Presentation Best Practices for Students… And You!


Tomorrow, Chiara Ojeda and I will deliver a guest lecture for Sports Marketing and Media students’ final project presentations.  My superteacher partner-in-crime and I came up with a short lesson to refresh the memories of our students before those speeches.  Below, you’ll find a copy of the handout we’ll share with those students in the morning:

Presentation Best Practices

Outlining Your Presentation

  •       Begin with a hook.
  •       You’ve worked really hard on WHAT you are presenting.  It is now essential to convey WHY to your audience.  Start with why.  Why does this matter?  Why should your audience care?  Come back to your core meaning – your “WHY” – throughout your entire presentation.
  •      Tell us the meaning behind your data.  Numbers are meaningless unless you put them in perspective for your audience.
  •  Incorporate storytelling into your presentation in some way.
  • End with a clincher.
  • After you thank your audience, open the floor for questions.  Remember that it’s okay to answer a question with “I don’t know!”


  •       Slides are a visual medium.  They are designed to support your message through visuals.  Do not write your speaking notes on your slides.  Those belong on your notecards.  Instead, use one large, clear image on each slide.
  •       Ensure each and every image is cited and licensed for commercial use.
  •       Add a little bit of relevant text on top of each image.
  •       Use one consistent font on every single slide.
  •       Use one consistent color scheme on every single slide.


  •       Rehearse so many times that you are comfortable with your material.  How do you know you’ve reached the “comfortable” point?  Consider this: if the projector crashed and you had to present without slides, would you be okay?  If your notes fell out of your hands, would you be able to keep moving?  If the answer to both questions is “yes,” you’ve done your job!
  •       Do not read your speech.


  •       Ensure you and/or your entire team has met multiple times to rehearse
  •       Rehearse formally!  Use notecards and time yourselves presenting along with your slideshow.

On Presentation Day…

  •       Arrive early.
  •       Look professional.
  •       Prepare your materials and test out your slideshow well before class begins.
  •       Stick to the time limit.
  •       Stay in place after you are finished for Q&A with your panel.

These tips will be helpful for the Sports Marketing and Media students, but they are also a great refresher for anyone giving a presentation.  What tips would you add to this short list?


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