Effective Presentations

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The best presentations engage the audience. To effectively communicate the concepts of a presentation to the audience, consider the following areas: Content and Design.


  • Establish a main objective. What is the objective of your presentation? If you cannot clearly define the reason for your presentation in one sentence, your audience may not understand your presentation.
  • Determine the essential points. The human mind can only remember three points from a presentation. Organizing your information to support three points will keep your presentation from being overloaded.
  • Use facts, not generalities. Support your argument with facts that are quantifiable, verifiable, and memorable.
  • Customize content for your audience. Every audience is different; your presentation should be too. Think about who will be in your audience and their interests. Adjust your presentation to engage the people there.


  • Engage the audience. Come up with ways to make them feel involved. Pose questions, ask for their points of view, or use them to help with your demonstration. People have short attention spans, so try to do something interactive every five to seven minutes.
  • Slides support your presentation. While training slides may be more content-heavy, typical slides should have a few major points, pictures, charts, or graphs. The text on slides should be a cue for the presenter rather than the full message.
  • Have minimal text. The words on slides must be large enough to be read by the farthest person in the audience. General rules of thumb: no more than six lines of six or fewer words, and text lines should not wrap to a second round.
  • Keep backgrounds simple. Use a consistent color theme and font for each section. Background and letter colors should be contrasting.

Adequate preparation is essential to making an effective presentation.

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