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Business writing essentials
How to write a presentation (and deliver it, even via Zoom)
31 minute read
You’ve been asked to give a presentation. Chances are, your response will be roughly one of the following:
1. It’s a subject you’re passionate about and you’re a confident speaker. You’re pleased to have the opportunity.
2. You secretly worry that your style is flat and unengaging. You’re not looking forward to it.
3. At best, the prospect makes you nervous; at worst, terrified. You’d rather have root canal surgery.
If you belong in one of the last two categories, you probably know you’re not alone. You may have heard the statistic that public speaking is more widely feared even than death .
However you feel about the prospect of presenting, this comprehensive guide will take you step by step through the process of planning, writing and delivering a presentation you can be proud of (even via Zoom).
Use the contents links below to jump to the section you need most, make your way through methodically from start to finish, or bookmark this page for next time you need it.
What is a presentation?
Essentially, it’s a story. And its origins go back thousands of years – to when our ancestors gathered around the campfire to listen to the wise elders of the tribe. Without PowerPoint!
These days, presentations encompass the glitz and scale of the Oscars or the new iPhone launch through to business briefings to smaller audiences, in person or – increasingly – online. We’re focusing on the business side.
Whatever the occasion, there’s always an element of drama involved. A presentation is not a report you can read at your leisure, it’s an event – speakers are putting themselves on the spot to explain, persuade or inspire you. Good presentations use this dynamic to support their story.
Always remember: everyone wants you to do well
If you are nervous, always remember: no one sets out to write a poor presentation and no one wants to go to one either. There may be private agendas in the room, but for the most part audiences approach presentations positively. They want to be engaged and to learn. They want you to do well.
First things first: the date’s in the diary and you need to prepare. Let’s break it down.
1. Preparing your presentation
Imagine you’re a designer in the automotive industry and your boss has asked you to give a presentation. The subject: the future of the car and how it will fit with all the other modes of transport.
Where to start? How to approach it? First you need an angle, a key idea.
We talk about ‘giving’ a presentation – and of course it’s the audience who will be receiving it. So, instead of beginning with cars (in this case), let’s think about people. That way we can root the talk in the everyday experience we all share.
Maybe you remember a time you were stuck in traffic on a motorway. Morning rush hour. No one moving. Up ahead children were crossing a footbridge on their way to school, laughing at the cars going nowhere. And you thought, ‘Enjoy it while you can! This will be you one day.’ But maybe not. Surely we can do better for future generations!
There’s your opening – the whole issue captured in a single image, and you’ve immediately engaged your audience with a simple story.
The who, the why and the what
Always begin with the people you’ll be addressing in mind. Before you start writing, answer three fundamental questions: who is your audience, why are you talking to them and what do you want to say?
The answers will provide the strong foundations you need and start the ideas flowing. Ignore them and you risk being vague and unfocused. Clear writing is the result of clear thinking and thinking takes time, but it’s time well spent.
Got a presentation to write? Before you do anything else, answer three fundamental questions: who is your audience, why are you talking to them and what do you want to say? @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet
Start with the audience
Are you a senior car designer talking to your team? If the answer’s yes, you can assume high-level, shared knowledge.
But if you’re talking to the sales or marketing departments, you can’t make the same assumptions – there are issues you might have to explain and justify. And if it’s a press briefing, it’s about getting the message out to the general public – a different story again.
Knowing your audience will also dictate your tone. Your presentation to the board is likely to be quite formal, whereas a talk for your team can be more relaxed.
And what’s the audience’s mood? On another occasion you might have bad news to deliver – perhaps the national economy and the company’s finances are threatening people’s jobs. Then you must empathise – put yourself in their position and adapt your tone accordingly.
I want to …
You also need a clear objective (the why ). For our car designer, the overriding objective should be to plant a key idea in the audience’s mind. Starting with that image of the schoolchildren, it’s to convince the audience that the company has a radical and distinctive design future.
That’s the takeaway. How should they do that? Should they explain, persuade or inspire – the three key strategies for any presentation? You may need to use several of them to achieve your goal.
Objectives should always complete the statement ‘I want to …’. What do you want to do ?
It’s about …
The what is the substance of your presentation – the building blocks, all the facts and figures that tell the audience ‘It’s about …’.
Back to our designer. The move away from petrol and diesel will allow a complete rethink of car design. The electric power unit and battery can lie under the car’s floor, freeing up all the space taken up by the conventional engine. And then there are all the issues around emission-free, autonomous vehicles in the ‘smart’ cities of the future.
When you’re planning, it can be helpful to get all the information out of your head and onto the page, using a mind map , like the example below (for a talk on UK transport policy).
This is an effective way of unlocking everything you know (or still need to do more research on). Start with your main topic, then keep asking yourself questions (like who, what, when, where, how and why) to dig into all the aspects.
Mind map with the topic of ‘UK transport policy at the centre. Arrows point out to six bubbles with the labels ‘Who’, ‘When’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, ‘What’ and ‘Where’. More arrows point out from each of these bubbles to explore related points in each area, and still more arrows from some of those points to expand further. The information reads:
- Special interests / NGOs
- Need for clear government direction
- What industry will do
- R&D spend
- What industry is doing
- Congestion [this leads to the sub-point ‘Wasted time and money’]
- More pollution
- More congestion
- More wasted time and money
- Climate change
- Road pricing
- Working together
- New technology
- Social policy
- Rest of world
- Emerging economies
Once you’ve got it all out on the page, you can identify which parts actually belong in your presentation. Don’t try to include every last detail: audiences don’t want to process piles of information. They are more interested in your ideas and conclusions.
Now let’s put all this research and planning into a structure.
2. How to structure your presentation
On 28 August 1963, Dr Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and delivered one of the most powerful speeches in history: ‘I have a dream’.
He was the leader of the civil rights movement in the US and his audience that day numbered in the hundreds of thousands. His goal was to inspire them to continue the struggle.
Presentations usually aim to either explain, persuade or inspire – sometimes with elements of all three. Your aim will determine your structure. This will be the backbone of your presentation, giving it strength and direction.
Explain in a logical sequence
When you explain, you add to people’s knowledge to build the key idea. But ask yourself, what does this audience already know?
If you’re an astrophysicist talking to an audience of your peers, you can use terms and concepts you know they’ll be familiar with. If you’re explaining black holes to Joe Public, you can’t do that. Typically, you’ll have to use simple analogies to keep the audience with you (‘Imagine you’re in a huge dark room …’).
Whether it’s black holes or new software, good explanations start with what we know and then build on that understanding, step by step, layer by layer. The audience will stay with you if they can follow your logic and you can help this with linking comments – ‘Building on that … ‘, ‘This means …’, ‘To illustrate that, I’ve always found …’.
Presentations usually aim to either explain, persuade or inspire – sometimes with elements of all three. Your aim will determine your presentation's structure. @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet
We need to change
If you’re writing a persuasive presentation, you also need to follow a particular sequence.
Whether you’re writing a pitch for a prospective customer or making research-based recommendations to a client, you follow the same structure. That structure is the Four Ps . It’s a powerful way of leading your audience’s thinking.
Start with the current situation – where you are now ( position ). Explain why you can’t stay there, so the audience agrees things have to change ( problem ). Suggest up to three credible ways you can address the issue ( possibilities ). Then decide which one is the optimum solution ( proposal ).
Three is a magic number for writers – not too many, not too few. But there may be one standout possibility, in which case you go straight to it ( position, problem, proposal ).
Think about how the pandemic has profoundly changed our working lives. Towns and cities are full of offices that people used to commute to. But to maintain social distancing, we’ve been encouraged to work from home where possible and to stay away from public transport.
At some point, decision-makers within organisations will have to make a call – or share a recommendation – about what to do long term. Should we go back to the office, stay at home or combine the two?
If we had to present on this choice using the Four Ps structure, we could outline the pros and cons of each possibility and then make a push for the one we recommend above the others. Or we could join the likes of Google and Twitter and simply propose purely remote working well into the future.
I have a dream
A presentation that inspires is about the future – about what could be. Scientists inspire children to follow careers in astronomy or physics with their passion and stunning visuals. Designers re-energise companies with their radical, exciting visions. Business leaders convince their staff that they really can turn things around.
An audience watching an inspirational presentation is not going to take away lots of facts and figures. What’s important is their emotional and intellectual engagement with the speaker, their shared sense of purpose. One way to build that engagement is with your structure.
From dark to light
The most inspiring presentations are so often born of shared struggle. On 13 May 1940, Winston Churchill addressed the British parliament – and the British people listening on their radios – in the darkest days of the Second World War.
He was brutally realistic in his assessment of the current position: ‘We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.’ He then set out his policy: ‘To wage war by sea, land and air, with all our might … against a monstrous tyranny’, and the prize: ‘Victory, however long and hard the road may be.’
In difficult situations, audiences immediately see through false hope and empty rhetoric. They want honest acknowledgement, and the determination and clear strategy to lead them to the future.
We can imagine how the same structure could show up in a more business-related context:
‘I’m not going to sugar-coat the figures. We have to change to save jobs and secure our future. There will be dark days and sacrifices along the way, but what’s the hardest part of any turnaround? It’s getting started. To do that, we all need to keep asking two fundamental questions: where can we improve, how can we improve? And if we push hard enough and if we’re utterly relentless, change will come and our momentum will build.’
Are you going to appeal to your audience’s
- habits of thought (current beliefs)?
If your recommendations run counter to their current beliefs, try appealing to their emotions.
3. Writing your presentation script
You don’t have to write a script. Some people put a few PowerPoint slides together and wing it; others make do with bullets on a smartphone, laptop or cue cards. It depends on the event and the presenter.
Writing a full script takes time, but if it’s a very important presentation and you might use it again – perhaps to appeal for investment – it will be worth it.
Some people will write a full script because the company or organisation that’s commissioned a presentation will want to see a copy well ahead of the event (often for legal reasons). Others will write the script, edit it down to the required time and then edit it down again to bullets or notes.
If the presentation is to a small audience, your notes or bullets will suit a more conversational approach. There are no rules here – see what works best for you. But what you must do is know your subject inside out.
To write clearly, you must think clearly and a full script will expose the areas that aren’t clear – where an explanation needs strengthening, for example, or where you should work on a transition.
Timing is everything
A full script also helps with working out timing, and timing is crucial. TED talks, for example, have a strict 18-minute limit, whether in front of an audience or online. That’s short enough to hold attention, but long enough to communicate a key idea. (The ‘I have a dream’ speech lasted 17 minutes 40 seconds and it changed the world.)
It takes a very skilled presenter to go much over 30 minutes. If you are taking questions during or after your presentation , however, it’s fine to build in extra time.
Imagine you’re writing your presentation in full and your slot is 20 minutes. On an A4 page with a 14-point Calibri font and 1.5 line spacing, that will equate to about 10 pages.
You can also divide the page in two, with slides on the left and text on the right (or vice versa). Then you can plan your words and visuals in parallel – and that will be roughly 20 pages.
Script page with a slide on the left-hand side and text on the right. The slide has the heading ‘What is your purpose?’ and has a photo of a smiling person at a whiteboard mid-presentation. The text on the slide reads:
Do you want to:
- do a combination of all three?
The notes next to the slide read:
How should they do that? Should they explain, persuade or inspire – the three key strategies for any presentation? You may need to use several of them to achieve your goal.
The most powerful key on your keyboard – Delete
Use these numbers as your goal, but your first draft will probably be longer. That’s when you start deleting.
Be ruthless. Anything not adding to the story must go, including those anecdotes you’ve been telling for years ( especially those anecdotes). It’s not about what you want to tell the audience, it’s about what they need to hear.
Don’t feel you have to include every single issue either. Dealing with two or three examples in some detail is far better than saying a little bit about many more.
And interpret visual material you’re displaying rather than describing it, just as you wouldn’t repeat the text that’s on the screen. The audience can see it already.
It’s a conversation
Be yourself – don’t write a script that’s not in your style. We want the real you, not a supercharged version.
Some people are naturals when it comes to presenting – which can mean they’ve learned how to draw on their authentic strengths.
Sir David Attenborough is a great example. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of the natural world. He has an infectious passion and enthusiasm for his subject. And most importantly, he doesn’t lecture the camera: he talks naturally to his audience (and he’s now using Instagram to inspire new generations).
You can take a cue from Sir David and make your presentation style your own. Knowing your own strengths and really understanding your why will help you speak with purpose and passion.
And aim to speak naturally. Use conversational, inclusive language. That means lots of personal pronouns ( I believe, we can) and contractions ( Don’t you wonder …, you’re probably thinking …).
Sir David Attenborough introduces his new series, Our Planet at its premiere. He builds up our awareness by layering information alongside arresting statistics. These are framed simply, in relatable terms (‘96% of mass on the planet is us …’), so we easily grasp their shocking significance. He also uses ‘we’ and ‘us’ a lot to underline how this environmental emergency affects us all on ‘the planet we all call home’.
Finding the right words
Imagine you’re talking to someone as you write. And try saying the words out loud – it’s a good way to catch those complex, overlong sentences or particular words that will be difficult to say.
Presentations are not reports that can be reread – the audience has to understand what you are saying in the moment . Don’t leave them wondering what on earth you’re talking about, as they will only fall behind.
So avoid using long or complex words, or words you wouldn’t hear in everyday conversation (if your everyday conversation includes ‘quarks’ and ‘vectors’, that’s fine). And beware of jargon – it can exclude the audience and it quickly becomes clichéd and outdated.
Here are some more hints and tips on how to write effectively for speaking:
Syntax (word order): Disentangle your thoughts and arrange the words in your sentences to be simple and logical. Often, complex syntax shows up when the main point is getting lost inside excess information (or that the speaker is unsure what their main point is).
Pace, rhythm and tone: Varying the pace, rhythm and tone of sentences makes both the speaking and listening experience far more enjoyable.
Make sure the stress falls on the most important words. For example, ‘To be or not to be ‘ (where the stress rises and falls on alternate words) or ‘I have a dream ‘ (where the stress falls on the final word).
Vary the length of sentences and experiment with using very short sentences to emphasise a point.
Play with rhythm by arranging words in pairs and trios. Saying things in threes gives a sense of movement, progression and resolution: Going, going … gone . Saying words in pairs gives a more balanced tone (‘courage and commitment’, ‘energy and effort’) or a sense of tension between the words (‘war and peace’, ‘imports and exports’).
Analogies: Good analogies can work well in presentations because they paint vivid pictures for the audience. The best way to do it is to use either a simile (‘It wasn’t so much a dinner party, more like feeding time at the zoo’) or a metaphor (‘He was the fox and the company was the henhouse’).
Alliteration: This means using two or more words that start with the same sound, like ‘big and bold’, ‘sleek and shiny’ or ‘key components’. On the page alliteration may look contrived, but it can effectively highlight important phrases in a presentation.
Words to avoid: Be careful about using clichés like ‘pushing the envelope’, ‘playing hardball’ and ‘thinking outside the box’. And think carefully about using any word that ends with -ism, -ise, -based, -gate, -focused and -driven.
Be careful with humour too: don’t write jokes unless you can naturally tell them well. Keep the tone light if it fits the occasion, but a badly told joke can be excruciating.
4. How to start your presentation
People tend to remember beginnings and endings the most, so make sure your opening and conclusion are both strong.
You have about a minute to engage an audience. You want them to be intrigued, to want to know more, to come slightly forward in their seats. If you only learn one part of your presentation by heart, make it that minute.
A quick ‘thank you’ is fine if someone has introduced you. A quick ‘good morning’ to the audience is fine too. But don’t start thanking them for coming and hoping they’ll enjoy what you have to say – you’re not accepting an Oscar, and they can tell you what they thought when it’s over. Get straight down to business.
There are four basic types of introduction which will draw your audience in:
- News – ‘Positive Covid-19 tests worldwide have now reached …’
- Anecdotal – ‘About ten years ago, I was walking to work and I saw …’
- Surprise – ‘Every five minutes, an American will die because of the food they eat.’
- Historical – ‘In 1800, the world’s population was one billion. It’s now 7.8 billion.’
You can interpret these beginnings in any number of ways. If you were to say, ‘I have an admission to make …’, we will expect a personal anecdote relating to your main theme. And because you’re alone in front of us, it’s playing on your vulnerability. We’re intrigued straight away, and you’ve established a good platform for the rest of the presentation.
You can also combine these techniques. The historical beginning creates a sense of movement – that was then and this is now – as well as a surprising fact. It may prompt a thought like, ‘Wow, where’s this going?’ And you can trade on this with your own rhetorical question: ‘What does this mean for everyone in this room? It’s not what you think …’.
As well as setting up your story, you need to quickly reassure the audience they’re in safe hands. One way to do that is to give them a map – to tell them where you’re going to take them and what they’re going to see along the way.
Then you’re starting the journey together.
5. How to end your presentation
Your ending is what you want the audience to take away: your call to action, your vision of the future and how they can contribute.
If your presentation is online or to a small group in a small room, your ending is not going to be a battle cry, a call to man the barricades – that would be totally inappropriate. But equally don’t waste it with something flat and uninspiring.
Here are four effective ways to end your talk (like the intros, you can combine them or come up with your own):
- Predict the future – ‘So what can we expect in the next ten years? …’
- Quotation – ‘As our chief exec said at the meeting yesterday, …’
- Repeat a major issue – ‘We can’t carry on with the same old same old.’
- Summarise – ‘Continuous improvement isn’t our goal. It’s our culture.’
Predicting the future fits well with a historical beginning – it completes the arc of your presentation.
If you end with a quotation, make sure it’s relevant and credible – it has to be an authoritative stamp.
Repeating a major issue means pulling out and highlighting a major strand of your presentation, while summarising is about encapsulating your argument in a couple of sentences.
