How NOT to deliver an effective presentation

26 06 2012

I have this really annoying habit when I’m watching people present: I can’t stop myself from correcting the spelling and grammar mistakes in their presentations.  I am BY NO MEANS an expert presenter, but there are basic rules, surely, that we should adhere to if we want to deliver an effective presentation. 

These are some more of my personal bugbears gathered from all the conference presentations I’ve ever sat through:

  • Please don’t use clipart in your powerpoint!  It makes your presentation look outdated and child-like.  Use photos of what it is you’re talking about; it provides context and makes your talk a lot more meaningful to an audience.
  • It’s really annoying when you just read out what is written on the slide.  Especially if it’s a really long sentence.  I CAN read for myself.  And it’s turning into bullet point overkill.
  • If you use capital letters in your presentation it gives the impression THAT YOU’RE SHOUTING AT ME EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE NOT!
  • I know it’s nerve wracking to get up in front of people and speak, but you look like you’re being tortured in some way – please just smile at me and I’ll probably listen more closely to what youre saying.

Sorry if that makes me sound over-critical – it wasn’t intended to, and it’s a flaw in my character that I’m so anal about such things. 

What do you think?  Are there some presentation no-nos that get in the way of the message that the presenter is trying to deliver?  There are some good ideas from thewikiman in ‘Stop breaking the basic rules of presenting’.  Enjoy 🙂