Public Speaking? Avoid These 5 Common Presentation Errors

By Bob Phibbs

public speaking presentation skills trainingThis post is for all of you having to make a presentation to a group or do public speaking at your convention.

We’ve all been there…

Trapped in a hotel ballroom…

First thing in the morning…

First thing after a pasta buffet lunch…

Or worse… just after dinner.

You’ve decided to attend a session at a conference because you really want to learn. You tell yourself to leave the smartphone alone, take notes and be engaged.

And then it starts…slide after slide with too much text, too many charts in too much detail.

And worse...

The presenter is reading them to you like you were a two-year old.

That’s when it happens… you pull out your smartphone and start checking email. You wonder what’s happening on Facebook?

Anything to keep you engaged.

I know because I witnessed this as an audience member with a group of executives last week.

The last one’s I would have thought would dis-engage.

But it can happen to everyone – boredom. And that’s what’s killing meetings meeting planners – poor presentation skills.

So if you are not using a professional speaker, at least make sure your members, vendors or other experts read this post about presentation skills training so they avoid these five things with their presentations.

Avoid These 5 Errors When Presenting To An Audience:

  1. No outline. If you aren't organized, your audience will be lost.

  2. Too much text. Forty characters or less per slide. (That was thirty.)

  3. Reading from your slides. You need to add to what is on the screen, not parrot it.

  4. Using the projector from your office. You're kidding yourself any are powerful enough for an average room.

  5. Being oblivious to your audience. Coughing, heads down, hands on phones, or talking to each other are signs you lost them.

Learn 10 Reasons To Hold A Conference And Use A Professional Speaker

7 Tips To Better Your Presentation Skills:

  1. Start with a slide with a one or two word road map with bullets of your presentation.

  2. Chunk your information into no more than 3 main points.

  3. Edit for clarity.

  4. Find one killer picture that represents your point.

  5. It’s OK to have notes, but use the visual to keep your audience engaged.

  6. Ask an easy question of someone who is paying attention. (If you ask it from someone on their cellphone you’ll look like a scolding parent.)

  7. Give a wrap-up at the end.


One note about projectors. The reason many meeting planners have to turn off the overhead lights is because the projector is underpowered. Don't skimp on the visuals - especially if you have younger audience members.

In Sum

You must be there to entertain as well as enlighten so never forget how it feels to be in the audience and bored.

Unless meeting planners make sure their presenters are engaging, you’ll find attendance drop-off as no one wants to return to a room and be read to.

Of course, as a professional speaker, I would suggest you use me to energize your audience for your meeting.

Download Bob's Speaker Packet

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