How to Deliver a Bad Presentation

Public speaking is becoming an increasing part of our day to day lives even outside of the work place. Inevitably, you must have attended presentations where the speaker mumbled, went over time, fidgeted or simply was not able to captivate the audience.

Bad presentations are a waste of time, cost money and can damage reputations. So, if this is what you are aiming for here is the perfect guide for you. Follow these steps and you are sure to deliver a bad presentation.

9 Ways to Deliver a Bad Presentation

1 – No rehearsal
Do not practice. Just wing it. Your audience will never notice. Your time is too precious to spend practicing. You’re much better off just wasting the time of your entire audience instead.

2 – Me, Me, Me
You are the one delivering the presentation so pay no attention to whom your audience is or what they are expecting from you. Tell them whatever you want and don’t bother trying to understand why they are there.

3 – Information packed slides
Ensure you write as much as possible on your slides. This way you can keep the audience busy reading and they don’t have to listen to what you are saying. Make the font really small so you can write even more and include additional information.

4 – Read
Read out your slides word for word. You are obviously a better reader so make their lives easier by reading your slides verbatim to ensure they don’t miss out on anything. Do not elaborate on what is written. Do not feel the need to explain anything, the audience should understand your thought process.

5 – No eye contact
Do not make eye contact or engage the audience in any way. After all, you want to keep them at a distance, it’s them versus you. Keep your eyes on your notes, handouts, the floor, the door, anywhere but the audience. If this makes it harder for your voice to project and for you to be heard they’ll just have to listen harder.

6 – Use jargon
Speak above the crowd to impress them. Use lots of complicated and unrecognisable words. This will make you sound clever. Try to use as many abbreviations as possible and jargon that is particular to your company only. This will show you really know what you’re talking about.

7 – Ramble
Do not stick to the subject and wander off course as often as possible. Be sure to tell many personal, unrelated and ideally sensitive and controversial stories. This will show your personality and the audience is more interested in you than the topic you are supposed to be talking about. Focus is overrated.

8 – Go over the time limit
The audience is there to see you so feel free to keep them there as long as you like. Your presentation is definitely the highlight of their day and they have nothing better to do with their time. If you realise you are running over time, do not worry. The audience paid good money to hear you, so give them their money’s worth.

9 – No questions
Don’t take any questions. Your presentation was perfect and speaks for itself.

What do you think makes a bad presentation? Please feel free to share any horror stories!

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Photo by Flickr user Lumaxart

53 Responses to “How to Deliver a Bad Presentation”

  1. Niall Cooling says:

    Excellent. can I add?
    10 – Flexible start time
    Don’t worry about getting there early to check your laptop will work with the projector. You’re the most important person in the room and you’re sure worth waiting for.

  2. i’m not sure I go along with what you’re saying, but I like the way you express yourself in your beliefs. Just started following your RSS.

  3. Ana says:

    Hi Niall.
    Thank you for your comments and suggestion. I love it! Definitely no need to check everything is working properly and have a back up plan. Afterall, it’s all about you. 🙂
    Have you had a chance to read any of the other posts? It would be great to hear your thoughts.

  4. Rodney Papp says:

    This is just the sort of info I was looking for! Thanks 🙂

  5. bright post, great blog, keep up the posts!

  6. This is one of the pleasant surprises of browsing/surfing or whatever you wish to call it. You can simply find something that matters or at least entertains. I want you to know that I value this.

  7. Ronald Eagles says:

    Hi there,
    sounds like me in my last presentation ;-)) !
    Hm, bad luck that this article is called “Deliver a bad presentation” … definitively an eye-opener!
    And also the one comment with the laptop / preparation!
    Keep it up!

    • Ana says:

      Hi Ronald,
      Thanks for your comments. Hope this is useful for your next presentation! If there are other topics you would like to read about, please let me know.

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