April 29, 2016
Have you noticed people nodding off during your presentations? Maybe they didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, but more than likely it’s your presentation! A poor presentation is boring at best and snooze-inducing at worst. To save you from the snores, we’ve covered how to avoid 5 of the most common mistakes made during presentations.
Practice Makes Perfect
Did you know Michael Jordan practiced six hours a day on average? Practice and repetition is what makes the difference between good and great. To ensure your presentations are great, you have to practice them, repeatedly. Practice them until you can recite them without any cue cards. Not only will this make you feel more comfortable with the content, you will appear more confident to the audience; which can go a long way toward creating a positive impression. Don’t forget to practice with the equipment you’ll be using when you are giving the presentation too! All the preparation and confidence can fall apart if you are having “technical issues”.
Slim Down Text
No one wants to read a slide that has to much content. If you must use text on your slides, ensure it is concise and compelling. A good suggestion is to not use more than 3 to 5 bullet points per slide, and use a large enough font size so that the people at the back of the room can read them as well.
Speak, Don’t Read
Your audience can read faster than you can speak, so don’t read your slides! Keeping your slides to just the main points allows the audience to see your main points while you speak more in-depth about each one. Engaging your audience is key to keeping them interested and invested in your presentation. Instead of rattling off facts and figures, tell a story that illustrates how you achieved those things. A good presentation will stand alone, even if you are unable to show your slides. Finally, if you do nothing else, vary your tone of voice and delivery; a monotone voice will have your audience dozing off.
Don’t Data Dump
No one likes to be bombarded with statistics and chances are your audience won’t remember any of them if you are data dumping. If you must include statistics, try telling a story illustrating how you achieved the statistic, rather than simply stating the result. Stories are much more compelling than a statistic and will engage the audience on a more personal level.
Visuals Count Too
Are your visuals up to par? If you’ve got a compelling verbal presentation, but your visual presentation is lacking professionalism and credibility, that can be a total snooze fest. A clean and creative design that is easy to read is a way to keep the audience interested and alert. Use some creative visuals to help your audience follow you through your presentation.
Keeping your audience engaged during your presentation is key to making a positive impression. If you can avoid the common mistakes in presentations, you are already on track to a great presentation.
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