Once again I’ve just watched a presentation where the speaker begins with three slides about their organisation – three slides! And what is more, he apologised for ‘having to do this’.
- Remember that someone is going to introduce you and your organisation. They will do this either just before you talk, or it will be in the documents the audience have. The beginning of a presentation is not the place to repeat this.
- The audience want you to talk about what you’re there to talk about. They don’t yet know whether you’re worth listening to yet, and you will lose their attention very quickly. So make sure that the first things you say are compelling and relevant to them.
- Move the slides about you and your organisation to the end of the presentation, when they want to know more, and what to do next. Instead, focus on the message you want to get across, the one they want to hear.
- NEVER apologise for your presentation, its content, the venue, what’s gone wrong. Just get on with it and be adaptable. No one knows what you’re going to say, so make sure you say what you want them to go away with.
- Rehearse your presentation with the slides you’re going to have. If you don’t like presenting them, change them. That’s better than being apologetic about them.
- If your organisation requires someone else to make your slides, and you’re not happy with them, tell them, don’t tell the audience. We don’t care and it makes you look bad.
- I’ve watched and delivered hundreds of presentations in the last 25 years. But don’t take my word for it, ask your colleagues, and follow your instinct. You know what presentations you’ve enjoyed. Be more like that.
Feel free to share this with the person who decides how your slides should be structured. Happy to take the heat and defend my comments to your marketing department!