Ignoring the Distractions:
Real-Life Tips on How to Avoid Distractions in Meetings
When it comes to communication in today’s world, presentation skills are a must. A good presentation can make or break a business deal, your grade, or a job offer. However, to build your presentation skills, you have got to focus on what is important and learn how to avoid distractions. Certain key distractions can, if allowed, lead to presentation headaches. Here, we have gathered a few real-life presentation tips that can help to improve your presentation skills greatly, and teach you how to avoid distractions in meetings or any presentation.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
The most important presentation skills are creating an immediate connection with your audience and delivering a compelling message. We covered this presentation topic in more detail in a post titled, "How To Start A Presentation: Your First Burst?" by one of our guest bloggers (and presentation guru) Bryan Flanagan. As he discusses in the article, if you hook them in to your presentation immediately then distractions become less important. Nonetheless, there are some distractions you should eliminate right off. These include:
- Worrying about content length.
- Give enough content to get your point across.
- Not too little or too much.
- Never worry about content volume.
- Presentation design.
- Just using a slide background and easy-to-read font is just fine.
- Don’t get too fancy with it. This distracts from your message.
- Putting on a show.
- It can be tempting, but remember that your presentation, not you, should be the star.
Practice Makes Perfect
One of the most important presentation tips is to practice. Knowing your presentation inside and out, will help you avoid distractions. Practice alone or with a group. If possible, run your presentation by a person who you know will be honest about it. They can give you helpful tips. Use a “roadmap,” as an outline slide. You can refer back to this slide whenever you need to. Having a strong outline can make practice much smoother. Feel free to use notecards as you practice. Then, ditch them during the presentation. If you can practice in the space where you will be giving the presentation, even better. Get feedback before you take the stage, and incorporate that feedback.
Avoid Presentation Headaches Caused By Slides
Remember how we said to not sweat the design of your slides? Often times, people can get carried away. They can spend hours trying to perfect the look of their presentation. Remember, again, that your slides should not be the most interesting thing happening during your presentation. Instead, they should serve as a simple guidepost for what is going on. Having slides that are too cluttered, use weird text, designs, or are difficult to understand can be more harmful than helpful. People may only remember how strange your slideshow seemed, and not how great your message was.
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