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Do you know how to make a good presentation? It’s critical to the success of your event that presentations go well. It’s a common occurrence for presentations to fall flat. We’ve all been there, you’re at a conference, you’ve been waiting for months to hear a particular speaker. When the time finally comes, the speaker is just lackluster. You find yourself feeling let down, wishing you wouldn’t have wasted your time, or even worse wishing you didn’t go to the event! 

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Make sure your event doesn’t fall victim to bad presentations.  If you want your audience to stay engaged it’s imperative your presentations don’t suck! So today we are going to show you how to make a good presentation in 9 simple steps. 

If you want to learn how to make a good presentation but you aren’t sure where to start you’re in the right place! We are giving away our best tips on how to make a good presentation.  Below you will find a list of our top 10 tips on how to a good presentation. Follow these steps to make sure your presentations don’t suck!

Ban PowerPoint Forever 

Let’s face the music, PowerPoint is archaic. This tool does not make for a good presentation, they aren’t cool anymore. In a world where it’s difficult to keep attention PowerPoint or any slide-based presentation for that matter will not do the trick. Staring at stagnant the slides will put your attendees to sleep, or having them running for the door! 

Instead, bring in content that is more engaging! Video content is a great way to capture your audience’s attention. You might think this seems obvious but video is rarely used in good presentations. In fact, Forbes published a study showing only four percent of professionals “always” use videos in presentations. That means 96% of presenters are missing out in a big way. 

Use Video Content 

Video is the most engaging type of content. Video content also has the highest retention rate. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. So if you want to leave a lasting impression nothing compares to video. 

Be sure to keep videos short, attention spans hardly exist anymore. Videos should not be the focal point of your presentation rather a tool on how to make a good presentation. Good presentations don’t rely on slides, video, or any other fluff think about Ted Talks. Arguably the most famous presentations in the world, and rarely do you see the use of slides and media. Use the less is more approach, make sure your presentation is strong and the visuals are only aides. 

Tell a Story 

This is the most important tip on how to make a good presentation! Storytelling is part of being a human, from the beginning of time we’ve told stories. It’s part of the human experience. The ability to send your message through a story will resonate far beyond any other presentation tip we have. It will truly allow you to connect on a human level. 

With a good presentation, stories can captivate your audience and keep their attention like nothing else. Keep your story focused, and your message succinct and to the point. To be most effective have your presentation follow the traditional story plot, there is a reason time after time movies, books and so much more stick to it. IT WORKS! On that note, don’t make it all about you! Make your audience the heros of the story and you their guide! 

Present in the Round 

Presenting in the round will enhance a good presentation from the get-go. This unique layout allows the audience to get closer and have better interaction. It also allows for the speaker to more easily read the crowd.

If presenting in the round isn’t your thing there are other ways to help foster engagement and keep in interesting. Consider switching it up from the standard and boring rows and rows of seats  and instead try seating attendees in a unique event seating layout.

Ditch the Podium 

Repeat this to yourself. You do not need a podium! You do not need a podium! Podiums can turn a great presentation into a boring one quicky. Anytime there is a podium used the speaker tends to stick behind it. Often they stay very still, even worse gripping the podium the entire time. This is not a good way to engage with the audience. This is boring, people don’t come to your event to see this, as Will Curran put it “If I wanted to listen to someone just talk I would listen to a podcast”. So throw that podium out and interact with the crowd! Move around and engage! 

Plan for Audience Engagement

You see audience engagement tossed around all the time. It’s one of those hot words that everyone seems to be buzzing about. But that is for good reason! An event without an engaged audience is a failed event. If an audience isn’t listening you won’t be able to communicate your message. 

In a good presentation audience engagement can be as simple as Q&A woven into the presentation, using a throwable microphone, or live-polling. But if you want to take it a step further look to Netflix for some inspiration. In late 2018, Netflix launched a Choose Your Own Adventure episode Bandersnatch from the popular show Black Mirror, allowing its viewers to create the experience resulting in their biggest international successes to date.  So what does a TV show have to do with your next event? Allow your attendees to create their own experience during your presentations!

