To be honest, I am a naturally positive kind of a guy and so my normal approach is to focus on what to do and not what not to do.   Sometimes, however, there is merit in looking at the negatives first, just as long as you then turn them into positives.   With that  in mind, here is my list of things NOT to do before a presentation.

  1. Choose a topic and content that is completely irrelevant to your audience.
  2. Write out your whole speech as a “script”, don’t be tempted just to create an outline and a few bullet points.
  3. Copy the script, verbatim, into your slides so that you can read out every word. You don’t want to waste time with the tedious task of memorising it do you? Who cares if the audience fall asleep?
  4. Fill your speech with as much jargon, obscure technical phrases and abbreviations as you can so that you can show your audience how just how smart you really are.
  5. Get drunk and stay up partying all night before your big presentation.
  6. Give yourself plenty of time to recall, in vivid detail, ALL your past presentation failures.  Then imagine everything that can go wrong with this upcoming presentation.   Be sure to feel all the shame and embarrassment you can.
  7. Practice giving your speech in the most monotonous and flat voice you can. Tip –  hypnotherapists and rail announcers often make good role models for this skill.

So there you have it. If you want to give better presentations then avoid these seven things you could do before your presentation to make sure it is a complete and utter disaster!   Feel free to add a few more of your own suggestions – just leave me a comment in the box below.

Gavin Meikle
The Presentation Doctor

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