Your ending can also be a change of tone, perhaps signalled by the single word ‘Finally …’. It’s the audience’s cue to come slightly forward again and pay close attention.
As with your opening, it will have more impact if you’ve learned your ending – put down your notes, take a couple of steps towards the audience and address them directly, before a simple ‘Thank you.’
6. Creating your PowerPoint slides
We’ve all been there – watching a seemingly endless, poorly designed slide deck that’s simply restating what the presenter is saying. So common is this tortuous experience that there’s a name for it: Death by PowerPoint. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Do you need slides at all?
As with your script, the first thing you should ask is ‘Do I actually need this?’ In 2019, Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave the Richard Dimbleby lecture for the BBC. He spoke for about 40 minutes with no autocue (he’d memorised his script) – and no speaker support.
This is a uniquely powerful form of presentation because the audience’s attention is totally focused on that one person. The call to action at the end of a presentation and delivering bad news are also best done without visuals.
But if they’re well-judged and relevant, slides or other visuals can add enormously to a presentation – whether it’s photography, video or the ubiquitous PowerPoint. There are, however, two things everyone should know about PowerPoint in particular:
- It’s incredibly versatile and convenient.
- In the wrong hands, it can be unbearably tedious.
Your PowerPoint slides should not essentially be your cue cards projected onto a screen. They shouldn’t be packed margin to margin with text or full of complex diagrams.
If the presentation is live, the audience has come to watch you, not your slide deck. Online, the deck may have to work harder to sustain visual interest.
As with the script, keep your finger poised over that Delete key when you’re putting the deck together.
How many slides?
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how many slides you should use, but think in terms of no more than one or two a minute on average. And don’t use more than a couple of short video inserts in a 20-minute presentation.
You might have a section where you show a few slides in a sequence or hold a single slide for a couple of minutes, which is fine. Varying the pacing helps to keep a presentation moving.
Optimise for psychology
As self-professed presentation aficionado David JP Phillips notes in his TEDx talk , people – and that includes your audience – have terrible working memories. If you don’t account for this fact in your slides, your talk will not have a lasting impact. In fact, most of it will be forgotten within around 30 seconds.
To counter this effect, David identifies five key strategies to use when designing your PowerPoint:
- Only have one message per slide: more than that and you’re splitting your audience’s attention.
- Don’t use full sentences on slides, and certainly don’t imagine you can talk over them if you do. People trying to read and listen at the same time will fail at both and absorb nothing. Move your running text into the documentation section instead, and keep the slide content short and sweet.
- People’s focus will be drawn to the biggest thing on the slide. If your headline is less important than the content below it, make the headline text the smaller of the two.
- You can also direct people’s attention using contrast. This can be as simple as guiding their point of focus by using white text (on a dark background) for the words you want to highlight, while the surrounding text is greyed out.
- Including too many objects per slide will sap your audience’s cognitive resources. (Your headline, every bullet, any references, even a page number each count as an object.) Include a maximum of six objects per slide and viewers will give a mental sigh of relief. This will probably mean creating more slides overall – and that’s fine.
More Powerpoint and visual aid tips
Here are a few more guidelines for creating your visual aids:
- Never dive into PowerPoint as job one in creating your presentation. Work out your talk’s structure (at least) before designing your slide deck. Making a genuinely effective PowerPoint requires that you know your subject inside out.
- List any visuals you’ll need as you prepare your script. That terrific photo you saw recently could be difficult to track down, and you might need permission and to pay to use it.
- It bears repeating: keep each slide to one key idea.
- Use the build effect of adding one bullet at a time (or use the contrast trick above) and try not to use more than three bullets per frame (or six objects overall).
- Strip each bullet to the bare minimum – no articles (‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’), no prepositions (‘in’, ‘at’, ‘to’ etc) and cut right back on punctuation.
- Every word that’s not there for a reason has to go. Delete, delete, delete.
- Use a ‘walk-in’ slide. Rather than have the audience arrive to a blank screen, this tells them who you are and your presentation’s title.
- Use occasional holding slides in between those with more content – perhaps an image but no text. They give the audience a visual rest and put the focus back on you.
- A plain white background might look fine on a computer monitor, but it will be glaring on a big screen. Invert the norm with a dark background, or use shading or ‘ghosted’ images to break up backgrounds and add visual interest.
- Some colours work better than others on-screen. Blues and greys are soft and easy on the eye. Red is a no-no, whether for backgrounds or text. And if you stick with a light background, favour a more subtle dark grey over black for the text.
- Use sans serif fonts (like Arial, Helvetica or Calibri) and think about point size – make sure it’s easily legible.
- Only use upper case where absolutely necessary.
Images and data
- Photos work well full screen, but they also really stand out well on a black background.
- Make sure your charts and graphics aren’t too complex. The dense information that’s fine on the page will not work on-screen – it’s too much to take in. Graphs behind a TV newsreader are often reduced to a single line going dramatically up or down.
- Don’t present data or graphs and expect them to speak for themselves. You need to find the story and significance in the data and present that .
- Proofread, proofread, proofread – or risk standing in front of an embarrassing spelling mistake.
- Check what laptop they’re using at your venue. If you’ve written your deck on a PC, run it on a PC (and, of course, the same rule applies if you’ve used a Mac).
- If you’ve emailed your presentation to the venue, take a USB copy along as back-up.
- If you’re presenting online, check which platform you’ll be using and get comfortable with it. If someone else will be hosting the event, make sure you arrange a time for a rehearsal, especially if there will be a producer.
7. Delivering your presentation
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into preparing your presentation and now you’ve come to the sharp end – it’s time to stand and deliver.
Run it through
You don’t have to rehearse, but most presenters do and for good reason – it catches weak points and awkward transitions. And, crucially, it bolsters confidence.
Read your script or go through your bullets aloud – it will help to settle your nerves. If you use colleagues as a dummy audience, you can do a sense check too: ‘Does that bit work?’ ‘Have I explained it clearly?’ ‘Do you get the big picture?’ And rehearsing out loud will catch those words and sentences you thought you could say but can’t.
The more you rehearse, the more familiar and natural the presentation will become. Rehearse the technical side too – where the video is going to come in, how you’re going to vary your pace and tone to maintain interest.
Try speaking slightly more slowly than you would normally so the audience catches every word, and don’t be afraid to pause now and again. It gives a breathing space for you and the audience.
Connect with your audience
When you deliver your presentation for real, establish eye contact with the audience, just as you would in a conversation. In a small room with a small audience, talk to individuals. In a larger space, don’t talk to the first couple of rows and ignore the rest – include everyone.
And if you stumble over your words here or there, carry on and don’t dwell on it – you’ll lose your concentration. Audiences are generally forgiving and they might not even notice.
Each audience is unique: they react differently in different places. And although tomorrow might be the tenth time you’ve done the same presentation, it will be the first time this audience sees it. Your duty is to keep it fresh for them.
A final point
This is your presentation – you’re in control and the audience needs to feel they’re in safe hands.
It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous , but it’s the thought of doing it that’s the worst bit. Once you get going – and especially when you sense the audience is with you – the nerves will start to disappear. Try to enjoy it. If you enjoy it, it’s far more likely the audience will too.
And remember: everyone wants you to do well.
8. How to present online
Taking to Zoom or another online platform to present was once the exception. These days, online presenting is as essential a skill as presenting in person.
The switch to online can be nerve-wracking and cause even usually skilled presenters to falter. But there’s no need for that to happen.
Indeed, all of the advice we’ve talked about on preparing, structuring and writing for in-person presenting is equally relevant for your online delivery. You just need to be ready for the unique challenges that remote presentations pose.
An obvious one is that while you still have an audience, it will probably be muted and possibly even unseen (if webcams are switched off). This makes it far more difficult to gauge audience reaction, and if the event is pre-recorded, there might not be any at all – at least not immediately. Clapping and laughing emojis are not quite like the real thing.
Keep eye contact
But although your audience may be many miles away, there are still ways you can – and should – create a sense of connection with them. Your presentation will have much more impact if you do.
Whether the event is live or recorded, at least start with your webcam on (unless you really can only use slides). If it’s an option and feels appropriate, consider keeping your camera on throughout – remember, you are the presentation as much as any visuals.
If you will be on display, make sure you know where your webcam’s lens is and at key moments of your talk look directly into it – and out at your audience – to punctuate those points.
And don’t look at a second screen to cue up your PowerPoint – viewers will think your attention is wandering.
Engage your online audience
Being an engaging speaker is always important, but remember that the online world is already a place we associate with distraction. It’s also easier for a viewer behind their laptop to disguise their wandering attention than it would be for one in an auditorium or boardroom.
This isn’t to say your audience don’t want to give you their attention. But it is more important than ever to keep your presentation sharp and concise. Revisit your structure, your script or cue cards and your slides. Take a really critical eye to it and (as always) delete, delete, delete anything that’s not directly relevant.
If it works for your format, you can look at making your presentation interactive. You can then break the content into short segments, interspersed with comment, polls, questions and discussion. The variety will be a welcome change for your viewers.
Your visuals are part of what will keep people with you – along with the interplay you create between you and them. This means following the best-practice guidance we covered earlier is even more important.
Using Zoom for your presentation? Master the art of online delivery through this simple mix of set-up, delivery and technical tricks @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet
Modulate your voice
Your tone of voice is extremely important here because presenting online is like radio with pictures. When people say ‘You have a great voice for radio’ what they mean is that it’s easy to listen to, often because you’re using quite a low-pitched, warm and relaxed register.
Listen to voices on the radio and voiceovers and identify the ones you particularly enjoy. What do you like about them? Why do you enjoy some voices and not others?
A flat, unmodulated voice, for instance, is difficult to listen to for long periods (and isn’t likely to inspire anyone).
Experiment with intentionally adding energy to your voice, as internet audio can have a dulling effect. As our trainer Gary Woodward puts it: ‘Turn up the enthusiasm dial even higher than you think, to make sure it comes through.’ And always vary your pace and tone as you would in a normal conversation.
And if it suits the tone of your talk, smile now and again. Smiling is contagious, and people will hear it in your voice even if they can’t see you.
Perfect your transitions
One of the other key challenges of remote presentations is that you have another layer of technology to wrestle with: sharing your PowerPoint online.
This means that many presentations begin with the popular catchphrase ‘Can you see my screen?’
This can also cause many presenters to stumble through their transitions, making the links between their slides clunky. And while remote audiences may be forgiving, for a slick presentation it’s best to prevent these sort of fumbles.
Naturally, practice plays a part here. But you can also give yourself the advantage with your set-up.
Dave Paradi from Think Outside the Slide explains one great way of setting up Zoom so you can smoothly cue up and run your slide deck – and be certain what’s being displayed.
You’ll even be able to see the rest of your screen (but the audience won’t). As you’ll be able to see what’s coming up, your transitions can also be seamless.
The trick is to use one of Zoom’s advanced settings after you hit ‘Share screen’, to share only a portion of your screen:
Advanced screensharing options pop-up box in Zoom, with the options ‘Portion of Screen’, ‘Music or Computer Sound Only’ and ‘Content from 2nd Camera’. The ‘Portion of Screen’ option is highlighted in blue.
This will give you a frame you can move to the part of the screen you want the audience to see.
Put your PowerPoint slides into ‘presenter view’ before launching the screenshare. Then you’ll be able to see the upcoming slides and your notes throughout, and your animations (like build slides) will work as normal.
Zoom’s ‘portion of screen’ setting in action
Presenter view in PowerPoint, with the current displayed slide on the left and the upcoming slide displaying smaller on the right, with notes below it. There is a notification saying ‘You are screen sharing’ at the top and a sharing frame positioned around the current slide.
The other part of the trick? Set it up in advance shortly before you’re due to speak. Once you’re happy with the set up, you can stop sharing until it’s time to kick off your talk. When you return to ‘Share screen’ again, it will reopen the frame in the same place.
Dave shows you the process in this video:
Five practical tips for a truly professional online presentation
You’re happy with the content of your talk, you’ve ruthlessly streamlined your slides and mastered your radio voice. Now just make sure you cover these crucial practicalities for a polished presentation:
1. Create a good space Make sure you have your environment well set up:
- Keep the background on display as tidy and minimalist as possible – a plain wall or backdrop is great, if you can.
- Manage and minimise background noise (shut the window, ensure your phone’s on silent, put the cat out, make sure someone’s watching the kids in another room – whatever it takes).
- Check your lighting: have your light source in front of you, not behind you (or you’ll be in shadow).
- Set up your computer or device at eye level so that you are well-framed and facing it straight on – avoid looming above it while providing a lovely view into your nostrils.
2. Think about your appearance Dress in the same way you would if the presentation were in person, and judge your choice of attire based on the formality of the event and your audience.
3. Practise! Run through the presentation and rehearse the technical side. Practise your transitions, including the initial cueing up of your slides (perhaps using the Zoom tip above), so that you can be confident in doing it all smoothly.
4. Be primed and ready Log in early on the day of your talk. Check all your tech is working, get your headset on and ensure everything is set up well ahead of time. This will save any last-minute issues (and stress) and means you can hit the ground running.
5. Stand and deliver Even online, consider giving your presentation standing up, if you can do so comfortably (adjusting your device or webcam accordingly). This may put you more into a presenting frame of mind and will differentiate you from most remote presenters.
Are you still there?
Live audiences have a group dynamic – as soon as a few people start laughing it becomes infectious and the others join in. It’s naturally different online. But that doesn’t have to throw you.
You might not get that immediate feedback, but don’t overcompensate and feel you have to win them back.
Yes, it’s often more difficult to gauge an audience’s reaction online – especially if their audio is muted and their webcams off. Yes, this can be daunting. But they are still out there listening. You may or may not hear (or see) laughter, but they could still be smiling and very interested in what you have to say. Have faith in your own content. Whatever form your delivery will take, keep coming back to your purpose and message for giving this talk – and keep considering the people you’ll be talking to. Whether the address will be online or in person, it is keeping this focus which is the key to every powerful presentation.
Ready to learn even more? Work one-to-one on your presentation-writing skills with one of our expert trainers or join our scheduled presentation-writing courses . If your team are looking to upskill, we also offer tailored in-house training . And if fear of presenting is holding your team back, check out our in-house course The reluctant presenter .
Image credit: lightpoet / Shutterstock
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These days he's one of Emphasis' top business-writing trainers, but in previous career lives Jack has written for many public and private sector organisations. He has an in-depth knowledge of the engineering and manufacturing sectors, particularly the UK automotive industry. As the lead scriptwriter for chairmen and CEOs, he has been responsible for proposals, pitches and reports as well as high-profile speeches and global product launches.
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23 presentation examples that really work (plus templates!)
- 30 Mar 2023
To help you in your quest for presentation greatness, we’ve gathered 23 of the best business presentation examples out there. These hand-picked ideas range from business PowerPoint presentations, to recruitment presentations, and everything in between.
As a bonus, several of our examples include editable video presentation templates from Biteable .
Biteable allows anyone to create great video presentations — no previous video-making skills required. The easy-to-use platform has hundreds of brandable templates and video scenes designed with a business audience in mind. A video made with Biteable is just what you need to add that wow factor and make an impact on your audience.
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Video presentation examples
Video presentations are our specialty at Biteable. We love them because they’re the most visually appealing and memorable way to communicate.
1. Animated characters
Our first presentation example is a business explainer from Biteable that uses animated characters. The friendly and modern style makes this the perfect presentation for engaging your audience.
Bonus template: Need a business video presentation that reflects the beautiful diversity of your customers or team? Use Biteable’s workplace scenes . You can change the skin tone and hair color for any of the animated characters.
2. Conference video
Videos are also ideal solutions for events (e.g. trade shows) where they can be looped to play constantly while you attend to more important things like talking to people and handing out free cheese samples.
For this event presentation sample below, we used bright colours, stock footage, and messaging that reflects the brand and values of the company. All these elements work together to draw the attention of passers-by.
For a huge selection of video presentation templates, take a look at our template gallery .
Business PowerPoint presentation examples
Striking fear into the hearts of the workplace since 1987, PowerPoint is synonymous with bland, boring presentations that feel more like an endurance test than a learning opportunity. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out these anything-but-boring business PowerPoint presentation examples.
3. Design pointers
This PowerPoint presentation takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how the speakers and users of PowerPoint are the problem, not the software itself.
Even at a hefty 61 slides, the vintage theme, appealing colors, and engaging content keep the viewer interested. It delivers useful and actionable tips on creating a better experience for your audience.
Pixar, as you’d expect, redefines the meaning of PowerPoint in their “22 Rules for Phenomenal Storytelling”. The character silhouettes are instantly recognizable and tie firmly to the Pixar brand. The bright colour palettes are carefully chosen to highlight the content of each slide.
This presentation is a good length, delivering one message per slide, making it easy for an audience to take notes and retain the information.
Google slides examples
If you’re in business, chances are you’ll have come across slide decks . Much like a deck of cards, each slide plays a key part in the overall ‘deck’, creating a well-rounded presentation.
If you need to inform your team, present findings, or outline a new strategy, slides are one of the most effective ways to do this.
Google Slides is one of the best ways to create a slide deck right now. It’s easy to use and has built-in design tools that integrate with Adobe, Lucidchart, and more. The best part — it’s free!
5. Teacher education
Here’s a slide deck that was created to educate teachers on how to use Google Slides effectively in a classroom. At first glance it seems stuffy and businessy, but if you look closer it’s apparent the creator knows his audience well, throwing in some teacher-friendly content that’s bound to get a smile.
The slides give walkthrough screenshots and practical advice on the different ways teachers can use the software to make their lives that little bit easier and educate their students at the same time.
6. Charity awareness raiser
This next Google slide deck is designed to raise awareness for an animal shelter. It has simple, clear messaging, and makes use of the furry friends it rescues to tug on heartstrings and encourage donations and adoptions from its audience.
