• Professional development
  • Planning lessons and courses

Student presentations

In this article I would like to give you a few tips and some advice on what I've learned from helping students prepare and deliver presentations.

Student presentations - speaking article

  • Why I get students to do presentations
  • Syllabus fit
  • Planning a presentation lesson
  • Classroom Management

Why I get students to do presentations Presentations are a great way to have students practise all language systems areas (vocabulary, grammar, discourse and phonology) and skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening). They also build confidence, and presenting is a skill that most people will need in the world of work. I find that students who are good presenters are better communicators all round, since they are able to structure and express their ideas clearly.

  • Presentation skills are extremely useful both in and outside the classroom. After completing a project, a presentation is a channel for students to share with others what they have learned. It is also a chance to challenge and expand on their understanding of the topic by having others ask questions. And in the world of work, a confident presenter is able to inform and persuade colleagues effectively.
  • Presentations can also form a natural part of task based learning. By focussing on a particular language point or skill, the presentation is a very practical way to revise and extend book, pair and group work. The audience can also be set a task, for example, a set of questions to answer on the presentation, which is a way of getting students to listen to each other.

Syllabus fit Normally the presentation will come towards the end of a lesson or series of lessons that focus on a particular language or skill area. It is a type of freer practice. This is because the students need to feel relatively confident about what they are doing before they stand up and do it in front of other people. If I have been teaching the past simple plus time phrases to tell a story, for example, I give my students plenty of controlled and semi controlled practice activities, such as gapfills, drills and information swaps before I ask them to present on, say, an important event in their country's history, which involves much freer use of the target grammar point.

Planning a presentation lesson Normally a presentation lesson will have an outline like this:

  • Revision of key language areas
  • Example presentation, which could be from a textbook or given by the teacher
  • Students are given a transcript or outline of the presentation
  • Students identify key stages of the example presentation – greeting, introduction, main points in order of importance, conclusion
  • Focus on linking and signalling words ('Next…', 'Now I'd like you to look at…', etc.). Students underline these in the transcript/place them in the correct order
  • Students are put into small groups and write down aims
  • Students then write down key points which they order, as in the example
  • Students decide who is going to say what and how
  • Students prepare visuals (keep the time for this limited as too many visuals become distracting)
  • Students practise at their tables
  • Students deliver the presentations in front of the class, with the audience having an observation task to complete (see 'Assessment' below)
  • The teacher takes notes for feedback later

It is important that the students plan and deliver the presentations in groups at first, unless they are extremely confident and/or fluent. This is because:

  • Shy students cannot present alone
  • Students can support each other before, during and after the presentation
  • Getting ready for the presentation is a practice task in itself
  • When you have a large class, it takes a very long time for everyone to present individually!

I find it's a good idea to spend time training students in setting clear aims. It is also important that as teachers we think clearly about why we are asking students to present.

Aims Presentations normally have one or more of the following aims:

  • To inform/ raise awareness of an important issue
  • To persuade people to do something
  • Form part of an exam, demonstrating public speaking/presentation skills in a first or second language

I set students a task where they answer these questions:

  • Why are you making the presentation?
  • What do you want people to learn?
  • How are you going to make it interesting?

Let's say I want to tell people about volcanoes. I want people to know about why volcanoes form and why they erupt. This would be an informative/awareness-raising presentation. So by the end, everyone should know something new about volcanoes, and they should be able to tell others about them. My plan might look like this:

  • Introduction - what is a volcano? (2 minutes)
  • Types of volcano (5 minutes)
  • Volcanoes around the world (2 minutes)
  • My favourite volcano (2 minutes)
  • Conclusion (2-3 minutes)
  • Questions (2 minutes)

Classroom Management I find that presentation lessons pass very quickly, due the large amount of preparation involved. With a class of 20 students, it will probably take at least 3 hours. With feedback and follow-up tasks, it can last even longer. I try to put students into groups of 3 or 4 with classes of up to 20 students, and larger groups of 5 or 6 with classes up to 40. If you have a class larger than 40, it would be a good idea to do the presentation in a hall or even outside.

Classroom management can become difficult during a presentations lesson, especially during the final presenting stage, as the presenters are partly responsible for managing the class! There are a few points I find effective here:

  • Training students to stand near people who are chatting and talk 'through' the chatter, by demonstration
  • Training students to stop talking if chatter continues, again by demonstration
  • Asking for the audience's attention ('Can I have your attention please?')
  • Setting the audience an observation task, which is also assessed by the teacher
  • Limiting the amount of time spent preparing visuals
  • Arranging furniture so everyone is facing the front

Most of these points are self-explanatory, but I will cover the observation task in more detail in the next section, which deals with assessment. 

Assessment The teacher needs to carefully consider the assessment criteria, so that s/he can give meaningful feedback. I usually run through a checklist that covers:

  • Level - I can't expect Elementary students to use a wide range of tenses or vocabulary, for example, but I'd expect Advanced students to have clear pronunciation and to use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar
  • Age - Younger learners do not (normally) have the maturity or general knowledge of adults, and the teacher's expectations need to reflect this
  • Needs - What kind of students are they? Business English students need to have much more sophisticated communication skills than others. Students who are preparing for an exam need to practise the skills that will be assessed in the exam.

I write a list of language related points I'm looking for. This covers:

  • Range / accuracy of vocabulary
  • Range / accuracy of grammar
  • Presentation / discourse management- is it well structured? What linking words are used and how?
  • Use of visuals- Do they help or hinder the presentation?
  • Paralinguistic features

'Paralinguistics' refers to non-verbal communication. This is important in a presentation because eye contact, directing your voice to all parts of the room, using pitch and tone to keep attention and so on are all part of engaging an audience.

I find it's a good idea to let students in on the assessment process by setting them a peer observation task. The simplest way to do this is to write a checklist that relates to the aims of the lesson. A task for presentations on major historical events might have a checklist like this:

  • Does the presenter greet the audience? YES/NO
  • Does the presenter use the past tense? YES/NO

And so on. This normally helps me to keep all members of the audience awake. To be really sure, though, I include a question that involves personal response to the presentation such as 'What did you like about this presentation and why?'. If working with young learners, it's a good idea to tell them you will look at their answers to the observation task. Otherwise they might simply tick random answers!

Conclusion Presentations are a great way to practise a wide range of skills and to build the general confidence of your students. Due to problems with timing, I would recommend one lesson per term, building confidence bit by bit throughout the year. In a school curriculum this leaves time to get through the core syllabus and prepare for exams.

Presentations - Adult students

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Presentation Article

Student's presentations.

I've read your article. I agree with you. You gave some tips of how the students can present their presentations. During the presentation most students feel confidently themselves. I think if the students  work together on their presentations, it will be perfectly. I also agree with the time limit. I think it  is the most thing to present the presentation. If your presentation too long, it will be boring. Students know about the aim of the presentation. That is to say, they set their aim, why they show this presentation.

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Starting a presentation in english: methods and examples.

  • By Jake Pool

presentation script example for students

If you’re going to make it in the professional world, most likely you’ll have to give a presentation in English at some point. No reason to get nervous!

Most of the work involved lies in the introduction. You may or may not need an English presentation PPT file, your topic, audience, or time limit may vary, but a strong opening is a must no matter what! Everything that follows can build from the opening outline you present to your audience.

Let’s look at some guidelines for starting a presentation in English. If you can master this part, you’ll never have to worry about the rest!

Opening in a Presentation in English

While it’s important to have your entire presentation organized and outlined, planning and organization are especially important in the introduction. This is what will guide you through a clear and concise beginning. Let’s look at how to start a presentation with well-organized thoughts .

Introduction Outline

  • Introduce yourself and welcome everyone.
  • State the purpose of your presentation
  • Give a short overview of the presentation

As we say, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. (No need for a more detailed English presentation script!) Let’s examine the first step.

1. Introduce Yourself & Welcome Everyone

The self-introduction is your opportunity to make a good first impression. Be sure to open with a warm welcome and use language that is familiar and natural. Based on your audience, there are a few different expressions you can use to start your presentation.

If you’re presenting to coworkers who may already know you:

  • Hello, [name] here. I would like to thank you all for your time. As you may know, I [describe what you do/your job title] I look forward to discussing [topic] today.
  • Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone. Thank you for being here. For those who don’t know me, my name is [name], and for those who know me, hello again.

If you’re presenting to people you’ve never met:

  • Hello everyone, it’s nice to meet you all. My name is [name] and I am the [job/title].
  • Hello. Welcome to [event]. My name is [name] and I am the [job/title]. I’m glad you’re all here.

There are certainly more ways to make an introduction. However, it’s generally best to follow this format:

  • Start with a polite welcome and state your name.
  • Follow with your job title and/or the reason you’re qualified to speak on the topic being discussed.

2. State the Purpose of Your Presentation

Now that your audience knows who you are and your qualifications, you can state the purpose of your presentation. This is where you clarify to your audience what you’ll be talking about.

So, ask yourself, “ What do I want my audience to get from this presentation? ”

  • Do you want your audience to be informed?
  • Do you need something from your audience?
  • Do you want them to purchase a product?
  • Do you want them to do something for the community or your company?

With your goal in mind, you can create the next couple of lines of your presentation. Below are some examples of how to start.

  • Let me share with you…
  • I’d like to introduce you to [product or service]
  • Today I want to discuss…
  • I want to breakdown for you [topic]
  • Let’s discuss…
  • Today I will present the results of my research on [topic]
  • By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand [topic]
  • My goal is to explain…
  • As you know, we’ll be talking about…

When talking about the purpose of your presentation, stick to your goals. You purpose statement should be only one to three sentences. That way, you can give your audience a clear sense of purpose that sets them up for the rest of the presentation.

3. A Short Overview of the Presentation

The final step in starting your presentation is to give a short outline of what you’ll be presenting. People like a map of what to expect from a presentation.

It helps them organize their thoughts and gives a sense of order. Also, it lets the audience know why they’re listening to you. This is what you’ll use to grab their attention, and help them stay focused throughout the presentation.

Here are some examples of how you can outline your presentation:

  • Today, I’m going to cover… Then we’ll talk about… Lastly, I’ll close on…
  • We’re going to be covering some key information you need to know, including…
  • My aim with this presentation is to get you to… To do that we’ll be talking about…
  • I’ve divided my presentation into [number] sections… [List the sections]
  • Over the next [length of your presentation] I’m going to discuss…

That’s it! It’s as simple as 1-2-3. If you have a fear of public speaking or are not confident about presenting to a group of people, follow these three steps. It’s a simple structure that can get you off to a good start. With that in mind, there are other ways to bring your introduction to the next level too! Read on for bonus tips on how to really engage your audience, beyond the basics.

