Keep Your Audience in Focus – 16 Resources for Effective Presentations

When going through all the effort to get in front of a crowd, you need to ensure that you communicate effectively. In the past decade, the majority of us have most likely had to sit through a bullet point infested presentation that completely failed to keep us engaged. Or worse, awake.

There are many aspects to giving a good presentation and being an engaging public speaker. The good news is that the web is full of good resources that can help us improve in these areas. By now, most presenters are aware that lots of text in your slides is a no-no and knowing your content is priceless. But even that isn’t enough.

Here are a list of resources that can help you take your talk to another level. Enjoy!

Blogs

There are a lot of successful writers and bloggers who also give great talks. Some have shared their techniques over the years and these tips are very valuable.

Presentation Zen

A blog dedicated simply to the subject of creating great presentations, this is the best place to start.

Garr Reynolds

The creator of Presentation Zen, Garr also has a personal blog where much space is dedicated to organizing and preparing for a talk, good delivery and creating useful slides.

43folders

Any one who’s listened to 43folders creator Merlin Mann is aware that he knows how to talk. From podcasts to large presentations, Merlin does a great job of articulating himself. He’s also posted some really great articles on creating presentations in the past.

Rands in Repose

A master at breaking down common office interactions and relationships, Rands (Michael Lopp) has written some great posts about using Keynote and public speaking over the years.

Working Smart

An older blog that is no longer updated, Michael Hyatt has a good number of articles focused on creating good presentations. He also includes some discussion on the differences between PowerPoint and Keynote and which is stronger for certain situations.

Presentation Community and Resource Sites

Once you’ve read up on how to create a presentation, you still have to go and do it yourself. Here’s a good group of sites to lend you a hand — from free resources and helpful tutorials to themes you can purchase, these links can help you create a memorable experience for your audience.

KeynoteUser

A community site for all things Keynote. Also includes links to other resources.

A community site for all things Keynote. Also includes links to other resources.

iWork Community

This community site supports the iWork suite, Keynote included.

This community site supports the iWork suite, Keynote included.

Note & Point

A great new collection of gorgeous themes.

A great new collection of gorgeous themes.

Jumsoft

Jumsoft is one of the leaders in offering Keynote media files.

Jumsoft is one of the leaders in offering Keynote media files.

Divine Fiat

Another good collection of (non-free) Keynote themes.

A good collection of (non-free) Keynote themes.

Keynote Pro

Another great option to purchase Keynote themes.

And another great option to purchase Keynote themes.

MS Office – Powerpoint

Get it straight from the horse's mouth — Office Online is a good collection of resources.

Get it straight from the horse's mouth — Office Online is a good collection of resources.

Presentation Pro

PowerPoint templates, graphics and icons all available here.

PowerPoint templates, graphics and icons all available here.

Tools

And in the event that you don’t want to use Powerpoint of Keynote, there are a few web tools available as well.

280 Slides

One of the most visually stunning web applications available.

One of the most visually stunning web applications available.

Google Docs

A spartan offering, presentations in Google Docs give you all the advantages of a web application.

A more spartan offering, presentations in Google Docs give you all the advantages of a web application.

Zoho Show

Another good web alternative, Zoho includes similar features to Google Docs.

Another good web alternative, Zoho includes similar features to Google Docs.

Give Them Your Best

There is nothing worse than leaving the stage feeling like the audience was glad to see you go. Take advantage of the expertise of others and use these resources to make sure that you never experience that feeling yourself.


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