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How to Prepare for a Presentation, with Examples

February 15, 2021 - Dom Barnard

This guide covers everything you need to know to prepare for your presentation. including what you need to think about beforehand, during and after the presentation.

1. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse (always aloud)

Once you have your presentation worked out, you will need to practice it, but even though you might think it’s the best way to have a flawless presentation, don’t memorise what you’re going to say.

That might sound like incredibly bad advice, but here’s why:

  • If you memorise your speech, you’ll get stuck in thinking you can only deliver your ideas in that way, and that stifles your creativity, and the chance for new thoughts and ways to put things that come up as you speak.

Not only that, but every  audience is different . Sometimes they laugh out loud, sometimes they sit and smile, and you never know which type of audience you’ll have until you’re live.

Practice Presentation Skills

Improve your public speaking and presentation skills by practicing them in realistic environments, with automated feedback on performance. Learn More

If you’re going off a memorised presentation, it’s much more difficult to break away from that to go with the flow on the day, and respond naturally to your audience.

  • If you forget your speech in the middle of it, you will be thrown, and you’ll have more chance of complete brain freeze, which really will knock your confidence.
  • Memorising your presentation gives you a false sense of security, which could leave you high and dry if something goes wrong. If you’ve only got your memorised speech, for example, what will you do if your PowerPoint freezes or your props break, and you can’t do what you were going to do?

Rehearse in front of colleagues, friends, a mirror, in virtual reality – always aloud. Make sure you spend plenty of time practising your presentation, it will make you feel much more relaxed if you know your material.

Courses where you can rehearse with interactive exercises:

  • Essential Public Speaking
  • How to Present over Video

Video showing how you can prepare for your presentation using virtual reality.  Learn more about virtual reality training .

2. Memorise your opening line

Do, however, memorise your opening line. If you know how you’re going to begin, you’ll get a strong start and that will build your confidence.

Many speakers and stage actors find that the minute they’ve actually delivered their first line, the nerves are gone and they’re well into their stride.

3. Practise your speech from written notes

Writing your presentation out in your own handwriting will help you clarify your ideas and may well bring you new ones.

  • How to Write a Speech to Engage your Audience

4. Practise presentation flow

As well as practising for the ideas and what you want to say, practise how you want your presentation to flow. Think of it almost as a symphony, with high points, slow movements and crescendos. If it’s important, think about how you want your audience to feel, what emotions you want them to have, and when.

5. The power of silence

Don’t be afraid to pause and use the power of silence. A good pause can have a huge emotional impact. It allows people to really absorb what you are saying and react, and it’s vital to pause if you’re using humour so that the next part of your presentation doesn’t get lost underneath people’s laughter.

For more on the ‘Power of the Pause’, watch this short from video Brian Tracy:  The Power of the Pause

  • 10 Effective Ways to use Pauses in your Speech

6. Have a backup

There’s nothing worse than the projector dying or finding that your laptop won’t communicate with the projector for some reason. If you know you have a backup, even if it’s only a pre-prepared flip chart, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be more confident.

7. Arrive early

Following on from that, arrive at least half an hour early so you aren’t feeling rushed, and so you have time to check your equipment and get your notes laid out ready to go. That gives you time to breathe and relax before you go on, knowing everything is as set as it can be.

8. Use physical props for a demo

Use physical props, if possible, for a demo. This can make you stand out and be more memorable among all the other speakers who only use PowerPoint, and it can add greatly to the impact of your presentation.

Video showing an example of using physical props during a live demo.

9. Structure your presentation

First, find out how much time you have to present, is it 10 minutes, 15, an hour? Prepare enough material for this time and have a couple of extra slides as backup – we tend to speak much quicker when nervous so you might find you finish your presentation too early. At some large conference events, timings may change on the day, be aware of this have a shorter version of your presentation in mind (i.e. know which slides to skip over).

  • How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples
  • Examples of Corporate Presentation Structures

10. Prepare for questions

Have a few backup slides for questions you think will arise from your presentation. It is sometime a tactic to explain a section briefly in your speech, so that you get a question about it afterwards. If you don’t understand the question, ask for it to be rephrased.

If there are no questions, it is not an indication how good or bad your presentation was. You many have explain your material extremely well, or simply that people are tired at the end of the day and want to go home.

  • Guide for Handling Questions after a Presentation

11. Prepare for where you are presenting

If you can, go to the room you are speaking in before the actual event. It gives you an idea of furniture layout, podium height, location, room size, audience size and lighting. You can then visualise the room while practising and avoid the shock of suddenly being faced with a huge room when you expected a tiny one.

Ask the organiser if you need any particular props, for example a table to help with your live demo.

Additional planning to think about before your presentation:

1. Purpose  – what outcome are we trying to achieve? How can results be measured? What will success look like?

2. Topic  – Novelty? Complexity? Technical?

3. People  – Who should attend? What do they already know? How are they going to help?

4. Timing  – When will it happen and how long will the presentation take?

5. Location  – Where will the presentation be held? Do you have access to the correct facilities for the presentation?

6. Papers  – Who is keeping minutes? Do you need to send out an agenda before the presentation? Background information required?

7. Visual aids  – Is a  projector required ? Boards?

8. Style  – Structure or unstructured, discussion style? How assertive should you be? How should the meeting items be organised?

12. Choose the signals to give to your audience

Before the presentation, think about these 5 topics:

  • Eye contact
  • Facial gestures
  • Body language

Decide how you will use each of these to reinforce your message. Use the table below for help.

Additional courses to help you prepare for your presentation:

  • Presentation Skills Training Courses

Example from Steve Jobs

Think about these 10 techniques while you are preparing your presentation..

10 presentation techniques Steve Jobs used

  • Planning in Analog.  Tell a story, create stunning visuals and videos to complement video, use demonstrations and other speakers, keep the audience engaged.
  • Creating a Twitter-Friendly Description  Single description sentence, condensed his message into 140 characters.
  • Introduce the Enemy  Story needs villains or a problem to be solved. Jobs highlighted IBM and useless mobile phones (during iPhone release) as his villains.
  • Focusing on Benefits  Keep reinforcing the benefits of your product, create top 10 lists, understand this is what customers care about.
  • Sticking to Rule of Three  Classic Literary technique, things are best remembered and reinforced in threes. Read this article on  Literary Techniques  for more detail.
  • Sell Dreams, Not Products  Create a vision people believe in, create a vision which will make people’s lives better
  • Create Visual Slides  Use as few words as possible and use colourful graphics on the slide to highlight points.
  • Make Numbers Meaningful  Compare large numbers to things people understand.
  • Use Plain English  Use easy to say and easy to remember words, keep it simple.
  • Large Reveals  Due to Apple secrecy, Jobs was able to deliver unexpected products to the world at his product launches.

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What are the main difficulties when giving presentations?

How to create an effective presentation, after that, how do i give a memorable presentation, how to connect with the audience when presenting.

If you’ve ever heard someone give a powerful presentation, you probably remember how it made you feel. Much like a composer, a good speaker knows precisely when each note should strike to captivate their audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression.

No one becomes a great public speaker or presenter without practice. And almost everyone can recall a time one of their presentations went badly — that’s a painful part of the learning process.

Whether you’re working within a small creative team or a large organization, public speaking and presentation skills are vital to communicating your ideas. Knowing how to present your vision can help you pitch concepts to clients, present ideas to your team, and develop the confidence to participate in team meetings.

If you have an upcoming presentation on the horizon and feel nervous, that’s normal. Around 15-30% of the general population experience a fear of public speaking . And, unfortunately, social anxiety is on the rise, with a 12% increase in adults over the last 20 years . 

Learning how to give a good presentation can dismantle your fears and break down these barriers, ensuring you’re ready to confidently share your point of view. 

It’s the week before your presentation, and you’re already feeling nervous . Maybe there’ll be an important mentor in the room you need to impress, or you’re looking for an opportunity to show your boss your value. Regardless of your countless past presentations, you still feel nervous. 

Sharing your vision and ideas with any sized group is intimidating. You’re likely worrying about how you’ll perform as a presenter and whether the audience will be interested in what you offer. But nerves aren’t inherently negative — you can actually use this feeling to fuel your preparation.


It’s helpful to identify where your worries are coming from and address your fears. Here are some common concerns when preparing for an upcoming presentation:

Fear of public speaking: When you share your ideas in front of a group, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position to be critiqued on your knowledge and communication skills . Maybe you feel confident in your content, but when you think about standing in front of an audience, you feel anxious and your mind goes blank.

It’s also not uncommon to have physical symptoms when presenting . Some people experience nausea and dizziness as the brain releases adrenaline to cope with the potentially stressful situation . Remember to take deep breaths to recenter yourself and be patient, even if you make a mistake.

Losing the audience’s attention: As a presenter, your main focus is to keep your audience engaged. They should feel like they’re learning valuable information or following a story that will improve them in life or business.

Highlight the most exciting pieces of knowledge and ensure you emphasize those points in your presentation. If you feel passionate about your content, it’s more likely that your audience will experience this excitement for themselves and become invested in what you have to say.

Not knowing what content to place on presentation slides: Overloading presentation slides is a fast way to lose your audience’s attention. Your slides should contain only the main talking points and limited text to ensure your audience focuses on what you have to say rather than becoming distracted by the content on your slides.

Discomfort incorporating nonverbal communication: It’s natural to feel stiff and frozen when you’re nervous. But maintaining effective body language helps your audience stay focused on you as you speak and encourages you to relax.

If you struggle to incorporate body language into your presentations, try starting small by making hand gestures toward your slides. If you’re working with a large audience, use different parts of the stage to ensure everyone feels included. 

Each presenter has their own personal brand and style. Some may use humor to break the ice, while others might appeal to the audience’s emotional side through inspiring storytelling. 

Watching online presentations, such as TED talks, is an excellent way to expose yourself to various presentation styles and develop your own. While observing others, you can note how they carry themselves on stage and learn new ways to keep your audience engaged.

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Once you’ve addressed what’s causing your fears, it’s time to prepare for a great presentation. Use your past experience as inspiration and aim to outshine your former self by learning from your mistakes and employing new techniques. Here are five presentation tips to help you create a strong presentation and wow your audience:

1. Keep it simple

Simple means something different to everyone.

Before creating your presentation, take note of your intended audience and their knowledge level of your subject. You’ll want your content to be easy for your intended audience to follow.

Say you’re giving a presentation on improving your company’s operational structure. Entry-level workers will likely need a more straightforward overview of the content than C-suite leaders, who have significantly more experience. 

Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation and emphasize those important points. Doing this ensures they remember the most vital information rather than less important supporting ideas. Try organizing these concepts into bullet points so viewers can quickly identify critical takeaways.

2. Create a compelling structure

Put yourself in your audience member’s shoes and determine the most compelling way to organize your information. Your presentation should be articulate , cohesive, and logical, and you must be sure to include all necessary supporting evidence to strengthen your main points.

If you give away all of your answers too quickly, your audience could lose interest. And if there isn’t enough supporting information, they could hit a roadblock of confusion. Try developing a compelling story that leads your audience through your thought processes so they can experience the ups and downs alongside you. 

By structuring your presentation to lead up to a final conclusion, you’re more likely to keep listeners’ attention. Once you’ve reached that conclusion, you can offer a Q&A period to put any of their questions or concerns to rest. 

3. Use visual aids

Appealing to various learning styles is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they absorb your content. Visual aids are necessary for visual learners and make it easier for people to picture your ideas.

Aim to incorporate a mixture of photos, videos, and props to engage your audience and convey your key points. For instance, if you’re giving a presentation on anthropology subject matter, you could show your audience an artifact to help them understand how exciting a discovery must have been. 

If your presentation is long, including a video for your audience to watch is an excellent way to give yourself a break and create new jumping-off points for your speech.

