5 Characteristics Of A Great Presenter

Published on
December 12, 2016
Communication is one of the most important skills of a leader.

Yet, many people fear public speaking. Standing in front of an audience can be a nerve-racking experience – you feel vulnerable, anxious, and worry that stage fright will get the best of you. The best way to deal with your public speaking fears is to face it head on because the more experience you have presenting, the more comfortable you’ll become. 


As the presenter it’s your responsibility to execute your message in a way that’s captivating. Utilizing these five fundamental characteristics will help you master the art of presentations and transform the way you communicate to your audience. Whether you’ve been doing presentations for years or are preparing for your first one, a great presenter should always possess the following qualities: 


Giving a presentation on something implies that you’re the expert in the topic so it’s important that you know more than your audience does. You can demonstrate this by determining the demographic of your audience and presenting in a way that they can understand. This will help them perceive you as the authority figure because you’re able to translate something to their level of understanding.

How do you accomplish this? Prepare and practice! A great presenter is familiar with everything that is being covered and is comfortable speaking about the subject matter. While you might not know every single detail, you have a wide enough knowledge base to educate your audience and won’t find yourself getting stumped during the Q&A session.

Create a script and memorize the key points that will help prompt you to the next point. Once you have your script down, stand up and present it like you are standing in front of your audience – walk around, pause, use hand gestures, make eye contact. Being able to comfortably present your material builds up the next quality.

Confident presenter


A confident presenter commands attention and inspires action. It’s the difference between an actor who simply recites his lines and one who has dynamic stage presence and is able to pull the audience into his performance.

If confidence on stage doesn’t come naturally to you, remember that no one can see how you’re feeling inside – only what you’re emitting from the outside. So if you emit confidence, they’ll see you as a confident person.

There are a few tricks you can do to appear more confident. Instead of standing behind a podium, work the stage by walking around. Don’t slouch, stand tall, and keep your shoulders down and back. Nervous presenters tend to speak fast so speak slower than you think you need to and project your voice as if you’re talking to the person sitting in the back of the room. Smile, look people in the eye, and don’t be afraid to pause when you need to.

Understanding audience perception


People will tell you to be witty! Be charming! Be funny! Be energetic! These are all great qualities to have as a presenter but what’s most important is you are these things within your own ability. You can try to be witty like Churchill or funny like Sedaris but it can actually work against you. People can easily sense when you’re not presenting your true self, and coming off as unauthentic makes it harder for the audience to connect with you.

Take a look at your unique personality and traits. Know yourself. Delivering quick one-liners might not come naturally to you but maybe you’re a great storyteller and have an anecdote that relates to your topic. Maybe you’re not the high-energy type but you have great vocal variety. Know what you’re capable of and play on to your strengths. Every presenter is different so just be yourself and let your natural self shine.

Share presenter's passion


No one’s expecting to hear the next Martin Luther King but it’s important to present with conviction. If your subject matter is something that you truly care about, turn this energy into excitement and use it to get your audience excited too.

Presenting with passion shows a personal investment to the topic and connects people on an emotional level. Of course, this source of passion needs to come naturally. If the topic is something that you live and breathe – great! This will be easy for you. If it’s an uninspiring quarterly review filled with charts and data, find something to be excited about (may we suggest a rockin'?)

Impactful presentations


Many presentations eventually start to blend together but there are always a few that you vividly remember. Think about a presentation you saw that really stood out. What did they do to make it so memorable?

Chances are you weren’t blown away by the company’s history or quarterly sales data. Maybe you remember the presentation because it made an emotional connection with you. The presenter had a heartfelt story and you walked away feeling inspired. It created a lasting impact and while you may not remember the finer details of the presentation, you remembered the story.
Maybe they did something unique that you’ve never seen before. Take a lesson from

If you want to be a great presenter or just want to make it through your next presentation without lukewarm feedback, you need to: [1] know your material, [2] be confident, [3] be self-aware, [4] be passionate, and [5] be memorable. Watch world-class presenters and you can always find these five traits present. Keep practicing in these areas and soon you’ll look like you were born to be on stage!

Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Stinson: The Presentation Agency

What exactly do presentation agencies do?

We provide all the help you may need to design presentations that achieve your goals. This can include content consulting, presentation slide design, custom icons and illustrations, and presentation handouts—ultimately, our team of PowerPoint designers and consultants develop a comprehensive presentation solution that meets your specific needs.

Why do companies work with presentation agencies?

Consider how much time you (or your team) spend making PowerPoint presentations for meetings. Think about the back and forth over which fonts, colors, icons, and images to use. Is it okay to use bullet points? Did you use the right brand colors? Does the slide look too crowded and busy? Or does it look too plain? How do you create the look and feel that you're picturing? After the design is done, do you have enough time to practice presenting?

As presentation experts, it is our second nature to understand your goals and work with you to create the professional PowerPoint deck that you envisioned. You can learn more about our 3-phase process here.

By leaving the presentation design to an agency like Stinson, you save yourself the time and worry over the look, feel, and progression of your presentation—we make your PowerPoint presentation-ready so that you can focus on the presentation delivery.

Which presentation design service will I need?

As a presentation company, we offer every service you may need to develop your you may need to develop your PowerPoint—however, it's tough to say exactly which services of ours would benefit you the most without having chatted about your company, industry, and presentation uses.

