What is one of the most useful competencies to have both at school and at work? Undoubtedly, these are effective presentation and public speaking skills. Giving a presentation is one of the easiest ways to convey all the necessary information while achieving the set goal, for example, selling a product or service, collecting funds, or convincing an audience of an idea or project.
Presentation mistakes to avoid – table of contents:
However, there are many mistakes that you can make when preparing and delivering a presentation. In today’s post, we will discuss the most common presentation mistakes you should avoid. Read on to find out more.
Most common presentation mistakes
How to become a more successful presenter? Take a look at our list of the most common presentation mistakes to avoid.
- Inappropriate structure
- Low-quality slides
- Ignoring your audience
- Being too wordy
- Not preparing enough
- Avoiding eye contact
Each presentation should be divided into three parts, that is, the introduction, body, and conclusion. However, we don’t always remember to follow this structure. Sometimes, we get straight to the point, without filling the audience in. We also often forget about the conclusion and providing key takeaways. Structuring your presentation is then the first thing you should do to make sure that the recipient will understand what you are trying to convey.
What can you do to shrink the audience’s attention span? Prepare a presentation that has more text than visuals, contains a lot of language errors, uses contrasting colors, and includes everything you are going to say. Poor-quality slides are often one of the biggest mistakes when making school and business presentations. Therefore, make sure that your slides are visually appealing and aesthetic. For example, you can create professional slide layouts with the Designer feature in PowerPoint.
When a participant comes to a meeting or a training session, and the material turns out to be too easy or too difficult for them, they quickly lose interest and feel like their time is being wasted, which is not surprising. One of the typical presentation mistakes is not doing enough research to know your audience. If you haven’t done it, you can’t expect to achieve your goal and avoid disappointment.
You’ve prepared 50 interesting slides, full of data and examples, and you are convinced that your audience will be thrilled. They won’t be if you present the material for an hour. Research shows that the average human attention span is between 20 and 45 minutes. Therefore, shorter presentations are more effective. Focus on the most important information, and rehearse what you want to say so you know how much time you’ll need. Don’t extend your speech if you don’t have to.
Undoubtedly, there are some people who can stand in front of the audience and just start talking. However, if you don’t have such remarkable skills, don’t forget to practice. Practice makes perfect! Rehearsing the prepared material is a way to minimize nervousness, which can manifest itself in stuttering, confusion, or blankness. Do this a few times to feel completely at ease. Simply talk to yourself in front of a mirror or record your presentation.
Avoiding eye contact, and speaking too quickly or monotonously- these presentation mistakes are enough to make your audience lose interest in a meeting or training session. A lecture, although it may have been appreciated at school or college, isn’t necessarily a successful tactic in business meetings. So how do you make sure your meeting or training is interactive? Ask your audience for comments and encourage them to take part in a discussion.
Presentation mistakes – summary
What can you do to improve your public speaking skills? Just like in the case of other competencies, the answer is one – practice. The more often you speak in front of an audience, the better you’ll become. However, avoiding the most common presentation mistakes described above will undoubtedly bring your presentations to the next level and help you deliver an effective message.