how to do a presentation man talking to large audience

Who doesn’t love a trip down memory lane?

I rediscovered some footage from a workshop the other day. We did some work with a group at CUA in 2017 to help their leaders become more agile and increase their influencing skills.

As I was watching it, I was struck by a participant named Steven’s storytelling. How fabulously well he did to get everybody’s attention right from the beginning of his presentation with an intriguing story about a little boy. I thought, “Wow, this is how to do a presentation!”

We often talk about the power of storytelling for business presentations; it’s a part of our PAVERS® methodology. But today I want to share some other presentation tips – and also some free resources – that will take your presentation skills to the next level.

How to do a presentation justice and be remembered

I’ve got a number of go-to resources to share, that will help you learn how to do a presentation justice. They fall under 4 categories:

    1. Inspiration for designing your content

    2. Supporting resources to persuade and add gravitas

    3. Where to find and how to use visual aids

    4. Tips for communicating with your body

1. How to give a good presentation 101: get inspiration from the experts!

how to do a presentation martin luther king giving I have a dream speech in front of crowd

The first step of learning how to do a presentation that’s impactful and out of the ordinary, is to get some inspiration – see how the great orators of the ages have done and still do it.

Here are some classic examples of passionate speakers to start you off:

Refer back to these videos as inspiration for building more exciting language and tone before you present. This famous Simon Sinek video on finding your “Why” is also a good reference for designing your content.

2. Including presentation resources for persuading your audience

how to do a presentation Rick Warren leadership quote over beach sunset

Another thing that struck me about the CUA leaders was their use of images and videos to add weight to their presentations. 

You can’t just tell your audience something and expect them to take it at face value. You need to back it up with evidence, however anecdotal.

Try including quotes by famous influencers to introduce or close your presentation. Good reads is a great place to find these. You should also look to reputable sites like Forbes, HBR, Gartner, McKinsey etc for relevant facts and statistics. Don’t cram a slide full of facts, you know we don’t advise that!

This is about selecting one data point or stand out quote that can sit front and centre when you start or be shown at the appropriate moment to add impact.

3. Using impactful visual aids to support your business presentation

Thankfully, the internet provides us with instant access to a plethora of visual aids that can add interest and weight to your presentation. Again it’s about a careful selection of one or two maximum. Here are a few ideas:

Bonus tip: Consider using Google Slides instead of paying for a PowerPoint subscription!

4. Using your body to impact how you feel and present

Finally, no article on how to do a presentation would be complete without a mention of physiology. Your body language is a presentation tool – use it!

In this TED Talk, Amy Cuddy talks about the power of nonverbal communication, not only when it comes to delivering business presentations, but in life in general. Not only that, but she reveals the extraordinary results of a controlled experiment with poses – and the impact they can have on our hormone levels.

What does this tell us? That creating a powerful stance with your body can make you feel confident. So think about how you can channel some Mick Jagger swagger (!) the next time you have a big business meeting.

To expand further on how to do a presentation that is impactful and memorable, sign up for our Mastering Communication program – and unlock the full power of your influence.

communication skills training workshop

The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their leadership skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.

Erica Bagshaw

Erica Bagshaw is an entrepreneur, Executive Coach and Co-Founder of The Colin James Method® and Inner Profit Pty Ltd a vibrant leadership development company in Australia. She has spent the majority of her career growing and developing close client partnerships. She loves sharing her expertise on the perfect pitch.