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3 Quick Fixes to Common Mistakes Speakers Make When Preparing Their Presentations

Posted on October 3, 2016

3 Quick Fixes to Common Mistakes Speakers Make When Preparing Their Presentations

Last week we covered the 3 most common mistakes that speakers make that torpedo their otherwise strong presentations. This week let’s fix those mistakes and improve our presentations in a dramatic fashion.

Mistake #1: Writing a presentation in PowerPoint/Keynote

QUICK FIX: Write the presentation in a word document in outline form. Use the highest level of order for the 3 (or 4) main categories you will cover. State each one in the form of a simple sentence. Next limit yourself to 3 or 4 sub-points under each category. These should also be written in simple sentence form. Finally, fill out details (data, quotes, steps, stories) under each sub-point.

When you convert the outline into your presentation software, put your text from your word document into your NOTES section.

Mistake #2: Using slides as a “teleprompter”

QUICK FIX: As you continue the process of developing your slides, consider two things. (1) What words or phrases do you need to jog your memory on that slide and more importantly, (2) what words or phrases does your audience need to be focusing on as you are speaking to that slide. By limiting yourself to only a couple of words or a phrase, you become the focus and allow yourself flexibility in the moment.

Mistake #3: Using imagery as “filler”, not as a comprehension & retention tool

QUICK FIX: Imagery is a powerful tool when you understand how important it is to adult learning. There are actually 4 different categories of imagery, each of which can be deployed thoughtfully to create a visually impactful presentation. Read more on my previous blog on imagery Laser Pointer Sharpens Focus on Imagery In Healthcare Presentations.

If you implement these quick fixes, your potential audience and I will walk down a conference hall, peak into your meeting room and instead of wincing, we will sit down and really listen.