Below are some helpful tips for better presentations from Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan:

  1. Keep it short.  After 10-18 minutes the listener loses interest. President Obama’s inauguration speech was 18 minutes. Hardly a coincidence.
  2. Display delight. Even if you need to fake it. Be enthusiastic. Be warm in your delivery.
  3. The audience is usually rooting for you. “You’ll never get to your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill
  4. Resist the urge to “backspace” as you speak. E.g. It was 10 years ago, wait a second it was 5 years ago …” Don’t sweat the details.
  5. Cut out the minutiae. When in doubt, cut more out. Be the most brutal editor.
  6. Start with your best material. Start with a concise and compelling statement.
  7. Convey certainty with words, eye contact, posture and tone of voice.
  8. Talk slowly. The slower you talk, the more control you have over your words.
  9. Vary your delivery. Vary pitch (high, low), pace (speed), and projection (volume)
  10. Develop decisive start and finishes.


(Views are my own and do not represent the views of any organization.)