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Top 5 Features to Look for in a PowerPoint Presentation Creator
Creating an impactful PowerPoint presentation is essential for effectively delivering information and engaging your audience. However, designing a visually appealing and engaging slideshow can be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you lack design skills. That’s where a PowerPoint Presentation Creator comes in handy. These tools provide users with ready-made templates, intuitive interfaces, and advanced features to make the process of creating presentations easier and more efficient. If you’re in the market for a PowerPoint Presentation Creator, here are the top five features you should look for:
One of the most crucial features to consider when choosing a PowerPoint Presentation Creator is its user interface. A user-friendly interface allows you to navigate through the software effortlessly, even if you’re not tech-savvy or familiar with design tools. Look for a creator that offers drag-and-drop functionality, customizable layouts, and an intuitive design toolbar. These features will enable you to create professional-looking slides without spending hours on tutorials or training.
Extensive Template Library
Another essential feature of a good PowerPoint Presentation Creator is an extensive template library. Templates act as starting points for your presentation and can significantly speed up the design process. Look for a creator that offers a wide range of templates suitable for different purposes such as business presentations, educational slideshows, or marketing pitches. Additionally, ensure that these templates are customizable so that you can personalize them according to your brand guidelines.
Advanced Design Tools
To create visually stunning presentations that capture your audience’s attention, it’s crucial to have access to advanced design tools within the PowerPoint Presentation Creator. Look for features like image editing capabilities, pre-designed shapes and icons libraries, text formatting options, color schemes customization, and animation effects. These tools will allow you to add visual elements that enhance your message while maintaining consistency throughout your slides.
Collaboration is often an essential aspect of creating presentations, especially in a team environment. Look for a PowerPoint Presentation Creator that offers collaboration capabilities, such as real-time editing and commenting features. These features allow multiple users to work on the same presentation simultaneously, making it easier to gather input and make changes in real-time. Additionally, consider whether the creator provides cloud storage options to securely store and share your presentations with team members or clients.
Integration with Other Tools
To streamline your workflow and enhance productivity, consider a PowerPoint Presentation Creator that integrates with other tools you regularly use. Look for integrations with popular platforms like Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive, Dropbox, or project management software. These integrations will enable you to import and export files seamlessly while ensuring compatibility across different devices and platforms.
In conclusion, when choosing a PowerPoint Presentation Creator, look for a user-friendly interface, an extensive template library, advanced design tools, collaboration capabilities, and integration with other tools. By considering these top five features, you can find the perfect creator that suits your needs and helps you create compelling presentations that leave a lasting impact on your audience.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Presentation Preparation: Overcome These Common Challenges
July 2, 2021
Written by: admin
Presenting is an art form. Successfully captivating an audience is a difficult skill to master; you want to motivate and inspire them rather than leaving them struggling to stay awake!
So, what’s the key to success? Presentation preparation is crucial, but often we don’t know where to begin! You may have an idea growing in your mind, begin writing your content and then find yourself wandering far off on a tangent. And, once you get to present, you feel flustered or not in control. Certainly, this is the reality most of us will face – it’s important to recognise that you aren’t alone!
This article sets out to highlight the common challenges presenters face and, most importantly, how to overcome these. With the simple tricks in hand, you’ll be able to confidently present to an audience thus ensuring the valuable information you are sharing is fully taken in.
#Challenge 1: Choosing the content for your slides
It’s likely you already have the topic and content for your presentation in mind, the visual aids you utilise, however, can make or break how effective this presentation is. Often, the slide content is overlooked and as a result, becomes a last-minute, botch job that doesn’t really add to the presentation. In fact, it can actually detract from what you are saying.
So, what can you do to keep your slide content light whilst still providing you with enough prompts to ensure you remain on track? Look at your speech sentences and transform these into simple keywords and icons. This triggers you as the presenter to say the right thing (it can be difficult to remember a 45-minute presentation by heart!) – and, the audience will appreciate a simple visual aid that supports what the presenter is talking about, rather than it competing for attention.
TOP TIP: A little extra presentation preparation tip is to keep your design across slides consistent. If you flit between several different designs, your audience may be left confused and as a result, not pay full attention! And, remember to ‘squint test’ these visuals.
#Challenge 2: What to say next
Losing your place.
