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21 Best Presentation tips for a killer presentation

Have you ever felt the dread of standing in front of an audience and feeling like the words won’t come out? Fear no more! With our list of presentation tips, you can hone your public speaking skills and be confident that you have all the knowledge you need to make your next presentation a success.

From how to properly structure a presentation from scratch to general best practices in public speaking, this post has all the key tips for giving the best possible performance even if you are not an experienced presenter.

What makes a great presentation?

Below is what I call the “Presentation pyramid” – the key components which make for a good presentation, we will be breaking down each section and providing tips for each one.

presentation tips pyramid

Know your stuff

This is the first step in delivering a great presentation. Make sure you are well-versed in the subject matter and have done your research thoroughly so that you can answer questions with confidence. But just having information isn’t enough—you need to be able to present it in an organized and visually appealing way.

The more proficient you are on the subject you are presenting, the easier it is to free up your mental capacity to master all the other sections and drive your message home.

Know your audience

It’s essential to know the audience you’re speaking to and tailor your presentation accordingly. Consider their background, interests, experience level with the subject matter, and any other potential biases that could influence how they will receive your message.

If possible, try to get a rough idea of who will be in attendance so you can adjust your approach accordingly. Remember: it’s important to keep things interesting for everyone in the room, not just those with prior knowledge of the topic.

Consider also the audience’s mental state. A presentation after a heavy lunch break will require more energy to spark the audience’s attention than a presentation just before lunch.

Having great presentation slides

You don’t want to waste precious time fumbling with technical difficulties when you should be giving a memorable presentation. 

The right combination of visuals and text can help ensure that your audience stays engaged and that your message sticks with them long after the presentation is over. With great presentation slides, you can focus all of your attention on delivering your message confidently and with conviction. Moreover, by using AI, you can streamline the design process and create captivating presentations effortlessly. Many AI tools, such as AI presentation maker, are available online today to speed up your presentation creation process.

Awesome delivery

The top of the pyramid – if we have prepared all the bases properly, and we understand who our audience members are and how it would be best to convey our message to them, we can concentrate on incorporating body language and keeping eye contact in our delivery..

Even someone who has incredible presentation skills will have a hard time if the slides are botched, or he is presenting to a group of young people with no experience instead of seasoned older professionals. 

21 presentation tips for an awesome presentation

1. Keep it simple


Simplicity is key, even in highly technical or academic presentations. Ensure your audience can digest the content easily.

It’s also natural to have varying levels of concentration, so you need to create mental breaks for the audience members throughout the presentation, rather than highly complex and high concentration nonstop.


If you’re not confident when it comes to presenting, keep things simple. Utilize basic software such as PowerPoint or Google Slides to make the preparation process easier for yourself – you don’t want sophisticated tools causing you further stress with intricate features.

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2. Logistics

Oftentimes overlooked, the logistics of your presentation are important to know in advance, I had a presentation polished to perfection only to find out that the clicker wasn’t working properly causing me to get out of sync with the timing of the slides.

Presenting behind a podium is different than speaking while sitting down, not having a clicker won’t let you walk around freely, and having the audio system not being connected properly will cause any video content to become irrelevant.

The same goes for any files or links you might have in your presentation slides that rely on an internet connection, if the wifi isn’t set up properly, something to just double-check in advance.

3. Avoid “walls of text”

To keep our audience’s attention focused on the spoken message, we aim to minimize the text on our presentation slides. This ensures that they remain engaged with the information we are sharing and don’t become distracted by reading.

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4. Use simple animations

Animations are great to make your presentation interactive but they must be used with the correct amount to avoid distracting viewers or diminishing the presentation’s professionalism. 

Simplicity is key when it comes to using animations; their main purpose should be to aid understanding and maintain audience engagement, rather than just serving as decoration. 

Following our previous “wall of text” example, simple animations can be used to gradually reveal points, allowing you to guide the audience’s focus precisely where you want it, making it easier to maintain eye contact and focus.

5. Beware of speaker notes

Speaker notes are great to help you stay on track and make sure you haven’t missed important information, especially in very long presentations. 

However, they can significantly hurt your stage presence! Depending on the level of your presentation skills and how comfortable you are presenting, using anything other than short bullet points can cause you to lose your flow, and start reading into the notes, hurting the efficiency of your presentation.

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You can easily see how in the example above you can get distracted reading into the notes rather than just having a quick glance before moving on.

6. Have a structure

Creating outlines can help you save a tremendous amount of time. You have the option to write the outline for your talk in a Google doc or open blank slides in Google Slides with just a few words or sentences on each slide. This can help you kickstart building a basic structure for your presentation while leaving room for further elaboration.

For example, a simple structure can be:

  • Intro, who am I
  • Some data about public speaking
  • A personal story
  • What is public speaking?
  • Why should you care about it?
  • 5 tips for public speaking
  • Examples
  • Video showing great public speaking
  • Motivation
  • Conclusion

You can easily shift it around, understand what is important for you in each presentation slide, and which presentation materials you might need to prepare to get your message across in the best manner.

7. Have a strong start

It’s incredibly important to start strong and even have your first few sentences memorized. This will allow you to shake the stage fright, and win the audience’s attention.

This is your time to harness everything to own the stage and have the audience focused from the beginning. A strong first impression will set you up for a good presentation.

great start meme

8. Set expectations

A powerful thing you can do in the beginning is to set expectations with your audience. You can tell them what you will be covering, the nature of the talk, how and when their questions will be answered, and also how you would like them to participate, whether by show of hands or you will address them.

