9 ways to lose your presentation audience

9 ways to lose your presentation audience

You can bore or even tick off a presentation audience all too quickly. Use this expert advice to take your next presentation to a higher level

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presentation mistakes

6. Making it all about you

While narrative is important, being too self-referential in a presentation is a turn-off. “It’s not about you, it’s about them,” says Roeder. “Focus your presentation on the audience.  Don’t fall into ‘I did this’ or ‘I saved the day with that’.  You’re good for one or two of these, but the bulk of the presentation must be about them.  What is on their mind?  What are they struggling with?  Address their issues and you will be well received.”

7. Asking obvious questions

"It reeks of desperation and usually annoys about half the audience."

“We’ve all seen speakers ask the audience to raise their hands for blatantly obvious questions. It reeks of desperation and usually annoys about half the audience anyway,” says Morrison. Rule of thumb: if you’re going to say the same thing no matter what the answer to the question is, lose the question. Only ask a question if you care about the answer.

8. Not varying tone or volume frequently

Consider the way TV reporters or film narrators vary their tone and delivery. It’s a style that would certainly sound odd in one-on-one conversation but it creates interest when broadcasting yourself to your audience. “Start off at two-thirds of your maximum volume,” says Roeder. “This will give you the opportunity to peak mid-way through your presentation for maximum effect.”  

9. Rehearsing, but not enough

Your goal is to sound conversational. “If you sound like you memorized a speech, or if you’re reading from a script, you might as well show your audience a boring videotape of yourself,” says Carle. “The point to being live is to engage your audience.” 

The key to being able to do that is to know your subject matter cold before you take the stage. Then you can loosen up. “Know your material like the back of your hand to successfully make it look natural,” Morrison says. “The best comedians appear to ‘wing’ their acts, when they actually present their content hundreds of times and perfect the delivery.”

[ Leaders, do you want to give your team a greater sense of urgency? Get our free resource: Fast Start Guide: Creating a sense of urgency, with John Kotter. ]


I like these ideas and plan

I like these ideas and plan on remembering several as I continue teaching and performing in my talks. In communication, as in just about every other facet of life, you never know it all. These tips are more knowledge and that makes you a better prepared speaker. The Power Point comments and the introduction being written by you, are really spot on. Thanks. Here's a link to another way for you to learn and become a better communicator. Enjoy.


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