Top Tips for Presenting: 3M Presentation Skills Course

In October, I spent a weekend in the Bavarian mountains with 3M on their infamous Presentation Skills Course. Here's what I learnt from the course...

Presentation 1 of 7!


1. Opening - Grab your audience's attention with a HOOK. This can be a photo, a stat, a story, a simple statement.

2. Body - The main content of your presentation. Make sure it is organised

3. Closing - End your presentation with a wow closing. Link the wow closing to the opening hook for maximum impact,

Rule of 3

For content, using the rule of 3 will help your audience remember your content. Examples can be:
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd
  • Past, present, future
  • Beginning, middle, end
  • Yesterday, today, tomorrow

Top Tips

  • Do not say 'Thank you' at the end of your presentation unless it is to particular people. It is meaningless otherwise and does not add anything 
  • What is the purpose of your presentation? To inform, entertain, motivate, inspire, sell? Your listener should know this and learn from you so at the end of your presentation your message has reached them
  • Your body content is why your audience comes to listen to you speak, the hook and the wow finish frame this so that the audience remember your presentation
  • Vary your intonation of voice appropriately throughout your presentation so that your audience doesn't fall asleep!
  • Keep eye contact throughout the room/audience 
  • No need to introduce yourself, your audience will know who you are from looking at the programme and make sure you email a short bio to the organisers beforehand 
  • Make sure you have a plan B in case things don't go to plan e.g. projector doesn't work, you have less time than planned for 
  • Pauses can be useful for effect - do not feel you have to fill in spaces with filling words or erms
  • Have minimal text and information on slides as the audience will feel torn between listening to you or reading the slide 
  • Don't read from the slide - you can either use presenter notes, prompt cards or just PRACTICE
  • Think of alternative materials to present with instead of death by powerpoint such as flipcharts, cards, whiteboards, props or pincharts. Pictures speak to us... use them and think about your use of colour
  • Consider the use of storytelling to engage your audience - these can be good hooks. You need a plot, characters and a narrative
  • Know your audience and target your audience accordingly - be aware of different cultures

Over the course of the week we presented again and again, each time refining our presentation style and working on different forms of presentation (as well as learning how to give and receive feedback!). I met some amazing dentists from across the world - from Latvia to Algeria to Iceland!

Being in Bavaria of course we had to take advantage of... including a full on hike in the mountains! Thanks to 3M for the amazing opportunity, I'd recommend this course to everyone!

The fab group at the beginning of our hike... you can only imagine the after pic!

How confident do you feel presenting? What are your top tips? Let me know in the comments below.

If you have any queries please let me know in the comments below.

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