8 Presentation Flaws that Steal Your Money
Why should you care about your presentation skills? Because poor presentations cost you money. Do you want to close more deals and make more money? Improve your presentation skills! There are no perfect presentations and no perfect presenters, which means that every presenter could be better - if they want to be.
There are three types of presenters:
1. Bad and don't know it
2. Bad and don't care
3. Concerned and taking steps to improve
Effective presentations are the result of good presentation skills in action. Skills are improved by understanding the principles, practicing the techniques and getting constructive feedback from a skilled coach. Champions in any field follow this simple formula.
Have you ever wondered why some presentations are so painful to sit through and others can be delightful? Here are some of the presentation flaws that I've witnessed at recent industry conferences. Perhaps you can relate to them.
1. Clumsy start
How many seconds do you have to make a good first impression? The start of your presentation is the first impression. Yet many presenters don't have a prepared opening line. And there is something ironically wrong when the IT industry presenter has technical problems with his computer at the start of the presentation.
2. Limp close
The next most important impression is the last one because that is how your audience will remember you. You need a prepared and well-rehearsed closing line that reinforces your message.
3. Nervous ticks
It's perfectly normal to feel nervous while presenting. But if your audience sees it they will question your veracity. Stop the shuffling feet, fretting with your hair and playing with paper or pens.
4. Lack of eye contact
If you won't look at me, why should I listen or believe you?
5. Annoying slides
"You probably can't read this." Yet the presenter showed the PowerPoint slide anyway. Why are so many presenters so inconsiderate when it comes to designing their slides? Your slides either enhance or annoy. Are you clear on the difference? Technology is only valuable if it enhances the human experience.
6. Presenter reading the slides
The presenter reads the slides, word for word as if we are too stupid to read them ourselves. This is just plain rude and insulting. It's also very boring.
7. Inappropriate language
The words you use convey a lot about you, your values and how you see your audience. "You guys" is a valley girl frame of reference. Even if we shared a beer with you at the networking event last night we expect to be shown more respect during your presentation.
8. Lecturing instead of conversing
When was the last time you bought something from a professor lecturing at you? Conversations sell - lectures don't. Make your presentations more conversational and you will sell more.
How much did you invest to get the opportunity to deliver your presentation either at an industry conference or directly to your prospects? Why not improve your odds of success? How much are you willing to invest on your presentation skills to improve your success rate?