THE MOST COMMON PRESENTATION MISTAKES
A short overview of some of the most common mistakes people make when preparing for a presentation, and how to avoid them
Background information and resources for presentation courses that we hope you find useful
Presentations are a very important part of our professional life. Whether you're an entrepreneur making a sales pitch to an investor, an executive trying to market a product, or even a new professional trying to land a job, you will have to walk this road at one point or another.
The good news is that it's not a difficult a task if you know what you're doing and are well prepared. To help you get the most out of your work and impress your audience, here are some of the most common presentation mistakes you should avoid:
LACK OF PREPARATION
When you're making a presentation, you need to place your best foot forward. This means that you need to be familiar with the content of your speech, the topic and your slides, and prepare for any questions your audience might ask you as well.
In order to get the most out of your presentation, you need to rehearse as often as you can. If you can, try to practise with a friend or a family member, and ask them for their opinion. Sometimes what you've written makes sense to you but it may not be very clear to your audience, so practising in front of someone else and making sure they understand your material will help you make sure your presentation is polished and informative, and that your point is getting across to your audience as you intended it.
TOO MUCH TEXT
As a general rule, good presentations should always be clear and readable. In fact, your audience should be able to get the gist of your presentation just by skimming the content of your slides. This means that you should always use a clear, bold font, present your points in bullet points, and keep the information concise. If you pack your slides with too much text, people will have difficulties understanding the content, which would only frustrate them.
On the other hand, you should also try to avoid spreading out your content too much and having too many slides. Always aim to keep your presentation short and to-the-point without overwhelming your audience.
NOT ACTUALLY PRESENTING
One of the most common mistakes people make when giving a presentation is not actually presenting - that is, reading their slides out loud. Not only is it pointless because your audience can read the content themselves, but your aim is to elaborate on those points. The slides are just a visual medium to convey your points in a clear, concise manner. They're also an accompaniment to your speech.
Reading your slides, word for word, will make your presentation dull and ineffective, and show your audience that you haven't worked hard enough on it - which is definitely something you want to avoid.
NOT KNOWING THE VENUE
You might be familiar with the concept of a dress rehearsal, where actors perform the entire play on stage before they're set to go live. This ensures their equipment and outfits are all in order and work well before they're in front of a live audience. You need to be similarly prepared when you're about to give a presentation. The last thing you want is to find out that your laptop doesn't work with the projector, or the presentation venue doesn't have sufficient space to seat the audience. In order to avoid this, make sure to visit the venue and check the equipment in advance - it will help you address any problems before you're set to present your piece.
The main thing to remember when giving a presentation is to appear confident, even if you don't necessarily feel it. What impression are you trying to give to your audience? What do you want them to take away from your presentation? We're only human and sometimes mistakes do happen, but by following the points above, pointless presentation blunders can be avoided.
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PRESENTATION MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
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