How to Become a Better Presenter – some advice and a partial book list

In decades of giving and attending thousands of presentations, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to give a talk, a webinar and a technology demonstration. Back in 2015, while I was working for Evans Data in Santa Cruz, I created a blog post “Most Everything I learned about presenting I learned from Jerry Weissman“, on the DevRelate site. In that post I covered some of the tips, tricks and techniques that I’ve learned (and co-opted from other great presenters) that helped me improve my presentation skills.

If you are looking for a few quick presentation tips, the following are some of my top suggestions:

  • Practice your presentation a few times to understand the pacing (if there is a time limit). If you have time, record the presentation and then watch it several times.
  • Get rid of distractions by turning off notifications, alerts, social/team apps, email, calendar, mute your phone, and set do not disturb on your phone/fitness band.
  • If you need to keep hydrated, drink still water that is room temperature. Also, use the bathroom before your presentation. Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine.
  • Watch talks by other great presenters from inside and outside of your field of expertise.
  • Use more than just a blizzard of bullet points. You can also use quotes, images, short video clips, visualizatons and other ways to avoid a presentation full of text.

There are a number of great books that can provide additional ways to improve your presentation creation, delivery and distribution. The following are just a few books you might consider owning.