presenting in North America, it is usual practice to conclude with an image of the team. If you wish to show references, insert a text box on the appropriate slide with the primary author, year, and paper, although this is not always required.

Answering questions can often feel like the most daunting part, but don’t look upon this as negative. Assume that the audience has listened and is interested in your research. Listen carefully, and if you are unsure about what someone is saying, ask for the question to be rephrased. Thank the audience member for asking the question and keep responses brief and concise. If you are unsure of the answer you can say that the questioner has raised an interesting point that you will have to investigate further. Have someone in the audience who will write down the questions for you, and remember that this is effectively free peer review.

Be proud of your achievements and try to do justice to the work that you and the rest of your group have done. You deserve to be up on that stage, so show off what you have achieved.

Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: None.

  • ↵ Rovira A, Auger C, Naidich TP. How to prepare an oral presentation and a conference. Radiologica 2013 ; 55 (suppl 1): 2 -7S. OpenUrl
  • ↵ Bourne PE. Ten simple rules for making good oral presentations. PLos Comput Biol 2007 ; 3 : e77 . OpenUrl PubMed
  • ↵ Naqvi SH, Mobasher F, Afzal MA, Umair M, Kohli AN, Bukhari MH. Effectiveness of teaching methods in a medical institute: perceptions of medical students to teaching aids. J Pak Med Assoc 2013 ; 63 : 859 -64. OpenUrl

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20 Tips For Preparing An Effective Oral Presentation

verbal presentation

Don’t mind the informal me, I just seem to love that ‘down-to-earthness’ – I personally believe that such disposition is a better facilitator of effective communication.

Without much ado, I am going to share with you some ideas on what I can safely call most people’s nightmare (next to examinations, of course) – An oral presentation.

Organizations and other platforms have also come to discover the essence of an effective oral presentation. How it can move an employee from a zero state of mind to an excited state of mind after a brief but powerful presentation.

verbal presentation

Businesses are not left out too as it has become a core value that has to be portrayed to convince potential clients about a business idea.

Read this: How to manage your time effectively

Essentially, oral presentations are nothing to be scared of.

They add some kind of depth to the learning experience.

Not having this depth is what we should be scared of. Self-expression is just one of the core pillars of assessing how much and how well a student or presenter has assimilated the content of instructional material.

Overall, some of the most faced challenges associated with oral presentations are content and stage management which shall be discussed broadly here.

Whether you are a student, employee, professional or businessman , you sure need this skill to make a good impression.

Enjoy these tips, internalize them and start putting them into good practice. At the end of this write-up, you will discover the peculiar challenges of stage fright, how to deal with it and a few tidbits on presentation etiquette.

verbal presentation

1. Know the content

Nothing breeds confidence like competence and nothing breeds competence like preparation . Being vast in and thoroughly familiar with whatever the subject of a presentation will, in no small way, reinforce your sense of having something genuinely interesting to offer.

With this in place, the presentation ceases to be a mere talk or some kind of recital. It indeed becomes an active engagement of the audience on a journey of discovery. All you need do is just visualize yourself as a tour guide or a curator in a museum.

All you need do is to relate antecedents, history, origins, facts, figures and aspects of the subject matter in such a way as to stimulate their imagination.

You lead the audience on, not exactly projecting yourself but helping them see what needs to be seen. You wouldn’t want to go to the stage and destroy the expectations of people eagerly waiting to listen to you.

2. Define the purpose of the presentation

A presentation isn’t just a list of random facts. It makes a specific point, just like laboratory reports or essays.

Without a clear purpose in mind, your presentation will most likely be a jumble of unorganized factual information, putting your audience in the dark about your true intent.

What is the most important message you want to convey to the audience? Consider this to be the idea or theme of your presentation.

Your presentation’s goal(s) could include, but are not restricted to, trying to inform, inspire, or persuade.

Remember that what you say as well as how you say it must be consistent with the presentation’s goal.

3. Be natural

The mistake a lot of presenters make is thinking that great presentations are all about big vocabulary and sophisticated terms.  

May I indulge you in a different perspective – great presentations are all about presentations done in the most natural way. Be calm, relax and flow effortlessly .

Do your presentations like they are your daily routines. Help your audience feel like – “yes, I agree with what he is talking about”.

Rather than trying to charm the audience with a sophisticated style, be more committed to capturing their imagination through simple cues and vivid expressions.

There is a child in everyone, no matter how old. If possible, add a little humour here and there but try not to overdo it. Ensure you stay on track.

Read this: How to ask questions smartly

4. Invoke curiosity

verbal presentation

This aspect is what makes your audience hooked until the end of your presentation. They want to know where you are headed. They can’t risk being distracted until you finish. All you need do is reawaken that curious infant in the brief moment of your presentation.

It is for this reason that presentations adopt visual aids and graphical tools. The world-famous PowerPoint computer application also goes hand in hand with projectors – large screens for a clearer, broader view.

Where else is such pervasive attention given to pictures and descriptive tools apart from a kindergarten? Such applications show that there is a childlike nature in every man. Invoke it!

Read: How To Celebrate Failure For Success

5. Get your audience involved

Get your audience involved in your presentation. Don’t stand behind a lectern all through, tale a brisk, confident walk and project your words into the minds of your audience. Don’t let the lectern come in between you and the audience.

Try to get your audience out of their seats, laughing, raising hands or even standing by your side to make an analysis. Getting your audience to laugh is not as difficult as you might think. For example, you might try, “Ladies and gentlemen, I was told to announce something very critical to the success of today’s event. Even though I don’t think it’s my place to begin my presentation with an announcement that has nothing to do with my topic.”

“Anyway, I’ve been asked to tell you that in the event that you laugh too hard, don’t cause a stampede or fart too loud.” 😆 

Get free tips and tricks that will help you to achieve success faster 😉

6.  Gesticulate

If you can request a cordless lavaliere mic, pls do, so that you can be as flexible with your hands as possible. A handheld mic might become tiring if your presentation takes a while.

Your audience will only remember 30% of what they hear & see but 70% of what they do will stick to them forever.

7. Project your words

Two things that can make your projection so vivid and impactful are a clear voice and clarity of communication. Try to emphasize the last sound of each word which will help you to sound very polished. This may sound odd to you when you start but eventually sound normal as you get used to it.

8. Take a pause

verbal presentation

I cannot stress this enough. Take your time to pause! It kinda helps your audience to brainstorm, evaluate and re-evaluate. You shouldn’t say more than six to eight words at a time without a pause. As longer sentences reduce readability, longer spoken words also reduce absorption.

Use a full voice, then pause. Think of great speakers that utilized a full voice and paused. They did efficiently well. Such presentations drop some value within you.

9. Use acronyms

After you have written all the words on index cards, try to think of an acronym or Slang abbreviation that has every point you want to talk about. Use this strategy to keep your presentation in order.

For example, you may have written on a marriage/relationship index card – ask, support, kiss . Think of the first letter in each word and arrange them to ASK or any other word of your choice.

ASK will keep you on track this way:

A – Ask what he thinks

S – Support his opinion first

K – Kiss him when the discussion ends

You must have practised what you will say about each word beforehand. You will only use the acronym to keep track which the audience has no clue about. They will only think you are so perfect! If your oral presentation takes time and involves longer acronyms, you could keep your index card(s) on you just in case you get lost. 

10. Give life to figures

The Simplest Ways To Make The Best Of Oral Presentations

The best way to do this is to put a ‘Point’ of mind-gripping information (pictures, graphs, a phrase or table, flow charts, diagrams or a statistic) on some slides and speaking to them.

While the audience is fixated on that slide, all you need do is try to make them see the aspects of the slides that are hidden. Hence, you help to make their imagination make up for the rest of the story.

Such information is alike in features such as introduction, plot build-up, themes climax/anticlimax, a hero and his trials/triumph and so on.

And like a good storyteller or the mythical Pied Piper, the story or the music as the case is, becomes the object of the audience’s attention. The presenter is merely an intermediary.

verbal presentation

11. Face the object

Sure, it is not bad to feel weird for a moment. Gain your confidence back by becoming the audience for a moment.

Face the presentation with your hands towards the slide, board or what have you? Making this brief move takes a whole lot of burden off as you see that you do not have to be the audience’s object of attention for a while.

You can use this moment to stealthily move from your weak points to your strong points as you gain your confidence back .

The Simplest Ways To Make The Best Of Oral Presentations

Not all presentations have to be a serious one looking like a board meeting. It doesn’t have to be a brainstorming session to close a million-dollar deal. Smile if you can.

In fact, you should smile. It will reduce any pressure you might be feeling. You never know how powerful a smile can be until you smile at a confused child who looks at you and then returns the smile.

While you smile, make good eye contact with them and gesticulate as often as possible. This will create a good impression on your audience and make them connect with you easily.

Read this: Amazing facts about your handwriting

13. Intrigue them with stories

The Simplest Ways To Make The Best Of Oral Presentations

Whether it’s a story your grandfather told you or a story you learnt while growing up, people would love to listen. Stories are interesting ways to give your audience a light mood.

Who doesn’t like the taste of a little icing on the cake or peanuts in the chocolate? Just something a little bit different to ease the whole seriousness of the atmosphere.

Professional speakers are becoming professional storytellers ,  primarily stories about themselves or someone they know so well . If you can tell a story about each word or topic on your cards or slides, your speech will have a better flow.

14. Take corrections politely

One mistake people do is to try to show that they know better than their judges.

Judges, examiners, instructors or even a member of your audience can come into your presentation abruptly. Prepare your mind ahead for this and don’t fidget.

A simple “Noted, sir” “sorry, I skipped that” or “thanks for the feedback” would go a long way in determining your final presentation score.

Be courteous and mindful of harsh emotions as you face arguments or opposition. A wrong approach in dealing with this can ruin everything you have started. So be cool with everyone.

As a matter of fact, who you are and who the audience perceives you to be is a measure of the weight of your words.

Hence, it is safer to use universally acceptable codes of conduct and principles of etiquette that will put you in the good graces of the audience.

15. Define your target audience

The audience’s reaction is the only way to judge a good presentation. What do they currently know about your subject matter?

What are their perceptions about your subject matter: will they accept whatever you say, or will you have to persuade them to change their views? Do they have a good command of the English language?

An effective oral presentation requires much more than simply presenting your ideas or giving a presentation. It is all about clear communication and connecting with the audience.

Preparation is required to create that type of presentation. You must learn about your target audience to tailor your message.

If you’re talking to experts in your field, for example, you don’t have to explain all the terms you’re using but if you expect your audience to disagree with your assertions, it’s a great idea to provide additional illustrations and go into greater detail when presenting the evidence.

You can outline your presentation with your audience in mind to explain your main points and maintain a logical flow. The more you understand your target audience, the better you will be able to communicate with them.

16. P redict your audience’s thoughts and tell them

If you’re lucky enough to predict what is on their minds, you’ll get almost 100% attention from your audience. This lowers the barriers between you and them.

They’ll say “hey, he’s so clever hahaha”. Wow, you’re absolutely right! Tell them you know what they are thinking and answer a question they haven’t yet asked you.

17. Practice your presentation beforehand

The Simplest Ways To Make The Best Of Oral Presentations

You should start with yourself first. Talk to yourself, then move on to talking to a friend or small group of friends. When you build more confidence, start by speaking for free to become more professional.

You could begin by speaking to associations and clubs. Your audience may give you more networking opportunities when they enjoy your free presentations. There are business owners in your audience or people who work for businesses looking for speakers.

