Fatal Presentation Flaws to Avoid

GENERAL ATTITUDE GOOFS

  • apologizing
  • not rehearsing
  • being unprepared
  • being late
  • being unfamiliar with equipment
  • forgetting the audience exists
  • viewing questions as a hostile act
  • acting terrified or nervous

ORGANIZATIONAL FLUBS

  • not having firm openings or closing
  • not announcing your agenda at start
  • burying critical elements in middle
  • not saying when questions will be taken
  • not giving internal summaries as you speak
  • not having clear signposts as you progress

TIMING PROBLEMS

  • talking before you get audience’s attention
  • using visuals before/after you need them
  • putting the wrong visual on display
  • not summing up after questions & answers
  • not sticking to your organizational plan
  • walking off the stage before finished

VISUAL ASSAULTS

  • wearing inappropriate clothes or jewelry
  • wearing outfits for first time
  • turning your back to audience
  • talking to screen, not audience
  • looking in only one direction
  • not looking at audience
  • not making any gestures
  • being a talking head only
  • being stiff

BODY LANGUAGE TICS

  • playing with jewelry or clothing or pointer
  • death-gripping the podium
  • jangling the coins in your pockets
  • having your arms folded
  • standing at parade rest
  • standing in fig leaf stance
  • standing in cowpoke stance
  • pacing or rocking back and forth
  • drumming your fingers
  • tapping the microphone

VERBAL BLUNDERS

  • reading a presentation
  • speaking too low or too loud
  • speaking in a monotone
  • not using pausing for emphasis
  • not varying the pace
  • repeating words like “ah,” “uh,” “you know”

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