When you are presenting for an extended period of time, you can easily lose your train of thought. Typically, presenters become flustered should they lose their place but the key is to simply take a deep breath and regain your composure. Move onto the next section or ask the audience for help – it’s a clever way of engaging and humanizing yourself! You can even inject a little humour into it, but try to only do so once. Should you make any further mistakes, simply acknowledge them and move forward. Over-apologizing and dwelling on the mishap will have a negative impact on the overall impression you make as a presenter.
Stumped by a question
You may well have successfully prepared your presentation however if an audience member asks a tough question, you may find yourself stuck in a corner. If you don’t have a clear answer, provide an honest response instead; this will be far more respected than ineffective guesswork.
When you are faced with a question you haven’t previously considered, note the query and get back with the answer at a later date. However, if you make this promise be sure to follow through – otherwise, you may damage your reputation as this lack of response will be known by all present in the audience.
#Challenge 3: Forgetting about your audience
Finding your flow whilst presenting allows you to speak with ease and confidence but you could get a little too wrapped up in the delivery of your topic and neglect the needs of your audience. You may become frustrated if an audience member goes to ask a question in the middle of your presentation, particularly if you know you’ll be answering any queries at the end. But, if you don’t make this clear from the offset, your audience may feel forgotten. So, to combat this issue, ensure you start your presentation by outlining what you’ll be covering, whether you’ll be stopping for a break, if you’ll be taking questions throughout or at the end and so on.
Providing these ‘signposts’ signals from the offset will enable your audience to manage their expectations, ultimately ensuring they can relax and fully engage with your presentation.
TOP TIP: Remember, eye contact with your audience is everything! In addition to detailing what you’ll be covering, you also want to make sure you maintain engagement. Looking at notes, your slides or even the ceiling will again suggest you have forgotten about your audience.
#Challenge 4: Sound issues
Mic with excessive static.
If you are presenting in front of a large audience, you’ll likely have access to a mic to ensure all those present can hear you clearly. Whilst this is extremely useful as it means you won’t have to shout across the room, it comes with its own set of challenges – usually, these are unforeseen but effective presentation preparation will see you overcome these hurdles. If there is an issue with your mic, try to remain calm and collected; continue with confidence, and if no replacement is available move closer to your audience. Reconfirm that everyone can hear you and don’t let the issue takeover your presentation, by doing so you’ll keep your audience engaged even under the poor circumstances!
Loud noises outside your control
Whether it be a cellphone ringing or construction drilling nearby, loud disturbances are always unwelcome when presenting to a group. Of course, there are certain preventative measures you can take such as reminding your audience to silence their phones, but the majority will be outside your control. If there are no alternative spaces available, make the most of the situation by acknowledging the noise, passing when required and proceeding on without making a fuss. Your audience will be grateful for your competent handling of this scenario!
Presentation preparation: What makes a great presenter?
We’ve explored a few of the most common challenges faced when presenting, but what truly makes for a great presenter? Of course, presentation is key – as the saying goes, fail to prepare then prepare to fail , but what other qualities do you need to successfully engage with your audience? Consider watching Steve Jobs, an unrivalled public speaker, and take note of his ability to hold the attention of such a large room – identify patterns and particular methods to utilise in your next presentation!
Here, we’ve compiled a quick-fire list of some of the top qualities needed to present highly effectively:
- Confidence – to be believable and interesting as a presenter, you need to have confidence; the more you practice, the quicker this will develop and build.
- Energy – dynamic and animated speakers are inspiring to listen to, after all, energy is contagious! Try taking improv classes if you are struggling to naturally give off the right energy to your audience.
- Clarity – rambling on and on is highly ineffective as your audience is likely to become either confused or worse, bored! Clarify your ideas and thoughts when creating your presentation and like a stand-up comedian, refine and polish up your act before taking to the stage.
- Interactivity – whilst you may not immediately think it, presentations are a two-way street. Your audience is your partner and to succeed, you need to ask them questions and engage their minds rather than just allowing them to sit there taking little in.
- Entertaining – you don’t need to be a comedian, but injecting a little light-hearted humour into your presentation can ensure your audience remain engaged. Avoid the dreaded yawns cropping up with a few jokes sprinkled throughout your talk.
- Deep insight – become the expert in your field by immersing yourself in the subject prior to your presentation. Share your valuable insight and provide new information your audience won’t have heard before.
Whilst it can seem daunting speaking in front of an audience, it’s a crucial skill within the business world – and, if you can master this, you’ll be in an excellent position within your industry. The reality is that to successfully present, you need to prepare and dedicate time to refining this for the future – mastering this skill is not something you can do overnight!
