1. Find a mentor: It is amazing how different things can appear to the presenter vs. the audience. Find someone who is supportive of your goals, will provide you with positive and constructive feedback, and has some skill that you’d like to learn. Ask for their help. Most people are quite willing to share their expertise.
  2. Consider the audience: You can put together the best presentation in the world but if it doesn’t meet the needs of the audience, it is a waste. Find out what matters to your audience and tailor your presentation to them.
  3. Talk as you speak: As my mentors have told me many times, don’t read from slides. Instead, talk about the subject as you usually speak. It allows you to be interesting and conversational instead of boring (people can read slides on their own) and stiff. Get to know your subject in advance so you are prepared, and then relax and just talk during your presentation. Ideally, use examples, stories and metaphors – they bring your topic to life.
  4. Provide value: Have a point. Provide value to the audience. A good question to ask yourself as you prepare is “will the audience be better off after they leave the presentation? How? Will they have an idea they could implement that will improve their business or personal condition today?”
  5. Enjoy it: One of the best ways to successfully present is to enjoy it. Talk about something you are passionate about. Your passion will show through.