Here are the best resources to improve your presentation techniques

The improvement of presentation techniques is a continuous process. Even the world’s best speakers have to continue honing and perfecting their skills. Thankfully, resources around the subject are similarly expanding. Whether read a presentation techniques book, watch a presentation techniques video or take a presentation techniques course, absorbing knowledge is a great idea. Presentation training techniques are most effective for improving your skills. Once you have all the information, you can then step into the world and make a real impact.

Stuck in a rut when designing PowerPoints? Lacking the self-belief to make your voice heard? Need to learn from the experience of others? The following resources can help all of your presentation problems. Read ahead to find out how!

Books

Famously, books are brilliant fountains of knowledge. They seep information into our minds to transform perspectives and trigger creativity. The presentation techniques book world is abundant in advice on public speaking, presentation skills and PowerPoint techniques. Some focus on inspiring the reader to realise their self-worth and build confidence. Others offer practical presentation techniques such as speech writing and body language exercises. So whether you need motivational energy or material advice, reading can be a great way to reach your goal.

Below are some of our favourites. Read ahead to discover the presentation techniques book perfect for you.

Speak to Win by Brian Tracy

This book combines both personal development and business advice. It merges individual ambition with career success to show how feeling powerful in yourself can convert into being powerful in business. He highlights the potential of your voice and boosts your belief that you have something important to say to the world. Brian Tracy is a famous and successful motivational speaker. So absorbing his words from the page is bound to leave you feeling inspired.

“The more you like yourself, the healthier, happier, and more positive you become in everything you do.”

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

In this book, Reynolds takes popular rising ideas around mindfulness and applies them presentation techniques. He highlights common themes between self-awareness, positive psychology and the importance of confidence in business. Not only does his writing boost the reader’s self-esteem, but it also offers practical advice on making memorable presentations. By keeping it simple, the techniques can be applied by everyone, regardless of your level of experience. He focuses on six main features that give depth to a presentation: design, symphony, story, play, empathy and meaning.

“Since people cannot read and listen well at the same time, displays filled with lots of text must be avoided.”

Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

Scott Berkun makes this presentation techniques book particularly readable through humour. He takes serious advice on public speaking and presents it in a down-to-earth way. Rejecting all the stiff seriousness of typical business etiquette, Berkun keeps it relatable. His personal experience shines through in the form of anecdotes. The subtle method of inspiration is by suggesting that ordinary people can become exceptional presenters.

“If you want to learn the secrets of any performer, see his show twice. Then you’ll notice how much of what seems improvised truly is.” 

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo

This Wall Street Journal bestseller orientates around the techniques a single public speaking hero: Steve Jobs. It takes his presentation examples and breaks them down into techniques that anyone can adopt. Not only does it help with public speaking, but also design and reading an audience in order to promote ideas. Reading a book like this is a fantastic way to boost your presentation techniques – to learn from a master. Specific advice includes to ‘channel your inner Zen’ and ‘make it look effortless’. For more details, you’ll have to read more!

“Leaders are fascinated by the future. You are a leader if, and only if, you are restless for change, impatient for progress, and deeply dissatisfied with the status quo.” 

If you need any more help boosting your confidence, check out our article, “The Ultimate Guide to Being a Better and More Confident Presenter.”

Videos

Videos are another fantastic resource to improve your presentation techniques. They are slightly easier to absorb than books by presenting advice in a visual form. It’s easy to spend hours flicking through motivational videos. As long as you get up and do something with all that inspiration afterwards, then there’s no harm in it! So if you’re looking for an invigorating presentation techniques video, check out our examples below.

YouTube

YouTube is, of course, full of videos catered towards public speaking and presentation skills. Not all are useful. But there are certainly some diamonds in the rough. For example, “How To Give a Great Presentation – 7 Presentation Skills and Tips to Leave an Impression”. It’s a simple and straightforward outline of how to grip your audience. The drawing animation techniques adds to its visual simplicity. You need to begin with the basics. And this presentation techniques video is a perfect place to get started.

If you’re a little more experienced with presenting, you might find yourself falling into presentation clichés or lazy techniques. This video focuses on what makes a presentation bad. Its comedy form exaggerates terrible presentation techniques that do actually happen. And far too regularly. This presentation techniques video can help remind you of the boring elements to avoid. It includes PowerPoint fails like using clip art, depending on bullet points, and reading long paragraphs straight from the slide. Learn from someone else’s mistakes to avoid making them yourself!

One great way to learn presentation techniques from videos is to observe the pros. We’ve already mentioned Steve Jobs, but his public speaking skills are to be remembered. His casual yet captivating style makes him a presentation icon. So check out his iconic 2007 iPhone launch for some public speaking inspiration.

Alternatively, if you want to absorb the energy and passion of a charismatic character, check out Tony Robbins videos. They are sure to motivate you, even on your lowest days, as they have inspired people all over the world. Netflix did a documentary on one of his workshops, called “I am not your guru”. It’s a pretty balanced look at Tony Robbins that shows his addictive personality without idolising him and also exploring the flaws of his techniques.

