9 Simple Tips to Help You Make Great Presentations at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 5, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Delivering an impressive presentation at work requires you to have a strong understanding of the topic and to use all the elements that can help you keep your audience engaged. A good presentation can assist you in pitching a business idea, selling a product or service, persuading a client, and convincing your manager to allocate resources to your project. Learning more about how you can deliver an outstanding presentation might help you improve your job performance and increase your chances of achieving your presentation objectives.

In this article, we list nine tips on how to make great presentations, communicate your message more effectively, and use presentation tools to your advantage.

Related: How to Make a Presentation in PowerPoint (With 8 Steps)

9 tips on how to make great presentations

The following nine tips on how to make great presentations can help you better engage your audience and deliver your message more efficiently:

1. Define the purpose of your presentation

By defining the purpose of your presentation, you can establish clear objectives and the best way to communicate your ideas. These goals can also help you establish the most appropriate method to evaluate if you successfully met your goals. For instance, suppose you're presenting a research paper, and you're looking to convince an organization's representative to fund your project. Here, after you define your purpose, you can also define when you can ask for their support and analyze their immediate reaction and answer.

Your objectives also affect the way you can deliver your presentation. For instance, suppose you're presenting an annual income statement, and you're looking to convince the firm's chief financial officer (CFO) to ask for a loan to expand the firm's operations. Here, it might be necessary to focus on the firm's liquidity levels, as this can demonstrate that the firm is in a strong financial position and can easily afford the loan.

Related: 8 Practical Presentation Tips for Giving Your Next Talk

2. Know your audience and their needs

It's crucial to understand your audience and know their needs, as this information can help you identify the best way to present your content. For instance, suppose you're presenting a website design to a group of web developers and computer scientists. Here, rather than focusing on visually appealing designs, it's more important to focus on the technical aspects of the site, which means how easy it's to navigate and the code that supports it. The nature of your audience might also show you the pace at which you can deliver content.

For instance, if you're presenting technical information related to a video game to a group of high school students, it's important to keep the content brief and avoid complex concepts. Here, you might stop the presentation frequently to clarify a term and explain how it applies to the topic. Also, recognizing your audience's needs can help you determine the best equipment to use during your presentation. For instance, if you're presenting a website to a client, it might be necessary for you to give them tablets, laptops, smartphones, and desktops so they can view and interact with the site.

Related: What Is Audience Segmentation? (With Types and Tips)

3. Design a simple structure for your presentation

Using a simple structure in your presentation allows the audience to follow the content more easily. It's often advisable to employ a basic structure where you list the subjects you're presenting, followed by a group of slides that illustrate those subjects, and then an overview of the presentation. You can apply these three simple elements to the entire presentation and to each section of your display.

For instance, suppose you're presenting a new information technology (IT) system that aims to keep the company's network more secure. Here, you can list the subjects you plan to address, such as the system's features, how your team can install it, and the benefits of using it. Then, you can explain each feature and finish with an overview of the presentation, meaning the key points that can convince your manager. By using this simple presentation structure, you focus your audience's attention on the most relevant information you want them to see.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Presentation Design (With Tips)

4. Limit the amount of text

It's advisable to use an appropriate and reduced amount of text in your presentation, as this can encourage your audience to keep their focus on what you're saying. Using too much text can lead people to get distracted and lose focus, as sometimes it can be difficult to read and listen to the presentation simultaneously. To avoid this, you can use bullet points and summarize the information you want to communicate.

It's also beneficial to use single words or short phrases that can assist your audience in identifying the main points of your presentation or the subjects you're addressing at a given moment. Try to employ a professional font with a clear and legible typeface, as this can enable all of your audience to read and understand your text.

Related: What Is a Filler Word? (With Tips to Help Avoid Them)

5. Use a visually appealing design

Depending on your audience, a visually appealing design might comprise photos, colours, and videos, or it might consist of graphs, charts, and tables. For instance, if you're presenting an accounting report to a group of business executives, it's beneficial to use graphics that show revenue growth and cash flow levels.

Conversely, if you're presenting an advertising campaign to a client, it's essential to use visuals that highlight the advertisements, the benefits of the marketing channels, and the colours of the brand. Visually appealing designs can help you keep your audience focused on the information you're communicating, encourage them to interact with your display, and inspire them to ask questions.

Related: Creative Presentation Ideas to Engage Your Audience

6. Use various examples

Using real-life examples in your presentation can enable your audience to associate your message with their own experiences. If you're delivering a presentation in the workplace to your colleagues, you can use examples from the same work environment to demonstrate your arguments. If your audience is a client, it's better to use examples from the client's industry and mention successful experiences that their competitors have had.

For instance, suppose you're delivering a presentation to convince a client to launch a new marketing campaign through their social media accounts. Here, you can show successful campaigns from other companies in the same industry, as this might help the client understand the importance of social media marketing.

Related: Visual Communication Examples (With Benefits and Tips)

7. Employ interactive elements

Using interactive elements such as questions, polls, and surveys can help you keep your audience engaged during long presentations. You can also use technology devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to encourage your audience to interact with the content of your presentation. For instance, suppose you're presenting the findings of a pharmaceutical study to a group of pharmacologists, health care scientists, and hospital managers. Here, as your presentation can be long and complex, you can provide the audience with tablets where they can access additional information and see visualizations of the data.

Related: 14 Steps to Creating Interactive Presentations (With Benefits)

8. Prepare answers to FAQs

It's crucial to prepare different answers for the potential questions your audience might have at the end of your presentation. This can help you have a more relaxed question session, provide the audience with additional and accurate information about what they're asking, and communicate your message more effectively. Try to create a list of potential frequently asked questions and answer each one of them appropriately. You can also take this list, write the answers, and add them at the end of your presentation or create a brochure you can distribute among the assistants.

Related: Digital Interviews: Questions, Answers, and Tips to Prepare

9. Proofread your presentation

Proofreading your presentation is a good way to ensure that it's error-free and easy to follow. By doing this, you can also showcase your professionalism and attention to detail skills, two characteristics that can help you keep your audience focused on the content and not on errors. You ask a colleague to proofread your presentation for you or use a free online proofreading service.

It's also beneficial to practise your presentation in front of a family member or friend, as they can notice any errors that you may have missed and provide you with valuable feedback. For instance, they can suggest using more visual aids to make your presentation more engaging or to reduce the number of slides you've prepared.

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