Unleashing the power of presentation – master the art of visual storytelling

  • Maciek Owsik

  • Apr 30, 2024

  • 10 min read

  • Apr 30, 2024

  • 10 min read

Creating captivating, smooth and entertaining presentations is one of the most underrated skills that everyone should develop. That is why we prepared this article – to walk you through some of the most crucial things you need to focus on to enhance your presentation skills and wow your audience.

The importance of presentation skills

Can you imagine that 4 out of 5 business professionals agree that “presentations are boring”? It also means that most people do not learn anything new from the presentations of their colleagues or other professionals just because they are prepared without further research or without any knowledge of how to do it right. But what is even more important is that great presenting skills help you with several things:

  • Position you as a professional
  • Create a memorable experience between you and your client
  • Reduce the number of revisions needed

It all sounds great, and it is just a fraction of the benefits that come along with better presentation skills. But first thing first – how do you do that?

Value - the very first step

That is right; value is the first step to begin with when preparing your presentation. It does not matter if the presentation is about business results or your last holidays – before the creation step, you have to have the value of your presentation. Without it, it will be harder for you to engage your audience and ensure they will take the most out of your presentation.

So, to start with this step, you would have to answer two simple questions:

  1. What does your audience need?
  2. What do you need?

The first question is obvious; you need to know, more or less, what your audience wants to get from your presentation. By researching your audience’s needs, you will get an advantage of how to present to get their full attention because you will simply know what to say to interest them.

The second one, which is not so obvious but still very crucial, guides you towards your goal for this presentation. Remember that it is not all completely about your audience but also about yourself in this whole process. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with this presentation and what the ideal outcome should be for you to feel satisfied.

So, in general, the compilation of those two answers will get you one step closer to creating a proper value for everyone. But it might still be hard to find the perfect answers that will get you all of the information you need at the beginning. That is why we came up with additional, more detailed questions that can definitely help you find the right answers.

Questions that discover the needs

As you already know, it is crucial to create the proper value by finding your and your audience’s needs. Now, let’s jump straight into questions that will help you dive deeper into this matter.

To learn what are your audience’s needs, consider answering these questions:

  • What's their position?
  • What are they responsible for?
  • Who is the decision maker?
  • What do they already know?
  • What are their expectations?
  • What do they really want (unrevealed needs)?

All of these will help you establish the proper approach and the language you should use towards the people you will be presenting to. This is highly important because it is very easy to alienate the audience because of the wrong approach or misunderstanding of their needs and roles.

On the other hand, your needs are also essential, so if you do not have the answer straight away, take a look at such questions as:

  • What do I want them to think or do after the presentation?
  • Do I want to change their behaviours?
  • Do I want to change their beliefs?
  • Do I want to persuade them to my ideas?

How to share your ideas?

After establishing the core message and the value, it is now time to talk about the structure of your presentation. Namely, how to present to ensure that others listen and understand.

Beginning - Why is it worth listening to you?

The very first mistake that you should be aware of is going straight to the clue of your presentation without any previous introduction. You should start with setting the context by briefly explaining what this presentation is all about. Explain the background of the work, the problem you were solving and the overall goal. This way, your audience will know why they are here and why it is important to listen to what you have to say.

Going further, remember to tell your audience about the scope of your presentation and things you would like to discuss. Also, if there was any feedback on your work from previous meetings, remember to always recap it to continuously improve your presentation skills.

The second part of the beginning step would be to give your audience the focus point. We all know that sometimes it is hard to stay focused for a long period of time (especially in the TikTok era). But there is an easy way to make your audience focus for the whole presentation. At the beginning, just set the focus point so they will have to think about it throughout the presentation.

For example, try this:

Could you please look out for [specific things related to their expertise] and see if this is going to achieve [their goal]

It is truly an easy way to keep your audience engaged and receive more feedback at the end of your presentation.

Middle - Why do your arguments make sense?

Now, the time has come to show your audience your actual work. Here a very important step is to show them your best and most recommended version of your project that the presentation is all about. They do not want to hear about all of the versions you and your team make because it will only confuse them, and they will lose their focus. Showing the final and the best version will help keep your audience engaged and on the same page as you are.

