Everyone had an opportunity to see a boring speech or presentation both on video and live. But we all have seen completely beautiful, informative, inspiring and professional presentations. Of course, 10 mistakes mentioned in this article won’t turn a perfect presentation into a boring one, but they can significantly decrease the listeners’ awareness. Avoid them, and you’ll notice how the perception of your listeners changes. Additionally, this will let you feel confident and get rid of nervousness during your presentations.
1. Not Preparing Good Enough
Steve Jobs was famous for his motivational and orator skills and abilities. His presentations seemed natural, but this man could spend few weeks to prepare a 5 minute presentation.
Precise preparation is the most important aspect of every speech. Of course, it all depends on the available amount of time. If you have it, think out everything to the smallest details.
Competence means confidence. The more you know about your presentation, the better you’ll be able to handle your nervousness.
2. Not Looking at the Place and Equipment
The possibility to walk around the scene in an hour before the speech is priceless. Here again, the point is about confidence and nerves. The more you know about the environment, the less unnecessary emotions you will feel.
Take a look onto equipment you are going to work with. Think about what to do in case if something lags. You’ll need the improvisation skill and the sense of humor.
3. Forgetting About Listeners
Orators are often so involved into their speech they forget about the audience. Start your presentation with words about what should they expect from it. Let the public know what topic is going to be described first, and prepare them to conscious participation in a process. Ensure them to ask questions and be ready to answer them.
Watch feedback, and prepare a plan B in case if your audience starts being bored.
4. Using Wrong Content
Not every orator thinks about the audience which is going to listen to their speech. This can lead to the complete misunderstanding. Devote some time on thinking who are your listeners and what they exactly want. Don’t use jargon if you know it to be accepted negatively. Think about needs and motivation: what can interest your audience and how can you influence it?
5. Using Too Many Words
Short presentations are the most effective ones, as they end on the peak of public’s interest. Don’t compose too long sentences and use simple speech. Presentations usually take 15 to 20 minutes, so you better keep up to these limits.
6. Using Visuals Ineffectively
Bad slides can spoil all the impression from orator and their presentation, so devote enough time to make slides topical and informative.
We all have seen slides with crying toxic colors, unnecessary animation or font that is impossible to be read. When choosing colors, think about the place where the presentation is going to take place. The dark slide background combines itself well with the white text if the event takes place in the dark room.
Choose pictures carefully. If to choose HQ-photos, the audience can be overloaded with visual elements and stop perceiving voices or texts.
7. Text Overload
Slide texts need to be short, and maximally informative and simple at the same time. If your presentation lasts for 30 minutes, limit yourself with 10 slides. Remember, slides help you tell the story, not overload the audience with the unnecessary info.
8. Speaking Incoherently
Usually, in stressful situations, one starts speaking a lot worse, sometimes nervousness causes grammar problems to show up. Breathe deeply, and when first marks of incoherent speech appear, put yourself together and start speaking a bit slower. Count on your speech quality, not the presentation’s speed: you will doubtfully be asked to go out of the scene if to stay there few minutes longer.
9. Ignoring Dynamics
Dynamic is important during any communication with other people, whether it is a public or private conversation. Job’s presentations were built as Hollywood movies, and worked perfectly. Intrigue, conflict, suspense and ending are to be in their places. Use body language in the most emotional moments of your speech.
10. Avoiding Eye Contact
Have you ever seen the presentation when the orator constantly looked on their notes, on the floor under their feet, on the sealing or on the display? What have you felt during such moments?
The fact that you are on a public speech doesn’t mean it is not allowed to look into people’s eyes. This is a great trick, as it lets you relax and feel yourself like talking to an old friend, not a numerous public.
Remember that the public speech is mainly about performance. Don’t let your audience get bored and give it maximally useful info at the same time. Try avoiding these 10 presentation mistakes and improve your orator skills.