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6 Ways You Can Evaluate Your Own Presentation

Hrideep barot.

  • Body Language & Delivery , Presentation , Public Speaking

how to rate a presentation

Naturally, giving a presentation is a skill that falls on the professional side of the spectrum. It involves a lot of formality along with practice to get good at it. 

But how do you decide what exactly it is that you need to work on? Read on to find out about six ways to evaluate your presentation skills.

Evaluating your presentation requires the ability to analyze your performance based on some very specific criteria related to delivery and content. More importantly, you must do it in an objective sense, without letting your self-bias come in the way.

Importance and benefits of evaluating your presentations yourself

Public speaking requires skills that are developed over time. Whether you’re a pro at it or a beginner, there is always room to grow because people have a varying set of abilities. 

Presentations are all about influence. You aim to create a dynamic with your audience so they buy into whatever it is that you’re trying to convey. 

And if you keep innovating your techniques and find your strength (which all comes with self-evaluating), you’ll essentially be enhancing your power to influence. 

In addition to that, it makes you a better presenter. The lack of being told what to do by someone else gives you a sense of self-confidence and patience. 

Additionally, you being a good presenter would mean more successful meetings, which in turn means you’d profit your business.

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Basically, the better your presentation, the more likely are your chances to successfully fulfill your agenda. So grab a paper and a pen and embark upon your journey of getting better!

What criteria do I need to follow for evaluation?

Let’s address the skills we need for pulling off a good presentation.

Quality of content

  • Engagement with audience
  • Visual aids
  • Focusing on strengths. 

Based on these categories, you need to form criteria to test yourself. Think of it like setting a frame of reference for yourself, placing yourself on a scale ranging between good and bad would help you track your progress. 

Following are the pointers you need to keep in mind while evaluating your presentation skills-

The two most things to keep in mind about structure is that you need to have a very intriguing start to your presentation, something that hooks the audience. (an anecdote, perhaps)

Secondly, make sure your ending is clear and in alignment with the purpose of the presentation. And include a call to action. For example, if your presentation is about mental health awareness, make sure one of your end slides has a comprehensive contact list of psychologists/therapists. 

Apart from that, the transitions between your pointers have to be smooth. Try adding segues (which is basically building context for your next point) In the previous example, a personal anecdote involving someone with depression can be a good segue to talk about the importance of mental health. 

If you’re new to structuring content or making presentations, here’s an article of ours that might help- The Ultimate Guide to Structuring a Speech

Delivery is everything. From gestures to hand movements, your body language must emphasize CONVEYING something. 

When you say something especially important, there must be some emphasis on part of your delivery. Like slowing your speech, or knocking the table, or repetition of the point, etc. 

There should be some sort of continuity to your narrative, the ‘flow’ must come naturally. This can be done using the smooth transition technique mentioned above. 

Adding a story-like quality to your speech might help. (having proper segregation between the beginning, middle, and end)

You cannot be providing generic content. Always remember, in presentations, quality surpasses quantity. 

Rambling about your topic on and on would not only bore your audience but also hinder the aforementioned flow and transitions that are so important. 

You need to make sure you’re adding something of value that is unique to you, and not general. You may refer to our article that might help further with this- Should a Presentation Have an Agenda?

Engagement with the audience

Your content must always be altered according to your audience. Knowing your audience is a very crucial step. You cannot say the same things in front of an MNC board meeting members as you would in front of a bunch of college students.

Having a welcoming demeanour towards your audience

Knowing your audience helps you decide your content, flow, transition, practically everything. 

Also, engagement with the audience means the interaction that takes place between you and them. You need to appear approachable for them to talk to you. 

But at the same time, you need to prepare yourself in advance to be able to answer the questions that might come your way. A little prediction here and there can save you a lot of anxiety. 

Visual Aids

Visual aids during a presentation include everything from the design and arrangement of content in your presentation to your appearance. (But mostly the former)

Now when it comes to visual aids in a PPT, there is no better advice than the 5 by 5 rule.

The Powerpoint 5×5 slide rule states that-

a. Each of your slides should have no more than 5 lines.

b. Each of those lines should have no more than 5 words.

It ensures keeping your content crisp and to the point. A tip to apply this rule would be to not focus on including the main content in the ppt. Instead, write only pointers and elaborate on them yourself.

This way, you prevent your audience from getting too caught up in reading the slides hence getting distracted from you. 

How exactly do I evaluate my presentation?

Here are the six-pointers that will guide you through it step-by-step.

Identify patterns

Keeping in mind the above-mentioned pointers, start looking for what you’re doing wrong.

Is there something that you repetitively keep doing wrong? Maybe the topics you choose aren’t relevant, maybe you use too much text in slides, maybe you don’t captivate your audience by raising vocals, maybe you don’t move enough. 

There are always patterns. You need to develop attention to detail. 

Focus on the audience

Focusing on the audience's reactions as you speak.

Your audience engagement can make or break the deal. While you’re presenting, make sure you make eye contact with as many people as you can. And keep an eye out for people’s reactions. It helps you get real-time feedback. 

Now there’s a chance this might not work and you get distracted or disheartened. In which case, drop this tactic. Nothing is worth blowing your confidence down during the presentation. 

Take feedback

Part of the reward for good audience engagement is honest feedback. If people like your content but find your delivery a little off, if you engage well with them, they will be a little more open to bringing it to your attention.

Maybe to make it a little more certain, announce at the end that you’re open to constructive criticism. It also adds to the impression you make. People find people who are willing to admit their flaws, admirable. 

Make sure you maintain a record of your progress, right from making those criteria scales to your speeches through successive presentations. You could do it on paper or a device, whatever is more comfortable. 

Make notes about what you need to work on right after presentations, and tick them off when you do in the next ones. It brings along a sense of accomplishment. 

In reference to keeping track of practicing, you may check out our 13 Tips For Rehearsing A Presentation

Objective set of eyes

Ask a friend or a colleague to give you honest advice. Truth is, no matter what, your clients would always be skeptical of telling you what’s wrong. And there’s only so much you would criticize about yourself.

Asking someone you trust can help you get a fresh perspective on your progress since we get a little over in our heads sometimes. 

Use your strengths and weaknesses

After having acquainted yourself with this whole system of evaluation, it is no doubt you’d be very aware of your strong and weak points. It is a good thing. 

Honestly, there could always be some little things here and there that we cannot wrap our heads around, and that’s okay. Because we also have our strengths to cover up for them.

For example, you could be a little off with a smooth transition between subpoints, but if you drop a super-strong call to action, in the end, it gets compensated. 

And the best part is, only you can use them to your benefit since you’re the only one who knows about them!

Additionally, watching content related to your topic can be of massive help too. For example, if your speech is on mental health , then maybe watching a TEDTalk by a mental health professional can add on to the authenticity of your content.

To go that extra mile, you could also record yourself while giving the speech in front of a camera and review the recording to see where exactly you went wrong. Sometimes, watching your presentation from the audience’s perspective gives you a peak into what they see, and consequently, allows you to have a bigger impact on them.

Here’s a checklist to keep in mind while self-evaluating:

Print the checklist out for easy accessibility, mark yes or no after every presentation to keep track of your progress.

My speech has a well-segregated beginning, middle, and end
I have prepared anecdotes, jokes, and other segues for smooth transition between sub-topics
My speech flow has a story like quality to it
I have a strong conclusion summarising the points along with a call to action followed by it
I have rehearsed this speech at least thrice before presenting (either in front of a mirror or with a friend)
I know what my audience is looking forward to
I have taken into account the feedback from the previous presentation
I have made a bunch of notecards with sub-topics and pointers to help me remember my speech, just in case (backup)
My content is relevant to the purpose of this presentation
My presentation is rich with visual aids like pictures, videos, and gifs (optional)
I have a strong introduction to grip the audience from the get-go
My content is well-researched and not generic
Maintaining eye-contact and adequate facial expressions
Use of purposeful body movement
I move from one sub-topic to another with ease
I am appropriately dressed according to the place and audience of the presentation

Practical Tools to use for self-evaluation

Feedback forms.

Feedback from your audience is important, as stated before. However, you can’t store all of the verbal feedback in your brain, let alone use it for self-evaluation later. Moreover, sometimes the audience might be vague with how they respond and that is unhelpful.

What you can do, instead, is devise a feedback form enlisting specific questions, the answers to which would be relevant for your purpose. This not only lifts the burden of remembering all you heard after presenting, but also eliminates unnecessary jargon from the audience.


Self-reflection is the most important part of this process. Now, this does not only involve you going to the feedback forms but also reviewing specific areas that you need extra work on. You can make a categorized list or a scale of easily ‘fixable issues’ to issues that need relatively more practice and work.

If there is an issue that you don’t seem to be able to work around, another form of self-reflection you can do is record yourself. As mentioned before, use the camera and present as you would in the conference room. Looking at a tape of yourself after presenting(as opposed to while presenting in front of the mirror), can help you detect what’s wrong in a better way. Plus, it helps you check body language.

Presentation rubrics are one of the handiest tools you can use for evaluation. It is a specific set of criteria that sets qualitative standards for the things/skills you need to have in your presentation to qualify as a good one.

For example, For a college research paper, the categories of criteria would be creativity, research element, use of sources and references, innovative aspects, etc. These categories would then be assessed on a scale of good to excellent or 1 to 5 and be marked accordingly.

It provides a quantified version of assessment which helps tremendously to analyze where specifically, and how much do you need to work on.

Apart from this, if you’re a techno-savvy person who is not inclined to write with a journal to keep track or implicate any of the other tools, worry not! We happen to have just the thing to help you! In today’s technology and smart phone driven world where most things are online, we can do self-evaluation up there too!

Here is a detailed and comprehensive article about 34 Best Smartphone Apps for Presenters and Professional Speakers that will guide you through that process.

Well, with all these tools and techniques, you’re all set to begin your self-evaluation! Remember, different techniques work for different people. It’s all a matter of trial and error. Some patience and practice can take you a long way to become the presenter you aspire to be.

Hrideep Barot

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how to rate a presentation


Evaluating Business Presentations: A Six Point Presenter Skills Assessment Checklist

Posted by Belinda Huckle  |  On April 18, 2024  |  In Presentation Training, Tips & Advice

In this Article...quick links

For many business people, speaking in front of clients, customers, their bosses or even their own large team is not a skill that comes naturally. So it’s likely that within your organisation, and indeed within your own team, you’ll find varying levels of presenting ability. Without an objective way to assess the presenter skills needed to make a good presentation, convincing someone that presentation coaching could enhance their job performance (benefiting your business), boost their promotion prospects (benefiting their career) and significantly increase their self confidence (benefiting their broader life choices) becomes more challenging.

Businessman delivering a great presentation

So, how do you evaluate the presenting skills of your people to find out, objectively, where the skill gaps lie? Well, you work out your presentation skills evaluation criteria and then measure/assess your people against them. 

To help you, in this article we’re sharing the six crucial questions we believe you need to ask to not only make a professional assessment of your people’s presenting skills, but to showcase what makes a great presentation. We use them in our six-point Presenter Skills Assessment checklist ( which we’re giving away as a free download at the end of this blog post ). The answers to these questions will allow you to identify the presenter skills strengths and weaknesses (i.e. skills development opportunities) of anyone in your team or organisation, from the Managing Director down. You can then put presenter skills training or coaching in place so that everyone who needs it can learn the skills to deliver business presentations face-to-face, or online with confidence, impact and purpose.

Read on to discover what makes a great presentation and how to evaluate a presenter using our six-point Presenter Skills Assessment criteria so you can make a professional judgement of your people’s presenting skills.

1. Ability to analyse an audience effectively and tailor the message accordingly

If you ask most people what makes a great presentation, they will likely comment on tangible things like structure, content, delivery and slides. While these are all critical aspects of a great presentation, a more fundamental and crucial part is often overlooked – understanding your audience .  So, when you watch people in your organisation or team present, look for clues to see whether they really understand their audience and the particular situation they are currently in, such as:

  • Is their content tight, tailored and relevant, or just generic?
  • Is the information pitched at the right level?
  • Is there a clear ‘What’s In It For Them’?
  • Are they using language and terminology that reflects how their audience talk?
  • Have they addressed all of the pain points adequately?
  • Is the audience focused and engaged, or do they seem distracted?

For your people, getting to know their audience, and more importantly, understanding them, should always be the first step in pulling together a presentation. Comprehending the challenges, existing knowledge and level of detail the audience expects lays the foundation of a winning presentation. From there, the content can be structured to get the presenter’s message across in the most persuasive way, and the delivery tuned to best engage those listening.

2. Ability to develop a clear, well-structured presentation/pitch that is compelling and persuasive

Businesswoman making a great presentation

Flow and structure are both important elements in a presentation as both impact the effectiveness of the message and are essential components in understanding what makes a good presentation and what makes a good speech. When analysing this aspect of your people’s presentations look for a clear, easy to follow agenda, and related narrative, which is logical and persuasive.

Things to look for include:

  • Did the presentation ‘tell a story’ with a clear purpose at the start, defined chapters throughout and a strong close?
  • Were transitions smooth between the ‘chapters’ of the presentation?
  • Were visual aids, handouts or audience involvement techniques used where needed?
  • Were the challenges, solutions and potential risks of any argument defined clearly for the audience?
  • Were the benefits and potential ROI quantified/explained thoroughly?
  • Did the presentation end with a clear destination/call to action or the next steps?

For the message to stick and the audience to walk away with relevant information they are willing to act on, the presentation should flow seamlessly through each part, building momentum and interest along the way. If not, the information can lose impact and the presentation its direction. Then the audience may not feel equipped, inspired or compelled to implement the takeaways.

3. Ability to connect with and maintain the engagement of the audience

Connecting with your audience and keeping them engaged throughout can really be the difference between giving a great presentation and one that falls flat. This is no easy feat but is certainly a skill that can be learned. To do it well, your team need a good understanding of the audience (as mentioned above) to ensure the content is on target. Ask yourself, did they cover what’s relevant and leave out what isn’t? 

Delivery is important here too. This includes being able to build a natural rapport with the audience, speaking in a confident, conversational tone, and using expressive vocals, body language and gestures to bring the message to life. On top of this, the slides need to be clear, engaging and add interest to the narrative. Which leads us to point 4…

4. Ability to prepare effective slides that support and strengthen the clarity of the message

Man making a great visual presentation

It’s not uncommon for slides to be used first and foremost as visual prompts for the speaker. While they can be used for this purpose, the first priority of a slide (or any visual aid) should always be to support and strengthen the clarity of the message. For example, in the case of complex topics, slides should be used to visualise data , reinforcing and amplifying your message. This ensures that your slides are used to aid understanding, rather than merely prompting the speaker.

The main problem we see with people’s slides is that they are bloated with information, hard to read, distracting or unclear in their meaning. 

The best slides are visually impactful, with graphics, graphs or images instead of lines and lines of text or bullet points. The last thing you want is your audience to be focused on deciphering the multiple lines of text. Instead your slides should be clear in their message and add reinforcement to the argument or story that is being shared. How true is this of your people’s slides?

