The Most Common Presentation Mistakes


Presentations are common at conferences, in courses, and at other gatherings. They can truly be powerful ways to get your ideas and information across. That is, if done correctly. If done incorrectly, presentations can be torturous for the audience. They can even be embarrassing for the presenters. Here, we will look at a few very common presentation mistakes that lots of people make. Do your best to avoid them in your next presentation. Your audience will be grateful.

Don’t Be Captain Obvious

Being a captain obvious can really be a drag. When you give a presentation, be sure to name it something dynamic, not presentation. Everyone knows you are giving a presentation. Also do not include things like superfluous company information. Worst of all, do not read everything off your slides. Everyone in the audience can most likely read the slide for themselves. Instead, practice beforehand to get a good flow and know what you will say for each slide. Yes this takes a bit of extra time, but the time investment is really worth it. Plus, it can help you to work out presentation kinks.

Don’t Bore Them to Death

There are many ways to bore your audience to death. Make sure that you presentation is dynamic. Remember that you have more than one slide to present. Keep your presentation succinct and engaging. If you can say it all in a half hour, then do not give a three hour presentation. And do not summarize at the end. Forget reminding the audience that your presentation is not super fun. Instead, make it fun for everyone. There are a few ways you can do this, from stories to demos. Also remember that you are not the supreme expert, here. Do not act pompous.

Don’t Overload Them

If you are thinking about presenting a wild and wacky presentation, stop. This can overload your audience, meaning they will not pay attention to the rest of the presentation. Remember to limit the text on your slides. Also do not cram your presentation full of graphics or numerical representations of data. In the same vein, limit the use of things like animations and sounds. Using one or two might be good. Using them everywhere is totally distracting. Be sure that formatting and look is consistent throughout your presentation. Lastly, to avoid distracting slide advancement direction, do this yourself.