Pro tip: Creating a presentation is exciting but also a little daunting. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed — especially if the success of your business or nonprofit depends on it. Check out our tips for advice on how to make a stand-out presentation.
Prezi presentation examples
If you haven’t come across Prezi , it’s a great alternative to using static slides. Sitting somewhere between slides and a video presentation, it allows you to import other content and add motion to create a more engaging viewer experience.
7. Red Bull event recap
This Prezi was created to document the Red Bull stratosphere freefall stunt a few years ago. It neatly captures all the things that Prezi is capable of, including video inserts and the zoom effect, which gives an animated, almost 3D effect to what would otherwise be still images.
Prezi has annual awards for the best examples of presentations over the year. This next example is one of the 2018 winners. It was made to highlight a new Logitech tool.
8. Logitech Spotlight launch
What stands out here are the juicy colors, bold imagery, and the way the designer has used Prezi to its full extent, including rotations, panning, fades, and a full zoom out to finish the presentation.
Sales presentation examples
If you’re stuck for ideas for your sales presentation, step right this way and check out this video template we made for you.
9. Sales enablement video presentation
In today’s fast-paced sales environment, you need a way to make your sales enablement presentations memorable and engaging for busy reps. Sales enablement videos are just the ticket. Use this video presentation template the next time you need to present on your metrics.
10. Zuroa sales deck
If you’re after a sales deck, you can’t go past this example from Zuora. What makes it great? It begins by introducing the worldwide shift in the way consumers are shopping. It’s a global phenomenon, and something we can all relate to.
It then weaves a compelling story about how the subscription model is changing the face of daily life for everyone. Metrics and testimonials from well-known CEOs and executives are included for some slamming social proof to boost the sales message.
Pitch presentation examples
Pitch decks are used to give an overview of business plans, and are usually presented during meetings with customers, investors, or potential partners.
11. Uber pitch deck
This is Uber’s original pitch deck, which (apart from looking a teensy bit dated) gives an excellent overview of their business model and clearly shows how they intended to disrupt a traditional industry and provide a better service to people. Right now, you’re probably very grateful that this pitch presentation was a winner.
You can make your own pitch deck with Biteable, or start with one of our video templates to make something a little more memorable.
12. Video pitch template
This video pitch presentation clearly speaks to the pains of everyone who needs to commute and find parking. It then provides the solution with its app that makes parking a breeze.
The video also introduces the key team members, their business strategy, and what they’re hoping to raise in funding. It’s a simple, clear pitch that positions the company as a key solution to a growing, worldwide problem. It’s compelling and convincing, as a good presentation should be.
13. Fyre Festival pitch deck
The most epic example of a recent pitch deck is this one for Fyre Festival – the greatest event that never happened. Marvel at its persuasion, gasp at the opportunity of being part of the cultural experience of the decade, cringe as everything goes from bad to worse.
Despite the very public outcome, this is a masterclass in how to create hype and get funding with your pitch deck using beautiful imagery, beautiful people, and beautiful promises of riches and fame.
Business presentation examples
Need to get the right message out to the right people? Business presentations can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
Simply press play and let your video do the talking. No fumbling your words and sweating buckets in front of those potential clients, just you being cool as a cucumber while your presentation does the talking.
Check out two of our popular templates that you can use as a starting point for your own presentations. While they’re business-minded, they’re definitely not boring.
14. Business intro template
Modern graphics, animations, and upbeat soundtracks keep your prospects engaged as they learn about your business, your team, your values, and how you can help them.
15. Business explainer template
Research presentation examples.
When you’re giving a more technical presentation such as research findings, you need to strike the perfect balance between informing your audience and making sure they stay awake.
As a rule, slides are more effective for research presentations, as they are used to support the speaker’s knowledge rather can capture every small detail on screen.
With often dry, complex, and technical subject matter, there can be a temptation for presentations to follow suit. Use images instead of walls of text, and keep things as easy to follow as possible.
16. TrackMaven research deck
TrackMaven uses their endearing mascot to lighten up this data-heavy slide deck. The graphs help to bring life to their findings, and they ensure to only have one bite-size takeaway per slide so that viewers can easily take notes.
17. Wearable tech research report
Obviously, research can get very researchy and there’s not a lot to be done about it. This slide deck below lays out a ton of in-depth information but breaks it up well with quotes, diagrams, and interesting facts to keep viewers engaged while it delivers its findings on wearable technology.
Team presentation examples
Motivating your team can be a challenge at the best of times, especially when you need to gather them together for….another presentation!
18. Team update template
We created this presentation template as an example of how to engage your team. In this case, it’s for an internal product launch. Using colorful animation and engaging pacing, this video presentation is much better than a static PowerPoint, right?
19. Officevibe collaboration explainer
This short slide deck is a presentation designed to increase awareness of the problems of a disengaged team. Bright colors and relevant images combine with facts and figures that compel viewers to click through to a download to learn more about helping their teams succeed.
Recruitment presentation examples
Recruiting the right people can be a challenge. Presentations can help display your team and your business by painting a dynamic picture of what it’s like to work with you.
Videos and animated slides let you capture the essence of your brand and workplace so the right employees can find you.
20. Company culture explainer
If you’re a recruitment agency, your challenge is to stand out from the hundreds of other agencies in the marketplace.
21. Kaizen culture
Showcasing your agency using a slide deck can give employers and employees a feel for doing business with you. Kaizen clearly displays its credentials and highlights its brand values and personality here (and also its appreciation of the coffee bean).
Explainer presentation examples
Got some explaining to do? Using an explainer video is the ideal way to showcase products that are technical, digital, or otherwise too difficult to explain with still images and text.
Explainer videos help you present the features and values of your product in an engaging way that speaks to your ideal audience and promotes your brand at the same time.
22. Product explainer template
23. lucidchart explainer.
Lucidchart does a stellar job of using explainer videos for their software. Their series of explainers-within-explainers entertains the viewer with cute imagery and an endearing brand voice. At the same time, the video is educating its audience on how to use the actual product. We (almost) guarantee you’ll have more love for spiders after watching this one.
Make a winning video presentation with Biteable
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For the best online video presentation software around, check out Biteable. The intuitive platform does all the heavy lifting for you, so making a video presentation is as easy as making a PowerPoint.
Use Biteable’s brand builder to automatically fetch your company colors and logo from your website and apply them to your entire video with the click of a button. Even add a clickable call-to-action button to your video.
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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples
Updated august 03, 2018 - dom barnard.
For many people the thought of delivering a presentation is a daunting task and brings about a great deal of nerves . However, if you take some time to understand how effective presentations are structured and then apply this structure to your own presentation, you’ll appear much more confident and relaxed.
Here is our complete guide for structuring your presentation, with examples at the end of the article to demonstrate these points.
Why is structuring a presentation so important?
If you’ve ever sat through a great presentation, you'll have left feeling either inspired or informed on a given topic. This isn’t because the speaker was the most knowledgeable or motivating person in the world. Instead, it’s because they know how to structure presentations - they have crafted their message in a logical and simple way that has allowed the audience can keep up with them and take away key messages.
Research has supported this, with studies showing that audiences retain structured information 40% more accurately than unstructured information.
In fact, not only is structuring a presentation important for the benefit of the audience’s understanding, it’s also important for you as the speaker. A good structure helps you remain calm, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences.
What will affect your presentation structure?
Generally speaking, there is a natural flow that any decent presentation will follow which we will go into shortly. However, you should be aware that all presentation structures will be different in their own unique way and this will be due to a number of factors, including:
- Whether you need to deliver any demonstrations
- How knowledgeable the audience already is on the given subject
- How much interaction you want from the audience
- Any time constraints there are for your talk
- What setting you are in
- Your ability to use any kinds of visual assistance
Before choosing the presentation's structure answer these questions first:
- What is your presentation's aim?
- Who are the audience?
- What are the main points your audience should remember afterwards?
When reading the points below, think critically about what things may cause your presentation structure to be slightly different. You can add in certain elements and add more focus to certain moments if that works better for your speech.
What is the typical presentation structure?
This is the usual flow of a presentation, which covers all the vital sections and is a good starting point for yours. It allows your audience to easily follow along and sets out a solid structure you can add your content to.
1. Greet the audience and introduce yourself
Before you start delivering your talk, introduce yourself to the audience and clarify who you are and your relevant expertise. This does not need to be long or incredibly detailed, but will help build an immediate relationship between you and the audience. It gives you the chance to briefly clarify your expertise and why you are worth listening to. This will help establish your ethos so the audience will trust you more and think you're credible.
Read our tips on How to Start a Presentation Effectively
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In the introduction you need to explain the subject and purpose of your presentation whilst gaining the audience's interest and confidence. It's sometimes helpful to think of your introduction as funnel-shaped to help filter down your topic:
- Introduce your general topic
- Explain your topic area
- State the issues/challenges in this area you will be exploring
- State your presentation's purpose - this is the basis of your presentation so ensure that you provide a statement explaining how the topic will be treated, for example, "I will argue that…" or maybe you will "compare", "analyse", "evaluate", "describe" etc.
- Provide a statement of what you're hoping the outcome of the presentation will be, for example, "I'm hoping this will be provide you with..."
- Show a preview of the organisation of your presentation
In this section also explain:
- The length of the talk.
- Signal whether you want audience interaction - some presenters prefer the audience to ask questions throughout whereas others allocate a specific section for this.
- If it applies, inform the audience whether to take notes or whether you will be providing handouts.
The way you structure your introduction can depend on the amount of time you have been given to present: a sales pitch may consist of a quick presentation so you may begin with your conclusion and then provide the evidence. Conversely, a speaker presenting their idea for change in the world would be better suited to start with the evidence and then conclude what this means for the audience.
Keep in mind that the main aim of the introduction is to grab the audience's attention and connect with them.
3. The main body of your talk
The main body of your talk needs to meet the promises you made in the introduction. Depending on the nature of your presentation, clearly segment the different topics you will be discussing, and then work your way through them one at a time - it's important for everything to be organised logically for the audience to fully understand. There are many different ways to organise your main points, such as, by priority, theme, chronologically etc.
- Main points should be addressed one by one with supporting evidence and examples.
- Before moving on to the next point you should provide a mini-summary.
- Links should be clearly stated between ideas and you must make it clear when you're moving onto the next point.
- Allow time for people to take relevant notes and stick to the topics you have prepared beforehand rather than straying too far off topic.
When planning your presentation write a list of main points you want to make and ask yourself "What I am telling the audience? What should they understand from this?" refining your answers this way will help you produce clear messages.
In presentations the conclusion is frequently underdeveloped and lacks purpose which is a shame as it's the best place to reinforce your messages. Typically, your presentation has a specific goal - that could be to convert a number of the audience members into customers, lead to a certain number of enquiries to make people knowledgeable on specific key points, or to motivate them towards a shared goal.
Regardless of what that goal is, be sure to summarise your main points and their implications. 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…"
- Summarise the main points, including their implications and conclusions
- Indicate what is next/a call to action/a thought-provoking takeaway
- Move on to the last section
5. Thank the audience and invite questions
Conclude your talk by thanking the audience for their time and invite them to ask any questions they may have. As mentioned earlier, personal circumstances will affect the structure of your presentation.
Many presenters prefer to make the Q&A session the key part of their talk and try to speed through the main body of the presentation. This is totally fine, but it is still best to focus on delivering some sort of initial presentation to set the tone and topics for discussion in the Q&A.
Other common presentation structures
The above was a description of a basic presentation, here are some more specific presentation layouts:
Use the demonstration structure when you have something useful to show. This is usually used when you want to show how a product works. Steve Jobs frequently used this technique in his presentations.
- Explain why the product is valuable.
- Describe why the product is necessary.
- Explain what problems it can solve for the audience.
- Demonstrate the product to support what you've been saying.
- Make suggestions of other things it can do to make the audience curious.
This structure is particularly useful in persuading the audience.
- Briefly frame the issue.
- Go into the issue in detail showing why it 's such a problem. Use logos and pathos for this - the logical and emotional appeals.
- Provide the solution and explain why this would also help the audience.
- Call to action - something you want the audience to do which is straightforward and pertinent to the solution.
As well as incorporating stories in your presentation , you can organise your whole presentation as a story. There are lots of different type of story structures you can use - a popular choice is the monomyth - the hero's journey. In a monomyth, a hero goes on a difficult journey or takes on a challenge - they move from the familiar into the unknown. After facing obstacles and ultimately succeeding the hero returns home, transformed and with newfound wisdom.
Storytelling for Business Success webinar , where well-know storyteller Javier Bernad shares strategies for crafting compelling narratives.
Another popular choice for using a story to structure your presentation is in media ras (in the middle of thing). In this type of story you launch right into the action by providing a snippet/teaser of what's happening and then you start explaining the events that led to that event. This is engaging because you're starting your story at the most exciting part which will make the audience curious - they'll want to know how you got there.
- Great storytelling: Examples from Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma
The remaining method structure is good for situations where you're presenting your perspective on a controversial topic which has split people's opinions.
- Go into the issue in detail showing why it's such a problem - use logos and pathos.
- Rebut your opponents' solutions - explain why their solutions could be useful because the audience will see this as fair and will therefore think you're trustworthy, and then explain why you think these solutions are not valid.
- After you've presented all the alternatives provide your solution, the remaining solution. This is very persuasive because it looks like the winning idea, especially with the audience believing that you're fair and trustworthy.
When delivering presentations it's important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it's all relevant. This can be done using speech transitions which are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.
Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence - there are many different forms, here are some examples:
Moving from the introduction to the first point
Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:
- Now that you're aware of the overview, let's begin with...
- First, let's begin with...
- I will first cover...
- My first point covers...
- To get started, let's look at...
Shifting between similar points
Move from one point to a similar one:
- In the same way...
- This is similar to...
Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:
- What part of the presentation you covered - "In the first part of this speech we've covered..."
- What the key points were - "Precisely how..."
- How this links in with the overall presentation - "So that's the context..."
- What you're moving on to - "Now I'd like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at..."
You can move your body and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.
A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:
- Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
- For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
- You discuss your second point from the centre again.
- You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
- The conclusion occurs in the centre.
Key slides for your presentation
Slides are a useful tool for most presentations: they can greatly assist in the delivery of your message and help the audience follow along with what you are saying. Key slides include:
- An intro slide outlining your ideas
- A summary slide with core points to remember
- High quality image slides to supplement what you are saying
There are some presenters who choose not to use slides at all, though this is more of a rarity. Slides can be a powerful tool if used properly, but the problem is that many fail to do just that. Here are some golden rules to follow when using slides in a presentation:
- Don't over fill them - your slides are there to assist your speech, rather than be the focal point. They should have as little information as possible, to avoid distracting people from your talk.
- A picture says a thousand words - instead of filling a slide with text, instead, focus on one or two images or diagrams to help support and explain the point you are discussing at that time.
- Make them readable - depending on the size of your audience, some may not be able to see small text or images, so make everything large enough to fill the space.
- Don't rush through slides - give the audience enough time to digest each slide.
Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a 10-20-30 rule :
- There should be a maximum of 10 slides - people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there's no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
- The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
- The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.
Here are some additional resources for slide design:
- 7 design tips for effective, beautiful PowerPoint presentations
- 11 design tips for beautiful presentations
- 10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea
Group presentations are structured in the same way as presentations with one speaker but usually require more rehearsal and practices. Clean transitioning between speakers is very important in producing a presentation that flows well. One way of doing this consists of:
- Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: "So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody"
- Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: "Now Elnaz will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety."
- Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: "Elnaz".
- The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: "Thank you Joe."
From this example you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.
Example of great presentation structure and delivery
Having examples of great presentations will help inspire your own structures, here are a few such examples, each unique and inspiring in their own way.
How Google Works - by Eric Schmidt
This presentation by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt demonstrates some of the most important lessons he and his team have learnt with regards to working with some of the most talented individuals they hired. The simplistic yet cohesive style of all of the slides is something to be appreciated. They are relatively straightforward, yet add power and clarity to the narrative of the presentation.
Start with why - by Simon Sinek
Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world. The message itself is very powerful, however, it’s not an idea that hasn't been heard before. What makes this presentation so powerful is the simple message he is getting across, and the straightforward and understandable manner in which he delivers it. Also note that he doesn't use any slides, just a whiteboard where he creates a simple diagram of his opinion.
The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout - by Rick Rigsby
Here’s an example of a presentation given by a relatively unknown individual looking to inspire the next generation of graduates. Rick’s presentation is unique in many ways compared to the two above. Notably, he uses no visual prompts and includes a great deal of humour.
However, what is similar is the structure he uses. He first introduces his message that the wisest man he knew was a third-grade dropout. He then proceeds to deliver his main body of argument, and in the end, concludes with his message. This powerful speech keeps the viewer engaged throughout, through a mixture of heart-warming sentiment, powerful life advice and engaging humour.
As you can see from the examples above, and as it has been expressed throughout, a great presentation structure means analysing the core message of your presentation. Decide on a key message you want to impart the audience with, and then craft an engaging way of delivering it.
By preparing a solid structure, and practising your talk beforehand, you can walk into the presentation with confidence and deliver a meaningful message to an interested audience.
It's important for a presentation to be well-structured so it can have the most impact on your audience. An unstructured presentation can be difficult to follow and even frustrating to listen to. The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked.
Research suggests that the audience remember the first and last things you say so your introduction and conclusion are vital for reinforcing your points. Essentially, ensure you spend the time structuring your presentation and addressing all of the sections.
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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation
- Carmine Gallo
Five tips to set yourself apart.
Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).
I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.
“You’re very successful. You’re considered a good speaker. Why do you feel as though you need to improve?” I asked.
“I can always get better,” he responded. “Every point up or down in our share price means billions of dollars in our company’s valuation. How well I communicate makes a big difference.”
