Dee recently presented at the Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club as well as taking an Engage Executive workshop for some of our clients. Here she has written a post exclusively for our blog.
The 7 Most Common Mistakes To Avoid When Delivering A Business Presentation.
Do you know anyone making these 7 mistakes in business presentations? Are you or those around you guilty of maybe a few of these? To learn more about these mistakes and how to avoid them next time you stand up to give a presentation read on:
The mnemonic “M.I.S.T.A.K.E” will help you remember the 7 most common mistakes to avoid.
Monkeys – Do you ever hear quiet whispers or loud yelling of negative voices in your head saying things like “You’re Rubbish and Boring!” or “You’re gonna forget what to say”, well those are the Public Speaking Monkeys. The problem with the monkeys is that they cause a presenter to be on a downward spiral before they even start their talk. These negative and destructive thoughts or monkey voices must be tamed before giving a presentation or the presenter will suffer from nerves and just won’t find it easy to be themselves, let alone impress the audience.
Individual – As a presenter it is important to know your own style, it is important for you to be natural, so if you are funny, bring in appropriate humour; if you are knowledgeable, bring in applicable facts. You’ll want to express your “natural” body language so that it matches what you are saying, rather than displaying unnatural nervous body language. If your message is complicated, identify ways in which to explain any complex issues. For seasoned presenters it’s always a good idea to find your individual style and stick to it – don’t try to be someone else!
Story – As individuals we all like to hear a good story. So a good approach when making a presentation is to tell people a true story. A much used presentation tip is to deliver case studies, testimonials and customer feedback stories in business presentations, ensuring confidentiality is never breached.
Timing – The most common mistake in business presentations is to underestimate the time required, inevitably presenters go over their allocated time, which is very unprofessional. Practice out loud and allow time for questions, breaks etc. I recommend structuring your presentation using the 4MAT, which means that should you need to adapt the presentation (even last minute) for time reasons, you can easily do so.
Action – At the end of business presentations there should always be an action that needs to be completed, unfortunately, lots of presenters forget this. It is imperative to tell the audience what action you want them to take and how they should do it. In a sales type presentation you might be asking them to make a decision over a purchase, but in a less formal presentation the action might be to sign up to the newsletter or free quote etc.
Keep sake – People tend to buy a product or service when they need it and not before – this style of purchase can be described as a distress purchase. As an example, a presentation training course may be as bought as a result of a staff appraisal or in the lead up to a specific presentation. If the company only identifies that they need presentation training just before delivering that all important business presentation it is critical to be remembered at that crucial moment. By giving someone a unique message, theme or promotional product they are more likely to have your name available, when they need to find you to book that presentation course. In the past, I have used monkey mints, key rings, magnets, pencil cases but I would suggest you choose something that is relevant to you and your business; think about what items you have been given in the past and are still using today. I often leave a potential client with a copy of my book Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys.
Engage – For effective engagement, you need to know your audience; who are they, what are they looking for, what are they trying to achieve by listening to you. Encourage audience engagement through interaction and participation; make them feel a part of what you are telling them. Additional information on generating audience interaction is available from How to…presentation skills – Audience Interaction Blog.
Without recognizing these 7 most common mistakes you may be wasting both your time and that of your audience but if avoided you will be delivering hugely improved business presentations. The following is an extract from the full report so if you’d like to then please click here to read that in more detail
Dee Clayton is a multi award winning presentation skills trainer, speaker and author and heads up Dee Clayton Ltd which focuses on the needs of individuals who want to overcome their fear of public speaking or take their skills to the next level. Dee is also founder of Simply Amazing Training Ltd who specialize in bespoke communication skills training requirements for teams and senior executives – call 01202 798128 for more information.