Wee Graduate Gossip

How to give a great presentation (part 1)

I thought I’d start a short series of blogs on how to present. It’s something I enjoy and something that most of us will have to do in the working world.

Mark Twain once said that “it usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech” and I’d agree that this is true.

In this short series I’ll cover the importance of:

  • Giving your presentation a purpose
  • Structuring your presentation
  • Using body language


Presentation skills can be learned and there’s always opportunities to gather feedback from your audience. To ensure that they are clear on why and what you’re presenting, this blog will cover the importance of giving your presentation a purpose.

The purpose of your presentation may change as it’s unlikely that the audience will be the same twice. For this reason, you might have a different purpose. You may need to clearly communicate a message, ensure a message is understood or gain acceptance by influencing your audience.

For this reason, knowing your audience is key. Research them, find out what they like and how they like to digest information. Will they be more receptive to data and facts or imagery? Do they understand the subject already or have they got no knowledge?

It’s also important to try and relate the presentation to interests or activities that the audience can relate to. If you’re giving examples, make sure these are relevant. For example, if you’re talking about customer service to a group of employees who work on the phone, the message will be different to the type of customer service that senior executives need to focus on.

Knowing your audience will help increase the rapport you share with them and what they are looking for from you.

To summarise, the purpose of your presentation is key. Are you trying to:

  • Inform
  • Inspire
  • Instruct
  • Stimulate
  • Amuse
  • Persuade

And is the end outcome to sell, to get people to agree to change or to help others learn? Being clear with yourself and in the presentation will improve the quality of the presentation and should help you achieve your goals.

My next blog will focus on the importance of a structured presentation. Watch this space for more…




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