4. Be aware of design techniques and trends

Thanks to cutting-edge technology and tools, you have numerous platforms at your disposal to create a good presentation. But keep in mind that although color, images, and graphics liven things up, they can cause distraction when misused.

  Here are a few standard pointers for incorporating visuals on your slides: 

  • Don’t place blocks of small text on a single slide
  • Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
  • Ensure text stands out against the background color
  • Only use high-resolution photos
  • Maintain a consistent font style and size throughout the presentation
  • Don’t overuse transitions and effects

5. Try the 10-20-30 rule

Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides , last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30. Following this strategy can help you condense your information, eliminate unnecessary ideas, and maintain your audience’s focus more efficiently.

Once you’re confident in creating a memorable presentation, it’s time to learn how to give one. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your audience invested during your talk: 

Tip #1: Tell stories

Sharing an anecdote from your life can improve your credibility and increase your relatability. And when an audience relates to you, they’re more likely to feel connected to who you are as a person and encouraged to give you their full attention, as they would want others to do the same.

Gill Hicks utilized this strategy well when she shared her powerful story, “ I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned .” In her harrowing tale, Hicks highlights the importance of compassion, unconditional love, and helping those in need.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal stories, that’s okay. You can use examples from famous individuals or create a fictional account to demonstrate your ideas.

Tip #2: Make eye contact with the audience

Maintaining eye contact is less intimidating than it sounds. In fact, you don’t have to look your audience members directly in their eyes — you can focus on their foreheads or noses if that’s easier.

Try making eye contact with as many people as possible for 3–5 seconds each. This timing ensures you don’t look away too quickly, making the audience member feel unimportant, or linger too long, making them feel uncomfortable.

If you’re presenting to a large group, direct your focus to each part of the room to ensure no section of the audience feels ignored. 


Tip #3: Work on your stage presence

Although your tone and words are the most impactful part of your presentation, recall that body language keeps your audience engaged. Use these tips to master a professional stage presence:

  • Speak with open arms and avoid crossing them
  • Keep a reasonable pace and try not to stand still
  • Use hand gestures to highlight important information

Tip #4: Start strong

Like watching a movie trailer, the first seconds of your talk are critical for capturing your audience’s attention. How you start your speech sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and tells your audience whether or not they should pay attention. Here are some ways to start your presentation to leave a lasting impression:

  • Use a quote from a well-known and likable influential person 
  • Ask a rhetorical question to create intrigue
  • Start with an anecdote to add context to your talk 
  • Spark your audience’s curiosity by involving them in an interactive problem-solving puzzle or riddle

Tip #5: Show your passion

Don’t be afraid of being too enthusiastic. Everyone appreciates a speaker who’s genuinely excited about their field of expertise. 

In “ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ,” Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the importance of passion in research and delivery. She delivers her presentation excitedly to show the audience how excitement piques interest. 

Tip #6: Plan your delivery

How you decide to deliver your speech will shape your presentation. Will you be preparing a PowerPoint presentation and using a teleprompter? Or are you working within the constraints of the digital world and presenting over Zoom?

The best presentations are conducted by speakers who know their stuff and memorize their content. However, if you find this challenging, try creating notes to use as a safety net in case you lose track.

If you’re presenting online, you can keep notes beside your computer for each slide, highlighting your key points. This ensures you include all the necessary information and follow a logical order.


Tip #7: Practice

Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes progress. There’s no way of preparing for unforeseen circumstances, but thorough practice means you’ve done everything you can to succeed.

Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or to a trusted friend or family member. Take any feedback and use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your speech. But remember: who you practice your presentation in front of may differ from your intended audience. Consider their opinions through the lens of them occupying this different position.

Tip #8: Read the room

Whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event or presenting to a small group of clients, knowing how to read the room is vital for keeping your audience happy. Stay flexible and be willing to move on from topics quickly if your listeners are uninterested or displeased with a particular part of your speech.

Tip #9: Breathe

Try taking deep breaths before your presentation to calm your nerves. If you feel rushed, you’re more likely to feel nervous and stumble on your words.

The most important thing to consider when presenting is your audience’s feelings. When you approach your next presentation calmly, you’ll put your audience at ease and encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence.

Tip #10: Provide a call-to-action

When you end your presentation, your audience should feel compelled to take a specific action, whether that’s changing their habits or contacting you for your services.

If you’re presenting to clients, create a handout with key points and contact information so they can get in touch. You should provide your LinkedIn information, email address, and phone number so they have a variety of ways to reach you. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all template for an effective presentation, as your unique audience and subject matter play a role in shaping your speech. As a general rule, though, you should aim to connect with your audience through passion and excitement. Use strong eye contact and body language. Capture their interest through storytelling and their trust through relatability.

Learning how to give a good presentation can feel overwhelming — but remember, practice makes progress. Rehearse your presentation for someone you trust, collect their feedback , and revise. Practicing your presentation skills is helpful for any job, and every challenge is a chance to grow.

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Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

6 presentation skills and how to improve them

Tell a story they can't ignore these 10 tips will teach you how, 3 stand-out professional bio examples to inspire your own, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, how to write a speech that your audience remembers, reading the room gives you an edge — no matter who you're talking to, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, your ultimate guide on how to be a good storyteller, 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, similar articles, the importance of good speech: 5 tips to be more articulate, the 11 tips that will improve your public speaking skills, 30 presentation feedback examples, how to not be nervous for a presentation — 13 tips that work (really), how the minto pyramid principle can enhance your communication skills, 8 clever hooks for presentations (with tips), stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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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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Blog Beginner Guides

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

how to prepare for a presentation

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

how to prepare for a presentation

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

how to prepare for a presentation

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

how to prepare for a presentation

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

how to prepare for a presentation

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

how to prepare for a presentation

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

how to prepare for a presentation

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

how to prepare for a presentation

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!


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How to Give a Killer Presentation

  • Chris Anderson

how to prepare for a presentation

For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:

  • Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
  • Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
  • Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
  • Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
  • Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).

According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.

Lessons from TED

A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”

  • CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.

how to prepare for a presentation

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How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

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.css-1qrtm5m{display:block;margin-bottom:8px;text-transform:uppercase;font-size:14px;line-height:1.5714285714285714;-webkit-letter-spacing:-0.35px;-moz-letter-spacing:-0.35px;-ms-letter-spacing:-0.35px;letter-spacing:-0.35px;font-weight:300;color:#606F7B;}@media (min-width:600px){.css-1qrtm5m{font-size:16px;line-height:1.625;-webkit-letter-spacing:-0.5px;-moz-letter-spacing:-0.5px;-ms-letter-spacing:-0.5px;letter-spacing:-0.5px;}} Best Practices 5 essential preparation steps for a successful presentation

by Tom Rielly • June 15, 2020

how to prepare for a presentation

Keeping your presentation visuals minimalistic, simple, and clear is just one important step to remember when designing a hit presentation. Leaving nothing to chance, great presenters prove quite methodical as they prepare. Here’s a checklist for everything you need to keep in mind before your next presentation:

1. Choose the right software for your needs

visualpres blogpost 2 softwares

The easiest way to select the right presentation software for you is to simply find the one that is native to your device. For example, if you have a Mac, use Apple Keynote, if you work on Windows, use PowerPoint. Google Slides is recommended if you’re working with someone, as it makes collaboration very easy. Another software option is Prezi: a specialty tool called Prezi that creates a presentation using motion, zoom, and panning across one giant visual space.

2. Organize your files

As you develop your script and visuals, you will need to start assembling all the assets for your slides. Create a unique folder on your computer to hold these items. Keep the folder organized by media type (presentation drafts, photos, videos, scripts) and back them up frequently to the Cloud or external disk. Label each file with a specific descriptive name, e.g. “Susan Johnson singing magpie 2020”, as opposed to “IMG_4043.jpg”, which can make it confusing to find your assets. The more organized you are up front, the easier preparing for your presentation will be.

3. Prepare your presentation materials

Make sure your presentation materials (script, graphics, actual slides) are saved in at least two safe spots (for example, your computer and an external USB drive) and are backed-up frequently. If you are using an online presentation software, such as Google Slides, be sure to also download a copy of your presentation in case the internet connection is unreliable. Having all the individual assets on hand in addition to your presentation slides can be helpful if you experience tech issues before presenting, or if you need to make any last minute changes. Make sure to label your final presentation with the title and your name so it’s easy to find.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Remember, practice makes perfect. People often run out of time making their presentations and have no time to practice. Most TED speakers practice at least ten times. Neuroscientist Jill-Bolte Taylor gave one of the most successful Talks in TED history with nearly 27 million views. How did she do it? She practiced her Talk over 40 times! By rehearsing multiple times you will naturally memorize your Talk, which means you won’t need note cards when you give your final presentation.

5. Do a final test run

Before presenting, make sure the equipment you need is working properly. It’s generally good practice to rehearse standing on the exact stage with the exact lighting using the exact computer that you will be using in your final presentation.

Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for when testing your equipment:

  • If you're not using your own computer, the one provided might be slower and have trouble playing media. If you have videos or other media, make sure they play correctly
  • Test the projector to make sure it’s HD
  • Make sure images are clear
  • Test the sound of any clips you use, as this is what goes wrong most frequently
  • If you’re using a mic, test the volume

Don’t let technical issues or other blunders overshadow your presentation. By following these guidelines, and with a little preparation, you can engineer out the problems BEFORE they happen.

Ready to learn more about how to make your presentation even better? Get TED Masterclass and develop your ideas into TED-style talks

© 2024 TED Conferences, LLC. All rights reserved. Please note that the TED Talks Usage policy does not apply to this content and is not subject to our creative commons license.

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How to Prepare for a Presentation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Master the art of presentation preparation with our comprehensive step-by-step guide, "How to Prepare for a Presentation." Whether you're a seasoned presenter or just starting out, this resource is packed with essential tips. Learn how to practice, engage your audience, enhance your delivery skills, and conquer nerves and anxiety.


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Table of Contents  

1) Steps on How to Prepare for a Presentation 

      a) Understand your audience 

      b) Define your objective 

      c) Research and gather information 

      d) Organise your content 

      e) Design visual aids 

      f) Practise and rehearse 

      g) Prepare to engage the audience 

      h) Enhance delivery skills 

      i) Manage nerves and anxiety 

      j) Utilise technology 

     k) Plan to pace your Presentation

2) Conclusion 

Steps on How to Prepare for a Presentation   

Steps on How to Prepare for a Presentation

In this section, you will learn how to prepare for a presentation in a step-by-step manner and enhance your  Presentation Skills . The blog will also look into advantages and disadvantages of presentations . 

Understand your audience  

To effectively engage your audience during a Presentation, it's essential to understand who they are. Consider their demographics, interests, and background knowledge in relation to the topic. By gaining insights into your audience, you can tailor your content and its delivery to meet their needs and capture their attention. Understanding your audience involves: 

a) Identifying audience demographics: Consider age, gender, educational background, and professional experience. This information will help you determine the appropriate tone, level of technicality, and examples to include in your Presentation.  

b) Assessing audience interests: Research the common interests and preferences of your audience. Are they more inclined towards statistics and data, or do they prefer real-life examples and stories? By aligning your content with their interests, you can create a stronger connection and keep them engaged.  

c) Adapting to their knowledge level: Assess your audience's existing knowledge about the topic. Are they beginners, intermediates, or experts? This understanding allows you to avoid overwhelming them with complex concepts or boring them with basic information. Tailor your content to their knowledge level, ensuring it provides value and challenges them appropriately. 

Define your objective  

Clearly defining your objective is crucial to staying focused and delivering a Presentation that meets your goals. Here’s what you need to do to define your objective effectively: 

a) Set specific goals: Determine what you aim to achieve through your Presentation. Are you trying to inform, persuade, inspire, or educate your audience? Setting specific goals will help you structure your content and guide your delivery towards the desired outcome. 

b) Decide on the main message: Identify the core message you want to convey to your audience. What is the key takeaway you want them to remember? This main message will serve as a guiding principle throughout your Presentation, ensuring coherence and clarity. 

c) Align objectives with audience needs: Consider how your objectives align with the needs and interests of your audience. What value will they gain from your Presentation? By aligning your objectives with their needs, you increase the chances of creating a meaningful impact and fostering engagement. 

