Ipresentation skills infographic inter-activ was recently invited to take a look at a new presentation skills infographic.

I am not normally a  fan of infographics. It’s not the premise behind them I dislike. I love the idea of distilling key facts or ideas from many sources and then presenting them in a visually appealing way.

What I dislike is the way that they cram so much stuff into one enormously long image that doesn’t print out to any normal paper size. Why won’t somebody create an infographic that is paginated for printing – I like paper and I am sure I am not alone!

That being said, If YOU like infographics, then you’ll almost certainly find this presentation skills cheat sheet  really useful.

In the words of its creator Joe Shervell, “The piece is developed from dozens of books and blog posts, as well as tips from professional public speakers. The intention is to cut through the noise of the hundreds of self-serving, promotional infographics. ”

The infographic divides the topic up into 9 sections

  • Plan REAL speech
    The REAL acronym (Relevant, Eloquent, Articulate and Learned ,
  • The Importance of Title
    Choosing the right title for a presentation can make a big difference, especially if you are “selling” your speech against other competing speakers at a conference or convention.   This section would be even more useful if the infographic gave some examples of engaging  and imaginative titles.
  • What to include – content ideas
    Sound advice – I particularly liked the WWW or Wordage Without Waffle tip.
  • KISS and TELL preparation
    I agree that a simple three act structure with three main points is a tried and tested formula that works for most subjects.
  • 9 Ways to make an impact
    Sound advice although it uses some quite complex language to communicate.  Not everybody understands words like anecdotes, adjectives and self-deprecating.
  • The 24 Hours before you speak
    Simple but often overlooked advice that can make or break any type of presentation although I am a little sceptical  about the “wonder woman pose” tip.   Whatever you do, don’t use this in front of your audience.
  • 9 tips for taking the stage
    Most tips are clear and useful but a couple are ambiguous and suspect.  I.e. what is meant by  “look across your audience”  and what is a “ready and controlling position”?
  • 10 tips for speech delivery
    Sensible general advice, although I think that the “add the occasional pause for effect” tip seriously undervalues the importance and benefits of learning to pause comfortably.
  • Some tips from the pro’s
    Sophie’s tip about informally speaking to audience members before speaking to create a connection is so true. And Joe’s tips about eye contact when reading a script are spot on.
  • 3 ways to end your speech memorably
    Possibly the weakest section of the whole infographic. making the speech available as notes or a recording does not make for a memorable ending.  No reference to a ” Call to action” where the speaker makes it clear to the audience what he or she wants them to do next.

In conclusion
Whilst I don’t personally like the infographic format, the advice it contains is, for the most part, sound and worthy of study by all budding speakers.  To access this presentation skills  infographic click the image on the left or this link http://visual.ly/9-step-cheatsheet-becoming-public-speaking-expert

P.S. If you fund this post useful please help me spread the word by sharing it with your friends and colleagues using the social sharing buttons below.


  1. Ellie on 26/05/2015 at 16:31

    Thanks for sharing this with us, I like an infographic but I do agree they are tiny and you can barely read them!

  2. simon on 27/09/2014 at 13:33

    hey Gavin, as part of a project i am working on i need to create an infographic. as it turns out the infographic format is the most shareable content on the internet these days. so when it comes to outreach and social media share-ability I guess infographics are the way to go. There are also some pretty decent resources according to this article: http://www.viralbistro.com/make-infographics-without-graphic-designer/ to achieve a decent infographic without any design knowledge whatsoever. I was wondering if you have any other tips about sources where someone could find infographic builders or tools where no prior design knowledge is needed.
    best regards,

    • Gavin Meikle on 01/10/2014 at 20:48

      Hi Simon. It’s great to hear an alternative viewpoint. Whilst I personally remain unconvinced as to the true value of infographics, I can’t argue with the fact that their visual appeal makes them very shareable. The article you suggest looks like it is packed with useful tools, should anyone want to create their own infographics. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Richard Garber on 08/09/2014 at 18:57


    I don’t like tall infographics either, and think they should be called totem pole posters.


    • Gavin Meikle on 10/09/2014 at 19:18

      Thanks for your support Richard. I am releived that I am not the only one.

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