How NOT to suck at presenting your work

At SXSWi this year, I attended a session about presenting your work. It was by far one of the best sessions at the conference. I came across the slideshare and thought I’d share it with you.

Things I took from this presentation

  • Make sure your audience understands what you are presenting – they can’t advocate for what they don’t understand.
  • Create empathy – why should your audience care about what you are presenting?
  • Tailor your presentation to your audience.
  • PREPARE – do tongue twisters beforehand, move around, get silly. NEVER wing it.
    • Do the Buh-Duh-Guh-Duh – by saying Buh Duh Guh Duh over and over at increasing speed, you exercise the front, middle, and back on your mouth. Warm up that tongue – it’s a muscle!
  • Be comfortable with improv – your presentation will hit some snags – so go with it.
  • Don’t stop talking – if you get stuck, don’t stand there and say nothing while you think. Talk your way through it. E.g., If you are playing a game of charades, you don’t just stand there – you move, wave your arms, even dance if you have to. Just work through the problem.
  • Your body language says everything, so don’t slouch, cross your arms, and other posture no-no’s.
  • When in doubt – chest up and speak up. Most presenters probably have the jitters every time they speak, even if they have presented 100 times. Act confident! Who knows, maybe you’ll actually become confident!
  • Don’t cuss – a particularly difficult one for me.

And finally…


Yes, you ARE awesome, so be even more awesome when you are presenting.

You can see the slides to this presentation at the URL below, although this presentation is MUCH better in person if you have the opportunity.

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