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Deliver an Outstanding Presentation

Posted in Best Practices


I’ll admit it, I’m a geek for presentations. I love watching powerful speakers, and helping clients create slideshows is one of my favorite tasks at Morningstar Communications. Delivering outstanding presentations involves two main components: honing your presentation skills to really engage your audience, and creating effective slides to compliment your dialogue.

My love for presentations explains why lately I have been fascinated by two things: TED videos and Slideshare’s “World’s Best Presentation” contest.

Hone your Presentation Skills

If you haven’t watched TED videos (“Riveting talks by remarkable people”) check it out. There are topics on everything from global issues to entertainment. Some of the speakers are inspirational, including Ric Elias, who survived the Flight 1549 plane crash into the Hudson. View his presentation below entitled “3 things I learned while my plane crashed.”

As I watch TED videos, I am reminded that the best presenters not only present intriguing information, but they also engage the audience. They are completely themselves. They use humor when appropriate. They make eye contact. Put simply: they connect with the audience.

Sharpen your Slides

If slides are needed to drive your point home, use them to compliment your dialogue. Slideshare, the application that allows users to upload their slide decks to share online, holds an annual “World’s Best Presentation” contest. The winning presentations tend to be highly visual, limit text on the slides, and deliver messages concisely and effectively. Check out one of the winners below: Presentation Advisor’s “Social Media for Business.” This presentation will make you rethink how you create slideshows.

Once you have practiced your dialogue and refined your visuals, let go, let your preparation speak for itself, and  focus on connecting with the audience. It is that human connection that will ultimately engage the audience and motivate them to action.

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Posted on by Holly Eckold