We've generalized the scenarios that we regularly see and help our clients with. If your situation is similar to any of the below, then rest assured that our presentation experts have proven success in developing solutions.

  • You have an upcoming presentation with investors or clients. You feel your slide deck looks outdated or dull, and you don't know how to help it. You're also not sure if the content in your presentation conveys your value. View our case study where our presentation development and content consulting services helped our client achieve their investor funding goals.
  • Your company has regular internal department presentations. Everyone works on their respective slides, which are then combined into one presentation deck. The resulting PowerPoint does not have a cohesive look and somehow, there are five new shades of your corporate colors. We can help you identify your common slide layouts and design easy-to-use custom PowerPoint templates so your team members can create seamless, unified slides.
  • Your company has a great PowerPoint template that strongly reflects your branding, but your team tends to include too much text and irrelevant images on their slides. During the presentation, key messages are lost. We offer presentation training for exactly this—we'll train your team to create better slides more efficiently.

Expectations when working with us

How does partnering with a PowerPoint designer work?

Once you contact us, we'll meet with you and ask for as much context as possible regarding the project: what materials you already have, who is presenting, who is the audience, and so on—this is our Discover phase. From there, we move onto Develop and Design where we start defining the narrative and visual characteristics of your new presentation. For more details, please read our process.

How long do projects take?

Our standard turnaround for presentation development is 2–4 weeks; for custom presentation templates, our typical turnaround is 3–6 weeks. We know this is a wide range, but due to the collaborative nature of our presentation design process (i.e. asking for and incorporating your feedback), our turnaround time also relies on your responsiveness and availability. We do offer a rush service if your timelines are short.

How much does a presentation design cost?

We price on a project-by-project basis, involving a number of key factors outlined in our pricing model. However, we do require a minimum project cost of $1,500.

We often see companies that do not have budget allocations for presentation design and are hesitant to make the initial investment. We understand—at first, it can be difficult to see the value and difference a well-designed, practical presentation can make. For our clients that started in this situation, we worked on a smaller pilot test project; when they saw the positive ROI of the presentation, they were able to secure larger budgets and found more presentations that needed our help.

What are the final files that I will receive?

All of our final PowerPoint (or other presentation software) deliverables are shared with you in its native, editable file format. We are also able to provide a PDF or video version of your presentation if you would like.

Any presentation collateral we design for your project is shared as a ready-to-print PDF, unless if you specify a different preference.

Have you worked with other clients in my industry? Can you share related samples?

Our list of clients spans a wide range of industries, some of which we hadn't known of prior to the client's project. Since our approach involves familiarizing ourselves with the client's business and industry, we've become a team of jacks-of-all-trades for industry knowledge.

We're able to share blinded, industry-specific samples of presentations that our clients have consented to. Contact us if you're interested!


Aside from PowerPoint, do you work in Google Slides? Keynote? Prezi?

Yes! While we prefer designing PowerPoint presentations due to its robust features that let us create advanced designs, we've created custom presentation designs in Google Slides and Keynote at our clients' request.

We generally do not design presentations in Prezi since it does not support the level of design customization that we need for our clients. Instead, we use PowerPoint to create the same animations and layouts that are characteristic of Prezi presentations—you can view examples in our portfolio.

Will we run into issues if we use Mac and/or Windows PC?

There are some differences in functionality between PowerPoint for Mac and PowerPoint for Windows—but these are not for your concern! We use both Mac and Windows computers at Stinson, so we're able to ensure cross-device compatibility with every PowerPoint presentation we design. During our initial call with you, we'll ask you for these tech specs so that we know to bear them in mind when working on your project.

Does it matter which version of PowerPoint we use?

Yes; the latest versions of PowerPoint have new functions and features that earlier versions of PowerPoint cannot load. We'll take note of your tech setup to ensure that our presentations for you run as intended.

Designing with branding

How are you able to design with our company's brand?

If you have any brand guidelines, we ask you to provide them early on in the process so that we can familiarize ourselves not only with your logos, colors, and fonts, but the overarching brand tone. Our collaborative process includes rounds of revision for you to provide your feedback on the presentation design.

Are you able to design within our very strict corporate brand guidelines?

Absolutely! Many of our clients are companies with well-established brand identities. We do our due diligence to maintain the integrity of their branding when designing their presentations and collateral.

Strict brand guidelines do not necessarily restrict the possibility of creating a sophisticated PowerPoint; our presentation designers thoughtfully use photos, animations, and other visuals to build the story.

We don't have concrete branding yet or we're in the process of updating our brand. Can you work without defined brand elements?

Yes! When we work with clients who are still ironing out the details of their branding, we ask them to provide us any materials they have already and to share their design inspirations. From there, we lay out moodboards of different tones and styles to see which resonates the most with what our client has in mind.


We have highly sensitive information. Will my data remain confidential?

Absolutely—we respect the proprietary nature of businesses, and enforce a strict confidentiality policy company-wide. From the first point of contact with you, we assume a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); we are happy to sign your company's NDA as well.

Where do you store my files and data?

All of our files are stored securely in an industry-leading content server. The server exceeds regulatory standards and encrypts each file using AES 256-bit encryption in diverse locations.

Additionally, the Stinson team works completely in-house, so your files will not cross borders.

How secure is my data?

We take data security seriously. We enforce numerous internal policies and procedures to ensure that Stinson continues to meet compliance and security standards for data protection, including multi-factor authentication for all company accounts and access restrictions.

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