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7 Most Common Presentation Mistakes and Pitfalls to Avoid

It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced public speaker who has given hundreds of presentations or a rookie who is just taking the first steps on this way making an efficient presentation is quite challenging. We’re all bound to make mistakes because we’re not robots. We’re humans. As such, we are inherently error-prone.

Now, think back to the last really great presentation you saw. It must have been one that was informative, motivating, and inspiring. Wouldn't you love to be able to present like that?

In this article, DeckRobot looks at 7 of the most common mistakes that speakers make when giving presentations. By avoiding these, you'll make your presentations stand out.


1. Not being prepared

Careful preparation is essential. Steve Jobs was a famously inspiring speaker. His speeches may have looked effortless, but, in reality, each one took days or weeks of preparation. Too often a good presentation is ruined because the speaker has not taken the time to prepare. Preparation involves attention to both the personal and professional aspects of the presentation. if you don’t study the presentation in advance, there will be awkward silent moments in your speech while you’ll be trying to match your speech to the information on the slides. What is even worse, it can happen that you don’t know the material shown on the slide really well. In such a situation, any question from the audience will puzzle you, and you may lose credibility. So, whether your presentation lasts for five minutes, five hours, or five days, you owe it to yourself and your audience to prepare thoroughly.


2. Speaking incoherently

We spend the majority of our day talking to one another and yet, speaking to an audience is a surprisingly difficult skill for many of us. This skill needs to be honed often.
It doesn’t matter how interesting your material is if you speak in a monotone voice. This will lead to losing your audience. Your voice should be audible and very clear. Of course, a voice can be affected by age, gender, physiology, health, motivation, and past experience. However, that doesn’t mean that their voice can’t be effective. They still can learn how to make their voices more audible by breathing techniques, vocal exercises, and voice care. If nerves make you rush through a presentation, your audience could miss your most important points. Use centering or deep breathing techniques to collect yourself. Breathe deeply, and enunciate each word clearly, while you focus on speaking more slowly.


3. Overloading your presentation

When you are making a presentation, you wish to share as much information as possible in a short amount of time. Thus, you may end up having too much data in your presentation.
If you have strict time restraints, be selective about what information to include. Remove a number of detailed slides and keep only the most basic ones. Allow for the fact that you may have less time available to make your presentation due to interruptions, malfunctions, delays, or other circumstances. By restricting the information flow, you will have a greater impact on your audience.


4. Applying unsuitable and poor visuals

Visuals should enhance your presentation, not detract from it. Thus, using an unusual color combination is not the best idea for a successful presentation. Moreover, the text may blend with the background, so the text will become difficult to read.
When choosing colors, think about where the presentation will take place. A dark background with light or white text works best in dark rooms, while a white background with dark text is easier to see in a brightly lit room. Choose your pictures carefully, too. High-quality graphics can clarify complex information and lift an otherwise plain screen. Use animation sparingly too.


5. Implementing Sophisticated Fonts

A good font will probably go unnoticed in what is perceived as an amazing presentation. A bad choice of font, however, is a capital sin in presentation design for which there will be no hiding place. Typography in presentations is a blend of knowledge, creativity, and experience. Wishing to impress the audience, you may give your presentation a different touch and choose some unusual fonts. People won’t be able to read such fonts. So, instead of capturing your audience’s attention, you will cause strain and uncomfortable feelings.


6. Making the presentation too long

The mark of a professional is one who starts and finishes the presentation on time. Just like you, the members of the audience have time restrictions that you have to respect. If you don’t want your audience to keep looking at their watches in an irritated manner, waiting for your presentation to finish, don’t create endless presentations. It is quite hard to retain the audience’s attention all the time, so don’t try to include all life or business stories into one presentation. Keep it short and make it simple.


7. Not Familiarizing Yourself With the Equipment

Since so much of our business world is dependent on technology, always check your equipment beforehand. When you arrive at an unfamiliar conference room, it will take you some time to find a way to project your presentation. The audience may start getting impatient while waiting for the presentation to start. Furthermore, even when you are familiar with the room and the devices, your presentation format may not be supported by other devices, so you may end up speaking without your carefully planned slides. You can avoid a situation like this by taking time to familiarize yourself with the venue and available equipment at least once before your presentation. There is nothing more frustrating than malfunctioning equipment, which can cause unnecessary delays and frustration. One solution is to have a printout of your visuals for yourself. That way, you will have the necessary information you need to deliver a presentation, even if you do not have the necessary equipment.


Conclusion

You don’t need to aim for a perfect presentation. But avoiding these common presentation mistakes will definitely help you become a better presenter. Define your presentation goal and plan out your content before you do anything else.