Top 10 Mistakes in Presentations

  1. Keep it simple, clear and in a way that keeps your audience engaged.
  2. You don’t know your subject
  3. Slides are not your presentation
  4. Too much information
  5. Badly chosen design template or design theme
  6. An exciting color choice
  7. Poor choice of fonts
  8. Strange photos and images
  9. Too many slides
  10. Different animations on each slide
  11. Hardware failures

Keep it simple, clear and in a way that keeps your audience engaged.

Which presentation mistakes are surefire ways to put your audience to sleep or run out the door? Even the best presentation can be ruined by a bad presenter – from the person who mumbles to the one who speaks too fast to the one who just wasn’t prepared. But perhaps there is nothing more annoying than a person misusing and abusing presentation software.

You don’t know your subject

You memorized the content (and it shows, by the way). Someone has a question. There is panic. You never prepared for questions and all you know about this topic is what’s on the slides.

Know your material so well that you could easily create a presentation without electronic enhancements such as PowerPoint. Nothing will destroy your credibility as a speaker faster than not knowing relevant information about your topic. Use keywords and phrases and include only the information you need to keep your audience focused and interested. Expect likely questions and be prepared with answers.

Slides are not your presentation

A spectator says she can’t read the slides. Kindly tell her that you will read them and continue to do so while looking at the screen. Each of your slides is filled with the text of your speech.

Always remember that you are a presentation. Slideshows should only be used as an accompaniment to your presentation. Simplify content by using highlights for important information. Keep key points at the top of the slide for easy reading on the back rows. For this presentation, focus on one subject area and use no more than four markers per slide. Talk to the audience, not the screen.

Too much information

You know so much about a topic that you jump from here to there and back again, telling you everything there is to know about your new widget, and no one can follow the presentation.

Use the KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) principle when designing your presentation. Stick to three or four points on your topic and state them. The public is more likely to retain information.

Badly chosen design template or design theme

You heard that blue was a good color for a design template or design theme. You have found a very cool template on the internet with a DNA strand and a powerful red dot. DNA is blue, right? However, your presentation is about some great new tools to showcase at the Woodcarvers convention.

Choose a design that fits your target audience. A clean, simple layout is best for business presentations. Young children respond to presentations that are full of color and contain different shapes.

An exciting color choice

Viewers do not like unusual color combinations. Some are concerned. People with color blindness cannot distinguish between red and green combos.

Good contrast with the background is essential to make your text easy to read. Dark text on a light background is better. Off-white or light beige is easier on the eyes than typical white, and a dark background is effective if the text is light for easy reading.

Patterned or textured backgrounds make text difficult to read. Also make sure the color scheme matches.

Poor choice of fonts

Small script type fonts can look great when you’re 18 inches away from your monitor. You didn’t think about the woman who sat 60 feet from the screen and couldn’t read them.

Stick to easy-to-read fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Avoid fonts that are difficult to read on the screen. Use no more than two different fonts – one for headlines, one for content, and at least 30 fonts so people in the back of the room can easily read them.

And never (even in presentations for kids) use fonts like Comic Sans, Papyrus, or the scary Comic Papyrus. These fonts are so offended that you immediately lose your credibility.

Strange pictures and images

You thought no one would notice that you haven’t done a lot of research on your subject if you add a lot of photos and complex images.

No one wants to waste their time on a presentation without content. Use only photos, charts and graphs to emphasize the main points of your presentation. They add a nice break to the material and, when used correctly, can only enhance your oral presentation. Illustrate, not embellish.

Too many slides

Your vacation cruise was so fantastic that you took 500 photos and put them in a digital photo album to impress your friends. After the first 100 slides, snoring was heard in the room.

Keep your audience focused by keeping the number of slides to a minimum. Ten or twelve is enough. For a photo album, some concessions can be made as most images are only visible on the screen for a short time. But please. think how you enjoy everyone’s photos!

Different animations on each slide

You found all the really cool animations and sounds and used 85 percent in your presentation to impress everyone with your talent. Except – the audience doesn’t know where to look and has lost the essence of your presentation.

Animation and sounds, used correctly, can increase interest without distracting the audience with too much of a good thing. Design your presentation with a “less is more” philosophy. Don’t let your audience suffer from animation overload,

Hardware failures

The public is settled. You are ready to start your presentation and guess what? The projector does not work. You didn’t bother to check it before.

View all equipment and practice your presentation with the equipment you will be using when starting the presentation. Bring an extra projector lamp. If possible, check the lighting in the room you are in before you are the center of attention. Make sure you know how to dim the lights if the room is too bright.

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