10 Presentation Mistakes To STOP Making Now! Have you ever sat through a bad presentation? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. You’re sitting there that guy is just droning on, you are bored you’re not learning anything, you want to get out of there. Do not be that presenter. Public speaking, getting in front of a crowd giving presentations, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, you can effect – you can make a positive impact on somebody’s life when you get the right message at the right time and you deliver it in the right way. To do that, I’ve created today’s post, ten tips to go out there and kick butt with any presentation. Mistake number one, not knowing your audience. So, if you’re presenting to students, you’re presenting to retirees, you’re presenting to the middle managers who are, you know, with a particular company, you need to know that. You can’t just create one presentation and think that it’s going to work for everybody. I see this all the time especially people in sales.
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They create something, they go around they try to present it or people that are trying to pitch. Maybe they’re nonprofit, they’re trying to get people to donate. You’ve got to understand your audience because when you understand what drives them what gets them excited, you can in a sense create a presentation which is just going to blow them away. You’re going to connect with them on the level that you will not if you create a generic speech a generic presentation. So, make sure you’ve got to know your audience. Mistake number two, you’re not emotionally connecting with your audience. Now, I talk about this briefly when knowing your audience, but when you can emotionally connect with your audience you’re reaching to them at their primal level and this is important because do not mistake do not think that human beings are logical. We like to think that we are, we act like we are in the sense of when we’re talking with our friends, yeah, I make logical decisions, that’s not the case. We are emotionally driven. We buy a car, it’s because of emotion. When we make an investment, it’s oftentimes because of an emotion. When we start a business, it’s because of an emotion.
So, if you want to connect with people, figure out what emotions drive them and oftentimes it’s very primal ones like fear. And I’m not saying to manipulate people, but I’m saying address their fears, understand their joys, their hopes, their – their big desires. When you understand that, you can give a presentation which is going to move them and get them to take action. Mistake number three, death by PowerPoint. You know what I’m talking about two hundred slides, three hundred slides, one hundred slides. Who gets excited to sit through a two hundred- slide presentation? I know I don’t and I have sat through those and they are incredibly boring. And it’s like these people just put this information on slides hundred words per slide and thought this was a good idea just to overwhelm you with information. Using visuals in that way is abuse. That is not something that is going to help your presentation. It hurts your presentation, it overwhelms your audience. And that is the number one thing you need to understand with visuals that what is the purpose of the visual and is it going to enhance the presentation I’m about to give. Now, I’m not going to get into presentation basics and how to use visuals, but if you want a class on that, guys, I want you to go check out Skillshare.
They’re the paid sponsor of today’s post and there is an amazing presentation. Go check it out. It’s called Visual Storytelling, creating more persuasive presentations. It’s presented by Susannah Shattuck. She’s over at Prezi and I love what she’s done with this presentation. I’ve gone through it, it’s an hour long and she walks you through how to use visuals in a way that you get the point across. She breaks it down point by point. She actually has projects that you can work on. And this is what I love about Skillshare is that it’s not just the post information, but they also have the projects, you can actually show the completion of the projects, there’s a community in there. And at the end of the day they bring in the best people in the world. So, just to have the experts come in there at Skillshare and teach you. Another one, Simon Sinek.
He gives another great presentation on how to give presentations. And I’ve seen Simon in person, the guy is amazing. Guys, I’m linking Skillshare down in the description. The first five hundred of you that sign up, two months free and I can tell you if you decide to stay with them, it’s very affordable. We’re talking less than $10 a month. They’ve also got a program for businesses which I use. So, if I’ve got someone on my team, I want them to understand certain skills whether it’d be SEO which Rand Fishkin teaches there. He is the man when it comes to SEO. I basically send my team over there, it saves me time it saves me a lot of hassle and I know they’re going through a great program. So, if you’re looking to get better at anything, gentlemen, check out Skillshare. Mistake number four, winging it. This is when you into that presentation with no preparation at all.
Here’s the problem though is that most people think that they’re above average. In fact, I think it’s like 85% of people in the United States think that we are above average. We’re a very confident nation. And even if you are below average, you’re not a good presenter, guess what? If you put in just a bit of work, I’m talking about putting outline of your presentation, write out your presentation. You’re not going to read this, but by putting your thoughts on paper typing them out, maybe presenting it two times, one time to a post camera maybe one time to your friends, all of a sudden you’ve gone from just below average to top 5%. Yes, it is that easy. Now, it becomes incrementally harder as you try to move up, but to be in the top 5% is pretty awesome. And you notice, I only put in about one hour to two hours of preparation. Now, to go up to that top 2% probably requires about ten to fifteen hours of preparation. Getting into the top 1%, it’s another probably thirty hours of work. The point is, when you get closer to perfection, much harder, but it doesn’t take too much to get into that top 5%, so why settle for being below average because that’s where most of us are when it comes to presentations. Put in a bit of presentation and boom, you can be in the top 5%.
