Give a presentation: How to make your presentation a success

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Give a presentation: How to make your presentation a success

Giving a presentation is a big challenge for some people. Whereas some others really blossom when they are allowed to speak in front of an audience. The personal preference or shyness often crystallizes during the school years.

A successful presentation follows certain guidelines that you should follow. In addition to a coherent content, it is important to have a perfect introduction and a sensible structure. The way you speak is also crucial. In the following, we would like to show you how you can give a perfect presentation.

On what occasions are presentations given?

Presentations are a clearly structured oral treatise on any given topic. The speaker's goal is not only to explain the respective issue in a comprehensible way, but to inspire his audience for the topic.

Presentations can be used in a variety of areas:

  • at school (school departments)
  • at the university (examination departments)
  • in the context of business meetings (presentation of business results)
  • Project presentations
  • Product presentations for order or new customer acquisition
  • Sales presentations (e.g. at trade fairs)
  • Motivational lectures (e.g. in the Coaching- or education sector)

Giving a presentation: How to prepare for a presentation

In order to be able to give a successful presentation, complete preparation is elementary. This applies regardless of the topic of the presentation. If you don't prepare yourself as a speaker, you run the risk of suddenly losing the thread or even being overwhelmed by stage fright. You should also be prepared for possible questions from your audience.

Giving a presentation: The important preparation steps at a glance

Let's briefly and succinctly summarize the most important preparation steps for a successful presentation:

  1. Research on the lecture topic = Make sure you use trustworthy sources!
  2. Choose a specific focus = Hardly any topic can be illuminated from all perspectives in just one presentation.
  3. Structure your presentation in bullet points.
  4. Design your slides (mind maps, drawings, pictures, etc.).
  5. Rehearse your presentation (in front of a test audience).

In the following, we would like to go into the most important aspects once again in more detail.

Make notes and rehearse your presentation

In any case, it is advisable to practice your presentation in advance. To do this, you first make Key points in chronological order. Formulating complete sentences is rather counterproductive; after all, you are supposed to speak freely and not read off your presentation.

Once you have worked out the content of your presentation, the next step is to speak. Try speaking aloud a few times to get a feel for your speaking speed, pitch, and volume.

Tip: Record your rehearsal runs with a camera or hold them in front of a test audience that will give you a honest gives feedback. In this way, you can identify possible weaknesses in your presentation and correct them before things get really serious. It also allows you to check how much time your presentation will take. It's easy to make an error here.

Work on your voice

Surely you have noticed it before: There are people you could listen to for hours, while you can barely stand the voices of others for five minutes. The latter would of course be fatal in the context of a lecture.

Try to speak as loudly and clearly as possible. However, speaking at a reasonable volume does not mean shouting. This would be just as unpleasant for your listeners as an unintelligible mumble. At this point we would like to mention again the advantages of a test audience. If you are going to give your presentation with a microphone, you should already use a microphone when practicing.

To capture the attention of your audience, it is important to use the full range of your voice. Nothing is more soporific than a monotone voice. If you have a lot of difficulty in this area, you may need to use a professional voice coaching advisable before an important presentation.

Did you also know that your voice can do a lot? reveals about your personality? Inside Uncertainty can actually be heard to you. This is even Scientific occupied.

Avoid the use of filler words

Filler words like "uh" and "um" don't exactly make you look eloquent and confident. Unfortunately, these filler words creep into your speech all too quickly when you're very excited, which is absolutely normal during an important presentation. Instead, try to consciously insert pauses in your speech. This can also be practiced wonderfully in advance.

give a presentation

5 tips to get your presentation off to the perfect start

If you want to give a presentation, you should know how important the perfect beginning is. Unless you captivate your audience in the first few minutes, they won't follow your presentation attentively. However, there are some proven tips for a perfect beginning:

1. the interactive entry

In this case, interactive means that you involve your audience in your presentation right at the beginning. You can do this, for example, by asking a direct question that can be answered with a clear yes or no by everyone present: "Did you travel by car?"

2. the provocative entry

Admittedly, going into your presentation with a polarizing statement takes a bit of courage. However, this way you are sure to get the attention of your audience. It's enough to formulate the core message of your presentation in an extreme way: "If you're not online these days, you won't find a partner." Afterwards, every listener wants to know why this is supposedly the case.

3. the anecdotal entry

People prefer to listen to other people with whom they can identify. Therefore, it is a good method to start your presentation with a personal anecdote. It should be a true-to-life, relevant experience that touches your audience emotionally. Whether it makes them laugh or makes them think is of secondary importance: The main thing is to grab their attention.

4. the humorous entry

You want to lighten up your presentation a bit? If the topic is not a bitterly serious one, a humorous introduction is suitable, e.g. with a joke or a funny quote. In this way, even dry, number-heavy topics can gain entertainment value.

5. the message entry

Although the news-based opening is not necessarily brimming with originality, it is nevertheless a tried and tested opening. As the name suggests, you start your presentation by referring to a current headline or new study results on the respective presentation topic.

Important: To start your presentation, give your audience a concrete outlook on what to expect. The audience should understand exactly what you are talking about. Of course, you must then fulfill the expectations that have been raised! Nothing would be more unsatisfying for your audience than to leave them with unanswered questions.

Give a presentation: What should you look for when setting up?

In order to make your presentation a success, you should plan the structure carefully. If you follow the preparation tips already mentioned, you have already created a good basis. Basically, a presentation is divided into Introduction, Main part and Close subdivided.

