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How to give great presentations

Eight simple ways to wow your audience

Curtis Newbold

From employee trainings and monthly sales goal meetings to large-scale formal proposals to upper management, presentations are an integral component of many professionals’ lives. Whatever your role, you want to give effective presentations that engage, instruct, persuade, and inspire your audience—not lackluster presentations that no one remembers.

In this 90-minute course, Curtis Newbold walks you through the eight-part POWERFUL presentation method—plan, open, weave, express, relate, frame, unify, and leave—that will help you develop and deliver engaging, organized, and memorable presentations.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • Best practices for giving memorable, professional presentations
  • How to apply the POWERFUL presentation method
  • The influence of presentation components on audience perception

And you’ll be able to:

  • Organize presentations to create a powerful impact
  • Tell better stories
  • Design better slides
  • Employ stronger delivery techniques

This training course is for you because...

  • Your job requires you to present in front of teams, groups, or large gatherings.
  • You're looking for new ways to energize, motivate, and engage the people you speak to regularly in professional settings.
  • You struggle with public speaking and giving presentations.

Prerequisites

  • You've sat through or given at least one poorly delivered presentation.

Materials or downloads needed in advance:

Recommended preparation:

"Audience" (section 1 in HBR Guide to Giving Persuasive Presentations)

"Presentation Structure" (chapter 4 in The Introverted Presenter: Ten Steps for Preparing and Delivering Successful Presentations)

About your instructor

  • Curtis Newbold is a professional educator and has taught at the university level for over twelve years. His portfolio of instruction includes over 30 different courses on topics such as integrated marketing communications; brand strategy; business and technical writing; public speaking; infographics in popular media; visual communication; web design & site development; publication design; and related topics. Curtis has helped develop and teach several leadership communication workshops at institutions such as Discover Financial, Mountain America Credit Union (one of the top 40 largest credit unions in the U.S.), and Leavitt Partners. Curtis is an Associate Professor of Communication at Westminster College in Salt Lake City where he serves as the co-director of an online Master’s of Strategic Communication program; in this role, he has led student groups on international strategic communication projects in Peru, South Africa, and Cambodia. Curtis is the owner and operator of the popular communications blog, TheVisualCommunicationGuy.com and he frequently works as a consultant, graphic designer, and communications specialist for small businesses. Curtis has a PhD in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design (RCID) from Clemson University.

Schedule

The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introductions and roadmap (5 minutes)

  • Lecture and discussion: What types of presentations do you give most frequently in your job?

How presentations work (20 minutes)

  • Lecture and discussion: What makes presentations successful (and what makes them lousy); how fears prevent great presentations (and how to overcome them); what the research suggests about making presentations impactful, memorable, and effective; applying Aristotle to be more creative; the general structure of a presentation; why visuals matter
  • Q&A

The first three steps: Prepare, open, and weave (15 minutes)

  • Lecture: Preparing for your audience; opening with vigor; weaving in the stories

Developing a story (15 minutes)

  • Lecture: Story components—character, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution; determining the relevance of your story; broken metaphors
  • Hands-on exercise: Dissect the components of an example story

Step four: Expressing with visuals (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: How visuals impact presentations; using the picture superiority effect; memorable visuals; 10 quick tricks to enhance your slide design—open/close slides, color, contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, footer, bleeds, turning bullets into pictures, white space; working with preset templates
  • Hands-on exercise: Improve example slides using your newfound knowledge

The final four steps: Relate, frame, unify, and leave (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: Relating with delivery; framing the content; unifying the message; leaving with a punch

Wrap-up and Q&A (5 minutes)