I just finished reading Harvard Business Review’s article, How to Give a Killer Presentation by Chris Anderson, the curator of TED.
If presentations and public speaking are part of your life, I highly recommend getting a copy of the full article, which addresses essential elements of persuasive presentations: framing your story, planning your delivery, developing stage presence, and planning your multimedia.
Beware: the list below may cause you to be a harsher critic when you are part of a listening audience. It will make you a better presenter if you decide to avoid these very common pitfalls.
10 Ways to Ruin a Presentation
1. Take a really long time to explain what you are talking about.
2. Speak slowly and dramatically. Why talk when you can orate?
3. Make sure you subtly let everyone know how important you are.
4. Refer to your book repeatedly. Even better, quote yourself from it.
5. Cram your slides with numerous text bullet points and multiple fonts.
6. Use lots of unexplained technical jargon to make yourself sound smart.
7. speak at great length about the history of your organization and its glorious achievements.
8. Don’t bother rehearsing to check how long your talk is running.
9. Sound as if you’re reciting your talk from memory.
10. Never, ever make eye contact with everyone in the audience.
Food for thought: What pitfalls do you think are most commonly ignored during presentations? Are you guilty of ignoring any of the above?