Advice from the EMProfessor

The Biggest Mistake when giving presentations

You need to sell yourself, not your slides

The biggest mistake you can ever make when giving a presentation is to make the focus of the presentation on your slides instead of yourself.

I think the incorrect mentality at work here is to create a glorious set of slides, then sneak off to the side somewhere to not be in the way of those glorious slides. This is the exact opposite of what you should do.

Instead, make yourself the glorious center of attention with perhaps some simple slides off the side to backup what you are saying. This will make your presentation more personal, and your ideas will be more easily understood. We are human and need the personal interaction for effective communication. Listeners will remember you as much as they remember your talk. This will help you network and help you build your professional reputation. TED Talks are usually excellent examples of how to give an effective presentation. Watch some TED Talks with this advice in mind.