Research and gather information  

One of the most important steps on How to Prepare for a Presentation is conducting thorough research. Thorough research and gathering relevant information are essential steps in preparing a well-informed and credible presentation. You can also refer to various presentation skills interview questions and answer to build you confidence and Improve Your Presentation Skills . To conduct effective research, you need to cater to the following aspects:

a) Explore diverse sources: Use a variety of sources such as books, academic journals, reputable websites, and credible online platforms. Ensure that the information you gather is reliable, up-to-date, and relevant to your topic. 

b) Collect data, facts, and examples: Support your key points with data, facts, and examples. This evidence strengthens your arguments, enhances credibility, and provides valuable insights to your audience. Use statistics, case studies, anecdotes, and expert quotes to enrich your content. 

c) Take notes and organise information: As you research, take detailed notes to capture the key ideas and information. Organise your notes based on themes, subtopics, or the logical flow of your Presentation. This will facilitate the later stage of organising your content effectively. 

Unlock your full potential as a Presenter with our Presentation Skills Training Course – join now!  

Organise your content  

Organising your content clearly and logically helps your audience follow and understand your Presentation. Effective organisation involves: 

a) Creating a logical structure: Develop a clear outline or structure for your Presentation. Start the Presentation with an introduction that grabs attention, followed by distinct sections or chapters that cover the main points. End with a concise summary or conclusion that reinforces your main message.

b) Using headings and subheadings: Divide your content into sections using headings and subheadings. These serve as signposts, guiding your audience through different topics or ideas. Headings also make it easier for your audience to refer back to specific sections if needed. 

c) Ensuring smooth transitions: Ensure smooth transitions between different sections or ideas. Use transitional phrases or sentences to connect ideas and create a cohesive flow throughout your Presentation. This helps your audience follow your thought process and prevents disjointed or confusing transitions. 

Design visual aids  

Visual aids can enhance the impact and understanding of your Presentation. Consider the following when designing visual aids: 

a) Choose appropriate visuals: Select visual elements that support and reinforce your content. This could include charts, graphs, images, videos, or infographics. Ensure that the visuals are relevant, high-quality, and easy to understand. 

b) Simplify complex information: Visual aids are particularly effective in simplifying complex information. Use visuals to present data, comparisons, or processes in a visually appealing format. This helps your audience grasp complex concepts more readily. 

c) Balance visuals and text: Find the right balance between visuals and text. Avoid overcrowding slides with excessive text, which can overwhelm and distract your audience. Use concise bullet points or keywords to complement the visuals and aid in comprehension. 

Practise and rehearse  

Practise and rehearsal are essential for delivering a confident and polished Presentation. Consider the following when practising: 

a) Rehearse your content: Familiarise yourself with the content and flow of your Presentation. Practise delivering each section, ensuring a smooth transition between ideas. Pay attention to your pacing, articulation, and clarity of speech. 

b) Time your Presentation: Practise timing your Presentation to ensure it fits within the allocated time. This helps you avoid rushing through important points or exceeding the time limit. Adjust your delivery as necessary to ensure a well-paced Presentation. 

c) Seek feedback and refine: Seek feedback from trusted individuals who can provide constructive criticism. Incorporate their suggestions to refine your delivery, eliminate unnecessary filler words, and enhance the overall impact of your Presentation. 

Prepare to engage the audience  

Engaging your audience throughout the Presentation helps maintain their interest and active participation. Consider these strategies and elements of presentation to engage your audience effectively: It is also important to understand various elements of presentations. Consider these strategies to engage your audience effectively: 

a) Interactive elements: Incorporate interactive elements such as rhetorical questions, quizzes, or brief activities to encourage audience participation. This stimulates their thinking and keeps them actively engaged in the Presentation. 

b) Address audience concerns: Actively listen to your audience and address their queries or concerns promptly. Encourage questions and create a safe environment for open discussion. This demonstrates your expertise and builds rapport with your audience. 

c) Tell stories and anecdotes: Use relevant stories, anecdotes, or case studies to illustrate your points and captivate your audience. Stories have a powerful impact and make your content more relatable and memorable.   

Presentation Skills Training

Enhance delivery skills  

Enhancing your delivery skills is essential for creating an engaging and impactful Presentation. Consider the following to improve your delivery skills:

a) Body language: Pay attention to your body language and use it to convey confidence and authority. Maintain good posture, make purposeful gestures, and establish eye contact with your audience. This non-verbal cue enhances your message. 

b) Tone of voice and pace: Master your tone of voice and adjust it to emphasise key points or create a sense of urgency. Vary your pace to maintain interest and add emphasis where needed. Use pauses effectively to allow important information to sink in. 

c) Use visual aids as support: Visual aids should complement your delivery, not overshadow it. Use them as support to enhance your message rather than relying on them completely. Maintain a balance between your verbal delivery and the visuals. 

Manage nervousness and anxiety  

Managing nervousness and anxiety is crucial for delivering a confident Presentation. Consider the following strategies: 

a) Preparation and practice: Thorough preparation and practice build confidence and reduce anxiety. The more familiar you are with your content, the more at ease you will feel during the Presentation. 

b) Deep breathing and relaxation techniques: Before as well as during the Presentation, practice deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques to calm your nerves. Focus on slow, deep breaths to regulate your heart rate and promote a sense of calm. 

c) Be early: It is a good idea to be early for your Presentation. This will give you more time to get ready to set up your equipment . When you reach early at the venue, you get plenty of time to work on the finer details of your Presentation.  

c) Visualise success: Visualise yourself delivering a successful Presentation. Imagine the positive outcomes and the impact you will have on your audience. Visualising success helps boost your confidence and reduces anxiety. 

Utilise technology  

Utilising technology can enhance the effectiveness of your Presentation. Consider the following when incorporating technology: 

a) Choose appropriate tools: Select Presentation software or tools that suit your needs and style. Familiarise yourself with their features and functionalities, such as slide transitions, animations, or multimedia integration.  

b) Prepare for technical issues: Anticipate potential technical issues and have contingency plans in place. Ensure you have backup files saved on different devices or formats, and familiarise yourself with troubleshooting techniques in case of technical difficulties.  

c) Integrate technology seamlessly: Use technology to enhance your Presentation, not distract from it. Ensure that the technology supports your message and engages your audience effectively. Practice using the technology beforehand to ensure seamless integration into your Presentation. 

Take your Presentations to the next level with our Effective Presentation Skills & Techniques course . 

Plan to pace your Presentation   

Pacing your Presentation effectively ensures that you maintain the interest and engagement of your audience throughout. Consider the following when planning the pace of your Presentation: 

a) Set a realistic timeframe: Determine the allocated time for your Presentation and plan your content accordingly. Be mindful of the time constraints and ensure that your Presentation fits within the given timeframe. Avoid overloading your Presentation with excessive information, which can result in rushing through key points or running out of time. 

b) Structure your content with timing in mind: Divide your Presentation into sections or key points and assign a specific amount of time to each of them. This helps you allocate your time effectively and ensures that you cover all the essential aspects without rushing or dragging on. 

c) Practise timing during rehearsals: Practise your Presentation multiple times while keeping an eye on the clock. Use a stopwatch or timer to simulate the actual Presentation conditions. This allows you to gauge how long each section takes and make adjustments as needed to maintain a smooth and well-paced delivery. 

d) Allow time for interaction and engagement: Incorporate interactive elements, such as questions, discussions, or activities, throughout your Presentation. Plan for these moments by allocating specific time slots. This not only breaks up the monotony but also encourages audience participation and keeps their attention focused. 

e) Be aware of audience cues: Pay attention to the reactions and engagement levels of your audience during the Presentation. Adjust your pace accordingly. If you notice signs of confusion or disinterest, you may need to slow down, provide more context, or clarify certain points. On the other hand, if you see that your audience is highly engaged and responsive, you can maintain a slightly faster pace to keep the energy up. 

f) Use silence effectively: Don't be afraid to use silence as a powerful tool. A well-timed pause can create a solid emotional impact. It lets people really listen to what you are saying and respond in is essential to pause if you are using humour so that people don't miss the next part of your Presentation while they are laughing. 

g) Practise smooth transitions: Smooth transitions between sections or ideas are crucial for maintaining a good pace. Avoid abrupt jumps or awkward pauses. Practise transitioning between different topics or slides, ensuring that the flow between ideas feels natural and seamless. 


Preparing for a Presentation requires careful planning and attention to detail. By understanding your audience, defining clear objectives, conducting thorough research, and organising your content effectively, you can deliver a successful Presentation. Remember to engage your audience, enhance your delivery skills, manage nervousness, utilise technology wisely, and handle Q&A sessions with confidence. Hope we could provide you with all the information you needed to know about How to Prepare for a Presentation! 

Want to master the art of impactful Presentations? Explore our Presentation Skills Courses and elevate your communication prowess!  

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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

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How to Prepare for a Presentation: A Guide to Present Like a Pro

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Guru - May 29, 2023 - Leave your thoughts. 12 min read

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Presentations are powerful tools for communication, persuasion, and knowledge sharing. 

Effective presentation skills are crucial in today's world of business, where we are constantly required to pitch our ideas, sway stakeholders, and make a lasting impact.

Nonetheless, the process of preparing for a presentation can be overwhelming, anxiety-inducing, and leave people wondering how to prepare for a presentation without any mental breakdowns.

This often leads individuals to believe that not everyone possesses the aptitude to command the stage and engage with the audience.

Contrary to this common perception, anyone can excel at delivering a flawless presentation with a little extra effort and practice.

So if you are apprehensive about taking such presentation opportunities at work/study, or struggling to put out a great presentation in general, then you have come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of how to prepare for a presentation, equipping you with invaluable tips, techniques, and strategies to ace your very next presentation. 

Whether you're a seasoned presenter or just starting, this blog will empower you to deliver impactful presentations that captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression.

Let’s get started,

  • Comprehending the Objectives of the Presentation
  • Conducting Thorough Research
  • Crafting the Structure of Presentation
  • Acing the Opening Line 
  • Articulating the Content Confidently
  • Harnessing the Power of Compelling Visual Aids
  • Mastering the Delivery of Presentation
  • Conquering the Presentation Anxiety
  • Forging a Profound Connection
  • Handling Questions and Feedback 

1. Comprehending the Objectives of the Presentation

Whenever you are starting to prepare for a presentation, it is of utmost importance to initially grasp the objectives. 

Through your presentation, do you seek to convey information, persuade, entertain, or inspire? 

Recognizing the objective of the presentation will serve as a guiding compass throughout the process of generating the content, enabling you to arrange your presentation in a manner that deeply connects with your audience.

By comprehending the purpose of your presentation, you will be able to craft a compelling message that aligns with your desired outcome. 

If your goal is to inform, you can focus on providing valuable knowledge and insights.

If your goal is to persuade, you can employ rhetorical strategies and persuasive techniques to sway your listeners. 

If your goal is to entertain, you can incorporate engaging anecdotes or captivating visuals. 

Lastly, if inspiration is your objective, you can share personal stories or powerful examples that ignite motivation and aspiration.

Ultimately, understanding the purpose of your presentation empowers you to create a meaningful and impactful experience for your audience.

2. Conducting Thorough Research 

It goes without saying that conducting thorough research is essential to create a perfect presentation.

To ensure the utmost success of your presentation, it is imperative to engage in comprehensive research, guaranteeing that your content remains current, pertinent, and supported by reputable sources.

Most importantly, thorough research allows you to showcase a profound understanding of the subject matter, enabling you to articulate your points with clarity and authority. 

