Please don’t waste my time with your presentation

I’ve had the misfortune to sit through a number of business presentations recently.

Now, we have the best presentation technology we’ve ever had. There are also more training courses, books and resources available on how to present well than ever before. So why are business presentations so excruciatingly boring, poorly prepared and badly delivered?

Not all presentations are bad, just the majority of them.

I don’t want to see another speaker read their bullet points from a PowerPoint slide.

I don’t want to hear another speaker droning on in a monotonous tone.

I don’t want to watch another presenter switch from one PowerPoint presentation to another.

I don’t want to keep looking my watch and praying for it to end.

I don’t want to be cruel, I just want to be interested and entertained.

Some easy ways to improve a presentation.

1. Prepare your script and cut it, cut it and cut it again, so that it is short and snappy.

2. Rehearse your script again and again.

3. Get to the venue in good time.

4. If you are hosting the event, join all the PowerPoint presentations together, using a common linking slide between each presentation. Better still if presenters talk unaided.

5. Make yourself comfortable. Have a drink of water. Breath deeply to calm yourself. It’s natural to be nervous, so don’t worry.

6. Speak slowly. Don’t worry about tripping over your words. You’ll soon start to talk naturally and people will be on your side.

7. Don’t use PowerPoint or other slides unless you really need to – the audience will focus on you and what you say.

8. Give out support material when you have finished, so that your audience listens to you rather than reading the handouts.

9. Enjoy it.

10. Listen to the applause.

With a presentation like that, I’ll be happy to sit through it.

You can find more tips on how to prepare and deliver successful presentations at www.editorialresources.co.uk or call us on 0845 200 7830 for advice and help.

Robert Zarywacz