Presentation skills

How to present in front of people

The art of expression is based on:

1. Non-verbal expression

2. Verbal expression (voice modulation)

Many times it doesn't matter what you say, but HOW you say it.

7% - content

38% - speech tone

55% - face expression and gestures

So what is the key to your success? Believe in yourself. Be serious. Be brief.

If you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you, too. People will just copy your attitude toward yourself.

Tell them honestly what do you like about this business and introduce yourself a little (create a contact, relationship with the audience).

Movement on the "stage"

Anchor - Find one spot on the "stage" that is your "anchor". The place where you start and end the presentation. Do not start talking until you arrive and stop at an "anchor" place. It is also your basic standing place.

Movement in space - Each movement ends at an anchor. Always move along the X and Y axis, using the space above by your hands. You must never show the audience your back. Always go backward facing the audience. Do not turn away from them. Always choose a position that when you spread your hands you involve the entire audience. If you communicate specifically with one person, you have to turn your head and body towards him. When you walk during the presentation, take small steps, always end in the anchor. Start with the foot in the direction you want to go to. For example when you want to go right, start with your right foot.

The first movement at the beginning of the presentation should be forward, towards the audience.

Move backwards - into the anchor, preferably smaller steps.


Verbal communication

Do not speak to the screen, but towards the audience. Change verbal expressions, change stories, change word order from one presentation to another. Don't use general words like "someone" or "something."

When you communicate with one person, you have to thank him first (Thank you; Yes, I agree; Good question; Excellent). While thanking be still turned toward him. Call him by his name (ask for his name and then say Thank you, Mr. Thomas. The voice must always be directed to people.

Do not read the slides word by word. People can read it themselves. You should:

  • Emphasize (people remember what you point out)
  • Use a personal approach (presentations are made for a wide range of audiences, but you can see exactly who you have there, so you talk how it is for them, you give examples of students of their age, or you ask them questions to make it personal for them)
  • Simplify (there may be a lot of information in the presentation, you will simplify it and say it in "normal language")

Skip diminutives, small words like "housie" instead of "house".

Don't say "so", don't always say "please". Record your presentation and determine which unnecessary words you are using over and over again and next time think about not using them. Staying silent is better.

What words to use - do not use the same word all the time, change it.

Every time you lift something or put something down, don't talk during doing it. When you go from one slide to another, don't talk during that process.

Asking questions - ask positive questions; if you give choices, there are two positive options; what you want to hear as the answer will be highlighted last. (Do you want to sign up tomorrow or TODAY?)

Silence, Dramatic pause - if you ask something, give people time to think about the answer by staying quiet for a few seconds, even if you answer yourself. People have the opportunity to use imagination for what you said. Or you can use the dramatic pause before saying something important to "look forward to it".

Communicate with respect to the goal of "closing the deal" and "selling the course".

Nonverbal communication

Add gestures, change voice modulation:

  • raise the voice, 
  • emphasis on the last syllable
  • emphasis on the first syllable
  • shout a word,
  • whisper, 
  • change the tone (say something using seductive, guiding, feminine voice, emotionally) and 
  • use pauses. 

Do not talk monotonously because you will only make them sleep. Why work with the voice? Because voice evokes emotion, and people remember emotions.


Open gestures - palms facing up. Only down if you want to finish something. Keep your hands free as much as possible. If you don't need that pointer, put it down. All hand movements should be directed upwards.

If you hold the marker, the tip is towards yourself, not the audience. 

If you want to show something (components, some leaflets), hold it next to your body, not in front of your body. 

Ask somebody to talk by your palm, not a finger. While you talk to this man, take a break and hold your hand towards him.

While they are clapping, you are standing and waiting.

Do not use these gestures:

  • pillar of salt - anything static is making people sleep, so it is important to move. Don't give up the effect of body language. Everything that moves attracts attention.
  • fig leaf - do not hold your hands like football players standing in line in front of the net waiting for a kick. People will think: what is he hiding from us? It expresses the need for self-defense.

  • barrier (crossed arms) - barricaded. You are losing contact. It is understood as a defensive posture.
  • in a need of support - (for example leaning on a table) the most secure method of depriving the audience of any sympathy. She's self-loving, bossy - like a prison warden.
  • pocket masturbation - expresses little respect for listeners. It is clumsy, hands are passive. It will give you a lot of work to activate your hands.
  • confusion and fearfulness - do not keep moving without stopping, it shows unpreparedness. Move, then stop. After a while move again.

Use a calm attitude - (anchor) allows you to start gesturing immediately.

Fluid - Have a clean, bubble-free still liquid. Drink sideways to the audience. If you forget what you wanted to say, you will have a drink to have time for thinking :-)

Big screen projection

Arrival side: Put a projection to the right side of yourself, coming from a side that does not interfere with the projection.

Power On / Off: If I don't need a projection, I either leave just a picture there (not more than a company name) or turn it off. If you have some preparation slides on the screen, keep it turned off before the presentation so people do not see it.

Cover the projector before the presentation (if preparation is on the screen).

If the projector or other technology stops working, we do not solve it and use a flipchart.

If the technique breaks down and you can or need to fix it fast, you will comment on it so that there is no silence.

Point and sentence highlighting: only point to the screen with open gestures.

If you point with a laser, do not point only to one spot, but "underline" and "circle" the place with the laser. If you try to point with a laser to one spot and hold it there, they would know that your hands are shaking. 

Click first, let the text come to the presentation screen, then talk about it. Do not talk while the text is coming. They are watching the screen and do not concentrate.


Your Presentation Feedback

  • transparency - it is clear what you wanted to say
  • seriousness - you are serious about this
  • sincerity - you say what you think
  • sympathy - your appearance and personality wins the audience's sympathy
  • fun - you also made them laugh
  • coverage of their need - you talked about what they needed to hear
  • asking questions - you were asking them questions, not just talked
  • listening to the audience - when you asked, you listened to their answers so it felt a bit like a conversation