Presentation Skills

How people perceive you depends on how you present yourself.  Humans judge others on how they look and act.  Honing how one presents themselves, their ideas and their business is extremely important to successfully working with customers, strategic cooperators, investors, employees, and the public.

Entrepreneurs should have two well thought-out and rehearsed presentations.  The first is a short “elevator speech” ready to go in any situation.  The second, is a well-constructed projected visual presentation, probably computer-based Power Point slides that fully describe the business.  If this is an investor-oriented presentation that is data heavy, and additional “pared-down” short Power Point of just the highlight slides may be useful for potential clients, cooperators and the public. Some key points in how to communicate using Power Point is available elsewhere on AgMRC. For many meetings a short written summary that can be handed to the participants will free them from note taking and help hold their attention while you talk with them. 

In general, for any presentation, be punctual, be prepared, and dress accordingly (be presentable).  Always be respectful of your time allotment; listen carefully and respectfully to questioners.  When answering questions never try to stretch the truth or redirect the topic to cover a weakness.  Acknowledge that you do not have an answer at this time, perhaps ask the opinion of others in the audience to help collectively find the answer.  Never mumble, make eye contact, avoid repetition and succinctly express your ideas.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Websites.

Presenting Yourself

Public Speaking Skills

  • Speech Writing Under the Gun – HBS Working Knowledge – Some great guidelines for composing an effective talk used by professional speech writers, comedians and speakers.
  • Audience Grabbers: Start With a Bang – HBS Working Knowledge – Effective presentations capture the audience in the first few seconds.  Here are six way to get off to a strong start.
  • Important Presentation Pointers: During and After – -- How does an audience judge a speaker and what can you do about it.
  • Final Preparations – -- You've worked hard to develop your presentation. Now it's time to deliver it and you're nervous. Most people who have to speak in public experience "stage fright." The following tips will help you conquer these fears.
  • Fine-tuning Your Presentation – -- Often the hardest part of making a presentation is getting started. Once you begin, adrenaline kicks in, you become excited talking about your topic, and you find that the experience is actually enjoyable.
  • Overcome Your Fears and Become a Great Speaker – -- You are already a great speaker. You give great presentations every day.
  • Speak Up – -- Fear of public speaking got you in its grip? Try these tips, and become the talk of the town.
  • Speak out to Boost Your Business – -- Demonstrate your expertise through seminars--just make sure you get over that little fear of public speaking first.
  • Shout It From the Rooftops – -- Ensure maximum exposure for your new product or service by becoming a public speaker.
  • How to Get Started in Public Speaking – -- Want to promote your business through public speaking? Start with these steps.
  • Using Public Speaking as Another Form of PR – -- By stepping up to the podium, you can increase awareness of your business and yourself.
  • Be a Guest Speaker – -- Promote your business by speaking at conferences.
  • Introduction to Public Speaking – -- What's the best way to promote your business? Do it yourself. Our Public Relations Expert shows you how to get personal with potential customers.
  • How to Create and Deliver A Winning Group Sales Presentation – -- You have the perfect solution for your prospect. Only challenge now is to make them see and believe that what you're offering is significantly better than the other four organizations they are also speaking with.

Media Skills

  • Preparing for a News Interview – University of Florida Extension -- This fact sheet discusses strategies to help you succeed in presenting yourself in an interview for television, radio or print.
  • On the Record: Managing Your Sound Bites – HBS Working Knowledge – Many leaders will be called upon to speak with the media.  Are you ready when the lights go on and the microphone is in your face?  Here are two secrets to making a compelling case.

Telephone Skills

Visual Presentation Skills

  • Why Use Visual Aids?  –  ThoughtCo. – 
  • Producing an Educational Video – University of Florida Extension – With the decrease in price of video equipment, more educators are integrating video into courses and instructional programs. They are able to shoot video "in the field" and bring the "field" back to their presentations.
  • Producing Your Own Video Program – University of Florida Extension –  If you're producing a video program on your own - shooting a video with your own video camera - without the help of a video production company, the first thing you need to do is to have a plan.


  • The Dog And Pony Show: Why Seminars Work – HBS Working Knowledge – Informational seminars can be more than effective marketing tools—they can help you build customer relations. But organizing a seminar is a lot more than renting a hall and demonstrating your product.
  • Get Switched On: Choosing a Theme for Your Meeting. – Chip Eichelberger Seminars –  Make your talk memorable, have an effective tag line, engage your audience to communicate your message.

Links checked September 2017.