There are plentiful things that bore me to death – ranging from gossips, uninteresting conversations, narcissism, lectures, meetings, et al. But, the most important thing that ‘kills’ me is boring and disengaging presentation. How many of you have sat in the audience when someone is flashing his power point on the projector, across the room and rendering his imposed discourse on the dispassionate, incurious and lackluster crowd?
A powerful presentation creates a wonderful impact on the audience, drawing their attention towards your matter in the presentation. You will get to express yourself correctly and the audience will be able to grasp the matter accurately.
Things which bugs me are:
- Essays on slides – The whole purpose of power point presentations are be concise and maintain brevity. Slides with bullet-ed points comprising of a line or two attracts the audience. Some people have the tendency to write essays on their slides and read it exactly word-to-word from them, sans the eye contact with their audience. I wish to stop these people right there and tell them “Hello, I can read English too”!
- Not elaborating the matter – This is in conjunction with above point. Some people just read slides and fail to elaborate the matter, thus boring the audience.
- Not keeping eye contact – It is really mandatory that the presenter keeps eye contact with his audience to assure them that he knows the matter and also make them feel important. Some people give presentations looking at walls, ceiling, floor and at their slides, completely oblivious of their audience.
- Not engaging with their audience – Everyone hates to sit in monologue conversations. If you are just going on with your discourse and not taking any questions from the audience, you are totally losing their attention.
During my Professional MBA program, I enrolled for the capstone class MGMT 7160: Global Strategic Management during my final semester. This course played a vital role in acquiring my degree. The professor had provided us a syllabus which clearly stated that anyone not procuring optimal number of points in their final presentation for this course will be deprived of their MBA degree. He also set aside some presentation rules on stone, and urged to the class that the points will be awarded based on each rule.
Some of his rules were:
- Brevity of matter – He needed the slides to be concise with bullet-ed points stating a line or two instead of long elaborate paragraphs. Anyone who had paragraphs on their slides would lose their points for that particular section. He needed the presenter to read out that bullet point from the slide, turn to the audience and elaborate on that point, instead of just reading matter from the slides.
- Eye contact with the audience – He had set aside certain points for maintaining eye contact with the audience. One of his crazy rule was “if anyone looked at him during the presentation, (instead of the audience), he would deduct the points”. He needed the presenter to look at everyone in the audience.
- Avoid fillers – As much as the ummm, ooh, aahs were tempting to use, they were eligible for points deduction. We had to give presentation without these commonly used fillers.
- Walking around during presentation – I know this is crazy, but he required us to walk around from left to right on the podium, during the presentation, giving an impact of having a conversation with our audience, and not be stranded at one place. Yes, you guessed it right! He had points for this too!
- Accepting questions– Being a group project, it was mandatory for every member of the group to accept at least one question from the audience and answer it accurately.
We did presentation rehearsals numerous times to get it right for our finals. Even though I completely felt some rules were crazy, I completely agree that some of the above mentioned rules engages the audience, having an enormous impact on them.
This post is also an entry for Daily Prompt