10 Presentation ‘Sins’: Are You Guilty?

Many of us have heard that 99% of presentations are bad and not effective. This article will outline the 10 most common reasons why so many presentations are so bad, and suggest how to avoid these common mistakes.

1. No clear message- When preparing your presentation, you must make sure you are clear on what your objective is. It may be to just inform, to advocate a point of view or you are seeking an approval. Whatever it is, make sure you are clear why you are giving the presentation. If you start with the end in mind the rest should be easy.

2. Your slides are boring- Unfortunately 99% of presentation slides are really bad and will not be able to grab the attention of the audience. Nobody likes to look at page after page of hardly visible text on the screen, which the presenter is reading like a story book. Generally, less text works better. Simple text with powerful images work best. Remember the slides are there just to help you as visual aids, do not rely on them. You are the ‘star’ who needs to ‘wow’ your audience.

3. Not enough material/content- Sometime your presentation fails due to insufficient content to make a convincing case for the audience. For example, you did not provide enough evidence to back up your argument or point of view. Another example would be a new business proposal which did not include risks and the mitigating contingencies you will put in place.

4. Too much material- Just as bad as not having enough material is having too much material covered in your presentation. Firstly, people have a very limited attention span that rarely exceed 20 minutes. Secondly, having too much material to cover will make it harder for you to highlight the key message or objective of your presentation.

5. Monotonous voice- Nobody enjoys listening to a robot. You need to modulate your voice so that there are times when you raise your voice to emphasise a point and there are times you pause and say nothing, to give your audience time to absorb what you just said. There are times you will speak quickly and times when you will speak slowly to highlight a point in your presentation.

6. Not rehearsing- The vast majority of people do not bother to practice giving their presentation thinking that they are already quite good at it. Unfortunately, they are not! And that probably includes you too. Even the late Steve Jobs spent a lot of time rehearsing his legendary presentations. Take the time to practice and make it a habit. It will make you comfortable with the material and make you far less nervous. This will create confidence that the audience will be able to spot and makes you case stronger. Alternatively, if you do not practice, you will appear less confident and you will not be as convincing.

7. Complicated language- Depending on your audience use language that is as simple as possible. The less the audience has to think about what you are trying to say the better. Avoid jargon and complex terminology unless you are speaking to a room full of experts. Use simple words and short sentences, your audience will appreciate it.

8. Not getting to the point quickly- People hate waiting. Try to get to the point of your presentation quickly. Often it is best to tell them up front what the objective of the presentation is at the start of the presentation. Also another tip is to tell them how long your presentation will take before you begin, this will put the audiences feeling of anxiety at ease. Unless you are told how long a presentation will take, your audience will be speculating and wondering when you will get to the point.

9. Poor structure- To be effective your presentation needs to be properly structured for the objective you are trying to achieve. Like any good story, it will need a start, middle and an ending. A good basic structure is to start with an introduction of the problem or issue you wish to address, and then go into the implications for the audience of the issue. Only then do you go into introducing the solution and also address any possible concerns relating to the proposed solution. Finally, you have a call to action, what you want the audience to do. This is just a basic example; the main point is that you need a logical flow in the structure of your presentation.

10. Giving out hand outs too early- A common mistake many people do is to give copies of their slides before the present. This is a guaranteed way of ensuring the audience will not listen to you because they will be busy reading your slides and they can read much faster than you can present. They will be on your fourth slide when you are still on the contents slide. Give your hand outs at the end of the presentation so that you will have their full attention.

Always remember these 10 sins of presentations and you will be on your way to becoming a better presenter who will always grab the attention of any audience.

Color Theory Applied to Presentations

Everyone knows that color can make a presentation more interesting and stimulating to look at. It can also convey information, as in the differently colored slices of a pie chart.

But color used improperly is worse than no color at all. Bad color choices or combinations can actually distract viewers from your message and can even cause unpleasant feelings in them.
The following guidelines can help you use color effectively in your presentations:

o Too much color can be distracting. Resist the temptation to decorate your slides with a rainbow of colors. Graphic elements (such as charts) should never contain more than five colors; text slides should use at most two main colors and a third for highlighting.

o Keep the colors, and their meanings, consistent throughout the presentation. This will unify your presentation and give it a professional look.

o Even if you’ve chosen a harmonious set of colors, don’t use them arbitrarily. Let the colors to show the relationships between elements, with related things in related colors.

o As with the colors, keep the text (font) styles in your slides consistent.

o Don’t arbitrarily switch colors (of background, text, graphics, or anything else) during the course of the presentation. A change of color should only be used to emphasize key information or to indicate a change of topic or message.

