Introduction: The 7 Deadly Sins of Terrible Presenters including being late, unprepared, and looking lazy and unprofessional.
Every presenter has his or her own personal set of untalked about deadly sins. In this article, I am going to discuss my list in detail and also provide suggestions of how we can overcome these sins during our presentations. We should be warned that these are the seven deadly sins of presentations. While many presences can fall into more than one category of sin (ie, presenters who are late and unprepared), I’m only going to focus on the seven deadly sins.
I originally wrote this article in response to a specific comment that said that I was wasting my time talking about bad presentations. In my reply I explained that this was not the case and at least some of these sins will be able to avoid due to our preparation. It also mentioned that there would be something good to say about each sin and that could help us overcome them in some respect.
So without further ado, here are the seven deadly sins of presentations.
1. Being unprepared.
Sin 1: Being Late
If you are going to be late, get a hold of the chair, program chair or someone else in charge and let them know and, most importantly, if you should be late for the first part of your talk (you might want to consider bringing an extra copy or two of your presentation with you just in case that happens-just in case). It is extremely frustrating to be running the last minute, but not being able to let people know (and this is especially annoying if you’ve invited them to your talk) so please take a minute now and let them know in advance.
And if it is really late and you really need to leave early, let the organizers know. They don’t care, they just want to get you out of their hotel room!
TALK SUBJECT: HOW TO SAY ON THE BALL AND NOT GET ON THE WRONG END OF A THORN IN YOUR SIDE
Sin 1: Being Late by Rob Howard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://sites.google.com/site/sinhos/copyright.
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##Sin 1: Being Late [Text of Rob Howard’s original article]
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Sin 2 : Unprepared Including Not Having Anything To Say Besides “Here’s My PowerPoint”
It is imperative that you have something to say besides your PowerPoint. The audience will be able to tell if you are unprepared. People who are unprepared usually share data that they copied from some source (the internet, another person’s presentation, etc) and they tend to read the data verbatim instead of explaining the significance of the data to the audience or their point of view. “If it sounds like [James Schmidt], read it backwards.” -Occam’s Razor
To avoid delivering such an unimpressive presentation, develop a comprehensive outline that includes your main points and sub-points. Practice the presentation ahead of time. If you make mistakes along the way (which you will), remember to move forward – don’t be afraid to start over if you failed at something. Never apologize for mistakes – do not allow your mistakes to negatively impact your presentation. Always remember that “failure is not an option” for you.
Sin 3 : Not Knowing Your Audience. One who Says You’re Not On The Ball.
It’s crucial that you gain insight on your audience from their behavior, tone of voice, and body language. If you have never been to a conference, it may be wise to attend at least one conference or two in your field to see how the participants present. You can do this by attending presentations and gauge their level of confidence. Furthermore, it is important to research your audience. Who are they? What do they enjoy? What might get them excited about your talk? In addition, if you are going to be speaking at an organization that your audience doesn’t know, there are ways to get them involved. For example, the place where you will speak can ask everyone to get involved in your talk by watching a YouTube video before you arrive. You can also get your audience to ask questions about what they are interested in by showing them a video that addresses their concerns.
Sin 4 : Looking Lazy And Unprofessional Including Dressing Inappropriately Or Donning A Five O’Clock Shadow for A 9 AM Presentation.
Many of us don’t have time to grow a full head of hair, but that doesn’t mean we have to go in looking like the brain dead zombies we can sometimes look like. In choosing your suit, you should make sure that it “fits” you. Maybe you are a big man and feel like wearing a suit, but if you are going to be giving a presentation at a large company, they may not want anyone that is going to make an impression other than: “Hey-look-at-that-big-guy. He looks like a slob.” Furthermore, I think we can all agree that whenever possible, you should dress down for a presentation and not up. You are better off looking like someone who is confident and relaxed than someone who is stiff and uptight. While it’s always tempting to sport that Rolex watch, or slip on the two thousand dollar shirt, it’s best to keep those things for everyday life and put them in the back corner of your closet. If you do wear something nice, there is a better way to go about it than just wearing something you already own.
A Donald Trump look alike should not be coming across as “flashy” when presenting. Just because you wore a fifty dollar suit to a day job interview doesn’t mean that you have to wear the same thing to a presentation. Alternatively, if you are going to wear something nice, bring a few extra outfits with you and stick them in the trunk of your car. This way, if you find out that one of the clients is wealthy, you can quickly change into something that fits better.