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How to Create the Perfect Presentation Handout

A Few Examples of Handouts for Presentations

One of the most often overlooked parts of a presentation is the presentation handouts. So, in this post, we’ll give you a few examples of presentation handouts that you can create very easily and add impact to your speech or business meetings.

Good speakers and lecturers usually give presentation handouts to accompany their speeches. As a result, a great presentation handout can make your speech more memorable. It gives your audience the freedom to listen to your presentation instead of frantically taking notes.

The handouts you provide also help them remember the key points and highlights from your presentation, making your talk even more valuable. People are grateful for a good handout and will remember you (and the main points of your speech) long after the talk ended. Finally, your handout can be used as an exceptional marketing piece. If it is good enough, your audience members will both keep it and share it with others.

The Successful Speaker’s Guide to the How to Create the Perfect Presentation Handout.

The first rule of slide club is never handout your slides to slide club..

Don't Handout Your PowerPoint Slides as Notes

This has always been a hard and fast rule in my business presentation classes. But I have to admit, in recent years, I’ve changed my tune slightly here. When I first started teaching presentation classes, PowerPoint was still in its infancy. And the slideshows that people were creating were really awful. Folks would just create a never-ending series of bullet points on a never-ending slide deck. Since most presentations covered way too much content, it was impossible for the audience to retain most of it. In order to prevent information overload, presenters started printing off their slides and distributing the printed slide deck to their audience as a handout. As a result, the presenter ends up with a bad presentation accompanied by a bad handout.

However, if you get creative with your slides, you can actually use a printout of your slide deck to make your presentation more interactive (more on this later). The main point here is if you have a ton of content in your presentation, stuffing that content onto your slides and then just printing out your slides is not a good idea.

I sometimes make this point in class by starting to deliver a data-heavy slide deck. It typically only takes a few slides before someone in class figures out that I’m violating almost every tip that I’m giving them.

At that point, there is usually a nice laugh. I then switch to a better slideshow that is more audience-centered. The funny thing is, though, that before the class figures out that the bad PowerPoint presentation is a joke, someone in the class will often ask me if I will send them the slide deck.  So, if your audience is asking you for your slide deck, your presentation is probably not designed very well .

Three Easy Examples of Handouts for Presentations.

Presentation handout example #1: just use slide notes in powerpoint as a presentation handout..

PowerPoint Notes as a Handout Example

One of the main reasons that I have always encouraged my class members to not print out their slides is that the slides, without the speaker, aren’t going to make a lot of sense. However, most people will jot a few speaker notes of important information they want to say in the presentation. If you use the techniques that I cover here, you’ll likely create an outline with a few key items. You’ll likely also use stories, examples, analogies, anecdotes, quotes, statistics, and the like. Well, if you already have that content created before you create your slide deck, you could just insert that content into the Slide Notes in PowerPoint. Viola! Instant presentation handouts.

The Second Example of a Presentation Handout: Give Main Concepts with Space for Audience to Add Notes.

Presentation Handout Where You Give Main Concepts with Space for Notes

A friend of mine leads three-day training boot camps where he teaches social media marketing and website development. His handout is a three-ring binder full of printed pages. Each page has a series of rules followed by a quarter page of blank space. I once asked him, since the content that he was delivering was so detailed, why didn’t he just type it up and include it in his manuals.

He laughed and told me that he used to do that very thing. But the content in his industry was changing so quickly that, the moment he printed a new manual, those additional details would already be outdated. So, now, he just prints the core message. Then, he allows his students to fill in the blanks with the most current content that he delivers from the stage. (He gets fantastic reviews, by the way.)

I love this technique. It keeps the audience involved. It also allows the audience members to write out the content that is most important to each of them at the time they attended the meeting.

The Most Effective Example: Create a Presentation Handout that Contains Extra Content Not in Your Presentation

Presentation Handout with Additional Helpful Information

You want to include the content from your presentation in a written format. But you also want to add additional information that you won’t cover in the presentation. This is the technique that we use in our seminars and workshops.

For instance, if you are going to use a story as a piece of evidence in your verbal presentation, use a different story in your handout. If you use an analogy in your presentation, use a quote in your handout. When you use audience participation in your presentation, use a unique photograph in your handout.

If you do this, your target audience will see you as a valued expert on the topic. By the way, it is okay to use some of the same content in your slideshows, your oral presentations, and your handouts. It is important to be consistent. However, you want your verbal presentation to cover some key ideas that aren’t in your handout. And you want your handout to cover detailed information that you don’t speak about.

This type of presentation is a great handout because it becomes a textbook for your presentation. It does take longer to create a well-prepared handout. But you will find that the value to your audience far outweighs the additional effort.

During the presentation, you’ll want to say something like, “I’ve given you additional examples in your handout,” or “If you want the full step-by-step approach, you can download the handout from my website at [your URL].”

A Few Bonus Tips to Add Impact to Your Handouts.

Add a list of reference material for further reading

Your audience members will want to pick your brain. They want to know where you went to school, what kind of work experience you have, and most of all, where they can read more about your topic.

There’s a ton of resources out there, so instead of having your audience sort through them (or risk boring them with way too much detail in the presentation), just lead them in the right direction with your recommended reading. If the book is hard to find, or only available online, remember to include the link to where it can be purchased.

Consider adding a worksheet or action sheet

Depending on the type of presentation or speech you’re giving, you will likely have a call to action at the end, where you will encourage people to change or act on something related to your talk.

If a worksheet helped you implement these changes before, include it for your audience. Even a notes section located in the back of your handout will be an effective tool in case your audience wants to jot something down.What did your last handout look like? What will you change for next time? Let us know if you end up implementing any of these tips.

For additional help, here are a few additional posts:

  • How Many PowerPoint Slides Should You Have for Your Presentation .
  • Make Your Handout Look Great without a Graphic Designer .
  • How to Design Your Presentation in a Few Simple Steps .
  • We Use the Software Canva to Create Great Presentation Handouts with a Professional Layout

Download the Free How to Create a Great Presentation Handout… Handout.

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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)

Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.

[Featured Image]: The marketing manager, wearing a yellow top, is making a PowerPoint presentation.

At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.

Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.

Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.

Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.

What are presentation skills?

Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.

You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:

Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event

Making a toast at a dinner or event

Explaining projects to a team 

Delivering results and findings to management teams

Teaching people specific methods or information

Proposing a vote at community group meetings

Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors

Why are presentation skills important? 

Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.

No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:

Enriched written and verbal communication skills

Enhanced confidence and self-image

Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities

Better motivational techniques

Increased leadership skills

Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity

The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.

Effective presentation skills

Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?

These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.

Verbal communication

How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.

Body language

Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.

Voice projection

The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.

How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.


Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.

Active listening

Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.

Stage presence

During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.

Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.


Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.

Writing skills

Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.

Understanding an audience

When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.

Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:

How to improve presentation skills

There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:

Work on self-confidence.

When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.

Develop strategies for overcoming fear.

Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.

Learn grounding techniques.

Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.

Learn how to use presentation tools.

Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:

Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize

Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy

PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations

Practice breathing techniques.

Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain.  For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.

Gain experience.

The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.

Tips to help you ace your presentation

Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.

Arrive early.

Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.

Become familiar with the layout of the room.

Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.

Listen to presenters ahead of you.

When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.

Use note cards.

Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.

Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.

Article sources

Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success ,” Accessed December 7, 2022. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , Accessed December 7, 2022.

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6 presentation skills and how to improve them


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What are presentation skills?

The importance of presentation skills, 6 presentation skills examples, how to improve presentation skills.

Tips for dealing with presentation anxiety

Learn how to captivate an audience with ease

Capturing an audience’s attention takes practice. 

Over time, great presenters learn how to organize their speeches and captivate an audience from start to finish. They spark curiosity, know how to read a room , and understand what their audience needs to walk away feeling like they learned something valuable.

Regardless of your profession, you most likely use presentation skills on a monthly or even weekly basis. Maybe you lead brainstorming sessions or host client calls. 

Developing effective presentation skills makes it easier to contribute ideas with confidence and show others you’re someone to trust. Although speaking in front of a crowd sometimes brings nerves and anxiety , it also sparks new opportunities.

Presentation skills are the qualities and abilities you need to communicate ideas effectively and deliver a compelling speech. They influence how you structure a presentation and how an audience receives it. Understanding body language , creating impactful visual aids, and projecting your voice all fall under this umbrella.

A great presentation depends on more than what you say. It’s about how you say it. Storytelling , stage presence, and voice projection all shape how well you express your ideas and connect with the audience. These skills do take practice, but they’re worth developing — especially if public speaking makes you nervous. 

Engaging a crowd isn’t easy. You may feel anxious to step in front of an audience and have all eyes and ears on you.

But feeling that anxiety doesn’t mean your ideas aren’t worth sharing. Whether you’re giving an inspiring speech or delivering a monthly recap at work, your audience is there to listen to you. Harness that nervous energy and turn it into progress.

Strong presentation skills make it easier to convey your thoughts to audiences of all sizes. They can help you tell a compelling story, convince people of a pitch , or teach a group something entirely new to them. And when it comes to the workplace, the strength of your presentation skills could play a part in getting a promotion or contributing to a new initiative.

To fully understand the impact these skills have on creating a successful presentation, it’s helpful to look at each one individually. Here are six valuable skills you can develop:

1. Active listening

Active listening is an excellent communication skill for any professional to hone. When you have strong active listening skills, you can listen to others effectively and observe their nonverbal cues . This helps you assess whether or not your audience members are engaged in and understand what you’re sharing. 

Great public speakers use active listening to assess the audience’s reactions and adjust their speech if they find it lacks impact. Signs like slouching, negative facial expressions, and roaming eye contact are all signs to watch out for when giving a presentation.

2. Body language

If you’re researching presentation skills, chances are you’ve already watched a few notable speeches like TED Talks or industry seminars. And one thing you probably noticed is that speakers can capture attention with their body language. 

A mixture of eye contact, hand gestures , and purposeful pacing makes a presentation more interesting and engaging. If you stand in one spot and don’t move your body, the audience might zone out.


3. Stage presence

A great stage presence looks different for everyone. A comedian might aim for more movement and excitement, and a conference speaker might focus their energy on the content of their speech. Although neither is better than the other, both understand their strengths and their audience’s needs. 

Developing a stage presence involves finding your own unique communication style . Lean into your strengths, whether that’s adding an injection of humor or asking questions to make it interactive . To give a great presentation, you might even incorporate relevant props or presentation slides.

4. Storytelling

According to Forbes, audiences typically pay attention for about 10 minutes before tuning out . But you can lengthen their attention span by offering a presentation that interests them for longer. Include a narrative they’ll want to listen to, and tell a story as you go along. 

Shaping your content to follow a clear narrative can spark your audience’s curiosity and entice them to pay careful attention. You can use anecdotes from your personal or professional life that take your audience along through relevant moments. If you’re pitching a product, you can start with a problem and lead your audience through the stages of how your product provides a solution.

5. Voice projection

Although this skill may be obvious, you need your audience to hear what you’re saying. This can be challenging if you’re naturally soft-spoken and struggle to project your voice.

Remember to straighten your posture and take deep breaths before speaking, which will help you speak louder and fill the room. If you’re talking into a microphone or participating in a virtual meeting, you can use your regular conversational voice, but you still want to sound confident and self-assured with a strong tone.

If you’re unsure whether everyone can hear you, you can always ask the audience at the beginning of your speech and wait for confirmation. That way, they won’t have to potentially interrupt you later.

Ensuring everyone can hear you also includes your speed and annunciation. It’s easy to speak quickly when nervous, but try to slow down and pronounce every word. Mumbling can make your presentation difficult to understand and pay attention to.


6. Verbal communication 

Although verbal communication involves your projection and tone, it also covers the language and pacing you use to get your point across. This includes where you choose to place pauses in your speech or the tone you use to emphasize important ideas.

If you’re giving a presentation on collaboration in the workplace , you might start your speech by saying, “There’s something every workplace needs to succeed: teamwork.” By placing emphasis on the word “ teamwork ,” you give your audience a hint on what ideas will follow.

To further connect with your audience through diction, pay careful attention to who you’re speaking to. The way you talk to your colleagues might be different from how you speak to a group of superiors, even if you’re discussing the same subject. You might use more humor and a conversational tone for the former and more serious, formal diction for the latter.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to presenting. Maybe you’re confident in your use of body language, but your voice projection needs work. Maybe you’re a great storyteller in small group settings, but need to work on your stage presence in front of larger crowds. 

The first step to improving presentation skills is pinpointing your gaps and determining which qualities to build upon first. Here are four tips for enhancing your presentation skills:

1. Build self-confidence

Confident people know how to speak with authority and share their ideas. Although feeling good about your presentation skills is easier said than done, building confidence is key to helping your audience believe in what you’re saying. Try practicing positive self-talk and continuously researching your topic's ins and outs.

If you don’t feel confident on the inside, fake it until you make it. Stand up straight, project your voice, and try your best to appear engaged and excited. Chances are, the audience doesn’t know you’re unsure of your skills — and they don’t need to.

Another tip is to lean into your slideshow, if you’re using one. Create something colorful and interesting so the audience’s eyes fall there instead of on you. And when you feel proud of your slideshow, you’ll be more eager to share it with others, bringing more energy to your presentation.

2. Watch other presentations

Developing the soft skills necessary for a good presentation can be challenging without seeing them in action. Watch as many as possible to become more familiar with public speaking skills and what makes a great presentation. You could attend events with keynote speakers or view past speeches on similar topics online.

Take a close look at how those presenters use verbal communication and body language to engage their audiences. Grab a notebook and jot down what you enjoyed and your main takeaways. Try to recall the techniques they used to emphasize their main points, whether they used pauses effectively, had interesting visual aids, or told a fascinating story.


3. Get in front of a crowd

You don’t need a large auditorium to practice public speaking. There are dozens of other ways to feel confident and develop good presentation skills.

If you’re a natural comedian, consider joining a small stand-up comedy club. If you’re an avid writer, participate in a public poetry reading. Even music and acting can help you feel more comfortable in front of a crowd.

If you’d rather keep it professional, you can still work on your presentation skills in the office. Challenge yourself to participate at least once in every team meeting, or plan and present a project to become more comfortable vocalizing your ideas. You could also speak to your manager about opportunities that flex your public speaking abilities.

4. Overcome fear

Many people experience feelings of fear before presenting in front of an audience, whether those feelings appear as a few butterflies or more severe anxiety. Try grounding yourself to shift your focus to the present moment. If you’re stuck dwelling on previous experiences that didn’t go well, use those mistakes as learning experiences and focus on what you can improve to do better in the future.

Tips for dealing with presentation anxiety 

It’s normal to feel nervous when sharing your ideas. In fact, according to a report from the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, public speaking anxiety is prevalent in 15–30% of the general population .

Even though having a fear of public speaking is common, it doesn’t make it easier. You might feel overwhelmed, become stiff, and forget what you were going to say. But although the moment might scare you, there are ways to overcome the fear and put mind over matter.

