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Best Practices Online Resources

Tips for Presenters

Key pointers to help presenters

  • Make eye contact early and often.
  • Face the audience and connect with them.
  • If you are in a large group and are taking questions, rephrase the question just asked because most others in the audience will likely not have heard the question.
  • Demonstrate your own level of passion, interest in your venture through your physical engagement and tone of voice.

Slideshow Presentation Tips

An effective presentation is a combination of presentation software and other forms of communication, writing and reporting to persuade, convince, inform and enlighten.

Some tips to keep in mind when designing:

  • Keep it simple, elegant and professional. Limit the use of animation, transitions, and sound.
  • Practice no more than 4 by 4 rule when possible, 4 bullets with 4 words.
  • Edit ruthlessly. Have others proofread if possible.
  • Use real images whenever possible, not clipart.
  • Font size needs to be large enough to read, 18-24 pt is standard. Specialty fonts are hard to read.
  • Colors - change for emphasis as needed, but be consistent with design
  • Structure the presentation with an opening slide, outline of discussion, the subject material and a conclusion or summary.

Some tips when presenting:

  • Do not read your slides; there should be a balance between you and the slide content, otherwise, you are not needed!
  • Begin with a story to connect your audience, introduce yourself and the topic and make the subject matter relevant to them.
  • Know your audience and respect them.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

Respect Your Audience

TED 10 commandments

The TED commandments can not only be applied to giving a TED talk, but to any public speaking presentation you may make. The commandments point out the importance of connecting to your audience with an engaging story, create a fun atmosphere and make sure to show your passion!


Handouts- Before or After?

There is much debate about distributing handouts for presentations before or after the presentation. There are pros and cons to both scenarios. Most researchers agree that print outs of your slides does not make the best handout, expecially if you are subscribing to the simpliar design with images and few words. It can be beneficial to have a way for attendees to take notes, so a simplified handout with blank space will not distract from your presentation. Save the detailed and multiple page handout for afterwards.