Looking for support with your presentation preparation? Speak to one of our dedicated Azimuth experts today by contacting us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)1483 24 33 81. We’ll be more than happy to discuss how we can help you and with over 20 years of experience across a range of industries, we have the innovative, proven tools that can help you unlock the true potential of your business. What are you waiting for?
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The Presentation Workout by Kate Atkin
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10 common presenting challenges
Challenge 1 How do I prepare with no time to prepare?
Challenge 2 How do I fit it all in, with little time available?
Challenge 3 How do I get people to listen and engage?
Challenge 4 How do I get people to take action?
Challenge 5 How do I manage interruptions?
Challenge 6 How do I manage difficult people?
Challenge 7 How do I deal with questions?
Challenge 8 How do I handle nerves?
Challenge 9 How do I remember what I want to say?
Challenge 10 How do I make a boring subject interesting?
This part covers 10 challenges that you may come across when making presentations. Don’t scare yourself by thinking you will experience all of these every time you make a presentation. ...
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Presentation Training Institute
A division of bold new directions training, common problems that most people have when presenting.
Presenting is a skill that requires a great deal of preparation and practice. It is also something that does not come naturally to most people. In fact, many people are terrified at the thought of public speaking, yet a successful presentation is dependent on the speaker appearing calm, confident, and in control. Even with extensive preparation, unforeseen challenges can arise, quickly derailing a presentation and throwing the speaker off their game. How, then, can one navigate these challenges and avoid getting flustered in front of their audience? Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that presenters face and how to overcome them in order to deliver a successful presentation.
Problem 1: You suffer from pre-presentation anxiety
This is perhaps the most common problem faced by any presenter. The thought of speaking in public can be extremely scary for many people. They may be fine for the weeks leading up to the presentation but then panic in the moments before their talk begins. The key to managing nerves and anxiousness is to be well prepared and to find ways to calm yourself down. The more a speaker practices and rehearses their presentation, the more confident they will be in their delivery. In addition to preparation, presenters should also practice deep breathing exercises to calm their nerves and get oxygen flowing throughout the body.
Problem 2: You don’t know which content to put on your slides
Many presenters know their content quite well, but they have a hard time narrowing it down to create their slides. It is important for presenters not to overwhelm their audience with too much content while also sticking to their time allotment. Transforming thoughts into engaging slides can be a challenge, but condensing your thoughts into key points is essential.
Problem 3: Failure to engage the audience
Many presenters rehearse their content over and over and know exactly what to say, but they forget all about engaging the audience. Although they have their material down, they fail to build a rapport and connect with the audience. Unfortunately, this lack of engagement can be the demise of any presentation. To fix this problem, presenters need to spend time meeting and greeting audience members beforehand. They also need to smile, make eye contact, and nod to audience members throughout the presentation to engage them in the conversation.
Problem 4: Poor body language
Audiences will quickly get bored by a speaker who simply stands behind a podium throughout the presentation. Similarly, they will easily be distracted by a speaker who fidgets nervously with their hands or makes awkward gestures. Stiff body language can detract from the speaker’s message. Thus, it is important for speakers to move around the space to create energy and keep the audience interested. They should also avoid putting hands in pockets, playing with a marker or notes, using unnecessary filler words (ah’s, uhm’s, ok’s), speaking monotone, or standing still the entire time.
Problem 5: Lack of energy or enthusiasm
A great speaker is able to convince their audience by their energy and enthusiasm. All too often, however, this component is missing from the presentation. How can you get your audience excited about your presentation if you aren’t even excited about it? Speakers can increase enthusiasm by moving around the stage, interacting with the audience, and using voice inflection to highlight key points.
Problem 6: Losing their place or forgetting what to say next
When speakers are nervous, it’s easy to lose their train of thought during the presentation. Things like a technical difficulty, a challenging question, or a yawning audience member can easily distract the speaker causing them to get lost and forget what they were saying. If this happens, it’s important not to get flustered but to simply take a deep breath and regain composure. It can also be helpful to use notes or reference your slides in order to get back on track.
Problem 7: Not interacting with the audience
Audience members do not want to be spoken “at” but rather spoken “with.” It can be difficult to keep the audience’s attention but one of the best ways to do so is by making them part of the presentation. Find creative ways to interact with the audience through polls, Q&A, games, stories, or other visuals. Not only will this make the presentation more memorable, but it will keep the audience attentive and interested.
5 Virtual Presentation Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Virtual events and webinars have exploded in popularity. It makes sense that these kinds of get-togethers have obvious advantages. For example, virtual events allow presenters to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people around the world at the same time. They’re also much more affordable to produce.
