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This blog is a continuation of our previous blog, where we discussed the traits of a successful presenter.  We discussed how a professional presenter is always tuned to his audience and handles Q&A sessions impeccably. While we have discussed the things you must do, there’s another side to this coin – things that you mustn’t do. If you are an amateur and looking to impress your audience, here’s a list of things you must steer clear of:

Don’t Be Afraid Of Being Nervous:

Unless it is not crippling, a little anxiety is alright. The fight or flight is an important part of the evolutionary process and is a part of our survival mechanism. Facing a live audience is one of the many perceived threats that trigger the fight or flight response in the body. It takes around 20 minutes for the body to come back to its normal relaxed state. Your job is to ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’ to this stress early on during the presentation. Some of the ways by which you can handle this include:

  1. If you can lie on your back with your arms and legs spread wide. Now imagine a warm feeling in your head – as if you can sense the tension being released there. Gradually allow this feeling to transcend throughout the body.
  2. Breathe slowly, deliberately, and through the belly. Breathing through the diaphragm helps to reduce blood pressure and slows heart palpitations.
  3. If you cannot do any of the above, move! Yes, moving while using hand gestures helps to release tightened muscles and manage nervousness.

If you are still nervous, admit it to your audience! Trust me, audiences always rooting for the under-confident presenter and want them to succeed. Use a little humor to convey this – you will seem more relatable to the audience.

Don’t Read The Presentation:

This is one of the most annoying mistakes that any amateur presentation could make. PowerPoint slides are a visual aid that must be used as a reference and not a crutch to prop a failing presentation. When discussing PowerPoint presentation ideas with the design team, make sure you don’t go overboard on those bullet points – each slide should have no more than six points. But of course, you don’t have to keep sentence length and layout identical for all the slides; the presentation may look dull and boring. If turning back to read the content is a habit you cannot get rid of easily, try including slides with just pictures and no words. It keeps the audiences focused and interested. At our PowerPoint presentation agency, this is one of the most common suggestions that we offer our clients.

Don’t Sprinkle The Content With Fillers:

Using fillers like ummhms and uhhs are often a sign that you do not have enough subject matter knowledge. Or, a lack of practice. Sometimes, it could be a sign of nerves. If that is the case, focus on three elements, viz. visual, vocal, and verbal factors. Walk around, use your hands and arms while speaking. Speak at a medium pace and a moderate volume. Practice your presentation multiple times before a mirror.

Don’t Waste The Audience’s Time:

It’s easy to be tempted to take your audience on a long-winded journey about your company, its ideas, visions, etc. But unless it contributes to the presentation, you could end up annoying people. And when you are singing your praises, remember to keep it short!

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