The five most common presentation crimes
Ever heard of Death by Powerpoint? Most of us have had to suffer through painfully dull or off-point presentations multiple times during our careers. The presenter rambles on interminably, text-heavy slide after text-heavy slide, as our eyelids get heavier and heavier…
To make sure you don’t join the dark side, please discover below the five most common presentation no-nos and how to best avoid them, according to the Harvard Business Review,
- Failing to engage on an emotional level
If you don’t start your presentation with an emotional hook that brings your facts and figures to life, you’ll lose your audience at the starting block. So take time to think about the ‘why’ behind the behaviour you’re trying to prompt. How can your product, service, or proposal add value to your audience? What pain point(s) will it help them avoid? Are you going to help them save time or money, or even improve people’s lives as a result? If you speak to people’s hearts as well as their minds, you’ll capture and keep their attention.
- Asking too much of your slides
PowerPoint is a great tool but doesn’t reproduce your full presentation on it. Rely heavily on images instead, talking around the points they illustrate. If you really want your audience to see a text version of your presentation, give them a handout at the end.
- Using tired visuals
If you don’t want your audience to use your presentation to catch up on their z’s, steer clear of visual concepts that have been aired to death already. Hold a brainstorming session to come up with some original concepts that demonstrate your points.
- Littering your speech with jargon
If you’re presenting to a group of experts in your field, feel free to pepper your presentation with as much jargon or techie-speak as you like. In all other circumstances, use easy-to-understand language and avoid technical terms, abbreviations, and industry jargon like the plague.
- Going over your allotted time
People are conditioned to concentrate for 30 to 40 minutes only. So, unless you’re breaking your presentation up with regular snack breaks, treat this norm as sacred.
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