Five Pitfalls Every Business Presenter Should Avoid

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Better Business Presentations ( President Provides Guidelines and Free Tips That Help Make You a Better Presenter

In business, ineffective presentations can result in customers who don't get the point, investors who aren't impressed, and employees who retain little of what you've said… all of which negatively impacts on productivity and income

Imagine that you are about to present to a potentially large customer or a committee of senior executives and you're experiencing what actors call stage fright: Is the content of your presentation on target? Have you organized your key points? Is your PowerPoint attractive? Have you really considered the expectations of your audience? What if they ask a question you can't answer?

Bob Lipp, President of Better Business Presentations (, a company that creates effective PowerPoint and Flash presentations and coaches presenters as necessary, understands that business communications isn't what you say; it's what the audience hears. That includes your sales prospects, your bosses, your investors, and your fellow employees.

"In business, ineffective presentations can result in customers who don't get the point, investors who aren't impressed, and employees who retain little of what you've said… all of which negatively impacts on productivity and income," states Lipp.

With that in mind, Better Business Presentations offers the following five pitfalls, which can result in a forgettable presentation. Free Presenter Tools are also available at

You confuse your core statement.

This is a typical problem with a presenter who wants to cover a lot of ground and many subjects. In the end the audience is left to wonder "what was the message here?" Remember, a good presentation should have one core statement (message). To arrive at the statement ask yourself "what is the goal of my presentation" and what one central message you want to communicate to the audience. Finally, identify you core statement early in your presentation, either by stating it outright or introducing it as part of a story, an anecdote, or other device that is suitable for your audience.

You ramble on with key points.

A good presentation should have no more than three main points to support the core statement. After each point is made, consider supporting information to reinforce the point and then end it by re-stating your core message. Rambling on with point after point makes it harder for your audience to focus on the important points. While you think you're cementing your message in their minds, you are actually stuffing them with information to the point of nausea.

You assume your audience is captive.

Back in school, you had to sit and listen to the teacher, no matter how much they bored you. But that was then. Today, even when presenting to fellow employees, you need to entertain and involve them in your presentation. One of the ways to do this is to interact or dialogue with your audience. Don't wait to see if they have any questions after you're finished speaking, but ask questions of them during the speech. This involvement technique perks up their ears since they may be called on at any time. You only have to do it once to gain their attention, but remember to gain their interest as well.

You talk in a monotone voice.

We live in a multi-media world with sounds that come "in all shapes and sizes." Remember that fact when you present to your audience of one or one-hundred. Monotone voices challenge the audience to listen and all that effort typically results in them falling asleep. At the very least, they take away little from your presentation, even though the topic is of interest and the content is well-organized. You can avoid a monotone voice by raising it to make an important point, and varying speed to emphasize one or more areas of the presentation.

You get lost in your audio/visual.

We create PowerPoint and Flash presentations and understand their value. However, unless you plan to make them the star of the presentation (which is OK) and play a supporting role as a reader, make sure they fit your speaking style. PowerPoint and Flash presentations that you use to support your message should be appropriate for the occasion and not compete with your speaking style. Visual tools are essential to almost every presentation, but they should not be the focus of your effort, unless that is the goal.

Better Business Presentations' website, features several examples of effective PowerPoint and Flash presentations created by the company. The company also offers a presentation coaching program to "make weak presenters more comfortable, and seasoned presenters even stronger," as well as a no-risk guarantee that doesn't obligate the buyer until they really like what they see.

"Everyone has sat through presentations that seem to go on and on without a core statement or a focused message, which is why it is essential that speakers on all levels have skills and tools that (1) gain audience attention, (2) present the core statement clearly, and (3) make it easier to remember the message," added Lipp. "That's where we come in."

For more information, you can visit the company's website or call toll-free1-800-790-2276 for a free, no-obligation quote on an upcoming project.


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