In fact, t here is much more to learn while you practise. By the time you become well-known, you can start charging a token or your prices can even become non-negotiable. 😉 

18. Explore every possible detail about your subject matter

To prepare an effective oral presentation, you must thoroughly understand your subject matter, which means knowing far more than you will present.

There is no such thing as too much research. The more familiar you are with your content, the more settled and confident you will feel when presenting it to a group.

Take notes as you read about your topic. Then organize your notes for your presentation. The most straightforward structure is an outline.

In most cases, a concise outline will serve as a good template for presenting your topic. The introduction, body, and summary make up a concise outline.

  • Introduction

In the introductory part, you must provide a concise context for your discussion. This is where you describe the problem or issue that the presentation will solve.

You want to immediately grab people’s attention, stimulate their interest, and get them pondering about your topic. That is what creating engaging content is all about.

The bulk of your presentation. It provides specific examples to back up your main point. This is where you add important facts, statistics, and details to your discourse.

Make certain that your material is presented articulately, with each point connected to another and clear progressions.

To summarize, highlight the previous points briefly. Use keywords from your introduction to restate your argument.

Take note of transitory phrases or words like “in summary.” Appreciate the audience for their time and, if the presentation format allows, gladly accept their questions.

A clear structure helps to support a clear and focused message, and it prevents you from jumping from concept to concept, which can make it difficult for your audience to grasp your presentation.

Having this in place, the presentation is no longer just a discussion. It truly becomes an active participation of the audience on a discovery journey. All you have to do is relate the subject’s antecedents, background, facts, statistics, and features in a way that stimulates their curiosity.

19. Use visual aids to supplement your content

It is easier to deliver an oral presentation when you employ visual aids. Visual aids, such as PowerPoint slides or printed handouts, provide structure to your presentation and assist the audience in comprehending the key points.

Since the majority of information is deemed and grasped visually, you may need to resolve this in your presentation by including a few visuals.

This would help the audience follow your discourse and possibly discuss a few of your points after the presentation is finished.

A good visual aid , as obvious as it may seem, must remain visual. Visuals can be bulleted lists or outlines, diagrams or figures, or pictures that depict crucial points that would be difficult to explain orally. Visual aids should be used to supplement, not compete with, your presentation. Use them only when they are necessary or beneficial.

20. Anticipate questions and prepare thoughtful answers in advance

A key component of preparing for an effective oral presentation is anticipating questions and creating thoughtful responses beforehand.

It demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about the subject and that you gave the subject some research. It also helps establish credibility and demonstrate your knowledge.

Additionally, it might assist you in remaining composed and assured throughout the presentation, especially if you are posed with unexpected questions. A few strategies for getting ready for questions are as follows:

  • Researching your topic thoroughly: This will enable you to answer any questions that may come up about your subject matter.
  • Identifying key points of confusion: Think about what aspects of your presentation may be most difficult for your audience to understand and prepare answers accordingly.
  • Practicing your responses: Rehearse answering potential questions so you are more comfortable and confident when answering them during the presentation.
  • Being open to feedback: Encourage your audience to ask questions and be open to feedback , even if it is critical. Take the opportunity to address any misconceptions or confusion that may have arisen during your presentation.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected: Sometimes, the questions you get may be totally out of the blue, be prepared to answer those as well.

In summary, your oral presentation is highly related to your motion, posture, gesture, gesticulation, eye contact, pausing effect, response to applause and so on.

The evolving nature of education has seen many lecturers and teachers adopt oral examinations as an integral part of grading students’ performance.

That is apart from lines of study such as Medicine (Viva) and Law (mock trials) that already have oral-related content as a part of their continuous assessment.

It also affords the teacher the opportunity to do more than just teach but to also be a kind of ‘coach’ that nurtures not only the content but also the delivery of knowledge . As a teacher myself, I do subscribe to this method of teaching; after all, was it not Einstein that said – If you cannot explain it simply, then you do not understand it all.

In oral presentations, especially ones that adopt projected information, the words you speak are more important than the words you display.

However, the pictures you use are just as important as the words you speak. In no place is the saying truer – a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

Therefore, being in a position where you have to present your own perspective, with your own words and in your own style goes a long way in shaping your intellectual capabilities . It also builds self-confidence in those that eventually master it.

I wish you a hitch-free and mind-blowing experience in your next oral presentation. 😉 . Which of these tips has helped you tremendously?

Share with love!

verbal presentation

Post Author: Ikeoluwa Ogedengbe

24 replies to “20 tips for preparing an effective oral presentation”.

Wonderful post! Putting these suggestions into practice will make anyone a ‘better’ presenter! Multiple thumbs up!

Sure, they will. Thanks for reading!

Thanks for this post, I believe it will help me gather more confidence in public speaking.

All the best in your next public speaking engagement, Josephine.

Love this post! I have a fear of public speaking so this checklist is so helpful! Thanks for sharing!

I’m glad you love it, Lissy.

Cool, just cool. I like it.

Thanks, Yeahme.

Thank you these are great tips! I have always had a lot of self confidence but always struggle with imposter syndrome so I get so nervous before public speaking!

Aww, I am sure these tips and a lot of practice will take the nervousness away.

This reminds me of my speech 101 class in college. I definitely with these tips — especially the one about knowing the content. Nothing prepares you more than knowing what you are talking about.

That’s absolutely right!

I used to work for a company that offered feedback for corporate leaders on presenting and I agree with everything you say. Bringing your personality into a presentation or speech can make a huge difference but it can take practice to get comfortable enough to bring that energy.

Yes, practice does a lot to make one perfect. Thanks for your input, Sarah.

This is a very helpful post. I wish I had read this when I was still a student. I didn’t like oral presentations and this could have given me a better perspective.

Awww, You may pass on the message to young students to ensure they get it right early.

Great read. Very helpful for my upcoming convention. Thanks for sharing.

I’m glad this helped. I wish you a splendid convention, Allison.

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How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

verbal presentation

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15 Essential Presentation Techniques for Winning Over Any Audience

  • The Speaker Lab
  • April 13, 2024

Table of Contents

Ever found yourself standing before an audience, your heart racing? That’s the moment when knowing effective presentation techniques can prove to be your unwavering ally. But what are presentation techniques? And what makes them so powerful? In this article, we’re going to answer those questions.

Before we can talk about presentation techniques, though, we first have to talk about good communication. The power of effective communication isn’t just in what you say. It’s how you say it; it’s in those deep breaths that steady nerves, and in maintaining eye contact. It’s about turning a room full of strangers into an engaged audience hanging onto your every word. When it comes to public speaking, real success comes from mastering non-verbal cues to punctuate our words and using visual aids not as crutches but as tools for engagement.

As you hone your communication skills, you will begin to form effective presentation techniques. Expect rough patches as you get the hang of things, but view them as mere footholds propelling you towards your ultimate triumph. Keep pushing forward.

Mastering Presentation Techniques for Impactful Delivery

Presentation techniques are more than just standing in front of a crowd and talking. They’re about making connections, telling stories that resonate, and leaving your audience with something to remember you by.

Elements of an Effective Presentation

For your presentation to resonate, ensure the visuals are straightforward and supportive, rather than distracting. Your message should be concise yet powerful enough to stick. And let’s not forget engagement; keeping your audience on their toes is key.

  • Visuals: Keep them simple but impactful.
  • Message: Make every word count.
  • Engagement: Interact with your audience, ask questions, make them think.

We’ve all seen those slides crammed with text or charts. When you make your slides, don’t cram information, because nobody wants to squint at tiny fonts or decipher complex graphs while trying to listen to you speak. This resource suggests focusing on clarity and simplicity when designing slides—advice worth taking.

Strategies for Delivering a Successful Presentation

To deliver a knockout presentation, start strong. Grab attention from the get-go with an intriguing fact or story related directly back into the topic at hand. Maintain eye contact across the room so everyone feels included in the conversation. Finally, end on a memorable note, either with a call to action or insight gained during the time together. Leave them wanting more information and eager to learn about the subject matter discussed today.

  • The opener: Hook your audience with a relevant fact or anecdote.
  • Maintain connection: Eyes up, engage everyone around.
  • Closing remarks : Last chance for impact–what’s your mic drop?

As author Lilly Walters once said, “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” This quote reminds us that the true goal of any speech is the understanding achieved between the speaker and the listeners.

Find Out Exactly How Much You Could Make As a Paid Speaker

Use The Official Speaker Fee Calculator to tell you what you should charge for your first (or next) speaking gig — virtual or in-person! 

Engaging Your Audience with Nonverbal Communication

As the name implies, nonverbal communication denotes all of the ways you communicate without using words. This includes eye contact, body language, and facial expressions. Although nonverbal communication might not be the first presentation technique that comes to mind, it’s nevertheless a very powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Let’s take a look.

The Power of Eye Contact, Body Language, and Facial Expressions

Making eye contact isn’t just about looking someone in the eye; it’s about forging a connection. Aim for brief moments of eye contact across different sections of your audience throughout your presentation. Establishing fleeting eye connections across diverse audience segments fosters a sense of trust and keeps them hooked, all while ensuring no one feels on edge.

Body language is similarly important. Stand tall with good posture; it exudes confidence even when you feel nervous. As you grow more confident, mix up standing still with moving around subtly. This dynamic shift holds attention better than being rooted to one spot or nervous pacing. Use your hands to gesture naturally as you speak—it adds emphasis and keeps things lively.

If there’s one thing people can spot from miles away, it’s insincerity. So let those facial expressions match your words. Smile when you share something amusing, and furrow your brow when diving into serious stuff. After all, it’s not just what you say but how visually engaged and passionate you appear while saying it that counts.

Tying these elements together helps you deliver impactful, memorable talks. When done right, folks will leave feeling more connected, understood, and fired up by your presentation, all thanks to your techniques.

Designing Compelling Presentation Materials

Knowing how to design engaging presentation materials is one technique you can’t do without. Far from mere embellishments, these implements are crafted to hammer your message home. Hence, it’s vital to select these aids with great care and discernment.

Tips for Creating Effective Slides

When it comes to crafting slides, think of each as a billboard advertisement for your idea. You want it clear, impactful, and memorable.

  • Keep it simple : One idea per slide keeps confusion at bay and attention locked in.
  • Use bullet points : Break down your points so your audience can track.
  • Pick a font size : Generally speaking, bigger is better.
  • Use color : Harness colors that pop without blinding anyone; contrast is key.
  • Use images with purpose : A good picture or chart can help illustrate your point, but keep it relevant and don’t overdo it.

With a few helpful visuals, your presentation can go from good to great. For more on creating slides, check out this link here .

Handling Questions and Interactions Professionally

For some speakers, it’s not the presentation itself that makes them nervous—it’s the Q&A session that follows. This is the moment where you get to shine or stumble based on how well you handle those curveballs from your audience. If you want to round off your presentation well, you’re going to want to learn a few techniques for fielding these questions. Let’s look at a few ways of doing this.

Preparing for Audience Questions and How to Address Them Effectively

Below are six techniques that will help you address audience questions effectively.

