If you are nervous about delivering your presentation/speech and wonder how to make it special and even unforgettable, the below 15 tactics are for you. Follow them and you will deliver a great presentation!


Prior to presentation/speech:


1. Make a strong Title with the focus on the main idea of your presentation

Titles that pose a question or have the keyword “Top” followed by a number attract more attention. Check Ted Talks titles for good examples.

2. Consider that you should cover max 3 aspects within 15-20 mins of presentation to make your messages digestible. List them as 3 main aspects of your presentation;

3. Understand your Charisma to choose your presentation style. In the book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism  lists 4 main Charisma types:

  • visionary – inspires people or gets them to believe in something
  • focus charisma – let’s people know you are fully present
  • kindness – makes others feel seen and accepted
  • authority – makes others believe you can change their lives

Select the one that corresponds to your character and stick to it. If you choose charisma style that is not you, audience will sense it, hence be careful choosing one;

4. Practice, practice, practice:

Stand in front of a mirror, practice your posture, gestures, tone, sync them with speech. Go through main points of your presentation for several times until you feel confident and stop mumbling and stumbling;

5. Prepare prizes and inform your listeners about a small quiz/competition in the beginning of your presentation. This will increase audience engagement;

6. Prepare one short phrase which you will repeat throughout presentation:

It will make your speech stronger and more memorable. Remember Obama speech where he repeats “Yes, we can“, or famous Luther King’s “I have a dream“?


During presentation/speech:


1. Make a strong  intriguing WOW statement. For example: “1 in 100 regular people is a psychopath. So, there are 1,000 people in this room. 15 of you are psychopaths.” Jon Ronson

2. List the main points of presentation to let people know what they should expect. Make the points interesting, so listeners would look forward to them;

3. IMPORTANT: Use 65% of Pathos, 25% Logos, 10% of Ethos:

  • Pathos: emotional connection to the audience – the most important component of your presentation according to research of TED talks. But how do you connect emotionally? Through a powerful personal STORY-telling (see next point)
  • Logos: logical argument which can include statistics to make your logic stronger
  • Ethos: credibility (or character) of the speaker. It refers to your experience/education, both of which can increase your audiences’ trust in you and your speech.


4. Story-telling is a crucial tool for getting your message across to your audience.

Most of TED talks are built on powerful personal stories: www.ted.com Listen and learn!

5. Humor is another important factor of successful presentation.

Use it sporadically but don’t turn into clown. Humor will reduce hostility, tension and make your speech more engaging. Short anecdotes about your own self work particularly well.

6. Use images and/or short videos.

Scientists has proven that people perceive and memorise information easier if text is mixed with images. Use provocative (but not offensive) images, easy to perceive stats graphs, and visualisation infographics.

7. Avoid monotonous speech. Use intonation and gestures to stress important points.

8. Use power poses to give you a boost of confidence

9. Engage participants: ask questions, opinions, do quizzes with prizes. This will raise the level of attention of your listeners

10. For extra effect add a Strong action. For example, Bill Gates has released mosquitos from a jar during his speech on malaria which became viral.

bill gates releases mosquitos

Inspired by Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo, Purple Cow by Seth Godin, The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

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