Presentations are scary business. For some, it’s the public speaking part that makes them buckle at the knees. For others, it’s the fear of putting everyone to sleep that makes them worry about every detail.
But killer presentations aren’t a “pie in the sky.” You simply need to throw out all your old ideas about presentations and subscribe to a new playbook for killer presentations.
You need a what-not-to-do guide. Here it is.
5 Don’ts for Killer Presentations
Use these five don’ts as a sort of checklist to review before you make any presentation.
- You’re rehashing old news. One of the biggest complaints about meetings and presentations is that everyone already knows what’s on the agenda. If you’re simply recapping recent events, send an email with a short, pre-recorded video presentation instead. If you still think it’s worthwhile to review the material, at least make your presentation interactive and unearth concerns and creative ideas by asking questions, taking polls, soliciting feedback and assigning action items.
- You’re vomiting data. Third-party statistics and analysis give your presentation instant credibility. However, if you’re burying it in bullets and text, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Complex sets of data perform best if visualized in presentations. Create pie charts and graphs instead of writing it out in bullets so your audience can instantly grasp the point. If you have a powerful percentage, isolate it and place it by itself on a single slide for more impact. Good data makes your audience think—if you present it the right way.
- You’re reading the slides. Presentation slides are meant to be supportive elements, not the crux of your presentation. Your audience is fully capable of reading what’s on the screen, so you’re only boring them by repeating what they’ve already read. Instead, use slides with images, quotes, data visuals, etc. to reinforce what you’re saying. Besides, your slides should be simple and entertaining enough that they can speak for themselves—they shouldn’t need explaining.
- You’re focusing on “what,” not “why.” Whether you’re making a pitch to a prospect or inspiring your own team, your presentation is only as good as you prove why it matters to your audience. “People do not buy your ‘what.’ They buy your ‘why’,” according to General Assembly. Be sure your presentation is personalized to who you’re speaking with.
- You’re not including a call to action. Just like any good piece of content, presentations need some sort of call to action at the end. Do you want someone to buy something? Ask! Do you want your audience to rethink the way they feel about something? End with a though-provoking question! It’s highly unlikely that your audience will remember every slide, stat and thought you presented, so give them a takeaway instead of simply ending with, “Any questions?”
Now, for some killer do’s, check out these 10 Fun Presentation Ideas to Spice up Your Meetings and 10 More Fun Presentation Ideas. Also, you can download “The Science of Killer Sales Presentations” for free right now from PGi.