Presentation Blunders You’ll Want to Avoid

Have you ever noticed how many intelligent, business-savvy people end up boring their audiences? What many fail to recognize is that public speaking is an acquired skill that improves with practice and grows through honest feedback.

Recognize these common presentation mistakes—and make it your goal to steer clear of them.

  • Starting sluggishly

Don’t start with “Thank you for that kind introduction.” Blah, blah, blah… Instead, start with a bang! Give the audience a startling statistic, an interesting quote or a news headline, or tell a story—something powerful that will immediately grab their attention.

  • Failing to “work” the room

Your audience wants to meet and get to know you. If you don’t take time to mingle before the presentation, you lose an opportunity to enhance your credibility with the audience. Plus, you may gain insights about what the audience wants to know.

  • Coming across as a Nervous Nelly

Do whatever it takes to calm your nerves. Breathing deeply is one of the best things you can do—in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this slowly; take four seconds to inhale and four seconds to exhale.

  • Reading your presentation

Boring! This will put the audience to sleep. Instead, use a “keyword” outline. Look at the keyword to prompt your thoughts. Then look into the eyes of the audience and speak.

  • Speaking without conviction

The more passionate you are about your topic, the more likely your audience will act on your suggestions. Remember that strong volume translates into passion.

  • Failing to prepare

Preparing for a presentation is your key to success. Your reputation is at stake every time you face an audience. Practice in front of a mirror or film yourself and make notes about how you can improve.

  • Failing to recognize that presenting is an acquired skill

Effective presenters are not merely born—they are developed. They understand the importance of learning the right skills and continuously building upon them.


Whatever your background, you can learn to be a stronger presenter. Hone your presentation skills through our Leadership Presentation and Image program.