5 Simple Tips to Create More Engaging Presentations

Whether you are pitching a prospect, showcasing deliverables to an existing client, or providing a quarterly update to employees, having a great presentation that won’t bore your audience is crucial.  Regardless of your audience, your presentation is your chance to shine and both your content and delivery need to be on-point. Here are five simple tips that you can use to make your next presentation memorable and engaging:


1. Be audience focused.

Your presentation needs to speak to the concerns of your audience. If a client tells you their concern is next year’s growth, don’t spend the majority of your presentation covering their performance to-date. If you don’t focus on your audience’s concerns, you’re not delivering value and you will lose your audience. Make sure that your presentation is focused on providing solutions to the issues at hand and addresses the audience and their specific needs.


2. List the key takeaways at the beginning.

Your presentation should follow the format of a good story: beginning, middle, and end, but it should also include a brief summary at the start. This summary should serve as a high-level overview of your presentation and the purpose is to provide the key takeaways and get the audience excited for what’s about to come.


3. Streamline your slides.

Paragraphs of text, endless bullet points, and a mashup of images and charts are not the best way to deliver your content. While the information may be very relevant, if it’s not displayed clearly and succinctly, it will be overlooked. A general rule is that a greater number of slides is always preferable to a large amount of content per slide. More slides with less information per slide makes it easier for the client to understand and digest the information as you go through the slides.


4. Include only relevant data.

It’s highly likely that data will be necessary to support your key takeaways, recommendations, or decisions. To keep the presentation focused, you should only deliver the data that the audience needs to see - and that’s the data directly related to your takeaways/recommendations/decisions. You may have conducted a significant amount of research and have a lot of data to support your presentation. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be included, but it should be delivered in an appendix as opposed to the main presentation.


5. Encourage participation.

After spending all that time and effort on your presentation, you’ll want to impress the audience and tell them all about your insights. Make sure that you don’t get too wrapped up in your need to impress and remember to include your audience. Take regular pauses so the audience can feel comfortable asking questions and you may want to consider engaging with the audience directly after particularly important content is delivered.  A simple “do you have any questions” is an effective way to get the audience more involved in your presentation.


Preparing a great presentation can be very time-consuming and not everyone relishes the opportunity to get in front of an audience. However, presentations are a great opportunity for you to showcase your work and ideas, and get exposure to people outside of your day-to-day. If you focus more on your presentations, your relationships will prosper – whether those are with prospects, clients, employees, or your peers.


Rodney Steele