This is just one example of the many CEOs and entrepreneurs I have coached on their communication skills over the past two decades, but he serves as a valuable case in point. Often, the people who most want my help are already established and admired for their skills. Psychologists say this can be explained by a phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Simply put, people who are mediocre at certain things often think they are better than they actually are, and therefore, fail to grow and improve. Great leaders, on the other hand, are great for a reason — they recognize their weaknesses and seek to get better.
The following tips are for business professionals who are already comfortable with giving presentations — and may even be admired for their skills — but who, nonetheless, want to excel.
1) Great presenters use fewer slides — and fewer words.
McKinsey is one of the most selective consulting companies in the world, and one I have worked with many times in this area. Senior McKinsey partners have told me that recent MBA hires often try to dazzle clients with their knowledge — and they initially do so by creating massive PowerPoint decks. New consultants quickly learn, however, that less is much more. One partner instructs his new hires to reduce PowerPoint decks considerably by replacing every 20 slides with only two slides.
This is because great writers and speakers are also great editors. It’s no coincidence that some of the most memorable speeches and documents in history are among the shortest. The Gettysburg Address is 272 words, John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech was under 15 minutes, and the Declaration of Independence guarantees three unalienable rights — not 22.
Key takeaway: Reduce clutter where you can.
2) Great presenters don’t use bullet points.
Bullet points are the least effective way to get your point across. Take Steve Jobs , considered to be one of the most extraordinary presenters of his time. He rarely showed slides with just text and bullets. He used photos and text instead.
Experiments in memory and communication find that information delivered in pictures and images is more likely to be remembered than words alone. Scientists call it “ pictorial superiority .” According to molecular biologist John Medina, our ability to remember images is one of our greatest strengths. “We are incredible at remembering pictures,” he writes . “Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”
Key takeaway: Complement text on slides with photos, videos, and images.
3) Great presenters enhance their vocal delivery.
Speakers who vary the pace, pitch, and volume of their voices are more effective, according to a new research study by Wharton marketing professor, Jonah Berger.
In summary, the research states that effective persuaders modulate their voice, and by doing so, appear to be more confident in their argument. For example, they raise their voice when emphasizing a key message, or they pause after delivering an important point.
Simply put, if you raise and lower the volume of your voice, and alternate between a high pitch and low pitch while delivering key messages, your presentation will be more influential, persuasive, and commanding.
Key takeaway: Don’t underestimate the power of your voice to make a positive impression on your audience.
4) Great presenters create “wow” moments.
People don’t remember every slide and every word of a presentation. They remember moments, as Bill Gates exemplified back in 2009 in his now famous TED talk .
While giving a presentation on the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce the spread of malaria, Gates stated: “Now, malaria is, of course, transmitted by mosquitos. I brought some here just so you could experience this.” And with that, he walked out to the center of the stage, and opened the lid from a small jar containing non-infected mosquitoes.
“We’ll let those roam around the auditorium a little bit.”
This moment was so successful in capturing his audience because it was a surprise. His audience had been expecting a standard PowerPoint presentation — complete with graphs and data. But what they got instead was a visceral introduction to the subject, an immersive experience that played on their emotions.
Unexpected moments grab an audience’s attention because the human brain gets bored easily. According to neuroscientist, A.K Pradeep, whom I’ve interviewed : “Novelty recognition is a hardwired survival tool all humans share. Our brains are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out, something that looks delicious.”
Key takeaway: Give your audience something extra.
5) Great presenters rehearse.
Most speakers don’t practice nearly as much as they should. Oh, sure, they review their slides ahead of time, but they neglect to put in the hours of deliberate practice that will make them shine.
Malcolm Gladwell made the “ 10,000-hour rule ” famous as a benchmark for excellence — stating, in so many words, that 20 hours of practice a week for a decade can make anyone a master in their field. While you don’t have nearly that long to practice your next presentation, there’s no question that the world’s greatest speakers have put in the time to go from good to great.
Consider Martin Luther King, Jr. His most famous speeches came after years of practice — and it was exactly this level of mastery that gave King the awareness and flexibility to pull off an advanced speaking technique: improvisation. King improvised the memorable section of what is now known as the “Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. When he launched into the “I have a dream” refrain, the press in attendance were confused. Those words were not included in the official draft of the speech they had been handed. King read the mood of his audience and, in the moment, combined words and ideas he had made in previous speeches.
It’s believed that King gave 2,500 speeches in his lifetime. If we assume two hours of writing and rehearsals for each one (and in many cases he spent much more time than that ), we arrive at the conservative estimate of 5,000 hours of practice. But those are speeches. They don’t take into account high school debates and hundreds of sermons. King had easily reached 10,000 hours of practice by August of 1963.
Key takeaway: Put in the time to make yourself great.
Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, using the above tips to sharpen your skills is the first step to setting yourself apart. Stand out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over again.
- 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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Blog Data Visualization
120+ Presentation Ideas, Topics & Example
By Ryan McCready , May 08, 2023
Did you know that 46% of people can’t sit through a presentation without losing focus?
That’s why I wanted to learn how to make a presentation that will captivate an audience. After looking at hundreds of different authors, topics, and designs, I’ve assembled over 100 presentation ideas and tips on how to design a compelling presentation for:
- Social media
- Online courses
- Pitch decks
- Lead generation
In this blog, you’ll find 120+ presentation ideas, design tips and examples to help you create an awesome slide deck for your next presentation.
To start off, here’s a video on the 10 essential presentation design tips to make sure that your presentations don’t fall under the YAWN category.
1. Use A Minimalist Presentation Theme
CREATE THIS PRESENTATION TEMPLATE
The best designs can also be some of the simplest you see. In the Airbnb pitch deck below, they use a minimalist color scheme and font selection.
A minimalist design is sleek, organized and places the most important thing in focus: your information. There are no distracting stock images, icons, or content. Everything on this unique presentation feels like it belongs and works together perfectly.
Learn how to customize this template:
2. Use a Consistent Design Motif Throughout Your Presentation
Here’s a go-to tip to for a cohesive presentation design: use a design motif. The motif could be a recurring shape (like circles, lines or arrows) or symbol (like a leaf for “growth” or a mountain for “goals”). For more ideas, check out our guide to common symbols and meanings used in design .
For example, this presentation template uses circles as a design motif. The same circle icon is used in three different colors to add a bubbly touch to the design. The team photos are also incorporated using circle frames:
3. Use an Eye-Catching Presentation Background Image
Like with any type of design work, you should want to catch the eye of your audience. In a presentation, this should be done from the beginning with a compelling background image or a color gradient.
In this presentation template, the creators were able to do just that with a landscape photo. When a presentation like this is seen on social media, during a webinar or in person, your audience will definitely listen up.
4. Visualize Your Points With Icons
Icons are the perfect visuals to include in presentations. They’re compact and can convey a concept to your audience at a glance. You can even combine multiple icons to create custom illustrations for your slides.
Use the Icon Search in Venngage to find illustrated and flat icons:
5. Use A Black & White Color Scheme For A Corporate Presentation Design
In the presentation below there are only two colors used: black and white. Now, you might be worried that only using two colors is boring, but it all comes down to balance.
Playing off the ideas of classic minimalism, the designer made this presentation look sleek and professional. And now your content can be the main attraction of your presentation as well!
6. Repurpose Your Slide Deck Into An Infographic
Different types of presentations serve different purposes and sometimes it helps to work smarter, not harder when you are creating a unique presentation. In fact, the spacing, layout, and style used in this presentation makes it easy to repurpose the same images into an infographic.
This allows you to create two unique pieces of content from one idea! Which is exactly what Officevibe did .
Join Venngage’s CEO, Eugene Woo, to learn how you can design impactful infographics that will help maintain trust, increase productivity and inspire action in your team.
SIGN UP NOW
7. Break Your Genre Mold For A Fun Presentation Idea
When I first clicked on this creative presentation from SEMrush, I was not expecting to be transported into a comic book. I’m glad I clicked because it may be the most unique slide deck I have ever seen. Going this extreme with your presentation ideas may seem a bit risky, but to be able to break the mold in this age of cookie-cutter presentations is worth it.
To leave a lasting impression on your audience, consider transforming your slides into an interactive presentation. Here are 15 interactive presentation ideas to enhance interactivity and engagement.
8. Make Your Presentation Cover Slide Count
As I was scrolling through all of the presentations, this one made me stop in my tracks. It could be that I have a life-long love of Star Wars, or it could be that their presentation cover slide was designed to do just that: grab your attention. That’s why you should not stick with a boring, text-only title slide. Don’t be afraid to use icons and illustrations to make a statement.
9. Alternate Slide Layouts to Keep Your Presentation Engaging
Keeping your audience engaged throughout an entire presentation is hard, even if you have been working on your presentation skills . No one wants to look at slides that look exactly the same for an hour. But on the other hand, you can’t create a unique masterpiece for each slide.
That’s why I’m very impressed with what the designers did in the presentation example above. They use a consistent visual theme on each slide, but alternate between vertical and horizontal orientations.
The swapping of orientations will show people that the presentation is progressing nicely. It can help you make a strong, almost physical, distinction between ideas, sections or topics.
10. Make Your Audience Laugh, Or At Least Chuckle
Sometimes you need to not take your business presentations too seriously. Not sure what I mean? Go check out slide number 10 on this slide deck below.
If you did not actually laugh out loud, then I don’t know what to tell you. Small illustrated embellishments can be very powerful because they evoke an emotional response and to gain your audience’s trust.
Did you know 70% of employees think that giving a good presentation is an essential workplace skill? Check out the top qualities of awesome presentations and learn all about how to make a good presentation to help you nail that captivating delivery.
11. Supplement Your Presentation with Printed Materials
Printed takeaways (such as brochures and business cards ) give audience members a chance to take home the most important elements of your presentation in a format they can easily access without using a computer. Make sure you brand these materials in a way that’s visually consistent with your slide deck, with the same color scheme, icons, and other iconic features; otherwise, your recipients will just end up scratching their heads.
If you’re giving people multiple materials, try packaging them all into one convenient presentation folder. There are over 100 styles with a wide range of custom options, so feel free to get creative and make your folder stand out. Sometimes a unique die cut or an unusual stock is all you need to make something truly memorable. Here are some brochure templates to get you started.
12. Only Use One Chart Or Graphic Per Slide
Having too much information on a slide is the easiest way to lose the focus of your audience. This is especially common when people are using graphs, charts or tables .
In this creative slide deck, the author made sure to only include one focal point per slide, and I applaud them for it. I know this may sound like a simple presentation tip, but I have seen many people lose their audience because the slides are too complex.
13. Keep Your Employee Engagement Presentations Light
Sometimes you need to get away from stuffy, professional presentation ideas to capture your audience’s attention. In this case, Officevibe used some very colorful and playful illustrations to stand out from the crowd.
I mean, who could not love the plant with a face on slide number 9? And if you want to see some more icons and illustrations like this, be sure to check out our article on how to tell a story with icons.
14. Feature a Map When Talking About Locations
Including a map in your creative presentations is a fantastic idea! Not only do they make an interesting focal point for your slide layout, they also make location-based information easier to understand.
This cool presentation example by our pro designers at Venngage uses maps to visualize information. This map both dominates the screen, and also displays all the locations being covered.
15. Use a Font That Is Large and In Charge
If you are presenting to a small group or a packed stadium, make sure your audience can see your text! Use a large and in charge font that can be read from even the nosebleed seats.
Honestly, you really never know where your unique presentation will be seen. It could be seen in a conference room or conference hall, and everything in between. Be ready to present almost anywhere with a bold and easy to read font.
16. Use Pop Culture References To Build A Fun Presentation
Using a meme or pop culture reference is another way that you can jive with your audience. It can be used to quickly get a point across without saying a word or create a moment that you can connect with the room. For example in this presentation, they used Napoleon Dynamite to give the audience feelings of nostalgia.
17. Use More Than One Font Weight On Your Presentation Cover Slide
Just like you would never use one font on an infographic, you should never use just one font on your presentation (for more tips, read our guide on how to choose fonts ). In this presentation example from HubSpot, they use a bunch of different font weights to add emphasis to key words and ideas.
As you can see, they use a bold font on the presentation cover to bring attention to Steve Jobs name. This makes it easy for the audience to know what your presentation is going to be about from the beginning as well.
18. Use A Color Theme For Each Idea
Color is another extremely powerful nonverbal tool that you can use to guide your audience. By using a different color for each section of your creative presentation, Dell is able to clearly indicate when they are switching points or ideas. Going from green to orange, and even red almost effortlessly.
This is a great way to design a list, guide, or a how-to presentation as well. And each color can be assigned to a different step or number with ease.
Need help picking the perfect color palette? Start here !
19. use illustrations instead of pictures .
An easy way to keep your design consistent throughout your unique presentation is to use illustrations like in this slide deck by Domo.
They used illustrations instead of pictures to show off their subject on slide numbers 4-10 and it looks fantastic. This will ensure that the audience focuses on the content, instead of just the photo they could have used.
It also helps that illustrations are a top design trend for 2020 .
20. Use Contrasting Colors to Compare Two Perspectives or Sides of an Argument
Contrasting colors can be used to quickly show each side of topic or an argument. For example in this presentation, they use this trick to show the difference between their company and the competition.
They use color very effectively in this example to show their company is better, in a nonverbal way. With a lighter color and illustrated icons, the company is able to position them as the better choice. All without saying a word.
Now if they would have used similar colors, or a single color the effect wouldn’t have been as strong or noticeable.
21. Include Your Own Personal Interests
This example is one of the most interesting and cool presentations I have seen in awhile, so I suggest checking out the entire thing. The creator inserts a bunch of his personal interests into the slide to make his presentation about education fun and relatable. And they even use a Super Mario Bros inspired presentation cover, so you know it has to be fantastic!
22. Try To Stick To Groups Of Three
How many major ideas should be present on your presentation aid? Never break your presentation layout down into anything more than thirds. This means there should be at most three columns, three icons, three ideas and so on. A great example of this idea starts on slide number 9 in this slide deck and continues throughout the rest of the presentation.
Here is a great three columned slide template to get started with.
23. add a timeline to help visualize ideas .
One of the best ways to visualize a complex process or historical event is to use a timeline presentation. A list of all the steps or events is just not going to cut it in a professional setting. You need to find an engaging way to visualize the information.
Take the presentation example above, where they outline the rise and fall of Athens in a visually stimulating way.
24. Label Your Graphs & Charts
If the people at Pollen VC had not added those annotations to the graphs on slide number 5, I would have definitely not known what to make of that graph.
But when you combine the visuals on a graph with descriptive text, the graph is able to paint a picture for your audience. So make your graphs easy to understand by annotating them (this is a chart design best practice ).
Create a free graph right here, right now !
25. white font over pictures just works .
There is a reason that you see so many quotes or sayings in a white font that are then overlaid on an image. That it is because it just works in so many situations and the text is very easy to read on any image.
If you do not believe me, look at the slide deck example above where they use a white font with a few different fonts and about 100 images. Plus the presentation template is chocked full of other tips on how to create a winning slideshow.
26. Color Code Your Points Across The Whole Presentation
Here is another example of a presentation that uses color to keep their points organized. In this case, they use 10 different pastel colors to match the 10 different tips for employee engagement.
Check out our guide for how to pick the best colors for your visuals .
27. Use a Simple Flow Chart to Break Down a Process
If you’re a fan of the movie Step Brothers , you may have heard of Prestige Worldwide before. In this fun presentation example they are back to sell you on their business model and growth plans.
This time, the presentation will be effective because it actually talks about what the business does.
Instead of making a music video, they use a helpful flowchart template to explain their business model. I would recommend following their lead and creating a dynamic flow chart to visually break down any process. Try making your own flowchart with Venngage.
28. Make Your Slide Deck Mobile Friendly
As more people move to mobile as their main device each year, making your presentations mobile-friendly is becoming increasingly important. This means that the text is large and there aren’t too many small details, so everything can scale down. Just like in this presentation example from the creators at Globoforce.
29. Don’t Be Afraid To Include Too Many Examples
If you are presenting a complex idea to a group, especially a large audience, I would recommend having a ton of good examples. Now, I would try not to overdo it, but having too many it is better than having too few.
In this creative presentation, the people at With Company spend about 20 slides just giving great examples of prototyping. It doesn’t feel too repetitive because they all are useful and informative examples.
30. Use Consistent Visual Styles For an Elegant Presentation Design
I have already written extensively about using icons in all of your design projects . I haven’t talked as much about matching icons to your presentation template.
But that’s just as important, especially if you want to create a professional presentation for your audience.
As you can see in the example above, the designer used minimalist icons that fit the slide designs. All of the other graphics, charts and visual elements fit together nicely as well.
Plus the icons don’t distract from the content, which could ruin a stellar presentation.
31. Use A Consistent Presentation Layout
In this example from Bannersnack, they use a consistent layout on each of their slides to help with the flow by using the same margins and text layout.
It’s a solid presentation example because they help the user know where to look immediately. It may seem like they are playing it safe, but anything that can speed up the time it takes for a user to read the content of the slides, the better.
32. Use Loud Colors As Much As Possible
This is one of my favorite presentations because of the highlighter yellow they chose to use as their main color. It is actually very similar to one that I saw presented live a few years ago and I have used this same approach in a few presentations ideas of my own.
33. Pull Your Design Motif From Your Content
If you are talking about an interesting topic, why not use the topic as the main design motif in your creative slide deck? For example, in this presentation about sketchbooks, the creator uses a sketchy, handwritten motif. It is something simple that helps the audience connect with the topic. Plus, it allows you to include a ton of great examples.
