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3 Presentation Mistakes Alienating You from the Audience

March 10, 2015 / Blog audience, presentation delivery, presentation mistakes, presentation tips

A successful presentation is the result of three different things: 1) a compelling presentation content 2) an effective and well-designed PowerPoint 3) engaging and interesting delivery.

If you fail to deliver any of these primary tasks, your presentation will fall short. To avoid presentation mistakes, create a concrete plan and prepare accordingly.

Recently, we’ve been talking about how you can improve your content and adjust your PowerPoint slides. Today, it seems fitting that we take a closer look at how you can keep your presentations engaging.

Take a closer look at the five presentation mistakes that might be costing you your listeners:

Mistake #1: Boring introductions 

Some presenters tend to forget the importance of a great introduction. A presentation needs a hook that’s attention-grabbing.

You can’t just take the stage and stammer a long introduction. Avoid a spiel where you introduce yourself, the topic of your presentation, and apologize for how long it’s going to be will never work in your favor.

To change it up, focus on giving the audience a glimpse of the message you want to share. Share an anecdote that can serve as a springboard to your discussion. Start with a unique statistic.

Another option is to give your prospects a chance to connect with the presentation by sharing a story directly related to your topic.

Mistake #2: Filler words 

It’s normal to feel nervous before a presentation. However, you have to make sure your anxiety doesn’t translate to what you do or say in front of the audience.

In a compilation on Six Minutes, renowned speech evaluator Andrew Dlugan collates the opinions of several public speakers on one of the most common presentation mistakes—filler words.The habit of saying words like “um” and “you know” is hard to break, especially when you’re burdened with the pressure to give your best.

Cut back on your use of filler words by taking time to rehearse and hone your presentation skills. There’s no shortcut to this, so be patient in learning to become a better public speaker.

As you rehearse, pace yourself. The more you rush through what you have to say, the more you’re likely to forget what’s next and resort to use unnecessary words to fill the silence.

Mistake #3: Causing unnecessary distractions

A great presenter is constantly aware of what he does in front of the audience. If you want to make sure the audience pays full attention, shake off distracting habits.

Apart from filler words, you might be unconsciously causing a commotion that can shift the attention from what you’re saying.

Whether you’re constantly adjusting what you’re wearing or calling to an assistant to skip to a specific slide, it’s the little things that can take the audience out of the experience.

Make sure you’re well-rehearsed and aware of how you present yourself on stage. Always be alert and present to avoid any visible slip-ups.

A successful presentation is the product of an engaged and interested audience. Keep their attention on the message you’re delivering by avoiding these 3 presentation mistakes.



Are… Um… Filler Words… Ah… Okay?Six Minutes. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Be a Presentation Virtuoso with Deliberate Practice.” SlideGenius, Inc. February 26, 2015. Accessed March 10, 2015.
The Complete Presentation Checklist.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 25, 2014. Accessed March 10, 2015.


Featured Image: William Warby via flickr