woman making a powerpoint presentationFrom SmartBlog on LeadershipKenny Nguyen offers terrific guidance on making presentations, including “Never deliver a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through yourself.”  One of the best bits of advice about presentations is “the audience is king.”  Always consider how what you are doing is affecting the audience.  Kenny offers a number of other excellent bits of advice.  Kenny writes:

The 10 Big Fish presentations commandments:

  1. Present what’s in it for the world, not yourself.
  2. Time is not a renewable resource; respect it.
  3. Never deliver a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through yourself.
  4. People will always remember the presenter more than the presentation.
  5. Be passionate about your topic.
  6. Tell stories.
  7. Always have a progression that leads to a call to action.
  8. If you think you’ve rehearsed enough, rehearse again.
  9. Engage with the audience when able.
  10. Have fun.

Below are brief explanations of these commandments in more detail:

1) Present what’s in it for the world, not yourself:

These commandments have been created not only from experience, but based on replicating the best presenters with the goal of raising the standard of the best presentations. Here are some common names we thought of when considering who we believe set the current standard:

  • Steve Jobs, entrepreneur/CEO of Apple + Pixar
  • Martin Luther King Jr., activist
  • Benjamin Zander, composer
  • Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook
  • John F. Kennedy, former US president
  • Malala Yousafzai, educational activist

Despite being in different fields, these speakers shared many common traits. For example, they all delivered messages about a higher calling than themselves. This builds trust, and that’s the first rule of any presenter: Deliver your presentation based on the benefit to the world, not yourself. Your audience must trust you in order for them to truly listen. By beginning with the mentality of what’s in it for them rather than yourself, you are more likely to succeed in swaying the audience to believe in you.

How do you build trust? While a lot of it has to do with powerful delivery, it also lies in the acronym C.O.U.R.A.G.E.

All presenters share C.O.U.R.A.G.E:

  • Confident – They truly believe in what they are saying.
  • Optimistic – They give their audience hope.
  • Understanding – They are easy to understand and relatable.
  • Realistic – They are realistic in their vision.
  • Able – They Practice what they preach.
  • Genuine – They are genuine and easy to trust.
  • Engaging – They care about what we have to say.

Every great presenter possesses these traits. In order to improve oneself, one should keep these in mind when building a bond and rapport with their audience. After all, the way you portray yourself on stage is just as important as what you have to say.

Read the full story at These are the rules of smart presentations