5. Ability to appear confident, natural and in control

Most people find speaking in front of an audience (both small and large) at least a little confronting. However, for some, the nerves and anxiety they feel can distract from their presentation and the impact of their message. If members of your team lack confidence, both in their ideas and in themselves, it will create awkwardness and undermine their credibility and authority. This can crush a presenter and their reputation. 

This is something that you will very easily pick up on, but the good news is that it is definitely an area that can be improved through training and practice. Giving your team the tools and training they need to become more confident and influential presenters can deliver amazing results, which is really rewarding for both the individual and the organisation.

6. Ability to summarise and close a presentation to achieve the required/desired outcome

Audience applauding a great presentation

No matter how well a presentation goes, the closing statement can still make or break it. It’s a good idea to include a recap on the main points as well as a clear call to action which outlines what is required to achieve the desired outcome.

In assessing your people’s ability to do this, you can ask the following questions:

  • Did they summarise the key points clearly and concisely?
  • Were the next steps outlined in a way that seems achievable?
  • What was the feeling in the room at the close? Were people inspired, motivated, convinced? Or were they flat, disinterested, not persuaded? 

Closing a presentation with a well-rounded overview and achievable action plan should leave the audience with a sense that they have gained something out of the presentation and have all that they need to take the next steps to overcome their problem or make something happen.

Effective Presentation Skills are Essential to Growth

It’s widely accepted that effective communication is a critical skill in business today. On top of this, if you can develop a team of confident presenters, you and they will experience countless opportunities for growth and success.

Once you’ve identified where the skill gaps lie, you can provide targeted training to address it. Whether it’s feeling confident presenting to your leadership team or answering unfielded questions , understanding their strengths and weaknesses in presenting will only boost their presenting skills. This then creates an ideal environment for collaboration and innovation, as each individual is confident to share their ideas. They can also clearly and persuasively share the key messaging of the business on a wider scale – and they and the business will experience dramatic results.

Tailored Training to Fill Your Presentation Skill Gaps

If you’re looking to build the presentation skills of your team through personalised training or coaching that is tailored to your business, we can help. For nearly 20 years we have been Australia’s Business Presentation Skills Experts , training & coaching thousands of people in an A-Z of global blue-chip organisations. All our programs incorporate personalised feedback, advice and guidance to take business presenters further. To find out more, click on one of the buttons below:

Check out our In-Person Programs AU

And follow us on social media for some more great presentation tips:


Don’t Forget To Download Our Presenter Skills Assessment Form

Presenter Skills Assessment Form

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Belinda Huckle

Written By Belinda Huckle

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Belinda is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of SecondNature International. With a determination to drive a paradigm shift in the delivery of presentation skills training both In-Person and Online, she is a strong advocate of a more personal and sustainable presentation skills training methodology.

Belinda believes that people don’t have to change who they are to be the presenter they want to be. So she developed a coaching approach that harnesses people’s unique personality to build their own authentic presentation style and personal brand.

She has helped to transform the presentation skills of people around the world in an A-Z of organisations including Amazon, BBC, Brother, BT, CocaCola, DHL, EE, ESRI, IpsosMORI, Heineken, MARS Inc., Moody’s, Moonpig, Nationwide, Pfizer, Publicis Groupe, Roche, Savills, Triumph and Walmart – to name just a few.

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You're doing great

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Tips to improve

3 things to look for when providing presentation feedback

3 tips for giving effective feedback.

We’re all learning as we go. 

And that’s perfectly OK — that’s part of being human. On my own personal growth journey, I know I need to get better at public speaking and presenting. It’s one of those things that doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me. 

And I know there are plenty of people in my shoes. So when it comes to presenting in the workplace, it can be intimidating. But there’s one thing that can help people continue to get better at presentations: feedback . 

The following examples not only relate to presentations. They can also be helpful for public speaking and captivating your audience. 

You’re doing great 

  • You really have the natural ability to hand out presentation material in a very organized way! Good job!
  • Your presentations are often compelling and visually stunning. You really know how to effectively captivate the audience. Well done!
  • You often allow your colleagues to make presentations on your behalf. This is a great learning opportunity for them and they often thrive at the challenge.
  • Keeping presentations focused on key agenda items can be tough, but you’re really good at it. You effectively outline exactly what it is that you will be discussing and you make sure you keep to it. Well done!!
  • You created downloadable visual presentations and bound them for the client. Excellent way to portray the company! Well done!
  • Your content was relevant and your format was visually appealing and easy to follow and understand. Great job! You’re a real designer at heart!
  • You always remain consistent with the way you present and often your presentations have the same style and layout. This is great for continuity. Well done!
  • You always remain consistent with every presentation, whether it be one on ones, small group chats, with peers, direct reports, and the company bosses. You have no problem presenting in any one of these situations. Well done!
  • You are an effective presenter both to employees and to potential clients. When controversial topics come up, you deal with them in a timely manner and you make sure these topics are fully dealt with before moving on. Well done!
  • You effectively command attention and you have no problem managing groups during the presentation.


You should think of improving 

  • You’re a great presenter in certain situations, but you struggle to present in others. Try to be more consistent when presenting so that you get one single-minded message across. This will also help you broaden your presentation skills by being able to portray one single idea or message.
  • You tend to be a little shy when making presentations. You have the self-confidence in one-on-one conversations , so you definitely have the ability to make compelling presentations. Come on! You can do it!
  • During presentations, there seems to be quite a lack of focus . I know it can be difficult to stick to the subject matter, however you need to in order for people to understand what the presentation is about and what is trying to be achieved.
  • To engage with your audience and make them attentively listen to what you have to say, you need to be able to use your voice in an effective manner to achieve this. Try to focus on certain words that require extra attention and emphasis these words during your presentation.
  • Knowing your audience is critical to the success of any presentation. Learn to pick up on their body language and social cues to gauge your style and tone. Listen to what your audience has to say and adjust your presentation accordingly.


  • During presentations, it’s expected that there will be tough questions . Try to prepare at least a couple of days before the time so that you can handle these questions in an effective manner.
  • To be an effective presenter you need to be able to adjust to varying audiences and circumstances. Try learning about who will be in the room at the time of the presentation and adjust accordingly.
  • Remember not to take debate as a personal attack. You tend to lose your cool a little too often, which hinders the discussion and people feel alienated. You can disagree without conflict .
  • The only way you are going to get better at public speaking is by practicing, practicing, practicing. Learn your speech by heart, practice in the mirror, practice in front of the mirror. Eventually, you’ll become a natural and you won't be afraid of public speaking any longer.
  • Your presentations are beautiful and I have no doubt you have strong presentation software skills. However, your content tends to be a bit weak and often you lack the substance. Without important content, the presentation is empty.

Tips to improve 

  • Remember it’s always good to present about the things you are passionate about . When you speak to people about your passions they can sense it. The same goes for presentations. Identify what it is that excites you and somehow bring it into every presentation. it’ll make it easier to present and your audience will feel the energy you portray.
  • Sometimes it can be easier to plan with the end result in mind. Try visualizing what it is you are exactly expecting your audience to come away with and develop your presentation around that.
  • Simplicity is a beautiful thing. Try to keep your presentations as simple as possible. Make it visually appealing with the least amount of words possible. Try interactive pictures and videos to fully immerse your audience in the presentation.
  • It’s a fine balance between winging the presentation and memorizing the presentation. If you wing it too much it may come across as if you didn't prepare. If you memorize it, the presentation may come off a bit robotic. Try to find the sweet spot, if you can.
  • When presenting, try to present in a way that is cause for curiosity . Make people interested in what you have to say to really captivate them. Have a look at some TED talks to get some tips on how you can go about doing this.
  • Remember presentations should be about quality, not quantity. Presentations that are text-heavy and go on for longer than they should bore your audience and people are less likely to remember them.
  • Try to arrive at every staff meeting on time and always be well prepared. This will ensure that meetings will go smoothly in the future.
  • Remember to respect other people's time by always arriving on time or five minutes before the presentation.
  • Remember to ask the others in the meeting for their point of view if there are individuals during presentations.
  • If you notice presentations are deviating off-topic, try to steer it back to the important topic being discussed.

Presentation feedback can be intimidating. It’s likely the presenter has spent a good deal of time and energy on creating the presentation.

As an audience member, you can hone in on a few aspects of the presentation to help frame your feedback. If it's an oral presentation, you should consider also audience attention and visual aids.

It’s important to keep in mind three key aspects of the presentation when giving feedback. 



  • Were the key messages clear? 
  • Was the speaker clear and concise in their language?
  • Did the presenter clearly communicate the key objectives? 
  • Did the presenter give the audience clear takeaways? 
  • How well did the presenter’s voice carry in the presentation space? 


  • Was the presentation engaging? 
  • How well did the presenter capture their audience? 
  • Did the presenter engage employees in fun or innovative ways? 
  • How interactive was the presentation? 
  • How approachable did the presenter appear? 
  • Was the presentation accessible to all? 

Body language and presence 

  • How did the presenter carry themselves? 
  • Did the presenter make eye contact with the audience? 
  • How confident did the presenter appear based on nonverbal communication? 
  • Were there any nonverbal distractions to the presentation? (i.e. too many hand gestures, facial expressions, etc.)  

There are plenty of benefits of feedback . But giving effective feedback isn’t an easy task. Here are some tips for giving effective feedback. 

1. Prepare what you’d like to say 

I’m willing to bet we’ve all felt like we’ve put our foot in our mouth at one point or another. Knee-jerk, emotional reactions are rarely helpful. In fact, they can do quite the opposite of help. 

Make sure you prepare thoughtfully. Think through what feedback would be most impactful and helpful for the recipient. How will you word certain phrases? What’s most important to communicate? What feedback isn’t helpful to the recipient? 

You can always do practice runs with your coach. Your coach will serve as a guide and consultant. You can practice how you’ll give feedback and get feedback … on your feedback. Sounds like a big loop, but it can be immensely helpful. 

2. Be direct and clear (but lead with empathy) 

Have you ever received feedback from someone where you’re not quite sure what they’re trying to say? Me, too. 

I’ve been in roundabout conversations where I walk away even more confused than I was before. This is where clear, direct, and concise communication comes into play. 

Be clear and direct in your message. But still, lead with empathy and kindness . Feedback doesn’t need to be harsh or cruel. If it’s coming from a place of care, the recipient should feel that care from you. 

3. Create dialogue (and listen carefully) 

Feedback is never a one-way street. Without the opportunity for dialogue, you’re already shutting down and not listening to the other person. Make sure you’re creating space for dialogue and active listening . Invite questions — or, even better, feedback. You should make the person feel safe, secure, and trusted . You should also make sure the person feels heard and valued. 

Your point of view is just that: it's one perspective. Invite team members to share their perspectives, including positive feedback . 

You might also offer the recipient the opportunity for self-evaluation . By doing a self-evaluation, you can reflect on things like communication skills and confidence. They might come to some of the same important points you did — all on their own.

Now, let’s go practice that feedback 

We're all learners in life.

It's OK to not be perfect . In fact, we shouldn't be. We're perfectly imperfect human beings, constantly learning , evolving, and bettering ourselves. 

The same goes for tough things like presentations. You might be working on perfecting your students' presentation. Or you might want to get better at capturing your audience's attention. No matter what, feedback is critical to that learning journey . 

Even a good presentation has the opportunity for improvement . Don't forget the role a coach can play in your feedback journey.

Your coach will be able to provide a unique point of view to help you better communicate key points. Your coach can also help with things like performance reviews , presentation evaluations, and even how to communicate with others.

Enhance your presentation skills

Unlock new heights in your career with personalized coaching tailored to boost your presentation prowess.

Madeline Miles

Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.

How to not be nervous for a presentation — 13 tips that work (really!)

6 presentation skills and how to improve them, josh bersin on the importance of talent management in the modern workplace, how to give a good presentation that captivates any audience, 8 clever hooks for presentations (with tips), reading the room gives you an edge — no matter who you're talking to, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, the self presentation theory and how to present your best self, an exclusive conversation with fred kofman, similar articles, 30 communication feedback examples, impression management: developing your self-presentation skills, 30 leadership feedback examples for managers, 30 customer service review examples to develop your team, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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Rate My PowerPoint

This tool will analyse some aspects of your presentation and give an overall score (Red, Amber or Green) for your presentation along with some hints and tips on specific improvements you could make.

It’s also worth checking out our 28 Great PowerPoint Presentation Tips article and some of the other Advice and Tips articles in our blog.

This tool is free to use and your presentation will not be stored on our system.  Just select you PowerPoint PPTX file below and give it a go!

Analysis Results for

There are many hints and tips to help improve your PowerPoint presentation, our popular blog 28 Great PowerPoint Presentation Tips expands on many of these. Below this tool looks at the some of these elements that could make an impact to your presentation.

The 6/6 rule states that you should have no more that 6 bullets per slide and no more than 6 words per bullet in order to keep your audience engaged. There are other forms of this rule the 7/7 and the 8/8 rule depending on how strict you want to be. The overriding principal is to try and keep the number of points on you page to a minimum and try to summarise them in the minum words. Short and sweet! There is a tendancy with presentations to cram lots of points and words on a slide making hard to read and un-engaging. Either try to split these long slides in several shorter ones or consider giving handouts to suplement the slideshow. Remember your audience should be listening not reading!

Presentation Length

Guy Kawasaki wrote that a presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points . He was talking about pitching to investors but this is fairly solid advice for any presentation. You might need to over-run the 20 minute rule in some circumstances (e.g. a university lecture) but could the additional time be better used for questions and answers?

Use of Media / Images

It is much more engaging to use images and or videos to enhance your presentation. A good picture can convey a great deal of meaning and makes the presentation more insteresting and engaging.


What is the smog readability score.

The SMOG grade is a measure of readability that estimates the years of education needed to understand a piece of writing. SMOG is an acronym for Simple Measure of Gobbledygook. So what does the SMOG score mean. Below is table that explains the different score breakdows

SMOG readability score UK adults at this level Typical literacy skills at this level
7 to 9 93% understands short, simple content on familiar topics from familiar sources
10 to 11 76% understands short, simple content from a range of everyday sources (like newspapers)
12 to 13 51% understands simple content of varying lengths on a variety of topics
14 to 16 22% understands content of varying complexity, from a range of sources
17 or more Less than 22% able to obtain, interpret and evaluate complex content

source: NHS

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Mayo's Clinics

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Use Clear Criteria and Methodologies When Evaluating PowerPoint Presentations

Use Clear Criteria and Methodologies When Evaluating PowerPoint Presentations

Dr. Fred Mayo explains the three major methods for presentation evaluation: self, peer and professional. An added bonus: ready-made student evaluation form.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

In the last issue, we discussed making interactive presentations and this month we will focus on evaluating presentations. For many of us, encouraging and supporting students in making presentations is already a challenge; assessing their merit is often just another unwelcome teaching chore.

