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Presentation Skills Training 101: Put a Ring On It! How to Engage Your Audience

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Phase 1: You’ve prepared your speech. You’ve nailed the introduction. Your content is relevant and compelling.

Phase 2: Now, you must continue your presentation skills training bootcamp and learn how to make all of this great content actually fun and enjoyable for your audience!

See, the greatest supplement to a powerful presentation, is, well, a powerful presentation that engages your audience.

Guy Kawasaki of Apple suggests the “10-20-30” rule to avoid the “Death By Powerpoint” fatality:

  • No more than 10 slides: The slides are meant to be a supplement to the presentation, not the presentation itself.
    They should essentially be useless without the partnership of your speech.
    Each slide should summarize or draw attention to no more than two focal points.
  • No longer than 20 minutes: Unless you have clear instruction from the organization or conference committee, shoot for presentations that are no longer than 20 minutes.
  • No less than 30 point font: By setting this font size limit, you also limit the number of words you can fit in one slide which will save you a ton of groans and lost interest.

In general, you want your visuals to be simple and brief.

Be sure to find the perfect balance when creating your presentation – you don’t want to overwhelm the audience with visual information so as to distract them from the purpose of the presentation.

Too many charts and graphs will lose them. Your visual aids should simply assist with the overall message.

And you don’t have to stick with the good ol’ .pp, although we think PowerPoints are a great place to start with. There are other creative platforms of visual presentation such as Prezi!

Feel free to explore the different options as long as you keep in mind the “10-20-30” rule and AVOID the “Death by PowerPoint” fatality. Avoid it like your presenting life depended on it.

The Audience are People Too

Unless you’re delivering a lecture on the latest findings concerning quantum computing with graphene plasmons…we highly recommend you make your presentation interactive and talk TO the audience, not AT them.

Human beings (which your audience is going to be largely composed of) love having their opinions heard.

If your presentation is in a smaller setting where you are able to ask inviting questions, take advantage of it!

It will help keep the audience engaged and will increase your confidence throughout the presentation as you realize that the crowd in front of you has a heart.

If the presentation room is not conducive for Q&As, you can have the crowd talk to each other in pairs or small groups by having them share their answers to your question with each other.

Thanks to technology, you can even set up a virtual, live poll where participants can answer the question through their mobile device. Everyone feels heard and the introverts will thank you.

Our public speaking coaching services at Moxie can help you expand on these presentation tips and more.

Together, we’ll develop techniques that will manage your public speaking anxiety, facilitate audience engagement, storytelling and master your body language.

We’ve also created a nifty guide filled with even more presentation tips that will get you started on the path of delivering fearless presentations.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Improve Your Presentation Skills for more comprehensive presentation tips and gain reliable insight to help you prepare for your next presentation!


Fia and Gregg Fasbinder
CEO and President
(858) 771-6827

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