20 Common Pitfalls to avoid
There is no such thing as the 'perfect presenter', but here are some presentation ideas for the most common pitfalls to avoid. Sometimes the margin between success and failure is very small.
- Do little or no preparation. Rely on your talent and ability to 'wing it' on the day.
- Fail to identify the purpose of your presentation and the key points you want your audience to understand.
- Prepare your presentation in Power Point or equivalent package without first story boarding your presentation ideas.
- Use your slides as your presentation notes or auto cue.
- Have slides full of text and bullet points.
- Dress inappropriately for your audience.
- Apologise to your audience at the start for being nervous or boring or telling them that this is the first time you have done this presentation.
- Talking far too quickly.
- Talking far too loudly thinking it will energise the room.
- Reading directly from your slides.
- Use lots of jargon and acronyms.
- Turn your back on your audience and speak to the screen.
- Pacing from side to side, like a caged tiger, for the whole presentation.
- Standing in one spot, but swaying either side to side, or front to back, pendulum style.
- Rattle loose change in keys in your pockets (especially guys - this looks bad)
- Over run your allotted time.
- Use exaggerated gestures to emphasize a point.
- Stare at your notes avoiding eye contact with your audience
- Stare at someone in the audience you know, or who appears to be liking what you are presenting.
- Fail to smile once during the entire presentation.
These are pitfalls we have all fallen into at some point or another. Sadly, many are still quite commonly experienced by audiences every day; the net result is likely to be that the presenter fails to get their key messages received and understood. Look at this video to see some cringe making examples of these pitfalls in action.
Keep this simple list in mind next time you are either giving, or attending a presentation. you might be surprised at what you discover. If you need any help with a presentation just ask.
Richard Lock: International trainer, speaker,and coach helping businesses and individuals learn the secrets of effective communication.
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