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7 Tips for Delivering Your Killer 45-Minute Presentation

7 tips for delivering your killer 45- minute presentation will help to establish yourself as an expert in your real estate field. Keynotes at conferences, meetings, meetups, or real estate events, usually run 45 minutes, add or subtract a question period.  Initially, that may feel like a daunting task. If you’re feeling a little uneasy, these 7 tips for delivering your killer 45- minute presentation will calm your fears.   

Calgary Economic Development’s  signature event “Economic Outlook” always included several economists, who shared their data and opinions for the economic forecast. Todd Hirsch was a frequent keynote and always a standout. He used everyday relatable images, storytelling, and metaphors to explain data.  His economic presentations were understandable and accessible to an audience with broad backgrounds and varied knowledge of economics. I pitied  the economists who followed his talk. They presented slide after slide of stats and data, assuming the audience were all economists. Years later I still remember some of Todd’s stories.  However, I have zero recollection of the other economist’s presentations.

People are conditioned to listen to stories, and metaphors create compelling storylines. Framing your story as a journey around one main point and two supporting points with specific examples from your unique perspective will be sure to engage your audience. Your goal is to show the audience how to see the world from your lense.  That’s where the magic happens.

Building your 45-Minute Killer Presentation

1.      Who is Your Audience?

Before you begin building your story, keep your audience top of mind. Do they have in-depth knowledge of your subject area? Or, is your topic completely new for them? Develop your presentation from their perspective.

2.      Organizing Your 45-minute Presentation

Once you have identified your audience,  decide whether the purpose of your presentation is to inform, persuade, entertain or educate. Then it’s time to organize. Break your presentation into three sections: opening, body and a conclusion. In the introduction tell them what you’re going to tell them.  This could be in the form of a statement, question, story or image. In the bod, flush out your message, in no more than three sections that support the theme. During the conclusion tell them what you’ve told them.

3.      Pace and Silence

The pace of your presentation should match your message and it should vary to hold the audience’s attention. Do remember to speak slowly enough that people have a chance to absorb and process  your message. Using pauses are an excellent technique to “frame” the most important parts of your presentation.

4.      Build a Connection

Throughout your presentation, build a connection with your audience through storytelling, rather than overloading with content. Connection happens through a good story that relates to your topic, spoken with a conversational tone and eye contact. To keep your connection front of mind, find a handful of friendly-looking people in different sections of the audience, and make eye contact with them, throughout your presentation.

5.    Add Visuals or Videos

People don’t expect you to talk for the full 45 minutes. Images, jokes, videos, photographs or slides are an effective and dynamic way to connect with your audience. Just be sure they reinforce or support your message. Aim for 60 seconds or less per clip and never include self-promotional trips that take your audience on an ego journey. Audiences these days much prefer a “hero’s journey” with failures and successes. design isn’t your thing, try using resources such as: Slidebean, Emaze, Haiku Deck or Prezi, or hire a freelancer through Fiverr, Upwork or 99designs.

If you’re using PowerPoint, use minimal points (3-5 bullets and under 8 words).  NEVER  mistake reading the PowerPoint word for word as a presentation!  Your audience want to listen to you. They don’t want to  listen to you reading a presentation they can read for themselves.

6.      Practice

Read your presentation script while timing yourself. If you run over time, make cuts.  If you are under time, make additions. Timing is an extremely important part of your presentation.  Public presentations that are undertime or overtime, make you and your presentation appear unprofessional and ill-prepared. Stick with the time restrictions.

Practice in front of a supportive yet honest audience. Can you ask a friend, spouse or your toastmaster group to give you feedback on your trail run? Can you bring a few people into a Zoom call? Practicing in front of an audience will give you valuable experience and feedback.

7.      Rehearse

If possible, do a walk-through in the room/online platform where you’ll be speaking. Test the tech system in advance and create a plan B, if technology fails. If allowed, bring your own computer, and PowerPoint projector, or microphone as a backup. You can’t always count on every conference having a techie standing by. I’ve seen more than one presenter unravel when they realized the technology wasn’t cooperating and they were at a loss for how to proceed. Part of preparing is inventing a “plan B”. If your slides don’t work – what else can you do? Create an alternate presentation.


You are the expert in your real estate area. This gives you the advantage in anticipating your audience’s most frequently asked questions.  Preparing answers in advance will increase your comfort level and preparedness. Occasionally an audience member may ask a question that is a touchy subject or a red herring. Acknowledge the question and offer to either follow up or mention you can “park” the   question for later. When this happens, keep your cool, then move onto the next question.

These 7 tips for delivering your killer 45- minute presentation will set you on the right path of building your presentation designed to understand your audience, organize your presentation, build a connection and prepare for the best and worst scenarios.  With planning, preparation, and practice  – you’ll soon be known as an expert in your niche and an expert speaker.

Would you like to learn more speaking tips?

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