4 Presentation Mistakes Everyone Makes (And How To Avoid Them)


Giving a great presentation can be a turning point in your career. Not everyone is born with this innate talent, but we have good news: you can learn presentation skills! Now, one of the best ways to learn is through mistakes. Luckily you don’t have to make them yourself. Here are 4 things you should avoid when presenting or speaking in public and what to do instead.

1. Just winging it

It’s normal to prepare a presentation in terms of the design, the content, the order of the presentation slides, but many people forget to practice. An essential part of presenting is not just what you show, but what you say. Do you know how you will explain each slide? Do you have good transitions? Have you prepared answers for all the possible questions? You need to avoid being at a loss for words and must ensure a smooth narration throughout. This means thoroughly preparing your script and practicing your presentation – don’t just wing it.

2. Not adapting to your audience

Pretty, young business woman giving a presentation in a conference/meeting setting (shallow DOF; color toned image)Communication is a two-way street. Not only are you telling something to your audience, you also need to respond and adjust to their expectations and perception as well as to what’s being fed back to you. Sometimes we get so obsessed with the content of the presentation that we forget about who our audience is. Is it your family? Your colleagues? Your bosses? Do some research about how much they already know about your topic and take it into account when preparing your presentation. Always understand who your audience is and adapt your content to them.

3. Not having a clear objective

Despite giving a memorable speech, you could fail at reaching your goal! So before you start preparing your presentation, ask yourself what you want to achieve: identify the main goal and plan every single aspect of your speech with that objective in mind. This will not only help you do what you’ve set out to do, it will enable you to maintain and create clarity, build-up and consistency.

4. Not analysing who you are for your audience

It is important to know your audience, but you also need to figure out how the audience knows you and how you want them to perceive you. Like number 2 above, you need to ask yourself who you are in the eyes of your audience. Are you well-known in your area, someone everybody is dying to see? Congrats! If not, be aware of your audience’s expectations and prejudices about yourself and your position, and work around them.

So now that you know the Don’ts, you are invited to learn the Do’s in our Presentation Skills for Business course, starting 9 November 2015. The course is divided into three parts: You will start with a journey into communicative style audit. Then you will take the next steps to preparing successful presentations. Finally, you will learn quick tips for the staging. Enrol now to become a master of presentation skills and public speaking!

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Images: Homuork; Bigstockphoto

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