The motto is: the simpler the structure, the better! The more complex, the more difficult it will be for the audience to remember the key messages.

We have already gone into detail about the perfect introduction to a presentation. But the main part and the conclusion should not be neglected either. A perfect presentation structure consists of all three elements, which should be clearly distinguished from each other.

The main part: position yourself as an expert

After you have caught the attention of your audience with an original introduction, the main part of your presentation follows. This is where you convince your audience with your expertise. Here you need to pay attention to the following:

  • Present yourself confidently and authentically. If you appear insecure, you will not be able to convince your audience.
  • Have visuals available to help your audience visualize the topic.
  • Refrain from too many subheadings.
  • Avoid (too) lengthy explanations and repetition of content.
  • If you use PowerPoint, make sure that your slides are not overloaded with too much text.
  • Use simple, real-life examples to explain complex issues.
  • Be sure to make clear, but not too abrupt, transitions when moving to the next topic aspect: "It follows that..."

The bottom line: This is how your presentation will be positively remembered

At the end of your presentation, briefly summarize all the key points. Keep in mind that your conclusion will remain in the audience's mind for a long time. Memory will remain. Even the best presentation can be ruined by a weak summary. To prevent this from happening to you, you should consider the following tips:

  • In your conclusion, refer specifically to the issues you raised in your introduction.
  • Depending on the topic, your conclusion may leave room for imagination and discretion on the part of the audience.
  • Refrain from presenting your own views too dogmatically. The listener should feel fully informed, but not lectured.
  • If appropriate, you can give your audience a specific, but as simple as possible, appeal: "Remember that ..."
  • Thank them and wish your listeners a safe journey home.

10 tricks to be able to give a successful presentation

Giving a rousing presentation is no magic trick. The following tricks can help you:

1. maintain eye contact with your audience

Would you feel addressed or even appreciated by someone if they looked through you or past you? No, certainly not. Your audience will feel the same if you don't make eye contact. However, if you are shy or feel insecure, eye contact takes a little effort.

Our Tip: To begin, focus on a single person in the audience who you are sure is sympathetic to you. This person is your "anchor. Once you feel more confident, let your eyes wander throughout the audience. Keep returning to your anchor so you don't lose confidence.

2. choose the right (standing) position

To appear confident as a speaker, you should have both feet firmly on the ground. This is meant literally! Avoid pacing nervously up and down. This will irritate your audience. Stand hip-width apart and try to keep your knees loose. Your toes are pointed forward. Stand up straight and look into the audience.

3. gestures and facial expressions

Underline your words with the appropriate gestures and facial expressions. In this way, you make it easier for your listeners to follow your content. However, you should not overdo it: Make sure that you feel comfortable with the gestures and facial expressions you use. Gesticulate less and at the appropriate places. Otherwise you will quickly appear tense and insecure.

4. interact with your audience

A pure monologue quickly becomes tiring. To avoid this, you should involve your audience. You don't want your audience to simply consume content, but to actively participate in the presentation. The simplest way to achieve this is to give your audience the opportunity to Ask questions. These may also be rhetorical questions.

If appropriate, you can also ask individual listeners to assist you or form small groups to exchange ideas. The more lively your presentation, the better.

5. avoid distractions

Tools such as laser pointers or pens for the flipchart are often indispensable for giving your presentation. However, consistently put down all tools that you are not using at the moment. For example, it doesn't look very confident when you are handling a pen. Rather, keep your hands free for underlining gestures.

6. use different media

To give a successful presentation, variety is the order of the day. Therefore, use as many different media as possible, if appropriate: Demonstrate your theses with a clear model, use a whiteboard and combine flipchart and beamer.

7. speak the language of your audience

Do you want to give a successful presentation? Then you should be clear in advance about which target group you are addressing. What kind of people are sitting in your audience? Do you prefer to address them formally or more casually? In your presentation, use examples that are relevant to the target group and that your audience knows from their own lives.

8. stage fright is part of it

Are you dreading having to give a presentation because you suffer from stage fright? But stage fright is absolutely nothing bad. On the contrary, it's perfectly normal. As long as you have prepared well, there is no reason why your presentation could be a disaster. Even if you stutter or lose the thread, this is not the end of the world.

Tip: Familiarize yourself with the location and the technology in advance to avoid unpleasant incidents.

9. be approachable

In order for your audience to follow your presentation with interest, you must appear authentic and approachable. The best way to do this is to actually be yourself! Don't pretend to be yourself on stage, just to achieve a certain Achieve goal.

10. do not forget post-processing of the presentation

Once you have given your presentation, you should analyze what went well and what you could have optimized. This is the only way to improve. Ask your audience to give you honest feedback. For this purpose, it is advisable to prepare a compact feedback questionnaire in advance, which can be filled out anonymously.

Also Self-reflection plays an important role: In which moments did you feel insecure? Did you have the impression during the presentation that your audience was bored or overwhelmed at some points? If so, what could have caused this?


By getting to the bottom of these questions, you can set specific optimization goals for your next presentations.

Presentations fascinate, captivate, move and inspire - at least if you manage to fill the entire stage with your presence and amaze the audience. Your appearance, your words and your personality determine whether or not you'll be a big success.

With our Keynote Workbook you are well prepared for this. In it, we share ten valuable tips with you that will turn you into a confident professional on stage. You're just a few clicks away from thunderous applause!



Learn with professional speaker Frank Asmus captivate your audience from the very first second, cause goose bumps and earn thunderous applause!
Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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