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Presentation Pratfalls

In his book Presenting to Win, Jerry Weissman addresses the top five flaws in business presentations. To whit:

  • “No clear point.” The audience leaves the presentation wondering what it was all about. How many times have you sat “all the way through” a presentation and, at the end, said to yourself, “What was the point?”
  • “No audience benefit.” The presentation fails to show how the audience can benefit from the information presented. How many times have you sat through a presentation and “repeatedly” said to yourself, “So what?”
  • “No clear flow.” The sequence of ideas is so confusing that it leaves the audience behind, unable to follow. How many times have you sat through a presentation and, at some point, said to yourself, “Wait a minute! How did the presenter get ‘there?'”
  • “Too detailed.” So many facts are presented, including facts that are overly technical or irrelevant, that the main point is obscured. How many times have you sat in on a presentation and, at some point, said to yourself, “What does ‘that’ mean?”
  • “Too long.” The audience loses focus and gets bored before the presentation ends. How many times in your entire professional career have you “ever” heard a presentation that was too “short?”

Perhaps Bill Jensen‘s “Know, feel, do,” concept could help. What do you want people in the audience to know? How do you want them to feel about it? What do you want them to do?