Use these tactics to reduce your stress when you have to make a presentation:

1. Practice breathing techniques

If you experience anxiety often, you’re probably familiar with breathing techniques for stress relief . Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine can help you stop worrying and regulate anxious feelings. 

Before a big presentation, take a moment alone to practice breathing techniques, ground yourself, and reduce tension. It’s also a good idea to take breaths throughout the presentation to speak slower and calm yourself down .

2. Get organized

The more organized you are, the more prepared you’ll feel. Carefully outline all of the critical information you want to use in your presentation, including your main talking points and visual aids, so you don’t forget anything. Use bullet points and visuals on each slide to remind you of what you want to talk about, and create handheld notes to help you stay on track.

3. Embrace moments of silence

It’s okay to lose your train of thought. It happens to even the most experienced public speakers once in a while. If your mind goes blank, don’t panic. Take a moment to breathe, gather your thoughts, and refer to your notes to see where you left off. You can drink some water or make a quick joke to ease the silence or regain your footing. And it’s okay to say, “Give me a moment while I find my notes.” Chances are, people understand the position you’re in.


4. Practice makes progress

Before presenting, rehearse in front of friends and family members you trust. This gives you the chance to work out any weak spots in your speech and become comfortable communicating out loud. If you want to go the extra mile, ask your makeshift audience to ask a surprise question. This tests your on-the-spot thinking and will prove that you can keep cool when things come up.

Whether you’re new to public speaking or are a seasoned presenter, you’re bound to make a few slip-ups. It happens to everyone. The most important thing is that you try your best, brush things off, and work on improving your skills to do better in your next presentation.

Although your job may require a different level of public speaking than your favorite TED Talk , developing presentation skills is handy in any profession. You can use presentation skills in a wide range of tasks in the workplace, whether you’re sharing your ideas with colleagues, expressing concerns to higher-ups, or pitching strategies to potential clients.

Remember to use active listening to read the room and engage your audience with an interesting narrative. Don’t forget to step outside your comfort zone once in a while and put your skills to practice in front of a crowd. After facing your fears, you’ll feel confident enough to put presentation skills on your resume.

If you’re trying to build your skills and become a better employee overall, try a communications coach with BetterUp. 

Elevate your communication skills

Unlock the power of clear and persuasive communication. Our coaches can guide you to build strong relationships and succeed in both personal and professional life.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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Unlock effective presentation skills (tips and best practices)

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Anete Ezera March 23, 2023

Presentation skills are a crucial aspect of communication in today’s world. Whether you’re delivering a pitch to potential investors, giving a lecture in front of a class, or trying to make a point at a meeting, your ability to effectively present your ideas can greatly impact your success. However, not everyone is a natural-born speaker. Many struggle with nerves and self-doubt when it comes to presenting in front of an audience. But don’t worry! Improving your presentation skills is possible with practice and dedication. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with practical tips that will help you become a confident and engaging speaker. From preparing your material to engaging with your audience, we’ll cover everything you need to know to take your presentation skills to the next level. So whether you’re just starting out or looking to refine your existing presentation skills, read on for all the advice and inspiration you need to succeed.

Confident business woman presents quarterly progress in meeting using a large display screen. Photographed through a window with reflections using effective presentation skills.

Types of Presentations

Before we dive into specific presentation skills, it’s important to define the different types of presentations that may require different skills in how they’re presented. There are several types of presentations you can choose from, each with its own distinct format and style. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of presentations:

Narrative presentations

In these types of presentations, the speaker focuses on telling a story that engages the audience and reinforces the main message. This type of presentation is perfect for engaging and entertaining an audience. It helps to keep the audience interested and focused and can be a great way to reinforce the main message. However, it can also be time-consuming to prepare a well-structured narrative.

Prezi template gallery for narrative presentations

Informative presentations

These types of presentations are designed to provide information on a specific topic. The speaker focuses on delivering accurate and relevant information to the audience in an organized and straightforward manner. This type of presentation is great for providing accurate and relevant information to the audience. The organized and straightforward delivery makes it easy for the audience to understand and retain the information. However, it can be difficult to keep the audience engaged and interested if the presentation is too dry or lacks excitement.

presentation skills handout

Persuasive presentations 

In persuasive presentations, the speaker aims to convince the audience to take a specific action or adopt a particular point of view. This type of presentation often includes arguments, statistics, and other persuasive techniques. However, if the arguments are weak or the persuasive techniques are ineffective, the presentation can fall flat and fail to achieve its intended outcome.

Prezi template gallery for persuasive presentations

Demonstrative Presentations

These types of presentations focus on demonstrating a product or service to the audience. The speaker often includes visual aids, such as slides or videos, to help illustrate the key features and benefits of the product or service. However, it can be difficult to keep the audience engaged if the demonstration is too lengthy or repetitive.

Prezi Video template gallery for demonstrative presentations

Instructional Presentations

Instructional presentations are designed to teach the audience a specific skill or provide them with step-by-step instructions. The speaker often uses visual aids, such as diagrams or slides, to make the instructions clear and easy to follow. It’s perfect for teaching the audience how to perform a specific task. The use of visual aids, such as diagrams or slides, makes it easy for the audience to understand and follow the instructions. In this type of presentation, it’s important to present the instructions in a highly engaging way so the audience doesn’t lose interest.

Choosing the right type of presentation format can greatly impact the success of your presentation. Consider the audience, the message you want to convey, and the resources available to you, when deciding on the best presentation format for your needs. Once you’ve decided on a presentation format, you can move on to developing certain presentation skills that are most important for the specific case. 

presentation skills handout

Presentation delivery methods

The way you deliver your presentation is crucial. Therefore, we want to highlight this aspect before we dive into other effective presentation skills. A delivery method can make or break a presentation, regardless of the quality of the content. There are various methods of presentation delivery. The choice of method depends on the type of audience, the topic of the presentation, and the desired outcome. Discover 4 ways you can deliver a presentation and what kind of skills and approach they require. 

Traditional delivery

One of the most common presentation delivery methods is the traditional method of standing in front of an audience and delivering a speech. This method is suitable for formal presentations, such as keynote speeches, lectures, and corporate presentations. This method requires the speaker to have excellent public speaking skills, including voice modulation, body language, and eye contact. A traditional presentation delivery usually follows a classical presentation outline that has a clear beginning, middle, and end. 

Visually-focused presentation delivery

Another method of presentation delivery is the use of visual aids. This method involves using multimedia tools, such as images, videos, and infographics. Visual aids are effective because they can help the audience to better understand complex information, and they can also serve as a reference for the audience to refer to after the presentation. However, visuals should not be the sole focus of the presentation, as they can distract the audience from the message. 

If you want to create a visually-focused presentation, discover different Prezi presentation templates, and be sure to add images, videos, data visualizations, GIFs, stickers, and other visuals that you can find in Prezi’s content library and Prezi Design.  

If you want to learn more about the use of visuals in a presentation, and what are the best design practices, watch this video:

Interactive presentation delivery

Another way to deliver a presentation is by using interactive methods such as group discussions, role-plays, and simulations. This method is suitable for presentations that require the audience to actively participate in the presentation. Interactive presentations can be useful for training sessions, team-building exercises, and workshops. 

On Prezi, you can create highly interactive presentations where your audience can be active participants. Prezi’s non-linear format allows you to jump between topics instead of flipping through slides, so your presentation feels more like a conversation than a speech.

Storyteller delivery

The last method of presentation delivery is storytelling. It involves the use of anecdotes, personal experiences, and stories to deliver a message. Storytelling is a highly effective tool because it can help the audience to relate to the message on a personal level. 

Storytelling can also be used to make a presentation more engaging and entertaining. 

If you want to visually showcase a relation between two aspects and capture the transitional movement in a timeline, use motion, zoom, and spatial relationships in a Prezi presentation to showcase the nuances of your story world. 

Regardless of the presentation delivery method, make sure to follow the best presentation practices:

  • Be well-prepared and knowledgeable about the topic. This can be achieved through research, practice, and rehearsal.
  • Use clear and concise language that is easy for the audience to understand. You should avoid using jargon and technical terms, or you can take time to explain them to the audience. 
  • Work on engaging the audience using eye contact, body language, and humor. This can help you establish a connection with the audience and make the presentation more engaging. 
  • Be mindful of the time and ensure that the presentation is delivered within the allotted time frame.  
  • Use effective visuals, if applicable, to support your message without overpowering it.

Women presenting with a confident body language presentation skill

Effective presentation skills

There are numerous skills that you can develop to improve your presentations. In this article, we’ve summoned the following 8 presentation skills that are essential to any presenter that wants to make an impact with their message.

1. Effective communication

Effective communication skills are critical when it comes to presenting information to others. Presentations require a clear and concise message, and communication skills are key in delivering this message to your audience. Good communication skills allow you to connect with your audience, build rapport, and maintain engagement throughout the presentation. In addition, communication skills allow you to articulate your ideas and arguments clearly, and to respond to questions or challenges effectively. 

To improve this skill, practice speaking in front of a mirror or recording yourself to identify areas where you may need improvement. Also, consider using vocal techniques such as varying your tone and volume to keep your audience engaged.

2. Confident body language

Confident body language is an essential presentation skill as it communicates to the audience that the speaker is credible, knowledgeable, and in control. A confident posture, eye contact, and gestures can help you establish a strong presence and build rapport with the audience. It also helps you to convey your message more effectively. 

To practice confident body language, start by standing tall with shoulders back and head held high. Also, make eye contact with the audience and use natural hand gestures to emphasize key points. It’s also important to practice speaking clearly and with conviction, as this can further enhance the impact of confident body language during a presentation. 

If you’re interested in learning more about body language, read our article on 9 secrets to a confident body language . 

Shot of a young businessman delivering a presentation to his colleagues in the boardroom of a modern office. Useinf effective presentation skills and confident body language.

3. Audience engagement

Being able to engage your audience is a crucial presentation skill because it ensures that your message is well-received and understood. When you engage your audience, you capture their attention and maintain their interest throughout your presentation. This can make the difference between a successful presentation and one that falls flat. Holding the attention of your audience requires a combination of factors, such as having a clear message, being confident and comfortable in your delivery, using visual aids effectively, and connecting with your audience on a personal level. 

To improve this skill, you can practice rehearsing your presentation in front of friends or colleagues and seeking feedback. You can also try studying successful public speakers and their techniques and incorporating audience participation activities into your presentation to keep them engaged and interested. 

Additionally, you can engage your audience by opting for a motion-based presentation. It’ll enhance the impact of your content and ideas, making it more captivating for your audience to watch than a slide-based presentation. On Prezi, you can use motion, spatial relationships, and zooming effects to create highly impactful presentations. 

4. Time management

Time management is an essential presentation skill as it helps to ensure that you deliver your message effectively and efficiently within the allotted time. Poor time management can lead to an unprofessional and unprepared presentation, leaving the audience disinterested or confused.

To practice good time management, begin by planning and rehearsing your presentation in advance. It’s important to allocate sufficient time to each section and consider factors such as audience engagement and potential interruptions. You can also use time-tracking tools and practice pacing yourself during rehearsals to ensure you stay on schedule. By mastering time management, you can deliver a polished and engaging presentation, leaving a positive and lasting impression on your audience.

5. Content organization

Effective organization of presentation content is crucial for any presenter, as it determines the clarity and impact of the message. Organized content can help you convey your ideas in a logical and coherent manner, which aids in maintaining the audience’s attention and retention of information. 

To ensure that your presentation’s content is well-organized, it’s important to follow a few key steps. 

  • Identify the main points you want to convey and arrange them in a logical order.
  • Create a clear outline that includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
  • Use transition words or phrases to smoothly connect each point to the next. 
  • Ensure that your presentation has a consistent flow and that each point supports your overall message. 

By following these steps, you can effectively organize your presentation’s content and create a memorable and impactful experience for the viewers.

If you’re creating a sales presentation, be sure to read our step-by-step guide on crafting a winning sales presentation .

Also, discover how to best structure your presentation based on your presentation goal in this video:

6. Storytelling 

Storytelling is a powerful presentation skill that can captivate your audience’s attention and enhance the impact of your message. Stories allow us to connect with people on a deeper emotional level, and help us convey complex ideas in an easy-to-understand way. When we tell a story, we engage our audience, evoke their imagination, and inspire them to take action. 

To develop strong storytelling skills, you should practice telling stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end that convey a message or lesson. It’s also important to incorporate sensory details, such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, to help the audience visualize the story. Also, make sure to focus on the tone of your delivery, including voice inflection, body language, and facial expressions, to effectively convey the emotions and dynamics of the story. Finally, use one of Prezi’s presentation templates like the one visualized below, or create your own story presentation on Prezi and visualize relations between topics, events, and characters using spatial relationships and visual hierarchy. 

By mastering the art of storytelling, you can deliver a powerful presentation that resonates with the audience and creates a lasting impression.

7. Adaptability

Adaptability is a crucial presentation skill – it allows you to adjust and respond to unexpected situations, changes, and challenges during the presentation. The key is to be properly prepared. This means researching your topic and practicing your presentation speech enough so that you’re prepared for any changes or questions that may arise. When you’re prepared, you’ll feel more present and be able to read the room and adjust to your audience’s needs and interests. Also, be flexible and open-minded to new information, feedback, and audience reactions. This skill will enable you to think on your feet and modify your content or delivery style accordingly. 

And lastly, you want to uphold the quality of your presentation no matter where you’re presenting, online or offline. If you need to adapt your presentation to an online experience, use Prezi Video and simply import your already-existing Prezi, Powerpoint, or Google slides, and deliver the same level of presence and quality as offline. With Prezi Video, you can showcase your slides next to you on-screen as you present, keeping that face-to-face interaction. 

Make sure to check out Prezi Video templates that you can find in Prezi’s template gallery .

Prezi Video template gallery

8. Confidence

Last but definitely not least, one of the key presentation skills a great presenter possesses is confidence . Presenting with confidence can help you engage your audience and convince them of your authority and knowledge on the topic at hand. When you exude confidence, the audience is more likely to trust you and your message, leading to better communication and understanding. 

Developing confidence can be achieved through several methods. Practicing your speech multiple times, visualizing a successful presentation, and focusing on positive self-talk are all techniques that can help boost your confidence. Additionally, learning to control body language and voice tone can also have a positive effect on confidence levels during your time in the spotlight. 

By implementing these strategies, you can build your confidence and improve your presentation skills each time you’re speaking in front of an audience. 

Discover more about effective presentation skills in this video:

How to improve public speaking and presentation skills

While working on the effective presentation skills we listed above, you may feel nervous about public speaking in general. It’s no secret that public speaking can be a daunting task for many people. However, if you want to be a powerful, confident, and impactful presenter, you need to overcome your fear of anxiety of public speaking and improve the way you feel and appear when presenting. 

