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English and Literature

How to Give Good Talks

How to Give a Killer Presentation

This article from Harvard Business Review tells the story of how a shy young Masai boy gave an awesome presentation to an audience of 1,400. Notice that "preparation" is the key. When you're prepared, your confidence increases, and you can knock 'em dead!

How to Give the Best Presentation You Possibly Can
Karl Gude is an instructor at Michigan State University and a former InfoGraphics Director at Newsweek and The Associated Press. He talks about the preparation needed to give an awesome presentation in this article published in the Huffington Post.

9 Public-Speaking Lessons From The World's Greatest TED Talks

This Forbes story is part of a series of articles based on Carmine Gallo's book, "Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds" (St. Martin’s Press).

10 Tips For Giving Effective Virtual Presentations
This article from the Graduate School of Stanford Business provides tips for presenting virtually, including how to keep your audience's attention.

Presentation Checklist

The following are questions to ask and materials you should have for your presentation.


  • How many people?
  • What are the audience demographics (age, race/culture, interests)?
  • What are they expecting to hear?
  • Will you be introduced? If yes, have you provided your information?

The Room Setup

  • Will there be a projector?
  • Will there be a screen?
  • A laptop? Do you need to bring your own?
  • If a laptop is provided, does it have the software you need?
  • Will you need a microphone, and will one be provided?
  • Will there be a podium?
  • Will the presentation be recorded?


  • How much time will you have to speak?
  • Will there be time for Q&A?
  • Are other speakers on the program? If yes, what will they be talking about?

Before You Go

  • Review and rehearse your presentation. Read it aloud.
  • Make sure it is the proper length.
  • Back up your presentation on an extra thumb drive AND in the cloud (email it to yourself or save it to Google Drive, for example).
  • Take along a hard copy of your presentation.
  • Do not eat a heavy meal or consume alcohol or caffeine before you speak.

Presentation Ideas

During your presentation, use one or more of these tools to engage your audience.

How to Listen

We talk a lot about being great speakers. But what about being great listeners? Whether you're in the classroom or watching a film or communicating one-on-one, listening is important in the exchange of information and ideas. Here are some links with tips for helping you hear:



Many thanks to College of Coastal Georgia for allowing us to use the guide, Presentations, as a template for this LibGuide.