7 Reasons why Business Presentations Suck

Let’s face it, the idea of having to attend another presentation at work hardly fills you with joy. And if it’s on Zoom, it’s so hard to maintain focus when there are all sorts of interesting distractions around you.

Here we look at the 7 most common reasons why business presentations suck so you can avoid them.

1. It just someone reading words on PowerPoint slides

If anything can kill engagement or interest in a presentation it’s this. PowerPoint has become many people’s default presentation planning tool but in fact, it’s very poor at this job and tends to result in a data-dump.

However, PowerPoint can be an excellent VISUAL aid when it’s loaded with visual elements – diagrams, photos, charts, maps etc. 

2. It's too detailed and overloads the audience

A common problem with Subject Matter Experts is they forget how little the audience knows about the topic compared to them. As a result, they talk, almost as if the audience is as knowledgeable as they are.

This usually occurs because the presenter is focusing on what’s of interest to them, rather than what’s of interest to the people in front of them.

3. It's not engaging and the audience turns off

Audiences – especially Managers – don’t want data. They want the meaning of the data. Statistics and facts are fine but it’s stories, examples, case studies and anecdotes that make a presentation come alive.

If your audience might want to see detailed data, put it in the handout so they can read it later. Don’t subject your audience to information that they don’t want.

4. It's not of value to the audience

It’s not sufficient to present a whole lot of information to an audience and hope that they’ll extract the value. A presenter has to think about how what they present will be relevant to this particular audience and highlight the value.

By determining the right Key Message for this audience as the first step in your presentation planning, you’ll ensure that your presentation will have value.

5. It's not logical and so difficult to follow

A presentation is like a journey with a starting and ending point and with various points of interest along the way. If a presenter leaps around those points they lose their audience and cause a lot of frustration.

The trick is to think about the presentation journey that will be most useful to your audience and then sequence your material in order to lead them your planned destination.

6. It contains unnecessary material

People do not like to have their time wasted so as soon as they are submitted to material of no interest they reach for their phones. A presenter must be a rigorous editor and decide what will stay out of the presentation but be available in written form to those interested.

7. It's overly complex

This makes the presentation difficult to deliver as well as difficult to follow. An effective presenter will simplify complex concepts using analogies and simple examples. If audience members want to delve into the complex then that can happen “off-line.”

The Good News!
- none of these issues are presentation delivery problems

They all relate to the part of the process where you have the most control – the Presentation Planning phase. 

By using an effective presentation planning tool – not PowerPoint – you’ll avoid all the problems listed above because you’ll have designed your presentation around the audiences needs.

On all our courses we teach participants how to use the Effective Speaking SpeakerMap™  which provides a simple step by step planning process from start to finish.

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