If you want to learn more about different techniques that can help you calm down before a presentation, here’s a helpful video for you to watch:

To help you become better at public speaking, we summoned 20 tips you can follow:

1. Practice, practice, practice

One of the most effective ways to become more comfortable with public speaking is to practice your speech as much as possible. When you practice, you can work out any kinks or rough spots that you may encounter when giving your speech in front of an audience. Additionally, practicing allows you to become more familiar with the material, making it easier to remember and deliver with confidence. While it may be tempting to simply read your speech from a script or cue cards, practicing your speech will allow you to internalize the material and deliver it with greater ease, flow, and naturalness. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you take the time to practice your speech as much as possible before giving it in front of an audience, whether that be your friends, family, or colleagues.

2. Use presenter notes 

Preparing for a presentation can be a lengthy endeavor, particularly if you aim to memorize the entire script. Trying to remember every point can be challenging. Plus, the stress of public speaking can cause you to overlook crucial details. Jotting down your talking points can help you stay organized and avoid forgetting any essential information. However, relying solely on flashcards or paper notes may not be ideal. Constantly glancing at sticky notes or looking away from your audience can disrupt the flow of your presentation and disconnect you from your listeners. Instead, try using presenter notes on Prezi , where you can easily add notes to each slide. While presenting, you’ll be the only one that sees them, helping you deliver an impressive presentation with maximum confidence. 

3. Know your audience

When delivering a speech, it’s important to analyze and understand the audience you’ll be speaking to. By doing so, you can tailor your speech to their interests and needs. This means that you should take into account factors such as their age range, educational background, and cultural or professional affiliations. Additionally, it’s important to research the topic you’ll be discussing thoroughly and provide examples that are relevant to your audience. By doing this, you can ensure that your message will resonate with your listeners and leave a lasting impact.

4. Start with a strong opening

To really captivate your audience, it’s important to start with a strong opening that grabs their attention and sets the tone for the rest of your speech. One approach could be to start with a thought-provoking question or a powerful anecdote that relates to your topic. Alternatively, you could begin with a surprising fact or statistic that shocks and intrigues your listeners. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s attention-grabbing and relevant to the message you want to convey. Remember, the opening of your speech is your chance to make a lasting impression, so make it count!

Discover other ways to start your presentation speech and watch this video for more tips on starting a virtual presentation: 

5. Use humor

Using humor can be a great way to start off a presentation. It can help to reduce the tension in the room and make your audience feel more at ease. For example, you could start off with a joke or a funny story that relates to your topic. Alternatively, you could use a humorous image or meme to grab your audience’s attention. Just be sure not to overdo it – too many jokes can detract from your message and make you seem unprofessional. Remember that the ultimate goal of your presentation is to communicate information and ideas effectively, so use humor wisely.

6. Incorporate stories

Using stories in your speech can be an incredibly powerful tool. Personal stories, in particular, can help illustrate your points and make your message more memorable. By sharing a personal experience, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level and create an emotional bond. This can help them better understand your message and remember it long after your speech is over.

One way to incorporate personal stories into your speech is to draw from your own life experiences. Think about a time when you faced a challenge or overcame an obstacle, and how that experience taught you something valuable. Share that story with your audience and explain how the lessons you learned can be applied to their lives as well.

You can also use stories to illustrate more abstract concepts. For example, if you’re giving a talk about the importance of perseverance, you could share a story about someone who faced numerous setbacks but refused to give up. By sharing that story, you can make the concept of perseverance more concrete and relatable to your audience.

Confident businessman talking into microphone during seminar. Happy male professional is giving presentation to colleagues. He is wearing smart casuals.

7. Use pauses

Using pauses is a great way to enhance your communication skills. In fact, when you take breaks in your speech, can help you gather your thoughts and think more clearly. Pausing also allows you to emphasize key points you want to make in your speech. Additionally, by using pauses strategically, you give your audience time to process the information you’re sharing with them, which can help ensure that they understand and retain it better. All in all, incorporating pauses into your speaking style can be incredibly effective in making your message more impactful and memorable.

8. Speak clearly and loudly

When delivering a speech or presentation, it’s important to speak in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. However, it’s equally important to ensure that your voice is projected loudly enough for your audience to hear you. Speaking too softly can make it difficult for people in the back of the room or in larger spaces to hear what you’re saying, which can lead to confusion and a lack of engagement. To avoid this, try to practice projecting your voice and enunciating your words clearly before you give your speech. You can also use tools like microphones or audio amplifiers to help ensure that your message is heard loud and clear by everyone in the room.

9. Take deep breaths

Taking deep breaths is a great way to help you relax and calm your nerves, but there are other things you can do too. For example, you might want to try some light yoga or stretching exercises to loosen up your muscles and release tension. Also, you could take a warm bath or shower to soothe your body and mind. Another option is to listen to some calming music or read a book that you enjoy. By taking the time to find what works best for you, you can develop a personalized relaxation routine that you can turn to whenever you need it.

Relaxed calm business woman take deep breath of fresh air resting with eyes closed at work in home office. Doing office yoga and meditating with closed eyes.

10. Use repetition

Repetition is a powerful tool that can help you drive the point home in your speech. By repeating key points, you can reinforce your message and increase your chances of being remembered. In addition, repetition can help you emphasize important ideas and create a sense of rhythm in your speech. It can also be used to build suspense and create a sense of anticipation in your listeners. With these benefits in mind, it’s clear that repetition is an essential aspect of effective public speaking.

11. Use active verbs

One way to improve the effectiveness of your speech is to use active verbs. Active verbs help to create a more engaging and dynamic presentation, as they convey a sense of action and energy. By using active verbs, you can help to capture your audience’s attention and hold their interest throughout your speech.

In addition to using active verbs, it’s also important to consider the pace and rhythm of your speech. Varying the speed and tone of your delivery can help to keep your audience engaged and prevent them from becoming bored or disinterested.

Another way to enhance the impact of your speech is to use vivid language and descriptive imagery. By painting a vivid picture with your words, you can help to create a more memorable and impactful presentation. For example, instead of simply saying “the sky was blue,” you could describe it as “a brilliant shade of deep blues, like the ocean on a clear summer day.”

By focusing on these key elements of effective speechwriting, you can help to create a more engaging and impactful presentation that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

12. Ask rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions are a powerful tool that can help make your speech more engaging and interactive. They can be used to stimulate critical thinking, provoke curiosity, and encourage the audience to reflect on the topic at hand. By asking a thought-provoking question, you can capture the audience’s attention and encourage them to think about the subject matter in a new and different way. Furthermore, rhetorical questions can be used to create a sense of anticipation and excitement, as the audience eagerly anticipates the answer to the question you have posed. 

Close up of a group of sales people having a sales team meeting in a conference room

13. Use metaphors and similes

Metaphors and similes are powerful tools that can help individuals better understand complex concepts. They are like a flashlight that illuminates the dark corners of the mind, providing clarity and insight. By comparing two seemingly different things, metaphors and similes can create a bridge between the familiar and the unfamiliar, allowing individuals to grasp difficult ideas with ease. In our fast-paced world, where information overload is a common issue, the use of metaphors and similes can help cut through the noise and deliver a clear message. So, the next time you encounter a challenging concept, remember to use these techniques to shed light on the subject matter.

14. Prepare handouts

When giving a speech, it’s important to remember that your audience needs to be able to follow along with what you’re saying. One way to help them do this is by using handouts. Handouts can be a great way to enhance your presentation because they allow you to provide additional information that may not be covered in your speech. For example, you can use handouts to provide graphs, charts, or other visuals that illustrate your points. Additionally, handouts can be a useful tool for your audience to take notes and refer back to later. By providing handouts, you can ensure that your audience is engaged and able to fully understand the information you’re presenting.

15. Incorporate props

Using props during your speech is a great way to enhance your delivery and keep your audience engaged. By incorporating visual aids such as props, you can help to illustrate your points and add depth to your content. Additionally, props can be used to make abstract concepts more concrete and easier for your audience to understand. For example, if you’re delivering a speech on the importance of recycling, you could bring in a visual prop such as a bin of recyclable materials to help drive home your message. Overall, the use of props can help take your speech to the next level while making it more memorable and impactful for your audience.

16. Practice in front of a mirror

Another useful tip for improving your presentation skills is to practice in front of a mirror. Not only can this help you perfect your body language and delivery, but it can also give you a better sense of how you come across to others. Additionally, practicing in front of a mirror can help you identify any nervous habits or tics that you may have, allowing you to work on eliminating them before your actual presentation. Overall, incorporating mirror practice into your preparation routine can be a simple yet effective way to boost your confidence and improve your presentation skills.

Practicing presentation skills in front of a mirror.

17. Join a public speaking group

Joining a public speaking group is a great way to improve your public speaking skills. Not only will you have the opportunity to practice speaking in front of others, but you’ll also receive valuable feedback that can help you improve. Additionally, by joining a group, you’ll have the chance to meet and network with other like-minded individuals who share a passion for public speaking. This can lead to new opportunities and connections that can benefit you both personally and professionally. Finally, being part of a public speaking group can also provide a sense of community and support, as you work together with others to achieve your goals and improve your skills.

18. Record yourself 

Another way to enhance your public speaking skills is to record yourself. By doing this, you can identify areas where you need to improve and refine your delivery. When you listen to yourself speak, you can pay attention to your pitch, pacing, and tone. You can also identify filler words or phrases, such as “um” or “like,” that you might use unconsciously. Additionally, recording yourself can help you become more comfortable with the sound of your voice. This can be especially helpful if you’re not used to hearing yourself speak for extended periods of time. Overall, recording yourself is a simple yet effective way to become a more confident and polished public speaker.

19. Learn to handle interruptions

One of the most common challenges that speakers face is handling interruptions. These interruptions can come in many different forms, such as unexpected questions, technical difficulties, or distractions in the environment. It’s important to learn how to handle these interruptions gracefully, as they can often derail a speech and throw off the speaker’s focus and confidence.

One key strategy for handling interruptions is to remain calm and composed. It’s natural to feel frustrated or flustered when faced with an interruption, but it’s important to take a deep breath and stay focused. Remember that interruptions are a normal part of public speaking, and they don’t have to ruin your presentation. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts, don’t be afraid to pause and take a few seconds to regroup.

By learning to handle interruptions with grace and composure, you can become a more effective and confident speaker. With practice and preparation, you can manage interruptions and keep your presentation on track, even in challenging situations.

Rear view shot of a businessman raising hand to ask questions during a seminar. Professional asking query during a launch event in convention center.

20. End on a strong note

When giving a speech, it’s important to not only focus on what you say during the body of your presentation, but also on the way in which you conclude. A strong presentation should summarize the main points of your speech and leave a lasting impression on your audience. This can be achieved by reiterating your main points in a memorable way, making a call to action, or leaving your audience with a thought-provoking question. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your message resonates with your audience long after your speech has ended.

Another useful technique is to anticipate potential interruptions and plan how to address them in advance. For example, if you’re giving a presentation with a Q&A session at the end, be prepared for questions that might challenge your ideas or require additional information. It can be helpful to practice your responses to common questions ahead of time so that you feel more confident and prepared.

Discover other memorable ways how to end a presentation.

Effective presentation skills are key. While not everyone may be a natural-born speaker, with practice and dedication, anyone can improve their abilities to become a confident and engaging presenter. Whether you’re pitching to investors, delivering a lecture, or presenting in a meeting, being able to effectively present your ideas can greatly impact your success.

Remember, becoming a great presenter is a journey that requires patience, perseverance, and constant improvement. Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from others, practice regularly, and try out new techniques. With time, you’ll become more comfortable and confident in your abilities to deliver engaging and impactful presentations.

In conclusion, improving your presentation skills is a worthwhile investment that can pay dividends in both your personal and professional life. So take the time to hone your abilities, put in the effort, and embrace the opportunities that come your way. With the tips and techniques we’ve provided in this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident presenter.

presentation skills handout

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Speaking about Presenting

13 Best Practice Tips for Effective Presentation Handouts

by Olivia Mitchell | 75 comments

presentation skills handout

Your presentation handout is the lasting concrete manifestation of your presentation. It’s an important part of the total experience for the audience:

Total presentation experience

But most of us focus on preparing what happens during the presentation, not what happens afterwards . Here are the benefits of having handouts:

Benefits for the presenter

  • They allow you to cut down on the amount of material you cover in your presentation and so not commit information overload .
  • They allow you to stop worrying about forgetting what you want to say .
  • Audience members will have a concrete reminder making your presentation more memorable.
  • Audience members can easily contact you later.

Benefits for audience members

  • They allow audience members to relax about having to note down what you’re saying.
  • If they like taking notes, they’ve got a place to do it.
  • If they’re inspired by your topic, they’ve got more information on it.
  • If they want to refresh themselves later on what you covered they’ve got a place to go.

Tips for Presentation Handouts

1. prepare your handouts in plenty of time.

Don’t leave it till the last moment to create your handout. I’ve been guilty of this. We’re most concerned about the actual presentation and not making a fool of ourselves up on the stage so you work on what you’re going to say and the slides, and then 30 mins before your presentation you realise you should have a handout and hurriedly put something together. Handouts are much too important to be relegated to an afterthought.

2. Don’t just print out your slides

This is lazy and not effective. If your slides are bullet-point slides (not recommended) then they will often be cut-down sentences which will no longer make sense to the reader a week later. And if they are visual slides (recommended) then they’re also unlikely to make sense without additional text. If you’re presenting with visual PowerPoint slides, one of the easiest ways of creating a handout is to type the text of the handout in the “Notes” pane of the PowerPoint edit screen. Then print your slides as “Notes”. You’ll have an effective handout.

3. Ensure your handout reflects your presentation

An audience member should be able to relate the handout to the presentation they’ve just attended. If you use the Notes pane of PowerPoint as I’ve suggested above this will happen naturally as you’ll be guided by the visuals you’re using in the presentation. You handout should have the same title as your presentation and should follow the same structure so that audience members can easily find the information they want.

4. Add more information

Presentations are not a good format for transferring a lot of information . However, they are good for inspiring people to find out more about a topic. That extra information can be in the handout. And if you’re the sort of person who wants to tell the audience everything you know about the topic… you can put it in the handout.

5. Include references

If you’re citing research do include the references in the handout. For most presentations (scientific presentations to a scientific audience would be an exception), don’t clutter up your presentation or your slides with references. But do be able to say: “The reference for this research is in your handout.” Let your audience know where they can find out more: books, websites, blogs etc.

6. Consider creating an action sheet

Handouts are a great place to help people put ideas from your presentation into action. You could either list a series of actions that people can take, or provide a worksheet that people fill in on what actions they will take as a result of your presentation. Have people fill in the action sheet near the end of your presentation.

7. Make your handout stand-alone

The handout may be passed onto people who were not at your presentation. Or an audience member may look at it a year from now when they’ve forgotten most of your presentation. Make sure that it will make sense to them. For people who weren’t present include brief credibility-establishing information about you.

8. Provide white space

Some people like to take notes during a presentation. Provide plenty of white space (or even some blank pages at the back) so that they can take notes on the handout and so keep all the information related to your presentation in one place.

