Public speaking can be terrifying for many people simply because they’re not accustomed to having a room full of people paying attention to their every word and action.

Developing the confidence and capability to give good presentations, and to stand up in front of an audience and speak well, are also extremely helpful competencies for self-development and social situations.

Presentation skills and public speaking abilities are not limited to certain special people – anyone can give a good presentation, or perform public speaking to a professional and impressive standard. Like most specialisms, this requires preparation and practice.



What do I define as a presentation?

In the broadest sense, it’s every encounter you have with every person you ever meet. A presentation doesn’t necessarily mean standing in front of a crowd with a projector. It could be when you sit squirming in an interviewer’s chair trying to be eloquent when asked why you left your last job.


Build your presentations around carefully crafted stories

The human brain prefers stories instead of abstract ideas. Good speakers tell stories; great speakers tell personal ones.


Begin with an eye-opener

Kick off your talk by revealing a shocking fact, a surprising insight, or a unique perspective that naturally leads into your message and the decision you want made.


Edit your ideas

Before you create your presentation, edit your ideas until you can express your core message in one sentence.



The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute you’re born and never stops working until you get up to speak in public. (Unknown)



Use facts, not generalities

Support your argument, story and message with facts that are quantifiable, verifiable, memorable and dramatic.


Be entertaining and informative

Adding passion and humor will make people to pay more attention.


Eye contact

Match eye contact with everyone in the room.


Show more pictures and use less text

Great presenters tell a story and use the slides to complement the story.


Speak with conviction

as if you really believe in what you are saying. Persuade your audience effectively. The material you present orally should have the same ingredients as that which are required for a written research paper, i.e. a logical progression from INTRODUCTION (Thesis statement) to BODY (strong supporting arguments, accurate and up-to-date information) to CONCLUSION (re-state thesis, summary, and logical conclusion).


Read >> Motivational Speech Tips


Use gestures

Try to make my gestures meaningful and expressive. This gives you energy and energizes your audience.


Avoid distraction

Always keep your hands away from your face, hair, neck, ears and nose. Also avoid touching your tie or any jewelry.


Engage Your Audience

In order to give an incredible presentation, get your audience involved. Ask questions; have them come up to help you demonstrate your point.


Keep it short and impactful

Your audience will pick up quickly on the fact that you simply enjoy hearing yourself talk if your presentation goes on too long.


Don’t memorize

Rehearsing is one thing, committing the presentation to memory and performing it by heart, is not the way to go. You need to present, not to recite.



Allow yourself and your audience a little time to reflect and think. Don’t race through your presentation and leave your audience, as well as yourself, feeling out of breath.


Have a high energy level.

If you seemed bored or tired, that vibe will translate to your audience.


Don’t be afraid of a blank screen

If there’s no visual that goes with the words at any point, go to a blank screen. PowerPoint users can do this by hitting the B key. This creates a powerful focus on you, the presenter, with no distractions. When the images return, they have much more impact.


Find the right coach or mentor

Find someone willing to help you grow as a public speaker.


Create a Worthy Leave-Behind

Give your audience something to remember you by. I.e. A book, a flyer or premium item.



Think about questions that might be asked and rehearse brief, clear answers to each.


Dress for success

Some say you can never overdress for a presentation. Others will disagree. Our own belief is that other factors come in to play, particularly how you handle yourself in the situation. How to determine what is appropriate? Worst case: Ask people. It’s all part of doing it right.


You may not grow to love doing presentations, but by adhering to a few simple rules and following some quite straightforward techniques, you certainly won’t loathe doing them and you may even start to see how much better they are received. Best of luck.


What other presentation skills training suggestions would you make to keep an audience engaged? 

Sign Up

Myriam Balerio is the founder and writer of PA Privé. After kick starting her career as a PA and finding success as an assistant, Myriam later trained in digital and online marketing and has since combined the two disciplines in creating PA Privé, the platform through which she provides sage advice for those in the assistant profession and a network for like-mined PAs and EAs to connect. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Myriam has lived in London for over 10 years and currently lives in London with her husband and French bulldog.


Comments are closed.