Avoid the Most Common Five Presentation Sins!

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Avoid the Most Common Five Presentation Sins!

“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.", Dorothy Sarnoff
“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”, Dorothy Sarnoff

I would like to write a hint about something we do so frequently and so poorly! It is ‘Presentations’.

In business world, there are very common activities. one of them is presentations. There are 30 million presentations are done every single business day around the world. But the question here: How many of them are effective,  memorable, and convincing?

Most of presentations have one or more of below sins:

1- No Clarity – It is a mysterious talk about unclear objectives.

 Symptoms: Audience would ask a simple question after presentation “What was all that about?”, “What is the point?”.

2- No Benefit – audience keeps searching for the objectives and goals of the presentation.

Symptoms: Audience are repeatedly asking “so what?”, “What is in it for me?”, “Why am I here?”

3- No Clear Flow- The sequence of ideas is so confusing that it leaves the audience behind, unable to follow.

Symptoms: Audience are repeatedly asking “How did we get to this point?”, “Where did we come from to here?”

4- Too Detailed – So many facts are presented, including facts that are overly technical or irrelevant, that the main point is obscured.

Symptoms: Audience are repeatedly asking “What does this mean?”, “I am confused.”

5- Too Long – The audience loses focus and gets bored before the presentation ends.

Symptoms: Audience are repeatedly asking “When will this finish?”, “I need a break!”

In order to illustrate above sins in a more vivid manner, let me imagine that we (me and you) are sitting together chatting. You asked me a simple question, “Do you recommend me to buy the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1?”.

My reply to you could be “It is a great gadget. You can use its stylus as if it a real pen on paper”. “You know you can also use its HD rear camera to capture fabulous photos and videos”. “Accessories are also available now in the market”. “Wifi connectivity is amazing with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, and Wi-Fi hotspot”.

If we analyzed my reply above you can find. I committed sin#1 in my reply. Since I did not have clear objective. The real objective of your question if I recommend it or not. But this kept unanswered! Also sin#2 was committed since the real benefit for you is not achieved yet through my recommendation.

I kept jumping from physical specs to features to availability of accessories back to technical specs with no clear line of though (sin#3). My reply was too detailed for a simple question committing sin#4. You spent listening to me for a couple of minutes with no clear answer to your question and too long reply (sin#5).

It is an extreme example, but it illustrates common communication and presentations faults we commit every day every time without even noticing them!

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Comments (2)

  • Mohamed Ramadan M. Ali Reply

    Very interesting subject Mohamed.

    Example is very good way to communicate lasting ideas and I strongly recommend that you include also the same example formatted in a way that avoids those concerns/sins.

    February 9, 2013 at 3:00 am
    • Mohamed Abdel Moneim Reply

      Thanks Ramadan – yes examples are the best way for illustrating and explaining ideas. it is like diagramming and pictures. i will do in another post suggesting solutions to the same example to be connected – thx for comment.

      February 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

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