It is ideal to consider 4W’s in this context. That is who the audience is, what the subject to be delivered is, where to deliver it and why the objective behind giving the presentation is. Knowing the profile of the audience will make presentation easier. Profile is nothing but finding out the age pattern, sex, geographical and cultural background of the audience. All the information will provide insights about the maturity level of the audience so that the material can be gathered and delivered accordingly.

Secondly, analyzing what kind of topic is to be presented because it is the main thing and the entire presentation revolves around what kind of topic is to be presented. Thirdly, find out the place where it is to be delivered. Knowing this, will help us to physically verify the place and space of the room where it is to be provided. It is essential at least just before the day of the presentation to go physically and check for compatibility, suitability and accessibility of the video or audio equipment to prevent last minute disasters. Many celebrities resort to this exercise to ensure effectiveness of the presentation. It also provides a sense of comfort and confidence. And fourthly and lastly, why the presentation is to be delivered. What are the goals and objectives behind delivering presentation? If all the 4 W’s are kept in view then the real presentation can be executed at ease.


“He who fails to plan is planning for failure”. 

Do lot of research related to the topic, discuss with friends and family members and also the like minded people related to the topic, if possible. Refer and read number of books, publications, magazines and journals and collect the relevant material. Surf number of search engines in the website and gather lot of information. After reading the entire material, create your own views and opinions and jot down the same. Select the important information by narrowing down and by keeping the duration of the presentation in view. Get the best of the best ideas and concepts based on the priority level of importance. This is indeed an Herculean task and once it is prepared and created half of the battle is won.

Prepare the entire script on index cards in key words. Prepare it chronologically, coherently and logically with an impressive introduction. You can start with a shocking statement or a wonderful quotation or with an astonishing statistical information which must provoke the audience to think and concentrate. Keep the body part which must be in bulleted format in short hand format so that you can explain each idea by elaborating with your own examples. The conclusion should leave a mark in the minds of the audience. Over all, the entire script should be like a skeleton stuff.


After the completion of the skeleton stuff, the next stage is to practice speaking aloud. You will be able to hear your voice and then you learn to organize thoroughly in logical order. And also practice in front of friends and family members and take feedback. The feedback must be from the people who are honest and unbiased as it will help overcoming from weaknesses and strengthening the strengths. You can also practice in front of mirror at home so that you can analyze yourself as you are true to your conscience. You can also tape record your speech and rewind and replay number of times so that you can objectively and specifically correct your weaknesses. And the process should never be continuously at the same time. Once you listened to your tape and took the feedback, leave some gap or in the next day replay the tape again then you may find more areas where improvement is needed. The process must continue number of times till you find that you acquired perfection and confidence.

Look for your visual distractions for corrections by the below procedure:

You may videotape your practice of presentation and take feedback in three different methods. Firstly replay the videotape and list out your strengths and weaknesses by observing both your oral and body language. If there is any inconsistency between the both that may be written for rectification and improvement. This is the usual procedure everybody does. Secondly, keep the videotape in muted mode and observe only your body language. There are many mistakes we make without our knowledge and those areas can be jotted down for improvement. Some people make some unusual gestures unconsciously which may distract the attention of audience or at times it creates inconvenience and discomfort for audience. Out of the total communication the body language alone accounts for maximum per cent of the communication. Hence more sincere efforts should be made to fine-tune body language by this methodology. Thirdly play your videotape and do not look at it all but hear your voice for modulation, accent, pronunciations, pace and pause etc., With this, you will be able to know if any drawbacks in your oral language. The repetition of all these three stages independently number of times provides the correct feedback for rectification... Usually the ideal duration of the preparation should be 12 times to that of the real presentation.


The presentation skills will help you tremendously at the corporate world. In case if some stuff is created then it needs to be presented effectively and efficiently. Then only the stuff will get noticed. If a new project is prepared then it is essential to present the same to prospective clients or customers. It helps in displaying your skills and abilities. It also helps in triggering your passion. It is a well admitted fact that all great leaders are great presenters.


For male presenters the dress code should be formal and official with a compulsory tie with elegant and neat appearance. The presenter must feel comfortable so that he feels confident to take part in presentation. Total official and formal appearance is vital as it makes a lot of different. For female presenters the same is applicable and it is advisable not to wear accessories and jewellery and rings. The main intention is not to distract the visual attention of the audience but to make sure that the audience stay glued to the presenter with a professional attitude.