You can refer to academic journals, industry reports, and digital reservoirs to amass invaluable insights that help build your presentation's overall credibility.

Also, make sure to critically analyze the information you gather - assessing the reliability, accuracy, and relevance to your objectives. 

Without proper information or genuine facts, you can never create an impact through your presentation.

To avoid this, you can consult multiple sources and consider different viewpoints. Doing so demonstrates intellectual rigor and showcases a strong understanding of the topic.

Hence, it is essential that you incorporate meticulously researched and relevant information in your presentation to elevate the credibility and offer thought leadership on the topic you are presenting.

3. Crafting the Structure of Presentation

Once you have identified your topic and objective and gathered all relevant information for your presentation, the next step is to craft a well-organized structure.

A well-structured presentation serves as the backbone for a genuinely special delivery. 

For example, you can use the classic presentation framework of the Introduction - Body - Conclusion structure.

The aim is to establish a coherent flow that enables your audience to follow and grasp the essence of your key points effortlessly.

Consider the introduction as your gateway to capturing the attention and curiosity of your audience.

A strong introduction establishes a solid foundation upon which you can build the rest of your presentation.

You can use an intriguing anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a captivating statistic that immediately grabs their interest in the introduction.

The body of your presentation forms the core where you present your main ideas and supporting evidence. 

Organize your critical points in a logical sequence, ensuring a smooth transition between each idea. This could involve presenting them in chronological order, by importance, or by contrasting perspectives. 

Lastly, the conclusion should be a powerful summary that reinforces your main message and leaves a lasting impact. 

You can recap the key takeaways, emphasize their significance, and provide a call to action or a thought-provoking closing statement that resonates with your audience.

Overall, a well-crafted structure paves the way for a memorable and impactful presentation.

4. Acing the Opening Line

Talking about starting your presentation, it is imperative that you ace the opening line of your presentation.

A strong opening line serves as the significant hook to captivate your audience's attention and set the tone for the entire experience. 

You can begin by understanding the essence of your message and the desired impact you wish to create. 

Then tailor your opening line to align seamlessly with your objective, whether it be to inspire, inform, persuade, or entertain. 

By establishing a clear intention, you can construct a compelling opening that hooks your audience from the very first word.

For instance, you can engage their emotions by posing a thought-provoking question that challenges conventional thinking or by sharing relatable anecdotes that may resonate on the topic.

Take plenty of time to carefully craft your opening line with precision and artistry, leaving your audience eager enough to sit through the rest of the presentation.

You can watch Ted talks, famous speeches, or product launch presentations to understand how successful people go about their presentations.

Thus, by mastering the art of the opening line, you can easily set the stage for a memorable presentation that will resonate long after its conclusion.

5. Articulating the Content Confidently

Once you have fixed the final presentation structure and perfected the right opening line, it’s time to work on your delivery for the rest of your presentation.

How confidently you can articulate your content speaks volumes. 

No matter how good your background research is, if you fail to articulate well, then it all goes down the drain.

When seeking to captivate your audience, content reigns supreme to date. 

So leverage the power of storytelling by incorporating impactful opening statements, anecdotes, statistics, and relatable examples to weave together a mesmerizing presentation.

Present information in bite-sized portions, making it more accessible and easily understandable for your audience. 

The combination of engaging content and well-articulated delivery is the key to holding your audience's attention throughout your presentation. 

So you should understand the content first and muster all the courage and confidence to present without stammering or pausing. 

6. Harnessing the Power of Compelling Visual Aids

No one wants to sit through a presentation filled only with chunks of text. This would bore away the audience to sleep. 

To avoid this and make any presentation captivating, you can use visual aids.

Visual aids serve as a powerful tool to enhance comprehension, engagement, and retention.

You can opt for slide templates, font styles, and colors that harmoniously align with the essence of your message and your brand's identity. 

You can use concise bullet points and exercise caution to avoid cluttering your slides with excessive textual content. 

Try out compelling images, impactful graphs, and concise diagrams to elucidate complex concepts and amplify the impact of your ideas.

However, bear in mind that your visual aids ought to seamlessly complement your spoken words rather than overshadow them.

Strive for a balanced and harmonious visual composition, ensuring that your visuals are aesthetically pleasing and align with your presentation's overall tone and theme. 

By skillfully integrating appropriate and captivating visuals, you elevate your presentation's visual appeal while focusing on delivering a compelling and persuasive message.

7. Mastering the Delivery of Presentation

The adage "practice makes perfect" holds true when it comes to delivering a flawless presentation. 

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced presenter, you can still engage in multiple rehearsals to acquaint yourself with the content, timing, and delivery. 

Most of the beginners struggle to deliver an impactful presentation. However, you can save yourself from suffering with a little extra effort in preparation. 

Consider recording your practice sessions to meticulously evaluate your body language, voice modulation, and overall presence. 

Additionally, invite trusted colleagues or friends to evaluate your delivery and following their valuable feedback to refine your presentation and address any areas requiring improvement.

Through rehearsals, you can enhance your confidence and ensure a seamless delivery throughout on the day of the presentation. 

You need not memorize every point on the slide, it’s just that you capture the essence and articulate them effectively to the audience. 

By repeatedly going through your material, you cultivate a deep familiarity with the content, enabling you to navigate through it effortlessly. 

This familiarity facilitates a natural flow, instilling confidence and allowing you to engage with your audience more effectively.

Through dedicated practice and rehearsal, you refine your delivery, build confidence, and elevate the effectiveness of your presentation. 

Even if the first few presentations don’t go well as planned, do not worry. You can still perfect the next through enough rehearsals. 

With diligent preparation and constructive feedback, you can effectively transform your presentation into a seamless, captivating, and memorable experience for your audience.

8. Conquering the Presentation Anxiety

Even the most seasoned presenters may encounter bouts of nervousness when the day comes. 

Conquering the presentation anxiety is paramount, no matter how strong the slide decks are packed.

To tackle and overcome the anxiety issues during your presentation, you can 

  • Begin by incorporating deep breathing exercises into your pre-presentation routine. 
  • Combine this habit with positive visualization, where you vividly imagine yourself delivering a flawless presentation with confidence and poise.
  • Boost a confident mindset with your expertise on the topic of presentation.
  • Provide intrinsic value to your audience through all the information you have gathered.

Most importantly, Affirmations play a crucial role in shaping your mindset. 

Repeat positive, empowering statements to yourself, such as "I am well-prepared," "I am a knowledgeable expert," or "I am capable of delivering an engaging presentation." 

These affirmations bolster your self-belief and instill a sense of readiness and assurance.

Eventually, you will recognize that the surge of energy accompanying anxiety can be channeled into enthusiasm and passion, enhancing your delivery and connecting with your audience on a deeper level. 

Thus with thorough preparation and a confident mindset, you can transform nerves into a powerful driving force that elevates your delivery and leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

9. Forging a Profound Connection

For a triumphant presentation, establishing a profound connection with your audience is paramount.

You can foster interaction by incorporating elements that invite participation from the audience, such as thought-provoking questions, engaging polls, or brief activities. 

It’s essential that you maintain unwavering eye contact, have great, open body language, and address individuals by name (if applicable) to engender a sense of engagement.

This makes your audience feel genuinely cherished and included in the experience.

Wherever applicable, you can simply encourage active participation by inviting your audience to share their thoughts, opinions, or personal experiences.

You can also pose intriguing questions that stimulate critical thinking or elicit insightful responses from your audience. 

And the best one is to utilize polls or surveys to gauge their perspectives and involve them in the presentation process. 

So keep all of this in mind, and while preparing, make sure you prepare a list of questions to be asked, check if there’s any scope to conduct polls/quizes, be prepared to share relevant personal anecdotes. 

By incorporating all the above at the right time, you create a dynamic atmosphere that encourages dialogue and collaboration.

All these simple acts foster a sense of trust and establish a genuine connection that transcends the physical space and makes your presentation wholesome.

10. Handling Questions and Feedback

When you arrive at the conclusion of your presentation, there will be a question and answer session in general.

Just like how you would want to question the audience, they would want to question you too!

How you prepare and handle your audience at the end seals the deal and makes it a wholesome presentation.

Excellence in addressing questions and feedback is a hallmark of a polished presenter. 

One smart move is to anticipate the parts of your presentation that will spark questions/clarifications.

Then accordingly, you can prepare yourself with pertinent information and supporting evidence to ensure a comprehensive and confident response.

Even if you don't possess an immediate answer, have a parking lot for those questions. Then, demonstrate your commitment to providing a thorough response by the end of your session. 

This displays your dedication to delivering accurate and well-informed answers while respecting the time and participation of your audience.

Therefore, by anticipating inquiries, providing thorough responses, and embracing feedback, you establish yourself as a credible and adaptable presenter.

We believe by now, you have understood the art of preparing for a presentation. 

To summarize, you can deliver presentations that leave a lasting impact by understanding your presentation's purpose, crafting compelling content, utilizing effective visuals, and engaging your audience. 

Embrace the journey of continuous improvement, and soon you will find yourself thriving as a confident and influential presenter.

Also, now that you have learned how to prepare for a presentation, here are some useful topics for you to slay your presentation every single time - 

  • How to start a presentation
  • How to end a presentation

If you are looking for a tool to create amazing presentations, check out Animaker Deck , the world’s coolest presentation maker to make presentations with awesome avatars and wacky gifs!

So, go forth, seize the stage, and let your presentations shine!

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How to prepare for a presentation step by step

Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.

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Michael Lee September 22, 2020

It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting on stage, in a meeting room, or online. You need to properly prepare for a presentation to deliver your message effectively. You need to plan out your talking points, prepare visual aids, practice your speech, and more. Ultimately, the more you prepare ahead of time, the more polished and professional your presentation will be.

If you want to find out how to prepare for a presentation step by step, read on to discover four simple tips to help you make your future presentations successful. 

1. Create a mind map

This is perhaps the most important step and should happen long before the day of your presentation. Creating a mind map will help you organize your thoughts and structure them in a way that makes sense for both you and your audience. It’ll also keep you centered on your main idea, so you never lose sight of the primary purpose of your presentation. The process of creating a mind map will also help you with remembering the content of your presentation.

To create a mind map, you can either use a pen and paper or you can also use Prezi Present . There are different types of templates that you can choose from in Prezi’s library, or you can also start creating from scratch.

Learn how to get started with mind mapping in this video: 

2. Set up your space

If you’re presenting online, you’ll want to set up your filming space for success. How you appear on camera depends on many factors that you should consider before presenting. Start with positioning yourself in the camera frame so you’re in good light. It’s always better to face the light instead of having your window or another light source behind you. Also, adjust your camera so it’s not cutting off the top of your head or it’s not too far away. Make sure your audience can actually hear what you’re saying by testing out your mic first. And, remove any distracting or overly busy backgrounds to keep viewers focused on you and your content.  If you’re presenting offline, setting up your space is equally as important. Take 5 minutes before your presentation to work out the technicalities. For example, if you need to connect your USB or laptop to a device in the meeting room, make sure to do that before it’s your time to start your presentation. Also, make sure you have a glass of water nearby if your presentation is rather long to keep you hydrated. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the space where you’re going to present to feel more comfortable presenting there.

If you want more tips on presenting in the virtual space from public speaking masters, watch this video: 

3. For online presentations, use presenter notes

No matter how much you practice, it’s still helpful to have some notes (or even your script) next to you for reference. They will keep you on track with your main talking points and ensure that you deliver your message in an organized manner. While sticky notes around your computer are a serviceable solution, it often results in you trying to keep track of which piece of paper you’re supposed to be looking at. You don’t need to worry about a messy space around your laptop. Instead, use presenter notes directly in Prezi Video, making your life easier as you present or record. 

how to prepare for a presentation

You can add notes as you create your content. This way you can keep track of everything that’s going on in the meeting and take notes at the same time. If you already have an existing Prezi or PowerPoint presentation with notes, you can import those into Prezi Video as well. You’ll also get a preview of the next frame, so you will never be lost as you present. Learn more about using presenter notes in Prezi Video . 

