Common mistakes people make during presentations

Most of us, especially those from the corporate world, have experienced some pretty dull, embarrassing presentations.

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Whether you are an employee giving a career-changing presentation to your bosses, or a keynote speaker seeking to inspire people with your over-the-top presentation, all we want is for our presentations to stand out for all the right reasons.

In order to give motivating, informative, and captivating presentations, here are some of the mistakes you should avoid.

Not preparing enough

The former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, was a famously inspiring speaker. We all loved how effortlessly his speeches flowed. One may think that they were spontaneously but trust me, massive amounts of preparation were put into it. His talented team took even weeks to prepare just one speech.

The same should apply to any presenter. Preparing ahead of time is essential. The amount of time you put into preparing your presentation plays a huge part in determining how good your presentation will be. Know your presentation inside out and you are less likely to be nervous or mess up.

Not familiarizing yourself with the venue and equipment

Imagine you just reached your venue and you realize their equipment are not compatible with your laptop or they are having a problem with their sound system.

Familiarizing yourself with the venue way ahead of your presentation allows you to be prepared for any unprecedented situations that would otherwise be a disaster. It would also give you enough time to ‘adjust’ your presentation if the situation is beyond anyone’s control.

Ignoring the audience

Another mistake that presenters do is ignoring their audiences. This may be unintentional as they may get so wrapped up in their presentation that they do not remember to consider the needs of their listeners.

Before you start your presentation let your listeners know what to expect. Let them know how you will present and when to ask questions. This will make the audience feel appreciated and involved. They will also relax and concentrate on what you have to say.

Using inappropriate content

Getting to know your audience is the first step of avoiding this mistake. The last thing you would want as a presenter is to patronize your audience or use jargon that none of them understands.

Have a clue on what your audiences expect from you, what they already know or what they look forward to learning from you.

To get a clearer vision of what is expected, take the time to engage with the audience before your presentation. Ask them what they would want to hear as well as their motivations.

Speaking incoherently

Public speaking is a challenge to a lot of people. It is a skill that requires a lot of practice. Nerves can take a toll on a presenter, especially if they are new to it.

A feeling of nervousness can make a presenter or public speaker rush through their presentation. In the process, the audience can miss grasping the critical points in your presentation.

If you notice that you are bubbling or a nervous-wreck, take a few deep breaths. Speak more slowly and pronounce each word clearly.


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