But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There are certain virtual presentation challenges you’ll need to overcome to succeed with this communication channel.
In this article, we’ll outline a few of these challenges and give you proven ways to eliminate them. By the end, you’ll have the tools you need to host highly effective virtual events .
Table of Contents
Common Virtual Presentation Challenges
Webinar marketing can take your business to new heights. But you have to overcome the five virtual presentation challenges listed below before you can experience the benefits.
1. Technical Difficulties
The first virtual presentation challenge we’ll tackle today is technical difficulties .
What if your computer crashes? Or your external microphone won’t pick up the audio? Or your internet connection drops out at random intervals and your video feed is grainy? These issues can completely derail an otherwise successful live virtual event.
Even worse, they can make you and/or your company look unprofessional in the eyes of your audience. So, you must do what you can to minimize technical difficulties. Here’s how:
Test, Test, Test!
Take time before your virtual event starts to test your equipment. You may be able to catch potential issues this way and remedy them before you go live. At the very least, you’ll have confidence knowing you did everything you could to prevent technical difficulties.
If you have faulty equipment, replace it immediately—especially if you plan to host virtual presentations regularly. Now, you don’t need to drop thousands of dollars on the latest gadgets. But you should be using reliable gear to help avoid malfunctions.
Sometimes technical difficulties are caused by a lack of experience. Overcome this challenge by regularly hosting webinars . That way, you can get comfortable with both your software and hardware and learn how to quickly fix issues when they come up.
2. Distracted Attendees
One of the biggest virtual presentation challenges you’ll have to overcome during your webinar is distracted attendees. It can be difficult to keep your audience’s attention when Google, Instagram, and their email inboxes are just a click away.
Another common distraction is multitasking. Many attendees believe they can get work done—respond to an email, research a report, etc.—while they view a presentation. Unfortunately, this just leads to a misunderstanding of the information shared.
We’ll be honest, there aren’t a ton of things you can do to eliminate distractions. Your attendees are responsible for themselves. But here are a few tips that might help:
Ask for Attention
There’s nothing wrong with asking your audience to give you their undivided attention for the duration of your webinar. Let them know that you have valuable information to share and you want everyone who attends to get the most out of your presentation .
Shorten Your Webinar
Most people’s attention spans are short. If you drone on for two hours, your audience will get bored and seek a distraction. Or they’ll just leave your event altogether. Combat this by crafting to-the-point content that’s easy to understand and remember.
Give Key Takeaways
One of the ways to make sure your content is easy to understand is to share key takeaways throughout your presentation . What do you want your audience to know? Deliver this information to them in the form of periodic bullet points.
3. Impersonal Experience
Webinars are amazing tools because they allow you to interact with attendees in a face-to-face manner. But let’s be honest, it’s still not the same as having an in-person conversation. Because of this, virtual presentations can feel less personal.
If you’re not able to connect with your audience on a real, human level, you’ll experience visual presentation challenges like distracted attendees (mentioned above) and a lack of attendee engagement (mentioned below.) Neither is ideal.
Make your events feel more personal by:
Presenting with Passion
A little passion goes a long way. If you’re excited about the material you’re sharing, your attendees will naturally feel closer to you. Your exuberance will rub off on them. Passion can help with audience engagement too which we’ll talk more about below.
It’s easy to feel like just another face in the crowd when you attend a virtual event with 1,000 other people. Try hosting smaller gatherings to make your presentations seem more personal. If this isn’t feasible for you, take advantage of your webinar software’s breakout rooms feature.
4. Lack of Engagement
A lack of audience engagement is one of the toughest virtual presentation challenges to overcome. Why? Because all of the other challenges we’ve already talked about affect it.
A rush of technical difficulties will leave attendees feeling disengaged. Constant distractions lead to poor engagement as well. And impersonal experiences? You guessed it: a major breeding ground for disengaged audiences who couldn’t care less about your content.
Fortunately, we have a few proven tips to help:
Involve Your Audience
The best presenters don’t speak at their audience, they speak to them. It’s a dialogue . Sure, the presenter does most of the talking but they’re constantly checking in with their attendees to make sure they’re understanding and enjoying the content.
You can do this too by choosing a webinar software that includes polls, surveys, and chat features . That way, you can get real-time feedback from your audience.
