This week on #bufferchat, we discussed tips and advice for improving our presentation skills — tips for practicing a talk, getting in the right headspace before speaking, keeping your audience’s attention and much more!

Read on to discover all of the awesome advice that was shared during the chat!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, at TWO times every Wednesday for valuable industry insights and to meet hundreds of other smart marketers and social media enthusiasts. Same topic, same place, just at different times – feel free to join in to whichever chat time works best for you!

4 pm AEST (Sydney time)

9 am PT (San Francisco time)

Bufferchat on August 16, 2017 (Topic = Presentation Skills)

This week’s stats: 
Bufferchat #1 (4 pm AEST): 36 participants, reach of 977,261
Bufferchat #2 (9 am PT): 120 participants, reach of 1,255,452

Q1: What makes a great presentation?

From the community:

  • “Clarity. Be absolutely clear on what you’re trying to convey, who the audience are & the purpose of each slide.” @edavieswork
  • “The ability to speak in a conversational style about a topic and not rely on what’s written on a slide.” @flyingcorkpgh
  • “A slow, concise, and articulate speaker. Great eye contact and confidence is a must. A little humor never hurts either!” @timwleee

See all the great answers to question 1 here!

Q2: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to presenting or public speaking?

From the community:

  • “Resisting the temptation to include too much information and overload the audience…” @benhollom
  • “Lack of practice – this leads ppl to talk too fast, too long winded, and appear to lack confidence in presentation topic.” @Megan_E_Jackson
  • “TBH the hardest thing is the start. After the first 3 mins you get comfortable. Just remember you know your subject & shine.” @HinoIII

See all the great answers to question 2 here!

Q3: What are your tips for preparing for and practicing a presentation?

From the community:

  • “Rehearse the presentation the way you’ll deliver it—standing, aloud, and with bucket loads of passion.” @Pixel8Ltd
  • “When practicing and reviewing text or script, plan your silence—note or highlight planned pauses, then practice them!” @KennethRMurray
  • “Record yourself on your phone! It’s silly, but it’s good to look over and see your pacing, body language, and diction.” @RossWalkerSmith

See all the great answers to question 3 here!

Q4: Do you do anything to get in the right headspace/mindset right before a talk or presentation? 

From the community:

  • “I visualize myself giving a great presentation. This way, it’s more likely to become reality.” @brynhafemeister
  • “Deep breaths and jamming out to a little music makes us loosen up, relax, and get ready to give a killer talk!” @Pacific54
  • “Breathe. Check over your notes. Smile. And then get on the stage and give your best power pose!” @jvards

See all the great answers to question 4 here!

Q5: What are ways to keep your audience’s attention throughout your presentation?

From the community:

  • “Vary tone. Pauses. Highlight important points. Repeat them. Call to action. Be interesting.” @CharlesMcCool
  • “Tried & true method: make them laugh! Lightens the mood and keeps things fresh. Personal anecdotes also make you more human.” @deren_baker
  • “Give them a story to follow, characters they can relate to and remember. Make it easy to listen.” @FelixSTL

See all the great answers to question 5 here!

Q6: Where are great resources for learning more about building presentation skills? 

From the community:

  • “Chris Anderson, curator of TED, did a great Udemy course. I learned so much.” @alibarbaraUS
  • “I’ve also always wanted to take an improv class. others have said it helps a ton!” @tinashakour
  • “Watching other people do it. That way you’ll get a sense of what works, doesn’t work, or can be integrated into your style.” @TheBdgtBckpck

See all the great answers to question 6 here!

Q7: If you could give one piece of advice to others to improve their presentation skills, what would you say? 

From the community:

  • “Psychologically, your brain doesn’t know the difference between being nervous & being excited. A simple perspective switch!” @victori_media
  • “Be direct & to the point. People have short attention spans. Only include info that is highly valuable & elevates your message.” @communicapa
  • “Just keep presenting! The only way to get better is to keep doing it!” @cassipolzin

See all the great answers for question 7 here!


Thank you so much to our awesome community for sharing such great insights in this chat!

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

Looking for a better way to share on social media?

Schedule, publish & analyze your posts across the top social networks, all in one place.

Start a 14-Day Free Trial
Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Community Strategist at Buffer. In addition to her love of community building, Arielle also loves vegetables, cooking, practicing yoga, meditating, living mindfully, and exploring the connections between health and happiness!