ATD Blog

Presentation Tips for Speakers

Monday, May 23, 2016

When it comes to public speaking, presentations do more for business than speeches, said Greg Owen-Boger, vice president of Turpin Communication, during his session at ATD 2016 Conference & Exposition: The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined” That is, when speakers and their audience work together toward a goal, it’s more positive than a speech that could leave the audience feeling distant to the speaker, inspiring as it may be.

So the question becomes: How can you mold your own personal speaking style into something that gets business moving?

It’s important to frame a presentation with a standard introduction and conclusion, he said. It’s just as important, through the presentation, to remain engaged. Engaged speakers aren’t nervous, are connected with individuals, and are having a collaborative conversation with their audience. If you’re not sure if you’re an engaged speaker, Owen-Boger has a question: “Do you remember seeing their faces?”


Those who are engaged can think on their feet, play off the audience better, and have a more successful presentation. That’s equally true for “writers,” who are focused on structure and pre-planning, and “improvisers,” who are comfortable winging it but have a tendency to lose focus (and, as a result, listeners).

Owen-Boger recommends determining which of those archetypes fits you, then adapting—while keeping your personal presentation style intact—to combat some of your archetype’s inherent weaknesses.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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