9. Make your handout look professional

The handout is the concrete reminder of your presentation. It may also get passed onto other people who were not at your presentation. So it should enhance the perception people have of you:

  • Have someone proofread it
  • Create a consistent look and feel with your brand (this may include a logo and colors)

10. Consider what additional resources you can provide for your audience

You’re not limited to paper. My bioethics teacher friend who presents at bioethics and education conferences across the globe provides each of her attendees with a DVD with lesson plans and resources.

11. Consider creating a webpage

Cliff Atkinson suggests creating a “home page” for your presentation in his book The Backchannel . If you don’t have a website, you could create a squidoo lens or a Facebook Fan page . Or if you’d like to do more than that, create a wiki website (try pbworks or wikispaces ) or use blog software. Both of these can be done for free and just a little technical courage (techphobics shouldn’t try this). All of these options allow readers to comment on what you’ve written, so it’s a great way of continuing the conversation with audience members. For instance, audience members can ask you questions they weren’t able to ask at the time.

If you decide to go the web way, you can cut down the hard copy handout to one page with the most important points from your presentation, your contact details and the web address.

12. Distribute the handout at the beginning of your presentation

This is a perennial topic of debate amongst presenters. Some people are concerned that if they distribute the handout first, people will stop listening and start leafing through it. The problem here is not the handout, it’s that your presentation is not engaging enough.

Not distributing it till after the presentation suggests that you think you know best how people should pay attention to your information. Let your audience decide for themselves.

Recent research suggests that providing handouts to university students before the lecture does not harm their learning.

Update: In the comments to this post, Cathy Moore , Mike Slater and Adam Lawrence have identified three good reasons for distributing your handout after your presentation. I’ve highlighted these reasons in a new post: Three good reasons to distribute your handout after your presentation .

13. Do tell people if it’s not in the handout

Finally, if you go off on a tangent in reply to a question, do let them know that the answer is not in the handout.

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How to Create Engaging Presentation Handouts

Presentation Handouts

So you want to create engaging handouts for your presentations, huh? You’re probably expecting this blog post to tell you exactly how to create amazing handouts in a few simple steps. Well, sorry to disappoint, but that’s not what this post is about. What I’m here to do is to give you the best tips and tricks to transform your ordinary handouts into something your audience will find exciting and inspiring. Creating engaging handouts is more than just picking a font and any old text to fill up the page. It’s about strategizing what content to include and how to make it visually appealing. While the exact form each handout takes will differ from presentation to presentation, the goal should always remain the same: to create something that people will enjoy reading. So let’s dive into exactly how to make your handouts attractive, informative, and truly engaging!

What Are Handouts in Presentations?

Handouts are material given to an audience of a presentation, typically including supplementary information and visuals which compliment the speaker’s discussion. Handouts can be distributed physically, or shared electronically through the internet. Regardless of their form, handouts are effective tools that help capture the interest of your audience and support the message of your core presentation. When creating handouts for a presentation, there is a debate as to whether or not you should include all content discussed in the presentation, or simply key points and takeaways. On one hand, providing handouts with too much detail can lead to audiences relying on them as a crutch and losing focus during important points in the presentation. On the other hand, by limiting what is included in handouts it can leave audiences feeling under-informed once they leave your presentation and lose some of the impact of your talk. It is important to find balance and decide which approach works best for particular presentations based on who your target audience is going to be and what you’re hoping attendees will gain from participating in your talk. In the next section we will examine more closely what the purpose of having handouts in presentations may be so that you can make an informed decision based on selecting the right materials for your specific needs.

What Is the Purpose of Handouts in Presentations?

Handouts can be an effective tool for reinforcing key points and engaging your audience , but it is important to consider their purpose when designing your presentation. Handouts can have both positive and negative impacts on a presenter’s objectives. On one hand, handouts can provide an opportunity for the audience to connect and interact with the presentation, aiding comprehension. They can also help to increase engagement from listeners, as well as acting as a visual reinforcement of key concepts. On the other hand, if not properly designed or used, handouts can detract from a presentation. A cluttered slideshow or distracting graphics can cause confusion or create excessive distraction and boredom in an audience. Poorly tailored handouts such as translations of slideshows into paragraphs or too much material packed into limited space could leave listeners feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus. Overall, it is important for presenters to carefully consider the purpose of their handouts before incorporating them into their presentations. The goal should always be creating an engaging experience that further aids audience understanding. With careful attention to design, thoughtfully chosen materials and allotted time for participation, presenters can leverage handouts as a powerful resource to maximize the success of their talks. Now that you understand the role of handouts in presentations, let’s dive into ways you can improve your audience’s understanding with them.

Improving Audience’s Understanding

Understanding your targeted audience is key for creating engaging handouts that are well received. When preparing a handout, it is important to consider the Age, Gender, Educational background and other relevant factors of those in attendance. Presenters should strive to provide enough information on the topic while also adapting their presentation to meet their audience’s needs. This helps ensure that presentations are meaningful and beneficial for participants. When available, it is beneficial to add data visualizations, such as graphs and charts, to further explain concepts and ideas. Visual representations of data can help viewers comprehend complex topics quickly and easily. Also, providing helpful resources and references in materials distributed during or after the presentation can help deepen participants’ understanding of the presented information. Nonetheless, excessive visual aids may not be necessary; visuals should only be used if they improve understanding of the material and increase comprehension. To reinforce audience’s understanding of main points throughout the presentation, speakers should summarize their message several times during various intervals. Summarizing key points allows viewers to connect core content with the overall message of the handout. Additionally, lecturers should include information on how participants can apply what they have learned in their own lives or work environment for greater comprehension and engagement with the material. Demonstrating understanding of different learning styles is another effective way to engage learners. Differentiating delivery methods – such as transitioning from lecture format to interactive activities like discussion or debate – can be effective for diverse audiences. By becoming aware of a variety of knowledge retention tools, presenters are more likely to create engaging handouts that better meet their attendees’ needs. Once you’ve created an engaging handout that appeals to your audience and improves understanding, it is important to reinforce and summarize these main points throughout the presentation. In our next section, we will discuss strategies presenters can adopt when reinforcing information during their presentations.

Reinforcing and Summarizing

When you’re preparing handouts for your presentations, it is important to remember that their purpose is to reinforce and summarize the content of your presentation. Handouts should be concise and easy to read; an effective handout should include no more than two pages of material that highlights the most important points from your talk. They should also provide supplemental visuals, such as graphs and charts, to help illustrate key concepts. When designing a handout, it is helpful to use the same font and color scheme that you plan on using in your presentation so that they can work together seamlessly. You should also provide enough detail so that viewers can continue their exploration or review content from your presentation if needed. Additionally, consider adding a quote from the speaker or additional text as a reference on the handout for attendees to use in writing about the event online. Some argue that limiting handouts to two pages reduces the amount of material attendees can take with them, but this ensures that only the most important details are present for viewers to access. Without proper reinforcement and summarization included within your handouts, there will be less reinforcement of the content within viewers’ minds and they may potentially forget some of what was discussed during the presentation. It is essential to create handouts that succinctly yet accurately summarize what was discussed in order to enhance understanding of the topics and improve retention of information. To further engage audiences while reinforcing key messaging, handouts can come in multiple forms: physical printed materials as well as digital platforms such as tablets and slide shows. The next section will explore how utilizing both physical and digital materials effectively create engaging handouts for presentations.

Essential Points

When preparing a presentation handout, it is important to make sure that the content is concise and easy to read and that it reinforces the main points from the talk. Fonts and colors should be consistent with those in the presentation and additional visuals, such as graphs and charts, should be included. Handouts can also include a quote from the speaker or additional material for attendees to use when writing about the event online. The handout should not exceed two pages and should provide enough detail so that viewers can review the content of your presentation. Finally, physical and digital materials should both be utilized to create engaging handouts for presentations.

Handouts as Physical and Digital Materials

Handouts are one of the most effective tools for engaging an audience during a presentation. They serve as standalone reminders of what was discussed, making them invaluable as educational and reference materials. Handouts can be physical documents given at the presentation, or digital copies to be distributed via email or online. In either form, handouts should be concise and focused on helping reinforce the message in your presentation. When it comes to physical handouts, there are pros and cons to consider. On one hand, physical documents might not always be the most cost-effective or environmentally friendly option if you’re distributing them to a large audience. However, handing out physical materials helps to make presentations more interactive by ensuring that each attendee has something tangible they can refer back to at a later date. Furthermore, physical documents provide a sense of authentic communication, versus just reading text on a screen. These benefits may be worth the extra expense and resources required for production. On the other hand, when considering digital handouts, there may be advantages over traditional physical materials. For example, digital documents can save time and money by reducing the burden of having to produce physical copies for everyone in the room. Also, digital files may provide more flexibility in terms of design capabilities and customizability when compared to static print material. Additionally, digital copies can easily be shared with more people beyond just those in attendance at a presentation—they can be sent to any interested party with access to email or the web. Whether using physical or digital materials for handouts is best for any particular situation depends largely on audience size and type of content being presented. In either case, it’s important that these resources are easy to use and understand so that attendees retain what they learn after leaving the presentation. The next section will explore how to create effective types of physical handouts that meet these needs while engaging your audience before and after your presentation.

Types of Physical Handouts

Physical handouts are a powerful and essential tool for enhancing audience engagement with your presentation. They provide people with something tangible to refer back to as they revisit the concepts, ideas, and data discussed during your presentation. Furthermore, physical handouts allow you to capture an audience’s attention and draw them into the material in order to have greater impact. The types of physical handouts you choose to provide, however, will depend largely on what kind of material is included in your presentation and the amount of time you have for distribution. Generally speaking, physical handouts can be further divided into three categories: reference materials, visual aids , and discussion prompts. Reference materials are collections of facts or data related to the presentation’s topic that provide a reference point for audiences to review after your presentation. Examples could include pre-packaged binders full of information on a particular topic area or white papers summarizing research findings relevant to the subject. Visual aids consist of graphical displays or images related to your presentation topic that will help increase audience understanding and enhance their experience while viewing. Examples including infographics or charts that map out different elements of the presentation in a visually appealing manner and provide context for understanding the main points of your talk. Discussion prompts are written questions or statements that apply directly to the subject matter presented during your talk but can evoke further thought from the audience through encouraging open dialogue during group activities or roundtable discussions following the talk. This allows for more interactive conversations about your topic by introducing questions and ideas not discussed in depth during your presentation itself. Overall, there are numerous types of physical handouts that can be distributed before, during, or after presentations depending on the type of content being presented. While these include reference materials, visual aids, and discussion prompts, experimentation with various options can reveal which works best for any given situation. With this in mind though it’s important to take into account logistics related to gathering and disseminating physical handouts when planning presentations. Now that we’ve examined the types of physical handouts available let’s move onto looking at how digital ones can shape engaging presentations—the focus of our next section.

Types of Digital Handouts

When it comes to creating engaging handouts for your presentations, one popular way to deliver information is through digital formats. Digital handouts offer the convenience of being able to easily be shared electronically, which can be beneficial in cases where physical copies are not necessary. They can also be highly customizable and interactive, allowing you to quickly tailor your message to the audience. The most popular types of digital handouts are PDF files, PowerPoint slides, and multimedia tools such as videos and podcasts . PDFs allow you to easily share important documents or forms with large groups of people without having to print out hundreds of copies. PowerPoint slides are a great way to add visuals and animation to engage your audience; visual content has been found to be appealing to viewers and can help keep their attention. Multimedia tools provide further opportunities for interaction with audience members by giving them a chance to listen and watch rather than read, enabling increased engagement with your material. Although digital handouts have obvious advantages over physical copies, there are still some potential risks in using them for presentations. For example, if your presentation relies heavily on visuals, complex graphics may not always appear correctly when displayed on different devices or platforms. Additionally, if you’re relying on an internet connection for your presentation then any problems with signal strength or load times can cause disruption. Finally, data privacy is always a consideration when sharing materials electronically; you will need to take the necessary measures to ensure the personal data collected from attendees is kept safe and secure. Despite these potential issues, digital handouts are generally popular among presenters because they provide convenience and flexibility when sharing information. When used properly, digital handouts can help make presentations engaging and impactful for even a large audience. Now that we have discussed the types of digital handouts available, let’s move on to the next section which will explore “When to Use Handouts During Your Presentations”.

When to Use Handouts During Presentations

Whether or not to use handouts during a presentation is an age-old debate that has gone on for decades. Some speakers may feel that passing out handouts detracts from their presentation, while others believe they are a necessary tool to keep an audience engaged. Ultimately, it comes down to what type of content and audience the presenter is dealing with when deciding if handouts are appropriate. On one side, many presenters will claim that handouts should only be used sparingly in order to maintain audience engagement. This can be particularly effective when presenting to small groups or information-packed content that requires focus and concentration. Handouts can be easily misused by providing too much unnecessary information which can cause the audience to lose interest and quickly become overwhelmed. On the other side, handouts can also be a valuable asset when presenting longer lectures or more complex issues that offer an abundance of facts and figures. Handouts are often much easier for an audience to follow along with and can act as a great supplement for topics that require further explanation. Additionally, handing out material ahead of time gives the presenter an opportunity to gauge audience interest before getting started and make adjustments accordingly. In summary, the decision whether or not to utilize handouts depends greatly on the type of presentation and its intended content – being mindful not to overwhelm the audience by introducing too many material at once. With this in mind, let’s look at some tips presenters can use when preparing their handouts for their presentations.

Tips for Presenters for Using Handouts

Using handouts as a part of your presentation can help ensure that members of your audience are engaged and leave with the necessary materials to further their knowledge and understanding. To ensure that you make the most out of using handouts, there are several tips for presenters to keep in mind throughout their presentation. First, no matter how engaging the presentation may be, it’s important to provide handouts which summarize the points of your presentation. By allowing members of your audience to have a physical document of the topics discussed, they’ll be able to quickly refer back to information given or determine additional resources they need to seek out after the presentation has ended . As such, investing time into creating effective handouts can further engage and inform everyone in attendance. Second, it’s beneficial to give each member of your audience a copy of the handout so that they don’t have to rely on someone else’s copy if they miss something. Additionally, by giving each member their own copy your audience will be able to take notes directly on their paper and even make summaries that are most relevant for them. Moreover, if presenting virtually it’s essential you consider how the attendees will access the handouts; whether via email attachment prior to or during the beginning of the session. Some may find that giving handouts throughout a presentation may overpower and even distract from what is actually being said in real-time. This perspective may be valid and should certainly be taken into consideration when deciding when and how often one distributes handouts within their presentation. Ultimately, it should come down to what style works best within a unique setting and situation so that participants remain actively engaged in your information while simultaneously having access to any additional resources they may benefit from during or after the event concludes.

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

What type of information should be included in a handout for a presentation.

When it comes to creating engaging handouts for a presentation, it’s important to include information that will help make the presentation more digestible and easier to remember after the fact. This could include key slides from the presentation, with accompanying notes and bullet points, highlighted quotes, summaries of key topics addressed in the presentation, as well as useful visuals like infographics and graphs so that participants can easily recall the most important details. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include contact information of the presenter or company, so that participants have an easy way to follow up or reach out for further discussion. Finally, adding applicable tips or tricks related to the topic being discussed can help keep participants engaged and give them something practical to take away from the experience.