  • Listen Up : The first rule of thumb is to listen like it’s a superpower. When someone throws a question at you, don’t just hear them out—really listen. Demonstrating this level of attentiveness not only conveys your respect but also affords you a brief moment to collect your ideas.
  • Stay Calm : You’ve got this. Even if a question catches you off guard, take a deep breath before diving into your answer. No one expects perfection, but showing confidence matters.
  • Practice Beforehand : Before presentation day arrives, think about potential questions folks might ask and prep some responses in advance. Practice makes perfect, after all.
  • Vary Your Techniques : Not every question needs an essay as an answer; sometimes short and sweet does the trick. Mix up how detailed or brief your answers are depending on what’s asked.
  • Show You Care : If you ever get a question that leaves you stumped, say so honestly—but add that magical line: “Let me find out more and I’ll get back to you.” Then actually do it.
  • Appreciate Audience Curiosity : Remember that the reason you audience is asking questions is because they’re interested. So no matter what questions you get, keep engaging with enthusiasm.

Go forth with confidence, knowing not only can these moments boost credibility—they make connections too. So next time when facing down those queries remember to listen hard, stay calm & always engage warmly. With these techniques under your belt, answering audience questions after your presentation will feel much less daunting.

Techniques for a Memorable and Effective Presentation

No matter what topic you cover in your presentation, you can easily add in a story, and more likely than not you can add a little humor too. Together, these two presentation techniques are perfect for making your speech memorable.

Incorporating Storytelling into Your Presentation

One great technique for making your presentation stick is telling stories. Stories have the power to touch people profoundly, especially when they depict relatable experiences. So, when you’re up there presenting, kick things off with a story that ties into your main message. It could be personal, something from history, or even an anecdote that gets your point across. Stories are not just fluff; they’re the glue of your presentation. They make complex ideas digestible and memorable.

Using Humor to Connect with the Audience

Another great way of engaging your audience is by using humor. But here’s the deal—use humor wisely. Keep it tasteful and tied closely to the content at hand so it enhances rather than detracts from your message.

  • Pick universal themes everyone can relate to.
  • Avoid anything potentially offensive.
  • Tie jokes back to your key points to make them relevant.

If humor isn’t your thing, or you’re worried about your comedic timing, it’s perfectly okay to skip the jokes. Especially if you’re new to public speaking, humor can be hard to nail immediately. But as you grow and hone your presentation techniques, consider stretching yourself a bit. By starting small, you can practice using humor to connect with your audience. That is your goal, after all—to leave a positive, memorable impression on your audience.

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Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

For some speakers, stepping in front of a crowd to speak causes immediate anxiety. But fear not! Conquering public speaking anxiety is entirely within your grasp.

Techniques to Manage Stage Fright and Boost Confidence

First off, feeling nervous before taking the stage is completely normal. Even Mark Twain admitted, “There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” So take that flutter in your stomach as a sign you care deeply about delivering value to your audience. In addition, consider the following tips as you prepare to hit the stage.

  • Breathe Deep: Before stepping up, take some deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel every muscle relax with each exhale.
  • Mind Over Matter: Visualization is key. Picture yourself nailing that presentation, because if you can see it, you can achieve it.
  • Keep It Simple: Stick to what you know best; this isn’t the time for surprises or untested waters.
  • Pace Yourself: Speak slowly but surely—there’s no rush here.

Believe it or not, acting relaxed often leads to actually being relaxed. Remember when we said mind over matter? Well, it applies here big time. The power pose backstage might just be what turns those nerves into excitement.

So next time you feel stage fright coming on, fight back with these techniques. With these tricks up your sleeve, you’re more than ready. So go ahead, breathe deep, and step onto that stage. You’ve got this.

Using Different Presentation Methods to Engage Your Audience

While learning styles is “ little more than urban myth ,” presenting your material in a variety of ways is a great technique for engaging your audience. By switching it up, you increase your chances of explaining something in a way that clicks with individual audience members. This is especially helpful for more complex topics that might be hard to grasp.

There are three main ways of presenting your material to your audience: through visuals, audio, and hands-on activities.

  • Visuals: Use slides packed with images, graphs, and bullet points.
  • Audio: Tell stories, play audio clips or engage in discussions.
  • Hands-on Activities: Include activities or demonstrations that allow audience members to participate physically.

Making sure everyone gets something from your presentation means considering these techniques when planning content. Not only can incorporating various methods increase audience engagement, but it can also elevate your presentation from decent to memorable.

Essential Tips for First-Time Presenters

Stepping onto the stage or logging into that webinar platform as a first-time presenter can feel nerve-wracking. But fear not! With these tips on how to dress appropriately, arrive early, and make your presentation shine, you’ll be ready to confidently nail that presentation.

Dress Appropriately

Your outfit is your armor. Choose something professional yet comfortable. Whether it’s in-person or online, dressing one notch above what you expect your audience to wear usually hits the sweet spot. Aim for solid colors that won’t distract your audience.

Arriving Early

If possible, arrive at the venue before your audience does. This gives you time to settle in, test any tech gear like microphones or projectors, and take those deep breaths. This extra time also lets you chat with early birds. By connecting with people before taking center stage, you can ease nerves significantly.

Making Presentation Time Count

You only have the audience’s attention for so long. Keep an eye on the clock as you present, but avoid rushing through content. It especially helps to pause after key points, letting information sink in. Your end goal? Leave you’re audience wanting more. You’ll know if you succeeded based on the number of questions you get during the Q&A.

So there you have it—the techniques you need to deliver an engaging presentation. By honing nonverbal communication, like eye contact and posture, you can captivate your audience with your energy. And visual aids? They’re not just ornamental; they help bolster your point and drive it home.

We also learned that tackling audience questions is not an art reserved for the eloquent few but a skill sharpened by preparation and presence. While it takes a little work to nail good storytelling and well-timed humor, the ultimate outcome is worth it.

So while standing before an audience may set your heart racing, know that arming yourself with knowledge and technique can transform not just your presentation, but you yourself. So don’t be afraid to try your hand at these skills; in doing so, you build your own confidence and become a better speaker in the process.

  • Last Updated: April 11, 2024

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Effective Oral Presentations

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Verbally (and as a general rule), do not write down and memorize or read your full text, because then your presentation will sound like what it is: a recited written text. Instead, memorize the outline of your presentation — that is, a tree structure of main points and subpoints — and speak ex tempore, reinventing the words as you go along. As you do, you will occasionally need to think about what to say next and find the most appropriate words to say it. Instead of using filler words ( um , er , you know , I mean , etc.), simply pause. If you say um , you get about half a second of thinking time and the audience is likely to notice the um and be irritated by it. If you keep silent, you can get up to two or three seconds of thinking time without the audience noticing anything. Even if attendees do notice the silence, they will simply think that you are choosing your words carefully — and there is nothing wrong with that.

Despite pointing often at the screen, Marie nicely faces the audience with her body at all times, keeps her hands down between gestures, and maintains eye contact with the attendees. Transcript Vocally, vary the tone, rate, and volume of your voice as a function of the meaning, complexity, and importance of what you are saying. You need not invent a new intonation pattern: You simply need to amplify your normal pattern.

Visually, control your body. Adopt a stable, confident position; move only when you have a positive reason to do so (for example, move closer to the audience for taking questions), not when your body seems to ask for it. When you make a gesture, make it large and deliberate; between gestures, bring your hands down and do not fidget. Establish eye contact: Engage the audience by looking them straight in the eyes.

At all times, make sure you address the audience. Even if you have slides, tell the audience your story in a stand-alone way; do not just explain your slides. In particular, anticipate your slides. You should know at all times what your next slide is about so you can insert an appropriate transition.

Delivering as a non-native speaker

To keep the audience engaged , Jean-luc emphasizes his points with facial expressions, purposeful gestures, and — especially — a high dynamic range in his vocal delivery. Transcript If you are a non-native speaker of English, you may find it more challenging to speak ex tempore in English than in your native language. Still, even imperfect extemporaneous English is more likely to engage the audience than reciting a more polished, less spontaneous written text. To improve your delivery and overall presentation as a non-native speaker, practice more, pace yourself, and support your spoken discourse with appropriate slides.

While all speakers benefit from practicing their presentations multiple times, consider investing more time in such practice if you are less familiar with the language. Practicing helps you identify missing vocabulary, including key technical terms (which are difficult to circumvent), and express your ideas more fluently. As you practice, you may want to prepare a list of difficult words (to review on the day of your presentation) or write down an occasional complex yet crucial sentence. Still, do not feel bound to what you write down. These notes should be a help, not a constraint.

Practicing in front of an audience (a few colleagues, for example) can help you correct or refine your pronunciation. If you are unsure how to pronounce some words or phrases, you can ask native speakers in advance or check online dictionaries that offer phonetic spelling or audio rendering. Still, you may be unaware of certain words you mispronounce; a practice audience can point these words out to you if you invite it to do so.

During your presentation, pace yourself. As a non-native speaker, you may feel you need to search for your words more often or for a longer time than in your native language, but the mechanism is the same. Do not let this challenge pressure you. Give yourself the time you need to express your ideas clearly. Silence is not your enemy; it is your friend.

Pacing yourself also means speaking more slowly than you otherwise might, especially if you have an accent in English. Accents are common among non-native speakers — and among specific groups of native speakers, too — and they are not a problem as long as they are mild. Often, they are experienced as charming. Still, they take some getting used to. Remember to slow down, especially at the beginning of a presentation, so your audience can get used to your accent, whether native or not.

Handling stage fright and mishaps

Most speakers, even experienced ones, are nervous before or during an oral presentation. Such stage fright is normal and even reassuring: It shows that you care, and you should care if you want to deliver an effective presentation. Accordingly, accept your stage fright rather than feeling guilty about it. Instead of trying to suppress nervousness, strive to focus your nervous energy in your voice, your gestures, and your eye contact. Do not let it dissipate into entropy, such as by using filler words or engaging in nervous mannerisms.

Among the many ways to keep your nerves under control, perhaps the most effective one is to focus constructively on your purpose at all times. Before your presentation, eliminate all the unknowns: Prepare your presentation well, identify (or even meet) your audience, and know the room. During the presentation, do what it takes to get your message across, even if it means doing something differently than you had planned. Have a positive attitude about the presentation at all times: Visualize what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid.

Even with careful preparation, mishaps can occur. For example, technology may fail, you may forget what you wanted to say, or you may accidentally say the wrong thing. As a rule, do not apologize for what happens — neither in advance nor after the fact. Although well-meant, such apologies provide no benefit to the audience: They are noise. If you can do something about the problem, such as fix the technology or insert what you forgot later in the presentation, concentrate on doing so instead of apologizing. If the problem is out of your control, then there is no need to apologize for it. As a specific example, if you feel your command of English is poor, then do what you can in advance to improve it; in particular, practice your presentation thoroughly. Then, on the day of the presentation, do your best with the command you have, but do not apologize at the beginning of the presentation for what you think is poor English. This apology will not solve anything, and it gives the attendees a negative image of you. Rather, let the attendees judge for themselves whether your command of English is sufficient (perhaps it is, despite what you might think). In other words, focus on delivering results, not excuses.

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Ten Steps to Preparing an Effective Oral Presentation

  • Determine the purpose of your presentation and identify your own objectives.
  • Know your audience and what it knows.
  • Define your topic.
  • Arrange your material in a way that makes sense for your objectives.
  • Compose your presentation.
  • Create visual aids.
  • Practice your presentation (don’t forget to time it!)
  • Make necessary adjustments.
  • Analyze the room where you’ll be giving your presentation (set-up, sight lines, equipment, etc.).
  • Practice again.
  • ← Answering Questions
  • Novice v. Expert Problem Solvers →

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Blog Beginner Guides How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

Written by: Krystle Wong Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

verbal presentation

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

verbal presentation

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

verbal presentation

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

verbal presentation

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

verbal presentation

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

verbal presentation

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

verbal presentation

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

verbal presentation

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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How can you make a good presentation even more effective?

