We have all been in a situation where we had to sit through a presentation that was boring, confusing, and irrelevant. You probably lost attention right away and took nothing away from it. On the other hand, we have been to presentations that were dynamic, motivating, and inspiring. You seem to cling to every word and walk away with a wealth of knowledge and a new perspective that you didn’t have before. Giving a presentation that is informative and compelling is no easy task, but you can learn to be a better presenter by avoiding these common and ineffective techniques.
Avoid: Reading to your audience
Many people put together slideshows and power points when giving their presentation. That is fine as long as you are not reading directly from the slides. The quickest way to lose an audience’s attention is by reading to them.
Avoid: Flashy visuals
You might think that visuals bursting with color, animation, and fancy fonts are more exciting to look at. However, that is exactly the problem. Your audience will be so distracted by the flashy visuals that they will not be listening to what you say. Dancing logos, animation, and fancy text should be used sparingly.
Avoid: Putting too much information onto your slides.
If you are presenting with a slideshow, it is best to keep the slides clear and concise. Cramming too much information onto a slide becomes confusing and distracting for your audience. While you may have a lot of material to cover, only put the key points on your slides while you elaborate through your speech.
Avoid: Standing in the same spot.
While many presenters feel comfortable standing behind a podium, you will lose audience attention if you stand in one place for the duration of your presentation. It is important to purposefully move around the stage to conduct a more dynamic presentation.
Avoid: Staring at the back of the room.
Presentations are all about connecting with your audience and that requires eye contact. Many people look up periodically but never actually make eye contact with audience members. Believe it or not, the audience notices that. Instead, look directly into the eyes of different audience members throughout your presentation.
Avoid: Flowery language.
You might think you sound really intelligent when you stand before the crowd and throw out a bunch of technical terms, but I assure you they don’t. You might as well be speaking a foreign language. Not only will this bore your audience, but it will confuse them and leave them wanting to run for the door!
These are among the most common mistakes that people make when giving a presentation. By avoiding these ineffective techniques, you can make sure you have a presentation that will stand out and captivate your audience.