Quick Tips for Effective Presentations

Straight from our trainers, these presentation tips will set you up for a fabulous presentation 

Logo for Healthy Teen Network, featuring 3 interlocked orange circle outlines, and inside, outline drawings of a hand, a sunburst, and three people; below the circle, in teal, is the name, "Healthy Teen Network"

February 24, 2022

You could say we’ve done this a few times. As a capacity-building organization, our staff are well versed in how to give an effective presentation.

Here are some tips we’ve pulled together that might help you prepare for your next presentation:

  • Make it fun! Be creative and authentic in your design and during your presentation.
    • Clearly identify the intended, appropriate audience. It is important to identify who you are addressing, so you can tailor the content of the presentation. Focusing your design on a specific audience makes the presentation feel relevant and relatable for the participants.
    • Write a catchy, creative title and a clear, detailed description. Participants want to be able to make appropriate choices, so they need to know who your presentation is for, what they are going to learn or be able to do, and why it is important to them. (Also, a little humor never hurts!) Participants do not need to learn about who you are in this section—save that for your profile on our app!
    • Incorporate new ideas and the latest research, as applicable—participants are attending the conference to learn what is NEW! Make sure your presentation is relevant to what is happening today.
    • Time your presentation well and present an appropriate amount of content. It’s tempting to pack too much content into a short session, but learners will feel more satisfied knowing something really well, rather than feeling rushed and unclear about a large amount of information. And be sure to allow time for questions.
    • Use adult learning principles. These will help you understand how your audience learns, so that you can deliver your content in a way that will be most accessible. Remember— what you are saying matters as much as how you are saying it.
    • Avoid lectures. People learn better when they feel involved and when content is processed through their own experience. Avoid telling participants information—instead, help them make discoveries themselves!
    • Break up the presentation with various learning strategies. Active learning strategies help your participants get engaged and involved in your presentation. There are tons of active learning activities. Choose one (or a few) to incorporate into your presentation!
    • Use appealing visual aids; if using PowerPoint or similar software, follow appropriate PowerPoint design principles. It’s helpful for learners to have a visual aid, but remember, the presentation is about you, not the slides, so do not make them the focus of the entire presentation.
    • Provide helpful materials, but don’t overwhelm your participants. It can be useful for participants to have a worksheet or a summary of some key information from the presentation, but too much can be overwhelming. Providing them with all the information and notes can make them feel like they do not need to be engaged.
    • Increase organizational capacity by writing a detailed design, so another staff person could give the same presentation. Did the presentation go swimmingly? Maybe someone else in your organization wants to present it again, or do a webinar. A detailed design will make the presentation replicable, as well as a useful source of information within your organization.
    • Run through your presentation in advance; if possible, do a pilot presentation. Practice, practice, practice! Get feedback from colleagues or friends.


    From TED Talk-style presentations to panel discussions and more, we’re grateful to have had such amazing presenters at Heathy Teen Network conferences over the years! Note: The images showcased in this slideshow were taken at conferences before the COVID-19 pandemic and do not show masks and other COVID-19 public health measures because of this.  PHOTO CREDIT: Gina Desiderio at Healthy Teen Network

    Here are a couple tips to help you DURING your presentation:

    • Leverage participants’ experiences. Provide opportunities for discussion and If learners understand the relevance of the content to their own experiences, it can help them process and retain the information. 
    • Save at least 10 minutes at the end of the presentation for a question-and-answer session and evaluation. Did you meet your objectives? The best way to find out and improve is to get feedback from the participants! Make sure to save time at the end of the presentation for this.
    • Provide information for further resources, as well as your contact information. Your participants may think of questions later, or need more information when it comes to applying your content. Make yourself and other resources available to them, so they can really apply their knowledge.

    Ready to put these skills into action? We hope you’ll submit a proposal to present at Take Care and Take Action, the #HealthyTeen23 national conference. We’ll see you in Portland, October 2-4, 2023! 

    PHOTO CREDIT: Gina Desiderio at Healthy Teen Network

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