How to Sabotage Your Own Presentations – Five Stupid Things to Keep on Doing to Ensure the Worst!

I thought I would collate 5 deadly presentation skills sins… here they are (tongue SLIGHTLY in cheek so just reverse them to get some really good ideas!)

1 use the same old tired introductory phrases… for example

“I’m what stands between you and dinner”

“I’ll try not to be too boring”

“For those who don’t know me… Here’s a quick introduction”

“You’ll have to excuse me I’m quite nervous”

“And now for the boring bit.”

All of these phrases assure your audience that you are about to deliver exactly the same presentation that they have heard 100 times before so if you want your audience tuning out right from the beginning make sure you start with one of these five killer phrases.

2 Use the same old tunes everybody else uses. For example use “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner or “We are the Champions” by Queen. Check out M-People and you will find that they have two tunes “What Have you Done Lately to Make you Feel Proud” and “Hero”. All of these songs are, if you like that sort of thing, fine songs by fine artists. For our purposes though they are the same old songs giving the same old messages. So to ensure people get the same message as usual, make sure you stick to the same old tunes.

3. Make sure you stick to a stupid layout just because this is how it’s always done in your organisation. This would include the projector and screen taking the vast majority of the space, and the speaker, the person who actually has to deliver the material, squeezed to one side of the room. You might also consider overheating the room to ensure that by mid afternoon your audience is going into meltdown. Oh, and absolutely ensure that you have one of those you “U” shaped tables set-ups. You know the sort, where the people on the side get cricks in their neck, and the people at the back strain their eyes to see you. On no account think about altering this room to something a bit more involving, interactive or conducive to a meeting.

4. Always ensure the sessions go over time and are way too long. You might know that most people’s attention span is between 20 and 45 minutes, so make sure that you go way past this so people begin to become distracted, bored, desperate for a comfort break and so on. Never consider making breaks little and often to keep people moving and to keep the interest level high.

5. Never sound excited, passionate nor interested in your own material. It’s often the case that conferences and events are used to promote new services or products or perhaps to sell a new software service to your colleagues in the room. Too many times the speaker is launching material which they say is exciting interactive and will do wonderful things for the people in the room BUT they don’t tell their faces this nor do they alter their vocal tone. So if you want to ensure you get the same results you’ve always got, just ensure you bring no passion to your presentations.

And in case you missed the earlier suggestion… AVOID…. the points above to improve your presentations.