Haiku Deck Rock Star Series: Presenting Like a Pro

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to up your presentation game?

Between the “fresh start” feeling and the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. — undoubtedly one of the most enthralling public speakers of all time — there’s no better time of year to tackle this elusive goal head-on.

Is there a perfect way to give a killer presentation? Well, not exactly. You’ll have to find your way.

You can take inspiration from these five outstanding live presentations, or get a few ideas for structure and flow from this new killer speech template.

Killer Speech Template – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Rock Star Tips for Killer Presentations

The MOST IMPORTANT THING I would emphasize to you, as you contemplate how to give a killer presentation, is that one slide does not fit all — if you’re presenting live, you need to have far, far less text than if you’re creating a piece of standalone content to be read (more on this topic in How To Build Thought Leadership).

If you’re presenting live, you need to have far, far less text than if you’re creating a piece of standalone content to be read.

If you’d like to share your slides after your in-the-room talk (which I strongly encourage you to do — presentations are killer pieces of personal intellectual property), I suggest using Notes to add detail and context or to create handouts, or copying your slides and fleshing your ideas out a bit more so they stand alone.

A few other rock star tips:

  • Make your presentation feel cohesive, thematically and visually, by identifying a central theme to inspire your words and images. See, for example, this presentation I gave at AMA Houston, where I used origami images throughout to evoke the Haiku Deck logo. (Notice also how I included most of what I said in the room in the Notes, to make the meaning more clear without cluttering up my slides.)
How to Give a Killer Presentation: Using unifying thematic imagery

An example of unifying thematic imagery

  • Mix up your slide types so they don’t get repetitive. Try to work in a few paragraph slides, a list or two, some charts, and some high-impact headline slides.
  • Be sure to keep your slide text minimal so you will never, ever be tempted to read it out loud to your audience, which research shows is by far the most annoying thing you can do as a presenter. Find out the other annoying things to avoid here.
  • Even if you have a “set” presentation that you give frequently, take the time to customize your message to the audience and the location. This could be through the opening and closing stories you tell, the examples you highlight, or the images you choose.

Your Turn

We’d love to see your killer Haiku Deck presentation! Please share links in the comments, or tweet them with the hashtag #hdgallery.

More in the Rock Star Series

How To Build Thought Leadership

How To Make Your Company Values Visible

How To Promote Your Business or Service