The 7 Deadly Sins of Presenting

This week: The 7 Deadly Sins of Presenting / How to Keep Your Team Engaged (When Everything Changes) / What Made You Look?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Presenting

The stakes are high when you present. A poor presentation can mean that you don’t get that investment or green light for your project. It can even reduce your status and influence as a leader.

The good news is that everyone can be a great presenter.

It doesn’t matter what your style is, whether you are a natural, introvert or extrovert, or if you are – like me – not a native speaker. Because every great speaker shows up as him or herself.

There are however common mistakes presenters make that prevent them from connecting with the audience and from making an impact.

I call them the 7 deadly sins of presenting:

#1 Slide thinking: 30min = 30 slides

That’s the idea that a 30 minute presentation equals 30 slides. The result: a mediocre, predictable presentation.

#2 Wasting the audience’s time

TED talks are short for a reason. Short is better.

#3 Too complicated

Complicated is selfish, because we expect the audience to do the hard work. They won’t – because our brains are hardwired to conserve energy.

#4 The Data Dump

Our short-term memory can hold 7 items of information, yet many presentations contain dozens of facts. Work with biology, not against it.

#5 The Great Disconnect

Presenters tend to rely on facts and logic. The audience, however, needs to be taken on a journey from instinctive to emotional to logic – in that order. That causes a disconnect between message and audience.

#6 No suitable structure

Without a tried-and-tested structure, the audience finds it hard to follow. The right structure will make your presentation memorable and easy to follow.

#7 Blaming the audience

Assume apathy. The audience doesn’t care. It is your job to make them care. You have to make your presentation about them. It is as simple as that.

I’ve certainly been guilty of all of them. Especially number 6. For years, I had a hard time preparing and memorizing presentations because I did not know how to use structure.

Which one resonates with you most?

Talking about engaging an audience …


How to Keep Your Team Engaged (When Everything Changes)

Is your team truly engaged and aligned with your company's vision, or are they just "free range" workers wandering aimlessly?

In this week’s podcast episode, I’m joined by world-class internal communications expert Monique Zytnik. Monique shares valuable insights from her new book "Internal Communication in the Age of AI".

We discuss why most transformations fail and what to do about it, how to get attention for your internal message, how you can build trust internally, and how to communicate bad news.

As the name of the book suggests, we also discuss the impact of technology and AI on the ways leaders communicate with their teams.

Get her book here.

Listen on Spotify and Apple:


What Made You Look?

Money follows attention. That’s why capturing someone's attention has become the ultimate commodity. In "Made You Look," Carmen Simon reveals how to leverage the latest brain science to break through the clutter and get attention for your presentation, marketing or ad campaign. Drawing upon her own research in neuroscience, as well as behavioral economics, and psychology, she provides proven strategies to activate the neural pathways that command attention.

You'll learn techniques for designing visuals, language, and messaging that are inherently captivating to the human brain. She shows how to deliver memorable, impactful communication that inspires action.

I’m thrilled that Carmen Simon will be on the Speak Like a CEO podcast in June, where she will talk more about her book and the power of priming.

Have an inspired weekend!



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