Impactful Presentations

Craft human-centered presentations that connect, resonate, and inspire
Preview Course

Why do presentations often fail to have the impact we desire? One reason is that information alone will never move people. In this course, you’ll go beyond presenting just the facts and figures to craft compelling presentations that will motivate others, inspire action, and enable buy-in. By surfacing what matters to your audience, you’ll learn to create presentations that are both meaningful and memorable. Gain the confidence and skills it takes to shift the way people think, feel, and behave.

Note: While this course is not focused on the visual design of presentations, it does cover a few quick tips to get you started.

Course Outcomes
  • Deliver presentations that spark a shift in beliefs, behaviors, and mindsets.
  • Sequence and convey your information in a way that will create a meaningful journey for your audience.
  • Open hearts and minds by developing a trusted relationship with your audience.
  • Apply techniques to help people pay attention and remember the information you share.
  • Practice with unique presentation methods in order to create an engaging experience for your audience.
Skills You’ll Gain
Presenting Storytelling Audience Engagement
Format Online Cohort Course
Start Date
Duration 5 Weeks*
Time 4 Hours/Week
Regular price
Sale price
Unit price
Download Syllabus
*Enroll in any August cohort course or certificate to get exclusive access to our new AI x Design Thinking Workshop Series.

Go Deeper with Certificate Programs

Impactful Presentations is part of two certificate programs:

What You'll Learn

Week 1: Introduction - Move Your Audience

Understand how information and emotion work together to create presentations that have the power to spark change and inspire new mindsets and behaviors.
2 Video Lessons
  • Messages That Spark Change—It’s not what you say, but how you say it
  • Mentor Moment—Try something new
1 Assignment
  • Choose Your Presentation—Choose the 10-15 minute presentation you’ll be workshopping throughout the course. Use an existing presentation or choose from one of our sample presentation prompts. Identify your audience, your starting assumptions for what you must do or include in this presentation, and the skills you most want to grow.

  • Note: For course assignments, you’ll need access to either Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. There will be multiple opportunities to get feedback on your drafts along the way, though you are not required to give your presentation live to the class.

Week 2: Plan the Journey

Create a compelling arc through the information by combining your goals with audience needs.
4 Video Lessons
  • What’s the Point?—Identify the goal of your presentation
  • It’s Not About You—Empathize with your audience
  • Shape Your Story—Build emotional appeal and interest
  • Mentor Moment—Start with emotion
1 Assignment
  • Crafting Story Arcs—Identify the beats, or key moments, of your presentation. Build four potential sequences to determine the strongest organization of your content. Use your learnings from this exercise to iterate your Big Idea and the shift you want the audience to make.

Week 3: Become the Guide

Develop a trusted connection with your audience that opens their hearts and minds to your message.
3 Video Lessons
  • Create a Connection—Bridge the divide between you and the audience
  • Establish Your Credibility—Inspire trust and belief
  • Keep It Human—Present as your authentic self
1 Assignment
  • Design for Connection, Credibility, and Authenticity—Select different methods for building a connection, establishing credibility, and presenting authentically, and brainstorm how you might bring them to life. Think through the details of implementing these methods by experimenting.

Week 4: Make it Memorable

Design your presentation to align with the way the brain focuses on and remembers information.
4 Video Lessons
  • Best Intentions; Bad Presentations—Avoid common presentation mistakes
  • Make Patterns—Encourage understanding and retention
  • Break Patterns—Shake things up to capture their attention
  • Mentor Moment—Find the medium that fits your message
2 Assignments
  • Create Pattern Breaks—Brainstorm ways to break patterns using physical space, the senses, and audience interactivity. Build experiments to further explore your ideas.

  • Build a Storyboard—Use the feedback and insights from the first three assignments to create a storyboard for your presentation. Identify opportunities to engage, or re-engage, the audience, and consider the holistic journey through your content. Start a visual mood board to guide design decisions.

Week 5: Conclusion - Look Ahead

The end of the presentation is the beginning. Learn how to end presentations in a way that gives the ideas within them room to grow and evolve.
3 Video Lessons
  • Bringing It All Together—A Presentation Case Study
  • Mentor Moment—Encouragement to explore
  • The End Is The Beginning—Evolve your story and yourself
1 Assignment
  • Presentation Finale—Design a meaningful ending and evolve the structure and flow of your presentation using insights from the feedback you’ve received. Craft a full second draft, diving more deeply into visual decisions and scripting key moments. Reflect on your experience over these five weeks to understand the skills and techniques you’ve gained and areas to continue growing.

Meet Your Instructors

Ann Kim

Former Director of Health & Well-Being at IDEO

Ann is a design researcher with roots in anthropology and journalism. Prior to IDEO, she made documentaries for public television. Filmmaking taught her how to visually tell stories as well as how to find, edit, and shape them. At IDEO, she does the same thing, taking the raw materials—interviews, data, observations—and crafting them into stories that inspire.

