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Preparing for your next presentation

Rick Gilbert, founder and chairman of PowerSpeaking, gives this advice for how to prepare yourself for a presentation:


  • Make your first line your "bottom line". Tell them what you are proposing, and why.
  • Be clear about expectations. Are you looking for funding? Support? Approval?
  • Use the 10/30 rule: if you have 30 minutes, plan only 10 minutes of material. That leaves plenty of time for discussion and questions.
  • Slash your presentation to 2-3 slides, if possible.
  • Get your head in the right "place" before stepping into the room.
  • Don't go into the room looking for a pat on the back; don't start with how hard your team has been working.


  • Never get defensive or argumentative; it takes away from your presentation.
  • Passion is good, but keep it calm and open to input.
  • If the room starts arguing with each other, or gets too far off track, calmly bring the discussion back to topic.
  • Never forget to check and double-check your numbers before showing them. If they are off, you're dead in the water.