Effective Presentations: What NOT TO DO
Just as there are golden rules for what makes a good presentation, of course there are a set of rules of what not to do during a presentation.
- If you don’t know that answer to a question, don’t fudge it! If your audiences senses you are making it up your credibility takes a nosedive. If you can’t answer, say so and offer to get the information later.
- Don’t lose your temper. Audiences tend to stick together; even if the person concerned is heckling quite unfairly. You may get a little sympathy but it is more likely that the rest of your audience will feel under attack as well.
- Don’t pass difficult questions on to another member of your team unless you are sure they know the answer.
- Don’t pretend to be what you aren’t! Audiences are unforgiving if they find out you are pretending or worse. Better to admit ignorance or human frailty.
- Don’t get too emotional about issues. It’s okay to show that you feel deeply about something but if you go overboard your audience will be uncomfortable.
- Never ridicule or embarrass people in any way or tell inappropriate jokes.
- If you are presenting with another person, don’t eat into their time or trespass into their subject area.
- Pitch your material to your audience. Do not talk down to them or treat them like fools.
- Don’t distract your audience with your outfits or jewellery. This will just have them wondering about that rather than listening to your presentation.
- NEVER use drugs or alcohol for a bit of Dutch courage. Your audience will notice and you will lose credibility.