How to Create a Great Presentation:

A very funny look at Death by Power Point

Learn From an Expert: Steve Jobs

I realise that you do not have the experience that Steve Jobs had.

I am also aware that you do not have an office full of people writing your presentation.

You can still learn a lot about giving a presentation from watching what he does.

There is a great deal of skill in using Power Point Effectively.

Some good advice on how to give a presentation can be found on this BBC Bitesize page.

A Guide to Giving a Great Presentation


Preparation is the key to giving an effective presentation and to controlling your nervousness. Know your topic well. You will be the expert on the topic in the classroom. Good preparation and the realization that you are the expert will boost your self-confidence. After your research, you will find that you know much more about your topic than you will have time to present. That is a good thing. It will allow you to compose a good introduction, to distill out the main, most important points that need to be made, and to finish with a strong conclusion.

  • Know your topic become an expert
  • Learn as much about the topic as you can to boost your self-confidence
  • An 8-minute talk is roughly equivalent to 4 double spaced pages in 12-pt. font and 1 margins – however, never read a presentation. Write out your presentation if you need to organize your thoughts, but then outline this text for the actual presentation.

Visual aids

Visual aids (maps, photos, film clips, graphs, diagrams, and charts) can enhance a presentation.

  • Keep visual aids simple and uncluttered.
  • Use color and contrast for emphasis but use them in moderation
  • Use a font large enough to be seen from the back of the room
  • For an 8-10 minute talk use no more than 10 slides
  • If using PowerPoing, strongly resist the temptation to use sound effects and dramatic slide transitions


Handouts provide structure. They can provide supplemental material, references, a glossary of terms, and serve as a record of the presentation. The handout should be attractively laid out and inviting to read. Leave enough white space on the handout for the listener to take notes.
A handout should be 1-2 pages long and consist of:

  • Your name
  • Title of course
  • Date of presentation
  • Title of your presentation
  • Brief abstract (50 word summary of your presentation)
  • A brief outline of your presentation including the major points
  • A bibliography of references used to inform the presentation


Practice giving your presentation to yourself. Speak out loud and time yourself. Practice using your visual aids. It is absolutely important that you adhere to your time limit.
Your goal is to inform, not overwhelm. In this case, less can be more.


To deliver your presentation you will have to overcome your nervousness and deal with room conditions. Good preparation should allay most of your nervousness; realizing that everyone feels nervous before a presentation should also help. Your presentation will never go exactly as you think it will fortunately, they usually go better than you expect. However, if you are using any kind of technology be prepared for something to go wrong and have a backup plan.

Equipment tips:

  • Workout details with equipment before the day of your presentation

  • Know how to operate the equipment you choose to use

  • If you are using PowerPoint, have a backup copy on a disk

  • Consider making paper copies of your PowerPoint slides in case there is a problem with the technology

  • Do not expect a network connection to work when you need it. Have any web sites you hope to show available as offline copies on a disk. Work offline whenever possible to avoid slow network response

Delivery tips:

  • Begin your presentation by telling your audience what your topic is and what you will be covering. Audiences like to have a guidepost.
  • Avoid reading your remarks
  • Dress neatly and appropriately. The rule of thumb is to dress one level nicer than the audience will be dressed.
  • Speak in a clear, audible voice loud enough to be clearly heard in the back row. Never, ever mumble
  • Stand up straight, don’t slouch. Don’t be afraid to move around the room moving around is good, it causes the audience to pay attention
  • Don’t rock back and forth on your heels, don’t tap a pencil or play with pencil or pointer, don’t do things that will distract from your content.
  • Never apologize to your audience for the state of your knowledge or your degree of preparation. The audience wants to have confidence in you, you are the authority, do nothing to undermine your authority.
  • Never mention anything that could have been in your talk but wasn’t
  • Make frequent eye contact with the audience. Really look at the audience as you talk to them. Engaging them directly with your eyes transfers a bit of your energy to them and keeps them focused on your content. Making eye contact says that you are in charge of the room and for a presentation that’s what you want.
  • avoid the tendency to speak to the screen instead of to the audience. Be so familiar with your visual aids that the only reason you look at them is to point something out.
  • Never turn your back on the audience and try to avoid walking in front of the projector
  • Adhere strickly to your time limit. Organize your main points and rate of speech so that you speak for your 10 minutes. You will be surprised how quickly the time goes.
  • At the conclusion of your presentation ask for questions. Encourage questions with your eyes and your body language. Respond to questions politely, good-humoredly, and briefly. Take a quick moment to compose your thoughts before responding if you need to but do not fill the moment with uh.
  • At the end of your presentation, summarize your main points and give a strong concluding remark that reinforces why your information is of value.
  • Show some enthusiasm

A note on fear and nervousness

Accept nervousness for what it is, part of the preparation for speaking and it is a good thing. It heightens your senses and gets your blood pumping. You will think clearly and move faster. Everyone will feel nervous. A good preparation will increase your self-confidence. Once you get going, your good preparation will kick in and before you know it, your presentation will be over.

These tips are taken from