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8+ Presentation Skills Every Marketer Needs



8+ Presentation Skills Every Marketer Needs

Marketers play a crucial role in attracting customers and driving success for their brands. And today, presentation skills are a key tool in your marketing toolbox.

Strong presentations help you better communicate and make an impression on your audience.

Whether you‘re a seasoned professional or a budding marketer eager to make a lasting impact, there’s always room to improve.

We’ll explore eight essential presentation skills that allow you to stand out, tips for leveling up, and examples of some of our favorite presentations. Let’s dive in.

→ Free Download: 10 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

What are presentation skills?

8 Effective Presentation Skills

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Top-Notch Presentation Examples

What are presentation skills?

Presentation skills enable marketers to effectively convey information, ideas, and messages to their audience. That may be a group of potential clients, colleagues, stakeholders, or the public.

These skills encompass techniques that help marketers engage, inspire, and influence their listeners, leaving a lasting impact.

A well-developed set of presentation skills empowers you to communicate your thoughts with clarity and conviction. It goes beyond just conveying data or facts.

Presentation skills involve artfully crafting a narrative and using various tools to captivate the audience. This keeps listeners engaged and persuades them to take the desired action.

Keep reading to see some of the most effective presentation skills you can develop.

8 Effective Presentation Skills

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1. Clarity

Say what you mean and mean what you say. When presenting, you don’t have to leave anything up to interpretation. Pick action words and be clear with what you’re saying.

2. Conciseness

Being able to cut down on your presentation is a skill within itself. You should be able to cull down what you want to say, leave room for questions, and not pack too much information into your presentation that you begin to bore your audience.

3. Creativity

In the same vein of not boring your audience, you want to find ways to bring your creativity into your presentation.

This could mean thinking of new and exciting ways to present your information, whether through exciting animation, riveting personal anecdotes, or even finding a way to integrate videos into your presentation.

4. Focus

Staying on topic is crucial to giving a good presentation. Honing the skill of focus allows any presenter to stay on track with what they’re saying and for the audience to follow along.

5. Pacing

Understanding your pacing is an important skill to hone so you don’t rush through your presentation. Knowing when you should take breaks and slow down will take time to practice, but it’s helpful to know.

6. Humor

Keeping parts of your presentation light is a skill you can hone in on, and humor can make it more engaging.

Add a few jokes to your presentation where appropriate, and pause for light-hearted moments to keep your audience engaged.

7. Balance

Interesting and engaging presentations strike a balance between humor and seriousness. What does this balance look like for you and your presentation? Finding it is a skill in itself.

8. Confidence

When it all comes down to it, what you’re saying won’t matter if you, above all else, don’t believe it. The audience will follow you with your expertise and manner of speaking as long as you believe in yourself.

These skills take time to develop and can only improve your presentations. In this next section, we take you through the steps and ways to improve your presentation skills.

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Listing presentation skills is easy. Mastering them so you can wow a crowd requires more effort. Below, we’ll explore best practices that can help you make the most of your presentations.

Remember: When it comes to presenting, practice makes perfect. The more you get in front of a crowd and speak, the better you will be.

1693315563 760 8 Presentation Skills Every Marketer Needs

1. Take your time.

Understanding your pacing is a good way to improve your presentation skills. When you’re working through an upcoming presentation, time yourself going through your material.

Are there places where you’re rushing or dragging through your presentation? Here is a good place to work your timing out.

2. Relax your shoulders.

Body language is an unconscious way to communicate whether or not you’re comfortable. Understanding where your tension points are can help you relax during your presentation.

Run through your presentation at home and note how your body feels. Do you notice any tension in your body? Once you know where you’re holding the stress, it’s easier to take action and relax.

Consider quickly stretching or shaking out the tension before you take the stage.

3. Practice.

There is no better way to feel comfortable during your presentation than having run through it many times. This way, you can understand your pacing, places to slow down, and places to take breaks.

The more you know the material you will say, the more confident you will seem.

See if a friend or family member can be your practice audience. They can also give you notes on your delivery.