How can handouts be used effectively during a presentation?

Handouts can be a very effective tool for aiding presenters during their presentations. Handouts provide audience members with a tangible item to refer back to and review after the presentation. They can also serve as a valuable reminder of key points made during the presentation and help to visually reinforce concepts or evidence that the presenter is attempting to convey. Handouts often have more detailed information than what is given in the presentation, making them an excellent means of providing follow-up materials to attendees who are interested in understanding the topic better. Additionally, since handouts can serve as concrete reminders of what was taught in the presentation, they are sometimes used after a presentation as a follow-up review tool. Finally, handouts can be used to provide insights into topics which may not be suitable for verbal presentation, such as data analysis or complex diagrams. When used effectively and thoughtfully, handouts can be an invaluable resource during any learning experience.

What are the pros and cons of using handouts in a presentation?

Using handouts in presentations can be very beneficial, but there are also some drawbacks that should be considered. One of the main advantages of using handouts is that it allows your audience to refer back to the materials you’re presenting for further study and reference. They can take notes in the margins, re-read information, and review topics they didn’t quite understand during the presentation. Additionally, by choosing handouts with illustrations, captivating images, or attractive designs, you can add an extra layer of engagement for your audience. On the other hand, one of the biggest disadvantages of using handouts is that it does take time away from the actual presentation. You may have to allocate time during your speech for people to get their hands on the material you’re providing or wait as they go through a particular section. Moreover, if your audience isn’t given enough time to review the information before they leave the talk, they likely won’t remember what they read once they get home. Overall, while using handouts in presentations can be beneficial when done correctly, taking note of the time constraints during a presentation and giving adequate time for your audience to review any information provided is essential.

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Presentations > How to create effective presentation handouts

How to create effective presentation handouts

Whether you create presentations for school, work, or clubs, distributing handouts makes an impression and amplifies your message. The benefits are twofold: putting together a handout prepares you for your speech and allows your audience to retain the information better.

You can put together handouts easily. Learn what to include to ace your next presentation.

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Why are presentation handouts important?

Creating handouts help you prepare what you want to say . They also set expectations for your audience members and allow them to focus more on your speech because they don’t have to take such thorough notes.

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If you want to create an effective presentation handout, here’s what you should include.

1. List the key points of your presentation

To create a strong presentation handout, list the key facts from your speech. Keep it simple—you don’t need to rewrite your entire presentation. Remember, you’ll discuss a lot of the material in your slides as well. Listing out your presentation’s key points help your listeners reflect on the information later. By reading your presentation’s key points, your audience may also come up with or remember the questions they want to ask you at the end of your talk.

2. Include your sources

Effective presenters back up their information with sources, especially in science and history-related fields. Providing sources encourages your audience do more research on their own time. You can also provide further reading in your handout, like books or article links, if you aren’t able to cover everything in a single lecture.

3. Make your presentation handout professional

A professional-looking presentation handout establishes your credibility and authority with your audience. When presenting for work or an organization, include your logo on your handout.

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create an attractive presentation handout—explore dozens of free Microsoft Word templates you can use to polish your handout.

4. Include white space

Not everyone comes prepared for a presentation. Leave white space in your handout so your audience can take notes on what you say. They can also use this space to write down questions they want to ask you, so they don’t forget them by the end of the presentation.

5. Include your contact information

Audience members may want to ask you questions about your presentation later. Include information like your name, job title, website, and email so your audience can contact you in the future.

6. Proofread your handout

Before you print out or email your presentation handouts, make sure to thoroughly proofread everything first. Are your sources spelled correctly? Are there any typos in your email address or links? Do the key points correspond with your presentation? Taking the time to review your handout before finalizing it will ensure it’s a quality handout.

Creating a presentation handout will make your presentation stronger and the information easier to digest. Are you feeling nervous about an upcoming presentation? Learn how to calm presentation anxiety .

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All you need to know about Presentation Handouts

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presentation handouts

What is a Presentation Handout?

A presentation handout or a handout is a piece of printed information which is handed over to the audience after a presentation, meeting, or a conference. It’s an integral part of the total experience of your audience. A well-thought handout may be your best tool towards ensuring your message is effectively communicated.

It allows your audience to focus more on what you said during the presentation, and serves as a tangible reminder of your content afterwards. 

Let’s assume you’ve been asked to give a speech, and you’re excited to give the best presentation possible. You put in all kinds of preparations– from creating an amazing presentation, probing for perfect examples, to infusing memorable anecdotes, terrific insights, great visuals and even a wry joke here or there. You’ve covered all the possible angles to make your presentation or speech impactful and effective– or have you?

An effective presentation is a combination of not only your PowerPoint Presentation, but also the other forms of communication- writing, reporting, handouts to persuade, convince, inform, and enlighten your audience.

As a brand or a speaker, you would want your message to have a long lasting impact over your audience for which you need concrete manifestations like handouts, as most of us focus on preparing what will happen during the presentation, not what happens afterwards .

You need to convince people of why you are doing something rather than explaining what you are doing .

“ People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do. “ Simon Sinek

Golden circle by Simon Sinek and its connection to presentation handouts

Benefits of providing a handout:

1. helps you avoid information overload.

It allows you to cut down the amount of information that you cover in your presentation and combines the most important aspects from it in a handy text form.

By adding the essential and worth-knowing content about your brand will help you make your speech more memorable. 

Chunky paragraphs make your audience apathetic towards reading your handout as the essence is lost.

2. Lays emphasis on your message

Your key message should permeate through all of your business materials- brochures, website, or handouts. You need to provide supporting data around that one message to lay emphasis on it. 

If there is one thing that should be crystal clear in your handout, it is your key message. As it sets you apart from your competition and describes your brand as a whole.

3. Acts as a concrete reminder

Chances are, your audience won’t remember the details of your presentation a year later. With a handout, they have all the important information you covered as well as a reminder of you and your brand. 

As it is a takeaway material, whenever the audience member looks at it, it’ll help them recall all what you spoke.

4. Allows you to add supporting data

Your handout can be supplemented with additional information along with the main elements from your presentation. This can even be visuals, graphics, or references, as it can really clarify and supplement your main argument and tie things together.

It is a good idea to provide your contact information and email. Depending on the type and purpose of the presentation, you can also provide your business address and telephone number.

5. Provides a synopsis of your speech

The information in your handout is short and to the point. Before expanding on individual and main points from your presentation, you need to focus on your target audience.

By doing this, you tailor the handout to their level, avoiding technical terms where they would get distracted from your point. It is very important to condense the core statements of your presentation into key points, rather than including a distracting stream of text. This way, you retain your audience’s full attention.

Pro Tip- To arouse your audience’s curiosity right at the beginning of your handout, you could include an upbeat quote, a proverb or a question.

6. Personal Branding

Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.

Your personal brand is more than the brand statement you use as your elevator pitch or to market yourself in your digital, and online marketing communications.

Handouts allow you to define your personal brand. It is the combination of your personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths, passions, and contact details that differentiates your unique promise of value from your peers.

Considering the above points, it’s obvious, then, that a handout can be very useful for your audience, your presentation and yourself. Once you know what to do, they can be relatively straightforward to produce.

Ways on how you can make your handouts intriguing:

1. it is a reflection of your presentation.

Imagine watching FRIENDS from any random episode where you seldom know the character sketch of a Chandler who is witty and full of one liners, or a Joey who is cute but a little slow, or a Monica who is obsessed with cleaning.

In such a situation, you are bound to feel unconnected because you haven’t watched the 1st season and the episode you are watching is nowhere a reflection of it.

In the same way, your handout is a summary of what you’ve spoken in your presentation, so it automatically becomes a reflection of it. The audience should be able to resonate your handout with your presentation that they’ve just attended.

Ideally, your handout should have the same title as your presentation and should follow the same structure, so that audience members can easily find the information they want.

2. Remember, it is not a copy of your presentation

Printing your entire presentation on the handouts is lazy and least effective. It is supposed to have key points from your entire speech.

You need not limit your handout only to the topics covered in your presentation. It’s okay to include related information that further supports your speech.

While you were preparing your presentation, you were selecting the most essential information, offered concisely, that supported your messages. With your handout, you’re free to expand on bullet points and graphics to allow a more complete explanation. Just don’t go overboard. Although you’re offering more information, you must still keep it well organized and to the point.

3. Take proper time to prepare your handouts

As stated earlier, we focus and give time to prepare our presentation and what happens during that in order to not make a fool of ourselves upon the stage. And before your presentation it strikes you that you need to have handouts, so you make it hurriedly- giving it less importance.

Cobbling together a handout at the last moment is not only stressful, it can be counterproductive, as it undermines your professionalism and never goes unnoticed.

Remember, your handouts require the same amount of focus and time as your presentation. In fact it is something your audience will take along with them, so I’m sure you would want your handout to have all the essential information regarding your brand along with CTA. 

4. Professionalism is the key

Make your handouts look attractive and appealing to the eye. Here are certain ways to make it look professional:

  • Avoid cluttering of data.
  • Avoid putting a lot of data that your handout begins to look like a textbook.
  • Use a simple and readable font.
  • Use the same graphical elements and the same colours.
  • Don’t clutter up your handout with data without sacrificing the essential content.

The handout is a concrete reminder of your presentation. It may also get passed onto other people who were not at your presentation. So make sure it enhances the perception people have of you.

5. It should have more essential information

Presentations are supposed to have a lot of visual content; however, they are unlikely to make sense without the additional text. Going overboard with text in your presentation is not a good idea. They are mainly used for inspiring people to find out more about a topic or your brand. 

Add the extra information in the handout.

As said earlier, your handout is a takeaway your audience will take to review later or maybe pass it to someone else who didn’t attend your presentation. Therefore, it is very important to add essential and supporting data- contact information, case studies, references, marketing literature, or other collateral materials.

6. Add references (if any)

Sometimes it can be confusing to know when and how to cite sources during a speech, especially while using a visual-aid PowerPoint Presentation. 

If you’re citing research, references become an inevitable part of it.

But the question is where to add these references?

Well, it is better if you don’t clutter your slides with references. So the best option is you can add it in your handouts. This will not only make your presentation neat and organized but also make your handouts insightful. 

However, you need to inform your audience that you’ve cited sources for this XYZ research in your handout. Also, try providing information about related blogs, websites, and books (if any).

7. Make your handout a stand-alone

Your handout may be passed onto people who were not present at your presentation. Or an audience member may look at it a year from now when they’ve forgotten most of your speech.

Make sure your handout helps them recall it and something that will make sense to them. For people who weren’t present for your presentation, include a brief credibility-establishing information about you.

When is the best time to distribute your Handout, before or after?

Imagine that you’ve spent weeks preparing your presentation wherein you’ve got wonderful persuasive material as well as a concise handout summarizing and supporting your arguments.

The only one thing that you didn’t plan was when to distribute the handouts. Maybe at the beginning? At the end? In the middle? Or does the timing even matter?

Rule of thumb: Distribute your handouts at the end.

It’s generally to your advantage to distribute handouts at the end of your presentation.

Benefits of distributing your Handouts before your presentation:

  • You make it clear that the handout is meant to be taken away. There’s no guarantee that your handout doesn’t end up in the recycling bin, but your aim is to give it a chance to survive as long as possible, carrying your message with it.
  • If you plan to hand it out at the end, it can be sued as a summary document (as opposed to making it a less useful transcript of your presentation)
  • Your audience will not be distracted reading it during your presentation, when you need their eyes and attention with you
  • The surprises, suspense, and case studies won’t be disclosed (which might otherwise be hinted at or spoiled by the handout)
  • It is symbolic of giving a gift to the audience to thank them for their attention
  • There will be less rustling of papers to distract both you and your audience.

However, there are a number of caveats wherein you will have to distribute it before your presentation:

  • When your speech is highly technical and detail-oriented, it is better to put those words in the hands of the audience
  • When your content is far too dense, you can’t expect your audience to absorb such voluminous data. So to handle this: you can provide them the material and draw their attention.
  • Also, in case of coaches and trainees you will have to handout workbooks for your presentations at the start, as the audience may need to read along, do exercises, etc. in the workbook itself.

Clear and Concise: How to structure a Handout

The motto “less is more” applies very effectively to handouts. In concrete terms, this means: do without whole sentences and make sure you use key points, abbreviations, arrows and symbols. Ideally, your handout should not consist of more than two A4 pages.

In addition to important information from your presentation, a handout needs to include the following:

  • Basic information, probably in the upper left corner of the handout, such as the location of the presentation, title, name of the speaker (optional)
  • The date, probably in the upper right corner
  • Heading– preferably the title of your presentation and it should be centered
  • A clear structure, based on the individual headings of the presentation
  • An aesthetic page layout with a standard font type and colour– preferably same as your presentation.

The structure of your handout should follow the structure of your presentation. It is best to limit your points to those which support your main argument. Keep the sub-items on the handout as simple as possible and don’t go into too much detail.

To make your handout visually appealing, work on your fonts and colours. In addition to using clear, standard fonts, try to keep the font size in the headers and footers uniform and smaller than in the main part.

Pro Tip- Create an area for your audience to make their own notes on your handout. Either make the right margin wider or leave a few lines of space under your last point.

Here’s an example,

Structure of a presentation handout

  • Overboarding of information will make your handout look very cluttered leading them to lose interest
  • Distributing your handouts at the start of your presentation will lead to distraction amid the audience
  • It shouldn’t be complex to understand when read by someone who wasn’t present at the time of your presentation
  • Do not copy paste your entire presentation as it is. You need to include additional information (along with the one in your presentation)

How to make a Presentation Handout?

The easiest and the simplest way to make your handouts is via Microsoft Word. You can follow these simple steps in order to create one:

  • Click on the ‘Create handout’ option and transfer your presentation to Microsoft Word
  • After that, choose which presentation slides should appear on your handout
  • You can easily adjust your text, graphics, content and decide whether you want to include a note margin, a header, or a footer
  •  In addition to the option of printing the handout, you can also save it directly in Word as a Word or PDF document – a simple way to make the handout digitally which is available to your audience.

Voilà! Here you go.

For more help, check this video out,

Types of Handouts:

1. gapped handouts.

As the name suggests, this handout consists of gaps that the audience is required to fill in. It may also include complex graphics or charts or tables of statistics which the members are expected to complete and they can only do that if they heard you well.

You can also outline the main points and leave gaps for key words to be inserted.

For example, 

a) P_ _ _ _ _ t_ _ _ _n/ _ a _ _ _ _t_ (Presentation Handouts)

b) _a_ _ed/ H_ _ _o_ _ _  (Gapped Handouts)

2. Skeletal Handouts

It provides a bare outline of the presentation structure with some key statements and main references. This can be useful to aid members to make notes and follow a structure.

It is a great tool to maintain the audience engagement and focus throughout your presentation.

3. Worksheets

A worksheet is a sheet of paper on which problems are worked out or solved and answers are recorded.

This is mainly used in the classroom scenario in order to encourage students to remember what they learnt. It can motivate them to work without any assistance.