This page draws on published advice from expert presenters around the world, which will help to take your presentations from merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

By bringing together advice from a wide range of people, the aim is to cover a whole range of areas.

Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you to improve.

1. Show your Passion and Connect with your Audience

It’s hard to be relaxed and be yourself when you’re nervous.

But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through.

Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters.

Be enthusiastic and honest, and the audience will respond.

2. Focus on your Audience’s Needs

Your presentation needs to be built around what your audience is going to get out of the presentation.

As you prepare the presentation, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them.

While you’re giving the presentation, you also need to remain focused on your audience’s response, and react to that.

You need to make it easy for your audience to understand and respond.

3. Keep it Simple: Concentrate on your Core Message

When planning your presentation, you should always keep in mind the question:

What is the key message (or three key points) for my audience to take away?

You should be able to communicate that key message very briefly.

Some experts recommend a 30-second ‘elevator summary’, others that you can write it on the back of a business card, or say it in no more than 15 words.

Whichever rule you choose, the important thing is to keep your core message focused and brief.

And if what you are planning to say doesn’t contribute to that core message, don’t say it.

4. Smile and Make Eye Contact with your Audience

This sounds very easy, but a surprisingly large number of presenters fail to do it.

If you smile and make eye contact, you are building rapport , which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you to feel less nervous, because you are talking to individuals, not to a great mass of unknown people.

To help you with this, make sure that you don’t turn down all the lights so that only the slide screen is visible. Your audience needs to see you as well as your slides.

5. Start Strongly

The beginning of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it.

They will give you a few minutes’ grace in which to entertain them, before they start to switch off if you’re dull. So don’t waste that on explaining who you are. Start by entertaining them.

Try a story (see tip 7 below), or an attention-grabbing (but useful) image on a slide.

6. Remember the 10-20-30 Rule for Slideshows

This is a tip from Guy Kawasaki of Apple. He suggests that slideshows should:

  • Contain no more than 10 slides;
  • Last no more than 20 minutes; and
  • Use a font size of no less than 30 point.

This last is particularly important as it stops you trying to put too much information on any one slide. This whole approach avoids the dreaded ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

As a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. A good set of slides should be no use without the presenter, and they should definitely contain less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.

If you need to provide more information, create a bespoke handout and give it out after your presentation.

7. Tell Stories

Human beings are programmed to respond to stories.

Stories help us to pay attention, and also to remember things. If you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards. It is a good idea to start with a story, but there is a wider point too: you need your presentation to act like a story.

Think about what story you are trying to tell your audience, and create your presentation to tell it.

Finding The Story Behind Your Presentation

To effectively tell a story, focus on using at least one of the two most basic storytelling mechanics in your presentation:

Focusing On Characters – People have stories; things, data, and objects do not. So ask yourself “who” is directly involved in your topic that you can use as the focal point of your story.

For example, instead of talking about cars (your company’s products), you could focus on specific characters like:

  • The drivers the car is intended for – people looking for speed and adventure
  • The engineers who went out of their way to design the most cost-effective car imaginable

A Changing Dynamic – A story needs something to change along the way. So ask yourself “What is not as it should be?” and answer with what you are going to do about it (or what you did about it).

For example…

  • Did hazardous road conditions inspire you to build a rugged, all-terrain jeep that any family could afford?
  • Did a complicated and confusing food labelling system lead you to establish a colour-coded nutritional index so that anybody could easily understand it?

To see 15 more actionable storytelling tips, see Nuts & Bolts Speed Training’s post on Storytelling Tips .

8. Use your Voice Effectively

The spoken word is actually a pretty inefficient means of communication, because it uses only one of your audience’s five senses. That’s why presenters tend to use visual aids, too. But you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively.

Varying the speed at which you talk, and emphasising changes in pitch and tone all help to make your voice more interesting and hold your audience’s attention.

For more about this, see our page on Effective Speaking .

9. Use your Body Too

It has been estimated that more than three quarters of communication is non-verbal.

That means that as well as your tone of voice, your body language is crucial to getting your message across. Make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage.

Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible.

10. Relax, Breathe and Enjoy

If you find presenting difficult, it can be hard to be calm and relaxed about doing it.

One option is to start by concentrating on your breathing. Slow it down, and make sure that you’re breathing fully. Make sure that you continue to pause for breath occasionally during your presentation too.

For more ideas, see our page on Coping with Presentation Nerves .

If you can bring yourself to relax, you will almost certainly present better. If you can actually start to enjoy yourself, your audience will respond to that, and engage better. Your presentations will improve exponentially, and so will your confidence. It’s well worth a try.

Improve your Presentation Skills

Follow our guide to boost your presentation skills learning about preparation, delivery, questions and all other aspects of giving effective presentations.

Start with: What is a Presentation?

Continue to: How to Give a Speech Self Presentation

See also: Five Ways You Can Do Visual Marketing on a Budget Can Presentation Science Improve Your Presentation? Typography – It’s All About the Message in Your Slides

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How to Do an Oral Presentation

Last Updated: April 15, 2024

This article was co-authored by Vikas Agrawal . Vikas Agrawal is a Visual Content Marketing Expert & Entrepreneur, as well as the Founder of Full Service Creative Agency Infobrandz. With over 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing visually engaging content, such as infographics, videos, and e-books. He’s an expert in Making content marketing strategies and has contributed to and been featured in many publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and INC.com. This article has been viewed 49,135 times.

The power of words can control the thoughts, emotions and the decisions of others. Giving an oral presentation can be a challenge, but with the right plan and delivery, you can move an entire audience in your favor.

Researching Your Presentation

Step 1 Determine your topic.

  • If speaking about the effect of junk food on an adult’s mind, include the increase of serotonin, a happiness hormone. Then inform the audience how fast the hormone drastically depletes to give out worse feelings. This gives the perspective that even the advantages of junk food are outweighed by the negative effects.

Step 4 Research, research, research.

Writing Your Script

Step 1 Write the body of your script.

  • Make sure to begin each argument with a clear description of the content such as. "The result of eating junk food has increased negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem". This gives the audience a quick outlook of what the argument is about. Always remember to state how the argument relates and supports the topic question.

Step 2 Start the introduction.

  • If necessary, this is where you could include, "My name is ___ and I will be speaking about the effect on junk food on our minds." Then you include a brief out view of each argument you will be speaking about. Do not include any information about your arguments in the introduction.

Step 3 Prepare a strong conclusion.

  • Some example concluding sentences include, "The entire process of the mind, changed by a simple bite of a cookie. Our entire body's control system, defined by our choices of food. The definite truth. You are what you eat."

Practicing and Performing

Step 1 Prepare your cue cards.

  • Taking the effort to memorize your script allows you to keep eye contact with the audience and brings confidence to your speech. Reading from an entire script can easily cause you to lose your place and stutter. Also make sure they are the same size and only put important key words or those that are hard to remember. This allows you to easily flip through and read off the cue cards.

Step 2 Use the aid of visual images or videos if allowed.

What Is The Best Way To Start a Presentation?

Expert Q&A

  • Research persuasive language techniques. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Watch online speeches to get an idea of how to tone your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Color code each sentence on your cue cards to never lose track. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

verbal presentation

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What Are Some Interesting Topics to Discuss in a Group

  • ↑ https://www.princeton.edu/~archss/webpdfs08/BaharMartonosi.pdf
  • ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/give-good-speech-presentations-college-1147.html

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How to Prepare for a Presentation, with Examples

February 15, 2021 - Dom Barnard

This guide covers everything you need to know to prepare for your presentation. including what you need to think about beforehand, during and after the presentation.

1. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse (always aloud)

Once you have your presentation worked out, you will need to practice it, but even though you might think it’s the best way to have a flawless presentation, don’t memorise what you’re going to say.

That might sound like incredibly bad advice, but here’s why:

  • If you memorise your speech, you’ll get stuck in thinking you can only deliver your ideas in that way, and that stifles your creativity, and the chance for new thoughts and ways to put things that come up as you speak.

Not only that, but every  audience is different . Sometimes they laugh out loud, sometimes they sit and smile, and you never know which type of audience you’ll have until you’re live.

Practice Presentation Skills

Improve your public speaking and presentation skills by practicing them in realistic environments, with automated feedback on performance. Learn More

If you’re going off a memorised presentation, it’s much more difficult to break away from that to go with the flow on the day, and respond naturally to your audience.

  • If you forget your speech in the middle of it, you will be thrown, and you’ll have more chance of complete brain freeze, which really will knock your confidence.
  • Memorising your presentation gives you a false sense of security, which could leave you high and dry if something goes wrong. If you’ve only got your memorised speech, for example, what will you do if your PowerPoint freezes or your props break, and you can’t do what you were going to do?

Rehearse in front of colleagues, friends, a mirror, in virtual reality – always aloud. Make sure you spend plenty of time practising your presentation, it will make you feel much more relaxed if you know your material.

Courses where you can rehearse with interactive exercises:

  • Essential Public Speaking
  • How to Present over Video

Video showing how you can prepare for your presentation using virtual reality.  Learn more about virtual reality training .

2. Memorise your opening line

Do, however, memorise your opening line. If you know how you’re going to begin, you’ll get a strong start and that will build your confidence.

Many speakers and stage actors find that the minute they’ve actually delivered their first line, the nerves are gone and they’re well into their stride.

3. Practise your speech from written notes

Writing your presentation out in your own handwriting will help you clarify your ideas and may well bring you new ones.

  • How to Write a Speech to Engage your Audience

4. Practise presentation flow

As well as practising for the ideas and what you want to say, practise how you want your presentation to flow. Think of it almost as a symphony, with high points, slow movements and crescendos. If it’s important, think about how you want your audience to feel, what emotions you want them to have, and when.

5. The power of silence

Don’t be afraid to pause and use the power of silence. A good pause can have a huge emotional impact. It allows people to really absorb what you are saying and react, and it’s vital to pause if you’re using humour so that the next part of your presentation doesn’t get lost underneath people’s laughter.

For more on the ‘Power of the Pause’, watch this short from video Brian Tracy:  The Power of the Pause

  • 10 Effective Ways to use Pauses in your Speech

6. Have a backup

There’s nothing worse than the projector dying or finding that your laptop won’t communicate with the projector for some reason. If you know you have a backup, even if it’s only a pre-prepared flip chart, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be more confident.

7. Arrive early

Following on from that, arrive at least half an hour early so you aren’t feeling rushed, and so you have time to check your equipment and get your notes laid out ready to go. That gives you time to breathe and relax before you go on, knowing everything is as set as it can be.

8. Use physical props for a demo

Use physical props, if possible, for a demo. This can make you stand out and be more memorable among all the other speakers who only use PowerPoint, and it can add greatly to the impact of your presentation.

Video showing an example of using physical props during a live demo.

9. Structure your presentation

First, find out how much time you have to present, is it 10 minutes, 15, an hour? Prepare enough material for this time and have a couple of extra slides as backup – we tend to speak much quicker when nervous so you might find you finish your presentation too early. At some large conference events, timings may change on the day, be aware of this have a shorter version of your presentation in mind (i.e. know which slides to skip over).

  • How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples
  • Examples of Corporate Presentation Structures

10. Prepare for questions

Have a few backup slides for questions you think will arise from your presentation. It is sometime a tactic to explain a section briefly in your speech, so that you get a question about it afterwards. If you don’t understand the question, ask for it to be rephrased.

