About to present? Don’t say these things! #MRX

My presentation is the last thing between you and break/lunch/cocktails/dinner. I hear this at least twice in every conference. Guaranteed. It makes me think your presentation is going to boring and maybe  I should just leave for the break now. Should I? It’s just not funny anymore.

I’m really sorry but I won’t be as awesome as the last presenter. This usually happens after a presenter who showed cool videos or played fun music or who was really animated on stage. It rarely happens after a presentation that was full of helpful and practical tips. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be the person who was practical. I’m not particularly impressed by fluff. Give me substance. Even if you’re boring as heck.

I know nothing about this technology, so you’ll have ask my IT guy if you have any questions. Wonderful. I’m supposed to take you seriously when you’re talking about something you don’t understand? Why don’t I just go talk to your sales person instead. Where’s the brownie? Know what you could say instead. “My colleague would love to explain that in more detail.” See? You don’t sound stupid that way.

I don’t understand all these numbers, ask my data guy. This is nothing to be proud of. If you don’t understand the numbers on your slides, you shouldn’t be presenting them. Take a class, attend some webinars, read some textbooks. Numerical illiteracy is nothing to be proud of. You CAN learn. I did. (Check out @ResearchRocks. Awesome training with a kind and patient person.)

To conclude, don’t criticize yourself on stage. Be confident, project intelligence, and the audience will respond.



“Where’s the brownie” is what I tweet when presenters are doing a sales pitch or have no content. If you’re a presenter, avoid the brownie!  🙂

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