September 22, 2015

10 Most Common Presentation Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

Whispers, yawns and zero interaction from the audience besides checking their smartphones…do you know this scenario? Presentation mistakes happen to everyone, but there are certain situations that you can certainly avoid. Listed are 10 of the most common presentation mistakes that are an easy slip up if you aren’t careful, but that can quickly be tramped. Test yourself to see which of these 10 mistakes you could be making in order to save your audience a “death by PowerPoint”

  1. Boring title?
    Create a short and catchy title that will spark newly-found curiosity to your topic (limit to 70 characters). Try to incorporate keywords; this will give your audience a broad sense of what to expect. Know that it will take practice to create a great title, but it is worth the effort, time and exercise it will take.
  2. Endless bullet-point lists?
    Leave the forever long lists and endlessly detailed points behind and visually display the highlights of your speech. Your templates should aim to be beautiful and comprehensible at a glance. The purpose you are there is to give the full story and add the interesting details!
  3. No images?
    Did you know that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual? Keep the text on your templates to a minimum and add visuals and pictures. Use images to reinforce what you say.
  4. Overkill on company logos?
    Your company logo is great to incorporate in your presentation, but make sure you place it discreetly in the header or footer, or it will quickly start to become an annoying visual. Sponsor logos should be shown only once either at the very beginning or on one of your very last slides.
  5. Reading your lecture?!
    Surely you’ve sat in a presentation before when someone kept their eyes only on their notes. Do you recall your boredom? Or do you recall anything? Avoid standing on the other side of this presentation catastrophe by doing one simple step – practice. Practice your speech so that you can communicate with your audience freely. This will give you a more authentic appeal, allowing you to engage your audience with eye contact which establishes a more personal connection.Title_nogo
  6. Content overload on any single slide?
    Build your templates after the motto, one thought per slide. Make the template coherent and simple, but significant. Steve Jobs style of presenting is a great example here.
  7. Tiny, unreadable text?
    Use a text size that is visible – a good size is no less than 36 pt. for titles and 18 pt. for text.
  8. Speaking quietly and incomprehensibly?
    The obvious counter would be to speak loudly and clearly, but this might not be helpful if the real problem stems from stage fright or naturally being an introvert. The simplest solution is to practice in front of a mirror and practice in front of someone standing on the opposite end of the room. Projecting your voice clearly is a simple practice and builds up confidence. A great solution here is to pick up the hobby of singing to learn how to project your voice. So why not join a choir and stop hiding behind your pc?
  9. Talking Impersonally?
    Make the point to be personal by speaking to the audience directly, just like you would in a one-on-one conversation. Deliver your thesis with specific points that are relatable and incorporate stories and humor.
  10. Passing your intended presentation time?
    Practice your speech with a stopwatch in hand, and then rehearse and optimize your presentation. So you will internalize your topic so you can freely talk, but still be within your given time.We hope these quick tips helped pinpoint some flaws. Stay tuned for specific insights to some of these points and let us know what mistakes you have problems with! We’d love to read your comments.
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