Top 4 speaking tips for your next presentation

Patrick Millington Buck presented on stage recently at the Mumbrella Sports & Entertainment Marketing Summit, with his session entitled: "Exclusive Research: How to Harness Cultural Influences to Establish Meaningful Partnerships". Here's some great advice on how to handle your next speaking engagement.

“It will be a 25-minute solo presentation on the main stage, followed by a 10-minute open Q&A with the 200+ attendees. You ok with that?”

And so, it began. Three months to prepare for one of the biggest presentations of my life, on stage at the Mumbrella Sports & Entertainment Marketing Summit, back in person after a two-year hiatus online.

The topic was “How To Harness Cultural Influences To Establish Meaningful Partnerships” and I would be presenting to a room full of industry leaders from Australia and around the world.


A classic google search of “How to nail a presentation on stage” brought up 462 MILLION hits – more than enough references to keep you awake at night…. However, in the end, it was 4 KEY THINGS that worked for me; tips that I strongly recommend for you and your next face to face presentation (on stage or otherwise):

1. Find a good template

Like all great pieces of work, it will have been done before. Start by getting a copy of the best presentations from previous years (in my case it was subscribing to Mumbrella Pro to trawl the summit archives). Look at what works well with these and consider using that as a template.

2. Use the ABC method

By great fortune I found a booklet from an old NGEN training course I went to in 2018 called “Persuasive Presentations”. It was packed with all sorts of nuggets, but the “ABC” method was particularly helpful:

• A is for approach: Open with a hook, for example, a personal story, a punchy stat, a leading question, then communicate a clear “map” of what you are going to cover with the audience.
• B is for body: Condense to three or four sections (maximum), each with its own key selling point. Demonstrating a clear WHY on the information you are sharing.
• C is for close: Link everything back to your “map”, reiterate your key selling points, and end with a call to action on what you want the audience to do next (with your content and/or you personally).

3. “Smart” practice

Obviously practice lots, that’s a given, but do it as early as you can in the process to test and learn your material along the way. Then practice it on as many different people as you can, as often as you can. Overall, I presented to seven different colleagues and friends individually (including some not in the industry), all of whom gave differing feedback and advice which I was able to cherry pick and refine from.

4. ALWAYS check the AV

I asked Mumbrella if I could come early before the event started to have a tech run through. How glad I did! None of my PPT fonts worked on their screens, the speaker notes on the floor monitors were too small and the sound in my video didn’t work. So, the AV team spent a good 20 minutes fixing all of that, thus avoiding a humiliating presentation disaster…

In the end, the hours of research, preparation and practice paid off and I delivered a presentation I was proud of, discussing what makes for a meaningful brand, exploring some best-in-class case studies and ending with a model on how to select and measure a meaningful partnership.

Summary of the presentation available to view here.

After years of virtual conferences, zooms and Teams presentations, it was just so refreshing to get back in a room with likeminded people and to be sharing thoughts and ideas about the future of our industry.

Can’t wait for the next one!

Patrick Millington Buck is a Senior Account Director at Havas Sports & Entertainment (a division of Havas Media Group)


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