For a Strong Presentation in English, Engage your Audience

Presentations aren’t everyone’s strongest ability, and that’s OK. If you’re newer to presenting in English, the steps above are the basics to getting started. Once you’re more comfortable with presenting, though, you can go a step further with some extra tricks that can really wow your audience.

Mastering the skill of engaging an audience will take experience. Fortunately, there are many famous speakers out there you can model for capturing attention. Also, there are some common techniques that English-speakers use to gain an audience’s attention.

*How and when you use these techniques in your introduction is at your discretion, as long as you cover the 3 steps of the introduction outline that we discussed earlier.*

Do or say something shocking.

The purpose of shocking your audience is to immediately engage them. You can make a loud noise and somehow relate the noise to your presentation. Or, you can say, “ Did you know that… ” and follow with a shocking story or statistic. Either way, the objective is to create surprise to draw their attention.

Tell a story

Telling a story related to your presentation is a great way to get the audience listening to you.

You can start by saying, “ On my way to [location] the other day… ” or “ On my way here, I was reminded of… ” and then follow with a story. A good story can make your presentation memorable.

Ask your audience to take part

Sometimes a good introduction that captures attention will involve asking for help from the audience. You can ask the audience to play a quick game or solve a puzzle that’s related to your presentation. Also, you could engage the audience with a group exercise. This is a great way to get people involved in your presentation.

There are many more ways to engage the audience, so get creative and see what you can think up! Here are some resources that will help you get started.

Also, if you want to get better at public speaking (and help your English speaking too!), a great organization to know about is the Toastmasters . The organization is dedicated to helping you be a better speaker, and there are many local groups in America. They offer free lessons and events to help you master your English speaking, and also offer additional help to paying members.

The Takeaway

A presentation in English? No problem, as long as your introduction sets you up for success . Admittedly, this can be easier said than done. Native speakers and non-native speakers alike sometimes struggle with getting a good start on their English presentation. But the advice above can help you get the confidence you need to lay a good foundation for your next speech !

Jake Pool

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How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

Jane Ng • 02 Nov 2023 • 8 min read

Is it difficult to start of presentation? You’re standing before a room full of eager listeners, ready to share your knowledge and captivate their attention. But where do you begin? How do you structure your ideas and convey them effectively?

Take a deep breath, and fear not! In this article, we’ll provide a road map on how to write a presentation covering everything from crafting a script to creating an engaging introduction.

So, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is a presentation , what should be in a powerful presentation.

  • How To Write A Presentation Script
  • How to Write A Presentation Introduction 

Key Takeaways

Tips for better presentation.

  • How to start a presentation
  • How to introduce yourself

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Presentations are all about connecting with your audience. 

Presenting is a fantastic way to share information, ideas, or arguments with your audience. Think of it as a structured approach to effectively convey your message. And you’ve got options such as slideshows, speeches, demos, videos, and even multimedia presentations!

The purpose of a presentation can vary depending on the situation and what the presenter wants to achieve. 

  • In the business world, presentations are commonly used to pitch proposals, share reports, or make sales pitches. 
  • In educational settings, presentations are a go-to for teaching or delivering engaging lectures. 
  • For conferences, seminars, and public events—presentations are perfect for dishing out information, inspiring folks, or even persuading the audience.

That sounds brilliant. But, how to write a presentation?

How To Write A Presentation

How To Write A Presentation? What should be in a powerful presentation? A great presentation encompasses several key elements to captivate your audience and effectively convey your message. Here’s what you should consider including in a winning presentation:

  • Clear and Engaging Introduction: Start your presentation with a bang! Hook your audience’s attention right from the beginning by using a captivating story, a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful quote. Clearly state the purpose of your presentation and establish a connection with your listeners.
  • Well-Structured Content: Organize your content logically and coherently. Divide your presentation into sections or main points and provide smooth transitions between them. Each section should flow seamlessly into the next, creating a cohesive narrative. Use clear headings and subheadings to guide your audience through the presentation.
  • Compelling Visuals: Incorporate visual aids, such as images, graphs, or videos, to enhance your presentation. Make sure your visuals are visually appealing, relevant, and easy to understand. Use a clean and uncluttered design with legible fonts and appropriate color schemes. 
  • Engaging Delivery: Pay attention to your delivery style and body language. You should maintain eye contact with your audience, use gestures to emphasize key points, and vary your tone of voice to keep the presentation dynamic. 
  • Clear and Memorable Conclusion: Leave your audience with a lasting impression by providing a strong closing statement, a call to action, or a thought-provoking question. Make sure your conclusion ties back to your introduction and reinforces the core message of your presentation.

presentation script example for students

How To Write A Presentation Script (With Examples)

To successfully convey your message to your audience, you must carefully craft and organize your presentation script. Here are steps on how to write a presentation script: 

1/ Understand Your Purpose and Audience:

  • Clarify the purpose of your presentation. Are you informing, persuading, or entertaining?
  • Identify your target audience and their knowledge level, interests, and expectations.
  • Define what presentation format you want to use

2/ Outline the Structure of Your Presentation:

Strong opening: .

Start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Some types of openings you can use are: 

  • Start with a Thought-Provoking Question: “Have you ever…?”
  • Begin with a Surprising Fact or Statistic: “Did you know that….?”
  • Use a Powerful Quote: “As Maya Angelou once said,….”
  • Tell a Compelling Story : “Picture this: You’re standing at….”
  • Start with a Bold Statement: “In the fast-paced digital age….”

Main Points: 

Clearly state your main points or key ideas that you will discuss throughout the presentation.

  • Clearly State the Purpose and Main Points: Example: “In this presentation, we will delve into three key areas. First,… Next,… Finally,…. we’ll discuss….”
  • Provide Background and Context: Example: “Before we dive into the details, let’s understand the basics of…..”
  • Present Supporting Information and Examples: Example: “To illustrate…., let’s look at an example. In,…..”
  • Address Counterarguments or Potential Concerns: Example: “While…, we must also consider… .”
  • Recap Key Points and Transition to the Next Section: Example: “To summarize, we’ve… Now, let’s shift our focus to…”

Remember to organize your content logically and coherently, ensuring smooth transitions between sections.


You can conclude with a strong closing statement summarizing your main points and leaving a lasting impression. Example: “As we conclude our presentation, it’s clear that… By…., we can….”

3/ Craft Clear and Concise Sentences:

Once you’ve outlined your presentation, you need to edit your sentences. Use clear and straightforward language to ensure your message is easily understood.

Alternatively, you can break down complex ideas into simpler concepts and provide clear explanations or examples to aid comprehension.

4/ Use Visual Aids and Supporting Materials:

Use supporting materials such as statistics, research findings, or real-life examples to back up your points and make them more compelling. 

  • Example: “As you can see from this graph,… This demonstrates….”

5/ Include Engagement Techniques:

Incorporate interactive elements to engage your audience, such as Q&A sessions , conducting live polls , or encouraging participation.

6/ Rehearse and Revise:

  • Practice delivering your presentation script to familiarize yourself with the content and improve your delivery.
  • Revise and edit your script as needed, removing any unnecessary information or repetitions.

7/ Seek Feedback:

You can share your script or deliver a practice presentation to a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor to gather feedback on your script and make adjustments accordingly.

More on Script Presentation

presentation script example for students

How to Write A Presentation Introduction with Examples

How to write presentations that are engaging and visually appealing? Looking for introduction ideas for the presentation? As mentioned earlier, once you have completed your script, it’s crucial to focus on editing and refining the most critical element—the opening of your presentation – the section that determines whether you can captivate and retain your audience’s attention right from the start. 

Here is a guide on how to craft an opening that grabs your audience’s attention from the very first minute: 

1/ Start with a Hook

To begin, you can choose from five different openings mentioned in the script based on your desired purpose and content. Alternatively, you can opt for the approach that resonates with you the most, and instills your confidence. Remember, the key is to choose a starting point that aligns with your objectives and allows you to deliver your message effectively.

2/ Establish Relevance and Context:

Then you should establish the topic of your presentation and explain why it is important or relevant to your audience. Connect the topic to their interests, challenges, or aspirations to create a sense of relevance.

3/ State the Purpose

Clearly articulate the purpose or goal of your presentation. Let the audience know what they can expect to gain or achieve by listening to your presentation.

4/ Preview Your Main Points

Give a brief overview of the main points or sections you will cover in your presentation. It helps the audience understand the structure and flow of your presentation and creates anticipation.

5/ Establish Credibility

Share your expertise or credentials related to the topic to build trust with the audience, such as a brief personal story, relevant experience, or mentioning your professional background.

6/ Engage Emotionally

Connect emotional levels with your audience by appealing to their aspirations, fears, desires, or values. They help create a deeper connection and engagement from the very beginning.

Make sure your introduction is concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Aim for clarity and brevity to maintain the audience’s attention.

For example, Topic: Work-life balance

“Good morning, everyone! Can you imagine waking up each day feeling energized and ready to conquer both your personal and professional pursuits? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll explore today – the wonderful world of work-life balance. In a fast-paced society where work seems to consume every waking hour, it’s vital to find that spot where our careers and personal lives harmoniously coexist. Throughout this presentation, we’ll dive into practical strategies that help us achieve that coveted balance, boost productivity, and nurture our overall well-being. 

But before we dive in, let me share a bit about my journey. As a working professional and a passionate advocate for work-life balance, I have spent years researching and implementing strategies that have transformed my own life. I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you today, with the hope of inspiring positive change and creating a more fulfilling work-life balance for everyone in this room. So, let’s get started!”

Check out: How to Start a Presentation?

presentation script example for students

Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or new to the stage, understanding how to write a presentation that conveys your message effectively is a valuable skill. By following the steps in this guide, you can become a captivating presenter and make your mark in every presentation you deliver.

Additionally, AhaSlides can significantly enhance your presentation’s impact. With AhaSlides, you can use live polls, quizzes, and word cloud to turn your presentation into an engaging and interactive experience. Let’s take a moment to explore our vast template library !

Frequently Asked Questions

1/ how to write a presentation step by step .

You can refer to our step-by-step guide on How To Write A Presentation Script:

  • Understand Your Purpose and Audience
  • Outline the Structure of Your Presentation
  • Craft Clear and Concise Sentences
  • Use Visual Aids and Supporting Material
  • Include Engagement Techniques
  • Rehearse and Revise
  • Seek Feedback

2/ How do you start a presentation? 

You can start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Consider using one of the following approaches:

3/ What are the five parts of a presentation?