There are three major methods for evaluating presentation – self evaluations, peer evaluations, and professional evaluations. Of course, the most important issue is establishing evaluation criteria.

Criteria for Evaluating Presentations One of the best ways to help students create and deliver good presentations involves providing them with information about how their presentations will be evaluated. Some of the criteria that you can use to assess presentations include:

  • Focus of the presentation
  • Clarity and coherence of the content
  • Thoroughness of the ideas presented and the analysis
  • Clarity of the presentation
  • Effective use of facts, statistics and details
  • Lack of grammatical and spelling errors
  • Design of the slides
  • Effective use of images
  • Clarity of voice projection and appropriate volume
  • Completion of the presentation within the allotted time frame

Feel free to use these criteria or to develop your own that more specifically match your teaching situation.

Self Evaluations When teaching public speaking and making presentations, I often encouraged students to rate their own presentations after they delivered them. Many times, they were very insightful about what could have been improved. Others just could not complete this part of the assignment. Sometimes, I use their evaluations to make comments on what they recognized in their presentations. However, their evaluations did not overly influence the grade except that a more thorough evaluation improved their grade and a weak evaluation could hurt their presentation grade.

Questions I asked them to consider included:

  • How do you think it went?
  • What could you have done differently to make it better?
  • What did you do that you are particularly proud of accomplishing?
  • What did you learn from preparing for and delivering this presentation?
  • What would you change next time?

Peer Evaluations One way to provide the most feedback for students involves encouraging – or requiring – each student evaluate each other’s presentation. It forces them to watch the presentation both for content and delivery and helps them learn to discriminate between an excellent and an ordinary presentation. The more presentations they observe or watch, the more they learn.

In classes where students are required to deliver presentations, I have students evaluate the presentations they observe using a form I designed. The students in the audience give the evaluation or feedback forms to the presenter as soon as it is over. I do not collect them or review them to encourage honest comments and more direct feedback. Also, students do not use their names when completing the form. That way the presenter gets a picture from all the students in the audience – including me – and cannot discount the comments by recognizing the author.

A version of the form that I use is reproduced below – feel free to adopt or adapt it to your own use and classroom situation.

evaluation form

Professional Evaluations When conducting your professional evaluation of a presentation, remember to consider when and how to deliver oral comments as opposed to a completed form. I complete a written evaluation (shown above) along with all the students so they get some immediate feedback. I also take notes on the presentation and decide a grade as well. After the conclusion of the presentation, whether it was an individual or team presentation, I lead a class discussion on the presentation material. That way, students get to hear some immediate comments as well as reading the written peer evaluations.

I usually ask for a copy of the presentation prior to the delivery date. (Getting the PowerPoint slides ahead also helps me ensure I have all the presentations loaded on the projector or computer so we do not waste class time.) Students either email it to me or place it on our classroom management system. I will provide their letter grade and make comments on the design of the presentation on the copy they gave me. However, I don’t explain the final grade right after the presentation since it is often hard for students who have just made a presentation to hear comments.

Summary Each of these suggestions may prompt you to try your own ideas. Remember that students improve when they receive thoughtful and useful feedback from their peers and you as their teacher. I encourage you to use this form or develop a form so that the criteria used to evaluate the presentations are clear and explained ahead of time. Now, you can enjoy evaluating their presentations.

Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT, is retired as a clinical professor of hotel and tourism management at New York University. As principal of Mayo Consulting Services, he continues to teach around the globe and is a regular presenter at CAFÉ events nationwide.

How to Give Effective Presentation Feedback

A conversation with sam j. lubner, md, facp.

Giving an effective scientific presentation, like all public speaking, is an acquired skill that takes practice to perfect. When delivered successfully, an oral presentation can be an invaluable opportunity to showcase your latest research results among your colleagues and peers. It can also promote attendee engagement and help audience members retain the information being presented, enhancing the educational benefit of your talk, according to Sam J. ­Lubner, MD, FACP , Associate Professor of Medicine and Program Director, Hematology-Oncology Fellowship, at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, and a member of ASCO’s Education Council.

Sam J. ­Lubner, MD, FACP

Sam J. ­Lubner, MD, FACP

In 2019, the Education Council launched a pilot program to provide a group of selected speakers at the ASCO Annual Meeting with feedback on their presentations. Although some of the reviewers, which included members of the Education Council and Education Scholars Program, as well as ASCO’s program directors, conveyed information to the presenters that was goal-referenced, tangible, transparent, actionable, specific, and personalized—the hallmarks of effective feedback—others provided comments that were too vague to improve the speaker’s performance, said Dr. Lubner. For example, they offered comments such as “Great session” or “Your slides were too complicated,” without being specific about what made the session “great” or the slides “too complicated.”

“Giving a presentation at a scientific meeting is different from what we were trained to do. We’re trained to take care of patients, and while we do have some training in presentation, it usually centers around how to deliver clinical information,” said Dr. Lubner. “What we are trying to do with the Education Council’s presentation feedback project is to apply evidence-based methods for giving effective feedback to make presentations at ASCO’s Annual Meeting, international meetings, symposia, and conferences more clinically relevant and educationally beneficial.”


The ASCO Post talked with Dr. Lubner about how to give effective feedback and how to become a more effective presenter.

Defining Effective Feedback

Feedback is often confused with giving advice, praise, and evaluation, but none of these descriptions are exactly accurate. What constitutes effective feedback?

When I was looking over the literature on feedback to prepare myself on how to give effective feedback to the medical students and residents I oversee, I was amazed to find the information is largely outdated. For example, recommendations in the 1980s and 1990s called for employing the “sandwich” feedback method, which involves saying something positive, then saying what needs to be improved, and then making another positive remark. But that method is time-intensive, and it feels disingenuous to me.

What constitutes helpful feedback to me is information that is goal-referenced, actionable, specific, and has immediate impact. It should be constructive, descriptive, and nonjudgmental. After I give feedback to a student or resident, my next comments often start with a self-reflective question, “How did that go?” and that opens the door to further discussion. The mnemonic I use to provide better feedback and achieve learning goals is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, as described here:

  • Specific: Avoid using ambiguous language, for example, “Your presentation was great.” Be specific about what made the presentation “great,” such as, “Starting your presentation off with a provocative question grabbed my attention.”
  • Measurable: Suggest quantifiable objectives to meet so there is no uncertainty about what the goals are. For example, “Next time, try a summary slide with one or two take-home points for the audience.”
  • Achievable: The goal of the presentation should be attainable. For example, “Trim your slides to no more than six lines per slide and no more than six words per line; otherwise, you are just reading your slides.”
  • Realistic: The feedback you give should relate to the goal the presenter is trying to achieve. For example, “Relating the research results back to an initial case presentation will solidify the take-home point that for cancer x, treatment y is the best choice.”
  • Timely: Feedback given directly after completion of the presentation is more effective than feedback provided at a later date.

The ultimate goal of effective feedback is to help the presenter become more adept at relaying his or her research in an engaging and concise way, to maintain the audience’s attention and ensure that they retain the information presented.

“Giving a presentation at a scientific meeting is different from what we were trained to do.” — Sam J. Lubner, MD, FACP Tweet this quote

Honing Your Communication Skills

What are some specific tips on how to give effective feedback?

There are five tips that immediately come to mind: (1) focus on description rather than judgment; (2) focus on observation rather than inference; (3) focus on observable behaviors; (4) share both positive and constructive specific points of feedback with the presenter; and (5) focus on the most important points to improve future ­presentations.

Becoming a Proficient Presenter

How can ASCO faculty become more proficient at delivering their research at the Annual Meeting and at ASCO’s thematic meetings?

ASCO has published faculty guidelines and best practices to help speakers immediately involve an audience in their presentation and hold their attention throughout the talk. They include the following recommendations:

  • Be engaging. Include content that will grab the audience’s attention early. For example, interesting facts, images, or a short video to hold the audience’s focus.
  • Be cohesive and concise. When preparing slides, make sure the presentation has a clear and logical flow to it, from the introduction to its conclusion. Establish key points and clearly define their importance and impact in a concise, digestible manner.
  • Include take-home points. Speakers should briefly summarize key findings from their research and ensure that their conclusion is fully supported by the data in their presentation. If possible, they should provide recommendations or actions to help solidify their message. Thinking about and answering this question—if the audience remembers one thing from my presentation, what do I want it to be?—will help speakers focus their presentation.
  • When it comes to slide design, remember, less is more. It’s imperative to keep slides simple to make an impact on the audience.

Another method to keep the audience engaged and enhance the educational benefit of the talk is to use the Think-Pair ( ± Share) strategy, by which the speaker asks attendees to think through questions using two to three steps. They include:

  • Think independently about the question that has been posed, forming ideas.
  • Pair to discuss thoughts, allowing learners to articulate their ideas and to consider those of others.
  • Share (as a pair) the ideas with the larger group.

The value of this exercise is that it helps participants retain the information presented, encourages individual participation, and refines ideas and knowledge through collaboration.


  • Have a single point per line.
  • Use < 6 words per line.
  • Use < 6 lines per slide.
  • Use < 30 characters per slide.
  • Use simple words.
  • When using tables, maintain a maximum of 6 rows and 6 columns.
  • Avoid busy graphics or tables. If you find yourself apologizing to the audience because your slide is too busy, it’s a bad slide and should not be included in the presentation.
  • Use cues, not full thoughts, to make your point.
  • Keep to one slide per minute as a guide to the length of the presentation.
  • Include summary/take-home points per concept. We are all physicians who care about our patients and believe in adhering to good science. Highlight the information you want the audience to take away from your presentation and how that information applies to excellent patient care.

Speakers should also avoid using shorthand communication or dehumanizing language when describing research results. For example, do not refer to patients as a disease: “The study included 250 EGFR mutants.” Say instead, “The study included 250 patients with EGFR -mutant tumors.” And do not use language that appears to blame patients when their cancer progresses after treatment, such as, “Six patients failed to respond to [study drug].” Instead say, “Six patients had tumors that did not respond to [study drug].”

We all have respect for our patients, families, and colleagues, but sometimes our language doesn’t reflect that level of respect, and we need to be more careful and precise in the language we use when talking with our patients and our colleagues.

ASCO has developed a document titled “The Language of Respect” to provide guidance on appropriate respectful language to use when talking with patients, family members, or other health-care providers and when giving presentations at the Annual Meeting and other ASCO symposia. Presenters should keep these critical points in mind and put them into practice when delivering research data at these meetings. ■

DISCLOSURE: Dr. Lubner has been employed by Farcast Biosciences and has held a leadership role at Farcast Biosciences.

New Risk Stratification Model for Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

how to rate a presentation

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

how to rate a presentation

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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How to Evaluate an Oral Presentation

How to Write a Speech Review

How to Write a Speech Review

Evaluating an oral presentation is not difficult, because every oral presentation has key components that are crucial for the success of the presentation. Just consider the important factors such as confidence, quality, clarity and organization. Not sure exactly how to go about doing this? Read on and learn exactly how to analyze these important factors and come up with the most accurate evaluation possible.

Determine the confidence of the speaker. The speaker should be comfortable and easily connect with the audience. If a speaker acts uncomfortable or nervous, the presentation is not going well. However, if the speaker easily makes eye contact, invites audience participation and puts the audience at ease, this aspect of the presentation is a success.

Determine the quality of the information presented. The speaker should provide enough details to support the point of the presentation but not too many unnecessary details that may confuse or bore the audience.

Determine the level of clarity. The speaker should be easily able to convey the point he is trying to make. Vocabulary should be easy to understand, and all words should be spoken in a clear and fluent manner.

Determine the level of organization. Every presentation should have some sort of structure and organization, whether formal or informal. Simple things such as making sure there is a proper introduction and conclusion can go a long way in making the presentation a success.

  • Creating a rubric based on the information in this article might be a useful tool when evaluating oral presentation.
  • Don't forget about volume! A speaker could have all of the other aspects of a proper presentation, but it would all be in vain if no one was able to hear it. Make sure the entire audience is able to hear the speaker at all times.

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Characteristics of a Good Speech

The Difference Between Effective and Ineffective Listening

The Difference Between Effective and Ineffective Listening

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  • Oral Presentation Rubic

Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.

Eberly Center

Teaching excellence & educational innovation, instructor: robert dammon course: 45-901: corporate restructuring, tepper school of business assessment:   rating scale for assessing oral presentations.

A key business communication skill is the ability to give effective oral presentations, and it is important for students to practice this skill. I wanted to create a systematic and consistent assessment of students’ oral presentation skills and to grade these skills consistently within the class and across semesters.


This oral presentation is part of a larger finance analysis assignment that students complete in groups. Each group decides which members will be involved in the oral presentation. I constructed a rating scale that decomposes the oral presentation into four major components: (1) preparation, (2) quality of handouts and overheads, (3) quality of presentation skills, and (4) quality of analysis. I rate preparation as “yes” or “no”; all other components are rated on a five-point scale. Immediately after the class in which the presentation was given, I complete the rating scale, write a few notes, and calculate an overall score, which accounts for 20% of the group’s grade on the overall assignment.

The presentation gives students important practice in oral communication, and the rating scale has made my grading much more consistent.

I have used this rating scale for several years, and the oral presentation is a standard course component. I have considered adapting the rating scale so that students also rate the oral presentation; however, I would want to give the students an abbreviated rating scale so that they focus primarily on the presentation.

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How to Make Effective Impactful Presentations (Tips & Tools)

Learn how to make a good presentation great - step-by-step with examples. Learn the principles, guidelines & qualities needed to prepare captivating slides.

how to rate a presentation

Dominika Krukowska

12 minute read

How to make good presentations

Short answer

Short answer: how to make a good presentation.

Start with a surprising statement, a bold promise, or a mystery

Provide context with a bit of background information

Structure your presentation within a story framework

Make every word count, and use as few as possible

Use visuals only to support your presentation text

Use interactive design to make your audience active participants

End by telling your audience what they can do with what they’ve learned

Boring presentations are instantly forgotten. How’s yours?

Lifeless presentations can spell doom for your message, leaving your audience disengaged and your goals unreached.

The price of a mediocre presentation is steep; missed opportunities, unimpressed prospects, and a bad rep.

In a world where everyone has grown to expect a good story, a boring presentation will be instantly forgotten. Like a drop in the ocean.

But not all is lost.

This post will teach you how presentation pros create compelling narratives and leverage the latest tech tools to command attention, drive a powerful message, and get shared like gossip.

Let’s get started!

How to prepare a presentation?

The successful presenter understands the value of small details and thorough preparation like the seasoned chef knows the importance of quality ingredients and careful technique for serving a 5 star dish

But where do you start?

Step-by-step guide for preparing a presentation:

1. Define your objective

Every presentation needs a clear goal. Are you looking to persuade, educate, or motivate? Perhaps you aim to showcase a product, or share insights about a recent project.