If there are no questions, it is not an indication how good or bad your presentation was. You many have explain your material extremely well, or simply that people are tired at the end of the day and want to go home.

  • Guide for Handling Questions after a Presentation

11. Prepare for where you are presenting

If you can, go to the room you are speaking in before the actual event. It gives you an idea of furniture layout, podium height, location, room size, audience size and lighting. You can then visualise the room while practising and avoid the shock of suddenly being faced with a huge room when you expected a tiny one.

Ask the organiser if you need any particular props, for example a table to help with your live demo.

Additional planning to think about before your presentation:

1. Purpose  – what outcome are we trying to achieve? How can results be measured? What will success look like?

2. Topic  – Novelty? Complexity? Technical?

3. People  – Who should attend? What do they already know? How are they going to help?

4. Timing  – When will it happen and how long will the presentation take?

5. Location  – Where will the presentation be held? Do you have access to the correct facilities for the presentation?

6. Papers  – Who is keeping minutes? Do you need to send out an agenda before the presentation? Background information required?

7. Visual aids  – Is a  projector required ? Boards?

8. Style  – Structure or unstructured, discussion style? How assertive should you be? How should the meeting items be organised?

12. Choose the signals to give to your audience

Before the presentation, think about these 5 topics:

  • Eye contact
  • Facial gestures
  • Body language

Decide how you will use each of these to reinforce your message. Use the table below for help.

Flat, monotonous, trails off, shaky, hesitant.Sharp, cold, loud, shouts, abrupt, clipped, fast.Controlled, firm, warm, rich, clear, even, loud.
Ers and ums, jerky, too slow, too fast.Fast, emphatic, blameful, abrupt, erratic, hurried.Steady and controlled, changes easily.
Evasive, looking down, darting, low eye contact.Stares and glaring, dominating, fixed gaze, threatening.Firm not fixed, natural and relaxed.
Fixed smile, apology facial gestures, blinking, blushing, chewing lip.Set face, few smiles, clenched jaw, frowning, chin forward, lips tight, gritted teeth.Open, varied and congruent expressions, calm, jaw relaxed, few blinks, smiles.
Hunched, hand over mouth, arms crossed, head down, slumping, legs crossed, stands awkwardly, soft handshake.Thumping, clenched fists, pointing, pacing, leaning forward, sharp and rapid movements, crushing handshake.Open hand and arm movements, head upright, calm, emphatic gestures, relaxed, head nodding to show attention, firm handshake.

Additional courses to help you prepare for your presentation:

  • Presentation Skills Training Courses

Example from Steve Jobs

Think about these 10 techniques while you are preparing your presentation..

10 presentation techniques Steve Jobs used

  • Planning in Analog.  Tell a story, create stunning visuals and videos to complement video, use demonstrations and other speakers, keep the audience engaged.
  • Creating a Twitter-Friendly Description  Single description sentence, condensed his message into 140 characters.
  • Introduce the Enemy  Story needs villains or a problem to be solved. Jobs highlighted IBM and useless mobile phones (during iPhone release) as his villains.
  • Focusing on Benefits  Keep reinforcing the benefits of your product, create top 10 lists, understand this is what customers care about.
  • Sticking to Rule of Three  Classic Literary technique, things are best remembered and reinforced in threes. Read this article on  Literary Techniques  for more detail.
  • Sell Dreams, Not Products  Create a vision people believe in, create a vision which will make people’s lives better
  • Create Visual Slides  Use as few words as possible and use colourful graphics on the slide to highlight points.
  • Make Numbers Meaningful  Compare large numbers to things people understand.
  • Use Plain English  Use easy to say and easy to remember words, keep it simple.
  • Large Reveals  Due to Apple secrecy, Jobs was able to deliver unexpected products to the world at his product launches.

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14 Dos and Don’ts for an Effective Presentation

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Renderforest Staff

16 Jun 2021

7 min read  

14 Dos and Don’ts for an Effective Presentation

Giving a presentation can be stressful. There are just too many balls to keep in the air: an effective opening, audience engagement, body language, visual aids, anxiety management. The list goes on. 

On a positive note, public speaking and presentation skills can be learned and refined. That’s why we put together a list of 14 dos and don’ts that will help you deliver a killer presentation. If you already have your presentation idea and are wondering how to effectively develop and deliver it, this article is for you.

Let’s jump right in and explore the basic rules of making and giving a presentation.

Slideshow Presentation Basic Skills | How to Practice For a Speech

Focus on the Key Message

From the very beginning, the audience should feel that your speech is leading to something important. This is what will spark their curiosity and keep their attention focused. 

Of course, to achieve such an effect, you should actually have something important to communicate. Otherwise, your audience will feel like they wasted their time (and would be right to think so). The material you present should resemble an arrow with a clear point, not an unending loop of words that leads to nowhere. 

But having something worth telling is only part of the job. You also need to make sure that your entire presentation is woven around that key idea. From beginning to end, your core message should be your guiding light. Each sentence should move the audience closer to it, and by the end of the speech, leave them with a sense of illumination.

Recommended Reading

  • A Guide to Presentation Outline [Infographic] 
  • Best Corporate Presentation Designs

Plan the Structure

Planning your speech beforehand is the only way to avoid getting sidetracked. As you think about your message, try to structure it in a way that makes its delivery most effective for the audience.

speech structure

So, how do you structure a presentation? Consider both the logical and emotional implications of your structure. First, you want to give your listeners enough background information to help them get better acquainted with the topic, but not so much as to get them bored. Once all the need-to-knows are out of the way, make a seamless transition to your main message and start laying out your arguments in a convincing way.

Also, think about the emotional effect you want to achieve in each part of your presentation. The best way to go about it is to capture your audience’s attention right off the bat, which is often considered to be the hardest part of giving a presentation.

“How do I begin a presentation?” is a question you’ve surely asked yourself.  Once you’re done introducing yourself, you can jump into the presentation with a story or an intriguing question. Then, build suspense throughout the speech and release it at the end with a well-grounded closing statement.

create presentations

Tell a Story

How do you present a topic? As human beings, we’re attracted to stories. This is why we go to the movies, read fiction and, yes, become all ears when hearing gossip. Thus, it’s always a good idea to begin your presentation with a story or even spice it up with one in the middle. This can make all the difference between an engaged and indifferent audience. 

Need some proof? Watch this TED talk and see how the presenter wins the audience over in less than 3 minutes using the magic of a personal story (admittedly, a relatable one).

Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Keep a Conversational Tone

Many first-time public speakers try a bit too hard to make their speech expressive. As a result, their presentations appear showy and even pompous to the audience.

To prevent this, simply use a conversational tone. Feel like you are communicating your message to individual people, rather than a large alien audience. This will not only ease you up but will help the audience connect to you as well. 

After all, when you really look at it, you are talking to individual people, not their aggregation.

Remember the Takeaway

What is the one thing you’d wish the audience to take away from your speech as they leave the room or the auditorium? Define it in a single phrase or sentence, using straightforward, accessible language, and present it at the end of your presentation. Keep that takeaway in mind when planning your speech, and put a special emphasis on it during the wrap-up.

Angela Lee Duckworth TED talk

Source: TED talk by Angela Lee Duckworth

Time your speech.

There’s probably a specific timeframe within which you should complete your speech. Even if it’s not rigidly set, the audience will have certain expectations as to how long your presentation will take. 

Therefore, it’s important to plan beforehand the approximate time your speech should take and set a timer during rehearsals. If your presentation lasts longer than expected, make sure to leave the inessential parts out. 

As you memorize your material, your speech will get smoother and faster. This will also shorten the time required for it. Thus, before making any adjustments to the length of your script, rehearse it a few times.

How to Manage Time When Giving a Speech

Do Your Rehearsals  

Practice your speech as many times as necessary to build confidence. This is not to say you should memorize every single word or sentence, but you should know exactly what you need to cover at every point. 

When you’re confident enough about your speech, there’s one less reason to be nervous during the presentation. You can now relax and focus on building rapport with your audience.

  • 100+ Creative Presentation Ideas
  • Best Presentation Software: Ultimate List

Perhaps, the worst thing you can do during a presentation is to read your script. Even glancing at a paper or screen far too many times is distracting enough. What’s more, your audience will find it difficult to connect to your message, as it will all feel mechanical and staged.

The solution? It’s fairly simple: rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

don't read slides

Don’t Rely on Slides

A slide should never be the main source of information for the audience. Use it as a mere extension that makes your speech more engaging or credible. Always keep in mind that your audience needs to learn from you , the speaker, not from your slide.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t stuff any slide with text. Or include so much information (whether textual or visual) that your audience gets overwhelmed and stops following your speech. When it comes to slide design, minimalism is your best friend. 

To know if you’re relying heavily on your slides or not, ask yourself this question: “Will my presentation still make sense without the slides?” If the answer’s no, then you should rethink your script. But, there’s also a fun side to this. When you free your slides of the burden to inform, they can now be used creatively and even enhance the effect of your speech.

Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model.

Notice how the presenter in the video shown above only turns to slides to highlight or demonstrate a point she made. And if you remove all the slides? The presentation will be just as complete and impactful.

Don’t Use Fancy Slideshows

How a good presentation should look like? Nowadays, there are lots of advanced presentation software and screen-sharing tools one can use to “wow” the audience. The problem with them? “Wowing” your audience with something as trivial as slides is hardly why you’re making your speech. The fewer distractions there are in your presentation, the better. Keep this in mind, and avoid using anything showy. 

Don’t Talk Too Fast (or Slow)

While presenting, it’s recommended to maintain a consistent pace that’s neither too fast nor too slow. Talking fast might cause unnecessary tension in the audience, and excessively slow speech is sure to annoy them.

While different people naturally speak at different paces, it’s still something that can be worked on and modified with enough practice. You can refine your pacing during rehearsals until the preferred pace is second nature to you.

How to Pace a Speech | Public Speaking

Don’t Forget Backup Slides

You’re about to start your presentation, but the internet connection is too slow, and your slides won’t load. On top of it, you didn’t follow our advice about not relying on slideshows. What do you do?

Well, if you’re considerate enough, you will have a USB flash drive with backup slides. Next time you feel like forgoing this little step, recall this scenario.

Don’t Neglect Body Language

The way you move your body on stage tells a story. And if that story is incoherent with the one you’re telling with your words, disharmony arises. Imagine a speaker is talking about peace and tolerance, yet their every movement is abrupt, hasty, and aggressive. Sure, this might be the result of nervousness, but would you still be able to connect to their message? The answer’s likely to be no.   

When rehearsing your speech, don’t neglect body language. Practice standing tall, keeping your hands open, and your movements relaxed. Avoid pacing on the stage during your presentation, as it may distract or, worse yet, annoy your listeners. 

Check out this TED talk by Emily Esfahani Smith. Pay attention to how her empathetic facial expressions and open hand gestures help to reinforce her message.

There's more to life than being happy

And, of course, don’t skip eye contact. Instead of glancing over the entire audience, pick a few individuals from different parts of the room, and establish your eye contact with them. This little trick will help you feel like you’re speaking to one person at a time. And that’s far more manageable than speaking to everyone at once.

To emphasize a point, sometimes, what you need is not words but their absence. Take a pause after you ask a question or make a strong statement. Spare your audience a moment to think, reflect, and ponder. Or leave a gap of silence right before you present something exciting to build suspense and anticipation.

