Presentation Skills Exercise: Tell a Story

Presentation Skills Exercise: Tell a Story


Good presentation skills and public speaking require multitude of skills; creativity, storytelling, creative slide design, engaging attitude, emotional content, effective non-verbal gestures and so on. Apart from good slide design, it is also important for presenters to focus on delivery skills to properly showcase what they show in the slides.

The modern practice of delivering presentations strongly encourages the use of images in slides. Hence, a presenter must be capable of showing an image and then deliver a key related message while the image is shown while using hand gestures, meaningful body posture, expressive arm placement and other non-verbal signals. 

This exercise helps delegates to focus on this specific area and practice the skill.


Deliver a presentation based on an image shown on the screen and receive feedback on your presentation.

What You Need

  • Several relevant images that you can put in slides. Place these in slides with separator slides containing a sequence of numbers so you have two slides per image, one with a number and one with an image.
    • Choose images for your specific needs. You can use images relevant to what delegates normally do, ask them to bring some images or use random images.
    • You need one image per delegate.
  • Printout of these images for distribution. Print the corresponding sequence number on each as well so they can be easily identified.
  • A copy of “Delivery Score Form” for all delegates.


  • Explain to delegates that this exercise is about telling a story based on an image shown in a slide.
  • Distribute one printed image at random to all delegates.
  • Ask delegates to prepare a story that they should deliver as a 1-minute presentation. Their image will be shown in a slide and they need to stand next to the slide and present by telling their story about the image.
  • Show the slides one by one using the separator with the sequence number and ask the person with the corresponding image to come forward and start presenting on your mark.
  • Score the delivery using the “Delivery Score Form”.
  • Once all the presentations are finished, provide the score sheets to delegates and present your feedback.
  • Ask delegates to give feedback to each other. To facilitate, you can go case by case so you can systematically analyse everyone’s presentations. Explain that the intention is not to scrutinize a person’s delivery, but to learn what methods work and what methods do not.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 10 min preparation + 15 min delivery and analysis = 25 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


How well did you deliver? Can you improve your presentation? What did you learn from other presenters? Who had the best presentation and why? What areas do you need to pay more attention to, to improve your public speaking?



Delivery Score Form

Presenter’s Name: _________________________





(1 = Low, 5 = High)


Body language
















Pace / On Time




Appeal to Emotions






Presentation Skills

By Presentation Skills @ Sunday, December 5, 2010 12:33 PM

Great to see you are pushing the idea of creative slides. There are too many bullet point slides ruining presentations (and the life of the people in the audience)


Darren Fleming
Australia's Corporate Speech Coach

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