When it comes to presentation writing, a typical presentation consists of the following five parts:

  • Introduction: Capturing the audience’s attention, introducing yourself, stating the purpose, and providing an overview.
  • Main Body: Presenting main points, evidence, examples, and arguments.
  • Visual Aids: Using visuals to enhance understanding and engage the audience.
  • Conclusion: Summarizing main points, restating key message, and leaving a memorable takeaway or call to action.
  • Q&A or Discussion: Optional part for addressing questions and encouraging audience participation.

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Crafting an engaging presentation script

  • Guide & How to's

Crafting an engaging presentation script

Crafting a presentation goes beyond simply putting together content. It also involves mastering the art of scripting by the speaker. Learning how to write a script for a presentation can take some time and effort to master, and similar to designing Google slides or PowerPoint presentations, there are several important rules to follow.

From developing a compelling storyboard and adding strategic pauses to making sure the words match the slides and maintaining a natural flow, delivering an effective presentation speech is a skill that needs to be honed.

In this article, we aim to provide comprehensive guidance on all these aspects and more, making it easier for you to create a presentation script that effortlessly resonates with your audience.

Top 10 tips on how to write a script for PowerPoint presentation

1. finalize the storyboard.

When it comes to crafting presentation scripts, planning is vital. A speaker must be well-prepared and have ample time before the event to practice and make sure the content flows naturally. Therefore, clear storyboarding must come first if you want to produce excellent presentation content. This is particularly true when the script and design are being done by the same person.

2. Follow the KISS rule

‘KISS,’ or Keep It Short and Simple, is the number one rule for crafting a fantastic script for presentation. Short and concise sentences can help you get the message across much faster, especially if your presentation’s emphasis is placed more on the visuals than the aural aspect.

3. Make sure your script for presentation introduction is engaging

A strong introduction is critical to captivate the audience’s attention and make them interested in what you have to say. This can be done through a compelling narrative, a thought-provoking question, or a startling fact. Remember, your introduction for presentation script should be designed to hook the audience and make them want to keep listening.

4. Aim for well-structured content

The presentation script’s content needs to be well-organized and structured. It has to have natural transitions from one idea to another, as well as distinct breaks between sections. And to make each argument more convincing and relatable to the audience, you should back it up with examples or evidence.

5. Stick to the slide content

It’s important to keep in mind that the information on your slides must serve as the basis for your script. It should be closely related to the presentation material you have already storyboarded and be simple to follow.

In case your script for PowerPoint presentation doesn’t match the content on the slides, the audience will likely feel confused and lose their place. That’s why it is recommended that you always have the presentation’s material nearby. Divide the text into chunks corresponding to the slides’ arrangement so that the two complement one another perfectly.

6. Add pause breaks

When attending a presentation, an audience member has two tasks: first, taking in the speaker’s words, and second, understanding the information offered by the presentation content. Therefore, when writing a script for a presentation, it’s essential that you always put yourself in the audience’s shoes and include pauses in the script.

Remember, when the speaker pauses, the audience has a chance to digest what has just been said and absorb as much information as possible from the visual aids. Additionally, it gives you, as a speaker, more control over the audience’s attention during the entire speech.

7. Use engaging language

Whether it’s an introduction for presentation script or a closing part, your entire content should be written in clear and engaging language. Refrain from using technical or jargon terminology that the audience might not understand. Instead, speak in plain English and incorporate jokes, rhetorical questions, or storytelling to keep the audience interested throughout your presentation.

8. Don’t forget about calls to action

Strong presentation scripts always end with a clear call to action. This could be requesting that the audience takes a specific action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, or putting the concepts discussed into practice in their own lives or places of employment. Your call to action must be captivating and inspire the audience to do the desired action.

9. Practice and rehearse

Practice and rehearsal are essential components of a good script. That’s why it is crucial to rehearse your script several times, ensuring a smooth delivery. Additionally, practice helps boost self-assurance and ease presentation-day nervousness. By including these components in your PowerPoint presentation script, you can create a persuasive and memorable presentation that effectively conveys your message and interests your audience.

10. Enlisting key points is also an option

Writing down every word you intend to say might sometimes result in overly scripted content, which can lack empathy and prevent you from connecting with the audience. Therefore, sometimes it is enough to simply focus on the key points or even use slide content as a starting point, keeping in mind the presentation’s structure and your time limit. Now that you know how to write a presentation script, let’s look at some examples to see the above tips in practice.

Presentation script example

Detailed presentation script:


Presentation script containing only key points:

All in all, having a presentation script is essential for delivering a great audience experience. It gives you flow, structure, and two times more confidence than when you are simply improvising or reading off your slides.

Use the above guidelines to ensure you are starting with a strong script, and remember that our presentation design company is here to help 24/7! SlidePeak’s dedicated team can not only help you improve your old presentation but can also design a professional pitch deck with unique infographics to wow potential investors, clients, and employers.

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Communication in Everyday Life: The Basic Course Edition With Public Speaking

Student resources, sample student presentations, informed sharing, personal debt.


Click the image above access the textbook Appendix. Explore examples of average student presentations to use as a reference point when constructing your own, compare the "good" presentation outline and "needs improvemnt" presentation outline, and take note of side-bar comments about the presentation.

Iowa House Judiciary Presentation

Good evening Mr. Chairman, my name is Zach Wahls. I’m a sixth-generation Iowan and an engineering student at the University of Iowa, and I was raised by two women. My biological mother Terry told her parents that she was pregnant, that the artificial insemination had worked, and they wouldn’t even acknowledge it. It actually wasn’t until I was born and they succumbed to my infantile cuteness that they broke down and told her that they were thrilled to have another grandson. Unfortunately, neither of them would live to see her marry her partner Jackie, of fifteen years, when they wed in 2009. My younger sister and only sibling was born in 1994. We actually have the same anonymous donor, so we’re full siblings, which is really cool for me. I guess the point is that my family really isn’t so different from any other Iowa family. When I’m home, we go to church together. We eat dinner, we go on vacations. But, we have our hard times too; we get in fights. My mom, Terry, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000. It is a devastating disease that put her in a wheelchair, so you know, we’ve had our struggles. But we’re Iowans. We don’t expect anyone to solve our problems for us. We’ll fight our own battles. We just hope for equal and fair treatment from our government.

Being a student at the University of Iowa, the topic of same sex marriage comes up quite frequently in class discussions. The question always comes down to, “Can gays even raise kids?” And the conversation gets quiet for a moment, because most people don’t really have an answer. And then I raise my hand and say, “Well actually, I was raised by a gay couple, and I’m doing pretty well.” I score in the 99th percentile on the ACT. I’m an Eagle Scout. I own and operate my own small business. If I was your son, Mr. Chairman, I believe I’d make you very proud. I’m not so different from any of your children. My family really isn’t so different from yours. After all, your family doesn’t derive its sense of worth from being told by the state, “You’re married, congratulations!” The sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes a family.

So what you’re voting for here is not to change us. It’s not to change our families, it’s to change how the law views us, how the law treats us. You are voting for the first time in the history of our state to codify discrimination into our constitution, a constitution that but for the proposed amendment is the least amended constitution in the United States of America. You are telling Iowans, “Some among you are second-class citizens who do not have the right to marry the person you love.” So will this vote affect my family? Would it affect yours? In the next two hours, I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot of testimony about how damaging having gay parents is on kids. But not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple. And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero impact on the content of my character.

Everyone Should Own a Bicycle Presentation

General Purpose : Persuade

Specific Purpose : The purpose of this presentation is to persuade the audience to   regularly ride a bicycle.

Thesis Statement : Riding a bicycle has many positive environmental, health, and economic benefits.

Organizational Pattern : Topical

I want you all to imagine a product that will make you lose weight fast, all while saving the environment and paying for itself in the process. How great would that be? Such a product exists, and it’s been around for many years. It is a bicycle.  The purpose of this presentation is to persuade the audience to   regularly ride a bicycle. Riding a bicycle has many positive environmental, health, and economic benefits.

As a college student like you, I was searching for ways to save money.  I also wanted to lose some of the weight I had gained since beginning school.  Eventually, through research and then actual experience, I realized that riding a bike was an answer.  The fact that it also helps the environment was an added bonus.

The number of people commuting by bike increased 60% in recent years.  Additionally, more cities are incorporating special bike lanes to provide space for the growing population of bike riders (Copeland, 2014). 

This speech is your opportunity to discover how to help the environment, reduce rising obesity and heart health trends, and save money.  Accordingly, in what follows, we will discuss the following three benefits of riding a bike:  (1) environmental, (2) health, and (3) economic.

One reason to ride a bicycle is environmental friendliness. Bicycles have a much smaller effect on the environment than most other forms of transportation. According to National Geographic in 2016, if everyone who lived within five miles of their workplace commuted via bicycle one day a week, it would have the environmental impact of taking of taking one million cars off the road entirely. When examining “equivalent carbon dioxide per kilometer miles traveled per passenger”, a unit of measurement for total environmental impact of forms of transportation, bicycles are significantly less impactful producing 5 grams CO2e/ km traveled, compared to a car at 271 grams. This is according to a 2016 report by the European Cyclists Federation which explored several European environmental impact studies.

Another reason everyone should ride a bicycle is the positive impact doing so can have on a person’s health. Riding a bicycle is a terrific source of cardiovascular, and to a lesser degree, resistance exercise. Regular exercise, which is easily accomplished on a bicycle, keeps one fit and healthy.  Bicycle riding can help to reduce America’s growing health issues. According to The New York Times (2015), as of 2014, 38% of Americans were obese—up from 35% in 2011 and 2012.  Just about everyone knows obesity is related to many significant health threats, such as heart disease, stroke, and type two diabetes; yet facing weight loss and starting an exercise habit can be challenging for people. However, it may be encouraging for those same people to know that one does not need to spend their entire morning or afternoon cycling to enjoy improvements in health. A 2012 study by Rosenkilde et al. published in the American Journal of Physiology found as few as 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise (something a bicycle commute to work or errand would likely accomplish) was just as (and in some cases more) effective for weight loss and physical fitness as 60 minutes of daily high-intensity exercise.  Perhaps most enticing, riding a bicycle is fun, which may help people who otherwise dislike exercising, do so anyway. Many people rode bicycles as kids before they even knew what exercise was!

Bicycles clearly have some health benefits for both the earth’s ecosystem, and the system of your body. Now I will discuss some of their economic benefits.  The most relatable reason to ride a bicycle for most people comes down to cost. Personal economic benefits are usually the most relatable, but larger-scale economic reasons also demonstrate the importance of bicycles. When talking about the economic benefits of bicycles, one usually considers their cost in comparison to auto ownership, which usually costs thousands of dollars a year in gas, insurance, and maintenance, not to mention the price of the car itself. These are valuable considerations and account for why many people should chose bicycle ownership instead of a car. Why spend thousands if you do not have to?