34. Utilize A Call & Answer Cadence
In this SlideShare about how to create a presentation, Peter Zvirinsky uses a two-step process to present a point. First, he presents the header presentation tip in a speech bubble. Then he shows a supporting point in a responding speech bubble. This gives the presentation a conversational flow.
35. Repurpose Ebook Content Into A Creative Presentation
This slide deck was adapted perfectly from a Seth Godin ebook into the presentation example you see above. In the slide deck, they take a piece of content that would usually take a while to read and cut it down to a few minutes. Just remember to include only the most important ideas, and try to present them in a fresh way.
36. Add A Timed Outline To Your Presentation
We have already covered how important it is to have a table of contents in your slides but this takes it a bit further. On the second slide of the presentation below, the creator added how long each of the slides should take.
This is great because it helps your audience know the pace the presentation will take and will help keep them engaged. It also will help them identify the most important and in-depth parts of the presentation from the beginning.
37. Use A “Next Steps” Slide To Direct Your Audience
One of the worst things you can do as a presenter is to leave your audience without any idea of what to do next. A presentation should never just end because you ran out of slides.
Instead, use a conclusion or “next steps” slide like in the example above to finish your presentation. Sum up some of your main points, tell your audience where they can get more information, and push them to take action.
38. Go A Bit Crazy With The Design
Sometimes you need to throw convention to the wind to create something unforgettable. This presentation from Velocity Partners does just that, and I think it is one of my favorite ones from this entire roundup.
They use unconventional typography, quirky icons, and unusual presentation layout to make each slide surprising.
39. Make Your Slide Deck Easy To Share
If you are looking to get a lot of eyes on your presentation I would make sure people will want to share it on social media. How do you do that? By presenting new and interesting value. This means your content needs to answer a common question and your design needs to be clutter-free. For example, look at this very social media-friendly. The slides are simple and answer questions directly.
40. Use Shapes to Integrate Your Photos Into the Slides
Want to include a bunch of images in your presentation? I say do it!
Now most of the time you would add a raw image directly to your slide. However, if you want to present images in a professional way I would recommend using an image frame .
Like in the example above, you can use these frame to create a collage of images almost instantly. Or provide a similar visual theme to all of your slides.
Overall, I believe it’s a great way to add a new visual component to your presentation.
41. Hijack Someone’s Influence In Your Marketing Slides
If you are stuck in the brainstorming phase of your presentation, focusing on a brand or influencer is a great place to start. It could be a case study, a collection of ideas or just some quotes from the influencer. But what makes it effective is that the audience knows the influencer and trusts them. And you are able to hijack their awareness or influence.
42. Put Your Logo On Every Slide
Whether you have a brand as powerful as Moz, or you are just getting started, you should always have your logo on each slide. You really never know where a presentation is going to end up–or what parts of it will! In this presentation template, Moz does a good job of including their branding and such to get others interested in Moz Local. Don’t have a logo yet? Our logo design tips will help you create a logo that’s iconic and will stand the test of time.
43. Lead Your Audience To It
In this example, the creator uses something very similar to the call and answer approach I mentioned above, but with a little twist. Instead of just throwing all the info up at once, they use three slides to build to a particular point and include a subtle call to action in the third slide.
44. Make Visuals the Focal Point of Your Presentation Slides
If you haven’t noticed, illustrated icons are having a revival in 2020 and beyond. This is likely because minimalist icons dominated the design world for the past decade. And now people want something new.
Brands also like using illustrated icons because they are seen as genuine and fun.
And because they are so eye-catching you can use them as focal points in your presentation slides. Just like they did in the creative presentation example above.
Picking the perfect icon is tough, I would recommend starting here !
45. use a quirky presentation theme .
In this slide deck, the authors show you how to become an Animation Ninja…and they use ninja graphics and icons extensively. This caught my eye immediately because of the amount of work that I knew was behind this. It takes a lot of time and effort to line all of the content and graphic up to create a cohesive theme, but the payoff can be massively worth it.
46. Use A Consistent Background Image
I am a big fan of the way that Aleyda Solís uses only a single presentation background image throughout her presentation.
By using this tactic the audience is able to focus on what is happening in the foreground. Plus it gives the whole presentation a different feel than all the other ones I have looked at.
47. Summarize Your Points At The End
It’s a good idea to summarize your points before you end your presentation , especially if you’ve covered a lot of information. In this presentation example, Deanta summarizes exactly what they do on slide numbers 16-18. They also provide their contact information in case their audience has any more questions. I think that every presentation should use this same approach, especially the ones you are presenting outside of your company.
48. Use A Minimalist Presentation Template
This slide deck from QuickBooks uses a minimalist theme to help the audience focus on what is important, the content.
There were only five colors used in the entire presentation and the graphics were simple line drawings. This made it easy to read and very pleasing to the eyes.
49. Split Your Slides Length-Wise
Here is a simple template you can use to separate your headers, or main points, from your body text in a presentation.
Instead of using a solid presentation background, split the slide in half like Sequoia did in their slide deck. They used their brand color for the title portion and a neutral white for the supporting content.
Use this template to create a very similar slide right now !
50. embrace a bold color scheme throughout your presentation.
My favorite part of the creative presentation example above is the use of complementary colors in each slide. As you can see, not one of the slides use the same color scheme but they all feel related connected.
This approach can be used to make your presentation visually unique, without abandoning a cohesive theme or idea.
51. Put Text In the Top Left Corner
English speakers will instinctively try to read text from a top to bottom, left to right orientation. I would recommend using a left alignment for your text and adding additional things from top to bottom, just like Aaron Irizarry did in this presentation layout.
52. Break Up Your Tables
A plain table with a white background with black or gray lines are difficult to read on a computer screen, so why would you create one for viewing on a large presentation screen? You shouldn’t!
Instead, follow Intuit’s lead and break up the rows with a bit of color. This applies to data visualization in general , but think it is even more important when it comes to presentations.
53. Present Connected Information in a Visually Similar Way
In this startup pitch presentation example, they have a ton of information to get through. But they present their most important slides, the problem and solution, in a visually similar way.
By using a similar layout on each slide, the audience will be able to quickly make a connection. If you want to present two connected pieces of information, use this tactic.
From the font to the layout, it’s all basically the same. The main message they’re trying to impart is a lot more impactful to the reader.
If they would have used two wildly different presentation layouts, the message may have been lost.
54. Roundup Expert Tips Into One Presentation
If you are looking for useful insights into the topic of your presentation, talk to some influencers in your niche. These are called “expert roundups” in the content marketing world and they are incredibly shareable.
Plus, they are pretty easy to create and have a great shelf life. In the example above, we talked to a gaggle of marketing experts about what makes a SlideShare great.
55. Use Bold & Brash Colors Throughout
B old colors usually make your presentation template a lot easier to read and remember. Like at this slide deck made by our talented designers, which doesn’t shy away from bright, bold colors.
Want to pick a perfect color palette for your presentation? We can help!
56. make yo ur graphs easy to read & interpret .
It should not require a Master’s degree in statistics to understand the graphs that someone uses in a presentation. Instead, the axis should be easy to read, the colors should enforce the point, and the data should be clearly plotted.
For example, in this presentation on slide numbers 14 and 25, the graphs nail all of those tips perfectly.
57. Condense Your Presentation Into a Memorable Line
If you can, try condensing your information into a simple one-liner to help the message stick with your audience. In slide number 36 of this presentation, Mika Aldaba does just that and shows that “Facts + Feelings = Data Storytelling.”
He does this again a few times throughout the presentation with other memorable one-liners.
58. Bring attention to important figures with colorful icons
If you’re including a figure or number on your slides, I’m guessing you want the audience to actually see it.
That’s why I would recommend using an icon or graphic to highlight that figure. Maybe use a color or icon that isn’t used anywhere else in the presentation to make sure it really jumps off the screen.
In the presentation example above, all that’s used is a simple circle to make each figure a focal point. It’s really that easy, but many people leave it out of their presentations.
59. Anchor Your Text With Icons
Having your text or content floating out in the white space of your presentation is not a good look.
Instead, you should use anchor icons to give the text something to hold onto and draw the audience’s eye. If you need some examples of good anchor icons, check out slide numbers 4, 7 and 9 in this presentation example.
60. Add Semi-Opaque Lettering As a Presentation Background
A neat way to keep your slide deck organized is to number your slides or points using semi-opaque lettering in the background.
Then, place your slide content on top of the opaque lettering. This helps your audience know that you are on the same point or idea, plus it just looks really good when done right.
61. Use Simple Or Minimalist Borders
An easy way to class up your slides is to put a border around your text. Take this presentation from Venngage that uses a couple of different types of borders to make their slides look professional.
Plus it helps keep all of your content contained on the slide!
62. Feature One Idea Per Slide
Nothing is worse than a confusing, cluttered slide. Instead of trying to pack a bunch of ideas into one slide, focus on one core idea on each slide. If you need to flesh the idea out, just make another slide.
Having trouble condensing your slides? Our presentation design guide can help you summarize your presentations and convey a singular idea with a clear focus.
63. Keep Your Style Consistent With Your Brand
You might be tempted to switch up the style of your creative presentations each time, but think again. If your brand is known for fun and lighthearted content, like Officevibe, let that be your style throughout all of the presentations you publish under that brand. This will make your slide decks recognizable and will enforce your brand’s message .
64. Use Accent Fonts to Emphasize Important Numbers
Some people hate pie charts with a passion, but I think they are perfect for presentations. Especially if you want to bring attention to a figure or percentage point .
In this simple example, the pie charts are used to visualize each figure in an interesting way. Plus the pie charts fit the circular and fun theme of the rest of the presentation very well.
65. Use Patterned and Textured Presentation Backgrounds
Adding some subtle textures, icons or shapes to the presentation background can help make your slides more interesting. This is especially effective when you are only showing one point per slide, because it makes the slide design less sparse.
You can even switch up the colors on your shapes or textures to match the theme of the slide like DesignMantic did in this presentation.
66. Illustrate Complex Or Confusing Concepts With Icons
Ideally, you don’t want every slide in your deck to just be text. Instead, switch things up every few slides by using just pictures.
This slide deck by Gluwa uses icons to create little diagrams to illustrate their presentation ideas. Their slides still communicate concepts to the audience, but in a new way.
67. Overlay Stock Photos With Color
One problem many people encounter when creating a presentation or slide decks are finding photos with a consistent style. An easy way to edit photos to make them consistent is to add a transparent color overlay. In this example, Change Sciences uses a blue overlay on all of their photos. Plus, the color you choose can also help convey a particular mood.
68. Use Black and White Blocks
An easy way to make your text pop, particularly on a photo background, is to use white font on a black blog background (and vise-versa). Check out this slide deck by Abhishek Shah, which uses this trick in an effective way.
Now if you want to become a better leader this year, check out some of our favorite leadership infographics .
69. Use Photos With Similar Filters
Using a bunch of photos with wildly different filters can be jarring in a business presentation. To maintain a consistent flow, use photos with a similar filter and color saturation.
Take a look at this example from HubSpot across slide numbers 1-6 and you can see what I mean.
70. Visualize Your Points With Diagrams
Sometimes the best way to get your point across is to throw some diagrams into the presentation mix. But be sure to make is something that the audience can pick up on in three to five seconds tops.
For example, Jan Rezab uses a diagram to illustrate what takes up time in our lives on slide numbers 4, 5, 7 and 9!
71. Get Experts To Share Tips
If you want to provide even more value to your audience than you can offer yourself, why not call in some expert reinforcement? See what experts in your field have to say on the topic of your presentation and include their tips and insights. Plus you can hijack their influence and expand your audience fairly quickly.
72. Mimic a Popular Presentation Style
Uber’s pitch deck helped them raise millions of dollars in venture capital eventually leading to the glorious moment when they IPOed this year.
Aside from our sleek design upgrade (hey, we love good design!), this pitch deck template is the exact same one that Uber used to go from Idea to IPO.
And who knows? Maybe you might start the next Uber. But to raise money, you will need to create flawless business pitch decks to impress investors and raise those dollars.
73. Plan Your Presentation Idea Ahead of Time
I know that minimalist designs are all the rage this year, but there is a big difference between a well-thought-out minimalist design and a lazy design without the finish touches. The same goes for a cluttered design with too many things going on at once.
That’s why it’s worth it to take the time to really plan out your presentation ideas and design concepts. Take this slide deck about storytelling by HighSpark. A quick glance will tell you that they put a lot of thought into designing their slides.
74. Use Tables to Compare Your Brand to the Competition in Sales Presentations/Pitch Decks
There are a lot of ways to visually compare similar things in this day and age. You could use a comparison infographic , or even a venn diagram!
However, when it comes to presentations I think that the simple table is best. Especially if you are comparing more than two things, like in this presentation example.
With a table, you can clearly lay out all the pros and cons of each idea, brand or topic without it being overwhelming to the audience. Plus, virtually everyone knows how to follow a table, so your information will be easy to consume.
See more examples of the best pitch decks .
75. Blend Icons & Content Effortlessly
Usually, icons are used as eye-catching objects detectors or anchors for text in a slideshow. But they can be used for so much more than that!
Like in this marketing presentation from Constant Contact they are very large but do not distract from the content.
76. Make Your Audience Want More
This tactic has been used by everyone since the idea of marketing was invented (or close to that). In this presentation example called “100 Growth Hacks, 100 Days” the creator only shows the audience the first 10 days of it and then uses a call to action at the end of the presentation to encourage them to seek out the rest.
The only risk with these kinds of presentation ideas is if your initial content is not great, you can’t expect your audience to seek out more information.
77. Use Memes (For Real, Though)
Usually, memes do not have a place in a serious business setting, so maybe don’t use them for formal presentations. But if you’re covering a lighter topic, or if you’re going for a fun presentation that will connect with your audience, don’t be afraid to throw a meme or two into the mix.
The audience immediately knows what you are trying to say when you use a popular meme in your presentation. For example, on slide number 7, the creator uses a meme to show that it will be hard to create great content
78. Include a Slide that Introduces Your Team in Pitch Decks
In this presentation example, the creators decided to include their team on a slide. I think it’s a great gesture.
Showing your team can help the audience put a face to your brand and make the whole company feel more genuine. So if there is a team that has helped you get where you are today, give them some recognition!
79. Feature A Complementary Color Palette
Even though I am not a formally trained designer, I still understand that proper color usage is the base of any good design. Although not all of the tenets of color theory work great for presentations, complementary colors are always a great pick.
Take a look at the color usage in this business presentation from Gary Vaynerchuk below . The purple and Snapchat yellow, which are complementary colors, look fantastic and the content jumps off the screen.
80. Use A Heavy Or Bold Font
The very back of the room should be able to read your content if you are giving a group presentation. To ensure that your entire audience can read the slides I would not only use a large font, but also use a heavy font. If you are confused by what I mean by a heavy font take a look at this unique presentation example by Slides That Rock.
81. Do The Math For Your Audience
If you are going to use a graph in your presentation to compare data you should do the match for your audience. Do not make them do the calculations in their head because you will quickly lose their attention. For example, on slide number 5 the people at Sickweather lay out exactly what figures they want the audience to take from the slide.
82. Use Unique Colors For Different Sections
The example below has 145 slides but it does not feel overwhelming or confusing.
That’s because each section has a different corresponding color, which makes it easier to flip through the slide deck and find a particular part.
83. Give Your Presentation a Catchy Title that Anyone Can Remember
What I really love about the presentation example above is that it features a catchy tagline on the second slide–“The 3S Framework.” It’s simple but it works!
This motto helps outline the structure of the presentation, and each slide referring back to it. Plus, the tagline will give the audience something to latch onto and remember from the presentation.
84. White Backgrounds Are Not Always Bad
A lot of people think that plain white background is a boring presentation faux pas. So the first thing they do is add color or image, which is not a bad thing at all.
But I also think that when used correctly, like in this example, plain white backgrounds can lead to beautiful presentations.
85. Split The Header Text From The Body Text
This idea is very similar to the one-two punch tactic that I talked about above, but it spreads the content over two slides as opposed to a single slide.
Use this design choice when you have fairly easy to follow presentations, like the one below from Steve Young. I know that this is effective because it allows the audience to focus on the main point before he drives it home with the supporting details.
86. Feature Circle Image Frames
I am a big fan of the design choices that Frank Delmelle uses in this slide deck about content strategy. He uses circles as his main design motif and frames his images in circles as well.
87. Talk Directly To Your Audience
This slideshow tops out at 70 slides but it’s a breeze to flip through. That’s because the creator, Ian Lurie, decided to present it in the form of a conversation instead of a classic slide deck.
While each slide only has one or two sentences, it flows just like a friendly chat. He also includes the necessary pauses, breaks and other conversational tics that helps make it even more convincing.
88. Illustrated Icons Are Key This Year
Icons add a fun and functional element to your designs. In this presentation by Iryna Nezhynska, they use illustrated icons to make a potentially intimidating topic seem manageable.
89. Highlight Key Numbers and Percentages
Surprising percentages have the ability to excite and shock an audience. To make the percentages on your slides even more impactful, present them in a different color or font than the rest of the text.
In the presentation example above, Contently uses that exact tactic to bring more attention to key numbers.
90. Use a Gradient as Your Presentation Background
Just like bold color schemes, gradients are a current social media graphic design trend . They may feel retro to some, but I believe they will be around well into the future.
Gradients are perfect for presentation backgrounds because they are so versatile and eye-catching. I mean, you can literally create a gradient with any colors you can think of! And they look a lot more interesting than a simple flat background.
So embrace the future and use a gradient in your next presentation!
91. Track The Steps In a Process
In this example, the creators from O.C. Tanner add a very interesting feature to their slides, starting on slide number 6. If you take a look at this business presentation template, you will see that they number the steps in a process and track which step they’re on at the bottom of the slides.
