Read Blogs Not Presentations

A presenter showing off a PowerPoint presentation

When coaching people in presentation skills I like to use video examples to see how they react to various presentation styles. Two clips always draws a moan—the clip of an auto worker laboring at the podium to read his presentation and the clip of a CEO with a monotone delivery reading his testimony to Congress. Reading perfectly or stumbling through a text have similar outcomes: They lose the audience. The American Management Association recently conducted a survey among its members to see which presentation habits most irritated an audience. Reading stands at the head of the list. A lack of knowledge ranked number two. That proves content does matter. Ultimately content is king, but you run the risk of losing the audience’s attention and interest if you don’t present your content in a compelling, easy to consume manner.

In Playbook, the AMA’s on-line magazine, Chris Brown wrote an insightful article that delves into the findings of the survey. Here’s the link:

The thing I found most interesting is that only one percent of those who responded minded a presenter who didn’t use visuals. In other words, it’s okay to build your presentation around something more compelling than a gigantic deck of PowerPoint slides.

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