Your reputation is on the line whenever you stand before an audience. This puts pressure on any public speaker. In a business setting the pressure of a speaking in public is magnified because your audience consists of your colleagues and managers. A poor presentation will lower the esteem you are held in by your boss or your clients!
In the competitive business world it is critical that you give a good account of yourself at all times. For the sake of your career it is crucial you avoid the presentation mistakes below.
Success is the result of hard work and preparation. What you have achieved in your career to date has been as a result of the effort and dedication you have applied to the roles you have filled. A business presentation is no different! To achieve success with the presentation you must put in the work and prepare diligently for it.
A presentation, which is ill prepared, is an insult to an audience. And to believe that your audience will not notice your lack of effort is a bigger insult to their intelligence. To have your boss see you stand and represent the department or organisation unprepared will not endear you to him or her, and it will not shine a positive light on you and your career.
To be prepared for a presentation does not require countless hours of preparation. It can be as little as one hour, provided you know how to prepare. Take the time to prepare a presentation properly, and your career will be rewarded appropriately for it.
Often a symptom of unpreparedness is the apologetic presenter. Who, because they are unprepared, apologise to their audience for their inability to deliver a polished and professional presentation. This does not present the persona of a confident professional, looking forward in their career. Rather it projects an uneasy feeling across the audience who are all questioning “if the presenter could not take the time to prepare for this – what else are they not doing properly?”.
When your boss or clients are in the audience – is this the question you want them asking themselves?
Be Reliant on PowerPoint
It is a sad misconception that proper preparation for a presentation is to get the PowerPoint slides ready. Yes, they need to be prepared if you plan on utilising PowerPoint, but they are the last element you prepare when getting ready to speak in public. When the presentation is prepared in PowerPoint the slides become wordy and boring. Often making the presenter redundant because the audience can simply read, word for word, what the presenter is saying to them. As the presenter this puts you in the position when you are adding no value to the presentation. Is this something you want your boss or clients contemplating as you stand in front of them?
We all want to be entertained. In the business world that is still true. Yet many business presentations are dry and uninteresting. The presenter that differentiates themselves by being interesting and engaging will win the approval of the audience for the position they advocate in their presentation. If you are delivering boring presentations your projects, your ideas, and your initiatives are being passed over in favour of someone else. And, that person will be the front-runner to get the next promotion, and not you.
With little practice it is possible to start presenting your ideas, your personality in an engaging and interesting manner.
Rather than destroy your career your next presentation could get you your next promotion and pay rise. The mistakes covered here are easily avoidable with some preparation, practice and training. Often you will be unaware that you are making the mistakes because your colleagues will not tell you the mistakes you are making to avoid embarrassing you. Now that you are aware of the mistakes you must challenge yourself to ensure you avoid making them. When you do -your clients, your colleagues, and your boss will take note that you are ready to advance your career.