Chris Anderson, the curator of TED, has written an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review, "How to Give a Killer Presentation." For the past 30 years, the TED conferences have offered a speaking platform to a wide range of speakers, including politicians, musicians, academics, writers and scientists.
Here is an excerpt:
"The biggest problem I see in first drafts of presentations is that they try to cover too much ground. You can’t summarize an entire career in a single talk. If you try to cram in everything you know, you won’t have time to include key details, and your talk will disappear into abstract language that may make sense if your listeners are familiar with the subject matter but will be completely opaque if they’re new to it. You need specific examples to flesh out your ideas. So limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time. Much of the early feedback we give aims to correct the impulse to sweep too broadly. Instead, go deeper. Give more detail. Don’t tell us about your entire field of study—tell us about your unique contribution."
While I don't agree with all of his suggestions - for example, I think that memorizing every word of your presentation can lead to you being "in your head" during your talk, worrying about remembering the words, rather than in the moment, engaged with your audience - he provides many useful points to consider when you have to give your next presentation.
Read the article here: http://hbr.org/2013/06/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation/ar/1
Watch TED talks here (content & quality vary): http://www.ted.com/talks
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com