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7 Things That Make Up the Worst Presentation Ever

7 Things That Make Up the Worst Presentation Ever

We all have sat through terrible presentations, whether it was the presentation or the presenter themself who were the problem. The worst presentations drive home the point that presentation skills are vital to you and your career and academic years. Mastering presentation skills is an easy feat for some, whereas others struggle with them for all their lives.

None of us wants to present badly and our worst nightmare comes true when we lose our audience to glassy-eyed stares, cell phones and other distractions that seem more interesting to them than our presentation. So from now on, avoid doing these seven things so you don’t lose your audience.

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1. Giving a lecture

The word presentation is not synonymous with lecture. Lecture can have two meanings: a speech given to an audience, usually a class, about certain instructions regarding a particular subject, or a scolding regarding conduct or behavior. So if you go to a class, your teacher gives you a lecture and not a presentation. A presentation is more interactive, emotionally appealing, precise and relevant regarding a subject.

2. Losing out on emotion

Don’t just focus on numbers, facts and figures. They will make your presentation sound boring. You are going to be telling your audience something they probably do not already know. Show your audience the enthusiasm and passion you might feel on the subject, so they know you are emotionally involved and want others to join in too. Add personal touches and feelings somewhere in your delivery, because your opinion will help shape the opinion of others too.

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Remember Steve Jobs? His speeches and presentations are highly praised because he left his audience in a state of awe and gave them inspiration. Remember that as a presenter your content must have emotional appeal or else you will lose your audience.

3. Not using stories

You are in a room, surrounded by peers and executives. Sure, you need to skip some stories to keep the presentation precise, meaningful and on track, but remember, your audience wants to be wowed, not lulled to sleep. You might consider adding your own personality to the presentation by adding a carefully chosen story or two. Bear in mind that those stories should be supportive of the facts and figures you are presenting; they certainly shouldn’t replace them.

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4. Forgetting signposts

When you are presenting, there are key words you can use to ’signpost’ separate stages in your presentation. For example, to give a synopsis of a point, you ‘summarize’: “If I could just summarize a few points from John’s presentation…” If you forget these signposts your audience can lose the direction of your presentation and they won’t be able to distinguish its stages. These words should be memorized so you do not forget them, even if you are under scrutiny.

5. Going overboard on the design

Don’t make your presentation appear too complicated or it will just confuse your audience. If you add too many flashy images and animations to bedazzle your audience, you’ll find you wind up confusing them instead. Have faith in the principle of KISS (keep it simple silly). Add animations, pictures and videos only when you want to elaborate a point further.

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6. Keeping it formal

Formal presentations lose the audience the minute they begin; keeping it a little less formal enthralls them, keeping them captivated. As I mentioned earlier, adding personal touches to your presentations, such as opinions and stories, will make your presentation less formal. Just don’t go making it too casual either.

7. Avoiding eye contact

Great presenters understand the importance of making eye contact with their audience to build trust, integrity, and connection. Many students and business professionals have a habit of looking at a wall, a desk, or a computer — everything but the audience! Build your connection with your audience and they’ll be with you all the way.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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