This is a guest post from Freddie Tubbs who is a communication manager at Academized. He regularly takes part in online PR conferences and contributes expert columns to Big Assignments and Australianhelp blogs.
Presentations are something a lot of professionals struggle with. They can be a bit intimidating, even quite nerve-racking for some people. It’s easy to be boring and monotone, just reading your slides and trying to get through it. But they’re an important part of being a professional so it’s a necessary thing to work on. Here are six common mistakes you should avoid when giving a presentation.
- Lack of a clear purpose
What is it that you’re trying to communicate? What is your main point? A significant amount of people struggle to express their point of view. Your facts and numbers alone do not make a good presentation. A good presentation uses facts and numbers to support an argument being made. Taking a stance can be a bit scary, because then people can disagree with your point. But as long as your point is well supported with data then you should be confident in your argument.
- Giving a presentation in monotone
Your presentation doesn’t have to be a totally exhilarating experience, but you should at least try to keep your audience’s attention. Speaking in monotone is not a good way to achieve that, especially when you pair it with just reading your slides, which we will talk about later. Public speaking is not easy, and it’s something a lot of people struggle with. But it’s an important business skill and worth investing some time into. Try recording yourself with your smartphone to see how you sound. Practice in front of a friend or family member and work on a more dynamic speaking style. The bottom line is, if you seem excited about your material, your audience is a lot more likely to take an interest.
- Inaccurately written presentations
Your presentation’s purpose is clear communication of accurate and useful data. But sub-par writing and editing skills can lead to an inaccurate presentation that doesn’t benefit anyone. Here are some resources that can help create accurate presentations:
#1. Academ Advisor – Proofreading is important to your presentation’s quality, but it’s very easy to miss a mistake or two. This is an online proofreading guide that will make sure you get everything.
#3. Via Writing – This is a great resource for plagiarism tips and tools. Make sure everything in your presentation is original, or properly credited.
#5. My Writing Way – This is a very handy resource for when you’re in need of grammar tips and grammar checkers. Make everything in your presentation look professional by ensuring it’s all grammatically correct.
- Not considering audience convenience
Think about your audience while you’re preparing, and make everything in your presentation easy for people to read. Avoid using vertical text on the Y axis or slanting text on the X axis. Doing this makes it difficult for your audience to read. Express large figures in millions or thousands, rather than writing out the whole number. Have your lists ordered alphabetically so they are easy to read and understand.
- Overusing acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon
Acronyms and abbreviations exist because they help save time, but that only works if everyone is familiar with them. If they’re not, your acronyms and abbreviations will just be distracting as people try to think of what they might stand for. You should always tailor your communication to the audience it is intended for. Unless you want them missing out on your information as they try to decipher your jargon. Look into writing guides, such as StateofWriting and UK Writings for help making your presentation’s language easy to understand.
- Reading your slides because you did not prepare properly
Don’t you just love attending a presentation where someone is standing up there reading off their slides? Avoid doing this by rehearsing your presentation at least three times before you present your data. Don’t just go up there and hope you’ll be able to get by and figure it out as you go. “You’ll lose your audience because you’re boring and you’re not talking about what the figures actually mean. Be familiar with how your animations will go, and have some insights ready to share with your audience”, – explains Kevin Anderson, a Communication manager at EliteAssignmentHelp and Study Demic writer.
Presentations are something a lot of professionals struggle with and even dread. Some people struggle with proper presentation, others with a boring speaking style, while others can’t seem to help but stuff their presentation full of jargon and indecipherable acronyms. Whatever it is you struggle with, it’s important to identify it and work towards improving it. A lot of people struggle with problems that are actually very minor and easy to fix, once they know about them.