No one expects you to go on talking for 10-15 minutes without a pause. Take a few seconds once in a while to breathe. Draw in deep breaths to collect your thoughts and calm your nerves if the situation calls for it. This is one of the most effective ways to relax when presenting.

These were the things good presentations include. Hopefully, you’ve learned enough from our tips and are now ready to get to work. Delivering effective presentations is not an easy task, but definitely, one that’s worth the effort. If you’d like to create a presentation for your speech or even online platforms, give these customizable templates a try.

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Your audience will make up their minds about you in seconds.

How you look and sound during a speech or presentation are going to make a big impression on your audience. Within seconds, listeners will decide whether you are trustworthy, and they will do it based on your body language and vocal attributes. The good news is that there is plenty of hard evidence that explains how you can give the appearance of confidence and competence — even if you’re nervous or timid on the inside. To look confident, make eye contact, keep an open posture, and use gestures to emphasize your message. To sound confident, eliminate filler words, take time to pause before important messages, and vary your pace.

You’ve crafted the message and created the slides for your next presentation. Now it’s time to wow the audience. How you look and sound are going to make a big impression — and your audience will form opinions quickly .

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  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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24 Oral Presentations

Many academic courses require students to present information to their peers and teachers in a classroom setting. This is usually in the form of a short talk, often, but not always, accompanied by visual aids such as a power point. Students often become nervous at the idea of speaking in front of a group.

This chapter is divided under five headings to establish a quick reference guide for oral presentations.

verbal presentation

A beginner, who may have little or no experience, should read each section in full.

verbal presentation

For the intermediate learner, who has some experience with oral presentations, review the sections you feel you need work on.

verbal presentation

The Purpose of an Oral Presentation

Generally, oral presentation is public speaking, either individually or as a group, the aim of which is to provide information, entertain, persuade the audience, or educate. In an academic setting, oral presentations are often assessable tasks with a marking criteria. Therefore, students are being evaluated on their capacity to speak and deliver relevant information within a set timeframe. An oral presentation differs from a speech in that it usually has visual aids and may involve audience interaction; ideas are both shown and explained . A speech, on the other hand, is a formal verbal discourse addressing an audience, without visual aids and audience participation.

Types of Oral Presentations

Individual presentation.

  • Breathe and remember that everyone gets nervous when speaking in public. You are in control. You’ve got this!
  • Know your content. The number one way to have a smooth presentation is to know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Write it down and rehearse it until you feel relaxed and confident and do not have to rely heavily on notes while speaking.
  • Eliminate ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ from your oral presentation vocabulary. Speak slowly and clearly and pause when you need to. It is not a contest to see who can race through their presentation the fastest or fit the most content within the time limit. The average person speaks at a rate of 125 words per minute. Therefore, if you are required to speak for 10 minutes, you will need to write and practice 1250 words for speaking. Ensure you time yourself and get it right.
  • Ensure you meet the requirements of the marking criteria, including non-verbal communication skills. Make good eye contact with the audience; watch your posture; don’t fidget.
  • Know the language requirements. Check if you are permitted to use a more casual, conversational tone and first-person pronouns, or do you need to keep a more formal, academic tone?

Group Presentation

  • All of the above applies, however you are working as part of a group. So how should you approach group work?
  • Firstly, if you are not assigned to a group by your lecturer/tutor, choose people based on their availability and accessibility. If you cannot meet face-to-face you may schedule online meetings.
  • Get to know each other. It’s easier to work with friends than strangers.
  • Also consider everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This will involve a discussion that will often lead to task or role allocations within the group, however, everyone should be carrying an equal level of the workload.
  • Some group members may be more focused on getting the script written, with a different section for each team member to say. Others may be more experienced with the presentation software and skilled in editing and refining power point slides so they are appropriate for the presentation. Use one visual aid (one set of power point slides) for the whole group. Take turns presenting information and ideas.
  • Be patient and tolerant with each other’s learning style and personality. Do not judge people in your group based on their personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender, age, or cultural background.
  • Rehearse as a group, more than once. Keep rehearsing until you have seamless transitions between speakers. Ensure you thank the previous speaker and introduce the one following you. If you are rehearsing online, but have to present in-person, try to schedule some face-to-face time that will allow you to physically practice using the technology and classroom space of the campus.
  • For further information on working as a group see:

Working as a group – my.UQ – University of Queensland

Writing Your Presentation

Approach the oral presentation task just as you would any other assignment. Review the available topics, do some background reading and research to ensure you can talk about the topic for the appropriate length of time and in an informed manner. Break the question down as demonstrated in Chapter 17 Breaking Down an Assignment. Where it differs from writing an essay is that the information in the written speech must align with the visual aid. Therefore, with each idea, concept or new information you write, think about how this might be visually displayed through minimal text and the occasional use of images. Proceed to write your ideas in full, but consider that not all information will end up on a power point slide. After all, it is you who are doing the presenting , not the power point. Your presentation skills are being evaluated; this may include a small percentage for the actual visual aid. This is also why it is important that EVERYONE has a turn at speaking during the presentation, as each person receives their own individual grade.

Using Visual Aids

A whole chapter could be written about the visual aids alone, therefore I will simply refer to the key points as noted by my.UQ

To keep your audience engaged and help them to remember what you have to say, you may want to use visual aids, such as slides.

When designing slides for your presentation, make sure:

  • any text is brief, grammatically correct and easy to read. Use dot points and space between lines, plus large font size (18-20 point).
  • Resist the temptation to use dark slides with a light-coloured font; it is hard on the eyes
  • if images and graphs are used to support your main points, they should be non-intrusive on the written work

Images and Graphs

  • Your audience will respond better to slides that deliver information quickly – images and graphs are a good way to do this. However, they are not always appropriate or necessary.

When choosing images, it’s important to find images that:

  • support your presentation and aren’t just decorative
  • are high quality, however, using large HD picture files can make the power point file too large overall for submission via Turnitin
  • you have permission to use (Creative Commons license, royalty-free, own images, or purchased)
  • suggested sites for free-to-use images: Openclipart – Clipping Culture ; Beautiful Free Images & Pictures | Unsplash ; Pxfuel – Royalty free stock photos free download ; When we share, everyone wins – Creative Commons

This is a general guide. The specific requirements for your course may be different. Make sure you read through any assignment requirements carefully and ask your lecturer or tutor if you’re unsure how to meet them.

Using Visual Aids Effectively

Too often, students make an impressive power point though do not understand how to use it effectively to enhance their presentation.

  • Rehearse with the power point.
  • Keep the slides synchronized with your presentation; change them at the appropriate time.
  • Refer to the information on the slides. Point out details; comment on images; note facts such as data.
  • Don’t let the power point just be something happening in the background while you speak.
  • Write notes in your script to indicate when to change slides or which slide number the information applies to.
  • Pace yourself so you are not spending a disproportionate amount of time on slides at the beginning of the presentation and racing through them at the end.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Nonverbal Communication

It is clear by the name that nonverbal communication are the ways that we communicate without speaking. Many people are already aware of this, however here are a few tips that relate specifically to oral presentations.

Being confident and looking confident are two different things. Fake it until you make it.

  • Avoid slouching or leaning – standing up straight instantly gives you an air of confidence.
  • Move! When you’re glued to one spot as a presenter, you’re not perceived as either confident or dynamic. Use the available space effectively, though do not exaggerate your natural movements so you look ridiculous.
  • If you’re someone who “speaks with their hands”, resist the urge to constantly wave them around. They detract from your message. Occasional gestures are fine.
  • Be animated, but don’t fidget. Ask someone to watch you rehearse and identify if you have any nervous, repetitive habits you may be unaware of, for example, constantly touching or ‘finger-combing’ your hair, rubbing your face.
  • Avoid ‘voice fidgets’ also. If you needs to cough or clear your throat, do so once then take a drink of water.
  • Avoid distractions. No phone turned on. Water available but off to one side.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t hover over front-row audience members; this can be intimidating.
  • Have a cheerful demeaner. You do not need to grin like a Cheshire cat throughout the presentation, yet your facial expression should be relaxed and welcoming.
  • Maintain an engaging TONE in your voice. Sometimes it’s not what you’re saying that is putting your audience to sleep, it’s your monotonous tone. Vary your tone and pace.
  • Don’t read your presentation – PRESENT it! Internalize your script so you can speak with confidence and only occasionally refer to your notes if needed.
  • Lastly, make good eye contact with your audience members so they know you are talking with them, not at them. You’re having a conversation. Watch the link below for some great speaking tips, including eye contact.

Below is a video of some great tips about public speaking from Amy Wolff at TEDx Portland [1]

  • Wolff. A. [The Oregonion]. (2016, April 9). 5 public speaking tips from TEDxPortland speaker coach [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNOXZumCXNM&ab_channel=TheOregonian ↵

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Academic Writing Skills Copyright © 2021 by Patricia Williamson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Zoe Kaplan

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Forage puts students first. Our blog articles are written independently by our editorial team. They have not been paid for or sponsored by our partners. See our full  editorial guidelines .

Presentation skills aren’t just for school PowerPoints — they’re necessary for various careers and a valuable soft skill for communicating information at work. These skills are vital to advancing your career and making your work stand out, whether you’re presenting data for an analysis project, projections in a finance role , or key takeaways in a team meeting. In this guide, we’ll cover:

Presentation Skills Definition

Presentation skills employers look for, presentation skills: the bottom line.

Presentation skills are all of the skills you need to deliver an informative and engaging presentation. There are three main types of presentation skills.

Verbal Communication Skills

Verbal communication skills are the skills you use when talking to someone else. When presenting, you use these skills to communicate information so your audience can easily understand. Verbal communication is both about speaking to your audience and speaking well. You should know your audience’s current knowledge level to understand how much information and context to give them; you should also communicate clearly, slowly, and articulately. Verbal communication presentation skills include:

  • Storytelling
  • Public speaking

verbal presentation

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Skills you’ll build: Communication, presentation, public speaking, poise, attention to detail, analytical thinking, problem-solving

Interpersonal Skills

You use interpersonal skills when interacting with others to build stronger relationships. While presenting, it’s unlikely you’ll forge a personal relationship with each audience member, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t interact with the audience. The best presenters engage with their audience by asking them questions, encouraging participation, making jokes, or telling stories you think will capture their attention. Interpersonal presentation speaking skills include:

  • Audience engagement
  • Body language
  • Active listening

Visual Skills

Visual assets accompany almost every work presentation. These may be graphs with results or slides with key learnings in text. A good presenter uses visual aids to enhance their presentation, not distract or overwhelm the audience. Your slides should visualize what you’re talking about and summarize the key talking points you want your audience to take with them. Visual presentation skills include:

  • Branding and design
  • Organization
  • Chart, graph, and data presentation

Almost any field — whether you’re in professional services or marketing — requires presentation skills. Employers are looking for team members who can communicate results, learnings, and key takeaways in presentations. They’re also looking for personable, authentic, engaging presenters who won’t robotically read off slides.

“Lead with your values and emotional intelligence [when presenting],” Megan Hamilton, speaking, visibility, and confidence coach, says. “This is counter to all of the rules we’ve seen about professionalism for the past several decades. Learning how to build your presence — a grounded body, a calm and relaxed demeanor, a resonant voice — comes easily with time, but fostering your true self will help you in every possible situation.”