Defining your objective early on will guide your content creation process, helping you to focus your message and structure your presentation effectively. Think of your objective as the North Star guiding your presentation journey.

2. Analyze your audience

Next up, who are you talking to? Your audience should shape your presentation as much as your objective does. Understanding their needs, interests, and background will enable you to tailor your message to resonate with them.

Are they experts in your field, or are they novices looking for an introduction? What questions might they have? The more you know about your audience, the more compelling your presentation will be.

3. Research your topic

Once you've defined your objective and analyzed your audience, it's time to delve deep into your topic. Comprehensive research lays the groundwork for a robust, credible presentation.

Don't just scratch the surface – explore different perspectives, recent developments, and key statistics. This will not only enhance your understanding but also equip you with a wealth of information to answer any questions your audience might have.

4. Choose the right delivery format

Finally, consider the best format to deliver your message.

The right format can make all the difference in how your message is received, so choose wisely!

PowerPoint presentations are classic and easy to work with. But PowerPoint and Google slides are not so versatile in terms of their content experience. They're static, packed with information, and all look alike.

Our own presentation maker offers interactive, personalized, and multimedia content experience.

Data from our research of over 100K presentation sessions shows that audiences engage with Storydoc presentations 103% better than PowerPoint.

how to rate a presentation

How to create an effective presentation?

There’s part art and part science in creating high-engagement high-impact presentations.

An effective presentation is the painstaking result of well-organized content, visuals that support and elevate your message, simplifying complex information, and personalizing wherever possible.

I wrote this post to teach you how to do all these, and a few things more.

Ready to learn? Let's dive in!

How to organize your presentation content?

Crafting a compelling presentation is like writing a page-turner.

You need to captivate your audience, maintain their interest, and guide them effortlessly through your narrative.

But how do you transform a heap of information into a well-structured presentation you can’t stop reading? There’s a structure you can follow.

3-step process for organizing a magnetic presentation:

1. Prioritize content

Your presentation should immediately capture interest and demonstrate relevance before moving on to establish understanding .

A) Build interest:

Begin with a strong hook that grabs your audience's attention. This could be an intriguing statistic, a powerful image , or an engaging question. It should stir curiosity and make your audience eager to hear more.

B) Establish relevance:

Once you have their attention it's time to establish why your presentation matters to your audience.

Address your audience's main concerns. Make sure your content directly speaks to these pain points, and address them in order of importance.

2. Build anticipation

A great presentation is like getting a new car – it builds anticipation, takes you on a thrilling ride, and ends with you wanting to share the experience with all your friends.

Start with a compelling problem your audience relates to and follow up with a promise of an amazing way they can solve it. This problem-solution dynamic creates a suspense that keeps your audience glued to your presentation.

3. Use a story framework

Finally, use a story framework to give your presentation structure and flow.

Begin with a big idea that underpins your presentation. Then delve into the problem, showcasing why it needs attention. Present your solution, painting a vision of a better future for your audience.

Weave in concrete examples of how your solution changes lives.

Tell the story of WHO you helped, WHAT the situation was before and after your solution, WHERE and WHEN it happened, WHY it worked and HOW it made them feel.

If you’re writing a business presentation you should follow this with an execution plan that outlines how the solution will be implemented.

Finally, close with clear next steps, guiding your audience on what they should do after the presentation to bring meaningful change into their lives.

Our recommended story framework:

How to write a presentation storyline that creates interest

How to design your presentation?

A good presentation is more than just making it look pretty ; it's about communicating your message effectively and creating a lasting impression.

Good presentation design grabs attention, and leads it to where it’s needed most. It takes your hand and leads you through the easiest and most pleasant path to understanding.

Good presentation design supports your message rather than steals the spotlight. Good design is narrated design.

What is narrated design (Scrollytelling)?

Scrollytelling, where "scroll" meets "storytelling", is an interactive content experience that guides readers through a narrative journey with a simple scroll. It connects text, images, videos, and animations into integrated “scenes” where content is both shown and narrated.

Scrollytelling breaks complex content into digestible chunks and gives the reader control over pace. It has been scientifically shown to enhance engagement, understandability and memorability.

Scrollytelling came up as a central thing when Itai Amoza, our Founder and CEO was building the foundations for Storydoc.

He partnered with one of the world’s leading visualization scientists , prof. Steven Franconeri , to help him bring to Storydoc the means to reduce the complexity, friction, and information overload so characteristic of business presentations.

Scrollytelling is part of the solutions that came up, which led to specialized storytelling slides like our narrator slide (in the example below).

An example of Storydoc scrollytelling:

Narrator slide example

How to design presentation visuals to support your story

Presentation visuals can be unsung heroes or sloppy distractions.

Visuals can bring your message to life, make complex concepts easy to understand, and engage your audience in ways that words alone cannot. Or… they can sit there looking all pretty and distract you from what’s really going on.

4 elements of great presentation visuals:

Support your message: Your visuals should support your text, highlight your main message, and align with your objective. They should reinforce your points and help your audience understand your message.

Represent your audience: The best visuals are relatable. They should resonate with your target audience and reflect their world of associations. Use images and graphics that your audience can identify with – this can enhance their engagement and make your presentation more memorable. Equally important is using clean images - an effective way to do this is by using tools that allow you to remove your image backgrounds . By eliminating distractions and focusing on your subject, you create images that are more impactful and, therefore, can potentially increase audience engagement.

Introduce your product, outcomes, and clients: Wherever possible, use visuals to demonstrate your product, illustrate outcomes, and represent your clients. This can remove doubt and misunderstanding by letting your audience see (and make obvious) what words sometimes struggle to describe.

Follow your branding guidelines: Your presentation is an extension of your brand, so your visuals should conform to your branding guidelines. Consistent use of colors, fonts, and styles not only enhances brand recognition but also creates a cohesive, professional look.

Here’s an example of a well-designed presentation:

How to communicate complex information?

Did you ever have to read a presentation where you felt like you're lost in a maze of jargon, data, and complex concepts?

Are you giving others this same experience?

Communicating complex information is a common challenge in presentations. But there are ways you can simplify your presentation and reengage your audience.

Here’s how you can get complex information across:

1. Use interactive content

Interactive content is your best friend when it comes to simplifying complex information and getting deeply engaged with your content.

It gets the readers more involved in your presentation by letting them play an active part; like choosing the content route they wish to take and controlling the pace.

It keeps your presentation textually lean - giving readers the choice to expand more details on demand (in tabs, live graphs, sliders, accordions, and calculators).

Beyond that, live graphs can illustrate trends, animations can demonstrate processes, and videos can bring concepts to life.

Calculators, questionnaires, and chatbots provide personalized and specific answers to readers as part of your presentation, without them having to get in touch with you or your team.

Elavating your presentations from static to interactive has been tied to increasing the number of people who read your presentation in full by 41% !

Making interactive used to be hard, but now you can just use Storydoc. Go make your first interactive presentation. It’s easy as pie.

2. Show don’t tell

A picture is worth a thousand words. Because no one will read a presentation with a thousand words, do everyone a favor and use images.

Images can be super effective at communicating complex information and save you a lot of needless text.

In fact, visual representation of data and concepts can often convey what words cannot. Use diagrams, infographics, and images to illustrate your points and simplify the complex.

The goal is to create a visual narrative that complements your verbal one.

3. Narrate your content

Storytelling is another powerful tool for communicating complex concepts.

Whether it's through text to speech AI, video bubbles, or a scrollytelling narrator slide, narrating your content can help guide your audience through the complexity.

By giving your information a narrative structure, you can make it more digestible, engaging, and memorable.

According to Sales Hacker’s data, people remember up to 10% of numbers and 25% of images they see. When you center your presentation around a story, this rises to 60-70% .

4. Use examples and allegories

Examples and allegories help unravel the complexity of ideas.

They scaffold your message with concepts we already know and understand, and can easily imagine in our mind. This makes them less new and intimidating and more familiar.

Critically, the real secret lies in selecting examples that are not just familiar but also deeply relevant—those are the ones that will truly ring with your listeners.

If you tailor the allegory to your audience's world, it is guaranteed to lead to an “aha” moment.

5. Open a line of communication

Finally, invite dialogue. This could be through a chatbot or an option to book a meeting for further discussion. This not only helps clarify any confusion but also encourages engagement and deepens understanding.

For example, finishing your presentation with an interactive calendar to book a meeting instead of a generic “Thank you” slide has proven to boost conversion rate by 27% !

Thank you slide

How to personalize your presentation?

Imagine attending a party where the host doesn't remember your name or anything about you. Not a great experience, right? The same holds true for presentations.

In a sea of generic content, personalization can be a lifeline that connects you to your audience on a deeper level. It’s also the single most important predictor of success, getting 68% more people to read your presentation in full .

But how do you add that personal touch?

1. Address reader by name

Just as you wouldn't start a conversation without a greeting, don't start your presentation without acknowledging your audience.

Using your audience's name can make your presentation feel like a personal conversation rather than a generic monologue. It's a simple yet powerful way to engage your audience from the get-go.

2. Use their company logo

Including your audience's company logo in your presentation can make them feel seen and valued. It shows that you've taken the time to tailor your presentation to them, enhancing its relevance and appeal.

Plus, it's a subtle way to reinforce that your message is specifically designed to address their needs and challenges.

3. Add a personal message (video or text)

A personal message can go a long way in building a connection with your audience.

It could be a video message from you, expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity to present to them, or a text message highlighting why the presentation matters to them.

This personal touch can make your audience feel special and more invested in your presentation.

4. Personalize your Call-to-Action

Finally, cap off your presentation with a call to action that speaks directly to your audience.

Swap out the generic 'Contact us' with something that gets to the heart of their needs, something like, 'Let's roll up our sleeves and tackle your [specific issue] at [their company].'

By tailoring your call to action, you show your audience you've truly got their back, that you're not just here to talk, but to make a real, positive impact on their world.

Here’s an example of a personalized slide:

how to make a good personalized presentation slide

How to measure the effectiveness of your presentation

Imagine if you could peek into your audience's mind, understand what resonated, what fell flat, and what drove them to action?

Presentation analytics is essential in order to guide you on how to fine-tune it for maximum impact.

But how do you get your hands on presentation analytics?

Any presentation you create with Storydoc comes with an out-of-the-box analytics suite , ready to track and provide insights.

We give you 100% visibility into how people engage with your presentations and send you real-time engagement alerts.

Here’s a video explaining how you can track performance with our analytics panel:

Storydoc analytics pa

4 critical presentation engagement metrics to keep track of

1. Reading time

Storydoc gives you the precise time prospects spend reading your presentation so you can quickly figure out what's hitting the target and what's not.

Are they soaking up every word or just quickly skimming through? This can help you shape your content to hit the bullseye.

NOTE: Keep in mind that reading time alone might not show you a full picture. A better way is to use a smart engagement score that brings together different metrics like time spent and depth of reading. You can get this kind of total score in Storydoc.

2. Reading completion

Another basic metric we track is how many people read your content from start to finish.

This metric is a strong sign of the prospect’s interest and your content quality. It shows you if they're finding the information relevant, but also worth sticking with till the end.

3. Next step conversion rate

This one tracks how many people take the next step after they check out your presentation. This could be filling out a form, setting up a meeting, or downloading more files.

For business presentations, measuring this can show how well your presentation is pushing people further down the sales funnel.

At the top of your analytics dashboard, you can find a tab that shows you how many people clicked on your CTA divided by presentation, date, and location. If you scroll down to the list of readers, next to each person you can also see whether they clicked on the CTA or not.

Here's what it looks like:

Analytics panel - CTA

4. Number of shares

This metric is particularly important for B2B sales teams . As more people are getting involved in buying decisions, this measure helps you see if and when your content is being passed around inside your prospect’s company.

On the analytics dashboard, under each presentation version, you can find detailed information on how many people read it. So, the higher the number, the more your presentation has been shared internally.

We'll notify you when your presentation has been shared, and who opened it, so you can time your follow-up perfectly to your buyer’s readiness to advance further.

Here's where you can find this information:

Analytics panel - internal shares

Best tool for making an effective presentation

In the realm of presentation tools, classics like Google Slides and PowerPoint offer simplicity and ease, while Canva and Pitch add a dash of design flair and collaboration.

If you're seeking to elevate your presentations to new heights you’ll need to do better than simple PowerPoints or flashy Canvas. Next-gen AI presentation tools like Storydoc are your game-changer.

They break free from the static concept of slides and offer the creation of interactive, immersive content experiences that sweep us along like a good story.

Storydoc - AI presentatio

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Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

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Blog Beginner Guides How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

Written by: Krystle Wong Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

how to rate a presentation

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

how to rate a presentation

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

how to rate a presentation

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

how to rate a presentation

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

how to rate a presentation

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

how to rate a presentation

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

how to rate a presentation

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

how to rate a presentation

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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Presentation Skills Training

Home >  Presentation Tips > Presentation Skills Training Video Evaluation

You video recorded your participants making their presentations. Now, what parameters should you use to evaluate them? Learn the 3 parameters on which you should evaluate your participants in your Presentation skills training programs.

Your presentation skills training evaluation parameters reinforce your lessons:

The parameters you use to evaluate your participants will primarily depend on the lessons you covered in your program. With that said, there are certain parameters that are worth including in your presentation rubric to make your evaluation complete.

These are the parameters we use in our Presentation skills training programs.

Criteria for deciding the evaluation parameters:

Many trainers make the mistake of evaluating videos only for obvious aspects like negative body language or distracting mannerisms of the presenters. Since these aspects stick out like sore thumb it is easy to harp on these forever.

When you highlight the negatives, participants object to having their videos shared with others.

A good evaluation draws participant’s attention to subtler aspects that are normally missed. That is why our evaluation parameters give equal emphasis on the clarity of message and the effectiveness of delivery.

Download the Presentation Skills Training Video Evaluation sheet

Evaluation Parameters:

Video analysis is primarily used to evaluate the delivery aspects of the presentations. Over the years, we’ve seen that the effectiveness of delivery is a good indicator of the strength of the underlying content.

Thus, the parameters for presentation evaluation may be classified into 3 main categories. They are

  • Presentation Structure
  • Method of Delivery and
  • Style of Delivery

Let us understand the parameters in detail.

A) Presentation Structure

1. story flow:.

This parameter is used to evaluate the flow structure chosen to build the presentation. The structure could be anything from – ‘Problem – cause- solution’ to ‘Goal – path- challenges’. The evaluation is based on clarity and logic of the argument.

2. Message clarity in slides:

The questions to evaluate this parameter are:

  • Do the PowerPoint slides serve as teleprompter for the presenter or do they help the audience understand the information better?
  • Can the audience derive a clear message from each slide?
  • Are the assertions supported with credible data, pictures or diagrams?

Related: Evaluating PowerPoint Presentations

3. Visual representation of ideas:

Did the presenter use charts, diagrams and images to explain the ideas clearly? Are the slides clean, without any unnecessary information? Has the presenter used meaningful animation to present ideas in stages?

