We’ve all sat in presentations and found our mind wandering, or worse given a presentation and lost our audience part way through.
Here are 7 little known subtle but dreadful gaffs to avoid:
- Self-promotion – it’s tempting to share our credentials, but doing so tends to distance the speaker from his audience.
- Busy slides – crammed with bullet points or worse illegible tables lifted from spread sheets. The best speakers rarely use slides, and when they do, they know that the right photograph really can replace 1000 words.
- Failing to rehearse – whilst the best stand-up comics might appear to simply be ranting, in truth every phrase, pause and wink has been rehearsed many times.
- Dwelling on past glories – the future excites, the past bores.
- Using technical language – acronyms confuse and jargon frustrates. If your granny wouldn’t understand what you are planning to say, don’t say it.
- No eye contact – a talk, like a conversation, is part words and part body language. Failing to look into the eyes of those listening conveys a lack of integrity.
- Omitting to tell stories – for millennia, information has been passed through stories. Our fascination with novels, films and plays confirms the theory that we are hard wired to listen to stories and seek out the message that lies within.