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Effective Presentations


Last Updated:
September 7, 2023

First Published:
June 17, 2022


Effective presentations are audience-centered. They keep the audience focused while they are informed or persuaded. Effective presentation techniques ensure that your students and peers engage with your ideas in a meaningful way. Mastering the art of effective presentations can even help you to win friends or influence people.

Use the comments section below to let us know your ideas about effective presentations.

  • Purposeful delivery of your presentation engages your audience and leads to deeper engagement with the content of your presentation: “The interplay between the verbal and nonverbal components of your speech can either bring the message vividly to life or confuse or bore the audience. Therefore, it is best that you neither overdramatize your speech delivery behaviors nor downplay them.” (Tucker et. al, 2019, 224)

  • A well-considered and well-practiced presentation communicates the importance of your topic to your audience: “The more you care about your topic, the greater your motivation to present it well. Good delivery is a process of presenting a clear, coherent message in an interesting way.” (University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2016, 14.4)

  1. Know your audience – Who are they? What do they know? Why should they care?

  2. Establish credibility – Show competence by being intimately familiar with your material. Prove that you are trustworthy by sharing the credible sources you used to generate your material. Practice dynamism by rehearsing material, planning for audience engagement, and using variety in your presentation.

  3. Prepare for your presentation by carefully considering your audience, outlining your presentation, and rehearsing your presentation, so that you can focus on eye contact, body language, and timing on presentation day.

  4. Make sure that your audience focus is on you, not your slides – Make eye contact with your audience, avoid rushing through slides, use simple animations, and leave time for questions/discussion.