B) Method of Delivery

4. Effective opening:

The 2 questions used to consider the effectiveness of opening are –

  • Was the opening strong enough to grab the audience attention?
  • Did the opening help the presenter to establish credibility?

5. Audience engagement:

Did the presenter engage the audience by asking questions or eliciting views? Did s/he acknowledge the comments and questions of the audience?

6. Verbal transitions between slides:

Did the presenter consistently summarize the current slide and give a preview of the next slide, before showing the next slide?

Verbal transition ensures that the audience stays connected with the story. It indicates that the presenter has built the slide structure based on a strong presentation outline. When a presenter uses verbal transition consistently, it shows that he/she has sufficiently rehearsed the presentation.

C) Style of Delivery

7. eye contact:.

Did the presenter maintain sufficient eye contact with the audience? Did he/she give equal attention to everyone in the room?

8. Voice clarity:

Could the last person in the audience clearly hear the voice of the presenter? Was there sufficient modulation in the voice?

9. Hand gestures:

Were there nervous hand gestures? Was the hand movement used to emphasize key points in the speech? Were there any distracting hand gestures like jangling of coins, clutching the marker etc?

10. Movement:

Did the presenter seek the comfort of the podium or move around freely? Did s/he pace the room nervously or commit other body language blunders? Did the presenter move away from the audience when faced with uncomfortable questions? Did he/she step forward when asking for a decision from the audience?


These 10 parameters help you effectively evaluate the video recordings of your participants in Presentation skill training workshop.

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Average Speaking Rate and Words per Minute

November 8, 2022 - Dom Barnard

The speed at which you talk has a huge influence on how the audience perceives you and your speech. It’s important, therefore, to understand your speaking rate and how to alter it depending on the type of speech you are delivering.

In this article, you’ll learn how to calculate your speaking rate and how it compares to the average rate for popular talks to give you some context. Audio samples of speaking rates at the extremes are provided, so you can understand the difference in words per minute.

At the end of the article, exercises are provided to help you develop an adaptive speaking rate.

How to calculate your speaking rate

Speaking rate is often expressed in words per minute (wpm). To calculate this value, you’ll need to record yourself talking for a few minutes and then add up the number of words in your speech. Divide the total number of words by the number of minutes your speech took.

Speaking rate (wpm) = total words / number of minutes

You can record yourself with this  online voice recorder . Once you have the audio of your speech, there are two ways to get the number of words:

  • Manually count the words as you listen back to the audio
  • Upload the speech recording to a  speech-to-text platform

When you have the speech converted to text format, copy the text into a software package such as Microsoft Word, which provides a useful word count for the document.

Once you have the number of words, convert the time to minutes – for example, if your speech was 4 minutes 30 seconds, you need to divide the number of words by 4.5 (as 30 seconds is half of a minute).

JFK inaugural address

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, where he slowed his usually very high speaking rate down to below 100 wpm (his average was well above 150 wpm).

What is the average speaking rate?

The average speaking rate changes dramatically for the purpose of your speech. According to the National Center for Voice and Speech, the average conversation rate for English speakers in the United States is about  150 wpm . However, for radio presenters or podcasters, the wpm is higher.

Here is a list of average speech rates for different activities.

Average speech rates

  • Presentations : between 100-150 wpm for a comfortable pace
  • Conversational : between 120-150 wpm
  • Audiobooks : between 150-160 wpm, which is the upper range that people comfortably hear and vocalize words
  • Radio hosts and podcasters : between 150-160 wpm
  • Auctioneers : can speak at about 250 wpm
  • Commentators : between 250-400 wpm

To give these speech rates some context, if the speaking pace is 130 words per minute, you’ll finish reading an A4 page (Calibri, font size 11) in 4 minutes, 51 seconds.

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Extremes of speaking rate – world record pace

Steven Woodmore  is a British electronics salesman and comedian known for his rapid speech articulation, being able to articulate 637 wpm, a speed four times faster than the average person.

Woodmore was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest talker, a title which he held for five years, taking the helm from the previous record holder, John Moschitta, Jr.

A comparison of words per minute for popular TED Talks

Let’s compare different presentation styles to show you how speech rates can vary widely. We’ll use popular TED Talks to compare words per minute for different presentations.

We’ve analyzed five TED Talks, ranging from short speeches up to 22 minutes. When we were calculating the length of the presentation, we included time when the audience was clapping and when the presenter changed slides.

We tried to pick from a wide range of speech topics to get an unbiased average.

The average speaking rate was 173 words per minute. The speaking rate ranged from 154 to 201 words per minute.

Popular TED Talk speaking rates

  • How great leaders inspire action (Simon Sinek) – 170 wpm
  • The power of introverts (Susan Cain) – 176 wpm
  • Do schools kill creativity? (Sir Ken Robinson) – 165 wpm
  • Why we do what we do (Tony Robbins) – 201 wpm
  • The power of vulnerability (Brené Brown) – 154 wpm

Average words per minute for popular TED Talks (wpm)

What influences your overall speaking rate?

Here are several factors that affect the overall speaking rate, most of which can be controlled by you.

  • Regular speaking rate  – this is the result of your environment, where you grew up, your parents, culture, friends around you, and more.
  • Nervousness  – you’ve probably noticed it yourself,  when you are nervous , you speak much quicker and take short shallow breaths as you rush through the content.
  • Saying something urgent  – understandably, we speak much quicker when there is an emergency, for example calling an ambulance or explaining an incident to the police.
  • Mental fatigue  – tiredness affects our thought process, making it harder for us to articulate ourselves, causing us to talk more slowly.
  • Complexity of the words  – longer, more complex words will take slightly longer to say, and if you are counting words per minute, it will affect speech pace slightly (although somewhat negligible)
  • Complexity of content  – if you are presenting complex content, you’ll want to speak slower than usual to give the audience time to comprehend the concepts and content.
  • Verbal pauses  – pauses are a great way to break up the content and give emphasis to what you are saying. Naturally this will slow down your speaking rate. Read  10 Effective Ways to use Pauses in your Speech .
  • Event driven pauses  – these are pauses caused by a change in slides, a demo of your product, checking your notes, and so on.
  • Audience driven pauses  – these events are caused by your audience, for example, when they laugh and ask questions.

Example audio clips of different speech rates

Example 1 – why we do what we do (tony robbins).

Sample of ‘Why we do what we do’ speech, spoken at 201 wpm.

Example 2 – We Shall Fight on the Beaches (Winston Churchill)

Sample of ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’ speech, spoken at 128 wpm.

Tony Robbins TED Talk - Why we do what we do

Tony Robbins giving his TED Talk, Why we do what we do, with an average speaking pace of 201 wpm.

Is speaking rate important?

In short, yes, your rate of speech does have an impact on how the audience perceive you and your message.

Generally, a slower rate is easier to understand for the audience. If you include pauses as well, you give the audience time to absorb the messages of your presentation.

However listening back to the Tony Robbins speech above, which was at over 200 wpm, you’ll probably find you were still able to understand what he was saying. This is because he clearly articulates his words and uses easy to understand language. Clarity is just as important as speech pace.

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Try to vary your speaking rate

No matter what your average speaking rate is over the entire speech, you should vary it throughout the speech. Varying your speech makes it more interesting for the audience and adds emotion to the content. Without pace variation, you’re in danger of sounding monotone.

For example, you can speak faster to convey excitement, or slower to reflect sadness or importance.

When to change your speed

  • Speaking fast  – indication of passion, urgency, excitement, and emotion
  • Speaking slow  – indication of importance, sadness, confusion, the seriousness of a point

When you’re speaking quickly, initially it is exciting for the audience, but after a minute or two, it stops being stimulating and becomes overwhelming.

When you are speaking slowly, it can grab the attention of the audience and help them process every word, but an entire talk at a slow pace will bore your audience: while waiting for you to get to the point they will lose interest.

Remember: The rate we speak at is highly individual

This is an important point to remember. If you take some well-known speeches and change the pace of their delivery, the meaning would be lost. For example, the “ I Have a Dream ” by Martin Luther King was spoken at a slow rate.

The long pauses and carefully spoken words give us time to absorb the information and plenty of time for the audience to applaud throughout. Even if you did not understand the words, the slow pace indicates that the message is important and should be taken seriously.

Cultural differences

Culture plays a big role in the pace we naturally speak at. Even locations within the  same country  can make a difference – people in London typically speak faster than people from Yorkshire for example. Also, if English isn’t the speakers first language, they usually speak a little slower as well.

How to practice: Getting the right speaking pace

Test your speaking pace.

Practice reading a transcript aloud at different paces to better understand how different speeds sound. Learn More

Here are two ways to measure and practice your speaking pace.

Use a metronome

The metronome ticks at a certain rate depending on what you set it to. If you want to speak at 130 words per minute, set the metronome to this value and practice saying a word every tick of the metronome.

This is a good start, however when actually presenting to an audience, you’ll want to vary this pace to emphasise certain points – a speech at exactly 130 wpm throughout would sound very monotone and rehearsed.

Use practice exercises

Online exercises let you practice your speech in a variety of scenarios. Practice presenting at a conference, delivering a sales pitch, answering interview questions, and more. With  VirtualSpeech practice exercises , you can get feedback on your speaking rate after your speech and adjust it accordingly for your next speech.

Example practice exercises you can use to measure your speaking pace during a speech or presentation. See all the  practice exercises here .

5 exercises to develop an adaptive speaking rate

Tips taken from  Quick & easy tips for speaking rate

1. Reading children’s stories

Read a children’s story silently several times to familiarize yourself with the flow. Go through it again, noting which passages would suit taking more quickly and which should be slower. Then read it aloud and listen carefully to how speed alters interpretation. Repeat the exercise altering your speed over particular passages, noting the differences.

Record yourself if possible doing this and all the following exercises. Save all the versions you do. You’ll then have them to refer back to. Recording takes out the guess work as you can hear exactly what you did, rather than what you imagined you did. It doesn’t lie!

2. Read factual reports

Pick an information loaded report from a newspaper or magazine.

Go through it silently to familiarize yourself with the flow of material and then read it aloud. Make a note of which passages need careful or slow reading and which can be taken at a faster rate. Re-read aloud until you feel you have the mix of speeds right.

As an extension exercise, read the report as if you were reading for an audience who knew nothing about the subject. Note what changes you made and why.

3. Experiment with one of your own speeches

Record and time yourself delivering a speech of your own at your current ‘normal’ speaking rate.

Note the time down. Now go through again having marked passages for slower or faster treatment. Note the new time and your new insights.

4. Listen to good speakers

Listen to speakers you admire. They could be radio presenters,  commencement speeches , anybody accustomed to speaking in public. Note the different rates of speech they use over the course of their presentation and the effectiveness and experiment with them for yourself.

5. Play with material you are familiar with

Read or recite part of a text you know well quickly (or slowly). If you can record yourself, do so. If not, listen and note the effect it has on you. If you’ve recorded yourself, play it back.

Ask yourself where was the speed effective? Where was it detrimental? Mark those places on your script. Read again incorporating your changes.

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How to Adjust the Rate of Speech in Innovative Presentations

Innovative presentations for dummies.

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Rate of speech is how fast you talk in words per minute (wpm) and is an important component of innovative presentations. Rate of speech is also called speed, pace, tempo, and rhythm. The typical or average speech rate is about 125 wpm, and most people recommend that you speak between 110 to 180 wpm, although not consistently.

How can you tell if you speak within the 110 to 180 words-per-minute guideline? Read one or two pages of a prepared (scripted) speech or presentation out loud and time yourself for a minute. Count the words you read and divide it by 60 to get your average wpm.

A constant rate of speech almost always accompanies a dull, monotone speaking voice. Using an unvarying speed and pitch works great for a hypnotist (“you are getting very sleepy … ”), but it’s not so effective for a presenter. Like a fine passage of music, which alternates between speeding up and slowing down, your voice should vary in rate throughout your talk.

Changing your pace sounds more natural and makes your delivery come across more animated and conversational.

Fast talking at higher speeds can confuse an audience, make it difficult for them to concentrate, or just plain annoy them. Other than your attempts at vocal showmanship, speaking quickly during your presentation suggests nervousness, lack of confidence, irritability, or being rushed — the audience may get the impression you have somewhere else to be!

This feeling is magnified when you accompany fast talking with poor eye contact, stiff posture, and lack of gestures. Worse, with certain glib personality types, fast talking can be perceived as slick or smarmy. However, when combined with sincere smiling, meaningful gestures, and effective eye contact, a somewhat faster pace indicates enthusiasm, excitement, and enjoyment.

The term fast is relative: Trisha Paytas, a model and actress from Los Angeles, has a black belt in fast talking. She set a world record by speaking (if you call it that) 710 words in only 54 seconds! It sounds like gibberish until you slow down the recording and find her articulation is nearly flawless!

Don’t pack your presentation with overflowing information if you have a limited amount of time. That forces you to rush through your presentation by talking fast and furiously.

Varying your speaking rate in a presentation is like shifting gears in a car — you use each speed for a purpose as the situation and needs dictate: starting out, going up hill, straightaway cruising, speeding up to pass, or coming to a stop.

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  • Innovative Presentations For Dummies ,

About the book authors:

Ray Anthony has helped Fortune 500 clients close multi-million dollar deals by designing and developing extraordinarily innovative, solution-selling presentations with superior value propositions for his clients. Barbara Boyd has worked as a marketing and technology consultant for more than 10 years and is the author of several books.

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PowerPoint Charts, Graphs, & Tables Made Easy | Tips & Tricks

Bryan Gamero

In today's digital world, effective communication is key, especially in presentations. After all, in a world saturated with information, the power to express your message clearly and impactfully can make all the difference.

We know that conveying complex information can be challenging, but guess what? It doesn't have to be! After discussing this with our 200+ expert presentation designers , I've gathered their best practices and strategies to create this comprehensive guide.

Below, you will find expert tips and tricks for making, customizing, and presenting PowerPoint charts, graphs, and tables. Stay with us!

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Today, we'll explore the following topics:

  • PowerPoint Charts and Graphs 

Tables in PowerPoint

Free powerpoint charts, graphs, and tables templates, ready to enhance your presentations our team at 24slides is here to help, powerpoint charts and graphs.

If you are thinking of adding tables to your PowerPoint presentation, let me first show you two other great options: charts and graphs.

Charts and graphs stand out for making complex information easy to read at a glance. They’re ideal for identifying trends, representing patterns, and making decisions easier. In addition, charts and graphs capture the audience's attention.

You have many types to choose from, and we'll go over the most important ones later. In the meantime, here are some examples:

Free PowerPoint Chart Template

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to take your presentations to the next level.

But you may have a question in mind: What is the difference between a chart and a graph in PowerPoint? Charts refer to any visual representation of data, whether graphical or non-graphical (such as tables). Graphs, on the other hand, refer specifically to the graphical representation of data (such as bar charts).

In other words, all graphs are charts, but not all charts are graphs.