As we begin to wrap up our discussion, I want to stress that riding a bicycle has many positive environmental, health, and economic benefits.  Bicycles are great for the atmosphere and help to reduce CO2 levels that threaten the wellbeing of life on Earth. They can help people stay healthy and fit in a fun way. They are economical for both individuals and the communities in which they live.

With these benefits, who would not want to ride a bicycle?  As college student, though, it is even more important for use to consider the environment while also considering our health and finances.  I urge you all to start riding a bicycle on a regular basis.

Some of you have memories from your childhoods of riding a bicycle for the first time. Remember the feeling of pushing the pedals and seeing the surroundings fly past you? Imagine that feeling again, unencumbered by sheet metal, engine noise, or seatbelts with the wind in your hair (but please, seriously, wear a helmet!) That feeling is something most never forget, and can be with your again, so give it a shot—it is just like getting back on a bicycle … because that is exactly what you would be doing!  

Copeland, L.  (2014).  Biking to work increases 60% in past decade.  USA Today .  Retrived from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/08/bike-commuting-popu...

European Cyclists Federation (2016). Cycle more often 2 cool down the planet: Quantifying CO2 savings of cycling. European Cyclists Federation. Retrieved from: https://ecf.com/sites/ecf.com/files/co2%20study.pdf

National Geographic (2016) Bike environmental impact. National Geographic Retrieved from: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying...

Rosenkilde, M., Auerbach, P., Reichkendler, M. H., Ploug, T., Stallknecht, B. M., & Sjödin, A. (2012). Body fat loss and compensatory mechanisms in response to different doses of aerobic exercise—a randomized controlled trial in overweight sedentary males. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology , 303 (6), R571-R579.

Annual Budget Meeting Presentation

General Purpose : Inform

Specific Purpose : The purpose of this presentation is to inform community stakeholders of processes used and elements considered to arrive at annual budget figures which requires a new monthly HOA fee.

Thesis Statement : Various budgetary options were considered before arriving at the final option.

Organizational Pattern : Elimination

Greetings, and thank you for coming to the Annual Budget Meeting.  As you know, community bylaws require the Board of Directors to announce proposed budgets and related Home Owners Association (HOA) fee increases 90 days before implementation. Today’s meeting is to ensure you are fully aware of the processes employed and elements closely considered as we worked to arrive at the proposed figures for the upcoming year. Additionally, you will be advised of the new monthly fee.

As most of you know, I am Bea Wentworth, president of The Oaks Home Owner’s Association and a homeowner just like all of you. Others in involved in this process include Ray Walker, vice president; Loren Hall, secretary; Zerin Acker, treasurer; and at-large members Steve Scop, Shae Guy, and Feder Mehmet. Community vendors—such as the management company, landscaping and snow removal contractor, and insurance agent—were also consulted as needed.

During our intense decision-making process, several factors had to be considered. Specifically, we examined current and projected monthly expenses, debt loads, reserve account funding requirements, and cost of service increases as noted by current contractors. Other factors were considered as well. Each was reviewed with what is best for The Oaks HOA in mind.  Ultimately, we feel we have selected an option that best meet this prerequisite.

Prior to announcing the new budget and monthly fee, the board wanted to review the various options considered to make our final choice. There were six options considered, and each will be discussed at this time.

The first option considered was processing liens and seeking garnishments against the 58 homeowners in arrears. Right now, our fiscal reports show delinquencies totaling $84,853.75. The board quickly realized this was not a good choice because any funds collected would not become available as immediately as needed and because we would incur new costs because our attorney would charge service and appearance fees that cannot be reimbursed when we win litigation.

The second option considered was issuing a one-time special assessment of $900 per unit to cover our financial needs.  The idea of requiring this additional payment was soon eliminated because the high percentage of homeowners with account balances means we would not be able to collect all that is needed. Additionally, this idea was put aside because it is unfair to those who remain current with dues.

The third option considered was an increase in monthly fees. This, however, meant there would need to be a significant increase, one amounting to $405 per home, since 58% of homeowners have not been paying as required. This unfair and costly option, which would encumber even more homeowners with debt, was also eliminated.

The fourth option deliberated was removing one of the largest and most often argued lines—property management expenses. Removing this $25,000 fee would definitely save money. However, it would also violate our current bylaws and require additional policies be enacted. Since bylaw rewriting, jurisdictional approval, and policy enactment would be a lengthy process, we knew this notion had to be eliminated.

The fifth option considered was removing and reducing line items for infrequent and obsolete services such as mailing, printing, and office supplies. This plan was dismissed once we realized it would not yield adequate funding.

The sixth and final option considered, one which best meets our needs, is multifaceted. It involves reasonably reducing and removing line items, increasing monthly HOA fees by 3%, and instituting an amnesty repayment plan for homeowners in arrears. The latter portion of this plan allows debtors to do direct-to-HOA payments for past due assessments, would help bring account holders current, and would remove 50% of attorney fees previously charged to affected accounts if balances are fully paid before May 1. This, in turn, could increase the amount we have for immediate use and in reserves by the second quarter of the next fiscal year.

Now, for the bottom line: The selected method will raise current HOA dues from $291 to a new monthly rate of $300 to cover all expenses. As per usual, current homeowners will have access to our pool, fitness center, supervised children’s lounge, adult’s lounge, outdoor tennis court, outdoor walking track, golf course, individual unit landscaping services, and concierge services. The due date for assessments remains the first of the month and payments can be made by automatic deduction, via mail, or online.

            As we begin to conclude this presentation, it is important to remember that various budgetary options were considered before arriving at the final option.  Please be advised the board will continue to work on the overall fiscal health of The Oaks as follows: (1) We will process liens and seek garnishments against those in arrears; (2) We will seek out a management company who can meet community needs at a more reasonable rate; (3) We will rewrite community bylaws to address all issues we face then seek attorney review and jurisdictional approval; and (4) We will devise new standard operating procedures allowing for other changes.

As homeowners and community members like you, we remain open to feedback and questions regarding the proposed budget, future fiscal and operation plans, or other community needs. We will be available for questions for one hour directly following this address. You may also contact us via the established email account or Yahoo Group.

As always, the goal of the board is to keep The Oaks a beautiful, well-maintained, and enjoyable community.

How To Write A Script For A PowerPoint Presentation

Whether it is a business presentation or it is presenting yourself at school or college levels, a good script is very essential and forms the foundation for an effective demonstration. It is the only element that can make or break your success and covers your choice of words, the arguments and how you convey your message.

No doubt visuals play an important role while giving a PowerPoint Presentation but your script has a major role and can turn your PowerPoint to powerless, if not written well. Therefore, in order to make your presentation interesting you must invest some good time in scriptwriting.

Write A Script For A PowerPoint Presentation

With the help of below listed points you can add a little zing to your presentation and can script for your PowerPoint Presentation efficiently, making it more interesting and captivating. Since, these PPT’s are the powerful communication tools so delivering it perfectly demands your attention towards the following things:

  • Start With A Powerful Script: Give some rhyme or reason to your presentation by scripting it well.  Present it in such a way that your audience appreciates your every slide. Try to give it an interesting start and end in order to keep your listeners fully engaged.
  • Present One Thing At A Time: Since your every slide will catch your audience’s attention so give relevant explanations with respect to what is being displayed.  Plan and practice it well, if you want to catch your listeners’ interest and attention.
  • Avoid Using Lengthy Paragraphs:  Your complex paragraphs can turn off your listeners and will make everything boring. Don’t use those big chunky blocks of texts. Your slides are meant for illustrating your basic ideas and not your complete presentation. Hence, organize everything in an interesting and catchy manner.
  • Design it Well: Don’t give those bright cheesy effects to your pages and keep your slide design simple.  You can use decorative fonts for slide headers, only if they are easy to read. Always put dark text on a light background to make your slideshow interesting.
  • Add Images Cautiously: Too many images can spoil the show so add them in a balanced manner. Use them only if they include some important information or makes the concept more clear.
  • Think Out-Of-The-Box:   Your slides can only help you in making your point clear in front of your audience but to keep your listeners fully engaged you have to experiment with your presentation methods. So pay attention towards your standing and dressing style, your body language and gestures.

Hence, for a successful presentation keep these above discussed points in your mind to earn the appreciation of your listeners.

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How to write an effective presentation script

If putting together presentation content wasn’t tough enough, a script also has to be written for, or by, the speaker. Learning how to write a presentation script can take some time to master, and just like a presentation design , there are some important rules to remember.

From putting together a storyboard and ensuring the words complement the slides, to inserting pause breaks and not sounding too scripted, delivering a presentation speech is a skill that needs to be honed. In this article, we will help you with all of that and more, so you can learn how to write a presentation script your audience will easily connect with.

1. Finalise the storyboarding

Planning is everything when it comes to  writing a script for a presentation . In order to make the content flow naturally, a speaker needs to be well-prepared with enough time ahead of the event for them to practise.

In order to achieve great presentation content , clear and concise storyboarding needs to be the first step. This is especially true in situations where the same person is writing the script and also putting together the design. It can be tempting to write the content first before attempting to retrofit the design elements so it matches the script.

However, following this method rarely ever works, and it only serves to increase frustration and stress levels. By using a storyboard it becomes much easier to plan the length of the presentation along with its content. It also creates a guideline that will enable the speaker to direct the audience from start to finish.

2. Stick to the slide content

A key point to remember is that the content of your slides must provide the foundation of your script. When you sit down to begin writing it can be easy to follow the flow of ideas to create a script that reads wonderfully on its own. What you can’t forget is this must tie directly into the presentation content you have already storyboarded.

Writing a script for a presentation that doesn’t match the content will leave the audience feeling confused. As the script starts wandering off into tangents that do not relate to the slides, the crowd will quickly lose their place and their concentration will soon follow.

An easy way around this is to write the script with the presentation content close to hand. Break down the words into sections that reflect the order of the slides so the two are always complementing each other perfectly.

3. Remember to add in some pause breaks

When an audience attends a presentation they have two tasks to juggle: firstly, to digest the words being delivered by the speaker, and secondly, to understand the information provided by the presentation content.

It’s important to place yourself in the shoes of the audience to remember this when writing a script for a presentation. You want as much of the information you are providing to be taken in by the audience, which means you need to factor in some time that will enable them to process your words and the visual data.

Writing pause breaks into the script plays a key role in achieving this. When the speaker pauses it gives the audience a moment to reflect on what has just been said. It also allows the speaker to create a  rhythm of speech  and have more control over the attention of the audience from start to finish.

delivering a presentation

4. Write, practice, iterate and repeat

Once you have your script ready to go, you will need to set aside a good amount of time to practice it. Don’t forget, the script is one half of the content you will be delivering to the audience, so you should always practice the material alongside the finalised slides, as this gives you a better feel for how it all comes together.

