What makes a good presentation – five rules

October 29 2020

What makes a good presentation – five rules

It’s hard to imagine company meetings without multimedia presentations. You come across them all the time but I’m pretty sure there are only a handful of presentations that impressed you. What is the secret behind a successful presentation? Get to know the most important rules you need to follow to make a good presentation and put them into practice.

First: tell a story

Presenting is all about telling a kind of a story. You’re supposed to tell others about your experiences, your analyses and the resulting insights. Then, you recommend action that should be taken to achieve a specific result. Sounds boring? Well, it might seem so. The good news is that it’s all up to you whether your presentation is going to be interesting and engaging. What should you do to achieve that? Follow a few rules. Features of a good presentation:

S – simple,
U – unexpected,
C – credible,
C – concreto (should stick to the point),
E – emotions,
S – stories.
As per: Made To Stick – Chip and Dan Heath

Therefore, when you start working on your next presentation, give yourself some time to think about the story you would like to tell.

See also: How to build personal brand? 


Your presentation should be compatible across all software applications. In case you’re not sure if the file is going to work properly, take your laptop with you and have your presentation on a mobile device. Before you get started, check the equipment you are going to use.

Second: think about the visual part of the presentation

When you deliver a presentation, its spoken content is the most important. But don’t forget that your presentation should be coherent and visually good-looking. How to make your presentation visually appealing?

  • Don’t use cliché templates. Create your own one.
  • Pick a font that would be clear and easy to read (e.g. Helvetica).
  • Adjust the font size to the projector screen, not to the computer screen.
  • Use contrast (to make the text stand out, its color must differ from the background color).
  • If you decide to apply colors to your presentation, select and use only three.
  • Use short phrases or terms instead of long passages of text.
  • Include graphics and high-quality photos. Use only legitimate sources for your information.
  • Make sure your graphs and diagrams are clearly legible.
  • Avoid unnecessary animations and effects.
  • When presenting research results or statistics, don’t forget to provide the source.

Remember – “less is more”. Your slides should not overflow with information; otherwise, the recipients won’t get anything out of the presentation.

Third: focus on interactions with the audience

A boring presentation is the worst nightmare for its audience recipients. Get your listeners involved in your story, ask them questions and maybe even organize a practical task? All of this will help you make your presentation more interesting and ensure a great atmosphere.

Fourth: be original

There should be actual value in your presentation for its recipients. Don’t use materials or information that everyone is familiar with. If you use commonly known photos or graphics, no one’s going to pay any attention to them, and the audience will soon be busy doing something else. Develop your own case study and create your own graphics or infographics. Surprise the recipient.

Fifth: be prepared

Practice delivering your presentation at home before you present it to the audience (either offline or online). Present it out loud. Sounds strange? Doesn’t matter. This will allow you to listen to yourself and check if the presentation you’ve prepared constitutes a comprehensible and engaging story. This kind of practice will also make you feel well-prepared.

Read also: Why is a positive attitude good for business?

A multimedia presentation is supposed to support your words, act as a simple supplement. Keep the balance between the visual part of your presentation and your speech.

Good luck!

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