Thursday, February 07, 2008

30 Things to Avoid During Presentations

  1. Reading your speech.

  2. Reading your slides.

  3. Telling a lengthy joke.

  4. Pounding the lectern.

  5. Gesturing with the laser pointer toward the audience.

  6. Pointing at the audience.

  7. Repeatedly using the same gesture.

  8. Maintaining a monotone.

  9. Letting your voice go up, in Valley Girl fashion, at the end of each sentence.

  10. Using "Right?" or "Okay?" at the end of each paragraph.

  11. Appearing to be bored.

  12. Providing too much detail.

  13. Having illegible visual aids or redundant hand-outs.

  14. Wearing an article of clothing that is distracting.

  15. Having the lights dimmed.

  16. Committing Mass Murder by PowerPoint.

  17. Failing to listen to audience questions.

  18. Jingling the change in your pocket.

  19. Failing to be brief.

  20. Rambling.

  21. Failing to make eye contact.

  22. Using tasteless, profane or obscene language.

  23. Ignoring what is of interest to the audience.

  24. Ridiculing a sincere question.

  25. Using jargon.

  26. Using military or sports terms when portions of the audience won't understand them.

  27. Failing to translate the significance of numbers into plain language.

  28. Slipping into fluent bureaucratese.

  29. Using generalizations without examples.

  30. Using examples without explanatory or linking generalizations.


Ed said...

I think maybe the "give too much detail" covered this, but my personal fave is when people decide that presentation length = presentation quality... not the case.

I'm in college now and it is supremely annoying to see someone use ten words where one would do, all because they think that if they can elongate their point that it is a bigger point... not true.

Rant over.

Michael Wade said...


Isn't it interesting how widely different college subjects are taught in the same artificial time period? I've seen some subjects that could have been adequately covered in three weeks and yet they are stretched out to cover a semester.

But then, that would save the students' time and money.