Interesting post at the Instigator Blog about things you don’t want to hear in a presentation. I could add hundreds, most of which I’ve heard with my own ears, but I get readers sending them to me as well now. Probably the biggest opening gaff and a TTPP (Top Ten Pet Peeve) is “Hi, my name is XYZ, and I’m here to talk about …” If the audience doesn’t know both those items before you step up to speak, then you’ve got other things to work on, and none of them is best served with that opening line.I’ll add:

  • I know you can’t read that, …” (then why again are you showing it to me?)
  • I shouldn’t say this” or “I shouldn’t have said that” (we agree with you, now why did you tell us that?)
  • you probably already know this…” (but let me guess, you’re going to tell me anyway. You either don’t believe what you’re saying, or don’t believe I’m observant enough to care.)
  • I hope I can explain this” or “I hope this makes sense” (yeah, I hope the same thing, but you don’t need to tell me that)

And I heard this last month and about fell out of my chair:

  • I have no idea what these slides are going to say, so let’s just take a look at them.” (Let’s not, I’d rather hear something I think you may have actually thought of before)

Speak with purpose. Display things that matter. Give value to your listeners. Don’t say stupid stuff.

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