7 Big Presentation Mistakes

Sitting through a bad presentation can be a nightmare. But, being the one giving that bad presentation is admittedly worse... So here we gathered the 7 deadly sins of presentations. Read these big and most common mistakes in history.

May 16, 2022

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7 big and common presentation mistakes in history, prepared by Decktopus Content Team

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Sitting through a bad presentation can be a nightmare. But, being the one giving that bad presentation is admittedly worse. Just imagine watching people doze off, look confused or unsettled as you speak. At this point, it would be no surprise if your speech gets interrupted by a side conversation. It is easy to criticize the presentation when you are in the audience; but know that you will inevitably experience the same at some point in your life. But, we are all human in the end of the day and there is nothing more human than making mistakes. Here is a list of 7 of those mistakes commonly observed during presentations.

What's Inside?

  1. Not having a clear goal
  2. Technical Problems
  3. Not using the time well
  4. Lack or abundance of visuals
  5. İnapproprite humor or attire
  6. Too much
  7. Poor delivery

1. Not having a clear goal

Before you get started on a presentation, know what kind of a message you would like to give. Make the message clear in both the content of the presentation and in the way you deliver the material. Do not confuse the message by excessive content or lack of proper content. Something that can easily get in the way of your point is you not having enough knowledge on the subject matter. It would be very unfortunate for your presentation if your audience detects a lack of expertise in your voice. You may not be a marketer but visualize yourself as one. Decide on a major point and maximum of 5 other highlights. Getting A+ or making the sale might not be best goals. Here are some examples of good presentation goals:

  • Introducing a paid service
  • Giving information
  • Making the audience remember a memory
  • Leaving an impact
  • X is bad for health
  • X is bad for your career
  • Introducing company culture
  • Introducing team members
  • Giving beginner information about a project
  • Exciting the audience about X
  • Spreading awareness to audience about X
  • Making them want to hear more
  • Making the audience involve into project
  • Expressing diversity
  • Giving information about X

2. Technical problems

The necessary cable to connect the computer to the screen doesn’t exist in the classroom. The internet is not working. Your presentation was stored on another USB drive that you neglected to bring. The video is not playing on the slide. To avoid these problems, you need practice beforehand. Know where you will be giving the presentation. Or, even better, go there and do a practice run. With Decktopus, technical problems can easily be avoided. You can access your presentation online or offline, download, and easily share the presentation without having to go through the technicalities. Here are some popular technical problems:

  • No HDMI or VGA entrence at your device
  • Forgeting connectors of computers
  • Forgeting pointer
  • Not having a Wi-Fi connection
  • The stage is too bright
  • Forgeting USB
  • Forgeting mailing yourself
  • Forgeting email password
  • Non matching screen vs file dimensions
  • Non matching colors on screen vs projector light
  • Not having a speaker
  • Slow downloading videos

3. Not using the time well

Your presentation runs over time or is too short because of a lack of content. Perhaps you talked too fast. This is very easy to solve. Time your practice run and adjust your content accordingly. In fact, Decktopus let’s you set time limits for each slide and manages your content through placing limits on the word- count. Just go to rehearse screen and change times on timers.

4. Lack or Abundance of Visuals

Too much can distract your audience. Too few can make your audience lose attention on your content. Finding the golden ratio may be a little bit difficult. Try to place visuals that support not distract from the content. You can also practice on a friend and see how they react to the visuals.

5. Inappropriate humor or attire

This mistake can also be connected to not knowing your audience. This is also widely explained in a previous article. Know who you are talking to and decide on your attire and tone of voice accordingly. Too relaxed and sarcastic may be unfit for a professional environment. So is extra politeness and lack of comical element for a class presentation.

6. Too much

Too much text, too much content to cover, too many slides… A lot can be too much. Many people assume that presentations should be as comprehensive as possible. But, this is not your college dissertation. In fact, keeping it simple and minimizing the number of points you would like to make will save you a lot of effort and time, while keeping your presentation to the point. Read this study to learn more about audience needs. Here is recap about those statistics:

  • Optimal number of a presentation is 10 slides
  • One fourth of a slide should contain text
  • Slides should include visuals!
  • A fifth of the audience look at another screen while listening to someone
  • Average attention span is about 10-15 minutes
  • The story is the most memorable part of a presentation
  • An audience expect engaging speaker
  • Three quarter of people reuse a slide
  • It takes at least a couple of hours to prepare 10 slides
  • Presentations should be mandatory at school

7. Poor Delivery

Creating the content is hard, but delivery of the content may be even harder. Talking too fast, not maintaining eye-contact, being too loud, being too quiet… These are all pitfalls for the poor presentation-giver. Watch out for these and consider educating yourself on public speaking.

Refer to this video for more information on common presentation mistakes!

Do not dwell on the past bad presentations you made. Dwell on the future and how you can change it. Noticing common mistakes is the first step to change them for the better. Go decktopus.com and create the perfect presentation now!

Some articles for inspiration:

Also make sure to check out our social media accounts to get daily insights about presentations, public speaking and inspirational quotes:

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