You’ve got a big presentation coming up where you’re going to talk to your investors about your product. You already know what you want to say, but that doesn’t make you any less nervous. This is a normal emotion.
Your fear won’t ruin your speech. Other business presentation mistakes will do that. For instance, not going to the venue until the day you give your speech.
You play a dangerous game by doing that. That’s only one thing that you can do to ruin your presentation. Keep reading for a whole list of things that you shouldn’t do and learn how to avoid them.
1. Not Defining Your Goal
Preparing for presentations can be hard if you don’t know why you’re giving a speech in the first place. You can’t even write the script if you don’t know what your goal is.
You can try to step up to the podium and wing it, but that doesn’t work out too well for most people. Take a moment to sit down and think about why you’re giving your speech.
Is it to inform your audience about your product? Do you want to persuade them to use your services? Do you want to educate them about your business practices?
Keep in mind that you’re not anchored down to choosing one of these. It’s possible to do an educational business presentation that’s also persuasive.
Don’t try to put too many eggs in one basket, though. If you make a presentation that’s meant to educate, entertain, and persuade, things can get a little cluttered. You want to have some focus.
It doesn’t matter if you know your subject matter like the back of your hand, you need to prepare, at least a little before you have to give your presentation. Some people can procrastinate in writing their speeches until the night before giving them, but they are a rare breed.
There’s also a lot more that goes into a presentation than talking. You’ve got to write your speech outline, create your PowerPoint slides, book the venue, and more.
If you’re drawing a blank on your outline, it might be a good idea for you to seek out a speechwriter for hire. You won’t be able to book one of these the night before and expect them to finish it in time. They’re professionals, but they’re still human.
You’ve got to practice business presentations as well. If you don’t read it out loud a few times, you may find yourself stumbling over your words when it comes time to talk in front of your audience.
3. Reading From Note Cards
If you don’t practice your presentation well enough, there’s a good chance that you’ll fall into the trap of reading off your note cards. There’s nothing wrong with glancing down every now and again to refresh yourself, but you shouldn’t stare at them the entire time you’re giving your presentation.
For one, it makes you look like an amateur. You lose credibility when you begin to read from your notes because it appears that you don’t know anything about your subject matter.
For two, you’ll slip into your reading voice. Instead of sounding bright and conversational like you’re supposed to sound, you’ll come across as boring and robotic. There’s almost nothing that will make your audience tune out faster.
4. Going Under or Over Your Time Limit
When it comes to giving a presentation, you have a certain time limit that you have to fall into. If you go over or under that time limit, it doesn’t look good for you.
Investors and other big businessmen and women hate having their time wasted. Going over shows them that you don’t respect their time so they won’t respect you. Going under makes it appear like you don’t know enough about your subject.
The easiest way to avoid falling into this trap is to time yourself while you’re practicing your speech. If you fall a little under, add padding to one of your slides to increase your time. If you’re going over, you might be able to cut a slide or two to shave some minutes off your presentation.
5. Boring Slide Designs
Investors and other professionals have seen a lot of PowerPoint business presentations in their day. They have seen the same played-out themes over and over again. They don’t want to see them again.
You’re going to need to spice things up if you want to keep them interested. You can download themes from the internet to add to your slides. Find something that’s professional, yet visually appealing.
Speaking of PowerPoint design, nothing screams amateur like overusing transitions or cramming too much font onto a single slide. Keep it simple.
6. Don’t Wrestle With Technology the Day of
You should never wait until the day of your presentation to visit the venue. There’s too much that you need to hash out. The main thing is your tech.
Do a practice run of your speech while running your audio and video. This way, if something doesn’t work, you can fix it before you have to give the actual presentation.
7. Not Holding Your Audience’s Attention
The last tip we have for you is to do what you can to hold your audience’s attention. Change your speech patterns throughout to emphasize certain words.
It’s hard, but do your best not to talk with your hands. Doing so can be pretty distracting.
Depending on your audience, you shouldn’t use too much technical jargon. You’ll only confuse people and cause them to mentally dip out of your presentation.
Business Presentation Mistakes Everyone Makes
Giving a speech can be a nerve-racking experience. The slightest thing you do could cause your audience to stop paying attention. That’s the last thing you want.
The only way to avoid these business presentation mistakes is to make sure that you practice beforehand. Doing so will help you shake the nerves and give a speech that nobody will forget.
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