We’ve all sat through painful presentations where the facilitator is disorganized, inattentive, technically challenged, or showed the slides in editing mode? That’s the worst!
Today, when there is so much information available to guide us on creating good presentations, the only explanation can be that they just didn’t care enough about you to plan and prepare their presentation.
It’s harsh, I know, but really, is there another reason?
Don’t let this be you.
Whether you are presenting in classroom, online or in a webinar, watch out for these sure telltale signs that tell your audience you just don’t care about them.
1. Using their slides as a teleprompter
If you have ever said to yourself you’ll just put up these few points to keep yourself on track with your presentation – I’m afraid to tell you this but you’re using your slides as a teleprompter, and that’ just not good.
Your slides are for your audience – not you.
Too many presenters simply prepare their slides to remind them what to say, filling the slide with text they go on to read word-for-word to their students, or worse, pausing the presentation to ask students to read the slide for themselves.
Multimedia research tells us that using lots of text, and then reading the text to your students can actually interfere with their understanding of the material.
It take more time to create slides that support or demonstrate what is being presented. As presenters we often under-estimate how much preparation time it takes to make a good supporting slide.
When you don’t leave enough time to prepare you end up summarizing your main points in a list of text driven bullet points.
You and your slides work together to create an educational experience. Plan to spend time designing your slides, just as you did when you prepared your presentation outline.
If your students can understand your presentation without you present to deliver it, you’re not providing enough value for the live experience.
2. Constantly checking the time
Have you been at a presentation where the instructor keeps asking the audience how much time is left in the presentation, only to realise they had too much content left to present? Then solved the problem by fast forwarding through a whole lot of slides, the ones you thought were most interesting, and finally ending the presentation with slides still to go.
The fact the presenter does not know where they are in the presentation shows they did not practice enough to have a good understanding how long each part of the presentation should take.
Time management is critical to well-paced, informative presentations.
We all get involved in side conversations and answering questions during a presentation, in fact it can be the fun part. We’ll occasionally take more time in one section then we planned.
More often than not, we’ve not practiced and edited our presentation until we could deliver it in the time that was allocated to us.
Using PowerPoint’s presenter view will help you manage the delivery of your presentation even in the most difficult circumstances. In presenter view, you can see the clock, check your timing and get back on track by skipping over a few slides, without anyone feeling they missed critical content.
Hook your laptop up to your TV and practice in presenter mode. Speak out loud. Know where in your presentation your audience may want to stop and know more, and where you can pick up time later in your presentation.
You’ve mastered your subject matter, you can absolutely learn to use your presentation software. Especially if you don’t leave it until 10 mins before your presentation begins.
You can never practice your presentation too much.
3. The content is delivered to everyone and no one at the same time.
Imagine attending a presentation and feeling like you’ve wandered into the wrong room. That’s the feeling you get when a presenter hasn’t considered who is actually going to attend the presentation. You’re confused and you just want to walk out.
Prepared presenters will take time to find out about the people who will be in the room, and then use that information to create a meaningful and relevant presentation.
Deliver the presentation your audience is there to hear
You can’t design an effective presentation for everyone you can imagine might be there. You have to narrow your focus or your presentation will either be too vague or too confusing.
Developing your course content to align with your student’s needs is the most important research you can complete in the process of developing any type of presentation.
Find out who they are, why they are there, what skills knowledge and experience do they have, learn the ‘language’ of their field, and use examples and situations they are familiar with to deliver a presentation that’s relevant to them.
Getting the content right, takes time and planning.
Plan to succeed
For your presentation to succeed you have to plan, and most presenters don’t set aside the time it takes to thoroughly plan an effective presentation. Don’t let yourself fall into this group of presenters.
Always be sure you:
- Know your audience
- Plan your content
- Design effective slides
- Practice, edit, and then practice some more
Show you’re students you care about them enough to prepare, you’ll be more confident, and your students engaged and learning.