4. Information Sheets

It is also called a short information document. This sheet provides you a brief summary of a subject and its aims.

It may be necessary to draft more than one information sheet if you need to cater to the participants with different needs.

It is mainly used in the areas of education, for example, information on courses provided by an institution.

Template for information presentation handout

Also check- How to give motivational speech to students.

Examples of Handouts:

A handout is a useful tool for helping your audience learn important concepts from a meeting, presentation or other business event. When making a handout, it’s important to summarize the key points instead of just printing out the notes you used during the presentation. Include material that goes beyond the information you covered to help your audience better understand the concepts. Here are some examples:

Templates for presentation handouts

In the above example, they have summarized the main concepts, given information about their brand and pointed out the reasons why you should choose them.

However, one thing that they didn’t focus on is leaving space to add notes. This is important because it allows the audience member to pen down the essentials points in their own words. It fosters the way people learn and understand information. 

Templates for presentation handouts

The above example is used when you have to lay down the program of an event. Now in such a scenario, you will need to hand it over to the audience beforehand.

So when you look at it, it is filled with a lot of text with no infographics or visuals. Therefore, the audience somewhere might lose interest looking at a handout only filled with text.

Check these examples out for inspiration:

Templates for presentation handouts

Final Thoughts

A well-prepared handout can be an effective tool to support your presentation, acting as a guide and memory aid for both you and your audience. Used properly, they can increase the interest and attention of your audience, and allow you to give a clear and professional presentation.

Do not forget to add a CTA (Call to action) in your handout, encouraging them to change or act on something in relation with your talk.

Your handout is going to remain with your audience, so make sure you provide all the necessary information in less words. Basically, a summary of your presentation in minimum words.

Let us know if you end up implementing any of these tips in the comments below.

Hitiksha Jain

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The ULTIMATE guide to presentation skills

  • Written by: Kieran Chadha
  • Categories: Presentation skills
  • Comments: 32

presentation skills handout

Presenting well isn’t a gift you’re born with. It’s true that some people are naturally more charismatic than others, but this doesn’t always make them good presenters. For a lot of people this common misconception can lead to crippling nerves, poor preparation, and lots of money in lost revenue as your sales deck doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Good presentation skills can absolutely be taught, and even the most nervous, or clueless of presenters can learn how to present like professionals just by following some key advice.

Before we jump into that though, I’ll begin with a disclaimer. When a presentation fizzes and fails like a damp firework on New Year’s Eve, it’s rarely the presenter’s fault. In fact, often the blame sits with the slides. Unless your slides are at least half-decent, it’s pretty hard to make your presentation go off with a bang. Slides should be visual, exciting, and compelling and it’s the presenter’s job to bring them to life. Even with good presentation skills, for most normal people, if your slides are more sad squibs than rainbow rockets, you’ll lose your audience’s attention.

So once you’ve got effective, visual slides then – and only then – is it time to focus on the soft skills that will polish your delivery.

How to use this article

This guide contains lots of helpful tips on how to improve your presentation skills. We’ve divided it into sections so you can work through your preparation chronologically. We’d recommend starting at the beginning, but feel free to click below to jump to your favourite bit.

Before your presentation

A note on presentations nerves

Preparing your content

Pre-empt the worst (and best)

During your presentation

How to master the art of body language

A note for introverts

After your presentation

How to train your team to  present

A note on presentation nerves

We’ve all felt it – that heavy feeling in your stomach waiting for your name to be announced, the pacing up and down in the corridor before the door opens, the slightly sweaty palms as you open up your laptop. Everyone gets presentation nerves. And the truth is, a little extra adrenaline pumping through your veins probably gives your performance a lift. But chronic, debilitating nerves are unpleasant, and are a real issue for many people.

But are avoiding sweaty palms and practicing deep breathing really effective presentation skills?

Yes, because the real problem with nerves is that they might adversely affect your audience. The physical symptoms are distracting – beads of sweat on the forehead, restlessness, and fidgeting are all pretty obvious to a watchful crowd. The audience will notice you are uncomfortable and become distracted from your content. Breathiness – which happens when a presenter takes lots of short, shallow breaths – disrupts the flow of information and makes it difficult for people to follow a narrative. Your nerves also undermine your confidence, and – in turn – your audience’s confidence in you. It’s a tad unfortunate that many of the symptoms associated with nervousness are also associated with guilt, untrustworthiness and deceit. So, while you may have every confidence in the validity of your claims, it might not come across that way.

When it comes to tackling nerves, there is no single infallible method, but preparing your content and then rehearsing properly will you get them under control. Even if you never get nervous (lucky you!) these presentation tips will still help improve your delivery.

Preparedness is your number one ally. Often nerves are the result of feeling uncertain about what lies ahead. You can’t control everything or anticipate what is going to happen, but you can take steps to ensure that your role is locked down and certain.

The key is to practise, and to really know your content inside out. It seems a simple point to make – and it is – but often people confuse ‘knowing their content’ with ‘being able to get through their content’. Here, we’re aiming for the former. You may know your slides, and can present them well start-to-finish, but can you do the same if they’re out of order? Can you pick up where you left off after a 10-minute interruption? Can you keep your narrative going if the slide doesn’t progress? Can you paraphrase the final 10 slides if you run out of time? What if you fall off the stage half-way through your presentation ? If your laptop fails, can you deliver the content without any slides at all?

Most people massively underestimate the amount of time this requires, which is often why they end up feeling so nervous. It’s only with this level of ‘whatever-the-world-throws-at-me’ familiarity that will enable you to push past your presentation nerves. Often people stop rehearsing when they can get through the deck. In truth, your rehearsals only  begin  once you can get through the deck.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you probably get that you need to know your content well. However, there are a few things outside of your script or notes that you should keep in mind too:

  • Learning the clicks. If you know where the clicks are in your presentation, you’ll know what’s coming up next, so you’ll say the right thing and the right time. Connecting chunks of content to certain clicks means those animations or transitions will help trigger your memory. You won’t have to learn a script word for word and you’re less likely to sound like a robot – success!
  • Write down the key benefits or advantages of your proposition. Committing these to memory (rather than the history of your organisation or the particular specifications of a product) and using them whenever possible in your presentation, will keep the audience front and centre as you speak.
  • Another effective presentation skill is planning for questions to ask or other ways to engage you audience. Think of this as extra content to memorise or note down – planning ahead for these interactions will help your presentation feel both slick and engaging.

“Don’t think about it! It will all be fine!” This is not advice you’ll hear from us. In fact, we want you to think about everything that could possibly go wrong; power failures, laptop glitches, and unreliable projectors are all quite common. But there’s no need to worry or panic because if you think about it ahead of time you can arrive with a fall-back option should the worst happen.

Beyond that, you need to prepare to deal with the most uncertain element of your presentation: your audience .

  • What are the most difficult and awkward questions your audience could ask you? It’s worth planning responses that answer them in a positive way.
  • What are the most likely objections that could be raised? Come up with ways to overcome them, address them or dismiss them.
  • You should pay particular attention to the audience members themselves – who are they? What are their interests? What are their challenges? What will they be expecting from you? What will they want to hear? What won’t they want to hear?

Thinking in these terms helps you plan and prepare effectively and helps remove the dreaded element of uncertainty.

And just in case you thought this was beginning to sound a little pessimistic, your preparedness needs to extend to best-case scenarios as well as worst. Are you prepared for them to sign then and there? Even if it’s a preliminary meeting, do you have prices to hand in case they are swayed by your early slides and don’t need to see any more? What if they are so engrossed, they want you to carry on past your 10-minute allotted time? Or they want to put you in front of the CEO then and there? Remember, as well as going wrong, things might go better than you expect!

You can be as prepared as possible, and think you know all your content, yet your delivery may still need some work. There are plenty of things you can do when rehearsing to improve your delivery technique and boost your confidence.

  • Rehearse in situ: When you’re rehearsing your slides, try to make the environment as similar to the event as possible. If you can get into the actual space with the actual equipment – great. You’ll get a better feel for the space and become more comfortable with the physical side of your delivery. If you can’t, hook your laptop up to a screen or projector – whatever you’ll be using on the day – rather than just using your laptop screen.
  • Rehearse in front of people: Get them to interrupt, ask questions and act as close to how your real audience will act. Presenting in front of strangers is tough but doing so in front of colleagues is even harder, however, it’s a great way to improve your presentation skills. If you can become comfortable delivering your material in a room of your peers, chances are you’ll be fine on the day. This is also a good opportunity to practise techniques such as pressing the ‘B key’ to take a break from your PowerPoint. This will replace your slides with a blank screen and provide you with an opportunity to go off topic, answer audience questions or stop for a tea break! A short break can also help boost audience attention.
  • Rehearse alone: If you’re struggling to find an appropriate space or a willing group of volunteers, fear not. You can still rehearse effectively by yourself. Put your laptop in show mode and click through your slides, speaking your narration out loud. This is really important. You might feel a little foolish, but everyone presents well in their head – doing so out loud is tougher. There’s no point giving yourself an easy ride now and struggling later on. It’s a good idea to stand up, rather than sit at your desk to get a better sense of how it will feel when you’re presenting. You can even practice pointing towards your visuals and engaging with them in the same way you will when you’re in front of an audience.
  • Record yourself: Many people recommend rehearsing in front of a mirror. This seems a little strange to us. While you’ll get a good idea of how you look when you present, it’s important to remember the audience will (and should) be looking at the slides as well as at you. Rehearsing without them (and without an appreciation of how you’ll interact with them) seems a bit pointless. A better technique is to rehearse your performance in context – that is, clicking through and interacting with the slides. Why not set up a video camera or your smartphone and record your delivery? Review the recording as if you were an audience member and try to spot the things that didn’t work; be your own critic. If you’re honest (but not too harsh) with yourself, it will work a treat and you’ll get more confident, and less nervous with each delivery.

Back to top

The first piece of advice is to take a breath, physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s very easy to work yourself up into a state before you present. You automatically think of all the things that could go wrong and worry that your presentations skills aren’t up to scratch and the audience will judge you poorly for your performance. Try to drop all that baggage. There is no ‘you and them’, no one is waiting for you to mess up, and no one will judge you if you do. Take ‘business’ out of the equation and remember the crowd in front of you are people too. They’re here to learn from what you have to say, and you both want the presentation to go smoothly.

So, why is body language important? Well, I’m a firm believer that no one means to give out negative signals when they present – no one intentionally looks hostile or lazy; no one means to come across as over familiar or timid. However, the truth is that it can be all too easy to fall into one of these traps. Remember that body language is just one of the vehicles for delivery. Getting the message right, the content, the language, the follow-up, the technology are all big priorities. Yet, body language can have a real impact on your audience, which then has a knock-on effect on how well your audience perceive your message, so it’s a really good presentation skill to get right.

What is good body language?

Because interpreting body language is a highly individual thing, coming up with a list of 1-to-1 substitutions (i.e. this behaviour means this) is impossible. However, there are certain traits that are broadly and universally interpreted in certain ways. What’s interesting is that often the same behaviour can fall on either side of the spectrum, depending on its intensity.

For example: movement . If you move around too much, you look like you’re uncomfortable and nervous – wanting to be anywhere but where you are. Alternatively, if you’re too stationery, your unnatural stillness is disconcerting and too intense.

In this respect, positive body language is about balance – about not being too much one thing, nor too much the other. To put it another way, effective body language is best defined by what it isn’t, rather than by what it is.

With that is mind, it is more helpful to look at some of the behaviours you should avoid, rather than try to write a prescriptive list of behaviours to follow. Striking a balance between extremes of behaviour is often the best route to ironing out any issues you might have with your non-verbal communication. Take a look at the diagram below, which roughly groups together the interpretation of certain behaviours.

presentation skills

Generally, there are two metrics for the impression that presenters give off – enthusiasm and confidence. Too little or too much of either can be perceived negatively.

  • Your posture is a key indicator of your mood. Looking too relaxed or comfortable is going to come across poorly. However, being too still and rigid in your posture can make you look nervous or too intense.
  • Your arms and hands also play an important role – keeping your arms folded or tucked away in your pockets can come across as being over-familiar and unprofessional, confrontational and aggressive in extreme cases.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, overly-expressive and wild gesturing makes you look unfocused, erratic or just too intense.
  • Your positioning is also crucial. The old adage that you should never turn your back to the audience is unhelpful; it’s fine to turn away if you’re directing the audience’s attention to the screen. However, be wary of spending too long facing in either direction and neglecting the other.

So, what does that leave us with? As I said, the key is to achieve a balance, so the ideal impression to portray would sit bang in the middle of the diagram above – shown by the dark purple circle.

  • You should aim for a natural, relaxed posture – engaged but not intense.
  • Use open, expressive gestures , dividing your attention between the audience and the screen.
  • Aim for a little movement , and an open, friendly demeanour.
  • Try not to copy someone else’s stance or gestures, keep it natural and authentic and you’ll make a much better impression.

How do you assess and improve your own body language?

Increase awareness: The first step to making your body language work effectively is to actually become aware of how you present at the moment. Often problems develop because people disregard it – letting their subconscious take over. It’s this inattention that allows bad habits to creep in.

The best way to become more aware of how you present is to see yourself do it. Mirrors don’t give you the full impression, it’s better to record yourself presenting something. Obviously it would be great to do so in a ‘live’ environment, but a dummy run in a meeting room would work perfectly well. Watch the footage and objectively assess yourself using the following questions:

  • What message would my posture convey to a stranger?
  • Am I moving around too much, or not enough?
  • Do I come across as professional?
  • How enthusiastic am I? Does it look like I’m just going through the motions?
  • Do I look like I know my material?
  • How open is my body language? How expressive am I being?

Sometimes, watching yourself back and becoming more conscious of your body language is enough to improve it. You will probably find that you have an innate understanding of the mistakes you’re making and can figure out how to fix them.

Use a third party: However, if you’re still not sure whether you have an issue, it makes sense to bring in outside opinions to help. Choose a colleague for support but do so wisely. This isn’t the time for a ‘yes man’, someone who will simply say you’re doing a great job. Pick someone who will be honest and critical. Even better, get a group together – and aggregate their responses. As with any form of research, be careful when collecting their feedback – don’t lead them in anyway. So, questions like ‘What impression did you get from the presentation?’ work better than leading ones like ‘Do I look nervous to you?’.

Listen to your colleagues and pull together the common elements of their feedback. If there is anything that comes across as universally negative, it probably needs examining. Varied feedback, or comments that aren’t particularly strong in any sense usually indicate that your body language isn’t overtly negative. As I said earlier, people will likely take slightly different messages from how you behave. Don’t worry too much about this; try to get a general appreciation of how the group felt.

Effecting change: This is the tricky part. Changing your body language can be a case of trying to undo decades of learned and cemented experiences. This is not only challenging, but even if achieved, can come across as robotic and unnatural – ironically leading to worse problems. What’s more, you don’t want to be so caught up in perfecting your presentation skills that you fail to get your message across. Your message is the most important thing so, if you can’t make it work, don’t worry about it.

