10 Ways to Give a Bad Presentation

Public speaking often appears on the top ten list of fears. It’s not as if speaking will put you at risk for poison like a snake or spider could. But seriously, fear is the least of your problems when you follow these 10 rules:

  1. Put all the words of your presentation on the slides. If they don’t fit, just make the font size smaller — after all, you’re using less paper! If that’s still not enough space, remember you still have #7. You could add more slides, but then you kill more electricity and trees (if you print the slides).
  2. Read everything on the slides. Sure, throw in a few useless comments here and there. No one in the audience can read besides you want them to look at you not the words on the slides. Saying them aloud makes them look at you (and roll their eyes).
  3. Say, “Um” and “Uh” often. That will send your audience crawling up the walls. They love the sounds they make.
  4. Skip checking the equipment before the presentation. It’ll work. Technology never fails. Besides, you have a print out of your presentation and notes. Just read them if the overhead dies.
  5. Use many colors. Pink, purple, blue, yellow — especially yellow, and green reminds the audience of the ’60s and should relax them in no time. Peace, man.
  6. Capitalize everything. That’s right. Sentences Should Be Like Book Titles. BETTER YET, DO THIS AND CAPITALIZE EVERY LETTER. That should drill your words into the audience’s heads.
  7. Write down your entire speech and read it. Word. For. Word. That way you never have to look up and at the audience. They don’t want to connect with you and looking up will let that happen.
  8. Keep your hands in your pockets at all times. If you have coins in your pocket, jiggle them for a little background music. No pockets? Just sit stiffly in the same spot behind the platform and fidget so you can burn extra calories.
  9. Don’t waste time rehearsing. This is a speech not a play. It’s not as if we can’t have our script in front of us like actors. See #7 again. Besides, who has time to rehearse?
  10. Speak for as long as you want. The audience will leave whenever they need to. So don’t worry about them. Just say everything you can think of so you can show the audience how knowledgeable you are about the subject. Besides, who wants to have time left for questions? The audience only asks stupid questions.

If people leave before you finish or fall asleep, then you’ve done your job. Give yourself applause.

KnowHR presents Unbelievably Bad Presentations complete with video from Howard Dean and many links to resources on bad presentations including true stories.

These don’t work for you? Maybe you’d rather give a pull together a strong presentation using a story to make it more captivating. Members can access to Quick Start BBP Story templates to get going.

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12 Responses to “10 Ways to Give a Bad Presentation”

  1. Dr Wright says:

    When people book speakers, they should send them this article!

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show

  2. Unknown User says:

    Or be sarcastic in every single point you make?
    that should actually be no. 1 on the list

  3. 11. Animate all elements on the slides
    Every texts and images has to jump in, slide in or fade in on mouse click

    Very great article, thanks 🙂

  4. gani serhatli says:

    keep it long as they all go to sleep so noone can catch your misspelling or faulty charts

  5. webdesign says:

    Lol nice tips i often see this going wrong 🙂 i hope a lot of powerpoint users will read this 😀

  6. Diego Toala says:

    Hi, nice article , I have read beyond bullet points and its great , help me a lot with my presentations, everybody should read this, thank you a lot.

  7. PHenry says:

    Great information! I hope you don’t mind but I posted a link to your blog entry on my site? Great tips, keep it up! :>

  8. kozmikray says:

    number 7 is lame. Truly astounding public speakers just turn their back on the audience and read the slides. It’s all there, after all!

    Best of all is when they are reading someone else’s powerpoint, for the first time.

  9. Will Strohl says:

    Here’s something to add for presentations requiring remotes, wireless mice, or other technical “gadgets”… Don’t bring any back-up batteries.

  10. Tom Pecar says:

    11. Don’t check the grammer of the sentences you write. The audience will know exactly what you mean.

    Have a look at the following example in THIS article.
    “Maybe you’d rather give a pull together a strong presentation using a story to make it more captivating.”

  11. Will Hawkins says:

    Really good point. I recently delivered a 45 minute presentation as part of a job interview for a business development role which had the title “How I would deliver a 35% annual growth on current sales”.

    I decided to use your book as the basis for structuring the presentation.

    In short, I got the job and I received feedback from the CEO afterwards saying that my use of PowerPoint in a presentation was as good as he has ever seen.

    I will be using your mehods from now on and encouraging the rest of the sales team to do so too.

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