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Six Reasons Business Presentations Fail

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Presentation mistakes to avoid 

Not all presentations accomplish their intended result. With all the work that goes into crafting presentations, when something things go awry, it invariably leaves us scratching our heads. What is it that makes presentations fall flat?

To help our readers get a better sense of this, we've put together a list of the top reasons why business presentations fail.

1) Having too many words on screen

You know your subject and have a lot to say, but slides filled with text can work against you. Your audience will lose interest in a cluttered screen. So do your best to verbalize most of your content and use bullets to allude to your main points. Make your slides visually appealing so they will assist your delivery. In today's highly visual learning environment, if your slides are not worth looking at, your audience may grow bored easily.

2) Messaging is not clear 

Pay close attention to the flow of your presentation. Does each successive thought follow a logical order? Put yourself in your audience's shoes and try to imagine how they will take in each section. Remember, you are both "showing" and "telling." Revealing facts is important but employ them wisely. Take time to explain ideas that give context to your facts and meaning to your story.  

3) Speaker is unprepared

Always make sure you are prepared for the situation at hand. Not only do you need to know your story but you must be comfortable relating it to others. Rehearse. Never just read from your slides.

You're the story teller; the slides are a guide for your audience. If you are using animation, rehearse over and again; time your way through these passages. It's okay for your audience to be surprised but it's not okay for you. 

4) Settling for boring imagery 

Sometimes it's difficult to find the images you want, but we encourage you to look harder. When making a powerpoint for business, don't settle for low resolution photos or images that don't flow and work well together. Make certain each slide is visually exciting and clearly evokes your message. 

Read More How to Make Your Presenations More Visually Engaging

5) Selecting imagery that distracts

There's a difference between images that grab attention and those that overwhelm the senses. A good business presentation design captures your audience. If imagery is too busy or animation is over the top, your viewers will respond by turning away and tuning out, exactly opposite your intention.  

6) Invoking no action or the wrong call to action

Business presentations need to end with the appropriate call to action. In order for your participants to respond, they need to be prompted. Make sure your "ask" is the next logical action arising from your presentation. If not, you risk loosing what you are there to capture.   

Win by Making Powerful Points

A good business presentation design is a mix of art and science. These six tips from our powerpoint experts help strike the right balance - adding power to your presentation.



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