Sometimes butterflies may run in your stomach just before the final presentation. You can beat the so called stress in different ways and means. Drink water as it cools your inner system and it brings comfort to your vocal chords. It also warms your voice and decreases the stress gradually. You can start counting the numbers from 1 to 10 and vice versa as you do not think of the presentation. Do light exercises as it provides you with fresh energy and enthusiasm. You can also do breathing exercise like inhaling and exhaling as fresh oxygen goes to your brain and you get distressed gradually. And also, start discussing something other than the presentation as it removes your anxiety levels.


Usually keep 15 per cent of the stipulated time towards introduction 70 per cent towards body and 15 per cent towards summary. The timings mentioned are approximate and there can be flexibility. It teaches to plan well and present well.


“First you tell ‘em what you are going to tell ‘em, then you tell ‘em, then you tell ‘em what you told ‘em”, quoted Sergeant Major.

The above quotation complements the presentation in three different modes and that become the 1H i.e. how to present yourself. Having known 4W’s in the pre-session and when it is clubbed with 1H in the during session besides supplementing with the Q&A (Question and Answer) session the presentation process becomes complete.

Define clearly the introduction part in short and precise manner. Ensure that the audience is brought to the topic immediately. You may do so by posing a question or by narrating an anecdote or a small story which is easily understandable to all. Having drawn their attention then highlight the features, significance and importance of the audience. Try to explain the benefits the audience are going to get out of the presentation and having done that go to the body part which you might have written in short hand format and try to explain each concept, idea and point with simple examples and with facts and figures.

In fact, you will find three segments of listeners in every audience. First segment are those who don’t know the topic at all. Second segment are those who knows the topic superficially and the third segment are the experts in the topic. Try to focus your introduction and summary part to the first and second segment of people and focus the body part of your presentation to the experts in the field. For experienced presenters it becomes very easy to segment these three kinds of audience just after some time of the presentation by their body language and learn to focus all the three segments equally. Knowing the psychology of the audience will also help deliver the presentation effectively and efficiently.

Another way of making the presentation effective is by knowing how to centre the topic on three aspects like the first one being the self (speaker), second one being the topic and the third one being the audience. Some presenters think too much about themselves and neglect the topic and also the audience. Some presenters are too much conscious about the topic and pay least attention to themselves and also on the audience. And some presenters worry too much audience and fail to focus on themselves and also on the topic. The effective and efficient way of any presentation is to bring synergy and synchronization and coordination amongst self, topic and the audience. This is a difficult task but can be achieved by regular preparation and practice.

Globally well known concept in any kind of presentation be it in written or oral is the concept of KISS. This is the acronym for ‘Keep It Simple Sweetheart’ or ‘Keep It short and Simple’. Don’t confuse the audience with loaded vocabulary or with slang or professional jargon. The objective of any presentation is to ensure that the message reaches the audience accurately. And the best way to reach them is to keep the process of presentation as simple, compact, concise and crisp as possible.

During presentation it is essential to lay stress on three kinds of animation – body animation, facial animation and vocal animation. Any communication constitutes 93 per cent non verbal language and only 7 per cent verbal language. Again the non verbal language is divided into 55 per cent body language which is also known as kinesics and 38 per cent modulation. Unless there is right marriage between oral and body language the communication becomes incomplete and ineffective.

There has to be all round healthy movement of body with positive gestures by ways of hand, leg and body motion. The body animation can be utilized fully so as to convey your ideas. At the same time avoid any excessive body movement as it will distract the attention of the audience. Coupled with this, there is a need to maintain facial animation. Learn to smile wholeheartedly from the core of your heart and change your facial feelings as per the situation. Don’t be too serious or smiley. You can effectively make use of eyes by maintaining right contact with audience. There is an adage, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul”. You can communicate a lot through your eyes wonderfully. It helps to build right rapport with audience. Coming to vocal animation avoid monotone speech. Vary your pitch to signify the importance depending on the importance of the contents. If there is effective combination and synchronization in body, facial and vocal animation the presentation can become more effective and efficient.

The body part of the presentation is the core of the entire speech and try to present the topic from different dimensions so that the audience can understand the topic properly.

After completion of the body part then slowly transfer to the final stage that is summary. And never declare that it is summary as people tend to lose interest at it. Restate the main points and ideas with greater emphasis leaving a wonderful satisfactory impact in the minds of the audience. And also you can make a clarion call to do something which is motivational and inspirational.


