07 Feb What does it take to be a great public speaker?

I believe everyone can be an exceptional presenter.  It’s just a matter of knowing what to do and doing it!  So I’ve created this excellent checklist that you can go through and use to evaluate your ability as a presenter.  Give it a try – it will help you work out what you need to improve (and take it from me all these things are so easy to improve).  It will also show you what you are already doing well – and there are probably more things that you do well than you realise!


  1. Do you know how to work out what you’re trying to achieve?
  2. Can you think about your presentation from your audience’s shoes?


  1. Do you know how to structure a presentation with your audience’s needs in mind?
  2. Can you design your presentation in a minimum of time?
  3. Do you deliver your opening in a way that builds rapport and motivates your audience?
  4. Do you prepare for and manage objections?
  5. Do you deliver compelling facts, figures, and data?
  6. Do you plan to tell stories that link to your content and help bring your data to life?
  7. Do you use a variety of presentation aids such as whiteboard, PowerPoint, video, handouts, props?
  8. Can you present with limited use of speaker’s notes?
  9. Do you rehearse?
  10. Do you eat well and rest yourself before presenting?
  11. Do you warm up your body, voice and mind before presenting?


  1. Is your clothing smart and appropriate?
  2. Do you groom your hair and nails?
  3. Do you smell great?
  4. Do you stand tall with a straight back?
  5. Do you allow your natural facial expressions to show?
  6. Do you look at people?
  7. Do you let your hands move freely when you speak?
  8. Do you move around in the space?
  9. Do you allow your voice to exhibit a variety of pitch, speed, and volume?
  10. Do you sound the same presenting as you do when you speak normally?)
  11. Do you speak clearly?
  12. Do you minimise rambling
  13. Are you able to stay on track with your message?
  14. Are you able to avoid filler words like “um”, “ahrr”, “you know?”
  15. Do you engage your audience?
  16. Do you remember to explain the boundaries for the presentations (agenda, timings, questions, phones)
  17. Do you tell stories and link to your content?
  18. Are you able to present with PowerPoint as an aid instead of letting the PowerPoint take over your presentation?
  19. Do you summarise key points towards the end?
  20. Do you remember to call your audience to action and ask for what you want?
  21. Can you manage a Q&A session effectively?
  22. Do you know what to do if you can’t answer a question?
  23. Do you know how to manage ‘difficult’ audience members?
  24. Do you stick to the time allocated to you?
  25. Is there anything else you do well?
  26. And what else?
  27. And what else?

If you want to improve your ability in any of these areas subscribe to my magazine called How to Present or grab yourself a copy of Don’t Picture me Naked at www.michellebowden.com.au – it explains all of these areas in details. Or consider attending one of my upcoming public programs where numbers are limited to ten (10) people and where you will dramatically improve your ability to present and influence people.

Happy Presenting!

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