How to Make a Presentation

If you’re looking for how to make a presentation or for new presentation tools, then you’ve here. This website has hundreds of “how to” articles and videos that can take you step-by-step through how to do a presentation. This article will give you a simple outline to follow along with links to a few tools on this site that can help you get started quickly.

How to Do a Presentation

There are dozens of generally accepted techniques for designing good presentations, but the simplest and most useful technique is to think about what your audience needs to know about the topic and design the speech around the three, four, or five most important items that the audience needs to know right now. Remember, that most people believe that the more content in the slideshow or PowerPoint, the smarter that the audience will think the speaker is. However, if you cover too much data, then your audience will forget most of it almost immediately, and you will have a tougher time delivering the speech.

Too-Much-DataNarrow Your Topic: Make your topic focused on a single, most important, aspect of what you are speaking about. For instance, if you are giving a quarterly report, think about the audience and what they want or need to hear about the quarter. If the audience is high level executives, they will most likely be most concerned about profit this quarter. If you are speaking to the sales team, they will most likely be concerned about revenue, sales, or commissions. So narrow the focus to that specific aspect of the topic that your audience is most concerned about.

Bullet PointsFigure Out What the Three, Four, or Five Most Important Items are that Need to be Discussed: Once you have a narrow focus, ask yourself the following question,”If the audience sat through my entire presentation and only remembered one, single thing, what would be the most important thing that they would need to know about this topic?” Remember that audiences have short attention spans, and the more content you cram into the session, the more likely they are to forget everything, so if you are only going to cover a few items, why not cover the most important parts first? Once you have the most important point, make that single item your first bullet point. Now figure out what the second most important thing is, and then the third most important thing is. For a 10-minute to 30-minute talk, you’ll likely want to cover three or four items. If you have more than 30 minutes to speak, five items is probably most appropriate.

Power of StoriesOffer Supporting Evidence to Explain or Prove Each Point: A few items that are proven well are much better than a bunch of items that you skim over. So, now that you have the most important items that your audience needs to know, offer some supporting evidence to prove each point to the audience, and spend some time developing each point. The best kinds of evidence are stories, real world examples, or anecdotes. If profit is up this quarter, give a couple of examples of things that happened this quarter that were different from last quarter and that caused a profit increase. If you are presenting a software update, and you are outlining the changes, give an example of what was happening before each change that caused the developers to improve that part of the software. The story behind the data is usually much more important than the actual data itself. The neat thing about these examples and stories is that you can spend two to three minutes telling a well developed story, and you won’t have to prepare or practice a lot to do it, so this part of the presentation should be easy to create.

If you can provide at least a couple or maybe three different pieces of proof for each of your bullets, you will have a well developed speech that they audience will be interested in hearing. After you have your outline, you can access a few more presentation tools online by reading Add More Impact to Your Presentations to jazz it up even more.

For a more in-depth process to show you how to make a presentation, one of the sessions of the Fearless Presentations ® class offers a step-by-step approach and is offered as an online seminar called How to Write a Powerful Speech in 15 Minutes (or Less) for a small fee. Once you purchase the session, you can watch the seminar over and over.

Of course, the best way to learn how to make a speech is to attend the full two-day Fearless Presentations ® class. If you experience nervousness or anxiousness when you are designing or delivering your speech, this course can be a big help to you.

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Author: Doug Staneart, Date Published: 01/27/15

Doug Staneart is the CEO of The Leader's Institute. LLC and founder of the Fearless Presentations class. He is author of Fearless Presentations, Mastering Presentations, and 28 Ways to Influence People.

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