10 Presentation Tips: Tip No. 2 — Pay Attention to What Doesn’t Work

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This is the second post in a 10-post series on tips for effective presentations. For an explanation as to why I’m adding this series to a data-oriented blog, see the intro to the first post in the series. To view other tips in the series, click here.

Tip No. 2: Pay Attention to What Doesn’t Work

This tip is a direct complement to Tip No. 1. You simply cannot be a working professional in 2012 without being subjected to truly awful, uninspiring, fight-to-stay-awake presentations. As you mentally yawn, keep your eyelids open by asking yourself, “What, specifically, is making the presentation so bad?”

The sad truth is that the plethora of awful presentations have an insidious side effect:

They “teach” us how to present!

It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. When the last five presentations you saw were all text-heavy, bullet-heavy, monotone-delivered snoozers and you fire up PowerPoint to start on your own presentation…you’ve been trained to start building an outline, dropping in bullets, developing a logical sequence, making sure everything you want to say is captured on a slide, and…BOOM!…you’ve just created your own snoozer.

Consciously critique the bad presentations you sit through. Vow to never, never, NEVER do the things that you identify as not working.

Does this critical view make you something of an elitist? Sadly, it does. But, if you’re truly doing it to improve your own presentation skills, that’s okay.

Photo by markhillary

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