7 ways to improve your next presentation

Did your last presentation leave your audience quiet, passive, in a state akin to suspended animation? Go back to these seven basics, says this experienced business presenter.

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Steve Jobs was famous for innovations in technology. But his software development skills were inferior to those of most software engineers. What made Jobs great? He was an amazing presenter. Jobs could sell you a time-share disguised as a pyramid scheme.

While you may never reach Jobs’ level, certain things you can do will dramatically improve your next presentation. Here are my top 7 tips:

1. Mimic a presenter you like

There is no one-size-fits-all presentation. For example, Malcom X, Barrack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr., whose styles vary greatly, are all regarded as good presenters.

Find a model and learn from her or him. Take note of the way she varies her tone, emphasizes key words and controls her audience. Study the content of her speech and how it fits her audience.

You want to find an exemplar who has a style you find comfortable. If you like to stand still, mimic Martin Luther King, Jr. If you like using your hands, imitate Obama.

2. Tell a story

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