Are you a participant?

Avoid Bad Presentation At Work | Common Mistakes, Tips To Fix & 5 Ways Overcome Disaster Experiences

Avoid Bad Presentation At Work | Common Mistakes, Tips To Fix & 5 Ways Overcome Disaster Experiences


Jane Ng 21 Oct 2022 8 min read

I gave a really bad presentation in my workplace. I am finding it hard to face people in my office now. How should I get over it? – This is the evergreen topic on popular forums like Quora or Reddit. It seems that most of us who are working people all have problems with presentations and do not know how to overcome this pain. 

Hey! Don’t worry, AhaSlides would be more than happy to help you by giving common mistakes everyone might face & how to fix them.

So, let’s get started!

“I just embarrassed myself failing a presentation in front of everyone at work. How do I overcome this?” – Image: Quora – Bad Presentation at Work

Can I Refuse To Do A Presentation At Work?

This question must be on the minds of people who have the fear of public speaking

Bad Presentation at Work – Photo: freepik

This fear can happen due to fear of failure, audience, high stakes, and being the center of attention. Thus, when faced with a presentation, many people experience the classic fight-or-flight response such as heart palpitations, tremors, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, and resulting presentation problem that makes the “a sad memory” such as:

  • You turn your presentation into a lullaby that makes everyone yawn, roll their eyes, or keep checking their phones to see when you’re done.
  • Your mind goes blank. No matter how many times you practice, just being on the stage makes you forget everything that needs to be said. You start standing still or drunk with nonsense. Make the presentation end with shame.
  • You are running out of time. This could be the result of not timing your rehearsal first or technical problems. Whatever the reason, you end up making a bad presentation that makes the audience could not understand what you are trying to convey.

Why Do Present Despite So Many Embarrassing Experiences?

The answer is that presentations bring a lot of benefits and are essential for product launching, marketing strategy, company trend reports, and many more.

  • Product Presentation: Product presentations are a great opportunity to showcase your newly built or renovated feature products to the world. The purpose of this presentation is built around the introduction/improvement of your product to best suit your users or share about a new product with potential investors. You can take Apple’s iPhone launch as a typical example. 
  • Marketing Presentation: No matter how quality your products or services are, they still require a proper marketing strategy to be known and be able to sell to your intended audience. So marketing presentations will come into play to the board of directors or other shareholders. They will decide if those strategies are feasible or not.
  • Data Presentation: Once in the business, you will have to familiarize yourself with the numbers and reports that come from every department, like revenue reports, monthly/quarterly data reports, growth reports, etc. Therefore, to present data visually, easy to understand, and to remember with the leadership and related departments, you need to have a data presentation.

So if you don’t improve your presentation skills and still make one or more bad presentations, you will soon be out of business. Watch out!

The Most Common Mistakes In A Bad Presentation And How To Fix It

Here are 4 common mistakes that even professional speakers can make & tips to fix:

Mistake 1: No preparation

  • Great speakers always prepare. They know the topic to talk about, have an outline of the content, design impressive slides, and carefully study the key issues they want to present. Many people only prepare their presentation material 1-2 days or even hours before the presentation. This bad habit leads to the audience only hearing vaguely and not understanding what is going on.
  • Tips: To optimize audience perception and get the results you want after your presentation, practice speaking out loud at least once before standing on stage.

Mistake 2: Too much content

  • With the first presentations, you inevitably get greedy, cram too much content at once and include tons of videos, charts, and images. However, when all these types of content are used up, the presentation will become lengthy, with too many unnecessary slides. As a result, you will have to spend time reading the letters and numbers on the slide and skipping the audience.
  • Tips: Outline the highlights you want to convey to your audience. And remember that the fewer words the better. Because if a slide is too long, you will lose the audience by lacking connection and convincing. You can apply The 10 20 30 Rule
Bad Presentation at Work – Photo: freepik

Mistake 3: No eye contact

  • Have you ever witnessed a presentation where the speaker spends all of his time looking at his notes, the screen, the floor, or even the ceiling? How does this make you feel? Looking someone in the eye helps establish a personal connection and even one look can draw in an audience. If your audience is small, try to make eye contact with each individual at least once.
  • Tips: To make a visual connection, eye gestures directed at each person must last at least 2 to 3 seconds or long enough to say a full sentence/paragraph. Effective eye contact is the most important nonverbal skill in a speaker’s “toolbox”.