Use Visual Elements
You know what’s not engaging? Your face on your attendees’ screens. It doesn’t matter how good-looking you are or how interesting your topic is, if you are all your audience sees for an hour straight, they won’t be able to engage. That’s why you need to use visual elements.
By visual elements, we mean slideshows, screen shares , videos, graphs, charts, etc. Include these in your presentation and you’ll connect with attendees on a deeper level.
5. Flying Blind
If you sell 100 tickets to an in-person presentation, you can be confident that roughly 100 people will show up on the day of the event. This isn’t always true in the virtual world.
Many people register for webinars but don’t take the time to watch them.
Your self-esteem might plummet if you expect to host a webinar for 50 people and only 15 attend—especially if you have marketed your event as a large gathering. Low self-esteem often leads to passionless, forgettable, and subpar presentations.
“Flying blind” isn’t fun but there are things you can do to minimize these feelings:
Webinar recordings will allow you to connect with people who can’t attend your live event. They can also be edited and turned into additional pieces of content.
But if your audience knows they can access your content at any time, they’ll be less inclined to view it live. Tell your webinar registrants that you will NOT be recording your next webinar and see if attendance improves.
If you hate the idea of canceling recordings (we don’t blame you!) try offering incentives to people who attend your virtual presentation live instead.
Your incentive can be anything that will interest your audience. A few ideas include gated pieces of content, bonus material that won’t be included in the webinar recording , and even one-time discounts on your products and services.
If your webinars are really good , people will rearrange their schedules to attend them live.
Make sure you speak on topics that excite your target audience, present with passion, work to engage your attendees with polls, surveys, and more, and use visual elements during your virtual presentation. These things will help draw a crowd to your online events.
Professional Presentations with ClickMeeting
ClickMeeting is an easy-to-use webinar platform that packs a serious punch. With our platform, you’ll be able to overcome each of the virtual presentation challenges outlined above. You’ll also benefit from a few industry-leading features like:
Custom Branding. Make sure your event looks like YOU . ClickMeeting allows users to add logos, images, and custom color schemes to their event rooms.
Engagement Tools. Audience engagement will make or break your event. Captivate attendees with virtual whiteboards , screen sharing , and polls and surveys .
Social Streaming. When you host an online event, you want to connect with as many people as you can. Steam your webinars on Facebook or YouTube to reach them.
Webinar Recording. ClickMeeting webinars are easily recorded and distributed. More than that, recorded events can be turned into automated webinars that run on autopilot.
Analytics Dashboard. Want to know who attended your virtual event, where they attended from, and which device they used to watch? ClickMeeting will tell you .
Does ClickMeeting sound like a tool you’d like to use? Give it a try for free for 30 days and get access to all of our platform’s features—no strings attached!
There you have it, the five most common virtual presentation challenges and how to overcome them. If you host virtual events, implement the tips above.
When you do, you’ll experience fewer technical difficulties, eliminate distractions, and be able to engage your audience in a much more authentic way.
Posted by Jacob Thomas
Content writer @ ClickMeeting
Time to move your events online. Do it with ClickMeeting
Thanks for those ideas! As you have said, webinar is the latest trend which allows people around the world and you can also see their facial expression and body language of conference participants.
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As summer winds to a close, I find myself looking back at the presentations I gave over the past few months. In June alone, I gave nearly 20 different presentations: keynotes in large rooms (sometimes during lunch), seminar presentations in small hotel conference rooms, webinars, panel discussions, and numerous small group meetings and consultations.
Some of my reflections led me to think of ways I could improve my content, my design approach, or my presentation methods. Aside from designing and preparing each presentation, there were a few challenges that seemed to repeat themselves. So, I thought I’d share just 4 of those challenges to maybe help you better prepare for your next talk.
- Arrive early. I can’t stress this enough. Just get there early. At least twice, I was told I could use my own computer (which I prefer to do because I use some custom fonts, sometimes video, and I like to maintain ownership of my slides), but when I arrived at the conference site, they were either not prepared to hook up my computer or they couldn’t get the hook-up to work (note to conference organizers: do a little background check on you’re A/V staff). It took some time to transfer files from one computer to another and then make sure everything looked okay. In another instance, the projector cord had gone missing, so we had to run down the street to buy a new one. If you get there early and the room is great and the tech works fine, you can chat with members of your audience, roam the conference site (maybe pick up some swag), check email, or just read a book. But better to get there early and address any logistic or tech challenges that are bound to arise.
- Buy multiple adapters. A/V technology is changing quickly, moving from analog to digital. I now have 4 different adapters for my Mac. Adapters are not that expensive, so load up.