4. Practice your presentation

Imagine: You have started your presentation but suddenly realize that one of the slides contains incorrect information, or there’s a technical glitch as you try to zoom in on another slide. Sounds like a stressful situation. With practice and preparation, you can easily avoid or minimize the stress in a situation like this.

One of the best ways how to prepare for a presentation is by simply practicing your speech ahead of time. Create an online meeting with yourself, start sharing your Prezi Video slides, and talk through the presentation as you would in the call. Or ask your friends or family to give you feedback as you talk through the talking points in front of them. You can even play out a scenario where you encounter a technical glitch and plan out what you’ll do. By going over your presentation a couple of times, you’ll feel more prepared. The more prepared you’ll feel, the more relaxed and confident you’ll appear when presenting in front of your audience.

Follow these tips on how to prepare for a presentation quickly and effectively. Once you have everything set up, get more tips from Jessica Chen on public speaking tips to build confidence , and then jump right into creating your own Prezi video . 

how to prepare for a presentation

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7 Things You Need to do Before a Presentation

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A presentation is more than just an opportunity to explain a position or idea; it’s a means to demonstrate the hard work and research you’ve invested into it. And when it comes to preparing for a presentation—any presentation—you need to remember that the way you deliver your presentation is just as important (perhaps even more so) than the actual content.

Yes, that’s right. What you say isn’t necessarily as important as how you say it .

Think back to the last really good presentation you heard. I mean, the one that had you thinking about it for days afterwards. What made it so compelling? Why did it motivate or inspire you?

I’ll tell you why: Because the speaker engaged you .  That was no accident! He or she didn’t walk up to the podium and wing it.

How to Prepare for a Presentation?

There’s a ton of preparation that goes on behind the scenes of an amazing presentation. We know because it’s our business to teach you the fundamentals of public speaking. What you may not realize is the preparation stage goes further than just jotting down some notes and practising in front of a mirror. A stellar presentation takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, and… oh yes… a lot of practice. Here are seven key things you need to do before any presentation:

  • Do Your Research —Regardless of whether or not you are an expert in your field, there is always something new to learn. Do a thorough investigation before plotting your presentation to see if there are any new developments that could be relevant to your subject or to your audience. And make sure you really know your material. It will eliminate the dreaded “umms” and “uhs” that we’ve all come to hate. It’s a sure sign you’re not as knowledgeable or prepared as you should be.
  • Know Your Audience —No two presentations should ever be the same. I don’t care if it’s the 12th time this month that you’ve talked about the same subject. You may not have to start from scratch every time, but at least put the effort into finding out who’s going to be in your audience and tailor your presentation in a way that will appeal to them. The same jokes you told a business crowd at a breakfast meeting are probably going to fall flat with your daughter and her fellow third-graders on Career Day.
  • Craft Your Notes —Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you can’t do your presentation without it being written down, you probably can’t do it at all. Don’t write a speech. Ever. Instead, craft notes to jog your memory on your speaking points. Glance at them periodically to keep you on track. Take those notes and practice with them every day until you don’t need them anymore. (But take them with you anyway… people tend to get forgetful in front of a crowd.)
  • Practice Your Delivery —Your notes will help you prepare what you are going to say, but I’ve already told you what you say doesn’t keep a crowd engaged. So grab a video camera, your cell phone… anything with a video recording option and get in front of it. Record yourself delivering your presentation and give yourself an honest critique: Do you use effective body language? Do you walk around and interact with the crowd? How is your posture? If you can’t give yourself an honest critique, enlist a friend or family member to take a look and point out areas for improvement. Then practice, practice, practice.
  • Dress For Success —As I mentioned before, every bit of a great presentation is intentional, including the speaker’s choice of clothing. Take special attention the next time you see someone speaking (usually a politician) who’s trying to appeal to blue-collar workers. Do you know what they’ll be wearing? A blue-collared shirt with their sleeves rolled up. Your attire should match the audience. Wearing a tuxedo to deliver a speech at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new chemical plant just doesn’t make sense.
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep —Make sure you look alert and refreshed by getting plenty of rest the night before a presentation. A drowsy mind is a forgetful mind. And the bags under your eyes won’t do you any good, either.
  • Prepare Your Space —Arrive with enough time ahead of your presentation to properly prepare the space you’ll be using. Make sure your slides are in order and that any equipment you’ll be using is functioning properly to avoid embarrassing hiccups and delays during your presentation. Place your speaking notes in a logical spot and get yourself a glass of water. Spend a few quiet minutes mentally preparing.

Be the speaker that has inspired you. Think back to the speeches you’ve heard or the people who’ve appealed to you and strive to make that same connection with your audience. Preparation is key. There’s no such thing as an off-the-cuff winning presentation, so invest some time into yourself and your audience. And of course, we’re always here to help when you need to spend a little extra time brushing up on your skills.

Have you ever had a presentation or speech that you were completely unprepared for? Let us know in the comment section below, and if this topic has helped you, share it on social media to help those in your circles as well!


I need to spend more time preparing for presentations than I do.  I used to prepare more but i think I;m getting lazy the older I get.

I love how you touched on knowing your audience. A lot of people tend to forget this and in turn, end up being forgettable. You want to really connect with who you are speaking to in order to be remembered and thought about after the presentation is over. I have talked to many people who will touch on all the point mentioned but tuning yourself to your audience. 

I agree with John. I have gotten a little lazy and probably a lot boring because I’ve done my presentation so many times. I need to revisit what prep looks like. Thanks

I’ve tried ‘winging it’ only to discover I looked pretty foolish. Preparation is the key.

Off-the-cuff is definitely not good. I think we’ve all tried that strategy (and failed).

I disagree, some people need a script just to take a dump. That’s not me. I don’t work well with scripts, they’re too confining, and my best presentations have been off the top of my head. I am an improver and always will be.

I liked the point about dressing for success. People put so much thought into what they’re going to say. They don’t think about what their outfit says.

People don’t realize just how much of a benefit a good night’s sleep can be. It’s not something you’d expect to help your public speaking, but it makes a lot of sense.

Really happy to read this blog. its valuable information for me ,thank you

Wonderful article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.

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How to Prepare a Professional Presentation

Last Updated: October 4, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Devin Jones and by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising . Devin Jones is the creator of “The Soul Career," an online career incubator for women. She is certified in the CliftonStrengths assessment and works with women to clarify their purpose and create meaningful careers. Devin received her BA from Stanford University in 2013. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 217,825 times.

When you need to clearly share important information, a PowerPoint presentation makes a great way to reach your audience. Even though it’s pretty easy to throw all of your information together, you’ll leave a bigger impact if you take time to organize and prepare beforehand. We’ll start with what to include in your presentation and move on to how to design and run through your slides. With a little bit of prep, you’ll nail any presentation you have to give!

Start with a title slide.

Introduce your topic with an eye-catching first slide.

  • You can always name the presentation after the work initiative you want to start or the problem that you’re trying to solve. For example, you could name it something like, “Customer Acquisition Strategies.”

Follow the title slide with an agenda slide.

Give a list of what the audience can expect.

  • Project Overview
  • Market Research
  • Business Model

Organize the middle slides for logical flow.

Determine the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end for more clarity.

  • For example, if you’re giving a persuasive presentation, you might start with background information on an issue, move on to ways to solve the problem, and finish with steps a person in the audience can take to work toward the solution.

Include a call-to-action slide near the end of your presentation.

Tell your audience about the next steps to take when you wrap up.

  • For example, if you want to cut down costs at your business, you may ask your listeners to track all of the work resources they waste throughout a week so they can be more conscious of what they’re throwing away.

Conclude with the key takeaways.

Summarize the main points you made so your audience remembers them.

  • For example, if you’re pitching a brand or product, you could summarize the issues the product solves, its main selling points, and why you think it's a good fit in a company.

Aim to have about 10 slides.

It’s tough for people to remember more than 10 concepts at a time.

  • For example, if your presentation is about a new eco-friendly initiative, a few slides filled with statistics about climate change’s effects offers a lot of information, but a single slide with a couple of bullet points specifically about how your company is hurt by it is much more effective.

Use consistent backgrounds.

Maintain the same simple layout and theme for all of your slides.

  • For example, your slide background could simply be white with a dark blue stripe across the top and a yellow line running through it as an accent.
  • Stick with colors that contrast, but complement each other. For example, you could incorporate white, dark brown, black, and tan as a presentation theme.
  • Avoid putting full images as your background since it can be really hard to read text that’s written over them.

Choose easy-to-read fonts.

Stick with large sans-serif fonts so they’re easy to see across the room.

  • Emphasize the most significant text by bolding, italicizing, or highlighting it. [10] X Research source
  • Vary your text size throughout the slide. For example, the heading at the top of the slide should be larger than the body text.

List main ideas with short bullet points.

Quick lists on your slides make it easier to follow along.

  • For example, instead of the sentence, “We need to be more mindful about our budget for this project,” you could write the bullet point, “Be mindful of budget.”
  • Have each bullet point appear only after you click the mouse so your audience doesn’t get ahead of what you’re talking about.

Add relevant graphics.

Choose high-quality images and charts that highlight your information.

  • Include captions for charts or images that are hard to understand.
  • Try making a single image stand out on a slide by making it a contrasting color to the rest of the slide. For example, you could have pictures of old products in black-and-white with a large image of the newest product you’re introducing in color.
  • In general, avoid using clip art or animated GIFs in your presentation since it won’t look like you’re taking it seriously. However, what’s acceptable may depend on your place of work and the specific presentation.
  • If you get a chance, check your presentation on a screen similar to what you’ll be presenting on to check if your images look blurry from across the room.

Avoid flashy transitions.

Transitions and animations distract a viewer from the content.

Practice your presentation out loud.

Run through the entire slideshow to boost your confidence.

  • Try recording yourself giving the presentation so you can listen or watch your performance. That way, you can easily see what you need to change.

Rehearse in front of an audience.

Ask for some preliminary feedback to see if your presentation lands.

  • If you can, rehearse your slideshow in a space that’s similar to where you’ll actually be presenting it so you can get a feel for the room.

How Should You End a Presentation?

Expert Q&A

Devin Jones

  • If you have a fear of public speaking, try taking a few deep breaths to help you calm down. The more you practice, the less likely you’ll be afraid of presenting it as well. [18] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you don’t have PowerPoint, you can always use alternatives such as Keynote, Prezi, or Google Slides for your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to prepare for a presentation

  • Have a backup for your presentation in case there are technical difficulties. For example, you could give the presentation off of notecards or make handouts. [19] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

  • PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Presentation Design
  • January 22, 2024

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn step-by-step how to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch.

While PowerPoint is designed to be intuitive and accessible, it can be overwhelming if you’ve never gotten any training on it before. As you progress through this guide, you’ll will learn how to move from blank slides to PowerPoint slides that look like these.

Example of the six slides you'll learn how to create in this tutorial

Table of Contents

Additionally, as you create your presentation, you’ll also learn tricks for working more efficiently in PowerPoint, including how to:

  • Change the slide order
  • Reset your layout
  • Change the slide dimensions
  • Use PowerPoint Designer
  • Format text
  • Format objects
  • Play a presentation (slide show)

With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, you’ll have taken your skills from beginner to proficient in no time at all. I will also include links to more advanced PowerPoint topics.

Ready to start learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation?

Take your PPT skills to the next level

Start with a blank presentation.

Note: Before you open PowerPoint and start creating your presentation, make sure you’ve collected your thoughts. If you’re going to make your slides compelling, you need to spend some time brainstorming.

For help with this, see our article with tips for nailing your business presentation  here .

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu , with the Home tab open.

This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

For now, go ahead and click on the  Blank Presentation (1)  thumbnail.