This also allows you to make final tweaks and changes to the script, as well as physically practicing how you will deliver it on the day. You can then rehearse the way you stand, your eye contact and the management of your overall body language in front of an audience.

It is also worth remembering that when you write a script for a presentation, it will be written more formally compared to the way you naturally speak. If the script isn’t changed to reflect this, it will sound unnatural and awkward and the audience will pick up on it very quickly.

5. Remember, You don’t always need to write a script

Please note that this final point isn’t intended to undermine everything we have talked about above! As we mentioned in the previous point, sometimes writing every word you are going to say can sound overly scripted, which can lack empathy and struggle to connect with the audience.

If you are experienced and confident enough, or if it fits the type of audience you will be speaking to, you can work around key points you have written down, or simply use the slide content as your start point.

This usually suits a more informal setting and you always have to be careful not to wander off on long tangents that will lose the audience in the process. Always remember the structure of your presentation and have a time limit so you will still deliver the information concisely and effectively.

Script writing is no easy task!

Just like creating content for your presentation, writing a script requires practice. With each one you write you will gain more confidence and improve the way they are structured and delivered. Use the guidelines above as a foundation for your scripts and you’ll soon be able to find a voice and style that will add real value to your presentations.

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Business writing essentials

How to write a presentation (and deliver it, even via Zoom)

Jack elliott.

31 minute read

A woman at a microphone giving a presentation.

You’ve been asked to give a presentation. Chances are, your response will be roughly one of the following:

1. It’s a subject you’re passionate about and you’re a confident speaker. You’re pleased to have the opportunity.

2. You secretly worry that your style is flat and unengaging. You’re not looking forward to it.

3. At best, the prospect makes you nervous; at worst, terrified. You’d rather have root canal surgery.

If you belong in one of the last two categories, you probably know you’re not alone. You may have heard the statistic that public speaking is more widely feared even than death .

Quote from Mark Twain, illustrated with his photo: ‘There are only two types of speakers in the world: those who are nervous and liars.’

However you feel about the prospect of presenting, this comprehensive guide will take you step by step through the process of planning, writing and delivering a presentation you can be proud of (even via Zoom).

Use the contents links below to jump to the section you need most, make your way through methodically from start to finish, or bookmark this page for next time you need it.

What is a presentation?

Essentially, it’s a story. And its origins go back thousands of years – to when our ancestors gathered around the campfire to listen to the wise elders of the tribe. Without PowerPoint!

These days, presentations encompass the glitz and scale of the Oscars or the new iPhone launch through to business briefings to smaller audiences, in person or – increasingly – online. We’re focusing on the business side.

Whatever the occasion, there’s always an element of drama involved. A presentation is not a report you can read at your leisure, it’s an event – speakers are putting themselves on the spot to explain, persuade or inspire you. Good presentations use this dynamic to support their story.

Always remember: everyone wants you to do well

If you are nervous, always remember: no one sets out to write a poor presentation and no one wants to go to one either. There may be private agendas in the room, but for the most part audiences approach presentations positively. They want to be engaged and to learn. They want you to do well.

First things first: the date’s in the diary and you need to prepare. Let’s break it down.

Preparing a presentation

1. Preparing your presentation

Imagine you’re a designer in the automotive industry and your boss has asked you to give a presentation. The subject: the future of the car and how it will fit with all the other modes of transport.

Where to start? How to approach it? First you need an angle, a key idea.

We talk about ‘giving’ a presentation – and of course it’s the audience who will be receiving it. So, instead of beginning with cars (in this case), let’s think about people. That way we can root the talk in the everyday experience we all share.

Maybe you remember a time you were stuck in traffic on a motorway. Morning rush hour. No one moving. Up ahead children were crossing a footbridge on their way to school, laughing at the cars going nowhere. And you thought, ‘Enjoy it while you can! This will be you one day.’ But maybe not. Surely we can do better for future generations!

There’s your opening – the whole issue captured in a single image, and you’ve immediately engaged your audience with a simple story.

The who, the why and the what

Always begin with the people you’ll be addressing in mind. Before you start writing, answer three fundamental questions: who is your audience, why are you talking to them and what do you want to say?

The answers will provide the strong foundations you need and start the ideas flowing. Ignore them and you risk being vague and unfocused. Clear writing is the result of clear thinking and thinking takes time, but it’s time well spent.

Got a presentation to write? Before you do anything else, answer three fundamental questions: who is your audience, why are you talking to them and what do you want to say? @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet

Start with the audience

Are you a senior car designer talking to your team? If the answer’s yes, you can assume high-level, shared knowledge.

But if you’re talking to the sales or marketing departments, you can’t make the same assumptions – there are issues you might have to explain and justify. And if it’s a press briefing, it’s about getting the message out to the general public – a different story again.

Knowing your audience will also dictate your tone. Your presentation to the board is likely to be quite formal, whereas a talk for your team can be more relaxed.

And what’s the audience’s mood? On another occasion you might have bad news to deliver – perhaps the national economy and the company’s finances are threatening people’s jobs. Then you must empathise – put yourself in their position and adapt your tone accordingly.

I want to …

You also need a clear objective (the why ). For our car designer, the overriding objective should be to plant a key idea in the audience’s mind. Starting with that image of the schoolchildren, it’s to convince the audience that the company has a radical and distinctive design future.

That’s the takeaway. How should they do that? Should they explain, persuade or inspire – the three key strategies for any presentation? You may need to use several of them to achieve your goal.

Objectives should always complete the statement ‘I want to …’. What do you want to do ?

It’s about …

The what is the substance of your presentation – the building blocks, all the facts and figures that tell the audience ‘It’s about …’.

Back to our designer. The move away from petrol and diesel will allow a complete rethink of car design. The electric power unit and battery can lie under the car’s floor, freeing up all the space taken up by the conventional engine. And then there are all the issues around emission-free, autonomous vehicles in the ‘smart’ cities of the future.

When you’re planning, it can be helpful to get all the information out of your head and onto the page, using a mind map , like the example below (for a talk on UK transport policy).

This is an effective way of unlocking everything you know (or still need to do more research on). Start with your main topic, then keep asking yourself questions (like who, what, when, where, how and why) to dig into all the aspects.

Mind map to plan talk on UK transport policy. Full description below, under summary field labelled 'Open description of image'

Mind map with the topic of ‘UK transport policy at the centre. Arrows point out to six bubbles with the labels ‘Who’, ‘When’, ‘Why’, ‘How’, ‘What’ and ‘Where’. More arrows point out from each of these bubbles to explore related points in each area, and still more arrows from some of those points to expand further. The information reads:

  • Special interests / NGOs
  • Need for clear government direction
  • What industry will do
  • R&D spend
  • What industry is doing
  • Congestion [this leads to the sub-point ‘Wasted time and money’]
  • More pollution
  • More congestion
  • More wasted time and money
  • Climate change
  • Road pricing
  • Legislation
  • Working together
  • New technology
  • Exports/revenue
  • Social policy
  • Rest of world
  • Emerging economies

Once you’ve got it all out on the page, you can identify which parts actually belong in your presentation. Don’t try to include every last detail: audiences don’t want to process piles of information. They are more interested in your ideas and conclusions.

Now let’s put all this research and planning into a structure.

2. How to structure your presentation

On 28 August 1963, Dr Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and delivered one of the most powerful speeches in history: ‘I have a dream’.

He was the leader of the civil rights movement in the US and his audience that day numbered in the hundreds of thousands. His goal was to inspire them to continue the struggle.

Presentations usually aim to either explain, persuade or inspire – sometimes with elements of all three. Your aim will determine your structure. This will be the backbone of your presentation, giving it strength and direction.

Explain in a logical sequence

When you explain, you add to people’s knowledge to build the key idea. But ask yourself, what does this audience already know?

If you’re an astrophysicist talking to an audience of your peers, you can use terms and concepts you know they’ll be familiar with. If you’re explaining black holes to Joe Public, you can’t do that. Typically, you’ll have to use simple analogies to keep the audience with you (‘Imagine you’re in a huge dark room …’).

Whether it’s black holes or new software, good explanations start with what we know and then build on that understanding, step by step, layer by layer. The audience will stay with you if they can follow your logic and you can help this with linking comments – ‘Building on that … ‘, ‘This means …’, ‘To illustrate that, I’ve always found …’.

Presentations usually aim to either explain, persuade or inspire – sometimes with elements of all three. Your aim will determine your presentation's structure. @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet

We need to change

If you’re writing a persuasive presentation, you also need to follow a particular sequence.

Whether you’re writing a pitch for a prospective customer or making research-based recommendations to a client, you follow the same structure. That structure is the Four Ps . It’s a powerful way of leading your audience’s thinking.

Start with the current situation – where you are now ( position ). Explain why you can’t stay there, so the audience agrees things have to change ( problem ). Suggest up to three credible ways you can address the issue ( possibilities ). Then decide which one is the optimum solution ( proposal ).

Three is a magic number for writers – not too many, not too few. But there may be one standout possibility, in which case you go straight to it ( position, problem, proposal ).

Think about how the pandemic has profoundly changed our working lives. Towns and cities are full of offices that people used to commute to. But to maintain social distancing, we’ve been encouraged to work from home where possible and to stay away from public transport.

At some point, decision-makers within organisations will have to make a call – or share a recommendation – about what to do long term. Should we go back to the office, stay at home or combine the two?

If we had to present on this choice using the Four Ps structure, we could outline the pros and cons of each possibility and then make a push for the one we recommend above the others. Or we could join the likes of Google and Twitter and simply propose purely remote working well into the future.

I have a dream

A presentation that inspires is about the future – about what could be. Scientists inspire children to follow careers in astronomy or physics with their passion and stunning visuals. Designers re-energise companies with their radical, exciting visions. Business leaders convince their staff that they really can turn things around.

The Rosette Nebula

An audience watching an inspirational presentation is not going to take away lots of facts and figures. What’s important is their emotional and intellectual engagement with the speaker, their shared sense of purpose. One way to build that engagement is with your structure.

From dark to light

The most inspiring presentations are so often born of shared struggle. On 13 May 1940, Winston Churchill addressed the British parliament – and the British people listening on their radios – in the darkest days of the Second World War.

He was brutally realistic in his assessment of the current position: ‘We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.’ He then set out his policy: ‘To wage war by sea, land and air, with all our might … against a monstrous tyranny’, and the prize: ‘Victory, however long and hard the road may be.’