o Don’t use red and green at the same time, because colorblind people can’t see the difference between them.

o Backgrounds consisting of more than one color should use dithering (a gradual blending from one color to the next) for easy viewing. It’s usually preferable to use a solid light color (light blue or gray) for the background with a dark color for text. This is the most effective combination for projected slides.

o To help maintain visual consistency, develop a template that you can use to create each slide. A template is just a basic slide containing the background colors, font style, and graphics that will be common to every slide.

o Test your color combinations on the actual projection equipment that will be used, or at least on a similar type of projector. The projected image will usually appear brighter and more vivid than it does on your computer screen. You may discover that your perfect color scheme doesn’t look so perfect when projected. It’s better to discover this while creating your template than during your presentation.

Color Meanings

Colors in themselves, of course, have no specifically defined meanings. Nevertheless, colors tend to carry subtle, subliminal emotions to viewers, whether by convention or by some natural perceptual process, and you should bear these traditional associations mind when making your color choices.

Color preference:

9% Choose Black – Reliability, Authority, Power, Constancy, Prudence Black feels formal and powerful. Formal clothing tends to be black for this reason.

20% Choose Blue – Tranquility, Intuitiveness, Trust, Loyalty Peaceful, tranquil blue relaxes the nervous system and increases productivity. People seem to retain more information when reading blue text.

3% Choose Brown – Credibility, Solidity, Strength, Maturity. The color of earth and wood, brown creates a neutral and comfortable environment.

13% Choose Green – Life, Growth, Abundance, Vitality. Green is the easiest color on the eye. It calms and has a neutral effect on the nervous system.

7% Choose Orange – Warmth, Happiness, Courage, Success. Orange is the color most associated with appetite. It has a broad appeal. Suitable for anything and anyone.

11% Choose Purple – Luxury, Wealth, Sophistication. Purple conveys a feeling of passion, romance, and sensitivity.

14% Choose Pink – Romance, Imagination, Fantasy. Pink feels calm and soft-hearted, with a tranquilizing effect.

12% Choose Red – Power, Warmth, Energy, Determination, Excitement, Passion. Red dominates and grabs attention. It stimulates people to quick decisions and increases expectations.

4% Choose White – Purity, Innocence, Sterility. White is cool and refreshing.

5% Choose Yellow – Enthusiasm, Light, Creativity, Spirituality. Yellow draws attention, feels warm, and is the most visible color of all.

The Types of Pheromones Present In A Human Pheromone Product

Pheromones originally refer to the chemical secreted by an animal which are usually associated with insects and that which greatly influence the behavior, physiology, and development of other species, including the attraction towards the opposite sex. There are scientific studies, however, that prove that even human beings also produce pheromones inside the body. These pheromones are important, not only for sexual attraction reasons, but also to make people around you feel comfortable with you.

In humans, the pheromones are secreted into the skin through the apocrine glands or what we call the human scent glands. These glands are usually found in hairy areas of the body such as the arm pits and the pubic region. The hairs in these areas further help disperse the pheromones effectively.

All people secrete pheromones, however, our bodies do not produce well enough of these chemicals. That is why there is an outburst of human pheromone products in the market to be able to make up for the lack or deficiency in the ability of the body to produce pheromones. There were scientific studies conducted to prove the efficiency of these human pheromone products but you can always see it for yourself if it could really work for you.

Human pheromone products usually and essentially contain 4 pheromones: the Androstenone, Androstenol, Androsterone, and the Androstadienone.

The Androstenone pheromone is found in both men and women but is however known as a male pheromones. It is responsible for the dominant, intimidating, and aggressive aura or personality of a person. The Androstenol pheromone is responsible for the friendly and sociable personality of a person. It often induces lots of talking and comfort and often causes conversation among people.

A pheromone that signifies masculinity is the Androsterone. This pheromone creates an impression of reliability and protection for men. As a women, when you see a man and you suddenly felt like you could depend on him for protection, that man’s Androsterone pheromone is probably working actively.

Androstadienone is another pheromone that must be present in a human pheromone product. This pheromone is also known as the ‘love pheromone’ because of the romantic or loving feeling and reaction it induces in women. Androstadienone affects the brain activities of women the most and focuses mainly on the attention and social cognition areas of the brain.

The above-mentioned types of pheromones must all be present in a human pheromone product for it to work effectively. These chemicals are highly responsible for the natural reactions and feelings we could feel towards other people near to us. And yes, that’s the magnificence of human pheromones.