There is plenty of advice out there on how to create a great presentation. Most of it centers on two common pieces of advice:
Neither is always easy to do, but the more events I attend, the more I realize something that still surprises me how people connect with you as a speaker: Having a good story is not enough.
Presenting in front of an audience, whether it’s to three potential investors or 3,000 conference attendees, requires some kind of story. And your presentation style, along with the visuals you use, will surely make a difference.
But the speakers who completely lose their audiences are often not the ones with endless bullet points or monotone delivery. Those are the obvious things to fix.
After listening and taking notes on hundreds of presentations (including my own), I’ve learned there are specific landmines that can sabotage anything you say, no matter how well-crafted your presentation. With most, the end result is that you lose the attention or trust of an audience member immediately—and it becomes nearly impossible to get it back.
There are a few common mistakes I often see speakers make to lose their audiences. Yes, I’ve learned some of these the hard way, but hopefully sharing them will help you avoid making them the next time you give a presentation or make a pitch.