Presenting and Public Speaking

How to avoid delivering a boring presentation

‘Death by Powerpoint’!

We’ve all experienced it!

So how can you avoid delivering a boring presentation?

Here are some thoughts and ideas:

Immediately engage your audience

Your audience will be making a decision within the first 30 seconds of your presentation as to whether they think you are worth paying attention to so you need a dynamic and exciting start.

So why do many presenters start by fiddling around with the clicker, making excuses for their voice, trying to crack a joke, checking if everyone can hear them or mumbling along about nothing in particular?

Launch straight in with a bold statement, a thought provoking observation, prop or image. Use your voice and body language to create a positive, audience engaging environment right from the start.

Slides are boring

Or at least having too many can be. Do you actually need slides? If you do then be a ruthless editor and ensure each slide earns its place in your presentation.

Words on slides are really boring

Why oh why do so many presenters feel it necessary to fill their slides with so many words? As an audience member I don’t want your script on screen, I want the odd word that reminds or prompts me as to what you are talking about. So start with one word per slide and add others only if necessary.

Do you really need a slide template?

Bigger companies and organisations seem to deem it necessary to have a slide ‘template’ which usually means their logo, name and some fancy colour scheme or subtle (or not so subtle ) background on every single slide!

It’s as though they are paranoid that between slides you as an member of the audience will completely forget who they are!

Templates make slides look identical to each other – and guess what – constant repetition is boring!

So ditch the templates and be creative!

Put on a show

Like it or not a presentation is a performance. You want to be memorable. Your audience may not remember all or even most of the detail of your presentation but you do want them to remember you.

I do a presentation called ‘5 top sales tips’ – I don’t use slides instead I use an old suitcase full of props to illustrate the 5 tips. It’s amazing how many people mention the suitcase long after the presentation. How many people remember your presentations?

Use Props

Ditching the slides or supporting them with props will make you more memorable – and a presentation with props is rarely boring!

Use your best presenter

Many presentations are executed by senior people within an organisation. Rarely are they the best presenters often because the higher their seniority the less inclined they feel the need to prepare and practice.

Your best experts or most senior people are not always your best presenters. If you were the CEO or Chairperson of a football club you wouldn’t take a crucial penalty would you? Of course not. It would be taken by the club’s best penalty taker. So find out who the best presenter in your company or organisation is and let them do the presentation.

Don’t use A4 notes

Presenters who turn up with A4 notes send out one of two messages : ‘I haven’t prepared for this so I need a script’ – ‘I don’t know anything about this so I need a script.’

There is a often a link between the size and length of notes and boring presentations. Generally speaking the more notes the speaker has the more boring the presentation. I would recommend a couple of postcards for your prompt words.

Make it fun

If the first reaction of your audience is ‘Oh no not another PowerPoint presentation’ then aim to make your presentation an enjoyable experience for everyone. Too many presentations are too serious in both their content and delivery.

Prepare well and Practice

Good preparation and some practice will make you feel more confident when delivering. That confidence in itself will make you more engaging and thus reduce the opportunity to be seen as boring.

If you need help preparing and delivering engaging presentations that get results please give me, Trevor Lee, a call on 07785 390717 or email me via

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