120 Presentation Topic Ideas Help You Hook Your Audience

Jenny Romanchuk

Updated: October 24, 2023

Published: August 09, 2023

Cooking is easy. The puzzle is figuring out what to eat. As soon as you know that, you can get started. The same holds for presentations. The sooner you can whip up a good, informative, and catchy topic, the easier the rest of the process becomes.

 man presents presentation topics to a group

Pick a good topic that resonates with you and your audience to set a strong foundation. But select the wrong topic, and it becomes difficult to connect with your audience, find mutual interests, or hold their attention.

So, let’s learn how to develop thought-provoking and relevant topics for your presentations. You’ll also find some best practices to make your presentation memorable.

Table of Contents

How to Choose a Great Presentation Topic in 5 Steps

120 presentation topic ideas, 5 presentation tips.

How to Choose a Great Presentation Topic. Be novel. Begin with the end in mind.

2. Use visual aids.

Use creative and attractive visual aids to stimulate emotions, simplify complex topics, and keep your audience captivated. Moreover, imagery helps your audience retain information longer.

Study shows that up to 60% of your audience is likely to remember visual content after three days. In turn, only 10% lives in memory when receiving information exclusively verbally.

So, include visuals like images, infographics, gifs, charts, and videos at the right time. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Explore more on the topic: Learn how neuromarketing can improve the visual flair of your products and boost sales.

3. Make it informative, clear, and relevant.

You know your presentation has valuable information for your audience, but does your audience know that? Explicitly communicate actionable takeaways and benefits they will gain from it.

Select the best method to get the message across to your audience. Use relevant stories and examples to help you explain. People love stories; they move your audience while getting the message across. Most importantly, do it in a fun way.

Here are several tricks on how to do that:

  • Have a great opening and closing line.
  • Add facts and statistics to back up your information.
  • Use emotionally triggering words to stimulate your audience and keep them attentive.
  • Add humor and anecdotes to keep boredom away.
  • Include intriguing and relevant examples to connect strongly with your audience.
  • Use a vibrant color palette that’s easy on the eyes.
  • Use slides more like a billboard. Make them easy to read and comprehend.
  • Use less text, more visuals, and a limited number of bullet points.

Watch “The secret structure of great talks” by Nancy Duarte, an expert in presentation design and principal of Duarte Design.

4. Choose an appropriate presentation style.

There are many ways to present a topic. Your personality, the topic at hand, and your audience’s personas will help you determine which style would best fit you and your audience.

Select a presentation style that will communicate the main idea clearly and have a lasting impact on your audience.

For instance, explore a freeform style presenter by Sir Ken Robinson.

5. Engage with your audience.

Work on your presentation skills to make a strong connection with your audience, get through to them and leave a mark.

Think of the presenter as the link between the topic and the audience. A strong or a weak presenter can make a difference between a presentation being a thriving success or a boring failure.

Hone your skills by engaging and interacting with your audience. Make them feel like a part of the presentation and not just spectators. 70% of marketers have found presentations with interactive content to be more effective than those without.

Here are a few ways you can make your presentation interactive:

  • Start your speech with uncommon questions to your audience. Involve them from the get-go, like ask to raise their hands if X.
  • Make eye contact to build credibility and show confidence. Don’t stare at your slides or notes. Smile occasionally and talk to the audience directly.
  • Have an active and confident body language. Don’t stand in the same place the entire time. Move around the stage.
  • Don’t be monotonous. Speak as you would to a colleague — with enthusiasm.
  • Ask close-ended questions in between to keep the audience engaged without losing time. Address them using their names to keep things interesting.
  • Share personal experiences and stories that your audience will find fascinating and relatable.
  • Practice thoroughly before you present so you’re fluent with the material and delivery.
  • Energy and excitement can be quite contagious. Make sure you exude enough to spread some to your audience.

Feeling Inspired Yet?

Now you have all the right ingredients for choosing amazing topics and a hundred ideas to drive inspiration from. So, go ahead and start cooking presentations that will blow your audience away.

Don’t forget to choose a super-relevant topic and add meaty information. Do it with excitement to make it enjoyable for you and your audience. Best of luck!

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Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

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Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

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COMMENTS

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