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Presentation Tips – why presentations fail

In this page of presentation tips, let’s have a look at why presentations fail.

Have a look at this video, all the dialogue is about what people are doing or thinking during a presentation and shows beautifully a lot of the pitfalls that people fall into when they are presenting.

As this is a video uploaded to You Tube, you may not be able to read this on your work’s pc, if they block access to You Tube. This video is worth a look at, so make a note of the page, and have a look when you are at home.

So how many pitfalls did you note, the overladen PowerPoint, the weak joke to start the presentation, the pride in the graphics rather than the message the presenter was trying to convey?

Here’s some tips to making sure you are confident in your presentations and your audience is happy.

Presentation Tips – Beware Death By PowerPoint

Death By PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a great tool, and it certainly helps with consistency of message if you are having to give the same presentation several times, or if several of you are having to roll out key messages. But all too often we use it as a prompt for what we are going to say next, and if we don’t have time to prepare then we write our script on the slide.

Not great for the audience.

If you want to produce really professional presentations, you need to understand the art of putting together PowerPoints which get your message across. Presentation Zen is a useful resource to putting together visuals with impact, a picture tells a thousand words.

Build in Time to Prepare

Know what you need to say, and practice saying it. There’s no short cut to this. You either need to know your subject matter inside out and back to front that you could stand up and give an effective presentation off the cuff in the middle of the supermarket if you were asked, or you have to prepare. And preparation means practice. Ask anyone who is good at anything, and they will say the same thing, they got good by practicing.

Steve Jobs is often cited as one of THE great presenters, and he always took time to practice and prepare.

Know Your Audience

Tailor what you have to say to your audience. All audiences are different, and start with them in mind. What do they want or need to hear to get the most from your presentation? How can you be most helpful or useful to them? How formal or informal are they? How old are they? What’s their attention span likely to be?

Here’s another of our presentation tips

Manage Your Nerves

Most of us get a bit nervous before a presentation, and I always think of that as nature’s way of keeping us on our toes. For others the thought of a presentation causes a blinding panic, and in the run up to a presentation they start thinking things that aren’t helpful. “This is going to be a disaster” “I’ve not prepared enough” “they don’t look a nice crowd, they are going to make mincemeat of me”

Not the most helpful self talk.

So how do you manage this? Well you need to bring yourself into the moment, into the room in a positive way, and one of the easiest and simplest ways of managing when your stress levels are getting high, is to start noticing details in the room. Rob’s shirt is pink, Mandy has had her haircut, the guy in the third row is smiling and wearing glasses. Notice the little details, it helps to bring us into the present, and to connect with the audience, and is a great way to focus before you start.

Paul McKenna has some useful tips to building your confidence in his book. The tips are simple to implement and make a real difference.

And if you want more presentation tips tailored to your presentation style, have a look at our presentation training

Why not have a look at The Power of Words a short video on what we say and how we say it, and the difference that can make to the outcome we want.

Understand more about presentation skills, call us now on 0845 450 0988