9. Interim summary

Especially when having long talks, having “checkpoints” throughout the entire presentation of summarizing what was discussed so far, or the key points from the last few slides is great to help the audience stay focused and have clarity about what was covered.

This allows the messages you convey throughout the presentation to settle, and be more memorable.

lets review meme

10. Incorporate visual aids

Think back on the most effective presentations you have seen in your life so far. Chances are that coupled with great presentation skills there was a very meticulous use of graphics, photos, gifs, and even videos. If you know how to use Midjourney, you can quickly create awesome graphics for your presentation!

Depending on your target audience you can mix serious infographics, gifs, and graphics to help you convey your message. They are also great because they allow you to reduce the text required in the slides, and act as a hidden speaker note for you for referencing what key points you want to address.

11. Personal story

There is no better way to engage your audience than a personal, relatable story. If anyone can take your presentation, practice delivering it to an audience, and make it compelling, then it’s far less valuable than your unique perspective on the subject.

Especially in this day and age, the audience is hungry for unique personal perspectives about matters and is sick of rehearsed dry presentations.

12. Enthusiasm and tonality

You’ve likely met someone in life who seems to be genuinely excited about everything, radiating energy that makes them fun to be around. Although it’s not necessary to be constantly on edge, leveraging tonality and energy throughout your presentation will keep the audience engaged. 

Nobody wants to sit and hear a tedious, monotonous boring presentation for 30 minutes. Start with high energy to grab attention, and adjust tonality when you emphasize the main points in your presentation.

excitement meme

13. Practice

No matter at what level your presentation skills are, practice is crucial. Even the top speakers in the world practice tirelessly before giving their talks.

Whether it’s a 3-5 minute short pitch or a 30-45 minute lecture, dry runs are essential. They will allow you to get familiar with using the visual aids in your slides, and hone the key points you want to deliver!

14. Eye contact

Imagine you are sitting in the audience listening to someone speak, and all he does is stare at the floor. It doesn’t matter what stories and how great their speech is – being able to maintain concentration is nearly impossible!

Think of eye contact as pings, you periodically ping a person to keep them engaged, as if you’re checking in on them. If you struggle with direct eye contact – staring just above the eyes gives the same effect.

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15. Use pauses instead of filler words

Filler words such as “um” and “ah” can make presentations seem awkward, unprofessional, and unprepared. On the other hand, strategic pauses allow for emphasis, help create a sense of anticipation, and can give the audience time to reflect on what you just said. 

By removing filler words and replacing them with properly timed pauses, you add authority and confidence to your presentation. The silence will draw in your audience.

16. Body language

It takes time to feel comfortable using body language when presenting. When we say body language we refer to avoiding standing with crossed arms, moving around the stage, and using hand gestures when discussing ideas.

Combining voice tonality, facial expressions, moving

17. Avoid distracting fidgeting

As a way to fight being uncomfortable or just being a bit ADHD, you might be inclined to play with something in your hand while speaking, a classic one is flipping the whiteboard marker while having a member of the audience ask a question, or playing with it while speaking.

Remember, you want your audience to be focused and present while listening to you speak, help them remain focused on your speech rather than distractions.

18. Breathing

This one might seem obvious, but when you’re anxious and excited, you might tend to have shortness of breath. Slow down when you are speaking, take a few deep breaths before starting your presentation.

Be mindful of the speed you’re speaking, slowing down will make it easier to follow and create room for you to catch your breath.

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19. Engage with the audience, including humor

Another great way to keep your audience engaged and get them concentrated again is using humor, whether it’s something relatable to your audience, funny memes, or just overly exaggerated ridiculous ideas.

Jokes and memes are a great way to interact with your audience, connect with them and make it feel less like a speech but rather a conversation they are part of.

20. A strong ending

One very common method used with speakers is finishing your presentation with saying:

“If there is one idea I want you to remember from this presentation, it’s -fill the blank-

You can also conclude by taking them from the beginning of your story to the end, summarizing some of the tips or ideas you shared.

strong ending meme

For example:

“So, to conclude this presentation – we started by explaining why public speaking is important, I shared my personal story about how I overcame my fear of speaking in front of an audience.
Then I shared with you these 5 tips (you can include them briefly).

And if there is one thing I want you to remember from this presentation, it’s that you just have to start, and it will be an amazing experience.

Thank you!”

You can simply include a single slide at the end with the words “Thank you” and some graphic or quote if you wish.

21. Get inspired

TED talks are an amazing source of inspiration, not only the speakers are highly proficient in their subject, but they also go through extensive training on how to give effective presentations and tell a story.

You can learn a lot by analyzing TED talks and deconstructing what makes some more effective than others, here is a 6-minute, light-hearted TED talk for you to get inspired about how a lot can be said about nothing, take note of how many presentation tips you can notice in this video:

How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk | Will Stephen | TEDxNewYork


10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size. It’s a possible framework to keep your presentation short and concise without overloading it with text.

The best way to style your presentation is to be consistent. 

  1. Keep the sentences short
  2. Use consistent font sizes and style
  3. Don’t go overboard with animations
  4. Use a two-color scheme, three at max.

Wrapping up

The most important thing to remember is that no one was great at giving presentations. No matter how much you think someone is a natural at it. Most presenters will tell you right away they used to be much worse starting out.

I used to be apprehensive about presenting, but a few dozen times later it’s much easier and even fun, every opportunity I had to be part of a storytelling workshop I joined right away, kept learning and absorbing information.

Speak in front of an audience every chance you have, whether at work, school, or extra curriculum, the more presentations you give, the better you will be. It’s as simple as that, good luck!

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