ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ten Tips to Improve Your Next Talk

Updated on December 10, 2021
Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn is a learner-centric instructional designer who is proficient at generating new content and improving upon existing materials.


On Your Way to Awesome

So, you have a presentation to make. Your hands start to sweat just thinking about it. Join the club. In survey after survey, people say that they fear public speaking even more than death! But it doesn't have to be that way. To that end, I have gathered what I consider to be some helpful and specific guidelines on how to make that presentation awesome!

1. Preparation

This may be obvious, but it can’t be emphasized enough. You can demonstrate thorough preparation by including an effective opening, a logically organized body, easy-to-follow transitions, and a comprehensive close. Minimally prepared presenters will include an opening, body, and close; however, some transitions may be unclear and not thought out. Rehearsal is essential. Video tape yourself if you can, or at a minimum, rehearse in front of a mirror.

2. Use of time

Know how much time you are expected to use, and stay within it. Never exceed your time limit (there usually is one), or fail to use your time effectively (e.g., making a rambling and unfocused presentation). Again, rehearsal will help you determine how long your presentation will last. And don’t forget to factor in “nerves.” People tend to talk more quickly when they are in the spot light.

3. Use of visual aids and humanizing elements

Good presenters use effective visual materials (e.g., illustrations, charts, bullet points, etc.). Make sure your visual aids are well designed and clearly visible from the back of the room. But don’t, for God’s sake, make the visual aid into the only thing happening in your presentation. It’s an “aid.” If all you do is read the lines off the PowerPoint, you might as well have stayed home. Also, good presenters use humor effectively; they tell stories, use quotes, and recall anecdotes to illustrate key points. They don’t however, just tell jokes – unless it relates directly to the topic.

4. Involvement/consideration of audience

Effective presenters involve their audience by asking questions and citing relevant examples. They invite participants to contribute ideas and comments, and respond to questions in a meaningful way. Again, preparation is key. Anticipate questions that your audience may have, and be prepared to answer them. Want to ruin a presentation? Make sure that audience involvement is limited or nonexistent, questions and comments are discouraged, and responses to questions show a lack of preparation by the presenter.

5. Summarization of key points

A summary of the presentation (key points, high strength message) should be included at the end of the presentation. You should demonstrate your analysis and synthesis of the material. Don’t just restate your bullet points. Remember that people remember what you said first the best, and they remember what you said last second best.

6. Accuracy

Your presentation must be realistic and factually accurate, i.e., it should not exhibit dubious or implausible scenarios. It’s okay to emphasize certain points and downplay others, but never misrepresent the truth. Enough said.

7. Balance

You should include a blend of “big picture” information, e.g., executive summary, as well as sufficient supporting detail. If you talk only in generalities, you will seem disconnected from reality. Conversely, if you get bogged down in the details, you will lose your audience. Find the right blend.

8. Persuasiveness

You need to convince your audience that your information is was feasible and viable. If it’s a sales pitch, they need to be “sold” by the end. Even if you’re not selling a product or service, you are at least “selling” your ideas. So be persuasive. Convince them that you, at the very least, believe in what you are saying.

9. Significance of content

Your material should be judged as a substantive and meaningful contribution to the understanding of the business opportunity or idea being presented. It should have breadth and depth. If your audience doesn’t feel that they have learned something new, they are likely to think you have wasted their time.

10. Delivery of material

As a presenter, you need to show sincere enthusiasm. Facial expressions, voice tone, and gestures should effectively add to the presentation. Dress and appearance needs to be appropriate to the setting. A good rule of thumb is to dress just slightly better than your audience. And of course, hygiene must be impeccable. That should go without saying, but I have witnessed too many times where the presenter’s appearance detracted from the message. Don’t let it be you.


This may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. It all boils down to preparation, and demonstrating concern for your audience. If you do that, I guarantee your nerves won’t bother you nearly as much.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Carolyn Fields


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)