Top 20 Reasons Most Presentations Are Horrible And How To Fix Them

bored sleep student

Most business presentations suck. 

They’re boring.

They’re confusing. 

They’re out of touch. 

This gallery explains exactly why most presentations are so dreadful, and what to do make your own presentations better.

Here are 20 common presentation mistakes and how to fix them >>
This post originally appeared on BNET.

Too Freakin' Long

Complicated Graphics

Diagnosis: It's full of busy graphics with lots of little details.

Why It Happens: One picture is worth a thousand words, right? (Uh, wrong.)

What Results: The audience stared glassy-eyed, then pulled out smartphones and started checking emails.

How to Fix It: Only include simple graphics; highlight the data point that's important.

Reading From Slides

Diagnosis:The speaker reads aloud what everyone can read for themselves.

Why It Happens: The speaker is unprepared and using slides as a memory-jogger.

What Results: By the third slide, the audience is ready to kill the presenter.

How to Fix It: Use slides to reinforce your message rather than to outline your data points.

Unreadable Fonts

Diagnosis: The slides have fonts that are too fancy, too small or both.

Why It Happens: The fonts looked great on the desktop screen; on the projector… not so much.

What Results: The audience squints and peers and then gives up.

How to Fix It: Use large fonts in simple faces (like Ariel); avoid boldface, italics and UPPERCASE.

Redundant Content

Busy Backgrounds

All Opinion, No Facts


Irrelevant Information

Diagnosis: The speaker includes material that doesn't really belong in the presentation.

Why It Happens: The speaker isn't clear about the message that needs to be conveyed.

What Results: The audience loses the train of thought.

How to Fix It: Only include material that's relevant to your overall message.

Crappy Clip Art

Diagnosis: It has graphics lifted directly from a low-grade clip art library.

Why It Happens: Somebody was trying to save a few bucks and a few minutes.

What Results: The audience figures that the speaker is too cheap to do it right.

How to Fix It: If you've got to use clip art, buy the good stuff.

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