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How to Make a Good Presentation When There's No Time to Prepare

Did you know that 46% of people can’t sit through a presentation without losing focus? That’s why making a presentation that will captivate an audience is vital for any speaker. But how to make a really good presentation when there is no time for proper preparation? In this article DeckRobot shares some techniques that are going to help you whenever you are short on time and still have a great presentation you will not be ashamed of. 

Prepare a structure

Sticking to a plan is always the right choice. So we recommend you write up some notes from your past experiences of what worked and what didn’t. And out of that, create a global outline that could work in multiple situations. For example, you can include and follow those steps: 1. Introduction, 2. Stating the purpose of the meeting, 3. Stating a general structure for the meeting, 4. Starting with 3 main points that you’ll cover, 5. Unpacking those points, 6. Conclusion & summarizing.

Keep talking points simple

It is a good idea to use PowerPoint or some other program to make your presentation more visual. However, less can oftentimes be more when you don't have much time to prepare. You don’t have to cram a ton of statistics, talking points, and data into your talk. When it comes to a good presentation, keeping your talking points simple can work in your favor.
At the end of the day, the audience is only going to remember one or two things from your presentation, if you are lucky enough to be memorable at all. So keep it short and clear.

Tell a story

This doesn’t mean that you have to open up with a story. But it is a good technique to have at least one good anecdote somewhere in your presentation. A good story can help you connect with your audience. And as long as you have an anecdote or two in mind that fits into your larger message, storytelling can be a fairly easy way to fill uptime.

Audience participation

Add as much audience participation as you can. Let them do some of the work. Ask them to tell their own stories. It'll break up the speech, get them involved, and take up some time. Even if you're giving a presentation to potential investors, you could have a question and answer session.

Don’t show them you are nervous

It may be tempting to tell the audience that you haven't had much time to plan what you're going to say. However, many public speakers and business owners say that's not the best thing to do. If they see you sweating and nervous and especially if you tell your audience you don't know what you're doing or didn’t have much time to prepare—you may create a self-fulfilling prophecy and see your presentation fall apart. Just fake it until you make it, you may still have a chance.

Use DeckRobot

If you don’t have much time but still have a project to present you can always use the DeckRobot plugin for PowerPoint. TheDeckRobot plugin is an easy PowerPoint add-in that helps to reduce manual work while preparing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Using the plugin allows you to save up to 40% of your working time. With the help of DeckRobot, you can create appealing presentations that match the company brand book guidelines with a focus on the quality of the content. You can easily adjust all the visual elements in each slide of your presentation like fixing headers, footers, background, logo, font, color pallet according to the chosen corporate guidelines. Maintain consistency by aligning any complex object on the slide or even adapt any icon that you like to the corporate-approved format and much more.


It’s not unusual to be asked to chair a meeting or even present at a moment’s notice. Maybe someone gets sick or there’s an emergency situation that needs to be addressed immediately. The audience usually understands that you didn’t have time to prepare. Don’t apologize too much, just explain the situation and they will understand and be fairly forgiving. Usually. Of course, it depends on the audience. Most people find it a challenge to present with no preparation time, so you’re not alone. We hope these techniques will help you next time you are not prepared, didn’t have much time, or were asked to present at a moment’s notice.