4 Parts of a Successful Presentation

What Makes a Successful Presentation?​

of 04


What makes a successful presentation?
What makes a successful presentation?. © Digital Vision/Getty Images

Once you have researched your audience, it is time to start thinking about the Content of the presentation.

  • Make the topic meaningful, but do not use too broad a scope of content.
  • Focus on three or four points to present.
  • Delve into each of these points in an order that leads from one to the next.
  • Make your information clear and logical.

Deliver what your audience came to learn. Stick to important information only. If they want to know more, they will ask -- and be prepared for those questions.


of 04


 These days, it is rare for a presenter to simply speak to the audience. Most presentations involve a digital show in addition to the talk. So that leads us to the second consideration for making your slide show successful.

  • Choose appropriate colors for the design of your slide show.
  • Keep text to a minimum. Aim for one point per slide.
  • Make sure the text is large enough to be read at the back of the room, and there is great contrast between the background color of the slide and the text content.
  • Stick to plain and simple fonts that are easily read. Nothing is worse than some fancy, curley-que text that no one can read. Keep those fonts for greeting cards.
  • Use the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it simple silly) when adding content to a slide.
  • Whenever possible, use a picture to illustrate your point. Don't use them just to decorate the slide, nor should they be so busy that they detract from your point.

Make your slide show twice. One with a dark background and light text and another with a light background and dark text. This way you are covered to present in either a very dark room or a very light room, without having to make hasty, last minute changes.

of 04


An often forgotten part of the preparation for your presentation is to know exactly where you will be presenting.All of these points (and more) need to be considered and assessed before the big day. If at all possible, rehearse your presentation in the actual location -- preferably with an audience of sorts. This way you will be sure that everyone will be able to hear you, even at the back of the room/park.

  • Will it be inside or outside?
  • Is it a large hall or a small boardroom?
  • Will it be a dark room or a room with an abundance of natural light?
  • Will the sound echo off bare floors or be absorbed into carpeting?
of 04


Once the slide show is created, it is all up to the delivery to make or break the presentation. 

  • In the case that you are the presenter but did not create the presentation, make sure to check with the writer to know which points need special emphasis.
  • Make sure that you allowed time for questions and can easily revert back to specific slides on demand.
  • Long before the time in the spotlight, make sure you have practiced, practiced and practiced some more. AND -- I mean out loud. By just reading the slides and rehearsing in your head, you are really not doing yourself any favors. If possible, practice in front of a friend or colleague to get genuine feedback, and act on that feedback.
  • Record your presentation -- perhaps using the record feature in PowerPoint -- and then play it back to hear how you really sound. Make adjustments as needed.