This is a quick mini-post: revision notes for those that have already worked with us.
Doing a really good presentation is an art and usually requires a fair amount of work. But I am aware lots of people would be happy to just give an okay presentation, without feeling it might have damaged their reputation with colleagues or clients.
But here is my choice of the top five mistakes I see most often and are most easily fixed.
What Not to Do When Making a Presentation
1. Don’t Read Your Slides
Look at the audience instead! You are the main event, the slides are there to support you and make the talk more interesting. It’s fine to glance at the screen, even better if it is on a laptop in front of you, but 90% of the time you should be connecting with the people who are listening.
2. Don’t Dance or Pace
Some careful movement to support your narrative can be effective, especially on a stage. But pacing up and down or dancing from side to side is distracting.
3. Don’t Rush
You may not want to be there, you may not want to draw attention to yourself but rushing through your presentation means the whole experience is poor for the audience and for you. It will not do your reputation any good. Speak slowly and clearly and pause sometimes. This helps you to collect your thoughts. You’ll probably say fewer words but land more meaning. You can speak too slowly but this is rare compared to the number of people who speak too fast.
4. Don’t Crowd Your Slides
Strip your slides to the basics, keep them uncluttered and a minimum of words. That means 5-10 words, not 40.
5. Don’t Make the Audience Work Out What the Point Is!
You should know what your message is and you should summarise it for the audience in a clear and concise way. This can happen at the beginning and at the end, or just at the end. But it must happen.
We love helping people with particular presentations or pitches, or to improve their presentation skills in a more general way. If you or your team need to up their game when it comes to presentations, give us a call on: 44 (0)20 7099 2212.
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