People often confuse these terms in PowerPoint, but they actually refer to different visual elements.

How to Make a Chart in PowerPoint?

First, go to the Insert tab. Then, click on Chart and select your favorite chart type. Finally, enter your data or copy it from somewhere else. Simple!

Here you have the detailed step-by-step instructions:

  • Select the slide where you want to add the chart. Choose the Insert tab, then select the Illustrations group's Chart option.

How to insert a chart in PowerPoint

  • A dialog box for inserting charts will appear. Choose a category on the left, then double-click the chart you want on the right.

How to add a chart in PowerPoint

  • When inserted, the chart appears alongside a spreadsheet. Here, you have to replace the placeholder data with your own details. 

To edit your chart's content, use the selection handles in the spreadsheet to add or remove data.

How to add charts in PowerPoint

  • When inserting a chart, you will see small buttons on the upper right side of the chart. 

Format using the Chart Elements button. Click on “+” to tweak the chart title, data labels, and more. Use the Chart Styles button (brush) to change the chart's color or style. Finally, the Chart Filters button (funnel) will show or hide data from your chart.

Formating tables in PowerPoint

Customizing Charts in PowerPoint

We already know about the power of PowerPoint charts, but we still have one more step to take: customizing them.

  • Edit data: You can modify data directly in PowerPoint. Just double-click on the chart to open the associated Excel spreadsheet. Here, you can add, delete, or edit data. If you want to do it like a pro, check out how to Link or Embed an Excel File in PowerPoint. 
  • Change the design: Go to the design tab. Here, you can add or remove elements such as titles, captions, labels, etc.
  • Change color and style: Select the format tab. In this section, you will find options to change the chart's color and style. You can even make individual changes.
  • Add shape effects: Go to the format tab and unleash your creativity. You can add shadows, reflections, and 3D effects.

And there you have it; now you know how to customize your PowerPoint Chart. If you are looking for more inspiration, take a look at our detailed Flowchart and Gantt Chart articles.

Chart vs table

Is a chart better than a table?

Charts vs. Tables in PowerPoint

We already know the importance of using tables in PowerPoint presentations. However, you may have a question in mind: are charts better than tables? The short answer is: it depends.

First off, think about what type of data you are dealing with and, most importantly, what message you are trying to get across.

Charts are great for showing trends, making comparisons, and connecting data points. They’re also visually appealing. Conversely, tables could be your perfect selection for numerical data and comprehensive details.

The most important types of charts in PPT and which one is best for you

We have checked out why adding visuals is a game-changer for your presentations. However, which one is best for your needs? 

Based on our more than 10 years of expertise and creating around 17,500 slides per month, these are the charts most requested by our customers. Let's explore each one!

“Columns, bars, lines, and pie charts are top picks for clients because they're more descriptive and easier to get for the audience.” Briana/ Design Manager

Column Chart

Ideal for making comparisons. You can represent data in an attractive and clear way. It’s also a great option for showing changes over time. Here, you can emphasize the difference in quantities.

Imagine you're tracking sales for a store. If you have many categories of sales data and need to compare them, a column chart could be just what you need.

Free Column Chart Template

Download our Free Column Chart Template here.

Like the column chart, the bar chart can simplify complex information quickly , especially when comparing data. But, the horizontal layout might influence how people see things, potentially altering how they understand your data. Keep this in mind!

When you have long category labels or many categories, choose a bar chart instead of a column chart. Horizontal bars are easier to read and take up less space in the presentation.

Free Bar Chart Template

Download our Free Bar Chart Template here.

The top choice for showing trends over time. You can even combine it with other charts. For example, you can add them to a column chart to display different data at a glance. This makes it easier for viewers to understand complex information.

But how to make a line graph in PowerPoint? First, click on the Insert tab. Then, click on Graph and select Line Graph. That's it—it's as simple as that.

Free Line Chart Template

Download our Free Line Chart Template here .

The best for showing proportions. Not only is it easy to understand, but you will also be able to illustrate percentages or parts of a whole.

Pie charts are easy to create, you need to figure out the percentages or proportions of each data category. But remember, keep the chart to six or fewer sections. This maintains data impact, avoiding confusion.

Free Pie Chart Template

Download our Free Pie Chart Template here .

How to Use Charts and Graphs Effectively?

We already know how to use PowerPoint charts, graphs, and tables, but we want to go one step further. Here are the best tips for making effective PowerPoint presentations.

  • Choose the right type of chart. Choose graphics that best suit your data. For example, use column or bar charts to compare categories, line charts to show trends over time, and pie charts to display parts of a whole.
  • Be selective. Avoid using too much information, eliminate irrelevant details, and keep it simple. By focusing on the most important data points, you enhance the clarity of the information for your audience.
  • Pay attention to color. When presenting data , keep in mind the consistency of the colors and make sure essential information stands out. Avoid using too many colors here, as this can be distracting.
  • Add context. Make your titles clear and descriptive. Labels should also serve as a guide for viewers to understand everything easily. This could mean explaining trends, defining terms, or just describing where the data comes from.
  • Consistency. Use the same style and format for your graphics and data. Ensure brand consistency in a presentation is key. This creates a professional and polished visual presentation.
  • Be creative. Try unique ways to showcase your data, like infographics or custom graphics. For example, you can use a bar chart to compare categories and a line chart to show the trend over time.
Pro Tip: Creating a PowerPoint infographic is one of the most creative ways to present data. They provide a visually engaging and easy-to-follow format for presenting complex information. Briana/ Design Manager

PowerPoint tables help organize and display data in a structured way for presentations. They’re made up of rows and columns containing text, numerical data, or other information.

Tables are awesome for showing comparisons, summarizing information, sharing research findings, and planning. Because of all that, they are a top choice for visualizing financial or statistical data. They’re incredibly versatile and practical!

All you need to do is put the right labels on, and reading should be a breeze. Believe us, your audience will appreciate it. Do you want to present data in detail and make comparisons? Then, this is your best option.

People have been using PowerPoint tables for a long time. Why? That's simple: they’re easy to read.

Here's an example:

Free Table Template

Download our Free Table Template here .

How to Make a Table in PowerPoint?

Inserting tables in PowerPoint is quite simple. Just click on Insert and then on Table . Next, just drag the mouse down to choose the number of rows and columns you need.

How to make a table in PowerPoint

Should you require a bigger table? You can manually select the values for the columns and rows. 

How to manually insert a table in PowerPoint

Customizing tables in PowerPoint

Now that we know how to create a table in PowerPoint, let's customize it. But first, let's learn how to add rows and columns in PowerPoint.

  • How to add a row to a table in PowerPoint?

Click on a cell in the existing table. Go to the Layout tab in the ribbon and select Insert . Select Insert Rows Above or Insert Rows Below , depending on where you want to add the new row.

How to add a row to a table in PowerPoint

  • How to add a column to a table in PowerPoint?

Click on an adjacent cell in the table. Go to the Layout tab in the ribbon and then select Insert . Choose either Insert Columns Left or Insert Columns Right , depending on where you want to add the new column.

How to add a column to a table in PowerPoint

Now that you have the structure of your table ready, let's give it some styling:

  • Applying style in your table presentation

To edit your tables, first select a cell. Then, click on the Design tab to pick the style you like best. Finally, click on the drop-down arrow to see the complete Table Styles gallery .

Applying style in your table presentation

That's it. Now you know how to use tables in PowerPoint.

How to Use Tables Effectively?

Tables are powerful tools for presenting data in a structured format. They can enhance clarity, facilitate comparisons, and convey complex information.

However, when you don't use them correctly, they can have the opposite effect, making the information flat and boring. So here are golden rules to help you:

Keep it simple

Don't overload your table with too much information. Focus on the most important information to keep it clear and easy to read. Remember, the powerful presentation of data is in simplicity.

Consider whether gridlines are necessary for your table. Removing them can make your board look cleaner and more professional.

Although many don't mention it, choosing the right words is vital. The more you can say of the same idea in fewer words, the better. Avoid using words or connectors that add nothing to the message.

Highlight key data points

Make your table pop using bold, italics, or fun colors to highlight important data or headings. This will make the table easier to read.

Consider adding shades for alternate rows to make your table easier to read. Make the shadow subtle, to avoid distraction from the data itself.

You can use color to emphasize backgrounds or text. No matter which method you opt for to add contrast, remember that “less is more” when creating an effective table.


Consistency is crucial in tables, as it is in graphics. Ensure that the font style, size, and color are the same across the entire table. This helps maintain visual harmony.

Align your text and numbers properly so they're easier to read and give your table a polished look. If you will use decimals, think about aligning them to facilitate comparisons.

In this article, we have explored the benefits of incorporating visuals like charts, graphs, and presentation tables in PowerPoint. We also know how to add them and ensure they look good. 

Just remember to pick the right chart and keep your presentations consistent.

And as I said at the beginning, conveying complex information doesn't have to be challenging! Our Templates by 24Slides platform has hundreds of free PowerPoint charts, graphs, and table templates. 

You can download and combine different templates to create a shiny PowerPoint Presentation. All the examples in this article are fully customizable, allowing you to insert your data without worrying about design. Enjoy them!

Knowing how to use PowerPoint charts, graphs, and tables can make the difference between a successful presentation and a failed one. However, mastering the art of presenting data takes more time and effort. 

The good news? You can always trust professionals to do the heavy work, allowing you to focus on improving your product or service — what really matters to your business.

With an average satisfaction score of 4.8 out of 5 from over 1.3 million redesigned slides, it's safe to say we're incredibly proud of the product we deliver.

We're the world's largest presentation design company.

Not only will you receive an attractive presentation, but we will create one that fits your brand's visual guidelines. Most importantly, it will help emphasize your message and engage your audience.

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Ready to elevate your PowerPoint presentations? Explore this content!

  • PowerPoint 101: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
  • Mastering the Art of Presenting Data in PowerPoint
  • The Ultimate Brand Identity Presentation Guide [FREE PPT Template]
  • 7 Essential Storytelling Techniques for your Business Presentation
  • The Cost of PowerPoint Presentations: Discover the hidden expenses you might overlook!

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Track your regular work hours, break time, and overtime hours.

NOTICE: On April 23, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) announced a final rule, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees , which will take effect on July 1, 2024. The final rule updates and revises the regulations issued under section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act implementing the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) employees. Revisions include increases to the standard salary level and the highly compensated employee total annual compensation threshold, and a mechanism that provides for the timely and efficient updating of these earnings thresholds to reflect current earnings data.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

  • FLSA Minimum Wage : The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Many states also have minimum wage laws. In cases where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage.
  • FLSA Overtime : Covered nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek (any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods) at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.
  • Hours Worked : Hours worked ordinarily include all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace.
  • Recordkeeping : Employers must display an official poster outlining the requirements of the FLSA. Employers must also keep employee time and pay records.
  • Child Labor : These provisions are designed to protect the educational opportunities of minors and prohibit their employment in jobs and under conditions detrimental to their health or well-being.

On January 10, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act , effective March 11, 2024, revising the Department’s guidance on how to analyze who is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This final rule rescinds the Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act rule ( 2021 IC Rule , 86 FR 1168), that was published on January 7, 2021. This guidance will be updated.

General Guidance

  • Guía Práctica Referente a la Ley de Normas Justas de Trabajo
  • Employment Law Guide: Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay
  • Questions and Answers about the FLSA
  • Information on Furloughs and Other Reductions in Pay
  • Break Time for Nursing Mothers
  • Spanish Version (PDF)
  • Chinese Version (PDF)
  • Korean Version (PDF)
  • Polish Version (PDF)
  • Tagalog Version (PDF)
  • Thai Version (PDF)
  • Russian Version (PDF)
  • Vietnamese Version (PDF)
  • Haitian Creole Version (PDF)
  • FLSA Resources for Puerto Rico
  • Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
  • Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay for Direct Care Workers
  • Holiday Season Employment Information
  • COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies and the FLSA
  • Spanish Version
  • Hmong Version (PDF)
  • Additional FLSA Posters
  • Administrator Interpretations
  • Opinion Letters
  • The Coverage and Employment Status Advisor helps identify which workers are employees covered by the FLSA.
  • The Hours Worked Advisor provides information to help determine which hours spent in work-related activities are considered FLSA “hours worked” and therefore must be paid.
  • The Overtime Security Advisor helps determine which employees are exempt from the FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay requirements under the Part 541 overtime regulations.
  • The Overtime Calculator Advisor computes the amount of overtime pay due in a sample pay period based on information from the user.
  • The Child Labor Rules Advisor answers questions about the FLSA’s youth employment provisions, including at what age young people can work and the jobs they can perform.
  • The Section 14(c) Advisor helps users understand the special minimum wage requirements for workers with disabilities.
  • Comprehensive FLSA Presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • Executive, Administrative, and Professional Exemption Presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint)

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Fair Labor Standards Act


  • 29 CFR Chapter V

Civil Money Penalty Inflation Adjustments

Starting in 2016, agencies across the federal government must adjust their penalties for inflation each year. Below is a table that reflects the adjustments that have occurred for penalties under this statute. For more information on the penalty adjustments, go here .

Civil Money Penalty Inflation Adjustments
Type of ViolationStatutory CitationCFR CitationMaximum Civil Monetary Penalty on or before 1/15/2024Maximum Civil Monetary Penalty on or after 1/16/2024

Violation of recordkeeping, monetary, certificate or other statutes, regulations or employer assurances.
29 USC 211(d)29 CFR 530.302$1,240$1,280
Child labor:

(1) Violation of child labor standards (sec 212 or 213(c));
29 USC 216(e)(1)(A)(i)29 CFR 570.140(b)(1) and 29 CFR 579.1(a)(1)(i)(A)$15,138$15,629
(2) Violation of child labor standards (sec 212 or 213(c)) that causes the serious injury or death of a minor;29 USC 216(e)(1)(A)(ii)29 CFR 570.140(b)(2) and 29 CFR 579.1(a)(1)(i)(B)$68,801$71,031
(3) Willful or repeated violation of child labor standards (sec 212 or 213(c)) that causes the serious injury or death of a minor29 USC 216(e)(1)(A)(ii)29 CFR 570.140(b)(2) and 29 CFR 579.1(a)(1)(i)(B)$137,602$142,062
(4) Repeated or willful violation of section 206 or 207.29 USC 216(e)29 CFR 579.1(a)(2)$2,374$2,451
(5) Violation of section 203(m)(2)(B)29 USC 216(e)(2)29 CFR 579.1(a)(2)(ii) and 29 CFR 578.3(a)(1)$1,330$1,373

Here’s how you know

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Institutes of Health

Melatonin: What You Need To Know

Woman looking at computer screen at night

.header_greentext{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_bluetext{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_redtext{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_purpletext{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_yellowtext{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_blacktext{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_whitetext{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;}.Green_Header{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Blue_Header{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Red_Header{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Purple_Header{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Yellow_Header{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Black_Header{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.White_Header{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;} What is melatonin and how does it work?

Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production.