TED Talks

TED Talks are famous for the motivational influence. Although they range through specific topics, their fundamental messages are often universal. Sometimes tailored towards business, sometimes tailored towards self-improvement, they are always well-prepared and impressive results. Their ‘ideas worth spreading’ have certainly spread around the world. They are extremely watchable for a bit of everyday motivation. You can also attend a TED event and see one live.

This TED Talk is one of the most popular due to the presentation technique of Ken Robinson. By watching it, you can pick up on his body language and public speaking skills and apply it to your own experience. It’s always worth monitoring and adapting the techniques of TED speakers, as they are often experts in public speaking. This video might not directly teach about presentation skills. But it certainly reveals the importance of passion and research behind a great presentation.

Amy Cuddy’s “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” is another famous TED Talk. This presentation techniques video, you can directly apply to improving your performance skills. Body language is a huge part of public speaking. By learning how to manipulate your movements in order to affect your mind set, you can apply similar skills to influencing an audience. This video can help with nerves and anxiety before a presentation. It can help you channel confidence and strength during a presentation. And it can help you relax and de-stress after a presentation. So it’s definitely worth watching!

Find out more about the importance of body language by reading our article, “Master Your Business with Body Language.”

Films

Films might not strictly count as videos. But they do hold the same visual power. Some films are both relaxing and motivational, and can surprisingly help with your presentation skills. Not only can they encourage your self-worth and confidence, some of them also relay practical skills to apply to your next act of public speaking.

The King’s Speech was a successful film about how practice and perseverance can transform even someone with a speech impediment into a perfect public speaker. The documentary, Public Speaking, encourages charisma and honesty when relaying your personal perspective. And you can watch any great stand-up comedian to absorb the addictive energy of public speaking. Comedians perfectly show how if you get your audience on board, you can influence an entire room from centre stage.

Check out this article for more about public speaking tips to learn from stand-up comedians.

Websites

Writing about presentation techniques is not just in books. The internet is full of advice on PowerPoint, public speaking and business success. Many company websites have blogs containing articles to inspire and motivate rising entrepreneurs.

24Slides

Our very own Present Better page is a perfect example. It includes regular articles outlining the ways to improve your presentation techniques and business skills. By keeping up-to-date on current trends, you can ensure that your meetings and conferences don’t fall into overdone clichés or stale, boring PowerPoints that restrict your career progress. 24Slides also provides incredibly useful templates. So you can keep your presentations modern, professional and exciting. Such resources are infinitely useful. They show that you value and respect your presentations. And they help you shine as an individual in the competitive world of business.

SlideShare

SlideShare is a great resource for two main reasons. Firstly, it shows how a successful presentation is formatted. The example below is not directly linked to presentation skills. But its vivid visuals, powerful quotes, and minimalist text are all qualities you can include in your own PowerPoint. Even the central message of storytelling is a useful tool for public speaking.

Secondly, SlideShare is a great way to absorb content about presentation techniques. This second example is both powerful in its design and message for those wanting presentation advice. It follows a simple, effective structure. But it also highlights the key flaws of bad presentations so that you don’t make typical mistakes. Flick through a couple of SlideShare slides and see how your confidence increases.

Toastmasters International

This is a classic website resource for public speakers and presenters. They have a simple mission to “empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.” And by joining their community, you can become one of those influential people. Their blogs and resources are valuable sources of information and inspiration. For example, check out their great article on Preparing a Speech.

Workshops

Networking events can be a great way to learn skills and meet contacts. Presentation training techniques are most effective for uplifting and inspiring. Plus they provide useful, practical techniques that you can apply to your everyday routine. Not everything works as smoothly in life as it does within the safe space of a workshop. But it’s a great place to get started, to build those skills in order to practice them in the real world.

For example, Coursera finds online classes, some of which specialize in a presentation techniques course. There are an abundance of online workshops for people wanting to improve their presentation techniques. But there are also many in local areas. Bumble BIZZ for business or MeetUps Career & Business is a fun and social way to get started. For a more professional and official presentation techniques course, you can try something like Ignite.

Ignite has the mission of building presentation skills for everyone. Based around a 5-minute 20-slide presentation, it helps you improve both PowerPoint design and public speaking. You get to practice your presentation techniques, learn from others, and meet those with a similar mind-set. The best thing is that their events exist around the world.

And don’t worry if you don’t have the city proximity or money for a larger presentation techniques course. Remember, you can always turn to friends and colleague for presentation progression. Improving your public speaking requires one simple practice: speak in front of people. That’s all it takes.

Check out our article, Top Presentation Tips to Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety, for more information.

Developing your presentation techniques can seem like a daunting task. But with a world of resources out there, don’t be afraid to step onto the path of self-progression. Remember that support is always available. Ask for it. Take it. Then use it to make yourself, your presentations, and the world, all the better for it.