In the backstage view of PowerPoint you can create a new blank presentation, use a template, or open a recent file

Doing so launches a brand new and blank presentation for you to work with. Before you start adding content to your presentation, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint interface

Picture of the different parts of the PowerPoint layout, including the Ribbon, thumbnail view, quick access toolbar, notes pane, etc.

Here is how the program is laid out:

  • The Application Header
  • The Ribbon (including the Ribbon tabs)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar (either above or below the Ribbon)
  • The Slides Pane (slide thumbnails)

The Slide Area

The notes pane.

  • The Status Bar (including the View Buttons)

Each one of these areas has options for viewing certain parts of the PowerPoint environment and formatting your presentation.

Below are the important things to know about certain elements of the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon in the Microsoft Office Suite

The Ribbon is contextual. That means that it will adapt to what you’re doing in the program.

For example, the Font, Paragraph and Drawing options are greyed out until you select something that has text in it, as in the example below (A).

Example of the Shape Format tab in PowerPoint and all of the subsequent commands assoicated with that tab

Furthermore, if you start manipulating certain objects, the Ribbon will display additional tabs, as seen above (B), with more commands and features to help you work with those objects. The following objects have their own additional tabs in the Ribbon which are hidden until you select them:

  • Online Pictures
  • Screenshots
  • Screen Recording

The Slides Pane

The slides pane in PowerPoint is on the left side of your workspace

This is where you can preview and rearrange all the slides in your presentation.

Right-clicking on a slide  in the pane gives you additional options on the slide level that you won’t find on the Ribbon, such as  Duplicate Slide ,  Delete Slide , and  Hide Slide .

Right clicking a PowerPoint slide in the thumbnail view gives you a variety of options like adding new slides, adding sections, changing the layout, etc.

In addition, you can add sections to your presentation by  right-clicking anywhere in this Pane  and selecting  Add Section . Sections are extremely helpful in large presentations, as they allow you to organize your slides into chunks that you can then rearrange, print or display differently from other slides.

Content added to your PowerPoint slides will only display if it's on the slide area, marked here by the letter A

The Slide Area (A) is where you will build out your slides. Anything within the bounds of this area will be visible when you present or print your presentation.

Anything outside of this area (B) will be hidden from view. This means that you can place things here, such as instructions for each slide, without worrying about them being shown to your audience.

The notes pane in PowerPoint is located at the bottom of your screen and is where you can type your speaker notes

The  Notes Pane  is the space beneath the Slide Area where you can type in the speaker notes for each slide. It’s designed as a fast way to add and edit your slides’ talking points.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about adding, printing, and exporting your PowerPoint speaker notes, read our guide here .

Your speaker notes are visible when you print your slides using the Notes Pages option and when you use the Presenter View . To expand your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of using the Presenter View , read our guide here .

You can click and drag to resize the notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen

You can resize the  Notes Pane  by clicking on its edge and dragging it up or down (A). You can also minimize or reopen it by clicking on the Notes button in the Status Bar (B).

Note:  Not all text formatting displays in the Notes Pane, even though it will show up when printing your speaker notes. To learn more about printing PowerPoint with notes, read our guide here .

Now that you have a basic grasp of the PowerPoint interface at your disposal, it’s time to make your presentation.

Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Notice that in the Slide Area , there are two rectangles with dotted outlines. These are called  Placeholders  and they’re set on the template in the Slide Master View .

To expand your knowledge and learn how to create a PowerPoint template of your own (which is no small task), read our guide here .

Click into your content placeholders and start typing text, just as the prompt suggests

As the prompt text suggests, you can click into each placeholder and start typing text. These types of placeholder prompts are customizable too. That means that if you are using a company template, it might say something different, but the functionality is the same.

Example of typing text into a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Note:  For the purposes of this example, I will create a presentation based on the content in the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, which is available to the public on their website.

If you type in more text than there is room for, PowerPoint will automatically reduce its font size. You can stop this behavior by clicking on the  Autofit Options  icon to the left of the placeholder and selecting  Stop Fitting Text to this Placeholder .

Next, you can make formatting adjustments to your text by selecting the commands in the Font area and the  Paragraph area  of the  Home  tab of the Ribbon.

Use the formatting options on the Home tab to choose the formatting of your text

The Reset Command:  If you make any changes to your title and decide you want to go back to how it was originally, you can use the Reset button up in the Home tab .

Hitting the reset command on the home tab resets your slide formatting to match your template

Insert More Slides into Your Presentation

Now that you have your title slide filled in, it’s time to add more slides. To do that, simply go up to the  Home tab  and click on  New Slide . This inserts a new slide in your presentation right after the one you were on.

To insert a new slide in PowerPoint, on the home tab click the New Slide command

You can alternatively hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard to insert a new blank slide in PowerPoint. To learn more about this shortcut, see my guide on using Ctrl+M in PowerPoint .

Instead of clicking the New Slide command, you can also open the New Slide dropdown to see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template. Depending on who created your template, your layouts in this dropdown can be radically different.

Opening the new slide dropdown you can see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template

If you insert a layout and later want to change it to a different layout, you can use the Layout dropdown instead of the New Slide dropdown.

After inserting a few different slide layouts, your presentation might look like the following picture. Don’t worry that it looks blank, next we will start adding content to your presentation.

Example of a number of different blank slide layouts inserting in a PowerPoint presentation

If you want to follow along exactly with me, your five slides should be as follows:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Picture with Caption

Adding Content to Your Slides

Now let’s go into each slide and start adding our content. You’ll notice some new types of placeholders.

Use the icons within a content placeholder to insert things like tables, charts, SmartArt, Pictures, etc.

On slide 2 we have a  Content Placeholder , which allows you to add any kind of content. That includes:

  • A SmartArt graphic,
  • A 3D object,
  • A picture from the web,
  • Or an icon.

To insert text, simply type it in or hit  Ctrl+C to Copy  and Ctrl+V to Paste  from elsewhere. To insert any of the other objects, click on the appropriate icon and follow the steps to insert it.

For my example, I’ll simply type in some text as you can see in the picture below.

Example typing bulleted text in a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Slides 3 and 4 only have text placeholders, so I’ll go ahead and add in my text into each one.

Examples of text typed into a divider slide and a title and content slide in PowerPoint

On slide 5 we have a Picture Placeholder . That means that the only elements that can go into it are:

  • A picture from the web

A picture placeholder in PowerPoint can only take an image or an icon

To insert a picture into the picture placeholder, simply:

  • Click on the  Picture  icon
  • Find  a picture on your computer and select it
  • Click on  Insert

Alternatively, if you already have a picture open somewhere else, you can select the placeholder and paste in (shortcut: Ctrl+V ) the picture. You can also drag the picture in from a file explorer window.

To insert a picture into a picture placeholder, click the picture icon, find your picture on your computer and click insert

If you do not like the background of the picture you inserted onto your slide, you can remove the background here in PowerPoint. To see how to do this, read my guide here .

Placeholders aren’t the only way to add content to your slides. At any point, you can use the Insert tab to add elements to your slides.

You can use either the Title Only  or the  Blank  slide layout to create slides for content that’s different. For example, a three-layout content slide, or a single picture divider slide, as shown below.

Example slides using PowerPoint icons and background pictures

In the first example above, I’ve inserted 6 text boxes, 3 icons, and 3 circles to create this layout. In the second example, I’ve inserted a full-sized picture and then 2 shapes and 2 text boxes.

The Reset Command:  Because these slides are built with shapes and text boxes (and not placeholders), hitting the  Reset button up in the  Home tab  won’t do anything.

That is a good thing if you don’t want your layouts to adjust. However, it does mean that it falls on you to make sure everything is aligned and positioned correctly.

For more on how to add and manipulate the different objects in PowerPoint, check out our step-by-step articles here:

  • Using graphics in PowerPoint
  • Inserting icons onto slides
  • Adding pictures to your PowerPoint
  • How to embed a video in PowerPoint
  • How to add music to your presentation

Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas

If you have Office 365, your version of PowerPoint comes with a new feature called Designer (or Design Ideas). This is a feature that generates slide layout ideas for you. The coolest thing about this feature is that it uses the content you already have.

To use Designer , simply navigate to the  Design tab  in your Ribbon, and click on  Design Ideas .

To use Designer on your slides, click the

NOTE: If the PowerPoint Designer is not working for you (it is grey out), see my troubleshooting guide for Designer .

Change the Overall Design (optional)

When you make a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to think about the overall design. Now that you have some content in your presentation, you can use the Design tab to change the look and feel of your slides.

For additional help thinking through the design of your presentation,  read my guide here .

A. Picking your PowerPoint slide size

If you have PowerPoint 2013 or later, when you create a blank document in PowerPoint, you automatically start with a widescreen layout with a 16:9 ratio. These dimensions are suitable for most presentations as they match the screens of most computers and projectors.

However, you do have the option to change the dimensions.

For example, your presentation might not be presented, but instead converted into a PDF or printed and distributed. In that case, you can easily switch to the standard dimensions with a 4:3 ratio by selecting from the dropdown (A).

You can also choose a custom slide size or change the slide orientation from landscape to portrait in the Custom Slide Size dialog box (B).

To change your slide size, click the Design tab, open the slide size dropdown and choose a size or custom slide size

To learn all about the different PowerPoint slide sizes, and some of the issues you will face when changing the slide size of a non-blank presentation,  read my guide here .

 B. Selecting a PowerPoint theme

The next thing you can do is change the theme of your presentation to a pre-built one. For a detailed explanation of what a PowerPoint theme is, and how to best use it,  read my article here .

In the beginning of this tutorial, we started with a blank presentation, which uses the default Office theme as you can see in the picture below.

All PowerPoint presentations start with the default Microsoft Office theme

That gives you the most flexibility because it has a blank background and quite simple layouts that work for most presentations. However, it also means that it’s your responsibility to enhance the design.

If you’re comfortable with this, you can stay with the default theme or create your own custom theme ( read my guide here ). But if you would rather not have to think about design, then you can choose a pre-designed theme.

Microsoft provides 46 other pre-built themes, which include slide layouts, color variants and palettes, and fonts. Each one varies quite significantly, so make sure you look through them carefully.

To select a different theme, go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon, and click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Themes section .

On the Design tab you will find all of the default PowerPoint templates that come with the Microsoft Office Suite

For this tutorial, let’s select the  Frame  theme and then choose the third Variant in the theme. Doing so changes the layout, colors, and fonts of your presentation.

Example choosing the Frame PowerPoint theme and the third variant of this powerpoint presentation

Note: The theme dropdown area is also where you can import or save custom themes. To see my favorite places to find professional PowerPoint templates and themes (and recommendations for why I like them), read my guide here .

C. How to change a slide background in PowerPoint

The next thing to decide is how you want your background to look for the entire presentation. In the  Variants area, you can see four background options.

To change the background style of your presentation, on the Design tab, find the Background Styles options and choose a style

For this example, we want our presentation to have a dark background, so let’s select Style 3. When you do so, you’ll notice that:

  • The background color automatically changes across all slides
  • The color of the text on most of the slides automatically changes to white so that it’s visible on the dark background
  • The colors of the objects on slides #6 and #7 also adjust, in a way we may not want (we’ll likely have to make some manual adjustments to these slides)

What our PowerPoint presentation looks like now that we have selected a theme, a variant, and a background style

Note: If you want to change the slide background for just that one slide, don’t left-click the style. Instead, right-click it and select Apply to Selected Slides .

After you change the background for your entire presentation, you can easily adjust the background for an individual slide.

You can either right-click a PowerPoint slide and select format background or navigate to the design tab and click the format background command

Inside the Format Background pane, you can see you have the following options:

  • Gradient fill
  • Picture or texture fill
  • Pattern fill
  • Hide background

You can explore these options to find the PowerPoint background that best fits your presentation.

D. How to change your color palette in PowerPoint

Another thing you may want to adjust in your presentation, is the color scheme. In the picture below you can see the Theme Colors we are currently using for this presentation.

