Presentation pet peeves

Jenni Field

Inspired by today’s article in the Daily Mail that lists modern phrases often hated by all, I thought fellow communicators could help me list those pet peeves when it comes to presentations. Today I attended an internal event, and whilst I don’t profess to be the best presenter in the world, nor am I saying that today’s presenters were awful, it just made me think about those things we do when we talk to our peers in these forums.

I welcome all contributions to this list as I’m sure many others have sat through presentations and have come across things they would class as a pet peeve!

  1. The first has to be the people who say “Now you won’t be able to read this slide, but…” I have to ask, why would you put content on a slide you are presenting to people who won’t be able to see if you’re not looking at it on your screen/desk?
  2. The “I won’t go into the detail” – then why are you showing it if you’re not going to talk us through it?
  3. Some presenters also tend to focus all their attention on the most senior colleague in the room – the person who has normally seen/heard the content before. I would think most people would want to have a presentation addressed to the whole audience
  4. Text over pictures – there is a time and a place, grey photo with white text is hard to read
  5. Should everyone present – if some people aren’t great presenters should we make them stand up there anyway? It is something I often debate with colleagues in training teams
  6. Font changes throughout a presentation is also a real pet peeve – surely this is something that everyone can spot?!

So as conferences begin to take centre stage for internal communicators I have no doubt all these things and more will start to rise to the top of our agendas once more… So what’s on your list?

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