Interview Prezi expert Spencer Waldron


This way, you will make sure to give a memorable and unique performance!

With all the different forms of presentation out there these days, it can still be quite a challenge to determine which factors contribute to a successful presentation. That's why we sat down with Spencer Waldron, the Director of Global Communication & Remote at Prezi, one of the innovative presentation tools that will play an increasingly prominent role in the world of (keynote) presentations. He has some essential pointers for when you want to give a memorable and unique presentation.

Mockup - Tips&Tricks


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You can read about it in this whitepaper, prepared especially for you by our presentation designers. 



One of the factors that indicates that you actually care about the audience and the value you can provide them with, is the amount of preparation you put into your performance, which is, according to Spencer, of utmost importance.

"When Steve Jobs did a keynote, he spent 3 to 4 months planning it, checking everything weeks before his presentation -. he was obsessed with preparation. When you go onto stage, you tend to focus on how you feel, but you're not focusing on what's going on in the room; is the audience engaged? So, the first big thing you need to do is invest time in practice. I regularly receive the question 'how do you look so calm?'. I feel like a duck: it looks calm and graceful on the outside, but it's going crazy on the inside. What the audience doesn't know is that I turned up a day before the presentation and went through my presentation for 8 hours."

And, believe it or not, that is not the only time Spencer invests in preparing for the stage. He invests in scripting his entire story, even though he doesn't always fall back on his originally scripted presentation: "I allow myself movement, then there is no need for panicking. If I lose my way, I can quickly find it. When I survive the first minute, I'm fine. Memory champions use a memory palace, I use my apartment: you approach the front door and knock, that's when you start introducing yourself." Also, Spencer spends a lot of time researching ways to make his performance both enjoyable and memorable for his audience, since he considers his audience his focus point: "When I'm nervous, the saliva disappears from my mouth. You need to have a glass of water. If you don't want to pause, you can bite on the tip of your tongue gently.


Also, I find it is always better to start with a story. I have this obsession with how people make decisions: you need the audience to connect emotionally and gain their trust. That is what you need to convey to stage. When you use a story, think of what's in it for them. A story is much easier to remember and engage with. In the beginning, when the presenter called my name, I walked the steps to the stage and started talking. What I learned was to remain silent, walk to centre of the stage first, pause and greet the audience. I also learned a trick from Simon Sinek: keep telling yourself how excited you are. Emotions are physical manifestations, fear and excitement are processed the same. Force your brain to change feeling scared to feeling excited. That stops your brain going down the negative path. When you're nervous anyway, in this way, you can manage it. Now, every time I give a presentation, I remind myself of how lucky and grateful I am to be there. Also, I focus on how I can add value, because you just can't waste people's attention anymore."


As a Prezi expert, Spencer believes that presentations and attractive design are highly underestimated:

"Presentations are the most unloved tool in the toolbox. We need to figure out why, since they are of great worth when presenting to an audience.

At the beginning of my speaking career, I needed more text in my presentations, I needed that as a cue. Now, I am happy that most presentations without the person talking don't make much sense. Try to switch from using your presentation to convey information to letting the presentation amplify what you say. When you talk, you are lucky when 10 minutes after, your audience remembers 10%. You can help them remember by doing three things: think, do and feel. Weave them through the talk, speech and screen in a subtle way. Let them come together in your words, design and delivery.

What I learned from David Hook is to connect stories. Create hooks by letting the end of a sentence connect directly to the next one. Do that visually as well. The audience doesn't see it, but I know what's coming next. I don't want to be chained to the screen, so I take a quick glance. Then there are no surprises for me. My design has become simpler. I use very clear visual metaphors to discuss certain subjects.

I started experimenting with storytelling in Prezi. That becomes about the audience thinking 'what am I not going to hear?', resulting in a fear of loss, which is very powerful. What is the clear value? I funnel the content in a way that I can dip in and changed the design in order to make it conversational. Everybody wants to see a good presentation and be inspired, but nobody wants to do the hard work. I believe the eight most dangerous words are 'Click to add title' and 'click to add text'. Those make us follow the rules and stick to the template. Therefore, 90% of presentations will look the same. Speakers want their work to look amazing, but they don't understand amplification in background."


  1. During your performance, focus on your audience and the value it can add for them.
  2. Invest in practising your performance to give your audience the optimal experience.
  3. Make the audience trust you and connect with you emotionally, for example by starting your presentation with a personal anecdote.
  4. Focus on how you can add value, because you don't want to waste your audience's time.
  5. Don't underestimate the value of good visuals; create visual hooks as reminders for yourself.
  6. Try an interactive design; make your presentation look non-standard and make your audience feel like they have power over the information they receive1. 
Spencer waldron


Is the Director of Global Communication & Remote at Prezi, one of the innovative presentation tools that is playing an increasingly prominent role in the world of (keynote) presentations. He is also a keynote speaker and has a huge interest in how to become a 'great communicator'. He therefore speaks a lot about how to communicate more confidently and successfully in business and regularly dives into what he calls 'passion projects', such as his research into how people make decisions and create an emotional bond.

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