Are You Guilty of These Commonly Seen Presentation Missteps? 


While one misstep in an otherwise fantastic presentation is a non-issue, a combination of two or more will become a distraction — immediately turning off your audience and seeing your pitch, review, or other important objective falling on its face.

Whether you’re a seasoned presenter who’s fallen into bad habits, or you’re new to the world of presenting and simply struggling to find your groove, it’s best to review a list of common errors so you can counter them and give them a wide berth going forward. Here’s how.

Poor Planning and Preparation Before the Presentation

As with most things, you’ll enjoy a positive outcome if you plan and prepare in advance. A lack of preparation is instantly apparent to most audiences, even if they don’t voice their observations. Your slides will likely look and feel unpolished; you’ll sound unfamiliar or even surprised by your own content; and your script (or lack thereof) will be filled with ‘ums’ and ‘errs.’ 

Don’t give your audience a reason to disengage. Instead, if you don’t have enough time to prepare for several upcoming or ongoing presentations, do what many public speakers and businesses are doing and recruit the services of a custom presentation company.

PowerPoint professionals can help speakers and businesses create a resoundingly positive presentation. Good ones will work in direct partnership with you to finesse storyboarding and fine-tune copywriting — ensuring your talk has purpose, and a natural flow and direction. They’ll even help you craft personalized data visualization tools that pack a punch and reinforce your message.

A Lack of Time Management During the Presentation

A presentation with a drawn-out introduction, a rushed middle and a scattered end looks and sounds unprofessional and chaotic. Worse still, poor time management increases the likelihood of you overrunning your allotted time — which could be perceived as a lack of respect for other people’s time. Running over your time slot may also mean that the all-important question-and-answer session is hurried or skipped entirely.

To stay on time, rehearse each section of your presentation, ensuring each segment fits within reasonable bounds. Make sure you’re ready to begin on time by checking (and double checking!) your tech and knowing precisely how long you have with your audience.

Dictating the Presentation

Reading slides verbatim is dull and predictable. Your audience will likely jump ahead and read for themselves or fall into daydreams — 90% of survey participants in one study admitted to daydreaming during meetings, even when they were expected to participate!

To keep your viewers on their toes, make sure that you use your presentation as a guide, with plenty of supporting verbal information and anecdotes ready to support and illuminate the data presented on screen.

Failing to Connect with Your Audience

A lack of a personal connection is equally as dull as reading slides verbatim. You want your audience to be captivated by what you have to say. For this reason, it’s important to connect with your audience, whatever your subject matter. 

To do this, use some basic principles of storytelling. For example, by sharing personal experiences, you can capture your audience’s attention and significantly increase their likelihood of supporting your presentation and its purpose.

Try humanizing the presentation by tying some key points to a relatable issue. For example, you could show how you overcame challenges or adversity to finish a timely project. Everyone loves a success story, but it also shows your determination and the ability to pivot.

By sticking to the essential parts of your story, staying focused and on time, and presenting a slick and streamlined PowerPoint, you’re setting yourself up for a successful presentation that keeps your audience engaged and onside from start to finish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *