Have you ever given a presentation where you felt that the audience were not attentive to you and your content? You pulled an all nighter to create some awesome slides but the audience seem happy to browse their phones or even look at the ceiling during your presentation. Well, there might be some mistakes that you are doing that you need to avoid.
Here are the list of six simple things that you might be doing wrong.
Not-knowing the audience
Custom-design your presentation to fit the needs of your audience. Find out the size and demographics of your audience beforehand. What are the ranks and positions of the people who will be attending? Who are the decision-makers? How much knowledge do they have of the subject you will be presenting? What is their native language? What other cultural expectations or protocol should you be aware of? By considering such factors beforehand, you increase the effectiveness of your presentation dramatically.
Avoiding eye contact
Have you ever attended a presentation where the presenter spent all of his time looking at the notes, the screen, the floor, or the ceiling? Did you like the presentation?
Meeting a person's gaze establishes a personal connection, and even a quick glance can keep people engaged. If your audience is small enough, try to make eye contact with each individual at least once.
If the audience is too large for this, try looking at people's foreheads. The individual may not interpret it as eye contact, but those sitting around them will.
Forgetting to smile
Your face is most important aspect in making a good first impression. Unless you are delivering some bad news, it is suitable for you to smile, even in a business meeting.
Instead –Begin your presentation with a smile, in result your audience will receive your message more willingly. Try to keep smiling during your presentation, particularly when you want to make people laugh. People will respond to a smile by smiling back. Interaction is key for a remarkable presentation.
Not Familiarizing Yourself With the Venue and Equipment
Imagine that your presentation starts in an hour. You arrive at the venue and, to your horror, the projector won't work with your laptop. The slides you spent hours preparing are useless. This is a disaster!
You can avoid a situation like this by taking time to familiarize yourself with the venue and available equipment at least once before your presentation.
Using a monotonous voice
Your voice is the primary means of communicating with your audience. No matter how interesting your material, if you speak in a monotone voice, you will lose your audience. An effective voice should be vital, audible, and clear. Of course, voice will be affected by age, gender, physiology, health, motivation, and past experience. Nevertheless, people of all kinds can learn how to make their voices more effective by learning about voice production, breathing techniques, vocal exercises and voice care. If necessary, work with a voice coach to learn how to improve your voice.
Lack of preparation
Too often a good presentation is ruined because the speaker has not taken the time to prepare. Preparation involves attention to both the personal and professional aspects of the presentation. Personal elements include body language, voice, and appearance. Professional aspects include researching the subject, organizing the content, and preparing the visuals. So, whether your presentation lasts for five minutes, five hours, or five days, you owe it to yourself and your audience to prepare thoroughly.
I hope this article was of help and avoiding these six mistakes will make you a better presenter.
Expert advice: The slides you prepare are just you help you and the main focal point of any presentation should be you, the presenter.