92. Use Mind Blowing Font Pairings
The creator of this slide deck uses at least 10 different types of fonts. And it looks fantastic because they know that one font choice is boring. But this does not mean that you should use a bunch of random fonts–pick font pairs that play well together and keep your font choices for different types of information consistent throughout the presentation.
93. Make Your Ideas As Obvious As Possible
Your audience shouldn’t be guessing at what you mean. That is why I think that this presentation example from In a Rocket is so powerful because they make the information easy to digest.
Learning to code can be challenging, but they break the information down with simple diagrams and clear examples. Heck, I have not touched CSS in a few years and I could still follow what they were instructing.
94. Use Images That Will Actually Scale
A large mistake that you can make in your slide deck is using low-quality images. They may look great on your computer, but as soon as the slides are put up on a screen, the low quality will show. In this example by ThoughtWorks, all of their presentation background images look great and will scale well to a bigger screen. And that is even after the image compression that LinkedIn most likely does!
95. Take Risks With Your Presentation Layout
I honestly was blown away the first time I saw this presentation because it capitalized on such a risky design idea. The creators from Weekdone literally turned their presentation into an 8-Bit video game. A nd if you are looking for something that will stick with your audience, I would take a few creative cues from them!
96. Seriously, You Better Use Memes
In this day and age memes are mainstream, so why wouldn’t you use them in a creative presentation? These do not have to be the coolest meme that all the hip kids are sharing, they can be some of the classics. Like the one that Dana DiTomaso uses on slide 16 to emphasize that it’s a trap!
97. Follow a Clear Design Rhythm
I really like how this presentation introduced each new point in three or four steps, using the same design. It gave the presentation a rhythm that flowed almost like a song!
I would recommend using this approach if you have to introduce multiple points per slide.
98. Use LOTS Of Icons
If you have made it this far in the list you have already probably seen how effective icons are in presentations. They are the perfect way to support your ideas and make your presentation more pleasing to the eyes.
For example, take a look at all the icons SlideShop uses in this presentation. Almost every slide has at least one icon and a few have more than ten!
99. Give Each Slide Its Own Spark
I know this goes against earlier points I had about creating a cohesive theme in your presentation layout, but everyone knows that rules are made to be broken (if you can do it better)!
In this slide deck, the team at Officevibe literally created different designs for all 27 of their slides. And to top it off, each of the designs fit the quotes they used extremely well.
100. Use LARGE Header Cards
An easy way to stick to that “one piece of content on each slide rule” is to use header cards. They are basically the header that you would normally use in a blog post or article, but it gets is own slide before the content. Here is an example of that idea in the real world in this presentation from Brian Downard.
101. Ask Your Audience Questions
I think one of the most common elements I saw in all the slide decks was that they asked the audience questions. You can use questions to engage with your audience and get them thinking a bit harder about the topic. The Site By Norex team did an exceptional job of this when they explored what the topic of what makes up a brand.
Need some more info about creating a memorable brand? Check out some of the best branding stats for 2020 and beyond!
102. Introduce Yourself and Your Brand
I would say that a majority of presentations that I looked at in this list just jumped right into the content without an introduction to the author or brand in the actual slide deck.
This introduction is very important because it establishes your credentials from the beginning, especially if someone is just reading the slide deck. In this example from Losant, they do just that by spending the first few slides telling the audience who they are.
103. Mix Up Your Mediums
Finally, this slide deck effectively marries two very distinct content forms together: digital images and hand-drawn illustrations. In this example, Freshdesk uses the timeless classic of a comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes, in something so modern to inform the audience in a fun way.
104. Show Off Your Credentials
Just like with any piece of content, people are more likely to believe what you are saying if they know what your company does. That is why I really like when people insert their qualifications right into the presentation slides. Just like Andreas von der Heydt, from Amazon, did at the beginning of this presentation about thinking big.
105. Highlight Key Data Points
If you are presenting a chart or graph on a dry topic, I would recommend using a single color to highlight the most important data point. For example, the investment firm a16z uses orange to highlight the data points they want their audience to focus on in each of their charts.
Check out some examples of how to highlight your key information in bar charts .
106. Show Your Audience Where To Find More Information
A lot of people end their presentations by literally just running out of slides, and that is the wrong way to do it. Instead, CBInsights consistently pushes their readers towards another piece of content at the end. This is also where you can insert a call to action!
107. Tell Your Origin Story
This idea is kinda similar to showing off your company qualifications at the beginning of your presentation. But with this approach, you are trying to make an emotional connection with your audience instead of just showing off accolades.
And Rand from Moz does this extremely well in the presentation example above.
108. Use One Focused Visual
This presentation uses a central visual of a structure, with each slide moving down the levels of the structure. This is incredibly powerful because the entire presentation is about sinking your company, and the visual they designed mirrors that idea perfectly. Using one focus visual also makes your slide deck design cohesive.
109. Don’t Take Presentation Design Too Seriously
Sometimes we get caught up trying to make the perfect presentation and it ends up making us crazy!
But in this presentation example, Jesse Desjardins uses a mix of wit and hilarious retro images to create a memorable and light-hearted presentation.
110. Use Size To Your Advantage
I am a big fan of using bubble charts and other charts that use size to compare two pieces of data. That is why I like this pitch deck from the ShearShare team that utilizes a size-based chart on slide number 9. The chart is used to illustrate the massive growth potential in their industry.
111. Split Section Headers From The Main Content With Different Background Colors
In this presentation, Seth Familian uses alternating colors in a very interesting way. For each of the title slides, he uses a black color background, but for the content slides he uses a white background.
This helped the readers follow along and comprehend what was on the page even faster. And when you are presenting to hundreds of different types of people, this can make or break your presentation.
112. Have A Conversation With Your Audience
Take a conversational tone in your presentation is a great way to encourage your audience to participate.
In this slide deck example, we presented a simple storyline and use questions to engage with the audience throughout. And it helped create a flow throughout the presentation template that is easy to follow.
113. Include Your Branding Throughout Your Presentation Ideas
Another thing that people seem to forget when they are working on a presentation is to include their business’s branding. You honestly never know where your work is going to be shared, so it is important to make sure people know it’s yours. HubSpot does an outstanding job of this on all their presentations, as you can see in the bottom left corner of each slide.
Plus you have spent a ton of time creating your brand guidelines , might as well use them.
114. Include Multiple Slides To Build To Your Main Point
Try using multiple slides to build to your main point. This helps you walk through the components of one overarching point while also building suspense. In this slide deck, the creator uses 6 slides to build up to one main point, adding a new illustration to the diagram on each slide.
115. Split The Difference
Use either the left or right side of the slide to hold your text and the opposite to display an image. If you are using a photo or graphic as the main background in your slides, this is a great way to keep things organized.
116. There Are Millions Of Fonts Out There…Use Them
Hey, I love simple fonts just as much as the next guy, but sometimes you need to step up your font game to stand out. For example, WebVisions uses a very gritty, probably custom font in their unique presentation that fits the topic extremely well. Take a look!
117. Build Your Presentation Content Around Icons
Try using icons as the focal points of your presentation layout. This example from Omer Hameed uses icons to draw the audience’s eyes right to the middle of the presentation, where the main points and headers are located.
118. Mix Up Font Style To Emphasize Important Points
If you would like to draw some extra attention to a certain word or idea, switch up the font to one that is bolder. For example, in this oldie but goodie presentation from HubSpot they use a heavy sans-serif font to highlight ideas, as opposed to the serif font for the other text.
119. Add Personal Touches To Your Presentation
If you want to create a truly unique presentation, add personal touches. In the slide numbers 6-13 from this presentation, the creator adds something to their design that no one else could ever have: they use original drawings they did themselves.
120. Harness the Power of Your Own Brand Colors
Sometimes people forget that they already have a battle-tested color palette that they can use in their brand colors . I try to incorporate one of our brand colors in most of my designs and it makes so much easier to choose colors.
In this simple presentation example, Spitfire Creative used a palette that had both of their brand colors throughout the slideshow.
121. Used Dark-Colored Blocks to Highlight Words
I have seen this trick used in a lot of presentations and it works well. Highlight certain words or phrases by laying them overtop a colored rectangle. Take slide number 7 in this presentation example as a great guide. Use it to bring attention to a saying or idea you really want your audience to remember.
122. Show The Audience Your Mug
This presentation example comes from the same presentation as a previous one, but it was too good not to share. Throughout the slides, you will see Rand from Moz pop up to add a human element to the design. Using an image of your team or yourself can put the audience at ease and make it easier to connect with the presenter.
123. Include A Helpful Table Of Contents
I only saw this presentation idea used a few times throughout my research, but I believe it should be used a lot more. A table of contents will help the audience know what to expect and keep their focus throughout. Especially if you are creating a presentation that is a bit longer than normal.
124. Do Not Post Just Screenshots, Do More
Screenshots of a program or app are very common in any blog post, but I think you can do a little better when it comes to presentations.
So instead of just posting a boring screenshot, add a little more to the slide by using illustrations and product shots. If you are not sure what I am talking about, just check out how great the screenshots look at slide numbers 7 and 8 in this presentation.
125. Highlight Keywords Using BOLD Color
Here’s another slide deck that uses different colors and blocks to highlight keywords. If you are going to use text-heavy slides, then make sure the key points are easy to pick out. Take this slide deck: starting in slide number 4, they highlight exactly what they want you to take away from the text on each slide!
Enough Presentation Ideas For You?
You made it! I applaud you for making it through all those presentations. Hopefully, now you have a few nifty presentation ideas ready for when you need them.
The next step is to create a presentation that will captivate a meeting room, an amphitheater, and even the world (hey, it doesn’t hurt to dream big).
Prepare your presentation with Microsoft 365 Copilot
You’ve been asked to give a new presentation and Microsoft 365 Copilot can help! For this example, we’ll imagine you’re a professional landscaper and you’ve been asked to present to a local community organization about tulips.
Start from an outline
Often the best way to prepare a new presentation is to create an outline of what you plan to cover. For our example we’ll start with Copilot in OneNote.
Navigate to the section where you want your presentation outline to live.
Create a new page for your presentation.
Start Copilot from the ribbon.
The Copilot pane will open on the right, waiting for your prompt. You can use natural language, and the more details you can give Copilot the better your results will be.
You could just enter:
Create an outline for a 45-minute presentation on tulips.
But you’ll get better results if you do a couple more things.
Give it context
Start by telling it what role you want Copilot to play in creating this content.
Act as a professional landscaper. Create an outline for a 45-minute presentation on tulips.
By setting that context first, you let the AI know how you want the content framed.
Give it more details
Try adding to your prompt details about what you want it to cover, and who the audience is.
Act as a professional landscaper speaking to a group of interested community members. Create an outline for a 45-minute presentation on tulips. Include sections on the history of the flower, different types, best time to plant, care and feeding.
Now when you run the prompt, you’ll get a more detailed response.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to play around with the specifics – add or remove details, change the order, try different contexts.
If you’re happy (or mostly happy) with the draft outline Copilot has created, select the copy button in the Copilot pane and paste the outline onto your OneNote page.
Review and edit
Now you’ll want to add your own touches. Go through the outline and add or remove things as you see fit.
Tip: OneNote excels as a research tool. Don’t be afraid to add your own notes, copy in content from websites, or add other supporting materials to the page that will be helpful as you prepare your presentation.
Create your handout
When you’re happy with your outline it’s time to create some handouts for the audience. Select your outline in OneNote and copy it to the clipboard. Then open Microsoft Word to a new, blank, document.
When Word opens the Copilot dialog should appear. Let’s give it a prompt:
Act as a professional landscaper creating an article for an audience of interested community members. Make it clear, simple, and engaging. Base it off this outline: <paste outline from OneNote>.
Copilot will draft an article for you based on your presentation outline.
Save to OneDrive
Before you spend much time editing your handout, save it to OneDrive. This will make sure your work is saved as you go and it’s key to our final step in preparing the presentation.
Go through the article and make sure that what Copilot added is what you wanted. Edit for voice and tone and make sure any facts it’s added are accurate. Remove anything you don’t want and add anything it missed.
Tip: You can ask Copilot to add more content if you like. Place the cursor where you want that content to be, then click the Copilot button on the ribbon. Tell it what you want. Add two paragraphs about other plants that look good with tulips.
Go to the Insert tab, select Pictures , and then Online Pictures . Search for “Tulips” and select one or more nice images to make your article more appealing.
Create the slide deck
Now it’s time to let Copilot in PowerPoint get to work.
Open PowerPoint to a new, blank, deck.
Select Copilot from the ribbon
In the prompt box type Create from followed by a / .
Note: It may take a few minutes for a new file to appear in the file picker. If you don't see the file even when you start typing the file name, wait a few minutes then try again.
Copilot in PowerPoint will build a draft presentation based on your Word document, complete with images and speaker notes.
As always, it’s important that you review the draft Copilot has created. Add any additional slides or information you want, remove any that you don’t. Add your own expertise where appropriate.
If you want to change any of the images Copilot has added just right-click the image and select Change picture .
Tip: Practice with Speaker Coach When you’re happy with the presentation you might want to practice it once or twice with Speaker Coach before the big day. For more information see Rehearse your slide show with Speaker Coach.
Give it a try!
Next time you have a presentation to create let Microsoft 365 Copilot help you at each step of the way.
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Presentation Script | Ultimate Guide To Engage Your Audience in 2023
Jane Ng • 22 Aug 2023 • 6 min read
Every memorable presentation starts with a single blank page and a writer’s determination to create something extraordinary. If you’ve ever found yourself staring at that intimidating blank canvas, unsure how to transform your ideas into a captivating script, fear not.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you on how to write an impeccable presentation script that will mesmerize your audience. Moreover, we’ll provide you with practical tips and real-life examples that help you kickstart your journey toward crafting a compelling presentation script.
Table of Contents
Why a well-written presentation script matters, how to write a presentation script, expert tips for writing an engaging presentation script.
- Presentation Script Example
- Key Takeaways
Overview – Presentation Script
- Presentation description
- Title ideas
Start in seconds.
Get free templates for your next interactive presentation. Sign up for free and take what you want from the template library!
A well-written presentation script is the backbone of your delivery, ensuring structure, engaging your audience, boosting your confidence, and providing adaptability.
- It brings structure and clarity to your message.
- It keeps your audience engaged and helps them understand your ideas.
- It also ensures consistency and repeatability, especially when presenting multiple times.
- It provides adaptability and preparedness, enabling you to adjust and handle unexpected situations.
In addition, for many presenters, nerves and Glossophobia can be significant hurdles to overcome. A well-written script provides a sense of security and confidence. Like a safety net, it ensures that you have your key points and supporting details at your fingertips. This boosts your confidence and reduces anxiety, allowing you to deliver a more polished presentation.
Before writing a presentation script, you need to know your audience’s background, interests, and knowledge level. Then clearly define the purpose of your presentation. Having a clear objective will help you stay focused while writing your script.
1/ Outline The Structure:
Start with an attention-grabbing introduction, followed by the main points you want to convey, and conclude with a strong summary or call to action.
- Introduction – Welcome and personal connection to the topic.
- Main Points – Benefits of “topic”
- Transitions – Use phrases like “Now let’s move on to,” or “Next, we’ll discuss.”
- Conclusion – Recap key points and call to action.
You can consider using bullet points or headings to organize your ideas within each section.
2/ Craft A Powerful Opening:
Crafting a strong opening statement is crucial to capturing your audience’s attention and setting the tone for your entire presentation. Here are some key elements to consider when creating an impactful opening statement:
- Hook the Audience: Start with a captivating hook that immediately grabs the audience’s attention
- Establish Relevance: Communicate the relevance and importance of your topic to the audience. Highlight how it relates to their lives, challenges, or aspirations.
- Create an Emotional Connection: Appeal to your audience’s emotions and create a sense of resonance or empathy. Connect with their desires, challenges, or aspirations to make a personal connection.
3/ Develop Key Points:
When developing the key points in your presentation script, it’s essential to provide supporting information, examples, or evidence that reinforces your message. Here’s how you can expand on each main point:
- Present facts, data, or expert opinions that support your main point.
- Use credible sources to strengthen your arguments and provide context.
- Use evidence to back up your claims and increase credibility.
Logical Order or Narrative Flow:
- Organize your main points in a logical order to facilitate understanding.
- Consider using a narrative flow to create a compelling storyline that connects your main points.
4/ Incorporate Visual Aids:
Incorporating visual aids strategically into your presentation can significantly enhance understanding, engagement, and retention of information.
- Example: If you’re discussing the features of a new product, display images or a short video demonstrating its functionality as you describe each feature.
5/ Include Transitions and Signposts:
Including transitions and signposts helps guide your audience through your ideas and ensures they can easily follow your train of thought.
You can use concise and engaging language to introduce the upcoming subject matter.
- Example: “Next, we’ll explore the latest…”
Or you can use questions to transition between sections or engage the audience’s attention.
- Example: “But how can we tackle this challenge? The answer lies in…”
6/ Summarize and Conclude:
- Recap your main points to reinforce key messages concisely.
- End with a memorable conclusion that leaves a lasting impact or a call to action for your audience.
7/ Seek Feedback and Revise:
- Share your script with a trusted colleague, friend, or mentor for constructive feedback.
- Once you have made revisions based on feedback, practice delivering your revised script.
- Refine and fine-tune your script as needed through practice sessions and additional feedback.
Involve The Audience:
Boost audience participation and engagement by leveraging interactive features such as Q&A session , live polls , quizzes and small activities through AhaSlides . By utilizing these interactive elements, you can transform your presentation into a dynamic and engaging experience for your audience.
Use Conversational Language:
Write your script in a conversational tone to make it more approachable and relatable. Avoid jargon and complex terminology that might alienate your audience.
Know Your Key Takeaways
- Identify the main messages or key takeaways you want your audience to remember.
