I've been fortunate in not having to sit through a presentation that completely "bombed," and I've been doubly fortunate in that the few presentations that I've delivered left me, my audience, and my organization unscathed!
But I've seen one or two that suffered technical hitches – projector bulbs blowing, dodgy microphones, and the like – and, once or twice, I've felt for a speaker who simply lost the interest of his or her audience, and ploughed on despite its increasingly fidgety and borderline disrespectful behavior.
Speaking as an attendee more than a deliverer, it seems that preparation is the key word when it comes to presentations. Thorough preparation can eliminate most of the mistakes and pitfalls of delivering an effective and informative presentation, which you can explore in our new infographic, 10 Common Presentation Mistakes.
Preparation can also help you to deal with any unexpected problems that you encounter on the day, such as the equipment failures mentioned above.
If I may warm to my theme as an "armchair expert," the presentations that I enjoyed most or found most useful were delivered by speakers who shared a number of characteristics:
It would be an exaggeration to say that your presentation skills could "make or break" your career, but developing a reputation for delivering great presentations will likely be enormously beneficial for your prospects.
What are your experiences of great, and not so great, presentations? Leave a comment, below.
For a long-lasting, fulfilling experience at work, it pays to think carefully before applying for a job.
"The best leaders, the ones who make the most change, know that communications is not a soft skill but a rock-hard competency." -Sally Susman
"He’d also just talk over people, including me. And my reaction was not me at my best. I just sat there in a passive-aggressive huff. " - Simon Bell