Top five presentation don’ts

I must confess that reading an article on the very same subject, reminded me of some public speaking blunders I had made, which drove me to write my own list of “Don’ts.

As a Director at a management meeting I had decided to comment on the good performance of all the managers present. It went well until I forgot one person. To this day I can’t recall how I managed to forget her either. She was fairly new to her roll in purchasing and a great asset. Indeed if there was one person I would not want to miss out it would be her, but forget to mention her I did and it was such an embarrassment!

Thus  the number one don’t must be – Don’t try and mention everyone in a meeting by name, unless you’re prepared to slip up and no amount of apologizing can re-do the harm.

Number 2 has to be “Don’t trash your own product”. Of course it might not be the best, but thinking of the famous Gerald Ratner’s comment that ruined his high street jewellery company, wiping £500m off the share value almost overnight. Keep those feelings to yourself for the moment. The lectern is simply not the place.

Number 3 on the list of don’ts must be “don’t forget to prepare”. When I was learning to train, I remember to this day that one hour of presentation would take 18 hours of preparation and even if some disagree with the mathematics we should certainly recognize that good preparation is essential and to fail to do so will leave you struggling at the lectern looking foolish and feeling embarrassed in front of the very people who you would want to impress.

Number 4 is a big no no-“Don’t risk a drop of Dutch courage, you may think it will calm your nerves and indeed it might. Others have tried before you with disastrous results.

Number 5 and the last but not least is don’t forget the name of your guests or fellow presenters. Write it down, write it on the back of your hand if needs be, but don’t forget it. Few who saw it forget the embarrassment of the interviewer that confused Samuel L Jackson for Laurence Fishburne. The ongoing lambasting of the news anchor was truly cringe worthy for the interviewer with Samuel J saying “we don’t all look alike”.

avatar Name: Alex Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.” Visit Alex's G+ Profile. and Twitter
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