5 Crucial Mistakes You Should Avoid On Presentation

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an “okay” presenter. Unfortunately, being able to effectively present to an audience is beneficial to the majority of opportunities in life.

You’d be missing out on a lot if you don’t try to take your presentation skills to the next level.

These skills include being able to communicate and create slides that will captivate your audience.

We’ve packed this post with crucial mistakes that you should avoid when delivering a presentation. Let this be a guide on how you can take your presentation skills to the level.

Not Defining The Goal of The Presentation

Crucial Mistakes You Should Avoid On Presentation

Having a goal for your presentation benefits both the presenter and the audience. With a goal in mind, you as the presenter would be able to better deliver your message to the audience. You will be able to identify the proper method that will be most effective in achieving your goal. 

For example, if your goal is to inspire your audience, you can look to real-life stories of well-known subjects that can touch the hearts of your audience. Meanwhile, if your goal is to educate, you can take informative pieces and include only the essential ones in the presentation slides. That way, you can present important information to your audience without having to overwhelm them with too much information. 

Without setting a goal for the presentation, there is a possibility that the entire discussion will only go around in circles. You may not be able to connect to your audience the way you’d like.

Not Defining Your Audience

You could say that your audience is a group of Grade 12 students. But by defining your audience, you have to dig deeper. 

Take a sheet of paper and write the words “Grade 12 students” but under that, you could also add other information such as:

• What school the students are from
• Age
• Gender
• Nationality
• Hobbies
• Preferred communication method
• Mindset

Those are just some examples. You could add more to the list as you see fit. But it is important to have a deeper understanding of who you are going to present to. When delivering a presentation, you have to think about your audience. What do they expect from you? How do they want you to present? 

You will only be able to answer these questions if you have defined who your audience is. 

Forgetting To Scope Out The Venue Ahead Of Time

Crucial Mistakes You Should Avoid On Presentation

Lots of things can go wrong with regards to presentations. Your file could get corrupted. Your laptop could lose power. There could be some other technical difficulties that you didn’t expect beforehand. 

But one of the things that most beginner presenters forget to do is to scope out the venue ahead of time. 

You could have a nice venue in mind. And let’s say that you didn’t have it reserved because you believed that there wouldn’t be a lot of people going after the date and time that you chose. But as the date of the presentation draws near, you give the venue a call and you realize that the place has been booked. 

You can always look for a different venue but if you do, you’d be short on time already. You’d end up having to reschedule the presentation which can take a lot of time. If you’d only prepared the venue early on, you could use whatever remains of your time to practice the presentation instead. 

Reading Your Presentation Slides

As a presenter, it is important to lay out information in a way that everyone in the audience will understand.

When you simply read your slides during a presentation, more often than not, your audience will most likely stop listening to you. This is because reading is something they can do on their own. 

Instead of reading your slides, we recommended that you start with a single-sentence introduction that summarizes the main point. After that, you can provide just a quick explanation of what the slide is trying to point out. If you can also provide situational examples, this would also be most ideal before moving on to the next slide. 

Regardless of what your presentation objective is, being able to communicate and send your message to your audience should be your top priority. You won’t be able to reach your objective if you are unable to communicate properly or if your audience is not listening to you.

Inappropriately Designing Your Presentation

Crucial Mistakes You Should Avoid On Presentation

While preparing for your presentation, you could be tempted to add multiple design elements to your presentation. More is not always better in the case of designing presentations. If a presentation is too flashy, the audience will tend to become less interested in the 
When the audience stops paying attention to the slides, they will most likely talk to their seatmate or look at their phone. Since you no longer have people’s attention, it will be more difficult for you to reach and connect to your audience. 

We recommend that you practice minimalism. Select one or two color palettes that you’d like to use for your slides. Make your presentation more visual by adding images, videos, and infographics. Statistics show that high-quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read compared to just reading texts.

Do not add too much text. Perhaps a one or two-liner sentence will do. Remember to also utilize bullets and lists if possible to make it less boring. Most importantly, do not obsess too much with slide animations. Keep the presentation simple but eye-catching. 

Final Takeaway

Presenting in front of groups of people is an art on its own. Being able to craft a beautiful presentation is another. Mastering both can help you get ahead of your competition. 

One of the initial steps into mastering it would be to become acquainted with common mistakes that can ruin your presentation. For example, ask for feedback from the people who listened to you so you know what to work on the next time.

We hope that you’ve gained a lot of insight from this blog post. 

How was your first time hosting a presentation? Maybe you could let us know some of the mistakes you have made in the comment section. We would love to hear how you were able to conquer and learn from it.
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