Annoying Presentation Survey

Two months ago, I wrote a blog post called The Most Annoying Presenters where I detailed nine of the worst public speaking habits that I’ve seen over the years. That post was mostly my opinion, mixed with feedback from clients, audiences, reading, and some general common sense. You may know that I try to research nearly everything presentations, pulling articles like psychology studies to explain human behavior on why people are scared so I can better understand glossophobia (the fear of public speaking). I didn’t think there was any research on annoying presentations — little did I know. Last week, a subscriber to my blog tweeted (@speak_simple) me the 2017 Annoying PowerPoint Presentation survey. Who knew there was an annoying presentation survey? They even did the Annoying Presentation survey in 2013 and 2015! The team at Think Outside the Slide surveyed 439 people in their research and their findings aren’t that surprising

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How to Build Self-Confidence in Public Speaking

I’m often asked by audience members, social media followers, and prospective clients about overcoming their fear of public speaking. Other times, the person is not scared, they just don’t know where to start with speaking. They either know presentations are important to their career or hobby (like speaking at church) or they recently received a promotion where they need to speak, so they ask me how to build self-confidence in public speaking. Although building confidence is different than overcoming fear, I regularly see confidence building as the step after overcoming one’s fear. Because once someone’s fear is gone, they want to grow their new found “power” (skill) in speaking. How to Build Self-Confidence in Public Speaking Start Small – You can’t build your confidence sitting on the sidelines, you need to do it. Look for events and associations where you can speak, especially ones with smaller audiences of 8-25 people.

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Easiest Way to Determine that Your PowerPoint SUCKS!

I apologize for using a vulgar word in the headline, but this topic gets my blood boiling and I’m using the language almost verbatim how it was asked to me. The other day, someone messaged me on Twitter (@speak_simple) and said she’d been following my tweets for a while and read many of my blog posts. She asked me, “What is the easiest way to figure out if my PowerPoint sucks?” My response was quick, and an easy litmus test to administer. Your PowerPoint is ineffective if you send it to someone who didn’t attend the presentation and that person can learn everything you had to share without attending the presentation. Essentially, a presentation shouldn’t be read, otherwise, it would be an article, essay, whitepaper, or book, not a presentation. A presentation is an experience that combines the senses hearing and seeing (sometimes feeling, tasting, and smelling depending on the type of

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Presentation Apps to Practice Anywhere & Own the Room

There is truly an app for everything, even presentation apps to make you a better public speaker. It is hard to think how an app can make you a better speaker, but these apps are remarkably savvy and help you with one of my favorite things — presentation practice. I always say proper presentation preparation is the key to being a confident speaker that delivers great presentations. With these presentation apps, you can spice up your practice and rehearsals. Presentation Slide Apps The basic presentation apps are your slide apps that allow you to walk through your presentation slides on the go. Microsoft PowerPoint in AppStore | Google Play Prezi in AppStore | Google Play Apple Keynote in AppStore Google Slides in AppStore | Google Play Vocal Presentation Apps Orai rates your vocal clarity, pace, energy, and use of filler words (um, so, like, and you know) by having you read text aloud. The app will give you tips to improve your

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PowerPoint Footers – Just Say “No”!

Recently I saw a blog post on Twitter from a presentation training company providing how to instructions for adding headers and footers to PowerPoint and I wanted to scream and gouge my eyes out. Why give anyone instructions to add a footer to a visual aid? Just because the feature exists doesn’t mean you should use it. You can crop an image in PowerPoint in the shape of a heart, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea for a professional presentation. When it comes to using PowerPoint footers, just say “NO!” (My advice applies for Keynote presentations too. I doubt you can add a footer to Prezi, for good reason.) 7 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Use PowerPoint Footers You Don’t Need Your Company Logo on Every Slide – Add your company logo to your title slide (if you want) and potentially to your last slide with

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Great Presenters Do This Differently Than You

The other day, I saw this great article on LinkedIn from Inc. entitled, “Great Presenters Do 1 Thing That Most of You Don’t, Science Says.” The first thing that I loved about this article is that they didn’t just talk to a “talking head” expert or keynote speaker that is friends with the author, they spoke to a psychology professor at UCLA about his research study. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m big on proving tactics and strategies with facts (science), many of which come from psychology research. Dr. Mehrabian found great presentations came down to Visual, Vocal, and Verbal elements (not surprising), but what he stated that great presenters do differently than most presenters is astonishing. [It also reminds me of what my favorite football player does, which is timely since the regular season starts this weekend.] First of all, Dr. Mehrabian found that the Verbal elements

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3 Steps Professionals MUST Do for Team Presentations

I’ve worked with dozens of companies preparing team presentations, sometimes for thought leadership presentations and often for bid presentations. Over the years, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t for team presentations. Here are my must dos for team presentations to be successful. 3 Steps Professionals MUST DO for Team Presentations Brainstorm Together – I’ve stated before that you don’t want someone else to write your presentation because it isn’t in your voice, not your expertise, and you don’t prepare for it the same way. This advice extends to team presentations as well. Some teams will assign one person to create a PowerPoint and have that person email it to the team a few days before the presentation for review. This old school tactic doesn’t work because audiences want more than canned presentations with little thought put into them. Audiences want to get to know the team and they want to

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The Most Annoying Presenters

In the last few emails to my subscribers (sign up for my free newsletter here), I asked who are the most annoying presenters. I wanted your thoughts because everyone has a different opinion and multiple perspectives make us all better. So when I asked for your thoughts on the most annoying presenter, boy did you respond. Your opinions and bad experiences rolled in and I feel bad how often people see bad presentations. (Please share my posts with everyone you know so you don’t have to sit through another annoying presenter again.) Most Annoying Presenters These attributes are in no particular order, but each characteristic had multiple votes from my modest list of email newsletter subscribers and social media followers. Ummmers – These are the annoying speakers who fill every pause with filler words like umm, uhh, you know, and so. Breaking this habit of speaking with crutch words is important

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Are You Doing This Annoying Public Speaking Habit?

You’re probably doing this annoying public speaking habit and do not even realize it — pacing. I’ve spoken about how many speakers pace to “work the stage” and it forces your audience to follow you back and forth like watching a tennis ball at a tennis match. As always, I try to build on my experience of doing over 1,000 presentations and coaching hundreds more and research why pacing is so annoying for audiences. Why do Speakers Pace Anyway? Think That is What the Pros Do – Many presenters see professional speakers that get paid a lot of money to deliver keynote addresses pace, but there is a big difference between working the stage and pacing, I’ll explain below. Engage the Audience – Other speakers think pacing back and forth allows them to engage their audience, instead, it does the opposite. Anxiety – Some speakers bounce back and forth because they are nervous and

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How Young Professionals Speak to Older Audiences

Today’s workplace has three distinct generations – Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials (and some count the microgeneration “Xennials“). As I’ve mentioned before, public speaking is one of the best ways to portray your expertise and an amazing way to generate new prospective clients, but how is a young professional supposed to speak to older audiences? 9 Keys to Speak to Older Audiences Self-Confidence – First of all, realize that you know things that others do not and you have knowledge to share. You do not need to be near retirement age to be knowledgeable enough for public speaking. For example, TED Talks feature numerous young professionals with strong messages. Speak About What You Know – I always suggest that you should speak about what you know, so you are confident in your message. When you’re younger than most of your audience, this advice is even more crucial because you don’t want

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