Effective public speaking

How to structure your content

for maximum impact

book: presentation secrets

structure, slides, delivery

  • focus

  • contrast

  • unity

presentation structure

  • Target the audience

  • start with a problem

    • Make it sound really really bad
  • explain your solution

    • Do not lose the audience
  • finish strong

    • What to do next? Big picture, mic drop, etc.

target the audience

the worst: speaking in front of high school class

the best: speaking at Kensho, meetup or conference

Example: ng-describe presentation


explain your solution

each step should follow organically from the previous one

cut the content mercilessly 

you have the authority!

Learn to present your work

Learning something 1
Teaching someone 1
Explaining something to a group N

finish strong!

Learning how to speak well is the best next step for your professional career

Learn to present your work

previous slides -

mini presentation

write a blog post (Markdown)

smooth start and strong finish are very important

the first slide(s)

the last slide(s)

Why the delivery is difficult

the hardest things:

  • jokes
  • reading
  • asking the audience a question
  • switching between tabs
  • live coding 

what happens to your brain during speaking?

there is no thinking during the presentation

there will be no brain capacity left

when speaking in public

  • adrenaline rush

  • higher heart rate

  • sweating

  • panic attacks

  • flight syndrome

when speaking in public

speech speeds up

things do not come out right

important steps are left out

when speaking in public

leaving only part of the brain for "normal" thinking

brain must control external effects consciously 

try programming

and telling (aloud) yourself when to breath in

find the word with the longest sequence of "o"s in a list of words.

function Ooooo(words) { ... }
Ooooo(['foo', 'booo', 'bar']); // 'booo'

until you stop being nervous when speaking

Your slides MUST help you achieve "automatic" delivery

 you will have to control your body's response

The mini prez showed how

Prepare the focused content

Have an overview slide

Focus on polished start and finish

Next slides: a few tips for automatic delivery

content is the king

you must organize and prepare the content if you want to deliver a good presentation

example: good vs bad slide content

you must organize and prepare the content if you want to deliver a good presentation

example: too much text

  1. Audience reads the long text

  2. You read the long text

  1. quantum mechanics

  2. astronomy

  3. dog whispering

example: too little text

  1. the speaker talks at length on each topic

  2. audience has no way of following

example: separate slides

quantum mechanics

latest results suggest that ...


a science grew from astrology ...

dog whispering

is complicated

focus: single point per slide

example: amount of content per slide

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Pellentesque auctor accumsan lorem. Nam in venenatis sem, sit amet fringilla metus. Sed laoreet magna sed libero posuere, et facilisis sem fringilla. Proin et fringilla justo. Nunc suscipit eros quam, id placerat felis commodo a. Curabitur sed laoreet dolor, vitae ultricies felis. Vestibulum sollicitudin justo nec mauris tristique, sit amet eleifend lacus varius. Fusce venenatis accumsan lacus, semper iaculis massa faucibus eget.


a science grew from astrology ...

tip: put approximately same amount of content per slide

quantum mechanics

latest results suggest that ...


a science grew from astrology ...

dog whispering

is complicated

tip: same amount helps keep the timing

example: amount of content per slide

min 3

min 6

min 9

Monitor presentation progress AND time

Use "Speaker view" or timer-bar for HTML presentations

practice exercise

  • Prepare 5 minutes presentation on any topic
  • Record on video in front of 2 people
  • Get feedback and watch the video
  • Repeat 2-3 times

finally: How to be best at giving the worst talk 

Effective public speaking

By Gleb Bahmutov

Effective public speaking

A few tips for organizing and delivering an effective presentation by carefully preparing the content

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