The first step to overcoming bad delivery habits is to be aware of them. Do you have any of the following bad presentation habits? If you aren’t sure, try videotaping your next presentation to find out!

Annoying Movements
These actions focus the audience’s attention on what you’re doing rather than what you’re saying. Everyone has nervous habits, but the key is to become aware of them and try to control them.

Too Many Gestures
The only thing worse than using no gestures is using too many gestures. Again, the audience focuses on the motion of your hands and not your message.

"Um," "Ah" and "And"
These words distract from your presentation’s content, diminish your authority as a speaker and can make you seem unprepared.

Loud Clothing
Clothing is a device we use to express ourselves and our individuality. Try to ensure that the clothing you choose matches the tone of your presentation and your audience. If you’re trying to present yourself in a professional manner, stick to standard business attire. After all, your audience may have difficulty focusing on your message if they’re staring at your leopard-print suit.

Overlooking Editing
Nothing looks less professional than misspelled words. It signifies sloppiness and can cost you your credibility. Take the time to look over your visuals – at least twice!

Turning Your Back
Don’t talk to the projector screen, interactive whiteboard or flipchart. If you need to reference a visual, turn your body a maximum of 45-degrees towards it.

1. "No More Dull Deliveries" by David Fine, Profit Magazine, Dec. – Jan. 1996.

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