What are the typical presentation mistakes to avoid?
Identifying the following common presentation mistakes and avoiding them could add great value to your PowerPoint presentations during your next presentation meeting.
1. Improvising the Agenda in a presentation
Agenda: It represents the index of a book, guiding to the sections in a PowerPoint presentation deck.
Section dividers: They mark the segregation of each topic and allows the reader to identify in which section certain information gets placed in a ppt deck.
Slide navigator for slides: This helps to move from one section to another, to know whether to go forward or backward in the flow, to have quick access to the right information.
The combined use of these 3 elements helps to devise better navigation in a slide deck, ease of access that improves the retention rate of viewers. The users will enjoy your content without the need for your guidance.
2.Ask questions that aid better audience interaction
Questions help easy interaction with the audience, educating them about your information or idea. Each successful presentation has the power to influence the actions of its own audience, bring in a changed mindset, and convince them to do something they would not otherwise have done.
3.Empathize with your audience
Find a common personal experience: It is quite common to hear people at social events bonding over a common struggle or goal. Why? Because these things connect us. The same reasons we connect with others in our daily life, we can apply to our presentations to connect with our audience. Empathizing with your audience means really listening and having the ability to make them experience the presentation by reflecting the attention that is given to them.
4.Presenting slides effectively
PowerPoint can be a useful tool for creating engaging presentations. A well-designed slide show serves as a visual aid and helps keep an audience’s attention.
Content: Make sure that all content is relevant and points to the desired outcome, whether that is persuading, informing, or educating people.
Design: The visual design of a PowerPoint presentation is an important part of using it effectively, helps to make the presentation flow from one slide to another.
Preparation: Practice the entire presentation out loud using the slides. If possible, practice in front of another person and ask for feedback, especially the first time you plan to use PowerPoint. You should be able to navigate between slides easily.
Presentation: Only include important points and elaborate on them verbally. Timing is another factor. Do not speak too fast or too slowly, stay within the time limit, and be sure to switch slides at appropriate points so that it is not too distracting. If you designed according to what people see and learned to control people’s eyes, you could trigger a profitable dynamic of interaction between you and your slides designed on the screen.
5.Watching slides while the audience is present
Making contact helps to maintain an audience’s interest and encourages them to believe that you are genuinely interested in talking to them. You can make contact with your audience in a number of ways, including:
- Eye contact
- Spoken contact
- Use of language
Every time you turn around and look at what you have to say, you give your back to your audience and lose visual contact with people. You completely lose the perception of dialogue because through following the slides you are giving priority to what you have to say rather than to the people present. In addition, you would get people used to watching slides first and then following your comment and losing the leadership of your speech.
6.Lack of leadership
You could sell a product or service to a customer, your startup pitch to an investor, or a recommendation to top management. You are trying to convince them to accept your ideas and act, exercising your leadership over your audience. A presentation is intended to influence people to do something they would not otherwise have done.
You can captivate the attention of your audience with a bright start in a number of ways, including:
- Use a powerful quote
- Ask a rhetorical, thought-provoking question
- State a shocking statistic or headline
- Show a gripping photo
- Tell a captivating story
- Use a prop or creative visual aid
- Play a short video
- Using the laser pointer
Speakers use laser pointers to draw attention to a specific part of the presentation slide. This implies that the speaker turns around, loses visual contact with people, identifies the message on the PowerPoint slide, and tries to draw attention with a microscopic red dot. Your ppt slides must already be designed to draw people’s attention to a specific point. The slides must show exactly what you want to show when you click.
- Slides stop working for some time
Suddenly, if the power is cut off and the laptop with the presentation is turned off, be prepared with alternative activities. For e.g. involving the audience in an interactive activity, till such time the presentation is restored by the technician in charge. Be prepared in case something goes wrong due to technical failure. Technology is a powerful tool, but we cannot risk causing everything to fail if the technology fails. Use presentation handouts to support and enhance your presentation experience. A handout allows your audience to understand your points better and remember them afterward.
Each presentation is the opportunity of the time you are given by your audience. If not utilized properly, might have a serious impact on your business or your work and possibly because of not inspiring your audience. We have listed some of the commonly occurring pitfalls that affect your presentation meeting. Take this as a starting point and explore other possibilities to improve and create a ‘wow’ effect in your next presentation meeting.
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