Example of the theme colors we are currently using with this presentation

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own color palette. By default, the Office theme includes the Office color palette. This affects the colors you are presented with when you format any element within your presentation (text, shapes, SmartArt, etc.).

To change the theme color for your presentation, select the Design tab, open the Colors options and choose the colors you want to use

The good news is that the colors here are easy to change. To switch color palettes, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Variants area, click on the  dropdown arrow  and select  Colors
  • Select  the color palette (or theme colors) you want

You can choose among the pre-built color palettes from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

As you build your presentation, make sure you use the colors from your theme to format objects. That way, changing the color palette adjusts all the colors in your presentation automatically.

E. How to change your fonts in PowerPoint

Just as we changed the color palette, you can do the same for the fonts.

Example of custom theme fonts that might come with a powerpoint template

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own font combination. By default, the Office theme includes the Office font pairing. This affects the fonts that are automatically assigned to all text in your presentation.

To change the default fonts for your presentation, from the design tab, find the fonts dropdown and select the pair of fonts you want to use

The good news is that the font pairings are easy to change. To switch your Theme Fonts, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Variants  area
  • Select  Fonts
  • Select  the font pairing you want

You can choose among the pre-built fonts from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

If you are working with PowerPoint presentations on both Mac and PC computers, make sure you choose a safe PowerPoint font. To see a list of the safest PowerPoint fonts, read our guide here .

If you receive a PowerPoint presentation and the wrong fonts were used, you can use the Replace Fonts dialog box to change the fonts across your entire presentation. For details, read our guide here .

Adding Animations & Transitions (optional)

The final step to make a PowerPoint presentation compelling, is to consider using animations and transitions. These are by no means necessary to a good presentation, but they may be helpful in your situation.

A. Adding PowerPoint animations

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust animations engine designed to power your creativity. That being said, it’s also easy to get started with basic animations.

Animations are movements that you can apply to individual objects on your slide.

To add an animation to an object in PowerPoint, first select the object and then use the Animations tab to select an animation type

To add a PowerPoint animation to an element of your slide, simply:

  • Select the  element
  • Go to the  Animations tab in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  animation  you want

You can add animations to multiple objects at one time by selecting them all first and then applying the animation.

B. How to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation:

  • Click on the Preview button in the Animations tab
  • Click on the little star  next to the slide
  • Play the slide in Slide Show Mode

To learn other ways to run your slide show, see our guide on presenting a PowerPoint slide show with shortcuts .

To adjust the settings of your animations, explore the options in the  Effect Options ,  Advanced Animation  and the  Timing  areas of the  Animation tab .

The Animations tab allows you to adjust the effects and timings of your animations in PowerPoint

Note:  To see how to make objects appear and disappear in your slides by clicking a button,  read our guide here .

C. How to manage your animations in PowerPoint

You can see the animations applied to your objects by the little numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the objects

The best way to manage lots of animations on your slide is with the Animation Pane . To open it, simply:

  • Navigate to the  Animations tab
  • Select the  Animation Pane

Inside the Animation Pane, you’ll see all of the different animations that have been applied to objects on your slide, with their numbers marked as pictured above.

Note: To see examples of PowerPoint animations that can use in PowerPoint, see our list of PowerPoint animation tutorials here .

D. How to add transitions to your PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust transition engine so that you can dictate how your slides change from one to the other. It is also extremely easy to add transitions to your slides.

In PowerPoint, transitions are the movements (or effects) you see as you move between two slides.

To add a transition to a slide, select the slide, navigate to the transitions tab in PowerPoint and select your transition

To add a transition to a PowerPoint slide, simply:

  • Select the  slide
  • Go to the  Transitions tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Transitions to This Slide area, click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  transition  you want

To adjust the settings of the transition, explore the options in the  Timing  area of the Transitions tab.

You can also add the same transition to multiple slides. To do that, select them in the  Slides Pane  and apply the transition.

E. How to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview your PowerPoint transitions (just like your animations):

  • Click on the Preview  button in the Transitions tab
  • Click on the little star  beneath the slide number in the thumbnail view

Note:  In 2016, PowerPoint added a cool new transition, called Morph. It operates a bit differently from other transitions. For a detailed tutorial on how to use the cool Morph transition,  see our step-by-step article here .

Save Your PowerPoint Presentation

After you’ve built your presentation and made all the adjustments to your slides, you’ll want to save your presentation. YOu can do this several different ways.

Click the file tab, select Save As, choose where you want to save your presentation and then click save

To save a PowerPoint presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  • Navigate to the  File tab
  •  Select  Save As  on the left
  • Choose  where you want to save your presentation
  • Name  your presentation and/or adjust your file type settings
  • Click  Save

You can alternatively use the  Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to save your presentation. I recommend using this shortcut frequently as you build your presentation to make sure you don’t lose any of your work.

The save shortcut is control plus s in PowerPoint

This is the standard way to save a presentation. However, there may be a situation where you want to save your presentation as a different file type.

To learn how to save your presentation as a PDF, see our guide on converting PowerPoint to a PDF .

How to save your PowerPoint presentation as a template

Once you’ve created a presentation that you like, you may want to turn it into a template. The easiest – but not technically correct – way, is to simply create a copy of your current presentation and then change the content.

But be careful! A PowerPoint template is a special type of document and it has its own parameters and behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning about how to create your own PowerPoint template from scratch, see our guide on how to create a PowerPoint template .

Printing Your PowerPoint Presentation

After finishing your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to print it out on paper. Printing your slides is relatively easy.

The print shortcut is control plus P in PowerPoint

To open the Print dialog box, you can either:

  • Hit Ctrl+P on your keyboard
  • Or go to the Ribbon and click on File and then Print

In the Print dialog box, make your selections for how you want to print your PowerPoint presentation, then click print

Inside the Print dialog box, you can choose from the various printing settings:

  • Printer: Select a printer to use (or print to PDF or OneNote)
  • Slides: Choose which slides you want to print
  • Layout: Determine how many slides you want per page (this is where you can print the notes, outline, and handouts)
  • Collated or uncollated (learn what collated printing means here )
  • Color: Choose to print in color, grayscale or black & white

There are many more options for printing your PowerPoint presentations. Here are links to more in-depth articles:

  • How to print multiple slides per page
  • How to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint
  • How to save PowerPoint as a picture presentation

So that’s how to create a PowerPoint presentation if you are brand new to it. We’ve also included a ton of links to helpful resources to boost your PowerPoint skills further.

When you are creating your presentation, it is critical to first focus on the content (what you are trying to say) before getting lost inserting and playing with elements. The clearer you are on what you want to present, the easier it will be to build it out in PowerPoint.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by  visiting us here .

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How to change the size of your google slides.

Present your slideshow in the right way

Google Slides has an impressive number of templates for creating beautiful presentations. It's been the go-to choice for many users who don't use Microsoft PowerPoint and an easy-to-access alternative for well-equipped Chromebooks . If your slides are too small or too wide, they may not scale well to the content shown on the screen. This guide teaches you how to change the size of the slides in your Google Slides presentation on a browser to ensure you use the correct size.

What's the difference between Google Slides templates and themes?

Which size works best with google slides.

It depends on where the presentation is viewed. Most computers use a 16:9 aspect ratio, but mobile devices prefer a 4:3 ratio. If unsure, test the slideshow on multiple devices and decide which gives the most optimal viewing experience.

How to resize your Google Slides on a Windows computer

You can decide the size of your slides before creating your presentation. Alternatively, open an old presentation and choose to resize your slides. Check the steps below to get started.

Changing Google Slides size on a new presentation

All the slides maintain the same aspect ratio you selected. If you're uncertain whether any default options suit your presentation, tweak the ratio by choosing Custom .

Changing Google Slides size on a saved presentation

After swapping the aspect ratio, you may need to adjust your Google Slides presentation. In this example, we swapped the aspect ratio from Standard 4:3 to Widescreen 16:9, which changes the alignment of images and text on each slide.

How to resize your Google Slides on a Chromebook

You're likely sticking to Google's ecosystem while working on a Chromebook. Google Slides becomes an essential tool when building a presentation. Google Slides works like the Windows computer version, so changing the slides' size is simple. Here's how to do it:

  • On a Chromebook, open Google Slides on a Chrome tab.
  • In the Page setup window, select the drop-down box and choose Standard 4:3 , Widescreen 16:9 , Widescreen 16:10 , or Custom .

The Google Slides app works on Chromebooks but has the same (limited) functionality as the mobile app (the app you download from the Google Play Store is the Android app ported to Chromebooks).

How to expand the size of your Google Slides presentation

Sometimes, presentations can start in the wrong view. Fullscreen mode ensures the set aspect ratio of the slideshow remains the same on the screen. However, the audience may see another view if you select the wrong mode before starting your presentation. The view you can accidentally click is Presenter View.

Inside Presenter View, the audience sees a fullscreen presentation of your Google Slides (if presented on a different screen), while you see the speaker notes written below the slides and some settings. Seeing a busier screen can distract the speaker, especially if the slides remain in autoplay . As a result, you may prefer to set up fullscreen mode. Below are the steps to ensure your Google Slides start in fullscreen mode.

How to enter fullscreen mode on Google Slides

Clicking the Slideshow button also puts your presentation in fullscreen mode.

How to resize your Google Slides on mobile

The slide size in Google Slides on the Android and iOS mobile apps cannot be manually changed. To get around this, open Google Slides on a computer and follow the steps above to adjust the size of your slides.

Revamp your Google Slides presentation

Does your current Google Slides presentation need a boost? Check out the best templates for Google Slides . Spice up your presentation to look more professional or change it to something more colorful and snappy. Google Slides also supports audio files from your Google Drive, so add audio to keep your audience engaged. Google Slides has several tools to make your slideshow stand out.

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New developments in renewable energy are making headlines and inspiring hope in communities worldwide, from a remote Arctic village working to harness solar and wind power under challenging conditions to a U.S. Air Force base planning an advanced, utility-scale geothermal power system.

As much of the world grapples with mitigating the effects of climate change and global warming, innovation and advancements in renewable energy have emerged as a bright spot. Solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy and biomass energy generation is better for the planet than the burning of fossil fuels including oil, natural gas and coal.

But for all of the advantages of renewable energy, its development and use has disadvantages, too. Let’s take a look at both.

The multiple (and sometimes surprising) advantages of renewable energy

The advantages of renewable energy power sources are wide-ranging, and some are more obvious than others.

Inexhaustible supply

One of the main benefits of renewable energy sources like the sun, wind and water is that they will never run out. In contrast, non-renewable resources are not only finite, but cost more as their availability declines and require more extreme extraction methods with greater environmental impacts.

Carbon-free energy generation

The goal of the clean energy transition is decarbonization . Carbon dioxide emissions reached 11.2 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2022 from oil alone, whereas renewable energy generation emits little to no carbon emissions to power homes, cars and businesses.

A cleaner, healthier environment

The burning of fossil fuels, like coal, releases airborne pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, while the mining of these resources can result in water pollution and damage animal habitats. Using renewable energy in place of fossil fuels can reduce these pollutants and help mitigate risks to human health and natural environments.

Energy independence

Renewable energy provides for stronger energy security by opening up new opportunities for domestic energy production, thereby reducing reliance on foreign-sourced energy supply. For example, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European countries have sought to reduce their imports of Russian oil and gas. In 2023, domestic renewable energy production in Europe rose to account for a record 44% of the EU’s electricity mix while imports from Russia declined, helping build a more stable, resilient power grid.

Less maintenance

For certain types of renewable energy sources, the maintenance and maintenance costs of their infrastructure are minimal. Solar photovoltaic systems, for example, generally don’t have moving parts and can last 25 years or more with little maintenance. Hydroelectric power plants typically have low operating costs and require little maintenance as well, with long-lasting equipment that can remain in operation for decades.

