Presentation Skills: Ten Presentation Secrets to Giving a Great Presentation
Like Bill Clinton
By Ed Sykes
You don’t need to be a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or member of another
political party to be an outstanding presenter like former President Bill
Clinton. Mr. President Clinton gave an outstanding presentation at a political
convention and he informed, entertained, and persuaded the audience members with
The question is how did former President Clinton become a great presenter? Or
more importantly, how can you become a great presenter like Bill Clinton?
Discover these ten presentation secrets to being a great presenter and
connecting with your audience:
Be Passionate – Show that you are excited about your subject. Show your
excitement and the audience will also become excited. This starts with the
pace of your walk. Walk twenty-five percent faster as you come up to give
your presentation. During your presentation, use vocal variety, facial
expressions, hand gestures, and body movement to show your excitement.
Make the Complicated Simple - Simplify the most complicated information so
your audience can follow and understand your points. Remember, once your
audience becomes lost, you lose them, and they will become disinterested.
Take the time to put yourself in the audience’s shoes and ask yourself:
“What points might be difficult to understand and how can you communicate
these points so the audience can digest and understand your points. Slow
down when explaining the more challenging points of your speech. Use
analogies, stories, and simple graphics to reinforce and simplify hard to
understand facts and figures for your audience.
Engage Your Audience – Good stories are a great way to engage your audience.
A well-told, relevant story should put your audience in the story, take them
on the journey with you and engage them. Asking your audience members
rhetorical questions is another good presentation technique for audience
Take Time to Pause – Pausing during a presentation is a lost art. Most
presenters feel that they need to rush through their presentation without
stopping. Pausing after explaining difficult information or telling a funny
joke allows your audience members to absorb the information or “get the
Go Off Script Sometimes – By interjecting an unscheduled, personal story,
fact, or analogy into a presentation will “humanize” you as a great
presenter. A word of caution, when going off script, be aware of your time
when presenting. Stay within time during your presentation. You will be more
comfortable to ad live the more experience you gain making presentations.
Present for the Senses – Don’t just tell! Present so that the audience
members can hear, feel, smell, and taster what you are presenting. Describe
what you are talking about in your presentation. Two power phrases that can
help you do this are “imagine this” or “just imagine.” Those two phrases
will put your in audience members in the situation you are presenting.
Walk in Your Audience’s Shoes – Research your audience’s needs, concerns,
and challenges, then address them during your presentation. By doing your
research as a presenter, you will show you care about your audience members.
Talk to the level of your audience members. If your presentation is above
their knowledge base, you will lose them during your presentation. Don’t use
five-dollar words when two-dollar words will do.
Add Humor – You don’t have to be a comedian to be humorous. You can be funny
and connect with your audience by sharing stories, analogies, funny
situations, new events, etc. Make sure your humor is respectful and adds to
Respect the Audience – There is a terrible saying, and a book based on the
saying, “Talk to your audience as if they are in their underwear.” Is that
attitude ready showing respect? If possible, before your presentation, greet
your audience members. Take time to thank them for coming, and think about
how your presentation will benefit them. Make sure you command the facts of
your presentation. Last, but not least, present to your audience, not at
them. Your audience should feel that you are personally presenting to each
member no matter how large the group.
Start Presenting Today – All great presenters started somewhere. Take time
to invest in your presentation skills. Decrease your learning curve and
quickly acquire the skills mentioned above by joining Toastmasters, taking a
presentation skills class, or investing in customized one-on-one coaching.
Always look for opportunities to make a presentation wherever they arise: at
work, in business situations, in your community, etc. As I always say,
“Every opportunity to present is an opportunity for success!”
By applying the ten presentation secrets, you will develop the charisma,
passion, and humor to successfully present like Mr. Clinton at your next
Additional Presentation Resources
Variety Is the Spice of Outstanding Presentations: Seven Secrets to
Creating an Engaging, Entertaining, and Persuasive Speech
Ten Powerful Presentation Skills Secrets to Outselling the Competition
How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking in Seven
Coming to 0rder: Five Public Speaking Lessons Learned from Judge Judy
Presentation Skills: Seven Presentation Secrets Learned from the Academy Awards
May I Have Your Attention, Please? Five Ways to
Retain Focus and Stay in the Moment
Outstanding Presentations Start in the Mind: Five Secrets
for Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety
Explain Yourself! The Reason Why Excuses Sabotage Your
Ten Quick Tips for Outstanding
Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" Will Help You Get
Your Point Across! (Yes you can, here's the plan!)
How to Set Boundaries and Say No
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