Presentation Skill Mistakes

Last week my husband and I attended an awesome 4 day work conference! I decided
to sit in on both days of business presentations hoping there would be a nugget or
two I could share with you.

Presenting to an audience of 100 to 300 top producers were executives of a large
company. While overall the presentations were good, three pet peeves of mine
were running wild at times. I bring them to your attention in hopes that you won’t
hold your audiences of any size, whether 3 or 3,000, hostage to these presentation
blunders, my top pet peeves.

First – annoying fillers like “um,” “uh,” or even phrases like “you know.” If you
previously downloaded and read my Top 52 Presentation Tips, this is one of the
plagues affecting many of us who present ideas or products in any setting! Using
fillers is one certain way to bore your audience and set people to doodling on any
piece of paper in front of them or staring blankly into the air. Start to assess your
use of fillers and if you find them in your speech – begin to put a silent pause in
their place. With enough practice, you’ll eliminate them altogether!

Second – read off bullet points directly from the slides! As children we huddle
around our teacher as he or she holds up the book being read so we can see the
pictures and the words. As children we are learning! As adults, a speaker’s slide
presentation supports and can guide them through their presentation. When I listen
to a speaker I want to hear their mind, their heart and their style. I can read points
on a slide on my own so please, don’t be like a child’s teacher; be someone who
adds value, life and personality to your presentation.

Third – spending long lengths looking at one part of the audience. Have you ever
noticed how some speakers limit the movement of their head and eyes? How
sometimes speakers avoid eye contact or attention with where you are sitting? It’s
annoying and insulting.

To stay out of trouble with audience blunders: don’t annoy and don’t insult.

Copyright© Patricia Weber,

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