10 Reasons Your Presentation Stinks ( and didn’t make the cut with the bosses!)

Hi readers,

this is another blog from my table on the theme of “top 10” this, and top 10 that…

This blog and the following blogs will all deal with TOP 10!


Here goes

REASON #10: It is all data, no story!

Guys …guys…guys….data is nice, BUT ALL DATA is downright boring! it will have NO TRACTION with your audience and very soon I guarantee you, folks in the audience would be suppressing yawns!!

Hot tip-Make your presentation tell a story, ideally with the audience as the heroes. Learn to story board, take the help of folks in marketing and advertising to help you develop a presentation around a story…and you will have your audience’s attention.

REASON #9: Your slides are too fancy!

Guys, remember who your audience is ( they are like your clients…if you take pains to understand your client before making a customized pitch to them, then your audience is not different…..understand this and learn). If these are folks from a different generation, who have never been comfortable using all the special effects in PPT, then please don’t jazz up your slides with special effects…it will boomerang on you. The audience may lose the key points in the presentation, and you will lose the plot !!

Hot tip– KISS ( Keep it simple and sweet) works most of the time, make the presentation contextual in terms of delivery, based on your understanding of your audience.

REASON #8: Your slide background is too busy!


Hot tip– KISS ( Keep it simple and sweet) works most of the time, Use a simple, single color background. Always.


REASON #7: Your fonts are unreadable!

Please ensure that you always take a run with the presentation on the projector/equipment that you will use for the final presentation. Believe me…what appears sexy on your laptop will look totally different on the projector!

Hot tip– Use large fonts in simple faces (like Ariel); avoid boldface, italics and UPPERCASE


REASON #6: Your graphics are too complex!

Learn the art of making maximum impact with minimal inputs- a few good graphs, which are logically able to build on a good story, with uncluttered numbers have better impact than numerous graphs on the same topic- please remember, your graphs DO NOT REPLACE YOU…YOU ARE THE MAIN STORY TELLER and will have to TELL YOUR STORY ( so guys, brush up your story telling, presentation skills and get rid of your stage fright!!)

Hot tip– Only include simple graphics; highlight the data point that’s important.


REASON #5: You are all opinion, no fact!

The presentation is NOT ABOUT YOUR OPINION ( Unless you are the CEO!!)..remember its all about NUMBERS/FACTS!!

Hot tip – Only state opinions that you can back up with quantifiable data.


REASON #4: You speak fluent biz-blab!

You may be the best thing to have happened to your team since Steve Jobs, You may have topped the MBA program at Harvard, BUT you gotta remember that folks who matter ( your boss, the CEO, Senior executives ) have been there , done that, and probably dont remember bizz flab which they did some 15 years back in B-School!! If you use too much of bizz jargon, you will come across as a pompous ass!! ( YOU DONT WANT THAT !! )

Hot tip– Just stop it. Cold turkey.  Please


REASON #3: You drifted off topic!

Tut tut tut…what were you thinking??!!! FOCUS on the basics- SCQ ( Situation, Complication, Key Question!!) thats it…

Hot tip– Only include material that’s relevant to your overall message. ( Key question!!)


REASON #2: It was too d**n long!

Yaaaaawn…did you see that or missed that completely!! Keep to the point, while keeping the story “flavor” got it ? Sounds contradictory, but balancing a story and keeping it to the point is an ART so learn through practice!! There is not short cuts here…

Hot tip – make your presentation less than half as long as you think it should be.


REASON #1: You read from your slides!

WHAT!! you were actually doing this…what are you, a kid in school??? There is something called…knowing your subject inside out…there is something called practice…there is a skill called communication and its not about reading in class!!

Seriously, go back to school to hone your public speaking skills…and please understand, you can always use cue cards…heard of them?

Hot tip – Use slides to reinforce your message rather than to outline your data points.


LAST COMMENT- Investing in your presentation skills not only will help you ace your relationship within the organization, but will help you close your sales with outside clients as well…so get cracking on this guys!!

This is very important to develop your executive presence.