10 things to avoid during presentations
Whether it’s an assignment you’re presenting or a product you’re promoting, a good presentation can make a great first impression! Here are 10 important things to know during your presentation:
- Reading the text on the slides What is the main reason to use a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation? To illustrate what you’re saying, to give yourself a good outline for your presentation, or to spice up your words with some vivid graphics? Whatever the reason, make sure you don’t read literally what’s on the slide. This will eliminate the need for the slides to be there in the first place.
- Speaking to the screen This is directly related to the first point. When reading what’s on the slides, you have to turn your head to the screen. Not only does this make it less interesting to watch, it also projects your voice in the wrong direction, making it sound muffled. While projecting your voice to the audience, they will also be able to see your facial expression, making it easier for them to understand and stay focused.
- Skipping seemingly uninteresting slides It is important to have the right time for your presentation. You don’t want to find that you don’t have enough time to show everything, and then have to decide on the spot which slides are less important so you can skip them to save time. This will give the audience the impression that you didn’t have enough time to prepare.
- Rushing through slides without explanation Timing will also prevent you from having to rush through the slides while only half-explaining them. Don’t expect people to understand what you’re showing. Make sure you don’t have to explain what your slides are about; Make sure they back up your words.
- Displaying too much text on slides This list is in no particular order, but it may be the most important thing to avoid during a presentation, and also the mistake people make most often. Make sure your slides are illustrations of what you have to say. Don’t put the real information on them. If you expect people to read what’s in there, don’t blame them for not listening.
- Using small or beautiful fonts Reducing the font size is often done to fit more text on a slide. Bad practice; look at point 5. Also, be careful about the legibility of your text. Using fancy fonts can make your slides look nicer, but can you still read them across the room?
- Misspellings There is no need for spelling mistakes as there is a spell checker available in every software. An easy thing that will make you look a lot better.
- It reads all of your notes Don’t read the information from the slides, but also try not to read everything from your notes. Try to stay in touch with your audience. If you know what you’re talking about, a short list of keywords should be enough to support your story.
- Launching without a clean hole Especially when you are speaking about a certain topic for the first time, it is important that your audience knows what you are talking about. So don’t jump straight into your story, take the time to introduce the topic and your motivation for talking about it.
- Using complex graphs, charts or screenshots If there is a real need to display complex graphs and charts, you can print and distribute them on paper. Putting them on a slide probably won’t make things any clearer as they will be hard to read and there won’t be enough time to analyze and understand. Show only the results and simply explain how you arrived at them.