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Presentation Skills Core Competencies

By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBAimprove your presentation skills

Interestingly, many people who present information to clients and business settings do not stop and evaluate areas that need improvement. Does your heart race prior to speaking? Do people miss your message? Is running over your time limit a problem?

Everyone has a weak spot. The challenge is to find it and change it. The following list covers most aspects of speaking to a group or within a meeting. These guidelines can help hone your presentation skills.

Speech Development

o    Writing more effective presentations using the suggested formula
o    Integrating interesting PowerPoint slides
o    Integration of Visual Aids
o    Review of videoed presentations using LB/NT
o    Creating a “hook” to draw in audience
o    Getting the audience to think or feel differently, or take action

Pre-presentation Needs

o  Audience needs analysis
o  Pre Presentation Questionnaire (PPQ)
o  Writing an introduction
o  More efficient presentation practice
o  Developing handouts and ‘leave behinds’
o  Speaking notes
o  Appearance
o  Working with a TelePrompTer
o  Videoconferencing, Webinars, Teleconference, etc.

Using Visual Aids

o  Developing compelling PowerPoint slides
o  Using White Boards, Flip Charts, Video Clips, etc.
o  Using props

Venue Considerations

o  Venue set up (lighting, platform, etc.)
o  Lectern
o  Audience comfort
o  Microphone set up
o  Meet and greet 
o  Webinar and/or teleconference effectiveness


o  Managing anxiety
o  Staying focused during presentation
o  Adding humor and interest
o  Beginning and ending on time
o  Using the platform and “real estate”
o  Encouraging audience participation
o  Ensuring authenticity and building credibility
o  Appearance and perception
o  Body Language and voice control
o  Language choice for audience type
o  Dealing with hecklers
o  Managing Questions and Answer

Here is a tip: Record yourself either audio or video. Both are useful. Find one, and only one element to change. Then take action to change it. Enlist a colleague or friend to tell you what you did well and what you might consider changing for next time. Do something and don’t get caught in the rut of poor presentations.


The only difference between a rut and a grave is the length and the depth.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

About the Author
Marsha works with companies and associations that want to create a stimulating environment for leaders and employees through personal accountability, challenged thinking and acceptance of change.

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