In difficult situations, audiences immediately see through false hope and empty rhetoric. They want honest acknowledgement, and the determination and clear strategy to lead them to the future.

We can imagine how the same structure could show up in a more business-related context:

‘I’m not going to sugar-coat the figures. We have to change to save jobs and secure our future. There will be dark days and sacrifices along the way, but what’s the hardest part of any turnaround? It’s getting started. To do that, we all need to keep asking two fundamental questions: where can we improve, how can we improve? And if we push hard enough and if we’re utterly relentless, change will come and our momentum will build.’

Insight boxout. Transcript below, under summary field labelled 'Open transcript of image’

Are you going to appeal to your audience’s

  • habits of thought (current beliefs)?

If your recommendations run counter to their current beliefs, try appealing to their emotions.

3. Writing your presentation script

You don’t have to write a script. Some people put a few PowerPoint slides together and wing it; others make do with bullets on a smartphone, laptop or cue cards. It depends on the event and the presenter.

Writing a full script takes time, but if it’s a very important presentation and you might use it again – perhaps to appeal for investment – it will be worth it.

Some people will write a full script because the company or organisation that’s commissioned a presentation will want to see a copy well ahead of the event (often for legal reasons). Others will write the script, edit it down to the required time and then edit it down again to bullets or notes.

If the presentation is to a small audience, your notes or bullets will suit a more conversational approach. There are no rules here – see what works best for you. But what you must do is know your subject inside out.

To write clearly, you must think clearly and a full script will expose the areas that aren’t clear – where an explanation needs strengthening, for example, or where you should work on a transition.

Timing is everything

A full script also helps with working out timing, and timing is crucial. TED talks, for example, have a strict 18-minute limit, whether in front of an audience or online. That’s short enough to hold attention, but long enough to communicate a key idea. (The ‘I have a dream’ speech lasted 17 minutes 40 seconds and it changed the world.)

It takes a very skilled presenter to go much over 30 minutes. If you are taking questions during or after your presentation , however, it’s fine to build in extra time.

Imagine you’re writing your presentation in full and your slot is 20 minutes. On an A4 page with a 14-point Calibri font and 1.5 line spacing, that will equate to about 10 pages.

You can also divide the page in two, with slides on the left and text on the right (or vice versa). Then you can plan your words and visuals in parallel – and that will be roughly 20 pages.

Example excerpt of presentation script. Full description and transcript below under summary field labelled 'Open description and transcript of image

Script page with a slide on the left-hand side and text on the right. The slide has the heading ‘What is your purpose?’ and has a photo of a smiling person at a whiteboard mid-presentation. The text on the slide reads:

Do you want to:

  • do a combination of all three?

The notes next to the slide read:

How should they do that? Should they explain, persuade or inspire – the three key strategies for any presentation? You may need to use several of them to achieve your goal.

The most powerful key on your keyboard – Delete

Use these numbers as your goal, but your first draft will probably be longer. That’s when you start deleting.

Be ruthless. Anything not adding to the story must go, including those anecdotes you’ve been telling for years ( especially those anecdotes). It’s not about what you want to tell the audience, it’s about what they need to hear.

Don’t feel you have to include every single issue either. Dealing with two or three examples in some detail is far better than saying a little bit about many more.

And interpret visual material you’re displaying rather than describing it, just as you wouldn’t repeat the text that’s on the screen. The audience can see it already.

It’s a conversation

Be yourself – don’t write a script that’s not in your style. We want the real you, not a supercharged version.

Some people are naturals when it comes to presenting – which can mean they’ve learned how to draw on their authentic strengths.

Sir David Attenborough is a great example. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of the natural world. He has an infectious passion and enthusiasm for his subject. And most importantly, he doesn’t lecture the camera: he talks naturally to his audience (and he’s now using Instagram to inspire new generations).

You can take a cue from Sir David and make your presentation style your own. Knowing your own strengths and really understanding your why will help you speak with purpose and passion.

And aim to speak naturally. Use conversational, inclusive language. That means lots of personal pronouns ( I believe, we can) and contractions ( Don’t you wonder …, you’re probably thinking …).

Sir David Attenborough introduces his new series, Our Planet at its premiere. He builds up our awareness by layering information alongside arresting statistics. These are framed simply, in relatable terms (‘96% of mass on the planet is us …’), so we easily grasp their shocking significance. He also uses ‘we’ and ‘us’ a lot to underline how this environmental emergency affects us all on ‘the planet we all call home’.

Finding the right words

Imagine you’re talking to someone as you write. And try saying the words out loud – it’s a good way to catch those complex, overlong sentences or particular words that will be difficult to say.

Presentations are not reports that can be reread – the audience has to understand what you are saying in the moment . Don’t leave them wondering what on earth you’re talking about, as they will only fall behind.

So avoid using long or complex words, or words you wouldn’t hear in everyday conversation (if your everyday conversation includes ‘quarks’ and ‘vectors’, that’s fine). And beware of jargon – it can exclude the audience and it quickly becomes clichéd and outdated.

Here are some more hints and tips on how to write effectively for speaking:

Syntax (word order): Disentangle your thoughts and arrange the words in your sentences to be simple and logical. Often, complex syntax shows up when the main point is getting lost inside excess information (or that the speaker is unsure what their main point is).

Pace, rhythm and tone: Varying the pace, rhythm and tone of sentences makes both the speaking and listening experience far more enjoyable.

Make sure the stress falls on the most important words. For example, ‘To be or not to be ‘ (where the stress rises and falls on alternate words) or ‘I have a dream ‘ (where the stress falls on the final word).

Vary the length of sentences and experiment with using very short sentences to emphasise a point.

Play with rhythm by arranging words in pairs and trios. Saying things in threes gives a sense of movement, progression and resolution: Going, going … gone . Saying words in pairs gives a more balanced tone (‘courage and commitment’, ‘energy and effort’) or a sense of tension between the words (‘war and peace’, ‘imports and exports’).

Analogies: Good analogies can work well in presentations because they paint vivid pictures for the audience. The best way to do it is to use either a simile (‘It wasn’t so much a dinner party, more like feeding time at the zoo’) or a metaphor (‘He was the fox and the company was the henhouse’).

Alliteration: This means using two or more words that start with the same sound, like ‘big and bold’, ‘sleek and shiny’ or ‘key components’. On the page alliteration may look contrived, but it can effectively highlight important phrases in a presentation.

Words to avoid: Be careful about using clichés like ‘pushing the envelope’, ‘playing hardball’ and ‘thinking outside the box’. And think carefully about using any word that ends with -ism, -ise, -based, -gate, -focused and -driven.

Be careful with humour too: don’t write jokes unless you can naturally tell them well. Keep the tone light if it fits the occasion, but a badly told joke can be excruciating.

4. How to start your presentation

People tend to remember beginnings and endings the most, so make sure your opening and conclusion are both strong.

You have about a minute to engage an audience. You want them to be intrigued, to want to know more, to come slightly forward in their seats. If you only learn one part of your presentation by heart, make it that minute.

A quick ‘thank you’ is fine if someone has introduced you. A quick ‘good morning’ to the audience is fine too. But don’t start thanking them for coming and hoping they’ll enjoy what you have to say – you’re not accepting an Oscar, and they can tell you what they thought when it’s over. Get straight down to business.

There are four basic types of introduction which will draw your audience in:

  • News – ‘Positive Covid-19 tests worldwide have now reached …’
  • Anecdotal – ‘About ten years ago, I was walking to work and I saw …’
  • Surprise – ‘Every five minutes, an American will die because of the food they eat.’
  • Historical – ‘In 1800, the world’s population was one billion. It’s now 7.8 billion.’

You can interpret these beginnings in any number of ways. If you were to say, ‘I have an admission to make …’, we will expect a personal anecdote relating to your main theme. And because you’re alone in front of us, it’s playing on your vulnerability. We’re intrigued straight away, and you’ve established a good platform for the rest of the presentation.

You can also combine these techniques. The historical beginning creates a sense of movement – that was then and this is now – as well as a surprising fact. It may prompt a thought like, ‘Wow, where’s this going?’ And you can trade on this with your own rhetorical question: ‘What does this mean for everyone in this room? It’s not what you think …’.

As well as setting up your story, you need to quickly reassure the audience they’re in safe hands. One way to do that is to give them a map – to tell them where you’re going to take them and what they’re going to see along the way.

Then you’re starting the journey together.

5. How to end your presentation

Your ending is what you want the audience to take away: your call to action, your vision of the future and how they can contribute.

If your presentation is online or to a small group in a small room, your ending is not going to be a battle cry, a call to man the barricades – that would be totally inappropriate. But equally don’t waste it with something flat and uninspiring.

Here are four effective ways to end your talk (like the intros, you can combine them or come up with your own):

  • Predict the future – ‘So what can we expect in the next ten years? …’
  • Quotation – ‘As our chief exec said at the meeting yesterday, …’
  • Repeat a major issue – ‘We can’t carry on with the same old same old.’
  • Summarise – ‘Continuous improvement isn’t our goal. It’s our culture.’

Predicting the future fits well with a historical beginning – it completes the arc of your presentation.

If you end with a quotation, make sure it’s relevant and credible – it has to be an authoritative stamp.

Repeating a major issue means pulling out and highlighting a major strand of your presentation, while summarising is about encapsulating your argument in a couple of sentences.

Your ending can also be a change of tone, perhaps signalled by the single word ‘Finally …’. It’s the audience’s cue to come slightly forward again and pay close attention.

As with your opening, it will have more impact if you’ve learned your ending – put down your notes, take a couple of steps towards the audience and address them directly, before a simple ‘Thank you.’

6. Creating your PowerPoint slides

We’ve all been there – watching a seemingly endless, poorly designed slide deck that’s simply restating what the presenter is saying. So common is this tortuous experience that there’s a name for it: Death by PowerPoint. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Do you need slides at all?

As with your script, the first thing you should ask is ‘Do I actually need this?’ In 2019, Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave the Richard Dimbleby lecture for the BBC. He spoke for about 40 minutes with no autocue (he’d memorised his script) – and no speaker support.

This is a uniquely powerful form of presentation because the audience’s attention is totally focused on that one person. The call to action at the end of a presentation and delivering bad news are also best done without visuals.

Visual support

But if they’re well-judged and relevant, slides or other visuals can add enormously to a presentation – whether it’s photography, video or the ubiquitous PowerPoint. There are, however, two things everyone should know about PowerPoint in particular:

  • It’s incredibly versatile and convenient.
  • In the wrong hands, it can be unbearably tedious.

Your PowerPoint slides should not essentially be your cue cards projected onto a screen. They shouldn’t be packed margin to margin with text or full of complex diagrams.

