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How to Create and Deliver an Impactful Presentation

Lesson 1 of 13

Class Introduction


How to Create and Deliver an Impactful Presentation

Lesson 1 of 13

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

My name is Matt Stephenson. I'm a Creative Director from Washington, D.C., I've been presenting and helping people present for about 15 years. I help people win business and change minds by creating some presentations under some pretty crazy circumstances. You can find me just about anywhere @DCMJS or you can go to my website and if you're interested, DC is my hood and MJS is my name so that's where that comes from. So today we're gonna answer some important questions, the first of which is, can we make a meaningful real story in a presentation with little to no preparation? And can we also create impact in our audience while still being on a slide budget? And then finally we're gonna talk about having a tight timeline and whether that's gonna impact our quality or not. We've all been in those situations where we are asked to give a presentation or to come up with a presentation under some really interesting circumstances and we wanna be able to make your life easier by givin...

g you some real tips to do that. So, I wanna start by talking about a quote. This is a quote from Goethe and it says, "Limitations reveal the master." This is one of my favorite quotes because it helps me calm my nerves a little bit when I'm in these really tight presentation situations. The idea behind it is that anyone can be good at something whether it be a skill or a talent if there's no restrictions but the true masters, the true people who can do this well can do it with a lot of restrictions put on them. And the same thing's true when giving presentations. It's very easy to prepare and to practice for months on end if you're given that amount of time or an infinite amount of budget but can you do it in a couple hours? Or can you do it with next to no budget at all? So in this class, we have broken it out into three segments. The first segment is about preparation. This is everything you're gonna be doing up till you actually start making say a slide deck or a set of notes for your presentation. The next segment is about producing the work that you're gonna be talking about. Creating a deck, designing a deck, preparing your notes, making sure that everything is in place for your actual discussion. And then the last part of our workshop is about actually presenting. We're gonna give you some tips for when you're in the room with either two people or 25 people or 100 people, what are some things that you can do or that you can remember? Some habits that you can build to make your presentations more effective. So let's go ahead and talk about preparation. This is the number one, easiest thing that you can do in order to make your presentations better when you have really, really tight restrictions placed on you. Often times, I found myself staying up late at night having to work on something until the next day and I'll tell you, the more that I actually spend time working on it and doing my preparation before building my decks and building my outlines and building my slides, the better I feel when I'm actually developing the deck and presenting. We wanna get you to a place where presenting under pressure is not something that you fear, it's not something that you want to avoid at all costs, we want it to be something that you can do really, really well and that you can be relied on to do it from other people. And that's a really important point. One thing about your career, whatever field your in is that if you have presentation skills which we consider a hard skill, not a soft skill but good presentation skills let you say I got this so that when someone comes to you and they say, oh my gosh Matt we have to present something tomorrow, we don't know what to do. You can stand up and say, I got this. And not only that but you can say, I got this, don't worry. And what happens is in your career, if you're someone who is relied on to present in these really tight situations, then people will look to you immediately. They'll say oh my gosh, I have to present something in one week, we really don't have any of the materials ready or it's not where we want it to be, let's call in whoever to take care of this. Hopefully that's gonna be you that they call in and it's gonna elevate you in your career and with the people around you because you're gonna be the one that's giving these talks, you're gonna be center stage and there's something interesting about that. You become the owner of this content in a way even though you may not be the one creating the content, you're the one presenting it. You're the one that they're counting on to give an account of what's going in these decks and that's something that you wanna be able to do really well.

Class Description

The stakes are high. Time is short. You’re up next.

Scenarios like this can make even the most seasoned speaker sweat. Is it possible to create meaningful, mind-changing presentations that actually accomplish goals with little to no preparation? Can you make a visual impact while still being on a “slide budget”? Can you turn a tight-timeline situation into a critical success without sacrificing quality?

Yes! You can do it with this class under your belt!

In this class we’ll spell out the exact steps to quickly craft a great presentation while under the worst of circumstances. No resources? No problem. You’ll learn and master the following steps with real life practical applications...

  • Prepare (Get ready!)
    • Just the Facts: Learn to quickly gather the exact meta-info required to set your mind at ease and why it matters to ask questions
    • The Gathering: Learn to identify the key content ingredients you’ll need upfront
    • Mighty Minimalism: Master the art of simple slide design, regardless of your design background or your chosen presentation program
  • Prioritize (Get set!)
    • Distraction Triage: Learn how to keep their sights on your goal
    • Cut the Fat: Find out what content is worth keeping and what needs to go
    • Touch-ups: Fix tricky visual issues and make even your edits show-stopping
  • Present (GO!)
    • Space Master: Find out how to deal with various presentation setting and audiences
    • Jedi Mind Tricks: Learn to read your audience and pivot on the fly
    • Do’s and Don’t: It can actually be okay to read off of a slide, but always be allergic to bullet points. Learn the nuances of presenting under pressure.


Jude Temianka

Great course with lots of handy tips. I often find myself having to prepare and give presentations at short notice, and a lot of the preparatory advice that Matt gives falls by the wayside as I frantically jump straight into production mode. I often have the feeling to overwhelm my audience with too much information because I don't take the time to step back and determine what content matters most. Super tangible advice that I will be implementing!

Tomas Verver

As a presentator designer I think Matt has an interesting approach on how to create and deliver impactful presentations. Presentations are important part of you career. Presentations can change the company's future, your own future and the world. Making them impactful is very important. At the moment we have still many presentations but many can improve big time. And we have more presentations online (at) the moment.


Found this course concise and informative. Would recommend to all who have to do presentations.