Presentations- What NOT to do! - [website] Email Print
Published: 8th of May 2020 by: Carolyn Kessler

We are called upon to sell ourselves, our knowledge, our ideas virtually every day and most of us are dead scared of being put on the spot.

This is the reason our Presentation Skills workshops are so popular. This is a skill we cannot afford to do without and conversely, it's a skill we can all build.

Without exception, when I work with delegates on a presentation workshop, both in person and online, they express a mixture of anxiety and excitement with regards to developing their skills in the arena of presenting.

Even those who have been fulfilling this function for some time, still feel intimidated when called upon to present to colleagues at a meeting, a proposal to a client, stand behind a lectern and speak to dozens of people and/or any other situation where we need step into the limelight.

There is a common misconception that, if you're an extrovert you'll be a naturally good presenter, and if you're an introvert, you will never be able to master this skill. Neither of these assumptions is true. Everyone, with preparation and practise, can become a good presenter.

What we aren't reading is the second word - 'skill'. If something is a skill and you have sufficient interest, aptitude and a great attitude, you can learn to become a competent presenter.

Understand that every single one of us, introvert and extrovert alike, is actually presenting to someone or groups continuously. The required outcome is always a need or wish to convince someone else that we are credible, worth getting to know, knowledgeable or generally able to add value to their day.

I have listed some of the most common mistakes people make when developing your ability in this area:

1. Do not go into it unprepared. Irrespective of how good your communication skills are, lack of preparation will be your down fall. Interestingly, the introverts amongst us are most unlikely to try to wing it. Our extroverts can be over confident. It's really tempting to rely on our confidence to mitigate a lack of good preparation.

2. Do not forget to practise with your electronic aids before-hand, so you know exactly how each device operates. This needs to be seamless.

3. Never simply read your speech off the power point slides on your screen. Your audience can do that for themselves. Understand that aids are there to re-inforce what you are saying, not take the place of what you should be explaining.

4. Do not arrive late. Give yourself plenty of time to get there and set up before people start arriving.

5. Don't speak on a subject which you haven't researched. I like to think that the information you have included in your presentation is just the tip of the ice-berg, and the hidden bulk represents the rest of your knowledge on the subject. The more you know, the more confident you will feel.

6. Do not try to be a stand-up comic. Use humour sparingly - it's a great icebreaker, but only if you are able to carry it off naturally.

Our Presentation Skills course is designed to take the guess work out of delivering a killer presentation. We can equip you with this skill via Facilitator-led online sessions and through follow-up coaching. Give us a call!

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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