Presenting & representing

Giving a presentation

In a presentation there are three elements: a presenter, an audience and some content. While the audience is a given, the presenter and the content of the presentation can certainly be tuned to maximise the effectiveness of the presentation.

Roughly, when presenting, the presenter will focus on: 85% Content, 10% Format, 5% Style. While the audience will be more sensitive to: 20% Content, 40% Format, 40% Style. So in general a presenter would like to show a slide presentation with clear information and plentiful of details on each slide. At the same time the audience will hope to see an entertaining movie with keypoints and highlights presented...

Your presentation needs to be purposeful. Having a clear purpose will lead to a clear and focussed presentation. It is not necessary to say everything you know about a topic, as you will not have enough time to do so.

The audience

Your presentation has an audience, and you need to know who it is. Bear in mind what your audience already know about the subject of your presentation.
However, always have a self-contained presentation. So you need to introduce the topic as well as the context and background.
The audience comes to a presentation wanting to find something out, and they will want to leave having learnt something new. Hence, it is important to consider what the audience already know about the subject.

If you don’t recognise and acknowledge your audience existing knowledge and experience, they will feel insulted. If you assume a level of knowledge or expertise that isn’t there, your audience will bel confused. Iif you fail to relate the presentation to your audience need(s), they will get bored. Finally, if you don't give your audience the opportunity for questions they will be frustrated.


Most of pitch presentations last less than 30 minutes. You need to prepare a crisp, well-structured story that conveys your ideas within the first 10 minutes. Introduce context and background and immediatly point to the unique features and aspects of your ideas.


Introduce the project specifications and features, but highlight the added value(s) of your project. Explain how it will impact your end user as well as your stakeholders.


Aim to engage with your audience, in particular at the emotional level.