Delivering presentations - checklist

Delivering presentations - checklistThis checklist will help you to deliver a presentation, and includes advice on body language, covering the key points and dealing with questions.

  • Prepare yourself. Remind yourself that you have a good presentation. Take deep breaths to relax if you are nervous.
  • Familiarise yourself with the room, if possible. How many will attend the presentation, where will they sit in relation to you, where is the presentation equipment positioned?
  • Check your preparations. Ensure your notes and visual aids are in order and any equipment is working.
  • Introduce yourself and explain your role.
  • Ask questions - for example, about their particular areas of interest - and adjust your presentation in light of the responses.
  • Start your presentation with an overview of its structure and the key points you intend to make.
  • Encourage questions. Explain that you will try to answer them as they arise, but will postpone complex answers until after the presentation.
  • Cover the key points in turn. Show visual aids only when relevant.
  • Speak clearly. Concentrate on speaking slowly if you are nervous and use pauses for emphasis.
  • Project positive body language with a confident, open posture. Smile naturally - there is nothing more off–putting than a forced grin.
  • Talk to the audience, not the images behind you when using a screen or projector. Turn equipment off when not in use so the audience is not distracted.
  • Continually scan the audience, maintaining eye contact. Watch for inattention, fidgeting and other signs of boredom.
  • Use questions and names to recapture attention and involve people.
  • Respond to the audience. Be ready to change your approach in light of their degree of interest.
  • Finish the presentation with a summary of the key points. Stress the benefits of taking action.
  • Provide any handouts after the presentation, when they can no longer distract the audience and may remind them of your message.
  • Deal with any remaining questions and ask for feedback.
  • Establish the next step, and note any follow-up action required from you.