4. Annunciate.

In the vein of practice, you should work on sounding out your words to add extra clarity. This will allow for a better experience for those listening to you and reduce the opportunity for miscommunication.

Notice that you have a few specific troublesome phrases. See if you can replace them with something simpler. If you have note cards, you can also write out tricky words or names phonetically. You can reference your write-up if you stumble.

5. Figure out where to take breaks.

Holding attention during your presentations isn’t about rushing through your material as fast as possible.

Go through your presentation and find spots where you take a sip of water, where you would anticipate laughter, and where you take a second to breathe.

6. Figure out what you can cut.

This is where the conciseness comes in. There might be sections of your presentation that can be cut, places where the information might drag. Take a critical eye and see where to make it tighter and more engaging.

Time yourself to see how long your presentation is supposed to be.

7. Say what you mean.

Clarity is an important skill to have when you’re presenting. Here, you should think critically about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Avoid hyperbole when possible.

Always say what you mean, and mean what you say. Your audience will value the accuracy of your words.

8. Be a storyteller.

To engage your audience, weave storytelling into your presentation — more than 5 in 10 people believe stories hold their focus during a presentation.

Consider including a case study or user persona as a throughline during your talk. You could also develop a clever metaphor to explore throughout your presentation.

For example, you could compare your sales team to a group of loyal knights on a quest to share the value of your brand.

9. Memorize structure, not words.

Memorizing your whole talk may seem like a good idea. However, trying to deliver a presentation word-for-word is a mistake. If you forget or stumble on one memorized word, you may interrupt your whole flow.

Repeating every word from memory may also sound stilted to your listeners.

While you don’t want to wing your whole presentation, you also don’t want to seem like you’ve memorized every single word. Instead, memorize the structure of the presentation.

Get comfortable saying the different parts of your talk in many ways.

10. Present slowly and pause frequently.

When you get nervous, you talk faster. To combat this, remember to slow yourself down when practicing.

Place deep pauses throughout your presentation, especially when transitioning between slides, as it gives you time to breathe and your audience time to absorb.

11. Focus on actionable takeaways.

When you start your presentation, you have your audience’s attention. Now is your chance to hook them on what you have to say. A simple overview can be boring.

If you start with too comprehensive of a summary, your audience may feel like they already heard it all and check out.

Instead, focus on what listeners will get from the presentation. What are the actionable takeaways they will leave with? Then, at the end of the talk, you can leave them with actionable steps of what to do next.

12. Get comfortable with technology.

You might use a slide deck in your presentation or set it up over Zoom. To feel more confident when you’re presenting, practice with your specific tech stack in advance.

Familiarize yourself with both the software and hardware involved in your chat. For example, you’ll want to know your conferencing platform and practice setting up a second monitor.

13. Think about movement.

Are you someone who likes to walk and talk? Are you expressive with your hands? Think about how you want to move during your presentation and the space you’ll be in.

Feeling comfortable with your movement can help the flow of the presentation.

14. Ask for feedback.

You will never deliver the perfect presentation, so ask for feedback. Talk to your managers about where you could improve. Consider surveying your audience for an unbiased look into your presentation skills.

You’ll hear about what you can improve specifically in the future. This will help you improve overall.

15. Learn from other presentations.

As mentioned above, learning from past presentations is a good way to improve your presentation skills.

You may not remember every excellent presentation you’ve sat through, so we’ve pulled together a list of ones that we like. You can reference these talks and see critical skills in play.

Just as reading can make you a better writer, watching good presentations can help make you a better presenter.

Here are some examples of presentations we like because we use what we discuss in the paragraphs above, including good timing, thoughtful presentation of materials, and creativity.

Top-Notch Presentation Examples

1. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

You may not know Elizabeth Gilbert by name, but you’ve likely heard of her book Eat, Pray, Love. In this presentation, Gilbert discusses how anyone can be a genius. All you have to do is get out of your way and unlock your own creativity.

What we like: Gilbert weaves humor, lightness, and focus throughout her presentation. Viewers will enjoy her take on creativity, be able to follow her pace, and have actionable takeaways. At the end, listeners leave inspired.

