“And now a short presentation from…” What’s the worst presentation you’ve seen?

As a public speaker you are a performer. When you are giving a presentation, you are also a performer, with one minor difference. A presentation is public speaking with props. Rather like a children’s entertainer whose props are his magic tricks, – your prop is likely to be PowerPoint.

You can read a lot good stuff about presentation skills and hear a lot of bad stuff about the results. Anyone whose life has brought them into contact with presentations will have their own horror story about the presentation from hell: endless slides of text that is too small to read – and why do they tell you that “you won’t be able to read this from where you are but I can send you a copy”. If I’d known you could have sent me a copy, I wouldn’t have bothered to come.

I have read a blog post by Martin De Saulles (mdesaulles,net) commenting on the poor quality of presentation slides and expressing surprise that such low standards are regularly being used by commercial companies when pitching to clients. Does anyone sell anything after a bad presentation or do you still get the order because the client is so grateful that you’ve finished?

What’s the worst presentation you have had to sit through?

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