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Public speaking is nerve-racking, and even the most confident people get their tongue-tied when delivering something important. Figuring out how to prepare for a presentation can feel overwhelming, but we’ve got some tips to create a smooth process.

In this article, you’ll learn how to start a presentation, how to prepare for a presentation (practice makes perfect), and answer your burning question, ‘What are the steps to prepare for a presentation?’ with five simple tips.

How to Start a Presentation

Starting a presentation is difficult because you want to draw in the audience and let them know what you will discuss. Begin a presentation by taking a deep breath and welcoming everyone. You can start with an anecdote (it’s up to you) or jump straight into what the presentation will cover, why, and what the listeners will learn.

How to Prepare for a Presentation Easily

The magic ingredient to a high-quality presentation is practicing. Start by reading your notes out loud, so you get used to hearing your voice and learning what you want to say. Try inviting close friends or colleagues to a ‘dummy run’ and present in front of them. It’s a great way to gain valuable feedback before the real thing. 

Top tip: Presenting to one person is often more daunting than a room because it can feel quite intimate. By the time you do the presentation properly, you’ll be a pro!


Frequently Asked Questions to Prepare for Your First Presentation

What is the 10/20/30 Rule Presentation?

The 10/20/30 rule is a marketing tactic created by Guy Kawasaki. It means that a presentation shouldn’t have over ten slides, needs to be a maximum of 20 minutes, and mustn’t use fonts over size 30pt.

What is the 5 by 5 Rule in PowerPoint?

The 5 by 5 rule states that you shouldn’t have more than 5 words in a sentence, 5 sentences of text in each slide, or 5 text-dense slides in succession. It’s a guideline to deliver informative, impactful information that keeps the audience engaged.

What is the 6 by 6 rule in PowerPoint?

The 6×6 rule suggests there should be a maximum of 6 words per bullet point, 6 bullet points to each image, and 6 text-heavy slides in a row. It’s a tip to create engaging content that gets your point across without boring the audience.

5 Easy Steps on How to Prepare for a Presentation

5 easy steps on how prepare for a presentation in 5 icons

Step 1. Outline Your Presentation.

Having a good introduction, key points, and a solid conclusion to your presentation is critical. It keeps it on track and makes it easier to follow for the audience. Break your presentation into sections and jot down what you need to include before going into detail.

Step 2. Do Thorough Research.

Ensure your research is sound, so you have a well-rounded comprehension of the subject. It’s crucial to understand what you’re talking about if you want to teach others effectively about the topic and answer any further questions.

Step 3. Keep Your Notes Simple.

Staring at a tiny cue card with cramped writing and losing your train of thought doesn’t make a good presentation. Use bullet points to keep your notes easy to read and have spaces between each one so you can quickly find your place.

Step 4. Make Eye Contact and Speak Slowly.

There’s nothing worse than someone who races through their notes without looking up once. You could have an incredible presentation, but you won’t get the impact you deserve if you don’t engage the audience. Read it slowly, remember to breathe, and take a break from cue cards as often as possible. 

Step 5. Practice, Practice, and Practice Again.

Nerves can play a part when making a presentation, so rehearse your presentation aloud as many times as possible, so you only need to rely on your notes as a backup. Trial it in front of someone else beforehand if you can.

Presentations Don’t Have to be Scary if You Prepare

Learning how to practice for a presentation can seem daunting at first, but if you follow these steps, it can feel more manageable. Make sure to outline what you want to talk about, do your research, ensure your notes are simple, speak slowly, and practice.

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