2. Manoush Zomorodi: How Boredom Can Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas

As the host of “Ted Radio Hour,” Manoush Zomorodi is a professional presenter. During this presentation, she discusses how boredom can help you discover creativity.

Only during moments of stillness do we become restless and unlock brilliance.

What we like: The hook of the topic brings us in — everyone wants to understand how to make great ideas. However, the presenter and her dynamic energy keep us engaged. Zomorodi uses audio clips to break up the monotony.

She knows where to pause and brings in appropriate visual aids.

3. James Cameron: Before Avatar … A Curious Boy

James Cameron, the esteemed director, knows a thing or two about storytelling. But before he created Avatar and directed Titanic, he was just a kid like everyone else.

During this presentation, Cameron discusses how his curiosity at a young age has propelled him forward.

What we like: This talk is personal, personable, and targeted for his audience to walk away with actionable steps and inspiration. Cameron also has a grasp of his body language. He moves fluidly on stage, even without visual aids.

4. Luvvie Ajayi Jones: Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Unsure of whether you should speak your mind? In this presentation, activist Luvvie Ajayi Jones shares three questions to ask yourself if you’re considering making waves.

She encourages us to get used to discomfort in order to move the needle and make a change.

What we like: The hook “I’m a Professional Troublemaker” brings us right into the action. The audience is left with questions and an interest in what she’s going to say next.

This talk is memorable, inspirational, and funny at times, striking the important balance we discussed earlier in this article. Audiences will hold onto “In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to yell” for years to come.

Practice Makes Perfect

Mastering presentation skills is an essential asset for professionals in every field. Effective delivery and engagement are key factors that determine if your words make an impact.

By utilizing techniques such as clear messaging, compelling visuals, and dynamic delivery, you can captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression.

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader



The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader

Introduce your processes: If you’ve streamlined a particular process, share it. It could be the solution someone else is looking for.

Jump on trends and news: If there’s a hot topic or emerging trend, offer your unique perspective.

Share industry insights: Attended a webinar or podcast that offered valuable insights. Summarize the key takeaways and how they can be applied.

Share your successes: Write about strategies that have worked exceptionally well for you. Your audience will appreciate the proven advice. For example, I shared the process I used to help a former client rank for a keyword with over 2.2 million monthly searches.

Question outdated strategies: If you see a strategy that’s losing steam, suggest alternatives based on your experience and data.

5. Establish communication channels (How)

Once you know who your audience is and what they want to hear, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Here’s how:

Choose the right platforms: You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. Pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and create content for that platform. For example, I’m active on LinkedIn and X because my target audience (SEOs, B2B SaaS, and marketers) is active on these platforms.

Repurpose content: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of content. Consider repurposing your content on Quora, Reddit, or even in webinars and podcasts. This increases your reach and reinforces your message.

Follow Your audience: Go where your audience goes. If they’re active on X, that’s where you should be posting. If they frequent industry webinars, consider becoming a guest on these webinars.

Daily vs. In-depth content: Balance is key. Use social media for daily tips and insights, and reserve your blog for more comprehensive guides and articles.

Network with influencers: Your audience is likely following other experts in the field. Engaging with these influencers puts your content in front of a like-minded audience. I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour daily engaging with content on X and LinkedIn. This is the best way to build a relationship so you’re not a complete stranger when you DM privately.

6. Think of thought leadership as part of your content marketing efforts

As with other content efforts, thought leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It thrives when woven into a cohesive content marketing strategy. By aligning individual authority with your brand, you amplify the credibility of both.

Think of it as top-of-the-funnel content to:

  • Build awareness about your brand

  • Highlight the problems you solve

  • Demonstrate expertise by platforming experts within the company who deliver solutions

Consider the user journey. An individual enters at the top through a social media post, podcast, or blog post. Intrigued, they want to learn more about you and either search your name on Google or social media. If they like what they see, they might visit your website, and if the information fits their needs, they move from passive readers to active prospects in your sales pipeline.

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips



How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

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The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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