No matter how amazing your research is, how life changing your story was, how impressive your business case is, if you commit any of the following deadly sins in the construction and delivery of your presentation it will not received as such by the audience. Avoid these mistakes and people will take your message away from the auditorium and it will change their lives.
Each of these sins has been covered in previous posts so please follow the links for a fuller explanation.
1. Starting with the Powerpoint
The planning of a presentation begins with a blank sheet of paper, time, consideration of the needs of the audience and not with a laptop open.
2. No message
Your audience needs a single message to take away, not a data download. If you cannot condense your whole talk into a 3 sentence elevator pitch, then you don’t know what you are talking about merely that you are talking.
The slide set(p2) is to illustrate your message (p1). It is neither a script nor a handout.
4. Distracting Slides
In illustrating the message it is essential that slides, data slides and illustrations can be simply viewed rather than requiring interrogation that will distract the audience from listening to the speaker.
5. Using a Script
Speak to the audience, don’t read to them. Practise until you don’t need the script.
6. Not enough Practise
No sportsman, musician, actor or surgeon gives an excellent performance without practise. A presentation is a performance, practise for it.
7. No passion
Your delivery needs to convey that you care about the message whether it is your research, your life story or your business case. If you don’t appear to care, your audience won’t either. Engage them, challenge them, involve them and move them. They will remember that and your message.