Prevent Presentation Bloopers

Once upon a time… A synthesis of real-life presentation bloopers.

There was a presenter who knew her subject cold − a true expert. Naturally, she was chosen to deliver a sales presentation to an important potential customer group of 50. The afternoon before the event, she loaded the standard charts and graphs on pricing onto her laptop for a PowerPoint presentation. Thinking the slides looked a bit dull, she colored the backgrounds red, yellow and green. For additional interest she made the slides replace each other by alternately fading, zooming left, right, up, down. She added twirling leaves in the borders, colored to contrast with the background. She was ready. This was going to be a piece of cake.

The audience is seated. She says “Good morning,” turns on the projector and sees a sea of faces bathed in psychedelic light, eyes squinting. She squints, too. She cannot quite make out the numbers on the lap top screen. Not wanting to turn her back completely to the audience in order to read from the large screen, she steps behind it and peeks her head out, neck craned. She starts reading and explaining the numbers. As the audience’s eyes begin to accustom to the light show, they try to keep up with the numbers the presenter is launching through. They scramble through their briefcases for paper to take notes.

They miss an entire screen. The presenter notices that no one is paying attention to what she is saying because they are all madly writing notes. She steps in front of the screen, still talking, everyone still intently copying numbers on their scraps of paper. How to capture their attention? She begins to wave her arms around to punctuate her points, she speaks faster and yells her words. This does distract them. As 50 pairs of eyes turn to hers, she gets nervous. She cannot think of the right word. She loses her entire train of thought. She decides to just keep talking until she finds it again.

Mercifully, somehow, she gets to the end of her presentation and asks for audience questions. “That was all pricing information. Your competitors charge less. What are the benefits if we invest?” “What are examples of how your product works for your other customers?” “How will you tailor your service to our unique needs?” “Why are you are better than your competitors?” “What would we lose if we go to your closest competitor?” With five minutes to answer these questions, unprepared, she wonders what she could have done differently.


PREPARE your Purpose
PREPARE your Persuasion Points
PREPARE your Presence
PREPARE by Practice

Preparation = Relaxed Presentation
Nervousness and lack of preparation are directly proportionate to each other!

My next ezine will detail my PREPARE Presentation System