If the presentation is live, the audience has come to watch you, not your slide deck. Online, the deck may have to work harder to sustain visual interest.

As with the script, keep your finger poised over that Delete key when you’re putting the deck together.

How many slides?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how many slides you should use, but think in terms of no more than one or two a minute on average. And don’t use more than a couple of short video inserts in a 20-minute presentation.

You might have a section where you show a few slides in a sequence or hold a single slide for a couple of minutes, which is fine. Varying the pacing helps to keep a presentation moving.

Optimise for psychology

As self-professed presentation aficionado David JP Phillips notes in his TEDx talk , people – and that includes your audience – have terrible working memories. If you don’t account for this fact in your slides, your talk will not have a lasting impact. In fact, most of it will be forgotten within around 30 seconds.

To counter this effect, David identifies five key strategies to use when designing your PowerPoint:

  • Only have one message per slide: more than that and you’re splitting your audience’s attention.
  • Don’t use full sentences on slides, and certainly don’t imagine you can talk over them if you do. People trying to read and listen at the same time will fail at both and absorb nothing. Move your running text into the documentation section instead, and keep the slide content short and sweet.
  • People’s focus will be drawn to the biggest thing on the slide. If your headline is less important than the content below it, make the headline text the smaller of the two.
  • You can also direct people’s attention using contrast. This can be as simple as guiding their point of focus by using white text (on a dark background) for the words you want to highlight, while the surrounding text is greyed out.
  • Including too many objects per slide will sap your audience’s cognitive resources. (Your headline, every bullet, any references, even a page number each count as an object.) Include a maximum of six objects per slide and viewers will give a mental sigh of relief. This will probably mean creating more slides overall – and that’s fine.

More Powerpoint and visual aid tips

Here are a few more guidelines for creating your visual aids:

  • Never dive into PowerPoint as job one in creating your presentation. Work out your talk’s structure (at least) before designing your slide deck. Making a genuinely effective PowerPoint requires that you know your subject inside out.
  • List any visuals you’ll need as you prepare your script. That terrific photo you saw recently could be difficult to track down, and you might need permission and to pay to use it.
  • It bears repeating: keep each slide to one key idea.
  • Use the build effect of adding one bullet at a time (or use the contrast trick above) and try not to use more than three bullets per frame (or six objects overall).
  • Strip each bullet to the bare minimum – no articles (‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’), no prepositions (‘in’, ‘at’, ‘to’ etc) and cut right back on punctuation.
  • Every word that’s not there for a reason has to go. Delete, delete, delete.

‘Extra’ slides

  • Use a ‘walk-in’ slide. Rather than have the audience arrive to a blank screen, this tells them who you are and your presentation’s title.
  • Use occasional holding slides in between those with more content – perhaps an image but no text. They give the audience a visual rest and put the focus back on you.
  • A plain white background might look fine on a computer monitor, but it will be glaring on a big screen. Invert the norm with a dark background, or use shading or ‘ghosted’ images to break up backgrounds and add visual interest.
  • Some colours work better than others on-screen. Blues and greys are soft and easy on the eye. Red is a no-no, whether for backgrounds or text. And if you stick with a light background, favour a more subtle dark grey over black for the text.
  • Use sans serif fonts (like Arial, Helvetica or Calibri) and think about point size – make sure it’s easily legible.
  • Only use upper case where absolutely necessary.

Images and data

  • Photos work well full screen, but they also really stand out well on a black background.
  • Make sure your charts and graphics aren’t too complex. The dense information that’s fine on the page will not work on-screen – it’s too much to take in. Graphs behind a TV newsreader are often reduced to a single line going dramatically up or down.
  • Don’t present data or graphs and expect them to speak for themselves. You need to find the story and significance in the data and present that .

And finally

  • Proofread, proofread, proofread – or risk standing in front of an embarrassing spelling mistake.

Technical check

  • Check what laptop they’re using at your venue. If you’ve written your deck on a PC, run it on a PC (and, of course, the same rule applies if you’ve used a Mac).
  • If you’ve emailed your presentation to the venue, take a USB copy along as back-up.
  • If you’re presenting online, check which platform you’ll be using and get comfortable with it. If someone else will be hosting the event, make sure you arrange a time for a rehearsal, especially if there will be a producer.

7. Delivering your presentation

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into preparing your presentation and now you’ve come to the sharp end – it’s time to stand and deliver.

Run it through

You don’t have to rehearse, but most presenters do and for good reason – it catches weak points and awkward transitions. And, crucially, it bolsters confidence.

Read your script or go through your bullets aloud – it will help to settle your nerves. If you use colleagues as a dummy audience, you can do a sense check too: ‘Does that bit work?’ ‘Have I explained it clearly?’ ‘Do you get the big picture?’ And rehearsing out loud will catch those words and sentences you thought you could say but can’t.

The more you rehearse, the more familiar and natural the presentation will become. Rehearse the technical side too – where the video is going to come in, how you’re going to vary your pace and tone to maintain interest.

Try speaking slightly more slowly than you would normally so the audience catches every word, and don’t be afraid to pause now and again. It gives a breathing space for you and the audience.

A businesswoman presenting points to a smiling member of the audience

Connect with your audience

When you deliver your presentation for real, establish eye contact with the audience, just as you would in a conversation. In a small room with a small audience, talk to individuals. In a larger space, don’t talk to the first couple of rows and ignore the rest – include everyone.

And if you stumble over your words here or there, carry on and don’t dwell on it – you’ll lose your concentration. Audiences are generally forgiving and they might not even notice.

Each audience is unique: they react differently in different places. And although tomorrow might be the tenth time you’ve done the same presentation, it will be the first time this audience sees it. Your duty is to keep it fresh for them.

A final point

This is your presentation – you’re in control and the audience needs to feel they’re in safe hands.

It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous , but it’s the thought of doing it that’s the worst bit. Once you get going – and especially when you sense the audience is with you – the nerves will start to disappear. Try to enjoy it. If you enjoy it, it’s far more likely the audience will too.

And remember: everyone wants you to do well.

presentation script example for students

8. How to present online

Taking to Zoom or another online platform to present was once the exception. These days, online presenting is as essential a skill as presenting in person.

The switch to online can be nerve-wracking and cause even usually skilled presenters to falter. But there’s no need for that to happen.

Indeed, all of the advice we’ve talked about on preparing, structuring and writing for in-person presenting is equally relevant for your online delivery. You just need to be ready for the unique challenges that remote presentations pose.

An obvious one is that while you still have an audience, it will probably be muted and possibly even unseen (if webcams are switched off). This makes it far more difficult to gauge audience reaction, and if the event is pre-recorded, there might not be any at all – at least not immediately. Clapping and laughing emojis are not quite like the real thing.

Keep eye contact

But although your audience may be many miles away, there are still ways you can – and should – create a sense of connection with them. Your presentation will have much more impact if you do.

Whether the event is live or recorded, at least start with your webcam on (unless you really can only use slides). If it’s an option and feels appropriate, consider keeping your camera on throughout – remember, you are the presentation as much as any visuals.

If you will be on display, make sure you know where your webcam’s lens is and at key moments of your talk look directly into it – and out at your audience – to punctuate those points.

And don’t look at a second screen to cue up your PowerPoint – viewers will think your attention is wandering.

Engage your online audience

Being an engaging speaker is always important, but remember that the online world is already a place we associate with distraction. It’s also easier for a viewer behind their laptop to disguise their wandering attention than it would be for one in an auditorium or boardroom.

This isn’t to say your audience don’t want to give you their attention. But it is more important than ever to keep your presentation sharp and concise. Revisit your structure, your script or cue cards and your slides. Take a really critical eye to it and (as always) delete, delete, delete anything that’s not directly relevant.

If it works for your format, you can look at making your presentation interactive. You can then break the content into short segments, interspersed with comment, polls, questions and discussion. The variety will be a welcome change for your viewers.

Your visuals are part of what will keep people with you – along with the interplay you create between you and them. This means following the best-practice guidance we covered earlier is even more important.

Using Zoom for your presentation? Master the art of online delivery through this simple mix of set-up, delivery and technical tricks @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet

Modulate your voice

Your tone of voice is extremely important here because presenting online is like radio with pictures. When people say ‘You have a great voice for radio’ what they mean is that it’s easy to listen to, often because you’re using quite a low-pitched, warm and relaxed register.

Listen to voices on the radio and voiceovers and identify the ones you particularly enjoy. What do you like about them? Why do you enjoy some voices and not others?

A flat, unmodulated voice, for instance, is difficult to listen to for long periods (and isn’t likely to inspire anyone).

Experiment with intentionally adding energy to your voice, as internet audio can have a dulling effect. As our trainer Gary Woodward puts it: ‘Turn up the enthusiasm dial even higher than you think, to make sure it comes through.’ And always vary your pace and tone as you would in a normal conversation.

And if it suits the tone of your talk, smile now and again. Smiling is contagious, and people will hear it in your voice even if they can’t see you.

Perfect your transitions

One of the other key challenges of remote presentations is that you have another layer of technology to wrestle with: sharing your PowerPoint online.

This means that many presentations begin with the popular catchphrase ‘Can you see my screen?’

This can also cause many presenters to stumble through their transitions, making the links between their slides clunky. And while remote audiences may be forgiving, for a slick presentation it’s best to prevent these sort of fumbles.

Naturally, practice plays a part here. But you can also give yourself the advantage with your set-up.

Dave Paradi from Think Outside the Slide explains one great way of setting up Zoom so you can smoothly cue up and run your slide deck – and be certain what’s being displayed.

You’ll even be able to see the rest of your screen (but the audience won’t). As you’ll be able to see what’s coming up, your transitions can also be seamless.

The trick is to use one of Zoom’s advanced settings after you hit ‘Share screen’, to share only a portion of your screen:

Screensharing options in Zoom. Full description below, under summary field labelled 'Open description of image'

Advanced screensharing options pop-up box in Zoom, with the options ‘Portion of Screen’, ‘Music or Computer Sound Only’ and ‘Content from 2nd Camera’. The ‘Portion of Screen’ option is highlighted in blue.

This will give you a frame you can move to the part of the screen you want the audience to see.

Put your PowerPoint slides into ‘presenter view’ before launching the screenshare. Then you’ll be able to see the upcoming slides and your notes throughout, and your animations (like build slides) will work as normal.

PowerPoint presenter view using Zoom's portion of screen. Full description below, under summary field labelled 'Open description of image'

Zoom’s ‘portion of screen’ setting in action

Presenter view in PowerPoint, with the current displayed slide on the left and the upcoming slide displaying smaller on the right, with notes below it. There is a notification saying ‘You are screen sharing’ at the top and a sharing frame positioned around the current slide.

