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3 Common Mistakes Speakers Make When Preparing Their Presentations

Posted on September 27, 2016

3 Common Mistakes Speakers Make When Preparing Their Presentations

I’ve been working with speakers for almost 20 years now. Recently I was at a conference and as I walked by various lecture rooms, I saw what I always see… awful slides being read by otherwise very smart people.

Let’s keep it simple by focusing on the 3 most common mistakes that speakers make that would significantly improve their presentations.

1.     Writing a presentation in PowerPoint/Keynote
When we write a talk in our presentation software, we are putting all our thoughts on each slide… and all of the templates are built with the title and then a section for bullet points. As creatures of habit, it is natural that we would obediently fill out those templates as we go. But what are we left with? Text heavy slides that create a mind-numbing experience for our audience!

2.      Using slides as a “teleprompter”
And then… once we have these slides, the box we’ve created for ourselves has us reading each slide as though the audience hasn’t already read it! We force ourselves into a rigid space where we can’t adjust in the moment.

3.      Using imagery as “filler”, not as a comprehension & retention tool
The majority of the population (65-70%) are visual learners. This means that anything they read or hear is likely going to dump from their short term memory within minutes. MINUTES! Imagery (photos, icons, charts, etc) is the only way to connect a piece of new information into the long term memory. And while an amusing cartoon or funny picture is appropriate from time to time, it doesn’t do anything to drive comprehension or retention.

Come back next week to learn the 3 Quick Fixes to these common mistakes! OR call us for a free consultation to formulate your winning presentations.