Having said that, do give it a go. If you think you’re moving around too much, try to present a few slides staying still. If people have said you look bored, stand up straighter and bring more energy. Of course, the difficulty is sustaining your new behaviour and not falling into old habits. Again, it helps to have a trusted colleague with you to pull you up when you slip. The only way to improve and to keep it up is to practise – to keep presenting with your new behaviour until it becomes second nature. It’s a frustrating and often slow process, but the more you work on it, the better your results will be.

Other techniques for good presentation delivery

Along with balancing your body language, there are a few other presentation delivery techniques you can employ on the day. For example, pay attention to your tone of voice . Watch the recordings you’ve made and consider whether the emphasis and emotion in your voice helps convey your message. Is your voice a droning monotone or do you come across as enthusiastic, lively and truly passionate about your subject? Just as with body language, the key to success is practice.

Secondly, to help you feel comfortable, try to pick out a few friendly faces in the crowd. If possible, speak to some audience members one-on-one before your presentation so there are familiar faces to focus on. More importantly, ignore the grumpy faces. Some people look miserable when they are actually just concentrating. Even if some of your audience are in a bad mood, it probably has more to do with the disappointing hotel breakfast than your presentation skills.

Before we move onto our next section, I’d like to dig a bit deeper into how to deliver presentations if you’re naturally shy or introverted. It’s a myth to think that you need to be extroverted in order to be a good presenter – it’s just not true. Effective presentation skills can help any introvert delivery a persuasive pitch.

What is an introvert: Most people think introversion is about shyness. Though this is partly true, it’s actually the level of stimulation you need to function, and the amount of time it takes to recover that determines whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Introverts need much less stimulation, and tend to want to withdraw in order to recharge. So, it isn’t really a surprise that a highly stimulating activity like giving a presentation in front of a huge crowd of people is going to wear out introverts much faster and more intensely that extroverts. If you want to do some further reading on this, check out Susan Cain and her book Quiet.

How to present well if you’re an introvert: But all is not lost. Introverts often give far better presentations that their extrovert counterparts, because they tend to be better prepared, but that isn’t always the most reassuring thing to hear when you have a presentation on the horizon. So, here are five practical pieces of advice to help your presentation go well:

  • Attitude: We all get passionate about the things we really care about, so where possible, try to present on something that really interests you. But we know this isn’t always possible, so instead spend a lot of time with the content and dig how into it relates to you and your audience so that you can bring it to life.
  • Content: Creating a presentation as a team often sounds great, but in reality it can be a bit chaotic. Why not gather ideas and information from your team then create the presentation yourself? This will help you add a personal spin to the content and get more comfortable with your version of the story rather than presenting a diluted version of your message.
  • Preparing to deliver: Because introverts can become over-stimulated much faster than extroverts, it’s important to desensitise the newness of delivering your presentation. The more you practice, the more familiar it will feel, and the less likely you are to get over-stimulated. Prepare extensive speaker notes, but not a script, and practice in front of a camera. Trust me, it might feel awful, but if you know what your audience is seeing when you present, you’ll be able to relax a lot more on the day! Try to visit the venue beforehand if you can so that you aren’t acclimatising to a completely new place, and try to meet with some people who will be at your presentation beforehand, so you know you’ll have a few friendly faces to look at.
  • Delivery: Soft skills won’t make up for bad slides, but if you’re well prepared up to now, it’s helpful to relax yourself before you go onstage. Have a shake to get the blood flowing, have a yawn to relax you further, and then take some deep, measured breaths – this will help moderate the adrenaline surge you might feel. Once you get out there, smile at your friendly faces, and as you present, don’t be afraid to be yourself!
  • Follow-up: It’s completely understandable if, after your presentation, you have no energy to have further meetings and discuss follow-up sessions. If you think you’ll need time to recharge alone or with a close friend, put that in your calendar.

Once you’ve given your presentation, you need to recover. Talking about recovery as a good presentation skill might seem odd but learning how to recover well is important. If you feel awful after every presentation it will feed into your nerves for the next time. This skill is particularly key for introverts who are more likely to find themselves feeling mentally and emotionally drained after a presentation. Saying that, everyone should schedule in recovery time – be strict! – and give yourself the time and space to collect your thoughts and relax. Maybe you need to lie down in a dark room, or perhaps a quiet cup of tea is enough. Put it in your calendar and make it a priority. If you can avoid a corporate dinner or intense networking session, do. The less traumatic the experience, the quicker your presentation confidence will grow.

Once you’ve recovered, it’s time to gather feedback from your team, chat with audience members or watch a recording of your presentation and make notes for how to improve your presentation skills for next time.

How to train your team to present

Once you are confident in your own presentation skills it’s time to spread the love and help those around you take a step up the skill ladder. If you’re a manager, training your team is a great way to positively impact their efficiency and make sure they’ve got the effective presentation skills they need to get results.

So, how do you turn your team into better presenters?

No-one is a naturally great presenter. While it’s true that some people are able to ‘wing it’ and get by on their charisma alone, this is a rare talent – and an approach that doesn’t always go down well with an audience. For most people, becoming a better presenter takes old fashioned hard work and time. We have done our fair share of presentation skills training – and are happy to come and get your team into shape – but if you prefer to go it alone, you’ll want to follow the steps below.

Ask your sales teams to click through the deck they will be presenting and run through the narrative by themselves. This is a great way for them to become familiar with the material, it won’t raise the quality of their performance in and of itself, but these private rehearsals are the helpful groundwork before a more comprehensive, group coaching session. Just like a dress rehearsal, if your team don’t know their material thoroughly before this point, they won’t get the most out of the time, so make sure you encourage them to spend time learning the slide content before you concentrate on delivery.

  • Group sessions

It’s hugely important to work on how to improve presentation skills in groups. Taking the time to run through the presentation in front of peers, and refining delivery based on their feedback is when you really start to see results. Ideally, you will work with a group who are all learning to deliver the same presentation. In this scenario, each person is given the opportunity to experience the material as a presenter and as a member of the audience, and they will very quickly see how they need to hone their delivery to communicate more effectively with their audience.

If you are coaching one person, the group should be formed of colleagues – ideally a mix of those with a good understanding of the subject matter, and those without. This will allow feedback that focuses on clarity of delivery as well as accuracy of content.

We learn best in a group of peers – each sees something slightly different, which enables a balanced and broad review of the delivery. But even for seasoned presenters, the prospect of presenting to colleagues isn’t an enticing one, so it’s important you encourage an atmosphere that is sympathetic, supportive, while still critical enough to be effective.

Facilitating group presentation skills training, though, is a skill in itself, so here are a few tips to help you run things well for you and your team:

Get everyone involved: Where there are multiple presenters, everyone gets a chance to present and a chance to watch and critique. If you only have one presenter, it’s a good idea to get a couple of other group members to have a go too. This not only takes the pressure off the trainee, and can boost their confidence, but also allows them to see the material from the audience’s point of view.

While the chance to present in front of an audience is helpful, I’d argue that the most beneficial element of a coaching session is the opportunity to watch how others present, see what they do well and where they go wrong. As you progress, the entire room’s delivery will improve as one presenter builds on the quality of the last.

Have multiple run-throughs: Once you’ve got everyone together, start running through the slides. This isn’t the time to talk about whether the message is right or whether the design looks perfect, you’re here to focus on delivery. Hopefully your team has learned their material, but even if not, encourage them to begin presenting anyway. They will learn the slides as they go through, and it’s more efficient than having the rest of the team sit around and wait.

  • First run-through: Give everyone a chance to run through the presentation once without interruption and encourage those watching to make notes. Provide feedback after the first run and invite comments and suggestions from those watching. It’s important for the first run-through to be uninterrupted; you want the presenters to become comfortable with the flow and the audience to get a feel for the presentation in its entirety.
  • Second run-through: Then get everyone to run through a second time and, this time, direct the presenters to focus on putting into practice the comments that came up. Begin to interrupt if a mistake already commented upon creeps into delivery: stop the presentation, suggest a correction and give the presenter the opportunity to retry that section. As you progress, begin interrupting for any mistakes, even if they haven’t been brought up so far.

Your role is to facilitate. Don’t allow others to interrupt a run through, and make sure you militantly chair feedback sessions. Invite comments from others, but don’t let the session descend into a free-for-all. There needs to be ground rules, so the learning experience is seen as fair, organised and effective.

Manage the feedback: Receiving criticism isn’t easy; all feedback should be constructive and never personal ( more on that here ). To be truly effective, it also needs to be mutual. I like to start with something positive, follow it with something more critical, then end on a positive, which I’ve found allows you to critique whilst supporting confidence. Make note of two or three positives and one or two negative elements from each delivery. Begin by summarising the delivery and picking out a couple of positive things you noticed. Invite the group to do the same. Then move on to areas that you think could use some work, presenting each as a learning opportunity, not a criticism. Again invite the others to do the same, and address any comments you think unduly harsh or damaging. Finally, sum up with a final, strong positive from your observations.

It is important to follow this pattern each and every time. Negative comments alone will damage confidence, while positive comments alone reduce your credibility and the effectiveness of the exercise. As you progress and the strength of delivery increases, you will find your negative comments become more and more minor, whilst your positive comments become more significant.

Encouraging group feedback keeps the session interactive and enjoyable for all. Slowly, you will see the strength of the presentation delivery increase, as presenters learn from one another’s mistakes and build on their successes. Taking time to coach your team in presentation skills, to ensure they are delivering your message in a powerful, confident and consistent way will never be time wasted.

So there you have it! Our ultimate guide to the presentation skills you need to ensure a great delivery every time. Just remember, positive body language and calm nerves are lovely, but they won’t save your presentation if your slides are rubbish! Our ultimate guide to sales presentations is a great place to start if you want to learn how to create effective, visual slides.

presentation skills handout

Kieran Chadha

Principal consultant; head of brightcarbon academy, related articles, review: glisser online interactive presentations.

  • Presentation skills / Sales presentations / Presentation technology
  • Comments: 1

Glisser is an online platform that allows you to create interactive presentations that can be used for marketing, training or any other type of events. The site has different functions available for presenters, attendees at events and event planners which all focus on allowing for increased presenter-audience interaction. Since creating engaging visual presentations is what we do, I decided to take a closer look at Glisser and see what it’s all about and how the various functionalities work.

presentation skills handout

Tips for tongue-tied presenters

  • Presentation skills
  • Comments: 2

As with many things in life, when you’re presenting, getting started is often the most challenging part. Often, once people get into the flow on a particular slide, they are fine. But starting off strongly, pulling together the first few words or phrases once you've clicked on to a blank new slide is typically something that people struggle with. Here are a few handy tips to keep up your sleeve for those mind-blank moments. 

presentation skills handout

How to make presentation handouts

  • Presentation skills / Visual communication

Presentation handouts and leave-behinds are a great resource in giving your audience a tangible reminder of you and the company you represent. The problem is that they're oft-neglected and oft-ignored. So how do we create handouts that not only accurately represent our content, but look great and don't take a fortnight to create?

presentation skills handout

Thanks for your presentation skills guide. Well, apparently I’m looking for a skill training since I want to master that area. I have been scared of speaking my mind to a wider audience and I wanted to overcome that fear. Good thing I’ve read your piece. I like what you said about how practice is the key to really know my content inside out when presenting.

Great learning tools

Great informations and learning tools.

Very useful

Thank you❤️

Good and informative article

Really helpful

Well done for this!

Good information it’s really helpful me

really helpful and informative

Having a positive mind will make you achieve more

Great learning album

Great learning and Thankyou very much

Thank you for the information

Thank you for the information .Great learning .

Good info. thank you a lot

Amazing information. thanks a lot

Amazing information. Thanks

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

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Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

presentation skills handout

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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Preparing for a Presentation

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Preparation is the single most important part of making a successful presentation. It is an absolutely crucial foundation, and you should dedicate as much time to it as possible, avoiding short-cuts. Good preparation will ensure that you have thought carefully about the messages that you want (or need) to communicate in your presentation and it will also help boost your confidence.

There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when preparing a presentation. They include the aim of the presentation, the subject matter, the audience, the venue or place, the time of day, and the length of the talk. All these will affect what you say and how you say it, as well as the visual aids that you use to get your point across.

The Objective

Whenever you are asked to give a presentation or speak to a group of people, you need to start by asking the purpose of the presentation.

In other words, what is the presentation expected to achieve, and what outcome(s) do the organisers and the audience expect?

These outcomes will shape your presentation, because it must be designed to achieve the objective and deliver the desired outcomes.

For example, you might be asked to give a talk to a gardening club. You might be told that the purpose of the talk is to fill a regular meeting slot, and that the members of the club have expressed a desire to learn more about pruning. You therefore know that your talk needs to be entertaining, fairly light, but knowledgeable, and that your audience wants to learn something new.

As you prepare your presentation, make sure you keep asking yourself:

“How is saying this going to help to achieve the objective and outcomes?”

The Subject

The subject of your presentation or talk about comes from the objective. They are linked, but they are not necessarily exactly the same thing.

For example:

The subject may be given to you by the organisation that has invited you (such as talking about pruning to the gardening club).

You may be knowledgeable in a particular field (perhaps you have an interest in local history).

The subject may be entirely your choice within certain limitations (you might, for example, be asked to give a presentation at an interview on a project which you feel has particularly developed your skills).

The Audience

Before preparing material for a presentation, it is worth considering your prospective audience.

Tailoring your talk to the audience is important and the following points should be considered:

The size of the group or audience expected.

The age range - a talk aimed at retired people will be quite different from one aimed at teenagers.

Gender - will the audience be predominantly male or female?

Is it a captive audience or will they be there out of interest?

Will you be speaking in their work or leisure time?

Do they know something about your subject already or will it be totally new to them?  Is the subject part of their work?

Are you there to inform, teach, stimulate, or provoke?

Can you use humour and, if so, what would be considered appropriate? If you are in any doubt about this, it is probably best to avoid anything even remotely risqué.

It is important to have as much advance information as possible about the place where you are going to speak.

It can be helpful to arrange to see the venue before the event. It does much to quell fear if you can visualise the place while you are preparing your talk. However, even if you cannot visit, you will probably find it helpful to know:

The size of the room;

The seating arrangements (for example, theatre-style, with rows of seats; or round-table);

The availability of equipment, e.g., microphone, laptop and projector, flip chart;

The availability of power points and if an extension lead is required for any equipment you intend to use;

If the room has curtains or blinds. This is relevant if you intend to use visual aids, and so that you can ensure the correct ambiance for your presentation;

The position of the light switches.  Check if you need someone to help if you are using audio/visual equipment and need to turn off the lights;

The likelihood of outside distractions, e.g., noise from another room; and

The availability of parking facilities so you do not have a long walk carrying any equipment you might need to take.

If this information is not available ahead of time, it will help to get there a bit early, to give you time to set up.

There will often be no flexibility in the time of day that a presentation is made. However, it does affect what you can do, and how you might organise your presentation, because of the likely state of your audience (see box).

How time of day can affect your audience

The morning is the best time to speak because people are generally at their most alert. However, as it gets towards lunch time, people begin to feel hungry and lose concentration. This is particularly true if the event has not included a coffee break.