The other part of the trick? Set it up in advance shortly before you’re due to speak. Once you’re happy with the set up, you can stop sharing until it’s time to kick off your talk. When you return to ‘Share screen’ again, it will reopen the frame in the same place.

Dave shows you the process in this video:

Five practical tips for a truly professional online presentation

You’re happy with the content of your talk, you’ve ruthlessly streamlined your slides and mastered your radio voice. Now just make sure you cover these crucial practicalities for a polished presentation:

1. Create a good space Make sure you have your environment well set up:

  • Keep the background on display as tidy and minimalist as possible – a plain wall or backdrop is great, if you can.
  • Manage and minimise background noise (shut the window, ensure your phone’s on silent, put the cat out, make sure someone’s watching the kids in another room – whatever it takes).
  • Check your lighting: have your light source in front of you, not behind you (or you’ll be in shadow).
  • Set up your computer or device at eye level so that you are well-framed and facing it straight on – avoid looming above it while providing a lovely view into your nostrils.

2. Think about your appearance Dress in the same way you would if the presentation were in person, and judge your choice of attire based on the formality of the event and your audience.

3. Practise! Run through the presentation and rehearse the technical side. Practise your transitions, including the initial cueing up of your slides (perhaps using the Zoom tip above), so that you can be confident in doing it all smoothly.

4. Be primed and ready Log in early on the day of your talk. Check all your tech is working, get your headset on and ensure everything is set up well ahead of time. This will save any last-minute issues (and stress) and means you can hit the ground running.

5. Stand and deliver Even online, consider giving your presentation standing up, if you can do so comfortably (adjusting your device or webcam accordingly). This may put you more into a presenting frame of mind and will differentiate you from most remote presenters.

Are you still there?

Live audiences have a group dynamic – as soon as a few people start laughing it becomes infectious and the others join in. It’s naturally different online. But that doesn’t have to throw you.

You might not get that immediate feedback, but don’t overcompensate and feel you have to win them back.

Yes, it’s often more difficult to gauge an audience’s reaction online – especially if their audio is muted and their webcams off. Yes, this can be daunting. But they are still out there listening. You may or may not hear (or see) laughter, but they could still be smiling and very interested in what you have to say. Have faith in your own content. Whatever form your delivery will take, keep coming back to your purpose and message for giving this talk – and keep considering the people you’ll be talking to. Whether the address will be online or in person, it is keeping this focus which is the key to every powerful presentation.

Ready to learn even more? Work one-to-one on your presentation-writing skills with one of our expert trainers or join our scheduled presentation-writing courses . If your team are looking to upskill, we also offer tailored in-house training . And if fear of presenting is holding your team back, check out our in-house course The reluctant presenter .

Image credit: lightpoet / Shutterstock

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These days he's one of Emphasis' top business-writing trainers, but in previous career lives Jack has written for many public and private sector organisations. He has an in-depth knowledge of the engineering and manufacturing sectors, particularly the UK automotive industry. As the lead scriptwriter for chairmen and CEOs, he has been responsible for proposals, pitches and reports as well as high-profile speeches and global product launches.

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The following is an example script for the Are You Credit Wise? presentation.

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presentation script example for students

Lewis Williams

A. Executive Summary I just like the simple things……As long as I have a roof over my head and food to eat, I don’t care. That is all I want. I don’t want to go out and beg for food. I don’t want to have to, as we are with the rent, being behind. Have to sit and wait and think when are they going to kick us out? Commissioned by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS), this report examines the impacts of debt on low income New Zealanders, within the context of the international and New Zealand literature on debt and poverty. It examines these dynamics through the use of eight case studies which highlight the pathways into debt for low income people, the impact of debt, and how these families cope with the burden of debt. The report reveals the dynamic interaction of structural, situational and personal factors which lead into debt. Some of the key factors identified include: • Lack of income, through lack of employment and difficulties obtaining full social welfa...


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  1. Oral Presentation Script

    presentation script example for students

  2. Datapresentation Group 11

    presentation script example for students

  3. Award Speech

    presentation script example for students

  4. Sample-presentation-script

    presentation script example for students

  5. PPT

    presentation script example for students

  6. Script for Group presentation sport edited

    presentation script example for students



  2. 9 Freedom of Choice

  3. How to start a presentation

  4. When you're making a presentation... 🤦

  5. 2023 Three Minutes Thesis (3MT) Amisha Minju #mcgilluniversity

  6. How To Start A Presentation #shortvideo


  1. How to Write a Presentation Script

    Watch on Should you write a Presentation Script? Should you practice your presentation? The answer is yes, but chances are neither of these are what you think they are. Click here now to learn more from Presentation trainer, Dr. Echo Rivera!

  2. Sample Presentation Script

    Sample Presentation Script Printer-friendly version Universal Access: Electronic Resources in Libraries Sample Presentation Script.pdf This section provides a sample script for delivering a half-day to full-day presentation covering all of the topics listed in the outline. Tailor the script to your chosen program length, content and audience.

  3. Presentation script examples

    Here are three presentation script examples showcasing the importance of a structured outline, direction notes for the presenter, and cues for visual aids. Presentation script examples Presentation Scripts #1: The importance of a structured outline Project Type: Request for funding from investors.

  4. Presentation Script

    Image: freepik How To Write A Presentation Script So, how to make a script for a presentation? Before writing a presentation script, you need to know your audience's background, interests, and knowledge level.

  5. Student presentations

    Example presentation, which could be from a textbook or given by the teacher Students are given a transcript or outline of the presentation Students identify key stages of the example presentation - greeting, introduction, main points in order of importance, conclusion

  6. Starting a Presentation in English: Methods and Examples

    Introduction Outline Introduce yourself and welcome everyone. State the purpose of your presentation Give a short overview of the presentation As we say, it's as easy as 1-2-3. (No need for a more detailed English presentation script!) Let's examine the first step. 1. Introduce Yourself & Welcome Everyone

  7. How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

    6/ Engage Emotionally. Connect emotional levels with your audience by appealing to their aspirations, fears, desires, or values. They help create a deeper connection and engagement from the very beginning. Make sure your introduction is concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.


    This section provides a sample script for delivering a half-day to full-day presentation covering all of the topics listed in the outline. Tailor the script to your chosen program length, content and audience. Presentation Outline Introduction Success stories Legal issues Definitions and statistics General Library Access Building and physical ...

  9. How to Write a Script for PowerPoint Presentation

    Follow the KISS rule. 'KISS,' or Keep It Short and Simple, is the number one rule for crafting a fantastic script for presentation. Short and concise sentences can help you get the message across much faster, especially if your presentation's emphasis is placed more on the visuals than the aural aspect. 3. Make sure your script for ...

  10. Sample Student Presentations

    Click the image above access the textbook Appendix. Explore examples of average student presentations to use as a reference point when constructing your own, compare the "good" presentation outline and "needs improvemnt" presentation outline, and take note of side-bar comments about the presentation.

  11. How To Write A Script For A PowerPoint Presentation

    Start With A Powerful Script: Give some rhyme or reason to your presentation by scripting it well. Present it in such a way that your audience appreciates your every slide. Try to give it an interesting start and end in order to keep your listeners fully engaged. Present One Thing At A Time: Since your every slide will catch your audience's ...

  12. How to write an effective presentation script

    An easy way around this is to write the script with the presentation content close to hand. Break down the words into sections that reflect the order of the slides so the two are always complementing each other perfectly. 3. Remember to add in some pause breaks. When an audience attends a presentation they have two tasks to juggle: firstly, to ...

  13. Presentation script examples

    Want to create an impressive presentation scroll? Browse our free presentation scripts examples and format guidelines here!

  14. Starting a Presentation in English: Methods and Examples

    When talking about the purpose of your presentation, stick to your goals. You end statement should are one one into three sentences. The fashion, you sack give your attendance a clearance sense of purpose such sets them raise for the rest to the presentation. Sample Demonstration Script | DO-IT. 3. A Short Overview of which Presentation

  15. How to write a presentation: a step-by-step guide

    First things first: the date's in the diary and you need to prepare. Let's break it down. 1. Preparing your presentation. Imagine you're a designer in the automotive industry and your boss has asked you to give a presentation. The subject: the future of the car and how it will fit with all the other modes of transport.

  16. How To Create a Presentation Introduction (With Examples)

    1. Tell your audience who you are Introduce yourself, and then once your audience knows your name, tell them why they should listen to you. Example: "Good morning. My name is Miranda Booker, and I'm here today to talk to you about how Target Reach Plus software is changing the way businesses manage data for their customers and products."

  17. Sample Presentation Script

    Fill Example Of Oral Presentation Script, Edit online. Sign, fax and printable from PC, iPad, tablet or cell the pdfFiller Instantly. Try Start! Sarah uses her library's online catalog and the Internet to research and write papers for school. Ihr learning disability makes it difficult on her to read so she uses a speech output system to read ...

  18. Sample presentation script

    SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR OPENING AND CLOSING YOUR PRESENTATION. Here is a sample script for use in planning your opening remarks: "Good evening! My name is (name) and this is (name) , (name) , (name) , and (name). We are from the (Organization) ." "We're here this evening to talk to you about an agricultural issue that we feel is of great ...

  19. PDF Speaker Script

    INTRODUCTION • Smile ☺, relax • Thank the teacher for inviting you to speak today. • Introduce yourself (if teacher has not already done so). Let them know you are glad to be there. • Tell where you work, what school you graduated from, your high school (if applicable) • Write your name, firm, contact (phone or email) on the whiteboard.

  20. How To Start a Presentation (With Tips and Examples)

    1. Tell your audience who you are Start your presentation by introducing yourself. Along with sharing your name, give your audience some information about your background. Choose details that are relevant to your presentation and help establish you as an expert in your chosen topic. Example: "Good morning.

  21. DOC Purdue University

    Here is a sample script for use in closing your presentation: "As we bring our Agricultural Issues Forum to a close, we once again thank you for allowing us to be here this evening and hope that this activity has given you a much clearer understanding of (Restate the Agricultural Issue which was presented) ." "We would welcome the opportunity...


    Download Free PDF View PDF EXAMPLE PRESENTATION SCRIPT The following is an example script for the Are You Credit Wise? presentation. (Slide 1) Hi, my name is ______ and I'm a Junior studying _____________. I'm here today to talk about smart money management. I'm sure it's everyone's favorite discussion topic.

  23. Example presentation script

    Example presentation script. 1. Example Presentation Script Here is an extract from a well structuredPresentation Script (1,500 words) with good referencing and a relatively sound argument. Use it as a guide to the way your own script should be submitted. Dysfunctional families are a predominant factor in Haneke's films.