- Craft your script around these key points to ensure they are emphasized throughout the presentation.
Address Potential Questions or Concerns:
By proactively addressing potential questions or concerns within your presentation script, you demonstrate thoroughness, credibility, and a genuine commitment to addressing your audience’s needs.
This approach helps foster trust and ensures that your presentation provides clear and comprehensive information, leaving your audience feeling satisfied and informed.
Presentation Script Example
Here’s an example of a presentation script about “The Power of Effective Communication”:
In conclusion, crafting a well-written presentation script is essential for delivering a successful and impactful presentation. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can create a script that engages your audience, communicates your message effectively, and leaves a lasting impression.
Remember, incorporating interactive elements can significantly enhance audience engagement and make your presentation more memorable. AhaSlides, with our wide range of templates and interactive features like questions, polls, and activities, provides a powerful platform to involve your audience actively and create an interactive and dynamic presentation experience.
How do you write a script for a presentation?
Here are steps on how to write an effective presentation script:
- Outline the structure, including an attention-grabbing introduction, main points, and a strong conclusion.
- Craft a powerful opening that hooks the audience, establishes relevance, and creates an emotional connection.
- Develop key points with supporting information and logical order.
- Incorporate visual aids strategically to enhance understanding.
- Use transitions and signposts to guide your audience.
- Summarize and conclude with impact .
- Seek feedback, revise, and practice for a polished presentation.
How do you start a presentation script example?
Here’s an example of how you can start a presentation script:
- “Good morning/afternoon/evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you all for being here today. My name is_____, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak with you about_______. Over the next _______, we will explore [briefly mention key points or objectives of the presentation].”
The opening lines should aim to grab the audience’s attention, establish your credibility, and introduce the topic you will be discussing.
Is it okay to read a script for a presentation?
While it’s generally recommended to avoid reading directly from a script, there are situations where it can be beneficial. For formal or complex presentations like academic or technical talks, a well-crafted script ensures accuracy and keeps you on track.
However, in most cases, a conversational style with notes or prompts is preferred. This allows flexibility, spontaneity, and better audience engagement.
A writer who wants to create practical and valuable content for the audience
More from AhaSlides
How to Create the Perfect Presentation Handout
One of the most often overlooked parts of a presentation is the presentation handouts. So, in this post, we’ll give you a few examples of presentation handouts that you can create very easily and add impact to your speech or business meetings.
Good speakers and lecturers usually give presentation handouts to accompany their speeches. As a result, a great presentation handout can make your speech more memorable. It gives your audience the freedom to listen to your presentation instead of frantically taking notes.
The handouts you provide also help them remember the key points and highlights from your presentation, making your talk even more valuable. People are grateful for a good handout and will remember you (and the main points of your speech) long after the talk ended. Finally, your handout can be used as an exceptional marketing piece. If it is good enough, your audience members will both keep it and share it with others.
The Successful Speaker’s Guide to the How to Create the Perfect Presentation Handout.
The first rule of slide club is never handout your slides to slide club..
This has always been a hard and fast rule in my business presentation classes. But I have to admit, in recent years, I’ve changed my tune slightly here. When I first started teaching presentation classes, PowerPoint was still in its infancy. And the slideshows that people were creating were really awful. Folks would just create a never-ending series of bullet points on a never-ending slide deck. Since most presentations covered way too much content, it was impossible for the audience to retain most of it. In order to prevent information overload, presenters started printing off their slides and distributing the printed slide deck to their audience as a handout. As a result, the presenter ends up with a bad presentation accompanied by a bad handout.
However, if you get creative with your slides, you can actually use a printout of your slide deck to make your presentation more interactive (more on this later). The main point here is if you have a ton of content in your presentation, stuffing that content onto your slides and then just printing out your slides is not a good idea.
I sometimes make this point in class by starting to deliver a data-heavy slide deck. It typically only takes a few slides before someone in class figures out that I’m violating almost every tip that I’m giving them.
At that point, there is usually a nice laugh. I then switch to a better slideshow that is more audience-centered. The funny thing is, though, that before the class figures out that the bad PowerPoint presentation is a joke, someone in the class will often ask me if I will send them the slide deck. So, if your audience is asking you for your slide deck, your presentation is probably not designed very well .
Three Easy Examples of Handouts for Presentations.
Presentation handout example #1: just use slide notes in powerpoint as a presentation handout..
One of the main reasons that I have always encouraged my class members to not print out their slides is that the slides, without the speaker, aren’t going to make a lot of sense. However, most people will jot a few speaker notes of important information they want to say in the presentation. If you use the techniques that I cover here, you’ll likely create an outline with a few key items. You’ll likely also use stories, examples, analogies, anecdotes, quotes, statistics, and the like. Well, if you already have that content created before you create your slide deck, you could just insert that content into the Slide Notes in PowerPoint. Viola! Instant presentation handouts.
The Second Example of a Presentation Handout: Give Main Concepts with Space for Audience to Add Notes.
A friend of mine leads three-day training boot camps where he teaches social media marketing and website development. His handout is a three-ring binder full of printed pages. Each page has a series of rules followed by a quarter page of blank space. I once asked him, since the content that he was delivering was so detailed, why didn’t he just type it up and include it in his manuals.
He laughed and told me that he used to do that very thing. But the content in his industry was changing so quickly that, the moment he printed a new manual, those additional details would already be outdated. So, now, he just prints the core message. Then, he allows his students to fill in the blanks with the most current content that he delivers from the stage. (He gets fantastic reviews, by the way.)
I love this technique. It keeps the audience involved. It also allows the audience members to write out the content that is most important to each of them at the time they attended the meeting.
The Most Effective Example: Create a Presentation Handout that Contains Extra Content Not in Your Presentation
You want to include the content from your presentation in a written format. But you also want to add additional information that you won’t cover in the presentation. This is the technique that we use in our seminars and workshops.
For instance, if you are going to use a story as a piece of evidence in your verbal presentation, use a different story in your handout. If you use an analogy in your presentation, use a quote in your handout. When you use audience participation in your presentation, use a unique photograph in your handout.
If you do this, your target audience will see you as a valued expert on the topic. By the way, it is okay to use some of the same content in your slideshows, your oral presentations, and your handouts. It is important to be consistent. However, you want your verbal presentation to cover some key ideas that aren’t in your handout. And you want your handout to cover detailed information that you don’t speak about.
This type of presentation is a great handout because it becomes a textbook for your presentation. It does take longer to create a well-prepared handout. But you will find that the value to your audience far outweighs the additional effort.
During the presentation, you’ll want to say something like, “I’ve given you additional examples in your handout,” or “If you want the full step-by-step approach, you can download the handout from my website at [your URL].”
A Few Bonus Tips to Add Impact to Your Handouts.
Add a list of reference material for further reading
Your audience members will want to pick your brain. They want to know where you went to school, what kind of work experience you have, and most of all, where they can read more about your topic.
There’s a ton of resources out there, so instead of having your audience sort through them (or risk boring them with way too much detail in the presentation), just lead them in the right direction with your recommended reading. If the book is hard to find, or only available online, remember to include the link to where it can be purchased.
Consider adding a worksheet or action sheet
Depending on the type of presentation or speech you’re giving, you will likely have a call to action at the end, where you will encourage people to change or act on something related to your talk.
If a worksheet helped you implement these changes before, include it for your audience. Even a notes section located in the back of your handout will be an effective tool in case your audience wants to jot something down.What did your last handout look like? What will you change for next time? Let us know if you end up implementing any of these tips.
For additional help, here are a few additional posts:
- How Many PowerPoint Slides Should You Have for Your Presentation .
- Make Your Handout Look Great without a Graphic Designer .
- How to Design Your Presentation in a Few Simple Steps .
- We Use the Software Canva to Create Great Presentation Handouts with a Professional Layout
Download the Free How to Create a Great Presentation Handout… Handout.
by Doug Staneart | Free Public Speaking Tips , Podcasts , presentation skills
Home Blog Presentation Ideas About Me Slides: How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation
About Me Slides: How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation
From conference talks to client demos, it’s always essential to include an About Me slide in any presentation you are giving. Introducing yourself early into the presentation helps build a better rapport with the audience.
You can start with several fun facts about me slide to break the ice or go for a more formal professional bio to explain your background and what makes you qualified to talk about the topic at hand. At any rate, your goal is to get the audience on your side by revealing some of your personality.
How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation: 4 Approaches
It’s a good practice to include self-introduction slides at the beginning of your presentation. If you are looking to answer how to introduce yourself professionally, typically somewhere after the title, opening slide , and the main agenda. However, the presentation structure will be somewhat different depending on whether you are presenting to a new audience or a group of people familiar with (e.g., your team, clients, or business partners).
Here are four about me slide ideas you can try out, plus an About me template you can use to present yourself in a presentation.
1. Mention Your Name and Affiliations
Start with the introduction basics. State your name, company, title/position, and several quick facts about who you are and what you do. Even if you present to a familiar audience, a brief recap is always welcome.
To keep things a bit more engaging, consider adding some lesser-known facts about yourself. For example:
- Your interests
- Recent accomplishments
- Testimonial/quote from a team member
- Fun nicknames you got
The above can be nice ice breakers for less formal team presentations, project updates, or catch-ups with clients.
Here are several unique About Me examples you can try out:
For a client case study presentation :
“Hi, I’m Lynda, Chief Customer Success Specialist with Acme Corp. (Also, someone you thought was a chatbot for the first few encounters)
47 NPS | 15% Churn Rate | 40% repeat purchase rate”
For a team after-action review presentation :
Mike, Project Manager at Cool Project
Personal Project stats:
387 Slack messages answered
56 cups of coffee consumed
Project profit gross margin: $1.2 million
2. Work On Your Elevator Pitch
One of the best ways to introduce yourself in a presentation is to share a punchy elevator pitch. This works extra well if you are presenting to a new audience.
An elevator pitch is a concise statement (1-2 sentences) that summarizes your unique strengths, skills, and abilities and explains how these can benefit your listener.
It’s nice to have one ready for your presentations and networking in general since it helps you immediately connect with new people and communicate your value.
Writing a solid elevator pitch may require several attempts and iterations. But the sooner you start — the faster you’ll arrive at the best formula!
To get your creative juices flowing, here are several elevator pitch ideas you can incorporate in an introduction slide about yourself.
“Certified Salesforce Administrator, data visualization specialist, and analytics for top SaaS brands. I help businesses make more sense of their data to drive better outcomes”.
For a mentor :
“Adjunct professor of creative writing at Columbia University, published author, former lifestyle editor at Esquire, the New York Times. I can teach you how to find, shape, pitch, and publish stories for web & print.”
For a student:
“Third-year Marine Biology student at Denver State Uni. Volunteer at Lake Life Protection NGO, climate change activist, looking to expand my research about water conservation”.
3. Answer Popular Questions or Assumptions
If you are a frequent presenter , chances are you get asked a lot of the same “About Me questions” after your speeches and during the networking bits. So why not address a roaster of these in your About Me slide? Select 4-5 most common questions and list them as quick FAQs on your slide deck.
4. Focus on Telling a Story
Strong introductions are personable. They are meant to offer a sneak-peak into your personality and the passion behind your work. That’s why for less formal presentations, you can (and should!) start with a short personal story.
Remember: reliability is important to “click” with your audience.
For instance, neuroscience research of political ads recently found that ads featuring real people performed better than those with genetic stock footage. Among viewers, emotional engagement and memory encoding (recall) increased dramatically when political ads showed relatable people.
The same holds true for commerce. In 2015, GE launched a viral “What’s the Matter With Owen?” video ad series to attract more young talent to the company. The clips featured a relatable protagonist, struggling to explain what his work at GE entails e.g. that the company isn’t building railroads, but actually does some very innovative pilots. Many engineers related to the promo and work applications to GE shoot up by 800% !
As the above examples show, a good relatable story can go a long way. So think about how you can make a PowerPoint presentation about yourself more representative of who you really are as a person.
How to Give a Presentation About Yourself: 4 Fool-Proof Tips
On other occasions, you may be asked to give a full-length “about me” presentation. Typically, this is the case during a second interview, onboarding , or if you are in attending a training program or workshop where everyone needs to present themselves and their work.
Obviously, you’ll need more than one good about me slide in this case. So here’s how to prepare a superb presentation about me.
What to Put in a Presentation About Yourself?
The audience will expect to learn a mix of personal and professional facts about you. Thus, it’s a good idea to include the following information:
- Your name, contact info, website , social media handles, digital portfolio .
- Short bio or some interesting snippets.
- Career timeline (if applicable).
- Main achievements (preferably quantifiable).
- Education, special training.
- Digital badging awards , accolades, and other types of recognition.
- Something more personal — an interest, hobby, aspiration.
The above mix of items will change a bit, depending on whether you are giving an interview presentation about yourself or introduce yourself post-hiring. For example, in some cases a dedicated bio slide may be useful, but other times focusing on main achievements and goals can be better.
That being said, let’s take a closer look at how to organize the above information in a memorable presentation.
P.S. Grab an about me slide template to make the design process easier!
1. Create a List of “Facts About Me”
The easiest way to answer the “tell me about yourself” question is by having an array of facts you can easily fetch from your brain.
When it comes to a full-length about me presentation , it’s best to have a longer list ready. To keep your brainstorming process productive, organize all your ideas in the following buckets:
- Key skills (soft and hard)
- Educational accolades, training
- Accomplishments and other “bragging rights”
- Personal tidbits (a.k.a. fun facts )
Once you have a list, it gets easier to build a series of slides around it.
2. Think Like Your Audience
Most likely you’d be asked to make a presentation about yourself by a recruiter. There’s a good reason why many ask this — they want to determine if you are a good “cultural fit” for their organization.
After all, 33% of people quit within the first 3 months of accepting a new job. Among these:
- 43% of employees quit because their day-to-day role was different than what they were told it would be during the hiring process.
- 32% cite company culture as a factor for leaving within the first three months.
About me presentations often serve as an extra “filter” helping both parties ensure that they are on the same page expectations- and work style-wise. Thus, when you prepare your slide deck, do some background company research. Then try to align the presentation with it by matching the company tone, communication style, and cultural values.
3. Include Testimonials and Recommendations
Use the voice of others to back up the claims you are making in your presentation. After all, trumping your own horn is what you are expected to do in such a presentation. But the voices of others can strengthen the claims you are personally making.
Depending on your role and industry, try to sprinkle some of the following testimonials:
- LinkedIn recommendations
- Quotes from personal or professional references
- Social media comments
- Data metrics of your performance
- Funny assessments from your colleagues/friends
The above not just strengthen your narrative, but also help the audience learn some extras about you and your background. Testimonial slides can be of help for this purpose.
4. Include a Case Study
One of the best ways to illustrate who you are is to show what you are best in. Remember, an about me presentation often needs to “soft sell” your qualifications, experience, and personality.
One of the best ways to do that is to showcase how you can feel in a specific need and solve issues the business is facing.
So if you have the timeframe, use some of the ending slides to deliver a quick case study. You can present:
- Short retrospective of a past successful project
- Before-after transformations you’ve achieved
- Spotlight of the main accomplishments within the previous role
- Main customer results obtained
- Specific solution delivered by you (or the team you’ve worked with)
Ending your presentation on such a high note will leave the audience positively impressed and wondering what results you could achieve for them.
It’s easy to feel stumped when you are asked to talk about yourself. Because there are so many things you could mention (but not necessarily should). At the same time, you don’t want to make your introduction sound like a bragging context. So always think from the position of your audience. Do the facts you choose to share benefit them in any way? If yes, place them confidently on your About Me slides!
1. Personal Self Introduction PowerPoint Template
Use This Template
2. Self Introduction PowerPoint Template
3. Meet the Team PowerPoint Template Slides
4. Introduce Company Profile PowerPoint Template
5. Modern 1-Page Resume Template for PowerPoint
6. Modern Resume Presentation Template
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Introduce Yourself, Introduction, Presentation Ideas Filed under Presentation Ideas
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How to use ChatGPT to do research for papers, presentations, studies, and more
ChatGPT is often thought of as a tool that will replace human work on tasks such as writing papers for students or professionals. But ChatGPT can also be used to support human work, and research is an excellent example.
Whether you're working on a research paper for school or doing market research for your job, initiating the research process and finding the correct sources can be challenging and time-consuming.
Also: 5 handy AI tools for school that students, teachers, and parents can use, too
ChatGPT and other AI chatbots can help by curtailing the amount of time spent finding sources, allowing you to jump more quickly to the actual reading and research portion of your work.
Picking the right chatbot
Before we get started, it's important to understand the limitations of using ChatGPT . Because ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, it will not be able to give you access to information or resources after 2021, and it will also not be able to provide you with a direct link to the source of the information.
Also : The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other noteworthy alternatives
Being able to ask a chatbot to provide you with links for the topic you are interested in is very valuable. If you'd like to do that, I recommend using a chatbot connected to the internet, such as Bing Chat , Claude , ChatGPT Plus , or Perplexity .
This how-to guide will use ChatGPT as an example of how prompts can be used, but the principles are the same for whichever chatbot you choose.
When you're assigned research papers, the general topic area is generally assigned, but you'll be required to identify the exact topic you want to pick for your paper or research. ChatGPT can help with the brainstorming process by suggesting ideas or even tweaking your own.
Also: How ChatGPT (and other AI chatbots) can help you write an essay
For this sample research paper, I will use the general topic of "Monumental technological inventions that caused pivotal changes in history." If I didn't have a specific idea to write about, I would tell ChatGPT the general theme of the assignment with as much detail as possible and ask it for some proposals.
My prompt: I have to write a research paper on "Monumental technological inventions that caused pivotal changes in history." It needs to be ten pages long and source five different primary sources. Can you help me think of a specific topic?
