Be a Good Speaker like Barack Obama: Masterclass in Presentation Skills

Be a Good Speaker like Barack Obama: Masterclass in Presentation Skills
President Barack Obama points to a member of the audience at a town hall style meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 14, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Whether you are a student, executive or business owner, if you have to deliver your message or opinion across the audience effectively a good presentation skill is required.

The first step is writing. Before you write your presentation, you should structure your presentation into a story that conveys your message in a way that can be easily understood by the target audience.

Like a great novelist hold a reader’s attention for hours.

Getting started: Quick tips for writing a presentation

  • Structure the subject matter: Clarify your thoughts and the purpose of your communication before you start writing. It should be clear and to the point.
  • Frame effective questions.
  • Choose a conversational tone or style suitable for the intended audience.
  • Select an organizational pattern that will keep you and the audience on track.
  • Use bold fonts to make a big idea look even bigger.

Less is more! Avoid making your presentation lengthy and keep it simple enough to be understood by all. Once you have a first draft ready. It’s important to review and edit.

Ideally, you should take a break from the presentation before editing so that you can look at your writing with a fresh pair of eyes.

Once you have finished creating your presentation, it’s time to rehearse.

Be a Good Speaker like Barack Obama: Masterclass in Presentation Skills


You may be thinking rehearsal? Who has time for that! Certainly, we live in a very time restraint environment, so busy that we barely have enough time to rehearse a presentation.

Rehearsing your presentation help assess body language such as; eye contact and hand gestures, voice projection, a pace of speech and time.

Always remember prior preparation prevents poor performance.

Here are rehearsal tips to boost your performance:

Take a few deep breaths before you begin: The first attempt may make you slightly nervous and uncomfortable, but your confidence will build with each rehearsal.

Sit down and rehearse mentally: Read your speech silently from start to finish in your head several times.

Stand up and read your talk out aloud: Try to memorize the lines of your speech.

Conduct a dress rehearsal: If your presentation requires more formal attire such as a suit and tie, or heels for a woman, rehearse wearing these clothes and practice until you’re speaking smoothly and confidently.

Practice your speech aloud: In front of a friend or colleague and ask for an honest and constructive criticism.

Record your impromptu talk: Videotape your entire presentation and then watch it. Listen to your own speeches and find out your strengths and weaknesses. And improve yourself to become a better presenter.

Rehearse on the site: Doing one or two run-throughs on the site so that you have an advantage. Become aware of your surroundings, does it restrict movement? Can you be heard? Think and practice where you will stand and how you will appear to the audience.

Once you have completed these steps, you’ll be ready to give a powerful presentation.

Be a Good Speaker like Barack Obama: Masterclass in Presentation Skills

We are providing you with a step-by-step guide for delivering a professional and effective presentation.

  • What do you want to communicate to your audience? Firstly, you should think about your audience, what are their expectations from you? What’s your aim, do you want to inform, inspire, entertain or maybe want to persuade.
  • The best speakers grip an audience by telling a story. When you’re telling your audience, use cue cards to refer to the main points.
  • You must think about the interesting ways to convey your message. How about adding color to communication with use of illustrations, visual aids, graphs, charts, pictures or video – but don’t overdo it.
  • Stand rather than sit, and move around a little – but avoid pacing backward and forward or turning your back to the audience.
  • Avoid staring at your feet or the podium. It won’t look nice! Try making eye contact with the audience to hold their attention.
  • Speak loudly and confidently. But don’t read out your talk, as this sounds boring. Try to vary the tone, pitch, and volume of your voice to add emphasis on points.

Pause for effect

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech”

  • If you talk without a pause and avoiding eye contact, you won’t get the attention of your listeners.
  • Pause at the start of your presentation, use longer eye contact, a slower rate of speech and more articulate gestures. By doing all these you will get maximum listeners’ attention.
  • Pause before an important idea.The more important the idea, the more important it is for you to pause.The message will then register to your audience.
  • Pause skillfully! This will give your presentation added expression and feeling.
  • Always remember to talk to your audience.Try to involve your audience in the presentation by asking questions.

Now, most important part how to close your presentation effectively?

The success of your speech depends on every move you make and every word you say from the beginning of the presentation till the closure.

Here are some tips to help you close a presentation and amaze your audience:

To start, let’s talk about what you should do when you stand in front of your audience?

  • The most powerful way to end a presentation is to inspire, motivate, and entertain your audience!
  • Repeat your important points and enclose your presentation in one or two sentences.
  • Pausing after keywords and phrases add emphasis to them. It is also a good idea to emphasize the word as you approach your final point.
  • Pause before your final sentence and make it strong and declarative. End with a humorous or meaningful quotation that will stay with your audience.
  • Don’t forget to thank your audience, for the experience you went through together.
  • Don’t end abruptly! Close a presentation with a call to action and make your call to action definitive and tell the audience what to do and how to use the information.

Ideally, use the last few minutes of the presentation to convince your audience to take action on what you’ve just told them to do.

An effective presentation skill is important if you want to succeed in Corporate World

The next time you’re preparing a presentation, use one of these approaches to achieve the result you desire.

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Written by Ved Prakesh

I'm a creative problem solver, always trying to find the most interactive and engaging way for a brand to communicate with their audience. I’m addicted to tea and love doing photography when I’m free from my work.


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