REBEL Cast Ep 45: How to Build a Great Presentation

What’s Wrong With Lectures/Presentations Now?

  • Lecturing style has remained stagnant despite the fact that our understanding of how people learn has changed.
  • Most presentations make the supportive media (i.e. slides) the focus of the presentation without thought about the story or the delivery.
  • Lectures are too focused on the educator instead of focusing on the needs of the learner.

Episode 45 – How to Build a Great Presentation

Click here for Direct Download of Podcast

So Why is it so Important to Lecture Well?

  • Lecture is ubiquitous and not going anywhere, so if we are going to do it, we might as well do it well
  • “Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” Marshall McLuhan

3 Parts to Any Good Lecture/Argument:

  • Aristotle
    • Ethos (Credibility/Expertise)
    • Pathos (Emotion)
    • Logos (Logic)
  • Ross Fisher
    • The Story
    • The Supportive Media
    • The Performance

8 Steps to Developing a Great Presentation:

  • Step 1 – Become Inspired by the Great Speakers
  • Step 2 – Create a Narrative/Story That You are Passionate About
    • What about the topic makes your heart sing?
    • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs
  • Step 3 – Brainstorming (Get Ideas Out of Your Head)
    • Ditch the computer and go analog (pad and pencil)
    • What frees your mind? (i.e. Exercise, Notepads, Index Cards, Post it Notes, Mind Maps)
  • Step 4 – Crafting Your Message
    • What are the critical things your learners need to take away from your presentation
    • What is your core message (The crux of your talk)
    • 2 – 4 teaching points that revolve around your core message (This depends on the length of your talk: 15 min, 30 min, 60 min)
    • Essentially in this step you can summarize your talk in 2 – 3 sentences (i.e The Elevator Pitch)
  • Step 5 – Building Your Presentation Skeleton
    • Developing a flow to your talk (i.e. Storyboarding, Writing an Outline)
    • Can do this analog or digital (I.e. PowerPoint, Keynote etc)
    • At the end of this process you have a slide deck of nothing but empty slides with presenter notes identifying the details/point of each slide
  • Step 6 – Fill Up Your Slides (Creation of Your Supportive Media)
    • Start filling slides with hi-resolution images, not lines and lines of text
    • Reading from a PowerPoint slide is not the same thing as teaching
    • Our minds cannot process audio and visual content at the same time, but given the choice we tend to read instead of listen
    • Some Sites with Hi-Resolution Images:
  • Step 7 – Rehearse and Practice Your Talk
    • “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Bruce Lee
    • Focus on the introduction and conclusion of your talk because these are the most memorable for the audience
    • Practice until you are comfortable with the information in a talk (i.e. Imagine the power goes out and you have to give your presentation without your slides)
    • You don’t have to practice the talk from beginning to end, you can actually practice chunks of your talk at a time before doing the full rehearsal
  • Step 8 – Seek and Get Feedback on Your Talk
    • Bounce ideas off friends (i.e. Buddy System)
    • Record yourself speaking and give it a listen or ask a friend to listen
    • Have someone in the audience who you trust to give you specific feedback on your talk (i.e. delivery, performance, slides, etc…)
    • In smaller group formats, hand out index cards and after the talk have the audience write 3 things they learned from your talk.  Then see if there is harmony between what your teaching points and what the learner took away

Websites/Textbooks Mentioned During the Podcast:

  1. P Cubed Presentations – p1 (The Story), p2 (The Supportive Media, p3 (The Delivery)
  2. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  3. Keynotable

Post Peer Reviewed By: Salim R. Rezaie (Twitter: @srrezaie)

Cite this article as: Anand Swaminathan, "REBEL Cast Ep 45: How to Build a Great Presentation", REBEL EM blog, February 5, 2018. Available at:
The following two tabs change content below.

Anand Swaminathan

Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at St. Joe's Regional Medical Center (Paterson, NJ)
REBEL EM Associate Editor and Author

Latest posts by Anand Swaminathan (see all)

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on email
Share via Email

Want to support rebelem?

3 thoughts on “REBEL Cast Ep 45: How to Build a Great Presentation”

Leave a Comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.