The 9 Worst Presentation Mistakes Rookies Make and How To Avoid Them

The 9 Worst Presentation Mistakes Rookies Make and How To Avoid Them

It is not okay to be satisfied with being an “okayish” presenter. If you are, then you would terribly miss out on many real-life benefits. You cannot name any presentation as “perfect”—it simply doesn’t exist. We are all bound to make mistakes—rookies and experts alike. But that’s fine; we’re not robots. Humans are inherently prone to make errors. In this article, we will discuss how as a rookie in presentation, you should avoid the most common presentation mistakes to make your first step towards becoming an expert in presenting.

1. Not setting your presentation goal

Before you even plan the content, you should decide on what you wish to achieve by rendering your presentation. Do you want to educate, influence, entertain, or convince your audience? Setting a goal is always the first step of any accomplishment, thus this rule applies to delivering an excellent presentation too.

2. Not identifying your target audience

You must begin with identifying the demographics of the people whom you are addressing. It includes:

  • Language
  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Education
  • Career, etc.,

These demographics considerably affect the way people perceive and react to your presentation. You must make sure that the subject matter of your presentation is in the interest of your target audience. If you attend one of our presentation training workshops, you would meet people from various demographics. Networking with them would help you better prepare for your upcoming presentation.

3. Not knowing your audience

Once you have identified whom you are going to address, you must thoroughly research the expectations and needs of your audience. It would be useful if you could undertake an online survey. Or it would be much better to talk in-person to a few prospective attendees. 

4. Not deciding your presentation formality

How do you want your audience to perceive you? Hilarious? Intriguing? Serious? Inspiring? This largely depends on the subject of your presentation and your audience. So it is better to decide beforehand whether you want to sound formal, informal or neutral. Although, sometimes, you have to check the pulse of the audience at the beginning of your presentation and travel along with them accordingly.

5. Not making your audience engage with you

You obviously want the attention of your audience while you are presenting. In order to attain that, you should first convince them as to why they must listen to what you are saying. You must make them aware of what and what not to expect from your presentation. If you could convey that effectively, you are more likely to engage your audience until the end of your presentation. If you have trouble keeping your audience engaged, then you might want to try out one of our presentation skills training courses.

6. Not beginning to prepare your content well in advance

Preparing slides for your presentation is similar to writing a research paper. The difference is presentation has more fun. Kicking off your first slide can be hard. But once you start, you won’t believeideas will flow in your head like a river. If you think you need help, try one of our effective presentation skills training courses that are tailor-made to suit your requirements.

You would need to review your slides more than twice to be sure that there is consistency and proper flow. If you start preparing your slides only the day before your “big day,” you will most probably carry a dozen flaws that will spoil your reputation.

7. Not checking if the file is working

You may have worked way too hard to create spectacular slides, but if you are unable to access the file during your turn, then your day is ruined. So irrespective of the file format—Powerpoint, Google Slides or Keynote, make sure that all the slides are viewable on the computer that you’d be using to present.

8. Using too much text

If your slides are self-explanatory, then YOU are not required to present. So avoid cramming too much information into a slide. Your slides should not take authority over you, they should merely support your point.

Use the 80-20 rule. If each of your slides carries 80% image and 20% text, your audience is more likely to be engaged with your slides.

9. Not dressing appropriately

First impression matters. Yes, it’s 2021—it still matters, and it always will. Your clothes communicate with your audience before you even open your mouth. So dress appropriately. If you are not sure, stick to the classics—black or grey business suits look professional. If someone else is lending their suit to you, make sure it fits. Although buying your own suit is definitely a good investment.

These are some of the fundamentals you must bear in mind while preparing for a presentation. If you interested in developing presentation skills and techniques, feel free to contact us. We offer general presentation skills training workshops and also provide customized presentation skills training courses based on your needs.


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