DataHero Blog

Presentation Tips from the Pros

By Paxton GrayAugust 12th, 2014


“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

-Jerry Seinfeld

We want to help you ease your public speaking woes with some help from some of the very best in public speaking. Here are a few tips that will help you rock that eulogy. The tips are broken into three parts: Pre-Presentation, Mid-Presentation, and Closing. Each section provides tips for each part of a presentation. We’ve also highlighted a few of our favorite tips to make your search a little easier.



DataHero Favorite

“One of the first things I like to tell new presenters that will make a huge difference is this: Make sure you are not only clear on your specific objectives for the presentation—your outcome, but also on what specific objectives your audience might have for listening—what’s in it for them.”

Nick Elliott—Breezentations



“If you are new to public speaking or making presentations, never apologize for being nervous or that it is your first time giving a presentation. It takes away from your credibility as a speaker. ”

Meera Manek—Executive Speaking Coach



“Just be yourself and get all your points in order.”

Lisa Yarde—Motivational Consultant at Lisvalu



“It all starts before the address. Meet and greet as many as you can when they enter the room; this way relationships and friendships begin to provide the foundation for your impressive presentation.”

John T. Capps—President at Hope Mission Christian Ministries



“I would suggest looking up a few subjects on YouTube within the Toastmasters pages. Toastmasters is a public speaking club where members help members practice their speaking and leadership skills.”

Janice Wright—District Assistant at HUB City Toastmasters



“Go through your slides and remove anything that is there to remind you what to say and only leave the bits that help the audience understand what you are talking about. (Keep your notes to yourself.)”

Graham Young—Presentation Trainer



DataHero Favorite

“Think ICEBERG—just as you only see a small part of the iceberg above water, the presentation itself is only a small part of the process. The big part is the Planning, Preparing and Practice beforehand.”

Eugene Clark—Managing Director at



“The two main things I emphasize leading up to the picture roles discussion is to make sure they are using meaningful pictures, pictures that actually do something rather than sitting there as pure decoration.”

Robert Lane—Aspire Communications



“As someone who does a lot of public speaking but is absolutely terrified each and every time….my number one tip is preparation, preparation, preparation. I leave nothing to chance and then as I get comfortable and more confident I can ad lib away!”

Emer McCarthy—Manager at National Learning Network



“If possible, make it a point to introduce yourself to several audience members before your presentation.”

Judy Bond—DISC Personality Type Speaker and Consultant



“Giving a great presentation starts long before show time. Start with your audience’s needs and expectations and decide on a maximum of 3 main takeaways. Make sure you use relevant visuals to enhance your talk. Other important elements: know your content, practice, stay authentic and respect everyone’s time by not running overtime. I call it my recipe to help presenters make a difference in people’s lives, one presentation at a time.”

Chantal Bossé—Owner of CHABOS Inc.



“Practice out loud in front of a mirror. This puts the presentation into your body as well as your mind. It lets you know if the words you’ve written fit in your mouth. It gives you a more accurate timing; never run over the time you’ve been given in the agenda!”

Mary Harvey—Creative Director at Improv Yourself



“Triple check your charts. If your data visualization is unclear or misleading, you’re going to lose before you ever get started.”





DataHero Favorite

“Practice speaking from your heart. When you can deliver your speech from your heart with a touch about how you overcame some obstacle in life, it will connect with the heart of the audience. That will allow people’s worlds to become a part of yours. Even though the experiences might be different, they will feel like their lives and yours are connected.”

Ashanti Witherspoon—Instructor at The Leadership Institute ___________________________________________________________________________

KarenWIlliams-1“See the presentation as a conversation. When engaged in a conversation, we listen and give space to others to engage. The same is true of good speakers; they pay attention to the audience’s responses and provide opportunities for them to engage in the presentation. Engage the audience by asking questions and provide pauses so they can absorb the information.”

Karen Williams—Trainer at Bold Echo Communication Solutions ___________________________________________________________________________


DataHero Favorite

“Emotion, emotion, emotion. Pull at those heart strings, as our decisions are based emotionally first. Usually a story packed with humor can get the group going; they can see your genuine side, and that’s vital.”

Justin Thompson—Education Manager at Wealthworks ___________________________________________________________________________


“Number one piece of advice is to SMILE! If you think you’re smiling enough, watch yourself on video and you’ll be surprised at how little you actually smile.”

Ritzya—Creator of Speaker Salon


DataHeroLogo-1“There is wisdom in the words, ‘People remember what you DO more than what you say.’ Grab their focus with an eye-popping visual statistic, or engage them with a physical demonstration. It will leave an impression long after they’ve forgotten the words on your slides.”



RoyAlmaas-1 “Beyond the basics (like making sure your appearance is okay), stop thinking about yourself! Put the spotlight on your audience. Think of why they need your information. Make them the center of your attention and you’ll be much less nervous.”

Roy Almaas—Communications Coach at Anglaide



“Make sure your presentation includes content that is more about your audience and customers needs and less about your needs or capabilities. Demonstrating exceptional understanding is a key source of competitive advantage in today’s presentation environment.”

Andre Vlcek—Managing Director at Sales Psychology Australia



“Try not to fret. Even if your topic is a hard one, be confident that what you are going to say is of interest to your audience (otherwise they would not be there!). Breathe in, smile, look at them in the eye, and begin speaking with full confidence.”

Monica Stevens—Owner of MES Consulting



I think the key to being a good presenter is finding the perfect balance between your passion for a subject and the data you have to support it. When you can let your passion come out while sharing the data, that’s when something really clicks for the audience.





DataHero Favorite

“I believe we should present our data as effectively as possible in order to first build our credibility, second to set ourselves apart from everyone else who can present complicated graphs/charts/tables, and third allow our leadership teams to understand the singular point we are trying to make so that the discussion moves off data very quickly and on to what to do with the insights.”

Avinash Kaushik—Co-founder at Market Motive



“Finish early and ask if anyone has questions or invite them to see you after the presentation. But never run long, because all the good will you built up could be lost.”

Garr Reynolds—Presentation Zen



“A successful presentation is one that moves people to action.”

George Torok—Presentation Skills



“End on a strong or positive note, not a weak or fading one. Saying “Well that’s all I have to say. Thank you very much for listening” is underwhelming and can give a lackluster conclusion to what could be a very exciting presentation.”

UC Davis



“Have one very good takeaway—what are they going to remember about your presentation—and state it.”

Phala Murray—Digital Projects Manager, WPBF TV25

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