We’ve all had to endure sitting through a presentation at some point in our lives. Some of us have even had the privilege to deliver them. Since public speaking is a fate worse than death for most people, chances are you’ve seen your share of ho-hum presentations. The next time you step up to the mic, try using these presentation tips to wow your audience.

The Rule of 10/20/30
Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and co-founder of Alltop.com, follows a 10/20/30 rule. He uses a maximum of 10 slides for 20 minutes of content and a minimum 30 point font. PowerPoint is about making a point, not giving the audience your presentation notes.

Simple – Straightforward –  Illustrate Don’t Decorate
Simplify the content, by using bullet points. Stick to three, or at the most, four points about your topic and expound on them. The audience will be more likely to retain the information. Choose a design that is appropriate for the audience. A clean, straightforward layout is best for business presentations.

Become a Story Teller
Instead of just spewing out the facts about your subject, make it personal by giving them insights into what makes you tick. Why not tell a story? Inspire your audience by making your presentation about people. Your own personal story is  “unique” to you. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t seem plausible and even bring to mind similar stories that your listeners have experienced – actually, this is even better, because they will relate more to you and your topic. People like to hear about times when you are the “bug” rather than the “windshield, it will help them to relate to your topic.

Practice Makes Perfect
Few people can just get up to give their presentation cold and nail it. If you don’t practice your presentation, you’re certain to fumble. This is the easiest way to lose the interest of your audience. Don’t feel like you have to memorize the entire piece, in many cases you will be able to use memory prompts such as note cards or an outline, most people feel the more they practice the more at ease they will feel.

Finally, a good presentation  goes back to two basic principles: First what is the message you want to convey, and second, how does the audience understand this message best. Awareness of how audiences listen and memorize is the key behind a presentation that will succeed or fail.

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