With some of the workforce still working remotely or hybrid, using technology efficiently is also a critical presentation skill employers look for. On Zoom, knowing how to share your screen, navigate a chat, and present are the bare minimum. However, it’s a bonus to know how to use visual assets to enhance your presentation, use technology like breakout rooms, and make a virtual presentation that engages an audience.

Improving your presentation skills requires preparation before you stand in front of an audience or join a Zoom meeting. You’ll need to think about the context of your presentation, enhance your storytelling skills, and get creative with your practice.

verbal presentation

“I got better at presenting because I was mindful about getting better. The mind then dictated my actions. I joined Toastmasters. I actively sought opportunities to speak. I listened to feedback. I began visualizing myself doing well giving presentations and engaged in positive self-talk.”

Neil Thompson, Founder at Teach the Geek, corporate public speaking training company

Know Your Audience

“The first step of crafting an effective presentation is thinking about your audience and tailoring the presentation to their needs,” Colleen Stevenson, post-secondary transition coach and founder of Choose Your University, says. “What and how much do they need to know? You don’t want to provide too much or too little information. As an entry-level employee, this may be challenging because you won’t be as familiar with your audience. This means you will have to ask effective questions and do research in order to provide the best presentation. “

For example, a CEO might need more zoomed-out, high-level takeaways to make a decision on your work, while your team member might be able to understand nuanced details. Ask yourself:

  • What information does my audience already know? Where are their knowledge gaps?
  • Why am I presenting this information to this specific audience? Why right now?
  • What do I want my audience to take away from this presentation?

Tell a Story

Sure, you might not be presenting on the most exciting thing, but practice framing your presentations as stories. Your presentation should give the audience clear context, show the journey of how you came to a conclusion, and give them an idea of what’s to come next. Finally, your audience should leave your presentation with a clear message and action items.

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Build the confidence and practical skills that employers are looking for with Forage’s free job simulations.

Embrace Social Media

All those hours on TikTok might come in handy. Hamilton suggests using the “live” feature — one that you can find on Tiktok or Instagram — to help build your skills in a “low stakes way.”

“They’re deletable, you can watch them over again, and they give you some more stress to be able to work through (because people are watching!) than just recording to your phone camera,” she says. “Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, build a two-minute talk or presentation, practice it and record it, and then give it a go in a social media live setting. Keep trying until you figure out how to present in a way that feels good and authentic to you — it’s all the same skills!”

Make it Legible

Tech can be your best friend or worst nightmare when presenting. Getting comfortable with Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Keynote can help make your presentations smoother and more organized.

  • Pay attention to branding. Keep your fonts and colors consistent.
  • Don’t crowd. Too much text will confuse your audience and distract them from listening to you. Generally, try to keep your slides under six bullet points with sentences shorter than eight words.
  • Keep it simple. While you don’t need to have “boring” slides, less is more. You don’t need flashy graphics and animations. Let your storytelling skills and personality shine through instead.

“Make sure that whatever you create is compatible with the systems you will be presenting on,” Stevenson advises. “There’s nothing worse than making the perfect slide deck only to find that all your fonts change when you open it on a different device! Any visual aids you create should contain as few words as possible, and should complement your verbal content by adding clarity rather than mirroring it.”

Practice Makes Perfect

Before any presentation, you’ll want to review your slides multiple times. This doesn’t mean just reviewing where your text boxes are and what your graphs look like. Practice presenting out loud, and if you’re presenting virtually, practice in a mock Zoom meeting to get the hang of screen sharing and making eye contact virtually.

Presentation skills are used in nearly every job to communicate information to other team members, managers, and key stakeholders. The better your presentation skills are, the better others will understand the impact of your work — and the more likely you are to advance your career.

Looking to bolster your professional skills? Check out Two Sigma’s Professional Skills Development Virtual Experience Program .

Image credit: Christina Morillo / Pexels

Zoe Kaplan

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6 negotiation skills to level up your work life, how to build conflict resolution skills: case studies and examples, what is github uses and getting started, upskill with forage.

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Reliability of rubrics in the assessment of clinical oral presentation: A prospective controlled study

Moothedath, Muhamood 1,2

1 Department of Public Health, Unit of Scientific Research, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, AlQassim, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Centre for Global Health Research, Saveetha Medical College, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Address for correspondence: Dr. Muhamood Moothedath, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, Unit of Scientific Research, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, AlQassim, 51921, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail: [email protected]

This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.


Rubrics are assessment tools customarily designed to judge a student’s skills in diagnosis, clinical assessment, presentations. as well as academic performance. The aim of the present study was to assess the reliability of rubrics in clinical oral presentations by students.


This was a prospective control study that enrolled 300 undergraduate students, students in their internships, and post-graduate students in various clinical streams. Ethical committee approval was obtained before finalizing the study from appropriate regulatory and institutional bodies. A pre-validated questionnaire was designed and distributed to all the participating students. All students were assessed using the traditional examination method as well as by rubric assessment. The responses obtained were compared and statistically analyzed using one-way ANOVA and the Chi-square statistical tool.


Rubric assessment was found to have high statistical significance ( P < 0.0001) when compared with the traditional method of examination.


In the present study, rubrics were found to serve as an effective method for judging student skills following a clinical oral presentation. However, due to contradictory scientific evidence, there is a requirement for a large sample size to be included for rubric or traditional assessment method studies.


Rubrics are instruments or tools for assessment that have been designed to assist in the identification and evaluation of qualitative variations in performance by a student. Research on scoring types of rubrics has demonstrated their two main uses: first, to aid assessors in obtaining high consistency levels as a part of providing scores for performance-based tasks, and second, to promote the process of learning and cause improvements in instructions by explicitly assessing and also by assisting the process of feedback. [ 1 , 2 ]

Research on rubrics has also documented positive effects on the educational system, for example, by aiding the development of students toward independent learning and improving their performance. These effects may be attributed to the explicit nature of expectations as well as criteria that facilitate processes like interpretation and making proper use of feedback. Consequently, rubrics can be used as tools to communicate expectations and provide support for different types of assessment-based learning processes. [ 3 , 4 ]

Most rubric associated studies are on a smaller scale and make use of short interventions. [ 3 , 4 ] Thus, it is difficult to get an overview of the successful use and design of rubrics for academic purposes.

The scoring of rubrics has facilitated the learning of students by means of two different pathways—a) the first type of pathway includes helping students to understand and use feedback collected from their teachers or peers. Rubrics are comprised of various levels in quality that are easy to attain and can be interpreted with ease using a constructive type of feedback.

b) The second pathway deals with self-efficiency, anxiety, and orientation-based process of learning. All of these factors can affect the performance of a student. The most significant requirement for understanding rubrics is transparency, which allows students to self-estimate their capabilities along with planning, monitoring, and evaluating their performance as per determined criteria. Thus, the students are able to exert greater control over the process of learning, which causes a reduction in anxiety as well as negatively directed strategies toward learning. Assessment using rubrics helps to develop control along with self-responsibility to deal with stress and allows students to develop greater orientation in their performance. [ 5 ]

Jonsson and Svingby (2007) studied different designing rubric features like a) task specificity, b) score-based strategy to decide if the scoring process is holistic and/or analytical in nature, and c) quality. Jonsson and Svingby [ 4 ] specifically suggested the use of rubrics that are specific to a task and reliable in nature. Such a design would not, however, be appropriate for formative purposes since fewer quality levels would make the rubric less useful for providing and understanding constructive feedback. In addition, any rubric that may be useful for performing any single task cannot be used for making any formation-oriented assessment. Learning to use a rubric requires time, while any selected rubric must be reproducible, and according to Dawson (2015), it should be capable of performing identical types of tasks. [ 6 ]

The questions-and-answers session following any presentation is considered important and plays an important part in academics and conferences. [ 7 ] A scientific presentation constitutes an academically enriched monologue that is directly controlled by presenters since the presentation is most of the time scripted. [ 8 ]

On the other hand, question-answer sessions following any presentation demand constant mental presence by the presenters to provide immediate, accurate responsiveness. [ 9 ] Any presenter’s professional knowledge as well as credibility may be damaged if they cannot perform up to the mark during these sessions. [ 10 ] Most of the time, if these situations arise, these presenters are considered to be academically or linguistically incapable of coping with and handling questioning during these sessions, despite delivering a well-prepared and well-polished scientific presentation in good and fluent English. During these questioning rounds following any presentation, an experienced presenter must conduct himself or herself in an appropriate and professional manner, possess the ability to think quickly, and provide an appropriate response to the question being asked. [ 10 ] Since these sessions are seen as a sort of evaluation, handling them requires an excellent skill set, as sometimes these questions may be different from the information presented. Most importantly, there is a requirement of good inter-personal skills, polite behavior, and strategic answering, which act as a face saver in a difficult question round. [ 11 ]

Therefore, these sessions may indeed cause stress for a presenter, especially if a presenter has to face a huge number of unknown audiences. [ 11 ]

Hence, keeping in view of existing facts about rubrics, this study was planned with the aim of testing the reliability of rubrics in the assessment of clinical oral presentations. The null hypothesis for this study was that rubrics are a reliable tool in the assessment of oral presentations in clinical subjects.

Materials and Methods

Study design and setting.

This prospective controlled purposive sampling study was based on a pre-validated questionnaire on dental students conducted at a professional dental college.

Study participants and sampling

This study was conducted on 300 undergraduate students that included third year, final year, and interns along with post-graduate students enrolled in a professional dental college. Selected students were then categorized into two groups 1) intervention or rubric-assessed group and 2) group assessed using traditional clinical techniques.

Ethical approval for conducting this study was obtained from the institutional ethics committee. A pilot study was previously conducted on 10% of the total sample size to validate the questionnaire designed for the survey.

Inclusion criteria for study participation were a) students who agreed to participate in the study and b) those who answered all questions in the questionnaire.

Exclusion criterion was any subject who had previously participated in a rubric assessment study.

Tool used for data collection

A pre-validated questionnaire was designed by study investigators after a review of previously published literature. The questionnaire was subdivided into two parts and comprised a total of ten open-ended as well as closed-ended questions.

The first portion of the questionnaire assessed student’s demographic data along with previous academic experience (questions numbered from 1 to 5), while the second component of the questionnaire contained student evaluations of tools used for assessing clinical training (both traditional methods and rubric-based assessments). This portion contained questions numbered from 6 to 10. Students were provided with the printed questionnaire, which they had to fill out and return within 15 minutes. The Cronbach’s α coefficient obtained was found to be 0.92, which showed validity.

The <Investigator> explained the study to all students, and prior to circulating the questionnaire, they asked them to sign an informed consent form for study participation. All students were assessed using traditional clinical assessment tools as well as rubric assessment tools.

A traditionally-based tool for clinical assessment was adopted by Eymard, Lyons, and Davis (2012). [ 12 ] It included four checklist parameters. Each of the checklists contained three options as tools for evaluation: a) Unsatisfactory = score 1, b) Satisfactory = score 2, and c) Not applicability = Score “zero.” Students were considered to achieve the learning objectives of the clinical course if their total calculated score was found to be >60% of the obtained score.

In the intervention or rubric assessment group, the study investigators modified the rubric assessment tool proposed by Curran et al. (2011). [ 13 ] The tool consisted of a total of “27” items. Each of the items is comprised of a four-point scale [i.e., a) minimal, b) developing, c) competent, and d) mastery], each including a description criteria. This tool covered a total of five dimensions, that is, communication skills, collaborating with different specialties, different roles as well as responsibilities, a collaborative approach between patients and family, and teamwork. The total obtained score ranged between 27 and 108.

