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.

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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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