The Presentation Planning Checklist

Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.

© iStockphoto/porcorex

This presentation planning checklist will help you deliver successful presentation.

This is adapted in part from "Business Communications: A Cultural and Strategic Approach" by Michael J. Rouse and Sandra Rouse.


  • Does your introduction grab participant's attention and explain your objectives?
  • Do you follow this by clearly defining the points of the presentation?
  • Are these main points in logical sequence?
  • Do these flow well?
  • Do the main points need support from visual aids?
  • Does your closing summarize the presentation clearly and concisely?
  • Is the conclusion strong?
  • Have your tied the conclusion to the introduction?


  • Are you knowledgeable about the topic covered in your presentation?
  • Do you have your notes in order?
  • Where and how will you present (indoors, outdoors, standing, sitting, etc.)?
  • Have you visited the presentation site?
  • Have you checked your visual aids to ensure they are working and you know how to use them?


  • Make sure you are dressed and groomed appropriately and in keeping with the audience's expectations.
  • Practice your speech standing (or sitting, if applicable), paying close attention to your body language, even your posture, both of which will be assessed by the audience.

Visual Aids

  • Are the visual aids easy to read and easy to understand?
  • Are they tied into the points you are trying to communicate?
  • Can they be easily seen from all areas of the room?

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Comments (8)
  • Yolande wrote This month
    Thanks for sharing this with us, Phil. Please feel free to come over to the forums and share some thoughts and ideas with us. You'll find Career Cafe Central over here:

    Mind Tools Team
  • pholberton wrote This month
    I like you summary/checklist for preparing and delivering a presentation. Recently I conducted a webinar for Brandeis University - titled The Voice of Your Leadership you can access it here if you would like to view it.
  • Michele wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Kasia,

    Thanks for the feedback. I checked out your blog post and you have shared some great tips.

    Mind Tools Team
  • Kasia wrote Over a month ago
    You certainly got all this right. We’re sure many readers will benefit from your article. We released a post on the similar topic, too, but describing tools for creating presentations, I'm sure it compliments your article. Check it out: . Thanks!
  • dp7622 wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Quincy. The idea of leaving that much time (30 - 40%) to audience input makes me nervous. What precautions do you take to make sure you maintain control of the presentation? Or does this apply to break groups and other activities and not necessarily questions, input, etc during the actual presentation?

  • quincy wrote Over a month ago
    Prior planning prevents poor performance. The 5 P's.

    To prevent the audience from "checking out" of the discussion you may want to consider a 60/40 or 70/30 rule where you allocate how much time you expect yourself and the audience to talk.

    Murphy's Law prevails. If something can go wrong...

    Good luck.

  • James wrote Over a month ago
    Hi All

    We’ve given this popular article a review. The updated tool is now at: ... cklist.php

    You can discuss the article by replying to this post!


  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    Even for those experienced presenters, this checklist is a good reminder to help deliver great presentations.

    The two key points are having an introduction that captures the audience's attention and concluding with points that tie in with the introduction. I've seen so many knowledgeable presenters dive straight into the material before first saying where there are going in the presentation so the audience is left wondering what is next. I've seen many presenters trail off at the end, without coming around 'full circle' from the point we started from and reiterate the key points.

    As I'm in the process of developing a new presentation to be delivered in 2 weeks time, this checklist will come in handy to remind me of things that will help me to deliver a great presentation that captures the audience's attention and interest!



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