Five ways to "ruin" your presentation
During a presentation, various unpredictable things, that will create discomfort for you as well as for the public, might happen.
Below we will talk about the five elements that you can control and be prepared for, so that your audience will truly be receptive to the information you deliver.
The order in which I listed them is random. But I would like you to think which one would bother you the most, if you would see the speaker in front of you doing it.
1. Moving back and forth/ side to side
Maybe in this way you are trying to hide your emotion of talking in front of people, but think about the fact that it will make it difficult for them to follow you. Once disconnected, you will need to make a great effort to recapture their attention.
2. Uninspired/offensive jokes
It is true that in the theory of public speaking it is recommended to say a few jokes during the speech, in order to make it easier to connect with the audience. However, we need to admit that for some of us it is not that easy to slide jokes or humorous moments in our presentation. As a consequence, if you do not have practice with this, you should test the jokes on friends/colleagues. Thus, you get rid of the risk to say some uninspired jokes or that could offend someone in the room.
3. Technical elements that do not work and that create moments you cannot surpass in an elegant way
It can happen anytime for the prepared visual aid not to work, for the video to not start or for the microphone to be out of batteries. These situations are, obviously, unpleasant. The good news is that you can prepare yourself for this type of scenarios, starting with the idea that they can happen anytime. Thus, you diminish the “surprise” and you can surpass the moment with humour and elegance.
4. Too much advertising
It may not be the best idea to advertise yourself too much in a presentation from which people expect some information. Regardless of how much you like to talk about yourself or your business, try not to lose sight of the audience. Why are these people there? Why were you chosen to talk to them? What are they expecting to learn from you? Keep in mind the basic rules of public speaking regarding adapting your content to the target audience. Therefore, no matter how big the temptation to promote yourself is, you should keep a balance between advertising and information.
5. Irony towards the stage partners
If you are speaker at an event and you have stage partners, try to connect as much as possible with them. Even if you do not agree with their ideas, even if you did things differently, try to respect and appreciate them. The temptation to criticise and mock another speaker can be pretty big at some point, but if you do that the only thing you accomplish is to look bad in the eyes of the public.
I am sure this list could go on, and that probably, besides these 5 points you have your own list. What is important is to learn from each experience and to become better with each presentation that we give or that we watch.
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