The students were considered to achieve clinical objectives if their score obtained was >60%. A brief session for orientation purposes and to explain the assessment using rubrics was held by study investigators for selected students at the start of the study semester. They were explained about using it for assessment of clinical performance throughout and at the end of the study semester.

All the students who were a part of the study were given a copy of the rubric tool by the investigators during clinical-based orientation. Students were provided with sufficient time for reviewing the rubric. They were encouraged to be inquisitive.

Students’ clinical performance was assessed by researchers in the clinical area through a rubric (formative part of the evaluation, i.e., the first trial). Students were provided with a feedback form that was framed on overall clinical functioning throughout the time of clinical trainings. All participating students were instructed regarding the use of feedback-based evaluation for either maintaining good clinical performance or improving clinical skills. The clinical skills and performance of students were evaluated by study investigators at the end of the study semester by making use of the rubric tool. This constituted the summative part of the evaluation or second phase of the trial.

Statistical analysis

The data were analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) version 20.0. The ANOVA (Analysis of variance) and χ 2 tests were employed to compare quantitative and qualitative variables between the groups.

Results and Observations


The study was conducted on 300 students who were mostly third year, final year, and interns along with post-graduate students from different clinical departments. The study comprised 180 female students and 120 male students belonging to different parts of India.

The qualitative method was used for the assessment of the tools compared in this study and included statements as follows: a) accuracy of clinical information, b) student’s capability of noting the clinical examination meticulously, c) qualitative method of recording clinical observations by the student, that is, unilateral or bilateral; acute or chronic, d) student’s capability of using medical and/or dental terminologies while recording of observations such as abscess, pyrexia, and tenderness, e) student’s capability of summarizing clinical observational findings, f) student can answer questions following presentation, and g) student’s capability of maintaining composure throughout the oral presentation and in the question round following presentation [ Table 1 ].


On analyzing the traditional assessment method and comparing it with a rubric-based assessment system, the following observations were made: Both systems demonstrated extremely high statistically significant differences in accurately representing clinical facts, narrowing differential diagnosis until final diagnosis, and the ability to transform clinical information into a suitable presentation format [ Table 2 and Figure 1 ].


Clinical diagnostic reasoning is a skill that is difficult to assess, either in a direct or indirect manner. This is mainly due to the cognitive processing used by clinicians, which makes it difficult to measure. Also, the diagnostic skill makes use of different domains, like taking a complete patient history, physical or oral examination along with application of medical or dental knowledge. [ 14 ] There are different methods that may be used for assessing one’s clinical prowess in reasoning, for example, examination of clinical details, [ 15 ] scripting and interpreting laboratory test findings, [ 16 , 17 ] and selecting the most appropriate answer from multiple provided answers. [ 18 ]

Some of the validated evaluative tools include one’s ability to concisely summarize the clinical statement as an effective marker in clinical assessment since it has the requirement of student’s capability for synthesizing as well as prioritizing information from clinical examination and/or laboratory analysis or radiographic assessment. [ 19-21 ]

In the present study, both systems demonstrated an extremely high statistically significant difference, as evident through P- values on comparison between the traditional method of clinical assessment of students and assessment using a rubric tool. The assessment scores were compared for parameters like an accurate representation of clinical examination-derived information, narrowing down the clinical differential diagnosis to almost the final clinical diagnosis, and the ability to make an oral presentation with all clinical details in an appropriate manner. Hence, it can be conclusively said that the use of a rubric system can be more effective in the assessment of clinical oral presentations.

Similar to our study findings, Ginkel et al. (2019) in their analysis found significant improvement between pre-and post-test competence following an oral presentation. [ 22 ]

Smith et al. (2016) demonstrated an appropriate rubric tool for the assessment of medical summary statements after clinical examination. [ 23 ]

In contrast to our study findings, Escribano et al. (2023) concluded that clinical evaluation skills were not affected by the assessment tool used. [ 24 ]

Hence, there are contrasting findings that support or oppose the use of rubrics as an assessment tool in clinical oral presentations. Although the current study strongly recommends the use of rubrics as a tool for one’s ability to make a sound in the clinical oral presentation.


The limitations of the study include the limited study sample, and since all students were from a single institute, there are chances of a situational bias. Hence, samples in such studies must be derived from different sources, that is, different institutions.

A student’s clinical performance has been traditionally judged by an evaluator based on cognitive abilities along with academic as well as clinical expertise. The use of rubrics as an effective tool for assessing students has only come into focus in recent years. There are contradictory findings that support or negate its use for the assessment of various clinical skills. Hence, large sample sized studies should be planned, as this is a major limitation of such studies.

Financial support and sponsorship

Researcher would like to thank the Deanship of Graduate Studies and Scientific Research at Qassim University for financial support (QU-APC-2024-9/1).

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


The author would like to acknowledge the contributions of different clinical evaluators and students in the success of this prospective controlled study

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Clinical; data analysis; decision making; oral; presentation; rubrics; traditional; learning

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  1. Verbal Presentation Project

  2. F1 in Schools TWILIGHT Verbal Presentation October 2023


  4. Verbal Presentation

  5. Verbal presentation

  6. Correcting #PPT Slide Wording. fonts. symbols. and layout. .#Verbal Presentation for Astronomy


  1. What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

    Learn from a Silicon Valley CEO and a Harvard instructor how to deliver effective verbal presentations. Find out the secrets of concise, visual, and engaging communication with examples and tips.

  2. How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

    Delivery. It is important to dress appropriately, stand up straight, and project your voice towards the back of the room. Practise using a microphone, or any other presentation aids, in advance. If you don't have your own presenting style, think of the style of inspirational scientific speakers you have seen and imitate it.

  3. What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)

    Learn what presentation skills are and why they are essential for your personal and professional life. Discover how to improve your verbal communication, body language, storytelling, and other presentation skills with examples and strategies.

  4. 20 Tips For Preparing An Effective Oral Presentation

    20. Anticipate questions and prepare thoughtful answers in advance. A key component of preparing for an effective oral presentation is anticipating questions and creating thoughtful responses beforehand. It demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about the subject and that you gave the subject some research.

  5. How to make a great presentation

    Learn from presentation experts and inspiring speakers how to structure, design and deliver a powerful talk. Watch videos on data visualization, public speaking, listening skills and more.

  6. 15 Essential Presentation Techniques for Winning Over Any Audience

    There are three main ways of presenting your material to your audience: through visuals, audio, and hands-on activities. Visuals: Use slides packed with images, graphs, and bullet points. Audio: Tell stories, play audio clips or engage in discussions.

  7. How to Give a Killer Presentation

    Learn from TED's curator Chris Anderson how to craft a compelling story, plan your delivery, work on stage presence, and use multimedia effectively. Find out why substance matters more than style and how to avoid common pitfalls in verbal presentations.

  8. Seven Tips for Creating Powerful Oral Presentations

    Tip #4: Use non-verbal clues strategically. "Make sure you use your body for inflections and gestures and think about how to move your body in space," Bailey says. "Think about standing tall, lengthening your spine and stretching your tailbone and you will be perceived by your audience as more energized.".

  9. Effective Oral Presentations

    Learn how to deliver oral presentations with verbal, vocal, and visual components that engage the audience. Find tips for non-native speakers, handling stage fright, and creating slides.

  10. Ten Steps to Preparing an Effective Oral Presentation

    Define your topic. Arrange your material in a way that makes sense for your objectives. Compose your presentation. Create visual aids. Practice your presentation (don't forget to time it!) Make necessary adjustments. Analyze the room where you'll be giving your presentation (set-up, sight lines, equipment, etc.). Practice again.

  11. How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

    Apply the 10-20-30 rule. Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it! 9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule. Simplicity is key.

  12. How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

    This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there. Follow these steps: Signal that it's nearly the end of your presentation, for example, "As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…". Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation - "In this speech I wanted to compare…". 5.

  13. Top Tips for Effective Presentations

    Make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage. Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible. 10. Relax, Breathe and Enjoy.

  14. How to Do an Oral Presentation

    1. Prepare your cue cards. Do not paste your entire script on to the cue cards. Key words are your best friend in an oral presentation. Only having certain key words on your script allows you to easily track your train of words and gives you the opportunity to focus on your audience.

  15. How to Prepare for a Presentation, with Examples

    4. Practise presentation flow. As well as practising for the ideas and what you want to say, practise how you want your presentation to flow. Think of it almost as a symphony, with high points, slow movements and crescendos. If it's important, think about how you want your audience to feel, what emotions you want them to have, and when. 5.

  16. PDF Oral Presentations

    Oral Presentations. Or. l Presen. ations1. PlanningOral presentations are one of the most common assignments i. college courses. Scholars, professionals, and students in all fields desire to disseminate the new knowledge they produce, and this is often accomplished by delivering oral presentations in class, at conferences, in public lectures, or i.

  17. 14 Dos and Don'ts for an Effective Presentation

    Take a pause after you ask a question or make a strong statement. Spare your audience a moment to think, reflect, and ponder. Or leave a gap of silence right before you present something exciting to build suspense and anticipation. No one expects you to go on talking for 10-15 minutes without a pause.

  18. 10 Tips for Giving a Great Presentation to an Audience

    Follow these tips to help you create a presentation that will engage your audience: 1. Keep your presentation simple. When putting your presentation together, remember that simpler is better. Many presenters follow the "10-20-30" rule, which is to use 10 or fewer slides, keep your presentation under 20 minutes and use at least 30-point font.

  19. Verbal Communications and Presentation Skills

    There is 1 module in this course. Welcome to the " Verbal Communications and Presentation Skills" course! Effective communication skills are vital in both professional and personal spheres. Imagine the confidence and comfort you would feel when communicating with colleagues, bosses, customers, prospects, or clients.

  20. How to Look and Sound Confident During a Presentation

    To look confident, make eye contact, keep an open posture, and use gestures to emphasize your message. To sound confident, eliminate filler words, take time to pause before important messages, and ...

  21. Oral presentation

    Personal online tutoring. EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council's one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds. Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully.

  22. Oral Presentations

    An oral presentation differs from a speech in that it usually has visual aids and may involve audience interaction; ideas are both shown and explained. A speech, on the other hand, is a formal verbal discourse addressing an audience, without visual aids and audience participation. Types of Oral Presentations Individual Presentation

  23. How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

    Presentation skills are all of the skills you need to deliver an informative and engaging presentation. There are three main types of presentation skills. Verbal Communication Skills. Verbal communication skills are the skills you use when talking to someone else. When presenting, you use these skills to communicate information so your audience ...

  24. Communication Tutoring

    The Tutoring and Learning Center (TLC) can help students enrolled in a Communications course at Wake Tech create and deliver effective oral presentations, as well as provide academic support in the communications discipline. Students have boosted their grades and their confidence by using the center's services.

  25. Create an Engaging Oral Cavity Infection Lesson Presentation

    Oral Cavity Infection Lesson Presentation. Free Canva presentation template. Perfect for teachers, this illustrated slideshow template on oral cavity infections is both informative and visually engaging. Ideal for classroom settings, it helps explain complex concepts with ease, thanks to its clear, blue and beige color scheme. ...

  26. Reliability of rubrics in the assessment of clinical oral presentation

    The aim of the present study was to assess the reliability of rubrics in clinical oral presentations by students. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective control study that enrolled 300 undergraduate students, students in their internships, and post-graduate students in various clinical streams. Ethical committee approval was obtained ...