I asked my researcher friend Caryl Schroeder to reflect upon some of the most potent presenters she’s seen.

Off the top of her head, Caryl listed the following criteria for a potent presentation:

  1. Concise message/theme
  2. Simple text/graphics (not a lot of text on PowerPoint presentations)
  3. Examples the audience is familiar with or can relate to, especially on a personal basis
  4. Good humor helps
  5. Organized and logical presentation, easy to follow (e.g., background info, then the problem as it exists now, proposed solutions, etc)
  6. Speaker can be heard clearly and is not rushing
  7. Speaker moves – either with appropriate gestures or takes up the stage by moving around a little (not pacing but moving every now and then to focus you in a different area or be closer to another part of the audience)

Caryl said that the best speaker she’s seen in a while is Dr. Reed Tuckson. You can check out one of his presentations here.

What comes to mind when you think of your favorite presenters and presentations?

– Ann Emery