The idea of presenting is introduced to us at a young age, many of us come across it at school. In this sense it is unique. This exposure however, sees school standard presentations accepted in the real world. Presentations clearly never quite developed with us, they are still stuck in classroom standard mode.
Haunting memories of a presentation fail we had in primary school are still affecting us today. Leading to the common acknowledgement that some people are good at it, and some aren’t. Essentially we are letting our year five memories control our views of a vital aspect of business.
There is no doubt that some people find it easier to stand in front of an audience but everyone can become accomplished in presenting. With a few tips on what to avoid, you too can be a stellar presenter. You’ll have the audience eating out of the palm of your hands in no time.
1. Too Much Content
Too much content is the death of any presentation. It’s like overeating at Christmas, it leaves the audience feeling: sluggish, moody and resentful of the presenter’s greed.
Even though it is counter intuitive to overload people with information (our attention span is just too damn short) it seems to happen time and time again.
Make sure your presentation is remembered favourably by making it as accessible to the audience as possible. Get your message across effectively by breaking it down into bitesize information, making sure it sticks. This way the audience will remain engaged, wanting more and your presentation will be a success.
2. Lack of Visuals
To use a cliché: a picture is worth a thousand words. As demonstrated above, we mere mortals have a very short attention span and extensive content sends us into an information induced coma.
We, as audience members, respond well to visual cues and we welcome them. Images add another dynamic, which stimulates us to continue our focus. Visuals convey a message that the brain processes in seconds, making them the perfect tool to explain certain concepts.
Images are also incredibly effective in conveying the sentiment of a presentation. A presentation with visuals has soul and character, qualities which are conducive to audience engagement.
Not everyone is a neat freak but when it comes to presentations it’s good to be almost clinical in your approach to: fonts, sizing and margins. This will give off a professional aesthetic.
Inconsistencies highlight a lack of attention to detail, exposing cracks in your execution. Be acute when editing your presentation, ensure everything matches and your results will be slick.
Spelling and grammar are integral too! Use spell check and make sure you read your content with a fine tooth comb checking that your blurb is faultless. This way your presentation will be as impactful as possible and your professionalism with really show through.
4. Poor Delivery
Ultimately the horse is only as good as the jockey; without a confident and knowledgeable delivery your presentation will be a flop. Make sure you know your content well and can articulate what you want to say in a clear, concise manner.
We all know that presenting can be a nerve racking experience, but if you know your content there is nothing to be scared of. Try to be confident in your delivery, even if you don’t feel it, this will make your audience feel at ease – as we all know there is nothing more uncomfortable than watching someone spiral into an anxious mess.
Do not read from the board! One of the biggest faux-pas of the events world is reading the written content word-for-word, just remember your audience can read too. Your verbal content should expand upon your written content – use your written content as a prompt. This way your audience will be glad for attending your event and gaining the extra information.
5. Animation Overkill
We all remember being at school and loving the fact that we could bring our science project to life; making the word ‘photosynthesis’ jump around using a custom made animation. This was all the rage back then, but you are no longer 12.
Too many animations can not only detract from your content, but it can be time consuming and quite frankly childish.
It’s agonizing as an audience member putting up with the darting of text, not to mention it can cause a bad case of stiff neck. My advice would be to only use animations if they are appropriate and sharp. Remember: they are meant to add to the presentation not take away from it.
So what should a presenter do?
As discussed above, engagement is key. Engagement tools such as Glisser are great as they enable you to engage the audience through a collection of interactive features – taking some pressure off you, the presenter.
For example our live slide sharing feature feeds the audience the presentation in real-time on their own device enabling the audience to go backwards if they have missed something, and really get under the skin of your content.
Live polling allows you, as the presenter, to collect quantitative data and it can also act as a great educational tool. If you’re feeling brave you can even have a rating system on your content so that you can see where your presentations could be improved.
Presenting can be fun and it can be very rewarding. Glisser is a great way to make your presentations as impactful as possible, making your presentations your deadly weapon for sealing deals.
We need to shake off our presenting demons and start using our presentations in an engaging way – making sure to steer clear of the 5 presentation blunders!