Find out the aspirations and expectations of the audience so as to tailor your talk as per their needs.
Involve yourself totally on the topic.
Be confident and radiate energy and enthusiasm.
Smile at appropriate occasions as it warms up your voice.
If required pose a few questions to the audience so that they will be challenged to think and will develop curiosity and interest towards the topic.
There has to be smooth transition from one idea to another.
If you are not good at humor, it is better to avoid because no jokes are better than bad jokes.
The delivery of the flow should be natural.
Avoid cluttering the contents and keep the contents relevant to the topic.
Avoid over connectors such as ‘and’, ‘because’, ‘so on’ etc.,
Never gaze at a particular individual for not more than 3 seconds as it creates discomfort.
Do lay stress on qualitative presentation not quantitative.
Even if there is disturbance in the audiovisual equipment, be prepared mentally to prolong the presentation by trusting on memory.
Don’t stand dumbstruck. If you find it difficult to retrieve information keep a few filler words like Ok, right, actually, like and sentences like ‘It is like, . . .’, do you know?’, ‘you see’ . . . and so on. By keeping such ready made words and sentences in mind you can overcome from any delay in accessing information from your mind.
Never comment or joke on any of the members of the audience.
If necessary you can crack jokes on yourself. And if there is excessive humor on yourself then you will become a clown.
Learn to maintain proper pace and pause. The flow of your delivery should neither be too slow nor too fast. The flow has to be natural and effective. There has to be pause as and when required. Learn to stress on key words, ideas and catchy phrases. Proper pause will help audience to focus on your key ideas and contents.
Visualize that you are talking to each and every individual not to the audience. Maintain a personal and conversational tone. Maintaining proper and equal contact with the entire audience will make the presentation more effective and efficient. Learn to speak one sentence by looking at one person and then shift to the second person with second sentence and so on if there is small audience. It creates a feeling of intimacy with the entire audience and the audience will reciprocate your presentation with interest. If the audience happens to be big, you can also fix a few persons at each corner of the room and regularly look at those individuals of all directions and it creates strong feeling that you are talking to them.
Create an emotional bonding with the audience by telling ‘we feel greater, bigger, better etc.’
Never get freezed in larger audience.
Be mentally prepared for interruptions.
If you have made mistake while speaking correct it and proceed further and do not apologize.
Never be oversensitive to the audience.
Never overload the stuff.
Learn to repeat the key ideas, concepts and points in different ways to drive home your point.
Remove your mask and be natural.
Get connected to the audience wholeheartedly.
Avoid usage of technical or professional jargon.
If you find that the audience is bored use humor.
If you want to convey a joke, it is desirable to practice number of times to make it effective.
If you want to deliver a punch line look at the individuals whose body language is favorable to you and then deliver for effectiveness and applause.
Budget your time judiciously and deliver with in the stipulated time.
Involve with the participants closely and actively. And learn to mix with them as it creates bonding.
Don’t prolong any presentation for a longer time as it loses its impact.
Usually the practice presentation takes 20 per cent faster than the real presentation. Knowing this research report will help you budget your time properly on the D-day.
Trust in your gut feelings.
Don’t lose your links. Learn to pick up thread immediately where you have left. Usually it happens when there is interruption from audience.
Present only what you know not what you don’t know. Don’t try to be a perfectionist.
If you are a professional presenter maintain a separate files for quotations, anecdotes, case studies, examples etc., You can make use of the same depending upon the topic.
If you want to become a professional presenter read the books and surf the websites of international professional speakers like Lenny Laskowski, Brian Tracy etc.,
Avoid visual distractions if any.
Always smile when leaving a message.


After the successful completion of the presentation, it is the time to proceed to question and answer (Q&A) session where you invite a few questions for clarification. It is a very delicate and sensitive session as you must be fully prepared for any kind of questions. You need to encourage individually each participant and then clearly after understanding the question, handle it carefully, tactfully and patiently. Tell them to keep the questions with in the purview of the topic and if anyone goes out of the topic tell them the same clearly. If the answer is not known to you, say clearly and frankly and proceed further smartly and sharply. Don’t exceed the given time frame as it will upset other activities. We are not expected to know everything under the sun in the earth. Q & A session is, in fact, a crucial one where you can leave a wonderful everlasting impression by handling it successfully.


Select an interesting topic, collect relevant material from all sources, organize it logically and practice the same thoroughly. After analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, rectify your weaknesses and then proceed for the real presentation. At the forecast stage, state what you are going to state, at the body stage simply state and at the conclusion stage, state what you have stated with a thought provoking one so that the audience will think on it for a longer time. At the end attend the Q&A session carefully, tactfully and diplomatically.


Speaking skills, listening skills, writing skills and reading skills are the four pillars for any effective communication. The speaking skills are subset of presentation skills. It is vital to be strong at presentation skills in order to become a successful professional. Talent is inborn while skill can be acquired by continuous training, practice, knowledge and experience. Presentation skills should be laid stress from the initial stage of education itself so that one can become an all rounded personality in the later stage.

About the Author :
Professor M.S.Rao is the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India with more than 30 years of experience in leadership development.
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