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10 BAD HABITS THAT CAN RUIN YOUR NEXT PRESENTATION
Starting with an Apology Even You're late, your equipment malfunctions, you don't have your materials, or whatever. You apologize in advance for how this might affect your presentation. Because An apology sets a negative tone that may affect the entire meeting and makes you seem like a victim. Nobody wants to do business with a victim.
What to do instead? Start on an upbeat note, as if nothing is wrong. This communicates that you're cool under pressure--the opposite of being a victim.
Asking for Extra Time You feel you don't have sufficient time to communicate your important information, so you request extra time.
What to do instead? Adapt your presentation down so that it fits the allotted time. If you're late, end your presentation when it's scheduled to end.
Shooting Slide Barrages This usually happens when initial slides spark discussion so you lay a "guilt trip" on your audience members to keep them quiet while you finish up. "I have 15 minutes left, and I'm through only 20 of my 58 PowerPoint slides, so I'm going to be going through this last bit a little fast." For Example :
What to do instead? Adapt the remainder of your presentation so that it addresses what was discussed, because that's clearly what's important to your audience.
Making Personal Excuses You downgrade the audience's expectations by offering an excuse in advance for your poor performance. (E.g., "I'm so tired"; "I got in late last night."). You're giving yourself an excuse so you won't feel so bad if you fail. Plus, nobody wants to hear you whine about your problems.
What to do instead? Regardless of how you're feeling, show enthusiasm for being there and make your best effort.
Killing Audience With Bullets and Bad Slides People who are experts in design say that bullet points are the worst way to learn and impart information. Yet what is the standard template in PowerPoint? Title and bullets. The standard template makes it easy to be boring.
What to do instead? Don't bash the software; bash the person using the software. Second: Don't make every slide look the same (i.e., Title, Bullets; Title, Bullets). Use images with little or no text on slides to discuss ideas or concepts, which is also a great way to engage the audience.
Reading from Your Slides Your slides reflect your thinking on a subject, so you read your slides aloud to the audience in order to replicate your thought process. Presumably everyone in your audience can read, so you're not just being boring, you're insulting them.
What to do instead? Use slides as visual signposts for the points you're making rather than a written version or summary of those points.
Turning Your Back You keep turning around to read from your slides or staring down to read from your notes. You're compounding the mistake of reading by being rude and unprofessional.
What to do instead? Face your audience members and look at them while you're presenting. If necessary, take a quick glance, but keep your focus on where it belongs: them.
Talking Too Fast You've got a lot of material to cover, so you talk fast to get through all of it. If you need to talk fast, your presentation is too long. Plus, fast talk makes you sound either nervous or like a stereotypical "fast talking'" salesperson.
What to do instead? Cut your presentation down so fast talk isn't necessary. If you're talking fast because you're nervous, write "SLOW DOWN!" on each page of your notes.
Talking Too Long "Nobody is as interested in you as you think they are,“. Most people listening to presentations tend to tune out after about 10 minutes. Based on expert opinion and research in cognitive functions. So keep the presentation to less than 20 minutes.
What to do instead? If your presentation has to be long, break it into 10-minute chunks. "At every 10 minutes or so, try to reengage the audience with something different
Ignore Your Body Language You keep fiddling with your papers, fingering your jewelry, scratching yourself, etc. Anything that distracts your audience from your message is making that message less effective.
What to do instead? As you rehearse your presentation, rehearse how you'll stand and where you'll put your hands. Rehearse enough, and your tics will disappear.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT firstname.lastname@example.org