We’ve all been to presentations, some good, and some bad.

Which ones do you remember more than others – the good or the bad? What is it that remains clearly in your mind either way? Was it the presenter, the ‘story’ told, or how it was presented?

Getting a presentation right is vital. Every time you present, you want to be remembered in a positive way; whether your intention is to inspire, motivate or educate your audience. So why is it that many presenters often get it wrong?present

Here are six presenting faux pas:

  1. Avoid sitting behind a desk and presenting from your laptop. Why? Because you immediately create a barrier between yourself and your audience. This does not promote open communication. You will make less eye contact because you can be easily distracted by your screen. Also avoid moving on your chair and crossing your arms – more signs of closed body language.
  2. Avoid ‘becoming the screen’. Standing in front of the screen will block the view of your presentation. Stand to one side and use an infrared pointer.
  3. Fail to engage with and encourage audience participation. Instead of telling your audience or reading directly from slides – include your audience and ask questions to spark their thinking and encourage interactivity.
  4. Engage different people to participate not just those people in the front row. This promotes whole group inclusion and greater interaction.
  5. Allow people to finish what they are saying. Avoid interrupting and ‘telling’ or ‘completing’ someone’s sentence. Manage the length of time you invite your audience to share so that one person doesn’t ‘steal’ the stage.
  6. Clarify the understanding of learning points by asking the audience at regular intervals. This will ensure that people remain focused and present, and that they gain knowledge. Always reaffirm clarification before moving to your next point.

Use these tips to ensure you present your best performance and become a memorable, sought-after and engaging presenter.