Going further – explain your decisions. This is a tricky step because people often tend to explain everything in too much detail, and the audience gets bored pretty quickly with that. So, follow these points to make sure that you will explain everything as it should be:

  • Do not describe UI - describing your UI designs is practically pointless because you are talking about what others can already see in the design. Just show the design and let your audience ask any questions they may have.
  • Talk about a person doing a job - it is way easier to understand your reasoning and the whole process if you describe it as a story of a person/user doing multiple tasks that lead to the final version of your project. Focus on storytelling rather than the details of every action.
  • Back up with research & data - remember that nowadays, in the internet era, you can find data for practically everything you need. Try to prepare yourself with such information to back up your statements. This way, the audience will take you more seriously and engage even more. It is always better to see the numbers standing behind the statement – that is how we decide whether something is true or false.

Conclusion - What should your audience do with that?

Now, it is finally time for the last step of your presentation. You described everything perfectly, keeping your audience engaged and entertained the whole time. What is next? It is time to wrap up the feedback that has been given throughout the presentation and the decisions (if any were made). Also, describe what you want from your audience after the presentation. It might be something to think about or maybe an exact action they should do. Remember about the needs that you discovered in the first step of preparing the presentation.

Visuals - the heart of a good presentation

Now that we already know what to say and how to say it, let’s focus on the visual aids of your presentation. Everything that you show to your audience must have a purpose and back up what you are saying to them. 

Whatever you show, it must help with your narrative, not ruin it.

Direct the focus

This is the one and the most crucial rule of the visual layer in your presentation. Keep in mind that your slides should focus on one thing at a time. What does it mean? Well, imagine that you are attending a presentation, and someone puts a slide with a big block of text on the screen. The natural thing is that you start to read all of it, but at the same time, you can not focus on what is being told by the person who is presenting. This is precisely what directing the focus means. Remember that your visuals should focus on one thing at once; it is way easier to keep your audience engaged and focus on yourself rather than the slides instead. It is very important because what you have to say is way more important and valuable than the slides in your presentation.


Great examples of this way of presenting your slides are actually professional websites. Designers know how to create a website in a specific way. Namely, by dividing the whole page into slides and directing your focus on one thing at a time.

Let’s take a look at our website and how it works for us.


The last part of taking your presentation skills to the next level is the delivery part. Here we will focus on how to say what you want to say and how to prepare for that to minimise stress and boost your self-confidence.

Let’s start with simple but crucial advice: Always try to be outcome-focused. This approach will change your mindset when preparing for your presentation. This way, everything you want to say to your audience will have a purpose.

Going further, let’s explore some tips for the presentation itself.

  • Make a warm-up – as for basically every activity, a warm-up is necessary. Try to relax your vocal cords or even go through everything you want to say in front of the mirror.
  • Write down the most important things you want to say – simple but very effective. Create a bullet point list with all you want to address. This way, you are decreasing your chances of losing the context.
  • Speak slowly, do not rush – you can be stressed when presenting in front of a bigger audience, and speaking fast can be a common symptom of it. Of course, it will help you have it all behind you as quickly as possible, but at the same time, it can make you even more stressed out. So don’t be scared to make pauses during your presentation and slow down your voice. By talking slowly, you ensure that they will understand everything clearly, and you will feel control over what you say.
  • Do not worry about the mistakes – do not stress over grammatical mistakes or that you misspell something. Keep in mind that mistakes happen, and it is how we deal with them that shows true professionalism.

And, finally, remember that practice makes perfect. Even if your first presentation was not ideal, do not discourage yourself. Try again, practice more, and in the blink of an eye, you will present with the highest confidence level without even feeling nervous.

Key takeaways

Let’s wrap it all up with a couple of key tips to keep in mind for your future presentations. Always remember to set the value. Ask yourself what your audience needs and what you need out of this presentation. It is highly important as it is the base of your further work.

At the beginning of presenting, remember the structure:

  1. Beginning – setting the context by briefly explaining what this presentation is all about.
  2. Middle – showing your actual work. Remember to show the actual final version of your project and do not explain the decision-making process.
  3. Conclusion – wrap up the feedback and describe what you need from the audience (something to think about or maybe an exact action).

Going further, remember to direct the focus on one thing at a time with your visuals. People tend to get distracted when exposed to too much information at once. That is what you want to avoid with your slides. You want to keep your audience focused on what you are telling them and not necessarily on what is on your slides. Just keep it simple.

When preparing for a presentation, make a warm-up, go through everything you want to say and have an outcome-focused approach. Make pauses and learn how to get on with mistakes because you will probably make some, and that is okay – it is a natural thing when exposed to such a situation.

In the end, remember that it is all a matter of practice, and with time and with these tips, you will become an exceptional presenter no matter the topic and environment. What is more, by elevating your presentation skills, at the end of every presentation, you will feel appreciated, heard and understood, which is a priceless feeling.

Maciek Owsik

UX Designer

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