Mistake number five, not practicing enough. Now, my last point was not practicing at all, this one is where someone practices once and they say, oh, I’m good to go. No, you’re not. You need to posttape yourself, you need to get a few people to watch you give a presentation. You need to go over, you need to watch that posttape and tear apart especially the first parts of your presentation. Identify am I giving a good intro, is there something – are there certain words I’m tripping over, I’m not pronouncing correctly. What you don’t want to have are little ticks little things that’s someone is going to zero in and say, oh, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about because he totally doesn’t even understand statistics and when he’s talking about those numbers. Or this person mispronounced this, I speak that language apparently this person doesn’t know what they’re talking about. If you can eliminate that in the first parts of your presentation at least you’re going to be so far ahead. If you could eliminate that throughout your presentation, you are going to be in the top 2 to 3%. So, you can do this with more practice. Again, posttape yourself, get people out there in the audience and tear apart that presentation and get awesome at it.
Mistake number six, not knowing what you’re talking about. So, I made a mistake years ago and I talked about music, I talked about a particular speaker. And it was just a review that I thought would be fun, I put it up there, my audience tore me a new – well, I’m not going to get into the details. But they said I did not know what I was talking about and they were right. So, in today’s world you’ve got to understand that there are people that know a lot of information about certain things. And if you are not knowledgeable about a particular subject, then do be very careful about who you’re going to speak to. Now, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. So, if you’re talking to newbies, yes, you can definitely not know a whole lot maybe have been into something for a year and definitely be teaching. But, if you’re talking to an advanced audience, if you’ve got people in there that, yes, know – really know their subject, make sure if you’re going to talk about that you have a deeper understanding. One quick way to do this is to all of a sudden niche down and that’s where you zero in. When I first started talking about clothing, what I talked about was custom men’s clothing. I didn’t even get into casual style, I started really talking about sneakers.
I don’t talk too much about watches, about fragrances because I know those areas are owned by certain experts. But, when it came to men’s clothing, I had run a clothier, I knew men’s custom clothing and I could get into that with great detail. Now, from that I’ve grown out and I’ve, you know, got into a number of other topics. But, at the end of the day, make sure you know your subject matter. Mistake number seven is people are not excited. So, you got to understand when you’re up on stage you’re in front of that camera, whatever it is when you’ve got an audience you’ve got to bring the energy. And this is hard sometimes because some of us have a nature, we’re a very quiet person. I can tell you I’m an introvert, but when I get in front of my camera whenever I’m up on stage, I realized I’ve got to flip a switch I’ve got to become someone who has enough energy that he’s sending it out there and people pick up on this. And it’s something that people that haven’t practice this aren’t used to that, they think that they’re talking at their normal pace their normal level of energy and it’s not enough. The camera is like a vampire, it drains a bit of energy. Your audience is going to drain some of your energy. Now, they can also feed you energy, but oftentimes when you’re first up there they’re – you’ve got to bring that energy and then all of a sudden it’s going to mirror back.
But make sure whatever you have to do, sometimes it maybe I’m not going to say that you need to do a shot. Studies have shown that you do not want to drink alcohol before and I’ve got, yes, I’ve got that researched. But, you do want to put yourself in the right mindset, you want to maybe go into a room, sit for five minutes and I find that having that time to think and to get into the right mindset is what I need. Find what works for you, but bring the energy. Mistake number eight, going on too long. Enough said. Mistake number nine, engaging your audience. This is different than knowing your audience. Oftentimes during a presentation or before, I like to go out and talk to people who I’m going to be speaking with. With you guys here on my blog, I try to engage with you down in the comments. I reach out and talk to a lot of you guys via e-mail. Engage with your audience because when you engage with them you can better understand them.
So, this next mistake is a tough one and it’s something I see even the most veteran speakers do again and again and that’s that they play it safe. They’ve got this audience and instead of actually putting out what they know to be true, actually saying and speaking their mind and they will rid they will alienate some people and that’s the danger with this. It’s better for you to have some people in your audience reject you because on the other side you’re going to have other people who you’re going to change their life. And I’ve heard the 5, 5 and 90% rule and that’s usually when you give a presentation like this you’ve got that 5% that is going to hate it. You’ve got this other 5% that is going to love it and they’re just going to take action. You got the 90% that’s indifferent. I really like when I see someone who puts out a very strong message, they title it in a way that’s very strong and they’re able to change those numbers. More like 20%, 20% and then 60%. It doesn’t mean all the people, it’s not going to be the right time, it’s going to hit them in a way that just doesn’t have that impact, but that’s what you want. At the end of the day, you want impact. You want to make sure you get up there, give that presentation, give that talk, give that public speaking event that people years from now talk about as that changed my life. Whatever it may be, make sure when you get the chance to impact and influence people, you take it you run with it and you have an impact.
So, guys, that’s it. Let me know what you would have added to this presentation. I want to hear from you down in the comments. You guys know I appreciate you. You are a great community here at this style blog. And check out Skillshare, the paid sponsor of this post. They’re a good company. I love their programs, use their programs. Simon Sinek, one of my favorite teachers on there and they just got some great courses. Go check them out guys. That’s it. Take care.
I’ll see you in the next post.
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