Research suggests that melatonin plays other important roles in the body beyond sleep. However, these effects are not fully understood.

Melatonin dietary supplements can be made from animals or microorganisms, but most often they’re made synthetically. The information below is about melatonin dietary supplements.

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Melatonin supplements may help with certain conditions, such as jet lag, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, some sleep disorders in children, and anxiety before and after surgery.

.header_greentext{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_bluetext{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_redtext{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_purpletext{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_yellowtext{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_blacktext{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_whitetext{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;}.Green_Header{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Blue_Header{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Red_Header{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Purple_Header{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Yellow_Header{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Black_Header{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.White_Header{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;} Jet lag

Jet lag affects people when they travel by air across multiple time zones. With jet lag, you may not feel well overall and you may have disturbed sleep, daytime tiredness, impaired functioning, and digestive problems.

Research suggests that melatonin supplements may help with jet lag. This is based on medium-sized reviews from 2010 and 2014.

  • Four studies that included a total of 142 travelers showed that melatonin may be better than a placebo (an inactive substance) in reducing overall symptoms of jet lag after eastward flights. Another study of 234 travelers on eastward flights looked at only sleep quality and found low-quality evidence that melatonin may be better than placebo for improving sleep quality.
  • Two studies that included a total of 90 travelers showed that melatonin may be better than a placebo in reducing symptoms of jet lag after westward flights.

.header_greentext{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_bluetext{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_redtext{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_purpletext{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_yellowtext{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_blacktext{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_whitetext{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;}.Green_Header{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Blue_Header{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Red_Header{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Purple_Header{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Yellow_Header{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Black_Header{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.White_Header{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;} Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD)

People with DSWPD have trouble falling asleep at the usual times and waking up in the morning. They typically have difficulty getting to sleep before 2 to 6 a.m. and would prefer to wake up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Melatonin supplements appear to help with sleep in people with DSWPD, but it’s uncertain whether the benefits outweigh the possible harms. This is based on a clinical practice guideline, a small review, and a more recent study.

  • In 2015, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommended melatonin supplements given at specific times for DSWPD. The recommendation was a weak one, and it came with uncertainty about whether the benefits of melatonin outweigh its potential harms.
  • A 2016 review that looked at a small number of people (52) from two studies showed that melatonin supplements reduced the time it took for people with DSWPD to fall asleep when compared to placebo. On average, it took about 22 minutes less for them to fall asleep.
  • A 2018 randomized controlled trial that lasted 4 weeks and included 307 people with DSWPD found that taking melatonin 1 hour before the desired bedtime combined with going to bed at a set time led to several improvements. Those improvements included falling asleep an average of 34 minutes earlier, better sleep during the first third of the night, and better daytime functioning.

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Sleep problems in children can have undesirable effects on their behavior, daytime functioning, and quality of life. Children with certain conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are more prone to sleep problems than other children.

There are no overall guidelines on the best approach to improving sleep in children. However, guidelines for specific conditions recommend behavioral treatments, such as good bedtime habits and parent education, as an initial treatment that may be supplemented with medicines.

The list below shows the review’s results on melatonin’s short-term effects for children with specific conditions.

  • Children with ASD fell asleep 37 minutes earlier and slept 48 minutes longer.
  • Children with ADHD fell asleep 20 minutes earlier and slept 33 minutes longer.
  • Children with atopic dermatitis fell asleep 6.8 minutes earlier and slept 35 minutes longer.
  • Children with chronic sleep-onset insomnia fell asleep 24 minutes earlier and slept 25 minutes longer.

Because there aren’t many studies on children and melatonin supplements, there is a lot we don’t know about the use of melatonin in children. For example, there are uncertainties about what dose to use and when to give it, the effects of melatonin use over long periods of time, and whether melatonin’s benefits outweigh its possible risks. Because melatonin is a hormone, it’s possible that melatonin supplements could affect hormonal development, including puberty, menstrual cycles, and overproduction of the hormone prolactin, but we don’t know for sure.

Because of these uncertainties, it’s best to work with a health care provider if you’re considering giving a child melatonin for sleep problems.

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Anxiety before and after surgery happens in up to 80 percent of patients.

Melatonin supplements appear to be helpful in reducing anxiety before surgery, but it’s unclear if it helps to lower anxiety after surgery. This is a based on a 2015 review.

  • The 2015 review looked at 12 studies that involved 774 people and assessed melatonin supplements for treating anxiety before surgery, anxiety after surgery, or both. The review found strong evidence that melatonin is better than placebo at reducing anxiety before surgery. Melatonin supplements may be as effective as standard treatment (the antianxiety medicine midazolam). However, the results on melatonin’s benefits for reducing anxiety after surgery were mixed.

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Current research looking at the effects of melatonin on COVID-19 is only in the early stages. There are a few randomized controlled trials (studies evaluating melatonin in people) in progress. At this point, it is too soon to reach conclusions on whether melatonin is helpful for COVID-19.

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Studies of the effect of melatonin supplements on cancer symptoms or treatment-related side effects have been small and have had mixed results.

Keep in mind that unproven products should not be used to replace or delay conventional medical treatment for cancer. Also, some products can interfere with standard cancer treatments or have special risks for people who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Before using any complementary health approach, including melatonin, people who’ve been diagnosed with cancer should talk with their health care providers to make sure that all aspects of their care work together.

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People with insomnia have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. When symptoms last a month or longer, it’s called chronic insomnia.

According to practice guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2017) and the American College of Physicians (2016), there’s not enough strong evidence on the effectiveness or safety of melatonin supplementation for chronic insomnia to recommend its use. The American College of Physicians guidelines strongly recommend the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as an initial treatment for insomnia.

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Shift work that involves night shifts may cause people to feel sleepy at work and make it difficult to sleep during the daytime after a shift ends.

According to two 2014 research reviews, studies on whether melatonin supplements help shift workers were generally small or inconclusive.

  • The first review looked at 7 studies that included a total of 263 participants. The results suggested that (1) people taking melatonin may sleep about 24 minutes longer during the daytime, but (2) other aspects of sleep, such as time needed to fall asleep, may not change. The evidence, however, was considered to be of low quality.
  • The other review looked at 8 studies (5 of which were also in the first review), with a total of 300 participants, to see whether melatonin helped promote sleep in shift workers. Six of the studies were high quality, and they had inconclusive results. The review did not make any recommendations for melatonin use in shift workers.

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For melatonin supplements, particularly at doses higher than what the body normally produces, there’s not enough information yet about possible side effects to have a clear picture of overall safety. Short-term use of melatonin supplements appears to be safe for most people, but information on the long-term safety of supplementing with melatonin is lacking.

Also keep in mind:

Interactions with medicines

  • As with all dietary supplements, people who are taking medicine should consult their health care providers before using melatonin. In particular, people with epilepsy and those taking blood thinner medications need to be under medical supervision when taking melatonin supplements.

Possible allergic reaction risk

  • There may be a risk of allergic reactions to melatonin supplements.

Safety concerns for pregnant and breastfeeding women

  • There’s been a lack of research on the safety of melatonin use in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Safety concerns for older people

  • The 2015 guidelines by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend against melatonin use by people with dementia.
  • Melatonin may stay active in older people longer than in younger people and cause daytime drowsiness.

Melatonin is regulated as a dietary supplement

  • In the United States, melatonin is considered a dietary supplement. This means that it’s regulated less strictly by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) than a prescription or over-the-counter drug would be. In several other countries, melatonin is available only with a prescription and is considered a drug.

Products may not contain what’s listed on the label

  • Some melatonin supplements may not contain what’s listed on the product label. A 2017 study tested 31 different melatonin supplements bought from grocery stores and pharmacies. For most of the supplements, the amount of melatonin in the product didn’t match what was listed on the product label. Also, 26 percent of the supplements contained serotonin, a hormone that can have harmful effects even at relatively low levels.

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In addition to issues mentioned above, there are some things to consider regarding melatonin’s safety in children.

  • Parents considering giving their children melatonin should first speak with a health care provider about melatonin use in children.
  • A 2023 study found that 22 out of 25 over-the-counter melatonin gummy products were inaccurately labeled. One product did not contain detectable levels of melatonin. In the remaining products, the melatonin levels ranged from 74 to 347 percent of the labeled quantity (i.e., up to almost 3.5 times more melatonin than reported on the label). Most had more than the label said, with the majority containing between 1.2 to 1.7 times more melatonin than the amount listed.
  • Parents need to ensure safe storage and appropriate use of melatonin supplements. Based on case surveillance data, a 2024 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that from 2019 to 2022, 11,000 emergency department visits were for unsupervised melatonin ingestion by children 5 years and younger. The report noted that many of the incidents involved ingestion of flavored products such as gummies and emphasized the importance of keeping medications and supplements out of children’s reach and sight. 
  • A 2022 study indicated that U.S. sales of melatonin—which is widely available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and gummy formulations—increased by about 150 percent between 2016 and 2020. The study authors said that the increase in sales, availability, and widespread use of melatonin in the United States has likely resulted in increased access to melatonin among children in the home. 
  • The 2022 study also showed that the number of reports to U.S. poison control centers about people 19 years and younger who took melatonin increased from 8,337 in 2012 to 52,563 in 2021. Over the 10-year period, the number of reports increased each year. Hospitalizations and serious outcomes from melatonin ingestion by people 19 years and younger also increased over the 10 years. Most hospitalizations involved teenagers who had intentionally taken melatonin overdoses, and the largest increase in hospitalizations occurred in children 5 years and younger.

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  • Most of the calls to poison control centers—94.3 percent—were for children 5 years and younger who accidentally consumed melatonin products in their homes.
  • Data from the calls show that most of the people who had taken melatonin—82.8 percent—did not have any symptoms. Among those who did have symptoms, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, or symptoms related to the central nervous system were the most common.
  • Of the 4,097 people who were hospitalized over the 10-year period, 287 needed intensive care.
  • Five individuals required mechanical ventilation, and two children younger than age 2 died, but the data from the poison control centers did not show whether the two deaths were caused by a melatonin overdose or another cause.  

Melatonin supplements at normal doses appear to be safe for most children for short-term use, but there aren’t many studies on children and melatonin. Also, there’s little information on the long-term effects of melatonin use in children. Because melatonin is a hormone, it’s possible that melatonin supplements could affect hormonal development, including puberty, menstrual cycles, and overproduction of the hormone prolactin, but we don’t know for sure.

Possible melatonin supplement side effects reported in children have usually been mild and have included:

  • Increased bedwetting or urination in the evening

.header_greentext{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_bluetext{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_redtext{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_purpletext{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_yellowtext{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_blacktext{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_whitetext{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.header_darkred{color:#803d2f!important;}.Green_Header{color:green!important;font-size:24px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Blue_Header{color:blue!important;font-size:18px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Red_Header{color:red!important;font-size:28px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Purple_Header{color:purple!important;font-size:31px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Yellow_Header{color:yellow!important;font-size:20px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.Black_Header{color:black!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;}.White_Header{color:white!important;font-size:22px!important;font-weight:500!important;} What are the side effects of melatonin?

A 2015 review on the safety of melatonin supplements indicated that only mild side effects were reported in various short-term studies that involved adults, surgical patients, and critically ill patients. Some of the mild side effects that were reported in the studies included:

The possible long-term side effects of melatonin use are unclear.

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  • Remember that even though the FDA regulates dietary supplements, such as melatonin, the regulations for dietary supplements are different and less strict than those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
  • Some dietary supplements may interact with medicines or pose risks if you have medical problems or are going to have surgery.
  • If you’re pregnant or nursing a child, it’s especially important to see your health care provider before taking any medicine or supplement, including melatonin.
  • If you use dietary supplements, such as melatonin, read and follow label instructions. “Natural” doesn’t always mean “safe.” For more information, see Using Dietary Supplements Wisely .
  • Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.

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Nccih clearinghouse.

The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information on NCCIH and complementary and integrative health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

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Know the Science

NCCIH and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide tools to help you understand the basics and terminology of scientific research so you can make well-informed decisions about your health. Know the Science features a variety of materials, including interactive modules, quizzes, and videos, as well as links to informative content from Federal resources designed to help consumers make sense of health information.

Explaining How Research Works (NIH)

Know the Science: How To Make Sense of a Scientific Journal Article

Understanding Clinical Studies (NIH)

A service of the National Library of Medicine, PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals. For guidance from NCCIH on using PubMed, see How To Find Information About Complementary Health Approaches on PubMed .


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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has created a website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, to help people learn about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. The site includes questions and answers about clinical trials, guidance on how to find clinical trials through and other resources, and stories about the personal experiences of clinical trial participants. Clinical trials are necessary to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases.


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The NHLBI Health Information Center provides information to health professionals, patients, and the public about heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders and accepts orders for publications.