More About Ann

Alex Gallafent

Senior Design Director at IDEO

Alex is a designer, theater artist, and journalist. Throughout his career, Alex has been figuring out the things audiences need and how best to bring them to life. He’s presented stories on theater stages in London and New York, in broadcast journalism for the BBC, and across the world with IDEO.

More About Alex

Frequently Asked Questions

We offer three types of courses: self-paced courses, cohort courses, and certificate programs. Cohort courses run on a set calendar, with fixed start and end dates. Course learning is self-paced within those dates and requires approximately 4-5 hours per week over 5 weeks. Courses consist of videos, activities, assignments, access to course teaching teams, and feedback from a global community of learners. There are also optional 1-hour video Community Conversations, held weekly by the teaching team. 

All of our cohort courses are fully online, so you can take them from any time zone, anywhere in the world. With our cohort course experience, while you'll be learning alongside other learners, you'll still have the flexibility to work at the pace that fits your own schedule. There aren’t mandatory live components, so you don't have to worry about having to log in at a specific time. At the same time, you'll have access to a teaching team, which is composed of experts in the field who are there to provide you feedback, and there are also plenty of options to connect with your fellow learners.

Course instructors have a strong presence in the courses through the course videos, but they're not actively providing feedback or holding direct conversations with our learners. We have a teaching team to ensure that you have the feedback, guidance, and support you need to learn successfully in your course. Our teaching team members are design practitioners that have experience applying course methods and mindsets in a wide variety of contexts around the world.

Our teaching team consists of teaching leads and teaching assistants, who are experts in their fields. Many of them have been with IDEO U for many years, and we have selected those who have direct experience with applying the course methods and mindsets in all sorts of contexts around the world. They all go through multiple training sessions by our instructional designers on not only on the subject matter, but also on how to create safe and collaborative learning experiences and environments.

Community Conversations are one-hour live video conversations hosted by the teaching team on Zoom. These happen once per week, with each one having two to three time options to accommodate different time zones. Each week focuses on the lesson that you’ve just gone through, so the output and the content depend on the specific lessons. You'll have the opportunity if you work together with your peers on the tools and mindsets from the course, reflect on what you’ve learned, and also address any challenges that you might be going through.

All course materials, including videos, activities, and assignments will be available while you are enrolled in a course. During the 5 weeks of the course, you will have full access to our learning platform and can refer back to it any time. You will only have access to the course materials while you are enrolled. 

Assignments must be submitted during the 5-week course duration in order for you to receive a certificate of completion.

Absolutely! We have had many teams go through our courses together. For those taking our courses as a team, we provide a number of additional benefits:

1. A Team Learning Guide, developed to provide your team with resources to facilitate offline discussions that complement the in-course experience.

2. A Manage Learners function, which provides visibility into your team's progress within the course.

3. The ability to create a private Learning Circle, which is a closed space for discussion on the learning platform specifically for your team.

For more information, visit our Team Learning page.

We offer a discount when you enroll in multiple courses at the same time through some of our certificate programs, including Foundations in Design Thinking, Business Innovation, Human-Centered Strategy, and Communicating for Impact

You can also enter your email address at the bottom of this page in order to receive updates on future offers or possible discounts. 

After completing a cohort course, you will be able to add it to your “licenses and certifications” on LinkedIn.

We also have certificate programs that consist of multiple courses. After completing a certificate, you will receive a certificate of completion via email as a downloadable PDF within 1-2 weeks of completing the final required course. Certificates are configured for uploading and sharing on LinkedIn.

You can purchase a course on our website using a credit card, PayPal, or Shop Pay. For US customers, we also offer installment plans at checkout if you use the Shop Pay method of payment.

We typically are not able to accommodate bank transfer or invoicing. However, if your order includes 10 seats or more, please contact and our team will be happy to review your request. 

Collaborate with a Global Community

What Others Are Saying

Gerardo Hernandez
Gerardo Senior Manager Big 4 Consultancy Firm
Meredith Jurek
Meredith Marketing Consultant Storycore
Simone Wilson
Simone Vice President Market Strategy and Understanding Ipsos
Michael Jaff
Dr. Michael Jaff Chief Medical Officer & VP Boston Scientific
Impactful Presentations
Cohort Course

“I've been delivering presentations my whole career, this course is game-changing for everything I knew. This course made me realize there are more creative ways to deliver a message.”

Gerardo Mexico City, Mexico
Impactful Presentations
Cohort Course

“I had an aha moment when I realized that you need to focus on the shift you want your audience to make versus the content you want to say.”

Meredith Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Impactful Presentations
Cohort Course

“Wonderful course on key elements that anyone should use to have a more memorable presentation prepared!”

Simone Toronto, Canada
Impactful Presentations
Cohort Course

“Having spent my career presenting to varied audiences, there is no doubt that most presentations are too data-heavy and the audience is lost early on. There is no one better than IDEO colleagues Ann and Alex to provide novel and impactful skills to those who present for a living….or for anyone who just wants to get better at presentation. Not only will you learn great new skills, but you will have fun doing so!”

Dr. Michael Jaff Boston, MA

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