- Bring something to eat. At one presentation, I was scheduled to give the post-lunch keynote address. Lunch was served table-by-table, so lunch arrived at my table as was being introduced. It was a hungry 60 minutes. Pack a small snack in case you don’t have time to eat.
- Practice your introductions. You may have heard me urge you to practice your presentation. And practice some more. But if you’re introducing the speaker or moderating a session, be sure to practice your introductions. Learn how to pronounce the speaker’s name (no, my last name is not pronounced “Schwashberg”), know the speaker’s affiliation, and maybe what they are going to talk about. This will make you look better in front of your audience and show your speaker(s) the respect they deserve.
As much as it’s on the speaker to adequately prepare and give a great talk, conference organizers also have responsibilities . If you’re inviting someone to speak at your conference or group, please try to keep in mind (at least) these 4 things:
- Your speaker’s time is valuable. Perhaps you’ve been burned before —the speaker didn’t show up or they showed up late, or maybe they just gave a lousy presentation. I get that; you want to have a great event and you want your attendees to love your speaker. But please don’t ask your speaker to jump on 40 different calls with you every day for the two weeks prior to the event. Your conference is probably not the speaker’s only responsibility, so respect their time. Gather your questions, what you want the speaker to do, what support you’ll offer, and have a call or two to get everything organized.
- Let your speaker attend your conference for free. Sure, you might not have a budget for a speaking fee, but the speaker has agreed to come to your event because you’re a friend or you’re doing good work or maybe she wants to test out some new material. But if you’re charging attendees $700, $800, $1,000 to attend your conference, you can afford to let the speaker attend the whole conference (and not just their session) for free. The marginal cost of an additional attendee is essentially the price of lunch, which I’m pretty certain you can afford. More importantly, if your speaker is really good and she’s roaming the halls for an extra day or two, that’s good for your other attendees who can chat with her and ask more questions.
- Understand that your speaker may want to use her own computer. Look, I use a non-standard font. Sometimes I have video. Sometimes the file sizes are over 100MB. And, to be honest, the moment I send you my slides is the moment I lose control over who has the file. So understand that your speaker may want to use his own computer, and try as best you can to accommodate that request. You’ve invited this person to speak to your group; requiring that the speaker give you her slides is really not a necessary part of the agreement unless the technology absolutely dictates it. Yes, there are times when having everything on a single computer can be easier or faster, but I have seen far too many instances where it’s clear the organizer just wants to have the slides on their machine.
- Learn how to install fonts. If your speaker agrees to send along her slides and is using custom fonts, learn how to install them on your computer. And test the slides beforehand for the speaker. Maybe ask the speaker to also send a PDF so you can make sure the presentation file has transferred making a mess of the slides.
Giving a great presentation has all sorts of challenges. When it comes time to actually give your presentation, make it easier on yourself—arrive early and be prepared. Talk with your host to make sure you agree on the technology and timing. The most important thing about your presentation is your content. That’s why you’ve been invited to speak and that’s why people are (hopefully) paying attention to you. By taking care of these little things, you can focus on your content and your delivery and therefore help your audience do the same.
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Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!
You have brought up a very good details, regards for the post.
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28 Common Presentation Mistakes. Which are you making?
© Performance Management Consultants
The best presenters and speakers continually hone their skills and test out new material. Regardless of how much presenting experience you have, don’t assume you have nothing new to learn. But don’t strive for perfection either. Instead, identify a few issues that you could improve upon and work on those first – starting with whatever will have the biggest impact on your presentations.
So how do you go from average to outstanding presenter? Have a look at our list of the 28 biggest presentation mistakes that most presenters make. Is there anything we missed?
1. Starting poorly
Make sure to start your presentations with impact. Saying, “Welcome, my name is ___. Today we will be talking about…” is boring . Do something different – be bold, creative, inspiring! And arrive early so you won’t feel flustered, which will carry over into your presentation. Most importantly, be interesting!
2. Failing to address the audience’s concerns
What do your audiences want? 1)They want useful information/knowledge 2)They want to interact/ communicate 3)They want to feel important 4)They want a speaker who values their opinions 5)They want a #presentation that’s worth their time/effort #publicspeaking — Intan Salwana Anis (@SalwanaAnis) June 24, 2018
Before you even think about creating a presentation, know what your audience is struggling with so that you can solve their problem or address their concerns.
3. Boring your audience
If you can’t be interesting, don’t bother speaking in front of people.
