It is clear to me, through training clients in the private sector and teaching this subject at University College Dublin for the last twenty years, that making presentations is the most poorly understood practice in the modern business world.
People focus on how they are speaking when they should worry more how the audience is listening. They fixate on nerves even though nerves actually make them better, not worse. And they try to copy great orators when the only person they should be copying is themselves in a conversation. Done right a presentation – with eye contact, vocal inflection, hand gestures, emotion, images, videos, stories, demonstrations, examples, analogies and audience interaction – is the most powerful communication format of all.
With a background in engineering, I have spent many years studying cognitive psychology and communication in order to gain insights in how to explain technical material. This has led to an understanding of how best to package concepts so as to make them interesting, understandable and memorable.