As seen by the screenshot (below), ChatGPT produced 10 viable topics, including "The Printing Press and the Spread of Knowledge", "The Internet and the Digital Age", "The Telegraph and the Communication Revolution", and more.
Also: How to use the new Bing (and how it's different from ChatGPT)
You can then follow up with ChatGPT to ask for further information. You can even tweak these topics with an angle you like more, and continue the feedback loop until you have a topic you are settled on.
2. Generate an outline
Once you have selected a topic, you can ask ChatGPT to generate an outline, including as much detail for your assignment as possible. For this example, I used the first topic that ChatGPT suggested in the previous step.
My prompt: Can you give me an outline for a research paper that is ten pages long and needs to use five primary sources on this topic, "The Printing Press and the Spread of Knowledge"?
ChatGPT generated a 13-point outline that carefully described the areas I should touch on in my paper, as seen in the photo (above). You can then use this outline to structure your paper and use the points to find sources, using ChatGPT as delineated below.
3. Tell ChatGPT your topic and ask for sources
Now that you have a topic and outline established, you can ask ChatGPT about the topic of your project and ask it to deliver sources for you.
My prompt: Can you give me sources for a ten-page long paper on this topic, "The Printing Press and the Spread of Knowledge"?
ChatGPT outputs a list of five primary and five secondary sources that you can include in your paper. Remember, because ChatGPT can't give you internet links, you will need to seek out the specific resources on your own, whether that's Googling or visiting your school library.
Also: How to use Stable Diffusion AI to create amazing images
When I asked Bing Chat the same question, it provided sources with clickable links that you can use to access the material you need quicker. For that reason, I would use Bing Chat for this step.
4. Describe a specific idea and ask for sources
Instead of describing the whole topic, you can also use a chatbot to find sources for a specific aspect of your paper.
Also: How (and why) to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus
For example, I asked ChatGPT for sources for a specific bullet in the paper outline that it generated above.
My prompt: Can you give me sources for the social and intellectual climate of when the printing press was generated?
As in the prior example, ChatGPT generated five primary and five secondary resources for the topic.
Using this feature for smaller chunks of your essay is a good alternative because it gives you more options on sources and provides tailored insight that you can use to carefully craft your piece.
5. Ask for examples of a specific incident
I use this prompt a lot in my workflow because I can sometimes remember that something specific happened, but can't pinpoint what it was or when it happened.
This tool can also be used when you need to find a specific example to support your topic.
Also: How to use ChatGPT to write an essay
In both cases, you can ask ChatGPT to help you identify a specific event or time period, and incorporate those details in your article.
In our essay example, if I wanted to include a rebuttal and delineate a time when implementing technology had negative impacts, but couldn't think of an incident on my own, I could ask ChatGPT to help me identify one.
My prompt: What was a time in history when implementing technology backfired on society and had negative impacts?
Within seconds, ChatGPT generated 10 examples of incidents that I could weave into the research as a rebuttal.
6. Generate citations
Creating a page of the works you cited, although valuable and necessary for integrity, is a pain. Now, you can ask ChatGPT to generate citations for you by simply dropping the link or the title of the work, and asking it to create a citation in the style of your paper.
Also: How to make ChatGPT provide sources and citations
I asked ChatGPT to generate a citation for this article for ZDNET. As seen by the photo (above), the tool asked me to include the access date and the style for the citation, and then quickly generated a complete citation for the piece.
Great, here's the MLA citation for the web link "How to Use ChatGPT to Write an Essay" from ZDNET, accessed on September 15: "How to Use ChatGPT to Write an Essay." ZDNET, https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-use-chatgpt-to-write-an-essay/. Accessed 15 Sept. 2023.
If you used something other than a website as a source, such as a book or textbook, you can still ask ChatGPT to provide a citation. The only difference is that you might have to input some information manually.
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Announcing Microsoft Copilot, your everyday AI companion
Sep 21, 2023 | Yusuf Mehdi - Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer
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We are entering a new era of AI, one that is fundamentally changing how we relate to and benefit from technology. With the convergence of chat interfaces and large language models you can now ask for what you want in natural language and the technology is smart enough to answer, create it or take action. At Microsoft, we think about this as having a copilot to help navigate any task. We have been building AI-powered copilots into our most used and loved products – making coding more efficient with GitHub, transforming productivity at work with Microsoft 365, redefining search with Bing and Edge and delivering contextual value that works across your apps and PC with Windows.
Today we take the next step to unify these capabilities into a single experience we call Microsoft Copilot, your everyday AI companion. Copilot will uniquely incorporate the context and intelligence of the web, your work data and what you are doing in the moment on your PC to provide better assistance – with your privacy and security at the forefront. It will be a simple and seamless experience, available in Windows 11, Microsoft 365, and in our web browser with Edge and Bing. It will work as an app or reveal itself when you need it with a right click. We will continue to add capabilities and connections to Copilot across to our most-used applications over time in service of our vision to have one experience that works across your whole life.
Copilot will begin to roll out in its early form as part of our free update to Windows 11, starting Sept. 26 — and across Bing, Edge, and Microsoft 365 Copilot this fall. We’re also announcing some exciting new experiences and devices to help you be more productive, spark your creativity, and to meet the everyday needs of people and businesses.
- With over 150 new features, the next Windows 11 update is one of our most ambitious yet, bringing the power of Copilot and new AI powered experiences to apps like Paint, Photos, Clipchamp and more right to your Windows PC.
- Bing will add support for the latest DALL.E 3 model from OpenAI and deliver more personalized answers based on your search history, a new AI-powered shopping experience, and updates to Bing Chat Enterprise, making it more mobile and visual.
- Microsoft 365 Copilot will be generally available for enterprise customers on Nov. 1, 2023, along with Microsoft 365 Chat, a new AI assistant that will completely transform the way you work.
- Additionally, we introduced powerful new Surface devices that bring all these AI experiences to life for you, and they are available for pre-order beginning today.
New Windows 11 Update delivers over 150 new features, including bringing the power of Copilot to the PC
Today, we’re thrilled to share our next step toward making Windows the destination for the best AI experiences – with a new update that delivers our most personal experience yet coming on Sept. 26.
Here’s a look at some of what’s new in the latest update for Windows 11:
- Copilot in Windows (in preview) empowers you to create faster, complete tasks with ease and lessens your cognitive load – making once complicated tasks, simple. We’ve made accessing the power of Copilot seamless as it’s always right there for you on the taskbar or with the Win+C keyboard shortcut providing assistance alongside all your apps, on all screen sizes at work, school or at home.
- Paint has been enhanced with AI for drawing and digital creation with the addition of background removal and layers as well as a preview of Cocreator that brings the power of generative AI to the Paint app.
- Photos has also been enhanced with AI including new features to make editing your photos a breeze. With Background Blur you can make the subject of your photo stand out quickly and easily. The Photos app automatically finds the background in the photo, and with a single click, instantly highlights your subject and blurs out the background. We’ve improved search, with photos stored in OneDrive (home or personal) accounts, you can now quickly find the photo you’re looking for based on the content of the photo. You can also now find photos based on the location where they were taken.
- Snipping Tool now offers more ways to capture content on your screen – with this update you can now extract specific text content from an image to paste in another application or, you can easily protect your sensitive information with text redaction by using text actions on the post capture screen. And, with the addition of sound capturing using audio and mic support, it’s easier to create compelling videos and content from your screen.
- Clipchamp , now with auto compose, helps you with scenes suggestions, edits and narratives based on your images and footage automatically so you can create and edit videos to share with family, friends, and social media like a pro.
- Notepad will start automatically saving your session state allowing you to close Notepad without any interrupting dialogs and then pick up where you left off when you return. Notepad will automatically restore previously open tabs as well as unsaved content and edits across those open tabs.
- With the new Outlook for Windows , you can connect and coordinate your various accounts (including Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and more) in one app. Intelligent tools help you write clear, concise emails and seamlessly attach important documents and photos from OneDrive. To learn more, visit this link .
- Modernized File Explorer, we are introducing a modernized File Explorer home, address bar and search box all designed to help you more easily access important and relevant content, stay up to date with file activity and collaborate without even opening a file. Also coming to File Explorer is a new Gallery feature designed to make it easy to access your photo collection.
- New text authoring experiences to voice access and new natural voices in Narrator , continuing our ongoing commitment to making Windows 11 the most accessible version of Windows yet.
- Windows Backup makes moving to a new Windows 11 PC easier than ever. With Windows Backup, transitioning most files, apps and settings from one PC to another, is seamless so everything is right where you left it, exactly how you like it.
These experiences, including Copilot in Windows and more will start to become available on Sept. 26 as part of our latest update to Windows 11, version 22H2.
Bing and Edge are redefining how we interact with the web
Today, we’re announcing new features in Bing and Edge to supercharge your day powered by the latest models delivering the most advanced capabilities for AI available. You can use Bing Chat today with Microsoft Edge or at bing.com/chat. Features will begin to roll out soon.
- Personalized answers. Now, your chat history can inform your results. For example, if you’ve used Bing to track your favorite soccer team, next time you’re planning a trip it can proactively tell you if the team is playing in your destination city. If you prefer responses that don’t use your chat history, you can turn this feature off in Bing settings.
- Copilot in Microsoft Shopping. From Bing or Edge, you can now more quickly find what you’re shopping for online. When you ask for information on an item, Bing will ask additional questions to learn more, then use that information to provide more tailored recommendations. And you can trust you’re getting the best price – in fact, in the last 12 months, shoppers have been offered more than $4 billion in savings on Microsoft Edge. Soon, you’ll also be able to use a photo or saved image as the starting point for shopping.
- DALL.E 3 model from OpenAI in Bing Image Creator . DALL.E 3 delivers a huge leap forward with more beautiful creations and better renderings for details like fingers and eyes. It also has a better understanding of what you’re asking for, which results in delivering more accurate images. We’re also integrating Microsoft Designer directly into Bing to make editing your creations even easier.
- Content Credentials . As we continue to take a responsible approach to generative AI, we’re adding new Content Credentials which uses cryptographic methods to add an invisible digital watermark to all AI-generated images in Bing – including time and date it was originally created. We will also bring support for Content Credentials to Paint and Microsoft Designer.
- Bing Chat Enterprise Updates . Since its introduction just two months ago, more than 160 million Microsoft 365 users now have access to Bing Chat Enterprise at no additional cost and the response has been incredible. Today we’re announcing that Bing Chat Enterprise is now available in the Microsoft Edge mobile app. We’re also bringing support for multimodal visual search and Image Creator to Bing Chat Enterprise. Boost your creativity at work with the ability to find information using images and creating them.
Transforming work with Microsoft 365 Copilot, Bing Chat Enterprise and Windows
In March, we showed you what Microsoft 365 Copilot can do in the apps millions of people use every day across work and life – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams – using just your own words. After months of learning alongside customers like Visa, General Motors, KPMG and Lumen Technologies, we’re excited to share that Microsoft 365 Copilot will be generally available for enterprise customers on Nov. 1.
Today, we’re also introducing a new, hero experience in Microsoft 365 Copilot: Microsoft 365 Chat. You saw a glimpse of Microsoft 365 Chat in March, then called Business Chat — but rapid advancements over the last few months have taken it to a whole new level. Microsoft 365 Chat combs across your entire universe of data at work, including emails, meetings, chats, documents and more, plus the web. Like an assistant, it has a deep understanding of you, your job, your priorities and your organization. It goes far beyond simple questions and answers to give you a head start on some of your most complex or tedious tasks — whether that’s writing a strategy document, booking a business trip, or catching up on emails.
Over the past few years, the pace and volume of work have only increased. On a given workday, our heaviest users search for what they need 18 times, receive over 250 Outlook emails and send or read nearly 150 Teams chats.  Teams users globally are in three times more meetings each week than they were in 2020.  And on Windows, some people use 11 apps in a single day to get work done.  Microsoft 365 Chat tames the complexity, eliminates the drudgery and helps you reclaim time at work. Preview customers can access it today on Microsoft365.com, Teams, or in Bing when signed in with their work account. In the future you’ll be able to access it wherever you see the Copilot icon when signed in with your work account.
To empower you at work, we’re also introducing new capabilities for Copilot in Outlook, Word, Excel, Loop, OneNote and OneDrive. Bing Chat Enterprise —the first entry point into generative AI for many companies — is getting a few upgrades. And as part of our big Windows 11 update, Windows 365 Switch and Windows 365 Boot will be generally available making it even easier to access your Windows Cloud PC. This will help employees achieve more, while making it easier for IT to deploy, manage and secure. Check out the Microsoft 365 blog to learn more about how Microsoft 365, Bing Chat Enterprise and Windows are transforming the way we work.
Unleashing personal productivity and creativity with Designer and Copilot in Microsoft 365
Designer , the newest addition to our family of Microsoft 365 consumer apps, helps you quickly create stunning visuals, social media posts, invitations, and more using cutting-edge AI. Today, we’re showing some powerful new features, many of which will be powered by OpenAI’s Dall.E 3. Generative expand uses AI to extend your image beyond its borders, generative fill adds a new object or background, and generative erase can remove unwanted objects.  Dall.E 3 will also soon power the image generation experience in Designer, making it easy to add original, higher quality images to your design in seconds.
We’re also integrating Designer into Microsoft 365 Copilot for consumers — starting with Word. Designer uses the context of your document to propose visuals to choose from; you can make it more personal by uploading your own photos too. And within moments, you can transform a text-heavy document with custom graphics. We’re starting to test Microsoft 365 Copilot with a small group of Microsoft 365 consumer subscribers and look forward to expanding the preview to more people over time. Seventy percent of creators tell us one of the most difficult parts of the creation process is just getting started.  With creative tools like Designer, plus Bing Image Creator, Clipchamp and Paint, you can now have an immediate visual draft of almost anything — with a few simple prompts.
Introducing new Surface devices available for pre-order beginning today for people and businesses
There is no better stage to bring to life all of the incredible AI experiences from across Microsoft than our new Surface devices. Surface is at the forefront of device performance and processor technology. We have been investing in silicon advancements to augment this next wave of AI innovation, unlocking experiences like Windows Studio Effects in Surface Pro 9 with 5G and continuing to increase performance to run the latest AI models with powerful devices like the new Surface Laptop Studio 2.
- The new Surface Laptop Studio 2 is the most powerful Surface we’ve ever built. Turbocharged with the latest Intel® Core processors and cutting-edge NVIDIA® Studio tools for creators-with up to 2x more graphics performance than MacBook Pro M2 Max,  Surface Laptop Studio brings together the versatility to create and the power to perform — a stunning 14.4″ PixelSense Flow touchscreen display and flexible design with three unique postures. And with new customizations brought to the haptic touchpad to improve accessibility – we’re proud to call it the most inclusive touchpad on any laptop today.
- The new Surface Laptop Go 3 will turn heads with its balance of style and performance. It’s our lightest and most portable Surface Laptop, with a touchscreen display, and packed with premium features like an incredible typing experience and a Fingerprint Power Button, and it comes in four stylish colors. With Intel ® Core i5 performance, all-day battery life, and robust RAM and storage options, it’s the perfect everyday laptop and stage for the latest AI tools from Microsoft.
- Surface Go 4 for Business is our most portable Surface 2-in-1. This fall, the new Surface Go will be available exclusively for organizations to meet the growing needs of frontline workers and educators. We can’t wait to see how it will help businesses modernize and make their users more productive.
- S urface Hub 3 is the premier collaboration device built for hybrid work, designed end-to-end by Microsoft. The Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows experience is familiar and intuitive on a brilliant 50” or 85” screen. The 50” Surface Hub 3 brings entirely new ways to co-create with Portrait, Smart Rotation and Smart AV. AI-enhanced collaboration tools – like Cloud IntelliFrame and Copilot in Whiteboard – shine on Surface Hub 3.
- 3D printable Adaptive Pen Grips for Surface Pen have been added to our lineup of adaptive accessories enabling more people to engage in digital inking and creation than before. They are available for purchase through Shapeways or as downloadable plans for 3D printing. To hear more about how we’re taking steps to close the disability divide, check out our video .
To pre-order one of our incredible new Surface devices , visit Microsoft.com, Bestbuy.com, and our Surface for Business page and blog to learn more about all of today’s new products.
The new era of AI with Copilot from Microsoft is here – and it’s ready for you
We believe that Microsoft is the place where powerful, useful AI experiences come together – simply, securely and responsibly – into the products you use most. Today, we showed you how we are not only increasing the usefulness of these experiences, but we are expanding them. From Windows 11 as the destination for the best AI experiences to empower people using it at work, school and home. To Microsoft 365, the most trusted productivity suite on the planet. To Bing and Edge, the most innovative search engine and browser available. All of it coming together on Windows 11 PCs like Surface. And with Copilot helping you get things done, helping you create and connect to people you care about or the world around you. We can’t wait to see what you can do with these experiences.
Learn more on the Microsoft 365 blog and the Security blog . And for all the blogs, videos and assets related to today’s announcements, please visit our microsite .
 Data represents top 20% of users by volume of searches across M365 services, emails received, and sent and read chats in Teams, respectively.
 Microsoft annual Work Trend Index 2023- Work Trend Index | Will AI Fix Work? (microsoft.com)
 Data reflects the top 20% Windows devices by app volume per day.
 Generative erase in Microsoft Designer is generally available to try today, with generative expand and fill coming soon.
 Survey of 941 creators commissioned by Microsoft in June 2022.
 Tested by Microsoft in September 2023 using CineBench 2024 GPU benchmark comparing Surface Laptop Studio 2 with RTX 2000 Ada Generation to MacBook Pro14” with M2 Max 19 12 core / 30 core configuration.
Tags: AI , Bing , Designer , Microsoft 365 , Microsoft Copilot , Microsoft Edge , Surface , Windows 11
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