5 Cardinal sins you SHOULD avoid!

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I’m going through a round of presentations in my class these past few weeks, and it’s got me thinking on how to make the best use of the time that’s given to you on a stage.

People, especially in schools and colleges, lose the point of a presentation. It’s not just about how well you prepare and work and deliver, the success of a presentation depends on how well your audience understands it.

You can give an amazing presentation with lots of charts and numbers, provide truck loads of information from the research you conducted, but it’s all of no use if your audience can’t remember what you said 2 days after your talk.

The purpose of a presentation is to impart something memorable and useful to the audience. It’s not another “job” to be done for the heck of it.

So here are 5 “sins” you can avoid while giving a PowerPoint presentation. I have committed ALL of these sins in the past, and I’ve suffered. I really hope you don’t.

1. Huge paragraphs of text 

It may seem “impressive” but it’s the 2nd best lullaby in the world. Nothing puts an audience off more than this.
Here’s a thumb rule: if your point ends up in 2 lines, it’s too long. Regardless of any topic of presentation.

2. Reading off the presentation 

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Coupled with sin #1, this is the best lullaby in the world. It’s ridiculous and shows you don’t really care enough to prepare. You are just going through the motions.

It’s not just about how well you prepare and work and deliver, the success of a presentation depends on how well your audience understands it.

3. Blocking the view

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When you have to point something out on the presentation, standing in front of the screen, pointing at it and explaining is not going to help the audience. Instead, point, move back and then explain what you wanted to about that section.

4. Being unprepared- I once saw a presentation, where the person had about 90 slides (I know!), had text written all over the slides and STILL was looking into pages and pages of notes and reading it out.
My only question was- “Can I leave?”

(On a side note- I couldn’t. I was scheduled to speak next.)

5. “Thank you” slides

Why? Why would you put that?Can’t you just say “thank you”?

Please, please, please…for the sake of your audience, keep this in mind while you prepare and present your next PowerPoint presentation.

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