Nancy Duarte has published several books on presentations. The last one is the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. Here are some of her tips on creating and delivering presentations.
We all know what it’s like to sit through a bad presentation. We can easily spot the flaws — too long, too boring, indecipherable, what have you — when we watch others speak. The thing is, when we take the stage ourselves, many of us fall into the same traps.
Illustration by Andrew Joyner on Businessweek.com
Here are five of the most common, along with some tips on how to avoid them.
- Failing to engage emotionally : Try opening with a story your audience can relate to, for example, or including analogies that make your data more meaningful.
- Asking too much of your slides: Create handouts from all that text you’ve pulled off your slides and moved into “notes.”
- Trotting out tired visuals: Brainstorm lots of visual concepts — and throw away the first ones that came to mind.
- Speaking in jargon: If they can’t follow your ideas, they won’t adopt them.
- Going over your allotted time: There’s nothing worse than a presentation that seems like it will never end.
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