This session allows the audience to pick the topic of discussion, similar to path story books where you get to pick what comes next. This session is quite enjoyable to see play out because it allows the audience to be in charge of the presentation based on which route they want to take.

For example, the leader could ask the audience to vote on topic 1 or topic 2 by using a polling app. Once the results are in the presenter would have to talk about the voted topic. Once the topic is introduced there is another split in the road and the audience would have to pick between option 1 or option 2. This session will keep them on the edge of their seat.

good presentationAllow for Intimate Sessions

Everyone looks forward to seeing the big keynotes at events. But often attendees are left wanting more. They may watch the keynote and have hyper-specific questions. People want to learn more about that presenter’s experience, tactical tips for how to get where they did and so much more. They would like to address these questions and have no means of getting the answers. Give your attendee’s power do to this by creating smaller intimate sessions with your keynote speakers from general session stages. These intimate presentations can come in the form of smaller breakout sessions, intimate VIP dinner, private Q&A session, or hands-on training. This will add tremendous value for attendees and allow them to really engage and get tactical advice from the presenters they really loved. 

Don’t Book the Same Speaker’s as Everyone Else

This seems so obvious! You wouldn’t pick the same theme as everyone else for your event, so why pick the same speakers? If you pick the same speakers everyone else is having presentations are going to be disappointing. No matter what a speaker might tell you, it’s very rare they will have a unique and fresh presentation for each event. The speaker might change it up but the underlying themes are generally the same. That’s going to lead to boredom quick. Instead of choosing the predictable speakers which you can find at every conference in your industry think outside the box to find new interesting perspectives. 

However, don’t just be different for the sake of being different. Make sure to bring the right presenters that will appropriately represent the key topics and trends in your industry right now. And always check in with your attendees to make sure you are getting it right. You can evaluate presenters by asking attendees to rate speakers, ask them what sessions they got the most out of and what could be better? 

A great example of a conference doing this right is INBOUND. Every year INBOUND chooses speakers you would not think would be at a marketing conference and their attendees love it! In past years they have had unpredictable choices such as John Cena, Michelle Obama, and  Piera Gelardi. INBOUND has become known for having unique and dynamic presenters. Because of this, it’s no surprise each year attendees stalk the website waiting for the speakers to be announced! To learn more about the process for choosing dynamic speakers and creating a highly engaging event watch our very own episode of #EventIcons Behind the Scenes with INBOUND episode!  

Talk to Your AV Company 

A quick way to go from a good presentation to bad is falling into one of these common AV mistakes. AV can affect your presentations for better or worse. Having a great AV experience will enhance a presentation but failing to communicate key details could send event the best presentation spiraling! This presentation disaster could come in many forms including but not limited to wrong presentation formats, incorrect ratios, or selecting microphones that aren’t compatible with the type of presentation occurring (example: Presenter is doing a demonstration and needs both hands to complete it, but they have a handheld). Also, be sure to ask to have a rehearsal with your AV company to work out any kinks and ensure smooth sailing the day of your event!

Know Your Audience 

If you don’t know your audience there is no way you can make a compelling presentation. To create a great presentation ask yourself who is my audience? What are they hoping to get out of this presentation? Your presentation is going to look a lot different depending on who is in the room. A group of CEO’s aren’t going to want to hear the same thing as entry-level employees. Some industries are more serious than others and might not find your jokes appropriate. Avoid having your speech flop by researching and getting to know your audience. Find out what makes them tick and what they want to hear, then craft a killer presentation with that in mind.

Now You Know How to Make a Good Presentation!

And there you have it! Our best tips on how to make a good presentation! Take this knowledge and apply it to your event’s presentations to have the best and most engaging presentations yet! What are some of your best tips to rock a presentation? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kaitlin Colston

Author Kaitlin Colston

Kaitlin Colston is the Content Alchemist at Endless Events — one of the leading publications in the events industry. With a passion for helping others and learning, she focuses on empowering eventprofs through content by sharing her knowledge gained from over 10 years in the events and marketing space.

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