Advanced Presentation Skills by Errol A Williams

Presentation is communicating, influencing, persuading and the selling of ideas, wants, needs and benefits. I have met a lot of people who hated selling for one reason or another. If you are one of those people, let me give you a piece of sound advice. “You will always work for the person that loves selling, because selling is one of the keys to staying in business.” There are really only three things that a sales presentation is designed to do:

a Inform,
b Entertain or
c Get favourable action

You must present or sell your ideas, needs, wants and desires to your friends, employer and others, in an honest way if you are to be taken seriously. Here are some tips to assist you with all of your presentations:

Presentation Skills

Planning and Preparation
Structure and Delivery
Nonverbal Communication
TRACT (question and answer)
Assertive Behaviour
Interpersonal and Personal Skills
Needs of Audience

Planning and Preparation

If you are to be effective, you must prepare your presentation and rehearse it well in advance. Anticipate all possible questions and have several answers ready. If you fail to plan then you have planned to fail. Therefore:

a Decide why you are giving this presentation.
b Know your audience.
c Know where you will be presenting it.
d Research and know your facts.
e Prepare what you are going to present.
f Prepare your notes.
g Memorise your introduction.
h Know how you will present it.
i Rehearse your presentation to perfect it.
 j Anticipate mishaps.

There are many helpful resources on the market to assist you to make that winning presentation. Consider use of:

a TV and video.
b Overhead projector.
c White board.
d Layout of tables and chairs.
e Lectern.
f Total room layout.
g Testimonies of others.
h Computer aided multi media projection.
i Handouts.


If you do not know your enemies, you will not be able to defeat them. The following enemies must be identified and conquered if you are to be an effective presenter:

a Lack of research g Nervousness and fear
b Unclear objectives h Mental block
c Poor communication i Lack of preparation
d Difficult people j Insufficient information
e Poor structure & delivery k Negative body language
f Poor product knowledge l Lack of resources
Structure and Delivery

If you do not follow a specific structure as you make your delivery, your audience will have a difficult time keeping up with you. One of the most simple and effective structures for any type of presentation is: beginning, middle and end.


At the beginning of your presentation you must arouse the interest of your audience and find out what needs they have. Let them know how long the presentation will last and give them an idea as to when they can respond with questions or comments. Finally, agree the objectives with your audience and from the beginning make sure that your audience gets onto the right plane. After all, you do not want to take your audience to America, when they may want to go to the West Indies. I have used the following memory aid, INTRO to remind myself of how to begin all presentations:



This is the main part of your presentation and it must follow a logical path that is easy for your audience to understand. Highlight to your audience the overall situation, convince and sway them to your way of thinking. Show them possible alternatives and finally, make your recommendation.



The close of your presentation is as important as the beginning or the middle, therefore you must plan to close effectively:

a Highlight key points of your presentation.
b Give handouts.
c Evaluate.
d Thank audience.
e Close presentation.

At the end of your presentation, ask yourself the following questions:

a How effective was my presentation?
b Have I achieved my objectives?
c What were my strengths and weaknesses?
d How appropriate was my planning and preparation?
e What have I learnt not to do the next time?
Nonverbal Communication

By nonverbal I mean the ability to communicate to others without the necessary use of words. Make sure that your mouth, appearance, gesture, posture, voice and eyes assist and not hinder your presentation.

Your nonverbal communication skills must also be taken into account, in all of the four life positions. Do you display characteristics of a passive, aggressive, paralysed, or assertive person? When your mouth is in action, what impression does your face give? Are you smiling or is your jaw too tight or relaxed? Always check your appearance in a mirror and ask yourself, “What impression do I give dressed this way?”

Does the movement of my body, especially my hands, support what I am saying? Is my posture straight, upright or am I slouched, too near, too far, slumped, or higher or lower than the other person? Do I mumble, complain, criticise, beat around the bush, or do I get straight to the point, clearly, directly and specifically? Is my tone acceptable with the right accent and volume? Finally, am I able to look confidently into other people’s eyes, or must I turn away and gaze at the ceiling, floor or other objects? Be wise, support what you say by how you say it.


TRACT (question and answer)

Throughout your presentation you may be asking and answering questions. Always thank the person for asking the question, then rephrase the question in your own words to confirm you fully understand. Once you are satisfied that you understand the question, give an answer and check that they understand your reply. Finally, thank the person again for asking the question or for making a comment.

Rephrase to confirm understanding
Answer the question
Check understanding
Thank person for asking question again

Assertiveness Behaviour
a Be honest with yourself and others.
b Be confident, positive and understanding.
c Do to others as you would have them do to you.
d State your needs, wants, feelings, opinions or beliefs in a clear, direct, specific, honest and suitable way and not at the expense of others.

There are many techniques available to make your presentation unbeatable and unforgettable, here are a few:

a Be natural and open.
b Gain eye contact with most or all of your audience.
c Explain jargon.
d Don’t mumble.
e Don’t use big words and long sentences.
f Paragraph your presentation.
g Use pictures, charts and graphs.
h Use different colours.
i Give handouts where appropriate.
j Tell stories.
k Role play.
Interpersonal and Personal Skills

One of the most powerful breakthroughs in selling is that customers purchase more from people they like. You must be a lover of people and develop the following attributes:

a Communication.
b Listening skills.
c Negotiation.
d Speaking.
e Persuasiveness and influence.
f Sensitivity.
g Courtesy.
h Positive attitude and behaviour.
i Warmth and good humour.
j Assertiveness.

A presentation without a clearly defined objective can be a disaster, therefore:

a Clearly define your objectives by asking yourself, why am I making this presentation?
b What is it that the audience wants or needs?
c Stick to the objectives throughout the whole presentation.
d Sell success, results, needs and desires.
Needs of Audience

The more your audience is involved with your presentation the more successful you will be, therefore:

a Let your audience participate in the presentation.
b Listen to your audience and communicate effectively.
c Be sensitive to the needs of your audience.
d Be empathic – putting yourself in the audience’s position.

You are unique in your own identity because there is not another like you anywhere in the universe, therefore:

 a You do not have to imitate other people’s style.
 b Develop your own style.


1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Picture yourself enjoying the success of your presentation.
3. Maintain eye contact and address your audience as individuals rather than as a group of people.
4. In your conclusion, highlight the key points that you want your audience to remember – what is said last is always remembered first.
5. Put your presentation on paper – it helps to clarify your thinking.
6. Research other people’s thoughts and ideas on the subject that you are presenting.
7. You learn to make presentations by making presentations, just as you learn to play the flute by playing the flute.
8. If (O) opportunity, (P) positive action, (E) excitement and (N) enthusiasm is not in your presentation, don’t go ahead.
9. Know your facts and have notes.
10. Use short words, short sentences and avoid jargon.
11. Never exceed your time limit.
12. Remove objects that rattle.
13. Always check your appearance before you start.
14. Always have a handkerchief and glass of water to hand.
15. Check and secure all visual aids and supporting equipment.
16. Those who fail to plan, have planned to fail.
17. Always review at the end of your presentation.
18. Tell yourself that you are the best and that you love presenting.
19. Smile where necessary.
20. Help others.
Errol A Williams©
To book Errol or request more information email:  or call 07956 872 141.


“If you work on your job you will make a living. If you work on yourself you will make a fortune.” 

Jim Rhon 4th September 2016

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