Three Tips for Delivering a Powerful Presentation

Today's Action

All times are EST unless otherwise noted. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

Whether you like it or not, public speaking will play a role in your professional development.

Being prepared can help you in multiple different ways. (Image via The Next Web)

The ability to captivate an audience and deliver good content is extremely valuable for any professional. If you have a presentation coming up soon, here are three tips you can use to make sure you are prepared.

1. Focus on your Audience.

Remember that your audience comes first. Make sure that you are creating the necessary relationship with the audience, and setting the vibe of the room.

If your audience has a personal connection with you, your message will be received much easily. But how do you do this?

Daron K. Roberts, Founding Director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas, is very adamant about his interaction with his audience.

“Time should be spent getting to know your audience before your speech. Find a way to connect with your audience.”

One thing that Roberts does in his speeches is utilize information he has obtained that day that may relate to his topic.

“High level of delivery can happen when you incorporate experiences that you had that day. If I spoke with Susan before I speak, I can now say, ‘Hey I was talking to Susan today’ and I can connect that with my message. That real time leverage with the audience is important.”

It’s important to create an environment that works for your audience, and to always keep their interests first when delivering speeches and presentations.

What are tangible things you can do to do this? One thing you can do, is use multiple learning styles.

2. Accommodate Multiple Learning Styles.

People learn, comprehend and internalize information in a number of different ways.

For Maricela Shukie, Vice President of Operations for Forward Progress Athletics Consulting, she believes using utilizes multiple deliveries.

“Mix it up! Change your method of communication every 15 minutes. This could mean a second speaker, group discussions, sharing with the person next to you, introducing short activities, or adding videos.”

Forward Progress Athletics Consulting helps universities, schools and student-athletes coordinate higher education with athletics to achieve their goals.

With their work, there are a lot of presentations delivered to students and professionals, and Shukie knows from experience how impactful it can be to use multiple delivery styles.

There are a number of learning theories an individual can relate to. Some you may have heard of include verbal linguistic (reading/writing), or bodily kinesthetic (learning through physical activity). Photo via

Some people prefer videos, some prefer handouts/notes, some prefer discussion based models, be sure to use more than one learning style.

When you meet people where they are, you are more likely to have your message get across.

It is difficult for a person who is not very fond of reading, to read along with you in all your slides, or for a person who needs to see photos, to have no photos available. Utilize your resources, use different techniques.

3. Utilize the Power of Numbers.

The power of numbers in presentations and speeches can be incredibly thought-provoking.

Will Baggett, founder of Executive Image, a national professional presence training program, FOS contributor and the author of The Blueprint for a Successful Career, uses 7 seconds to hook his audience.

For Baggett, he utilizes the first 7 seconds to deliver his message to his audience, and has yet to fail.

“First impressions are made in the first 4–7 seconds, and this is the first step to building relationships. In those first 7 seconds, engage and build rapport with your audience. I also aim to take the audience on an emotional roller coaster. Seek to educate, excite, and engage.”

Educate, Excite and Engage.

In addition to using that first 7 seconds to your advantage, utilize the Rule of 3.

What is the Rule of 3?

Our brains and modern society tends to group things in the number 3. Research has shown that 3 is the most persuasive number in communication. So why not utilize this when presenting? We already employ this technique in our everyday lives. Think of how many things you know that come in 3’s.

Our stories have a beginning, middle and end. We learn our A, B, C’s, we reward 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, Front Office Sports… need we say more? and there are 3 tips to developing an effective, impactful speech.

Now there are many more tips and tricks to delivering a speech or presentation. But if we had to break it down in 3 points? We did just that.

  1. Focus on your audience
  2. Accommodate multiple learning styles
  3. Utilize the power of numbers.

What will you use to captivate your audience and deliver an effective message?

This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.

Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

Want to learn more, or have a story featured about you or your organization? Contact us today.