Presentation Tips | Microphone Manners | Audience Q&A

Presentation Tips

Your presentation won’t be effective unless people can hear you and see you. Follow these simple practices to give the best presentation:

  • Practice your presentation at home — this will give you a good idea about timing, pacing and will make you more confident when you are speaking in front of a live audience
  • Speak loudly — the attendees are there to hear you
  • Be confident — you are giving valuable information!
  • Use a microphone at all times when speaking
  • Face the audience at all times when speaking — the microphone won’t pick up your voice well if your head is turned
  • Draft your moderator or co-presenter to help with advancing slides or typing, if needed
  • Don’t read your slides — add explanations to the material there
  • Use the provided laser pointer — point to specific areas of the screen as you talk about them
  • Use your time effectively — don’t end way early or let yourself run out of time before you finish your presentation
  • Leave time for Q&A or discussion at the end

Microphone Manners

  • Presentation
    • Please use the provided microphone at all times during your presentation. Even if you are confident of the volume of your voice, the microphone ensures that all attendees can hear you, regardless of hearing ability. Your moderator will be advised to assist with ensuring the microphone is used.
  • Q&A
    • When an audience member asks a question, please repeat the question before answering in case that some people in the audience could not hear it.
    • Another option is to ask anyone with a question to come to the microphone provided; people may line up to use these (or have your moderator pass the microphone)
    • Diplomatically ensure that one person does not “hog” the microphone

Audience Q&A

Attendees almost always have questions or comments during presentations. Make sure you leave enough time to give them a chance to ask them. Decide ahead of time whether you want to accept questions throughout the presentation (which can totally disrupt your timing, but may be best for some presentations), at certain points during the presentation (such as after each individual speaker), or only at the end of the entire presentation. If each speaker takes questions separately, be sure to negotiate ahead of time how much time each speaker will have, so all speakers will be able to make their full presentations.

  • Either the presenter or the moderator can handle the Q&A session; discuss this before the session begins
  • Watch the time, and say something like “we have time for one more question”

Go back to Presenter’s Tips