Costly Presentation Errors – Easy To Avoid

Big client presentation coming up? Set your compass on winning. To win, watch out for these costly presentation errors. These 5 common pitfalls are easy to avoid-if you start now.

Many presenters rely on old slides. They dust them out, combine them with each other, and head off to win the day. Does this sound familiar? If you’re short on time and running fast, this kind of practice is easy to fall into. But it is dangerous and costly.

Recently, I participated in a conference panel. We reviewed 17 presentations from 17 candidates in a supervisory program. Each candidate’s presentation was reviewed from several perspectives. Leadership. Learning concepts. Story flow. Presentation impact.

The panel included experts on leadership, the program content, business context and presentation expertise. I reviewed each presentation’s effectiveness-from design to delivery.

Curious what caused the biggest problems?

Here are the 5 biggest and most costly errors in presentation style.

1. Abrupt and Formal Tone

The presenter was schooled in a military style. He presented his information with crisp perfection. What went wrong?

The reviewers did not feel included. They wanted to hear about human experience, insights and personal reflections. He was shocked and dismayed at their response. In individual interviews he continued to remain formal without sharing his personal experiences.

This presenter risked a failing score because he was too abrupt and overly formal.

2. Rambling Stories

The presenter loved telling stories. Everything was a fable, traditional tale and intricate plot. It was fascinating and colorful. What went wrong?

The panel did not see the point of all the stories. They wanted to hear a concise overview and clear conclusion. This presenter got an A+ in storytelling but a D in presenting learning conclusions.

The presenter failed to understand his audience. He did not adjust his personal strengths and style to match their goals.

3. Cluttered Slides

The presenter had a passion for marketing and branding stories. Every slide was chock full of visuals, examples and product pictures. What went wrong?

The display was confusing and overwhelming. The learning points were not clear. The passion was obvious…but the result was not visually memorable.

4. Boring Bullet Points

This presenter took a careful, analytical approach. Every point was spelled out in bullets. What went wrong?

It was supremely boring. While clearly articulated, we demanded pictures, illustrations and stories.

5. Poor Time Management

The presenter was so enthusiastic that she bubbled on endlessly. Guess what? She ran out of time.

The panel did not take lightly to this pitfall. The criticism was strong and focused on effective time management.

What does this say to you? You may have a more patient, more sensitive and more forgiving audience. Or you might not.

Keep a careful watch on these top pitfalls. They are easy to avoid when you use a presentation storyboard to plan a compelling presentation.

With a storyboard, you can quickly spot redundancies, potential ramblings and boring bits. You’ll instantly see areas where you could bore your audience…or get so excited that you use track of time.

One tip that will help you right away. Time your rehearsals. Practice giving your presentation with the clock as your guide. Many people find that rehearsing with a clock is a surefire way to reduce danger zones and deliver with impact.

To get to the top of your career, you’ll give hundreds if not thousands of presentations. One lousy presentation can cause serious damage. On the other hand, one exceptional presentation can boost your career to the top. To get ahead in your career, get smart about presenting. Take time to learn the steps to success and avoid costly mistakes.

It’s time to discover how to present with maximum impact.