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  • Acuña-Castroviejo D, Escames G, Figueira JC, et al. Clinical trial to test the efficacy of melatonin in COVID-19. Journal of Pineal Research. 2020;69(3):e12683.
  • Andersen LP, Gögenur I, Rosenberg J, et al. The safety of melatonin in humans.   Clinical Drug Investigation . 2016;36(3):169-175.
  • Artigas L, Coma M, Matos-Filipe P, et al. In-silico drug repurposing study predicts the combination of pirfenidone and melatonin as a promising candidate therapy to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection progression and respiratory distress caused by cytokine storm. PLoS One. 2020;15(10):e0240149.
  • Auger RR, Burgess HJ, Emens JS, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the treatment of intrinsic circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders: advanced sleep-wake phase disorder (ASWPD), delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD), non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder (N24SWD), and irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder (ISWRD). An update for 2015.  Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine . 2015;11(10):1199-1236.
  • Auld F, Maschauer EL, Morrison I, et al. Evidence for the efficacy of melatonin in the treatment of primary adult sleep disorders.   Sleep Medicine Reviews . 2017;34:10-22.
  • Bahrampour Juybari K, Pourhanifeh MH, Hosseinzadeh A, et al. Melatonin potentials against viral infections including COVID-19: current evidence and new findings. Virus Research. 2020;287:198108.
  • Cohen PA, Avula B, Wang Y-H, et al. Quantity of melatonin and CBD in melatonin gummies sold in the US . JAMA . 2023;329(16):1401-1402.
  • Costello RB, Lentino CV, Boyd CC, et al. The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature.   Nutrition Journal . 2014;13:106.
  • Esposito S, Laino D, D’Alonzo R, et al. Pediatric sleep disturbances and treatment with melatonin.   Journal of Translational Medicine . 2019;17:77.
  • Freeman DI, Lind JN, Weidle NJ, et al. Notes from the field: emergency department visits for unsupervised pediatric melatonin ingestion - United States, 2019-2022 . MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report . 2024;73(9):215-217.
  • García IG, Rodriguez-Rubio M, Mariblanca AR, et al. A randomized multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of melatonin in the prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk contacts (MeCOVID Trial): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2020;21(1):466.
  • Hansen MV, Halladin NL, Rosenberg J, et al. Melatonin for pre- and postoperative anxiety in adults.   Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . 2015;(4):CD009861. Accessed at on October 10, 2019.
  • Hazra S, Chaudhuri AG, Tiwary BK, et al. Matrix metallopeptidase 9 as a host protein target of chloroquine and melatonin for immunoregulation in COVID-19: a network-based meta-analysis. Life Sciences. 2020;257:118096.
  • Herxheimer A.  Jet lag.   Clinical Evidence . 2014;2014:2303.
  • Kennaway D. Potential safety issues in the use of the hormone melatonin in paediatrics.   Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health . 2015;51(6):584-589.
  • Lelak K, Vohra V, Neuman MI, et al. Pediatric melatonin ingestions - United States, 2012–2021 . MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report . 2022;71(22):725-729.
  • Liira J, Verbeek JH, Costa G, et al. Pharmacological interventions for sleepiness and sleep disturbances caused by shift work.   Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . 2014;(8):CD009776. Accessed at on October 10, 2019.
  • McDonagh MS, Holmes R, Hsu F. Pharmacologic treatments for sleep disorders in children: a systematic review.  Journal of Child Neurology . 2019;34(5):237-247.
  • Miller MA, Cappuccio FP. A systematic review of COVID-19 and obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2020;55:101382.
  • Öztürk G, Akbulut KG, Güney Ş. Melatonin, aging, and COVID-19: Melatonin, aging, and COVID-19: Could melatonin be beneficial for COVID-19 treatment in the elderly? Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences. 2020;50(6):1504-1512.
  • Qaseem A, Kansagara D, Forciea MA, et al. Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Management of chronic insomnia disorder in adults: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians.   Annals of Internal Medicine . 2016;165(2):125-133.
  • Sateia MJ, Buysse DJ, Krystal AD, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the pharmacologic treatment of chronic insomnia in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline.   Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine . 2017;13(2):307-349.
  • Sehirli AO, Sayiner S, Serakinci N. Role of melatonin in the treatment of COVID-19; as an adjuvant through cluster differentiation 147 (CD147). Molecular Biological Reports. 2020;47(10):8229-8233.
  • Tan D-X, Hardeland R. Targeting host defense system and rescuing compromised mitochondria to increase tolerance against pathogens by melatonin may impact outcome of deadly virus infection pertinent to COVID-19. Molecules. 2020;25(19):4410.
  • Zhou Y, Hou Y, Shen J, et al. A network medicine approach to investigation and population-based validation of disease manifestations and drug repurposing for COVID-19. PLoS Biology. 2020;18(11):e3000970.
  • Ziaei A, Davoodian P, Dadvand H, et al. Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of melatonin in moderately ill patients with COVID-19: a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2020;21(1):882.

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  • Barion A, Zee PC. A clinical approach to circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Sleep Medicine . 2007;8(6):566-577.
  • Brasure M, MacDonald R, Fuchs E, et al. Management of insomnia disorder . Comparative Effectiveness Reviews no. 159. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2015. AHRQ publication no. 15(16)-EHC027-EF.
  • Bruni O, Alonso-Alconada, Besag F, et al. Current role of melatonin in pediatric neurology: clinical recommendations. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology . 2015;19(2):122-133.
  • Chen WY, Giobbie-Hurder A, Gantman K, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of melatonin on breast cancer survivors: impact on sleep, mood, and hot flashes. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment . 2014;145(2):381-388.
  • Del Fabbro E, Dev R, Hui D, et al. Effects of melatonin on appetite and other symptoms in patients with advanced cancer and cachexia: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology . 2013;31(10):1271-1276.
  • Erland LAE, Saxena PK. Melatonin natural health products and supplements: presence of serotonin and significant variability of melatonin content. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine . 2017;13(2):275-281.
  • Grigg-Damberger MM, Ianakieva D. Poor quality control of over-the-counter melatonin: what they say is often not what you get. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine . 2017;13(2);163-165.
  • Hansen MV, Andersen LT, Madsen MT, et al. Effect of melatonin on depressive symptoms and anxiety in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment . 2014;145(3);683-695.
  • Herxheimer A, Petrie KJ. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . 2010;(1):CD001520. Accessed at on October 10, 2019.
  • Madsen MT, Hansen MV, Andersen LT, et al. Effect of melatonin on sleep in the perioperative period after breast cancer surgery: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine . 2016;12(2):225-233.
  • Masters A, Pandi-Perumal SR, Seixas A, et al. Melatonin, the hormone of darkness: from sleep promotion to Ebola treatment. Brain Disorders & Therapy . 2014;4(1):1000151.
  • Posadzki P, Bajpai R, Kyaw BM, et al. Melatonin and health: an umbrella review of health outcomes and biological mechanisms of action. BMC Medicine . 2018;16(1):18.
  • Rasmussen CL, Olsen MK, Johnsen AT, et al. Effects of melatonin on physical fatigue and other symptoms in patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care: a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial. Cancer . 2015;121(20):3727-3736.
  • Reiter RJ, Rosales-Corral SA, Tan D-X, et al. Melatonin, a full service anti-cancer agent: inhibition of initiation, progression and metastasis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences . 2017;18(4):E843.
  • Sletten TL, Magee M, Murray JM, et al. Efficacy of melatonin with behavioural sleep-wake scheduling for delayed sleep-wake phase disorder: a double-blind, randomised clinical trial. PLoS Medicine . 2018;15(6):e1002587.
  • Tordjman S, Chokron S, Delorme R, et al. Melatonin: pharmacology, functions and therapeutic benefits. Current Neuropharmacology . 2017;15(3):434-443.
  • Vural EMS, van Munster BC, de Rooij SE. Optimal dosages for melatonin supplementation therapy in older adults: a systematic review of current literature. Drugs & Aging . 2014;31(6):441-451.
  • Wilt TJ, MacDonald R, Brasure M, et al. Pharmacologic treatment of insomnia disorder: an evidence report for a clinical practice guideline by the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine . 2016;165(2):103-113.


NCCIH thanks D. Craig Hopp, Ph.D., and David Shurtleff, Ph.D., NCCIH, for their review of this publication.

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CARR publishes illustrative examples on determining fallback rates on floating rate notes that reference CDOR

CARR is publishing two presentations to clarify how CARR’s recommended fallback rate for floating rate notes that reference CDOR should be implemented for calculating the coupon and accrued interest post June 2024.

The first presentation from CMHC provides two illustrative examples on how to determine the appropriate fallback rate from the Bloomberg FBAK page for the calculation of the floating rate note coupon. Using Canada Mortgage Bonds examples, the presentation provides guidance on the necessary steps required to determine the fallback rate for all cash securities except NHA MBS. The presentation also includes details on the fallback rate calculation for NHA MBS.

The second presentation, from Bloomberg, demonstrates how the accrued interest is calculated for CORRA based floating rate notes, including for those notes that use CARR’s recommended fallback language.

Participants can refer to  CARR’s recommended fallback language for all cash securities except NHA MBS, for further information on fallbacks rates and specific language. CARR’s recommended fallback for NHA MBS is available here .  CMHC’s NHA MBS Advice No. 20 provides additional direction to issuers on the applicable fallback provisions for CDOR in the NHA MBS Program .

Canada established CARR, a working group sponsored by the  Canadian Fixed-Income Forum , to coordinate Canadian interest rate benchmark reform. CARR’s mission is to ensure Canada’s interest rate benchmark regime is robust, resilient and effective in the years ahead. Over the coming transition period, CARR will support the transition from CDOR to CORRA as the key Canadian interest-rate benchmark.

Visit  CARR’s webpage  for up-to-date information on the transition, including all of CARR’s key documents, and to sign-up to receive email updates from CARR.

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COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms?

Advanced age and some health conditions can raise the risk of serious COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) illness.

Many people with COVID-19, also called coronavirus disease 2019, recover at home. But for some, COVID-19 can be a serious illness. Some people may need care in the hospital, treatment in the intensive care unit and the need for breathing help. In some people, severe COVID-19 illness can lead to death.

What raises the risk of severe or critical COVID-19 illness?

The risk for serious COVID-19 illness depends on your health status, age and activities. Your risk also depends on other factors. This includes where you live, work or learn, how easy it is for you to get medical care, and your economic stability.

If you have more than one risk factor, your risk goes up with each one.

Age raises the risk of serious COVID-19

People age 65 and older and babies younger than 6 months have a higher than average risk of serious COVID-19 illness. Those age groups have the highest risk of needing hospital care for COVID-19.

Babies younger than 6 months aren't eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which adds to their risk. For older people, the challenge is that the immune system is less able to clear out germs as people age. Also, as people age, medical conditions that raise the risk of severe COVID-19 are more likely. In the U.S. as of March 2024, about 76% of all deaths from COVID-19 have been among people age 65 and older.

Aging plus disease raises the risk of serious COVID-19

Severe COVID-19 disease is more likely for people who have other health issues.

Some common diseases linked to aging are:

  • Heart disease. Examples are heart failure or coronary artery disease.
  • Diabetes mellitus. The risk is higher for both type 1 and type 2.
  • Chronic lung diseases. This includes airway disease and conditions that damage lung tissue.
  • Obesity. The risk goes up as body mass index (BMI) increases, with the highest risk for a BMI of 40 or greater.
  • Chronic kidney disease. Especially if you are on dialysis.

These diseases become more common as people age. But they can affect people of any age. The risk of serious COVID-19 illness is linked to having one or more underlying medical condition.

Asthma, COPD, other lung diseases raise risk of severe COVID-19

Your risk of having more severe COVID-19 illness is higher if you have lung disease. Having moderate to severe asthma raises some risks of serious COVID-19 illness. It raises the risk of needing care in the hospital, including intensive care, and needing mechanical help breathing.

The risk of serious COVID-19 illness also is higher for people who have conditions that damage lung tissue over time. Examples are tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, bronchiectasis or COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These diseases raise the risk of needing care in the hospital for COVID-19. Depending on the condition, the risk of needing intensive care and the risk of death from COVID-19 also may go up.

Other lung conditions, such as a history of pulmonary hypertension or pulmonary embolism affect a person's risk of serious illness after COVID-19. The risk of death may be higher after these conditions.

Cancer raises the risk of severe COVID-19

In general, people with cancer have a greater risk of getting serious COVID-19. People who have or had blood cancer may have a higher risk of being sick for longer, or getting sicker, with COVID-19 than people with solid tumors.

Having cancer raises the risk of needing care in the hospital, intensive care and the use of breathing support. Having blood cancer and getting COVID-19 raises the risk of death from the illness.

Treatment for blood cancer may raise the risk of severe COVID-19 but the research is still unclear. Cancer treatment may also affect your COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare professional about additional shots and getting vaccinated after treatments that affect some immune cells.

Other conditions that raise the risk of severe COVID-19

If an organ or body system is already weakened by disease, infection with the COVID-19 virus can cause further damage. In other cases, medicine for the original condition can lower the immune system's response to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Many different diseases can raise the risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

  • Brain and nervous system diseases, such as strokes.
  • Chronic liver disease, specifically cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease and autoimmune hepatitis.
  • HIV not well managed with medicine.
  • Heart disease, including congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathies.
  • Mood disorders or schizophrenia.
  • Having received an organ or stem cell transplant.
  • Sickle cell anemia and thalassemia blood disorders.

Other risk factors for severe COVID-19 are:

  • Not getting enough physical activity.
  • Pregnancy or having recently given birth.
  • Use of medicines that lower the immune system's ability to respond to germs.

Also, as a general group, disability is linked to an increased risk of severe COVID-19. The risks are different depending on the disability.

  • Down syndrome is linked to a higher risk of needing care in the hospital. The risk of death from severe COVID-19 also is higher than typical for people with Down syndrome.
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is linked to an increased risk of needing care in the hospital from severe COVID-19.
  • Cerebral palsy is linked to an increased risk of needing care in the hospital from severe COVID-19.

These are not the only conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions about your health and risk for getting a serious COVID-19 illness.

A COVID-19 vaccine can lower your risk of serious illness

The COVID-19 vaccine can lower the risk of death or serious illness caused by COVID-19. Your healthcare team may suggest added doses of COVID-19 vaccine if you have a moderately or seriously weakened immune system.

How else can you lower the risk of severe COVID-19?

Everyone can lower the risk of serious COVID-19 illness by working to prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has symptoms, if possible.
  • Use fans, open windows or doors, and use filters to move the air and keep any germs from lingering.
  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Then wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces. For example, clean doorknobs, light switches, electronics and counters regularly.
  • Spread out in crowded public areas, especially in places with poor airflow. This is important if you have a higher risk of serious illness.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear a mask in indoor public spaces if COVID-19 is spreading. This means if you're in an area with a high number of people with COVID-19 in the hospital. They suggest wearing the most protective mask possible that you'll wear regularly, that fits well and is comfortable.

These basic actions are even more important for people who have weakened immune systems, and their caregivers.

The FDA also has authorized the monoclonal antibody pemivibart (Pemgarda) to prevent COVID-19 in some people with weakened immune systems.

People can take other actions based on their risk factors.

  • If you're at a higher risk of serious illness, talk to your healthcare professional about how best to protect yourself. Know what to do if you get sick so you can quickly start treatment.
  • Lower your risk of COVID-19 complications by making sure that any health issues are well managed. This includes staying on track with managing medical conditions, going to all healthcare appointments and planning ahead to avoid running out of medicine. Keep taking medicines as suggested by your healthcare professional.
  • Stay up to date on vaccines. This includes vaccines for flu, pneumonia and RSV. These vaccines won't prevent COVID-19. But becoming ill with a respiratory illness may worsen your outcome if you also catch COVID-19.

You may consider making a care plan. In the care plan, write your medical conditions, the medicine you take, and any special food or diet needs you have. The care plan also includes who you see for care and your emergency contacts.

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  • Goldman L, et al., eds. COVID-19: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, community prevention, and prognosis. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 27th ed. Elsevier; 2024. Accessed April 5, 2024.
  • Regan JJ, et al. Use of Updated COVID-19 Vaccines 2023-2024 Formula for Persons Aged ≥6 Months: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, September 2023. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2023; doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7242e1.
  • Underlying medical conditions associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19: Information for healthcare providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • COVID data tracker. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • Najafabadi BT, et al. Obesity as an independent risk factor for COVID‐19 severity and mortality. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2023; doi:10.1002/14651858.CD015201.
  • People with certain medical conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • AskMayoExpert. COVID-19: Outpatient management (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2023.
  • Emergency use authorizations for drugs and non-vaccine biological products. U.S. Food and Drug Association. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • How to protect yourself and others. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • COVID-19: What people with cancer should know. National Cancer Institute. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • Hygiene and respiratory viruses prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • Preventing respiratory viruses. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • Maintaining a care plan. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 2, 2024.
  • COVID-19: What People with Cancer Should Know. National Cancer Institute. Accessed April 11, 2024.

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