How to Present and Pitch

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Posted On: December 13, 2017 by Peter Smyth

We all struggle with the question of how to present well.

I agree, presenting can be problematic and getting it perfect can be troubling.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to take your presentations from merely good to great.

Whether you are an experienced at presenting, or this will be your first time, there are tips and ideas that will help you improve.

How to Present and Pitch

Without further ado here are 7 tips on how to present and pitch perfectly.

  1. Plan and Practice

Plan and PracticeAs the saying goes if you “fail to plan” you “plan to fail”. As you’re already reading this article I won’t go in-depth into planning as you’re already halfway there. However, make sure that you collect every piece of information you can, prepare for any possible questions and know your information inside out.

Once you’ve got your plan and have collected all the information it’s time to practice practice practice. Make sure you practice until you know everything by heart. Reference cards should only be for reference and not to be read off. If you’re lucky you’ll be done in a day, but if need be, practice for as long as you need.

  1. Show your Passion and Connect

Passion and ConnectIt’s not enough to plan the perfect presentation if you’re audience will be too bored to listen.

When giving your presentation make sure your passionate about it. Live it, dream it, own it! If you’re not passionate about what you’re discussing, then how can you expect your audience to get interested?

You’ll also need to connect with your audience. This can range from telling anecdotes to life stories. If possible, also get the audience physically and verbally involved. However, the biggest importance of connecting with your audience is to make eye contact and smile!

  1. Keep it Simple and Focused

Simple and FocusedUs humans have a limited attention span. Focus on your key points, reiterate on them and get them across as clearly as possible.

Make sure your audience walks away thinking and knowing those key facts. They are likely to forget most of what you’ve said but as long as you can instill the main points in them, you’ll have succeeded in your presentation.

  1. Start Strong

Strength in PresentingIt takes a person less than a minute to decide whether they are interested in you or not. Therefore you need to start strong and make a connection from 0.

When you step into the limelight make sure you’re looking confident and dressed for the occasion. A suit or a dress is always a good option, but if you have your own style than use that – just make sure the audience can understand and connect with it!

Once you’ve started strong you will just need to stick to it, by following the other points in this guide, to make sure your audience doesn’t fall asleep halfway through.

  1. Watch your Stance

Watch your StanceYour stance is extremely important when giving a presentation, as your audience will likely mimic your behaviour. If you’re bored they will be too. If you’re excited so will they be. It has been estimated that three quarters of communication is nonverbal.

When it comes to your physical stance, standing straight and not fidgeting is the most important. This doesn’t mean you should stand still like a rock.

Be relaxed and use your hands to emphasize points you’d like to make. Using hand and body utility has been shown to help get your point across and help memorize your presentation better as well.

  1. Speak Confidently

Speak ConfidentlyOur physical stance is only one attribute that the audience pays attention to. The other key attribute we need to be vary of is our speech.

Be confident, speak slowly and clearly. However, do not be monotone. Use your tone to highlight information of key importance.

  1. Relax and Enjoy

Relax and EnjoyIf you plan and practice enough you’re presentation will go smoothly so just relax and enjoy it – start, present, and close with ease and comfort is you follow these easy tips on how to present.


The 10/20/30 Rule

The 10/20/30 Rule was originally introduced by Guy Kawasaki , and is a simplified guide on how to do a presentation well. Whether it be to your pears, investors, or other, these simple guidelines are always good to follow:

The 10/20/30 Rule is:

  • 10 Slides
  • 20 Minutes at most
  • 30 point font

10 slides

Ten is the optimal number of slides in presentation because humans find it hard to comprehend more. If you need more than 10 slides – reconsider. There are, of course, situtations where more is acceptable but always ask yourself if it’s important. As the addage goes “less is more”.

Within those 10 slides, make sure you get everything that you need to, and follow the advice we have written about above.

20 Minutes

Even if you have an hour to present, you should aim to do it in 20 minutes. Peoples’ attention spans tend to be extremely short and there will always be tasks to do before and after your presentation.

30 Point Font

All of your visual aids (slides, or otherwise), should have at least a 30 point font. Don’t make the mistake of using small font and cramming as much as possible onto the slides. Only include the key points, otherwise your audience will get distracted and overloaded.

Tips from the Pros

Gary Vaynerchuck – “Don’t overthink, be natural and just talk about what you know”


Steve Jobs – “Introduce a Villain, that is make clear why you’re better than the competition. Use simplicity and the rule of three to get your point across”


Elon MuskElon Musk – “Be authentic, natural and passionate about what you’re talking about it. As long as you have those, the rest don’t matter”


Guy KawasakiGuy Kawasaki – “Use the 10/20/30 Rule. With 10 perfect slides you’ll have the visuals nailed.”


John FordJohn Ford – “You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”


How to Present and Pitch – A Recap

Hopefully, you have gained some valuable insight into the art of presenting.

Do you think we missed a trick? Let us know in the comments!

Learn More on BusinessStudent.com

Peter Smyth
Peter Smyth
Technology Contributor
Peter Smyth is our go-to Tech Contributor for BusinessStudent.com. Peter is an engineer by trade and tech geek by night, who's passionate about sharing his knowledge to those in the business world.

As Seen On

BusinessStudent.com provides students of business with the opportunities to get ahead in their career.

“It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” - Mark Cuban