4. Failing to engage emotionally
We like to think that humans make rational decisions, but studies show that people make decisions based on emotion, and then rationalize their decisions afterwards.
5. Using too much jargon
Your language needs to be appropriate for your audience. They can’t listen to you while they’re trying to figure out what you said. If you speak in circles around them, they may never fully catch up. If you can’t avoid the use of jargon or a technical term, be sure to explain what it means when you introduce it, and don’t introduce too many at once.
6. Being too wordy or rambling
Don’t use up an hour of time when 20 minutes will do. Respect people’s time and get to the point. Be concise and don’t ramble. But don’t rush, either. Yes, it’s a fine line.
7. Going over your allotted time
This is a simple matter of respect. If your presentation goes over your allotted time, there’s a good chance your audience will lose interest and leave anyway – or at the very least, stop listening because they’ll be focused on other commitments and trying to figure out how they will adjust.
8. Lack of focus
Your slide deck should help you stay on track. Use it as a guide to make sure you move logically from one point to another.
9. Reading slides verbatim
In all likelihood, your audience can read perfectly well without your assistance. If you’re just going to read to them, you might as well save everyone some time and just send them a copy of your slide deck. This isn’t the place for a bedtime story.
Challenge yourself to put as few words on the slides as possible, so that you can’t read from them. Could you do your entire presentation with only one word on each slide? If not, this is an indication that you may not know your materials well enough.
10. Poor slide design
PowerPoint gets a bad rap because 99% of slides are very poorly designed, but it’s not Bill Gates’ fault that the world lacks design skills! Just because a feature is available in PowerPoint, doesn’t mean you need to use it.
In fact, when you start designing a presentation, it’s best if you don’t even open PowerPoint. Use Microsoft Word to create an outline first. Focus on the content and structure, and only when that is outstanding, move to PowerPoint and start designing your slides.
If you don’t know how to design good slides, find someone who does or learn. While poor slide design probably won’t make or break your presentation, it can undermine your credibility and distract your audience – or worse – help put them to sleep.
Depending on the type of presentation, you may want to consider the 10/20/30 rule from Guy Kawasaki . Ten slides for a 20-minute presentation with fonts no smaller than 30 points. It’s not appropriate for all types of presentations, but it’s a nice guideline and slide-to-duration ratio.
Be careful when buying PowerPoint templates – while they may look pretty, more often than not, the design is not conducive to great presentations. The fonts are almost always too light and/or small to be read at the back of a room and the designers often cram too much on one slide. Buying presentation templates only works if you understand good design. Don’t trust that just because a “professional” designed it, that it’s any good. It can take longer to fix a poorly designed slide than to just build one from scratch.
11. Cramming in too much information
If the audience can’t make sense of the data, or if they have to stop listening to you so they can read, you’re doing it wrong. Simplicity and white space are your friends. Think, “How would Apple design a slide deck?”
12. Incorporating too much data
Ask yourself, “Why am I including this data?”, “What action do I want to inspire?”, and “If I removed this, could I still make my point?” to help determine if the data relevant enough to include.
“We have met the Devil of Information Overload and his impish underlings, the computer virus, the busy signal, the dead link, and the PowerPoint presentation.” – James Gleick
13. relying on powerpoint as your only presentation tool.
Even when used correctly, PowerPoint should not be your only tool. Use flip charts, white boards, post-it notes, and other tools to engage your audience. Try to break up the amount of time the audience spends staring at a screen.
14. Making it about you
As the presenter, you are the least important person in the room. When you understand that and focus on the goal of helping your audience, you can eliminate a lot of the nervousness that comes with presenting.
15. Being a Diva
To be a great presenter, one could argue that you have to have a slightly inflated sense of ego and tough skin. It’s not easy standing in front of a room full of people (often complete strangers) who will critique your performance without knowing anything about you or the kind of day you’ve had. That inflated ego can be useful in protecting you when things don’t go well.
But your ego doesn’t give you permission to act like you’re more important than everyone else. You’re the least important person in the room, remember?
The best presenters are those who are authentic and who truly want to help people. Try to accommodate the organizers and see things from their perspective when they need you to adapt. Make it easy for people to work with you and they will ask you to come back.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
16. not practicing enough (or at all).
“Winging it” works well for very few people. The people who successfully speak without much practice are those who are fantastic natural speakers and who know their material inside out and upside down. Even if you’re one of the lucky few, you need to get the timing right – so practice anyway!
