The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

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We wanted to find the secret ingredient that makes a presentation or speech impactful. To find the answer we started by asking from some of the people we have worked with and people who we think have interesting views to presentations.

Here is our SlideShare presentation about the answers that we got. Below the presentation you can read the summary of the answers in text.


Q: What is your number one recommendation for making a presentation impactful?

Lose the Jargon

John Zimmer The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Seven-time European Champion of Public Speaking and Presentation Trainer John Zimmer recommends keeping your presentations simple and losing jargon. He says that it serves no purpose to sound sophisticated if people can’t understand what you are talking about.

Speaking the same language as your audience is very important when presenting, so do not try to wow them with jargon or fancy words!

Express Only One Idea Per Slide

Stephanie Evergreen The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Stephanie Evergreen, Information Designer at Evergreen Data, emphasizes expressing one, and only one, idea per slide.

Presentation slides filled with information will weaken your audiences attention from your message.

Say Something No One Else Says

Petri Rajaniemi The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Keynote Speaker and Thinker Petri Rajaniemi’s trick for impactful presentation is to try to find or imagine the need behind the obvious need of the audience and always say something no one else says.

It might be hard to find always something new to say, but still you should try to bring something new for your audience in every presentation you take.

Have a Clear Why

Outi Lammi The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Presentation Graphics Trainer and Author Outi Lammi recommends to have a clear “why”. And for that you have to know the purpose of your presentation, and who are the people who will participate in it.

If even you are not clear about your presentations purpose and message, how can you convey your message to your audience? When you start preparing your presentation, clarify the purpose and the message of your presentation to yourself.

Focus Your Speech on One Big Idea

Dr Michelle Mazur The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Dr. Michelle Mazur, CEO and Speech Designer at Communication Rebel, advises to focusing on one big idea instead of cramming more information into your presentation. One big idea helps your audience to remember and spread your message better.

If you try to convey multiple ideas to your audience, your presentation might get confusing and your audience will have hard time to understand your message. Focusing on one idea at the time will clarify your presentation and help your audience to understand your message.

Know Your Audience

Andre Noel Chaker The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Keynote Speaker and Author André Noël Chaker highlights the meaning of knowing your audience, its profiles and expectations.

When you start preparing your presentation, you should get to know your audience. At least you should know what they already know about your subject, what kind of language they speak, how do they dress and how they think you should dress, and what they expect to hear from you. By getting to know your audience you can enhance the feeling of togetherness which will help your audience to receive your message.

Think of How Your Presentation Will Serve Your Audience

Lea Pica The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Digital Analytics, Presentation and Visualization Consultant Lea Pica reminds the importance of your audiences needs. You should think how your presentation will serve your audience, not the other way around.

As André Noël Chaker, Lea Pica also emphasizes the meaning of knowing your audience and it’s needs. When you go to deliver your presentation, you do not present it for your self. Your audience should get something out of your presentation, so when preparing your presentation, remember to think how your presentation will serve them.

Start with Paper and Pen

Oscar Santolalla The secrets of delivering impactful presentations

Time to Shine Podcast Host and Presentation Trainer Oscar Santolalla recommends to start preparing your presentation with pen and paper and only when you have made your idea, structure of your talk and words clear, jump to PowerPoint or your favorite presentation design tool.

As they say: well planned is half done, so you should start producing your presentation by planning and clarifying  the idea, structure and words of your presentation to yourself. If you try to start by creating the presentation slides, it will be hard to achieve a coherent and well planned presentation.


The key is to knowing your audience

As we can see from the responses, there is many ingredients to delivering a impactful presentation but  understanding your audience, its needs and expectations might be the most important think when preparing and delivering a presentation. But also clear, simple and well structured presentation will  help you to convey your message to your audience and deliver a impactful presentation.

That’s  it for now. Stay tuned for the next episode!


Meri-Tuuli Nevala

Meri-Tuuli on Havainin inbound strategist ja digitaalisen median osaaja. Koulutukseltaan hän on FM Informaatiotutimuksen ja interaktiivisen median alalta. Meri-Tuulin intohimona on käytettävyys, hakukoneoptimointi ja analytiikka sekä erilaiset tekniset ratkaisut ja integraatiot. Käyttäjä- ja teknologiaorientituneella otteellaan Meri-Tuuli tuottaa toimivia ja tehokkaita sisältöjä ja ratkaisuja asiakkaiden markkinointikampanjoihin. Twitter: MeriTuuliNevala LinkedIn: Meri-Tuuli Nevala

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