Every good presentation has common elements that make some speakers more effective than others. In evaluating a presenter's efforts, look for a well-paced, well-organized talk that's easy to follow. However, the best-written speech won't make any impact if the speaker seems ill-prepared, unenthusiastic, or disengaged from his audience. These factors also play a part in your final assessment of a speaker's abilities.

The Speaker’s Delivery
Check the voice

If you can understand the speaker and if he/she is loud enough (but not too loud).

Check the pace

If the speaker’s pace is comfortable, not too fast or too slow, and if the speaker takes time to allow for questions or repeat complex or confusing concepts.

Check the nervousness

If the speaker seems relaxed and comfortable, and if he/she avoids most meaningless filler words such as uh or um.

Check the engagement with the audience

If the speaker avoids simply reading his or her paper and makes eye contact.
If the speaker is aware of the audience’s responses or reactions.

Check the use of visual aids

If the visual aids help you understand the speaker’s message.
If the visual aids are well designed and free of distracting or confusing elements.
If the speaker directs your attention to key points or visuals.

Content and Coherence
Check the thesis

If the thesis is clearly expressed.
If the thesis makes sense.
If there is only one apparent thesis or purpose.
If all of the main ideas go together.

Check the language choices

If the speaker avoids using jargon.
If the speaker defines key terms and unfamiliar words.
If the speaker addresses the audience using an appropriate and effective tone.

Check the transitions

If the speaker clearly and smoothly links ideas and sections of the presentation.
If the transitional words and phrases are used correctly. For example, sometimes speakers overuse or misuse certain conjunctive adverbs (therefore, however, furthermore) to sound more formal.

Check the support

If the speaker’s support for his or her thesis makes sense.
If examples and evidence are appropriate and credible, and they mean what the speaker says they mean.
If the examples and evidence support the speaker’s claim(s).

Argument and Persuasion
Check the argument and persuasion

If the speaker avoids logical fallacies.
If the speaker seems credible and convincing.
If you agree with the speaker and if the presentation made you change your opinion, and why or why not.
If the speaker adequately explains and defends his or her position.

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