17. Apologizing or drawing attention to your fears or shortcomings
When you’re having an “off day” it’s natural to want to say something like, “I didn’t sleep well last night so forgive me if I seem tired.” But when you do that, you’re undermining your own credibility because your audience might not have even noticed you were tired. But now that you’ve drawn attention to it, they will focus on it, look for clues, and may even include a comment on your feedback form. Don’t give them reasons to complain!
18. Technical difficulties
There are no excuses for not preparing technology ahead of time. Make sure you’ve tested everything before your presentation. Always carry extra batteries for your presenter remote (if you use one).
If you arrive late, you’re setting yourself up for failure and run the risk of starting off stressed, which can have a domino effect on the rest of your presentation.
19. Overusing animations and transitions
Many people struggle with vertigo, motion sickness, and nausea. Out of respect for those people, never move text; if you must animate it, the text should remain static on the screen as it fades or wipes in. This allows people to fix their eyes on a focal point and start reading before the animation finishes. Don’t make your audience follow bouncing, flying, zooming, spinning, growing, or floating text… or anything else for that matter!
Transitions are quite unnecessary, but if you must use them, only use a quick fade. If your transitions are too slow, they’ll interfere with your normal speech pattern.
Remember – no one will leave your presentation and think, “Wow, those animations were great!”. They will comment on the content and your ability to present it. And the food… or lack thereof.
20. Not using enough relevant stories
Connect with people on a personal level to build rapport and trust. People will remember your stories much more easily than they will remember any facts you present. Just make sure the stories are relevant to your presentation or you’ll risk annoying people for wasting their time.
21. Making your stories too long
Don’t drag out your stories with useless details. The worst stories begin something like this:
“So last Tuesday I was walking the dog and… or wait, was it Wednesday? No, it must have been Tuesday. Hmm, now I’m not sure. Oh, wait. I was wrong. Actually, it was Monday and I know that because I had just come back from the gym. Right. So, last Monday, I was walking the dog and…”.
By now your audience is ready to pull their hair out. To make your stories more interesting, keep them succinct and only include relevant information. If you mess up unimportant details that don’t affect the outcome of the story, don’t correct it – just keep going.
End strong with a punch line, a twist, a lesson, or a call to action.
22. Lack of eye contact
Obviously, you want to be sensitive to different cultures, but In North America, lack of eye-contact can make people distrust you. If making eye contact adds to your nerves, pick three main focal points around the room (one on the left, one in the centre, and one on the right). Move from one focal point to the other as you speak, making eye contact with a few people from each area.
23. Failing to pause
A pause is like the mount on a diamond ring. The diamond is the message, but the mount is what presents it to the world and helps it shine! Help your message shine with a well-placed pause.
24. Poor use of humour
Humour can enrich any presentation, as long as it’s appropriate. Self-deprecating humour is almost always safe. Poking fun at yourself also helps put people at ease, and when you hear laughter, it can help you relax.
25. Ending with Q&A
This is a mistake that almost everyone makes. If you end with a Question and Answer session, what happens if you can’t answer the last question? What if the answer isn’t one the audience likes or wants to hear? Ending with Q&A risks ending on a negative note. Instead, do your Q&A a few slides before finishing up so that you can end strong.
26. Summarizing the entire presentation
If you can recap your entire presentation in 5-10 minutes, why did you waste an hour of the audience’s time? Emphasize only the main ideas very briefly.
27. Not including a call to action
What was the purpose of your presentation? Were you trying to teach something? Did you wan to persuade the audience to take an action? Whatever the goal, make sure to tell people what you want them to do next.
28. Not asking for (anonymous) feedback from the audience
Feedback is useless unless it’s anonymous. If you just want people to tell you how great you are, ask them in person. You’ll rarely find anyone who won’t be willing to tell a little white lie to save face.
But if you actually want to improve your presentation skills, ask for honest, anonymous feedback in writing. This is where that tough skin comes in handy, but it’s the best way to learn.
And over time, as your presentation skills improve, so will your feedback.
“There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” – Dale Carnegie
To improve your presentation skills in a safe environment with the guidance and feedback of an experienced presenter, register for PMC’s Skills for Effective Presentations course. This workshop will help you gain the confidence you need to go from average to outstanding presenter – sign up today!
“The instructor was welcoming and knew how to provide feedback without intimidating or embarrassing participants.” – Anonymous participant
“This workshop was well structured. The number of students was perfect, don’t need more as small group is excellent. The instructor was well informed – very interesting and would recommend this course for sure!” – Carol Blais
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