9 Things Never to Say or Do in your Next Presentation

  1. “I am going to just run through the rest of these slides quickly because we are running out of time.”
    Translation: You didn’t manage your time wisely. It might be better to skip to the conclusion slide and reiterate the promise you gave to your audience at the start of the presentation.

  2. “There are many words on this slide. You can read them if you’d like; I am not going to read them to you.” 
    Translation: Let’s be honest. You put too many words on the slide. If you absolutely must put too many words on a slide (and I advise against it), pause and give your audience a chance to read it. 

  3. “Here’s the agenda:”
    Translation: Boring. Try stating: “here’s my promise to you: By the end of this presentation, you will…so that you can….

  4. “This slide is a little busy, but you get the idea.
    Translation: If you think the slide is a little busy, your audience won’t get the point and you’ll lose credibility faster than a speeding bullet.

  5. Email the slides to your audience before you present. 
    Translation: I have nothing important to say when I actually present. In fact, if you read the slides, you probably don’t need to attend the presentation. 

  6. Keep talking.
    Translation: Pause every now and then (and make it a long pause). It will show:
    –Your confidence
    –It gives the audience a chance to think through the information being shared.

  7. Neglect to give a takeaway or key finding for each slide. 
    Translation: If a takeaway doesn’t exist, the slide probably can be deleted. 

  8. “You really don’t need to take notes. I’ll send these slides around at the end of this presentation.”
    Translation: What you are telling your audience is: 
    –You can check out now – what is being shared is not that significant.
    –This presentation didn’t need to happen. Reading the slides is a more than ample replacement. 

  9. It may seem like fighting against the tide, but try presenting your story/pitch/ideas on a whiteboard rather than Powerpoint. It is much more personal and human. We stare at screens enough in our lives already.

Good luck in your next presentation. 

Until next time, 
Dan Naden

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