Wendy Russell (the above is not hers) covers most of the mistakes we can make if we lack experience or plain common sense. I’ll comment on her bullets:
I Thought You Were Bringing The Extra Lightbulb
I have never had to bring a projector to present to a large audience. I leave all that up to their IT/AV people, and if all else fails, I always start on time speaking to the audience directly while it is remedied, instead of the the ultimate faux pas of turning your back on your audience.
If you simply memorize, not only does it show, but you are ‘deer in the headlights’ when there is a question. You must be the MASTER of your material, such that you can give the info in any order, with any media, while still ‘working the audience’.
What’s It All About?
“This is the opposite of Information Underload. You know so much about the topic, that you jump from here to there and back again talking about everything there is to know about your brand new widget, and no one can follow the thread of the presentation.
Corrected Presentation Technique #3
Use the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Silly) when designing a presentation. Stick to three, or at the most, four points about your topic and expound on them. The audience will be more likely to retain the information.”
When You Don’t Have Content, Dazzle Them With Complicated Diagrams (Ignorance)
Oh, the stories I could tell you…
Did You Bring Your Glasses?
Small fonts kill it! If you can’t say it in 3 bullets, then you don’t understand what you are talking about. Try to remember that you are not consulting or teaching!
A whole topic here I could spend hours on… because it took me years to master. What seems like high contrast on your LCD screen will not look the same on a projector-especially one that is not 100% color matched to your design screen (and none of them are the same color as your design screen).
What to do? Well, I have yet to see a projector that failed to make white look like white, and black look like black. You take it from there…
Do Not Animate.
Anything. Nuff said.
(note: some of my looping demos for booths are exceptions, but technically these aren’t the same as presentations)
There are more, such as body english, dealing with sharks, snipers, and elephants (the salesie types out there understand this), being too much sales ENGINEER, or too much SALES engineer, etc. but these are a few high points to think about…
As always, keep your horror stories coming!