Affordable energy

When it comes to costs, renewable energy sources once compared unfavorably to fossil fuels. But as fossil fuel prices rise renewable energy has emerged as an affordable alternative energy option. An estimated 96% of new utility-scale solar and wind power projects had lower generation costs than new coal and natural gas plants. As more renewable energy resources are integrated into power grids, businesses are also implementing energy management programs to optimize energy usage and reduce overall energy costs.

Job creation

While both clean energy and fossil fuel industries have seen job growth in recent years, growth has been markedly faster in the former. As a result, clean energy roles now account for more than half of the 67 million jobs in the global energy sector. Such growth is fueling demand for additional workers and retraining for existing fossil fuel workers to transition to the renewable energy industry.

Hurdles to a clean transition: the disadvantages to renewable energy

For all the celebrated benefits of renewable energy, the sector has some downsides as well. Understanding the disadvantages of renewable energy can help organizations better plan its deployment. Here are some of the cons of renewable energy projects today:

High upfront costs

Shifting to renewable energy technologies saves money in the long run but component costs and initial costs for set-up can be expensive. For example, small businesses can expect to pay USD 100,000 or more for commercial solar installations, depending on their energy needs. However, legislation for incentives, tax credits and various rebates can help offset these costs.

Location and landmass requirements

Most renewable energy power generation is location dependent—solar farms require unobstructed sunlight, hydropower requires water movement, wind farms require open spaces and traditional geothermal power requires proximity to sources of hot water. In many cases, renewable energy systems require a lot of space—more than traditional power stations. Research conducted by the ICF Climate Center found that large-scale renewable energy installations require 10 times more land than coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.

Production volatility

Renewable electricity generation is vulnerable to weather conditions: solar power is susceptible to cloudy days, hydropower to droughts and wind power to calm days. As such, guaranteeing the amount of energy produced at any given time is a challenge. To help companies adapt to this volatility, solutions like the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite use sensors, geospatial data , advanced analytics, machine learning , artificial intelligence (AI) and weather data to generate day-ahead wind and solar forecasts .

Storage requirements

Due to the intermittent nature of renewable power, batteries are required to collect energy during peak production periods for distribution in a controlled, consistent manner during periods of low- to non-production. Energy storage systems to support utility-scale applications are costly but technology is being developed to support more affordable long-term storage.

Supply chain limitations

Supply chain hurdles are hindering the installation of renewable energy projects. According to a report by McKinsey, project developers face three main challenges : access to raw materials and rare earth metals amid a projected shortage; access to the talent and machinery necessary; and little supplier diversification for critical components. For example, in the case of polysilicon, a material used in solar panels, 79% of global capacity is concentrated in China, making the solar PV industry vulnerable to disruptions in that country.

Carbon footprint and waste

Although solar and wind power emit no harmful emissions during power generation, the manufacturing, installation and transportation of renewable energy equipment does often produce greenhouse gas emissions . Additionally, waste products are created during asset production process and disposal, with wind turbine blades and solar panels taking up space in landfills.

Optimizing renewable energy sourcing

Businesses in the renewable energy industry or interested in sourcing renewable power can proactively monitor renewable energy trends with the right tools. The IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite uses historical energy generation data, weather data and more to generate high-accuracy energy forecasts for wind and solar assets to inform key decision-making at the enterprise level.

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Reddit's IPO is set to make the 'front page of the internet' public

  • The "front page of the internet" is finally ready to go public.
  • Reddit shares start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
  • Here's what you need to know about its IPO as it targets a $6.4 billion valuation.

Insider Today

Reddit might have been self-anointed the "front page of the internet" almost two decades ago, but its time to face the public has just arrived.

The social-media forum is set to list Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange — marking a milestone for the company created in 2005 by a pair of college roommates from the University of Virginia.

Back then, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, its cofounders who'd go by the usernames spez and kn0thing, respectively, worked under the stewardship of the veteran Silicon Valley investor Paul Graham to build a social platform just as Mark Zuckerberg was taking Facebook mainstream.

After bringing Aaron Swartz on board — the late computer programmer then known as a developer behind RSS feeds — the company was ready to capture the attention of people using news-aggregation services like Digg by offering its own take.

The launch of subreddits in 2008 made for a turning point as communities grew around interest-based groups on the site. However, the freedom given to anonymous users to roam without oversight has left it to contend with a reputation of being social media's underbelly.

While it grew through a sale to the media giant Condé Nast in 2006, before being spun out to its parent company, Advance Publications , Reddit has struggled to find a path to profitability.

Though it has taken its time, Reddit finally seems ready to prove its doubters wrong.

On Wednesday Reddit priced its shares at $34 , at the top of the range, implying a $6.4 billion valuation. The IPO is set to be one of the largest listings in recent memory in a test of investor appetite.

There's a lot of uncertainty in the run-up to the day.

Related stories

Despite being created at a similar time to rivals such as Facebook and X, Reddit's platform has an average of 73.1 million daily active users, a far cry from the roughly 2 billion and 245 million daily users those two services have respectively.

Lower losses

Meanwhile, the IPO market more broadly has suffered a drought in recent years as uncertain market conditions have threatened to chop down ambitious valuation targets. Investors must weigh Reddit's current health to determine whether its target valuation is valid.

In its IPO filing last month, Reddit revealed that revenue had grown by about 21% last year, while its net loss at the end of 2023 was $90.8 million, down from $158.6 million the previous year.

Those losses haven't dissuaded investors just yet, it seems. Reddit's IPO is between four and five times oversubscribed, Reuters reported Sunday citing unnamed sources.

Still, as my colleague Peter Kafka has noted , that's still a lot of money for Reddit to burn. In part, it's been spending heavily on engineering talent: about $439 million, or 55% of its revenue, went to research and development, which included engineer salaries.

No doubt, part of the bet investors will be making is that the R&D spend is focused on the technology of the moment: artificial intelligence .

In its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reddit positioned itself as an indispensable component of the generative-AI boom. It described its content as a "foundational part of how many of the leading large language models ("LLMs") have been trained."

Reuters reported last month that Reddit had sought to monetize that content by striking a licensing deal with Google to make its data available to the search giant's AI models for $60 million a year.

That could boost those with a stake in the IPO, like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, whose holding of Reddit shares could be worth between $51.4 million and $56.4 million .

Reddit plans to list 22 million shares raising about $750 million, with loyal Redditors getting a chance to purchase stock in addition to the usual crowd of institutional investors.

The internet's front page is about to become much more visible.

Watch: What happens when Elon Musk moves markets with a tweet

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The Trumpification of Kristi Noem

The South Dakota governor’s new teeth are just the latest step in a very MAGA makeover.

Kristi Noem and Donald Trump, arms outstretched, greet each other at a political rally. Both wear red MAGA caps. Crowds are seen behind red, white and blue bunting.

By Vanessa Friedman

Vanessa Friedman has been chronicling the use of image as a communication device in politics since the Bush v. Gore election of 2000.

Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, is readying for her national close-up. How else to interpret her recent controversial trip to Texas to “fix” her smile, documented in a lengthy video ?

You know, the one she posted on X, Facebook and Instagram, singing the praises of Smile Texas, the cosmetic dental clinic that remedied what she said had been a problem incurred long ago in an accident while bicycling with her children. The one that chronicled her journey to, she said, “a smile that I can be proud of and confident in.”

The result seemed so much like a promotional infomercial that Travelers United, a consumer advocacy group, is suing Ms. Noem for misleading advertising, claiming she was effectively acting as a travel influencer. Vanity Fair wrote that the whole exercise was “blowing up in her face.”

Except for one thing. The teeth story is about a lot more than teeth.

As the race to be Donald J. Trump’s running mate heats up, Ms. Noem’s new smile reflects a tactical move that has as much to do with politics and psychology as it does with appearance.

“It’s all about her appeal to an audience of one,” Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist, said. “The whole teeth thing almost looks like it was done for Trump to see. She is showing him she works well in front of the camera, that she has that star power he wants onstage with him, while fitting into the mode of women in the Trump universe.”

Mr. Trump was, after all, the president who often identified his staff members, especially members of the military, as coming from “central casting .” He now dresses almost entirely in the colors of the American flag. He reportedly liked women to “dress like women ” — and, as Richard Thompson Ford, a law professor at Stanford University and the author of “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History,” said, “We know what that means to him.” It is reflected in the profile of almost every woman in the Trump orbit, including his family members and his former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

In this, Ms. Noem’s dental upgrade is simply the most recent step in what appears to be a yearslong makeover that has transformed her, more than any other woman on Mr. Trump’s shortlist, into what Samantha N. Sheppard, a professor of cinema and media studies at Cornell University, called “the perfect ornament for Trump.” Even beyond her popularity and credentials as a governor, and her MAGA platform, she offers an example of a certain kind of “Miss America-like white femininity,” Ms. Sheppard said, also reflected in Fox News anchors and that involves cascading hair, extensive eyelashes and a blinding smile.

How does Mr. Trump know she’s part of his team? All he has to do is look.

The story is told in the imagery. Back in 2010, when she was first running for Congress, Ms. Noem had a haircut that looked like a cross between “the Rachel,” the layered, straightened haircut Jennifer Aniston made famous on “Friends,” and the power bob favored by Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. When she won re-election in 2012, she had chopped it into a short look that Ms. Sheppard compared to the signature haircut of Kate Gosselin from “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” albeit slightly more corporatized.

After Mr. Trump won the presidency and the MAGA movement took off, Ms. Noem adopted a new look. Her hair got longer and longer, with tousled waves kissed by the curling iron, her part moved to the center. She began to resemble a doppelgänger for Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée. Or a dark-haired version of Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife and the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee. Even Ms. Noem’s clothes changed, from the khaki shirtdress she wore to CPAC in 2011 to the bright blue sheath she chose for her State of the State address this year.

There is no better example of her transformation than the cover photo on her new book , “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” which features a portrait of Ms. Noem with lips glossed, eyelashes thick and one hand seemingly playing with her wavy locks as she sits in her desk chair in a blazer and dress before the American flag.

“She practically looks like a member of the Trump family,” Mr. Bonjean said. “Maybe a cousin.”

And while her Trumpification could be a coincidence, Ms. Noem has revealed herself to be sensitive to the effects and uses of costuming, as seen in recent ads in which she dressed up as a dental hygienist, an electrician and a highway patrolman, the better to convey the idea that “South Dakota is hiring.” (“We have over 20,000 open jobs,” she says in one ad. Plus no individual income tax!)

“It’s absolutely strategic,” Mr. Ford said. Ms. Noem is “signaling that she’s going to be Trump’s kind of woman. And, at the same time, that she isn’t going to challenge him.”

This approach to political image-making has its roots in the pantomimed femininity of Phyllis Schlafly and Sarah Palin, where the promise of a powerful woman was defanged by her participation in the pageantry of traditional gender cosplay.

The teeth simply finish the picture, as does the fact that Ms. Noem used the opportunity to talk up the dentist who did the procedure. If anyone would recognize the value of using power to push product it is Mr. Trump himself. And perhaps, in doing so, recognize a kindred spirit.

The governor may sell herself in part as a grass-roots cowgirl, but Ms. Noem is speaking Mr. Trump’s language, proving that she belongs and that she is all in with his vision. That she is going to “get in line and stay in line,” Ms. Sheppard said. “That she knows how to conduct herself and be who he needs her to be.”

In any case, he has clearly noticed. A few days after the tooth news broke, Ms. Noem joined Mr. Trump at a rally for the Senate candidate Bernie Moreno in Vandalia, Ohio. After she spoke — they were wearing matching MAGA hats — Mr. Trump announced : “You’re not allowed to say it, so I will not. You’re not allowed to say she’s beautiful, so I’m not going to say it.”

What could she do but smile?

Vanessa Friedman has been the fashion director and chief fashion critic for The Times since 2014. More about Vanessa Friedman

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