After lunch, people often feel sleepy and lethargic. If you are given a slot immediately after lunch, it is a good idea to get your audience involved. A discussion or getting your audience moving about will work a lot better than simply presenting a lot of slides. A flip chart may also be a more useful tool than a laptop and projector, especially if it means you can open blinds and use natural light.

Towards the end of the afternoon, people again tend to lose concentration as they start to worry about getting home, the traffic or collecting children from school.

Evening or Weekend:

Outside regular office hours, people are more likely to be present because they want to be rather than because they have to be there.  There is a better chance of audience attention in the evening. However, if the presentation goes on for too long, people may have to leave before you have finished. People will also be less tolerant of a poor presentation because you are in their time, not their employer’s.

Length of Talk

Always find out how long you have to talk and check if this includes or excludes time for questions.

Find out if there are other speakers and, if so, where you are placed in the running order.  Never elect to go last.  Beware of over-running, as this could be disastrous if there are other speakers following you.

It is important to remember that people find it difficult to maintain concentration for long periods of time. This is a good reason for making a presentation succinct, well-structured and interesting. Aim for 45 minutes as a maximum single-session presentation, and preferably leave at least 10 or 15 minutes for questions. Nobody minds finishing a session early.

Providing Information in Advance

Always check what information you will need to provide in advance.

Organisers of big events and conferences often like to have all the PowerPoint presentations several days ahead of the event. This gives them time to load all the presentations, and make sure that they are properly branded for the event.

Some events also need speakers’ biographies ahead of time, to put in conference literature. When you are asked to give the presentation, make sure you ask what is needed by when—and then supply it.

You will not be popular if you turn up on the day and announce that you have completely rewritten your presentation on the train. It is entirely possible that the organisers may even not be able to accommodate that, for example if the audio-visual is being supplied by a separate company or by the venue.

And finally…

Being asked to give a presentation is an honour, not a chore.

You are representing your organisation or yourself, if you are self-employed. You are also not there by right, but by invitation. It is therefore important that you put in the time and effort to ensure that you deliver what your audience wants. That way, you may just be invited back another time.

Continue to: Organising the Presentation Material

See also: Can Presentation Science Improve Your Presentation? Preparing for Oral Presentations Managing the Presentation Event Coping with Presentation Nerves

Presentation Handouts – DO’s and DON’T’s

As a presentation skills trainer and public speaking coach, I often get asked about how best to use handouts during a presentation. In this post, I’d like to share my responses to the most common questions my students ask on the topic of presentation handouts.

Should I give out presentation handouts, before my talk so that my audience can take notes on it while I speak?

  • Some people (a minority in my experience) feel reassured when they have the notes beforehand.
  • Some people will tell you that they like to have a copy of the slides so that they can take notes as you go.
  • In a training situation, presenters often issue workbooks which, as well as containing course notes, contain exercises to complete and places to note down learner observations.
  • You risk losing control of your audience’s  attention. A handout is one more thing that competes for their focus, and unless you are an amazingly engaging speaker, they won’t be able to resist the temptation to read.
  • People will be tempted to read ahead and so may discover information that you don’t want them to know until later in the presentation.
  • When you ask questions, people may look at your notes for the answers rather than think for themselves

My Advice: Unless you are running a training course, I recommend that you avoid handing out notes until the end of your presentation, but remember to tell people up front that they will get a handout later.

Tip – If you must give out the notes in advance here’s a great tip for minimising distraction. After distributing your handout, encourage your audience to take a moment to flick through them and to reassure themselves that they contain plenty of information. Finally, ask them to put the notes to one side and listen to you

Should I create custom presentation handouts or should I just print off my slides the way most people do?

It’s tempting to put everything you are going to say onto your slides and then print them off as a handout, but I wouldn’t advise it, and here’s why.

Text-dense slides don’t work well as visual aids in a live presentation

  • The brain processes text differently to pictures.  Research shows that audiences remember almost 30% less when you use wordy slides. (Ref  Multimedia Learning, Cambridge University Press, Richard E Meyer)
  • You cannot control which points people are paying attention to
  • You are in competition with your slides for the audience’s attention

Unless you print off your slides full size, the resulting presentation handouts are often unreadable

  • Many people use a small font size in PowerPoint to enable them to fit more text on their slides.  Small font sizes make your slides harder to read when projected, and often impossible to read when printed out as a handout. I recommend using a minimum font size of 24 point to ensure readability both on the screen and on printed copies.

My Advice:  Rather than just printing off your slides, create a separate document that summarises your key points and adds more supporting information or references if appropriate. Preparing handouts in this way will take a little longer, but you’ll end up with a much more useful document that your audience will appreciate. Notes produced like this can also be branded and include your contact details, making them a useful extension to your marketing materials.

Tip –  If you want to show a copy of your slides in your notes and still have readable handouts try using the “ Notes Page view ” function within PowerPoint. This feature was originally designed to allow presenters to add speaker notes to your slides, but can also be used to create handouts.  Notes Page view creates a page for each slide with a small image of your slide at the top of the page and beautifully formatted text notes below.

What can you add to this article?

Have you got any alternative solutions or ideas for the thorny topic of presentation handouts?  Share your comments and ideas using the comments box below.

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I do believe all of the concepts you’ve introduced in your post. They’re very convincing aand can definitely work.

Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

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I agree with your points about handouts. I also use the Notes pane to create handouts. Just to be more specific, you then print Notes Pages rather than slides when you go to print. And you can also print to a PDF driver. Another option is the Send to Word option, which lets you print slides and notes or slides and lines for taking notes. It’s nice because it creates a Word document that you can modify in any way you want.

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Thanks for adding value to this post Ellen.

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Presentation skills – winter 2024.

Presentation and public speaking skills are required of all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars for success in their programs and chosen career fields. For English language learners, additional resources are available to help address the challenges of communicating in a non-native language.

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CEE - Presentation Skills Consultations

Schedule a Consultation  - be sure to click 'Request a Graduate Student/Post-doctoral Scholar Consultation ' on the  page and select 'Presentation Skills' as a Consultation type.  Available through a partnership with the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) , receive feedback to make your presentations more engaging and better learning experiences for your audience.

UC Davis Library - Presentation Skills Consultations

Presentation Consultations @UC Davis Libraries offers free advice for members of the University of California - Davis research community who are seeking to improve their presentations.

You can  schedule a consultation  to receive help with any or all of the following:

  • Topic Selection
  • Researching appropriate data
  • Organizing and refining information
  • Outlining main points
  • Crafting a narrative/story
  • Source citation
  • Presentation delivery
  • Visual aids (e.g. PowerPoint, graphics, posters, etc.) 

What to Expect

Presentation Consultations @ UC Davis Library offers personalized instruction to students, faculty, or staff experiencing communication apprehension or "stage fright" as well as help with overall presentation design and organization. They work one-on-one or with groups within the UC Davis community from the initial brainstorming all the way through practice delivering presentations.

Grad Slam

The annual Grad Slam competition provides an opportunity to hone public speaking skills through a competition to find the best three-minute research presentation given by a UC Davis graduate student. The winner of the campus-wide competition will compete in the UC system-wide competition in the spring quarter. Prizes are awarded at both competitions.

Teaching and Presentation Anxiety

Fear of public speaking is common and highly treatable.  Receive tips for controlling teaching and presentation anxiety by  making an appointment with a counselor at Counseling Services .

Courses for English Language Learners

The quarters offered and credits vary by term. Please go to the website to find the most up to date information.

Additional Resources for English Language Learners

Additional Handouts: Success and Socialization | Writing and Publishing | Presentation Skills | Teaching and Mentoring Leadership and Management  |  Professionalism and Ethics | Career Management | Wellness and Life Balance URL for this page:

GradPathways logo with rainbow road

Presentation Skills Handout

A document to support the Presentation Skills talk

  • View more publications in Undergraduate Admissions & Outreach

You can find more details of the talk on the resources page


Outreach Team [email protected]


  1. What Is Presentation Skills

    presentation skills handout

  2. Examples of Handouts for Presentations-How to Create a Handout

    presentation skills handout

  3. Presentation Skills 101: A Guide to Presentation Success

    presentation skills handout

  4. Create a Handout that is Perfect for Your Presentation

    presentation skills handout

  5. Presentation Skills 101: A Guide to Presentation Success

    presentation skills handout

  6. Presentation Skills Ultimate Guide How to Give a Good Presentation

    presentation skills handout


  1. Quick Presentation Skills Tips That Everyone Can Use: Tip 4- Share Your Priorities

  2. Effective Presentation Skills

  3. Quick Presentation Skills Tips That Everyone Can Use: Introduction

  4. Top 3 Tips To Improve Your Presentation Skills

  5. PowerPoint Class

  6. How Do I Develop Scanning Skills?


  1. Examples of Handouts for Presentations-How to Create a Handout

    Presentation Handout Example #1: Just Use Slide Notes in PowerPoint as a Presentation Handout. I have to admit, this technique is just a small step above the "printing out your slide-deck" option. However, sometimes, time is short, and you want to make sure that your audience has a good takeaway.

  2. What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)

    Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images. You'll make presentations at various ...

  3. Effective Presentation Handouts: A Step-by-Step Guide

    A quality presentation handout template relies on effective design as much as it depends on the informative component. There are a few principles to stick to when you design your handouts. Basic design. Whitepage pitch deck design agency outlines three principles that may assist you in creating a successful handout for presentation.

  4. 6 presentation skills and how to improve them

    To fully understand the impact these skills have on creating a successful presentation, it's helpful to look at each one individually. Here are six valuable skills you can develop: 1. Active listening. Active listening is an excellent communication skill for any professional to hone.

  5. Handout Essentials: A Guide To Creating Memorable Presentation Handouts

    Here are strategies to make handouts more memorable: 1. Visual Design: Consistent Theme: A cohesive theme reinforces the brand and aids in recognition. Ensure that fonts, colors, and imagery align with the overall aesthetic of the presentation, creating a seamless visual experience for the audience.

  6. Unlock effective presentation skills (tips and best practices)

    In this article, we've summoned the following 8 presentation skills that are essential to any presenter that wants to make an impact with their message. 1. Effective communication. Effective communication skills are critical when it comes to presenting information to others.

  7. How to create effective presentation handouts for class lectures

    In this post, presentation trainer, Dr. Echo Rivera shares how to create effective presentation handouts for class lectures, conferences, and training workshops! 0. Skip to Content Services 1:1 services Job Talk Escalator ... What you're seeing is a sample of slides from my presentation skills training where I am practicing what I teach: ...

  8. Presentation Handouts

    If you're presenting with visual PowerPoint slides, one of the easiest ways of creating a handout is to type the text of the handout in the "Notes" pane of the PowerPoint edit screen. Then print your slides as "Notes". You'll have an effective handout. 3. Ensure your handout reflects your presentation.

  9. How to Create Engaging Presentation Handouts

    When preparing a presentation handout, it is important to make sure that the content is concise and easy to read and that it reinforces the main points from the talk. Fonts and colors should be consistent with those in the presentation and additional visuals, such as graphs and charts, should be included.

  10. How to create effective presentation handouts

    If you want to create an effective presentation handout, here's what you should include. 1. List the key points of your presentation. To create a strong presentation handout, list the key facts from your speech. Keep it simple—you don't need to rewrite your entire presentation. Remember, you'll discuss a lot of the material in your ...

  11. How to Make a "Good" Presentation "Great"

    When in doubt, adhere to the principle of simplicity, and aim for a clean and uncluttered layout with plenty of white space around text and images. Think phrases and bullets, not sentences. As an ...

  12. How to Use Handouts to Boost Your Presentation Skills

    Refer to your handouts during your presentation as cues, prompts, or examples to illustrate or explain your points. Give your audience the option to use your handouts as they wish, whether it is ...

  13. All you need to know about Presentation Handouts

    Depending on the type and purpose of the presentation, you can also provide your business address and telephone number. 5. Provides a synopsis of your speech. The information in your handout is short and to the point. Before expanding on individual and main points from your presentation, you need to focus on your target audience.

  14. The ULTIMATE guide to presentation skills

    Presentation skills / Visual communication; Comments: 1; Presentation handouts and leave-behinds are a great resource in giving your audience a tangible reminder of you and the company you represent. The problem is that they're oft-neglected and oft-ignored.

  15. PDF Improving your Presentation Skills

    At this first stage, study Checklists 1-3: Preparing a Presentation (pages 2-3); Using Visual Aids, Handouts and Notes (pages 4-5), and Signposts and Language Signals (pages 6-7). Rehearsal . Before you start rehearsing your talk, read through Checklist 4 on Non-verbal communication (pages 8-9) and think about the points mentioned there.

  16. PDF Getting your point across. An academic guide to giving presentations

    Presentation skills, alongside writing and research skills, teamwork, and time management, are key transferable skills, which will have relevance to your future career in whatever field ... Decisions about things like visual aids and use of supporting handouts will depend in part upon knowing how many people will be in the audience. Whether ...

  17. What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

    Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired ...

  18. PDF Oral Presentations

    Oral presentations typically involve three important steps: 1) planning, 2) practicing, and 3) presenting. 1. Planning Oral presentations require a good deal of planning. Scholars estimate that approximately 50% of all mistakes in an oral presentation actually occur in the planning stage (or rather, lack of a planning stage).

  19. PDF Developing Effective Presentation Skills: Evidence-Based Guidelines

    the handout to audience members: before, during, or after the presentation. The most common scenario is to provide the handout before the presentation. In this way, the distraction of distributing the handout while presenting is removed. Unfortunately, people might read the handout instead of listening to the presentation.

  20. Preparing for a Presentation

    There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when preparing a presentation. They include the aim of the presentation, the subject matter, the audience, the venue or place, the time of day, and the length of the talk. All these will affect what you say and how you say it, as well as the visual aids that you use to get your point across.

  21. Presentation Handouts Do's & Don'ts

    Text-dense slides don't work well as visual aids in a live presentation. The brain processes text differently to pictures. Research shows that audiences remember almost 30% less when you use wordy slides. (Ref Multimedia Learning, Cambridge University Press, Richard E Meyer) You cannot control which points people are paying attention to.

  22. Presentation Skills Handout

    Presentation Skills Handout Presentation Skills - Winter 2024. Presentation and public speaking skills are required of all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars for success in their programs and chosen career fields. For English language learners, additional resources are available to help address the challenges of communicating in a ...

  23. Presentation Skills Handout

    A document to support the Presentation Skills talk. Brochure. View more publications in Undergraduate Admissions & Outreach. You can find more details of the talk on the resources page. Presentation_Skills_-_Handout.pdf. 157.60 KB. A document to support the Presentation Skills talk.

  24. Presentation Contest, April 27; Register by April 22

    The Lancaster County 4-H Presentation Contest open to all enrolled 4-H'ers ages 8-18 will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2024 beginning at 9 a.m. at Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County conference rooms, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln. Time slots will be assigned in advance; however, 4-H staff will do their best to accommodate a ...