Mistake 4: Discrete presentation

  • Although we spend most of our day talking to each other, speaking to an audience is a difficult skill and one that we need to practice regularly. If anxiety causes you to rush your presentation, your audience may miss important points.
  • Tips: Stabilize your mind by taking deep breaths to prevent confusion. If you start talking nonsense, it will take some time for you to settle down. Take a deep breath, and pronounce each word clearly as you focus on slowing down.

Keys Takeaways

Image: freepik

It takes a lot of practice and effort to get a good presentation. But if you know how to avoid common pitfalls, your presentation will be much better. So here are the keys:

  • Common presentation mistakes include not preparing properly, providing inappropriate content, and speaking poorly.
  • Check the location and familiarize yourself with the device first to avoid possible problems.
  • Keep your presentation clear and concise and use appropriate visual aids.
  • Make sure you mention terms that are in line with your audience’s understanding so that your presentation avoids confusion.

But this part is just a way to deal with the technical aspects, prepare for a good presentation and help you to avoid “Death by PowerPoint“. 

As for those who have lived with disaster experiences of a bad presentation, the next section is your mental recovery.

5 Ways To Recover From A Bad Presentation

Avoid Bad Presentation At Work – Mental Health Matters – Image: freepik

To help you through the nightmare named a bad presentation, please do the methods given below: 

  • Accept disappointment: It’s not always a good idea to “think positively” because feeling uncomfortable is a normal part of life. Accepting disappointment will allow you to let it go more easily and move on. Give yourself some time to go through the sadness and get up to the fight.
  • Practice self-compassion: Don’t treat yourself in too harsh ways. For example, “I am a loser. No one wants to work with me anymore.” Don’t talk to yourself like that. Don’t let yourself lower your self-worth. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.
  • It doesn’t mean anything about you: A bad presentation doesn’t mean you’re a disaster or you’re not qualified for the job. There will be factors you can control or not, but whether it’s the content of the presentation or the technical problem, your presentation disaster means nothing about who you are.
  • Use failure as a motivation: A bad presentation is an opportunity to figure out why it went wrong and to improve on the next presentation. You can learn more about how to avoid common mistakes that cause bad speeches here.

Use Interactive Presentation Software To Make Your Dream Speech Come True

Using Interactive Presentation Software has great benefits and can turn your bad presentation into a great one. It:

  • Increase audience engagement, allowing them to connect with you and the purpose of your presentation.
  • Improve retention. 68% of people say it’s easier to remember information when the presentation is interactive.
Avoid Bad Presentation at Work – An interactive quiz with results on AhaSlides

AhaSlides is cloud-based interactive presentation software that allows you to organize fun, interactive presentations for all your needs, with quizzes, live Q&A, word clouds, brainstorming slides, etc. 

Audiences can join the presentation from their phones and interact directly with the presentation with lots of interesting interactive options.

Learn more at AhaSlides’ template library!  

How AhaSlides for Business works for You

Team Meetings

Create exciting virtual team meetings with AhaSlides. Engage your team with a live survey for instant feedback on how things are going with your business, any concerns the team may have, and any new ideas that colleagues think of. This not only creates opportunities for new ideas, but makes your team feel listened to and cared for.

Team Building Sessions

Even virtually, you can create meaningful team building activities to get your team participating and working better with each other. 

An online quiz can be a great way to have everyone involved, or use our spinner wheel feature for an ice breaker game such as Never Have I Ever. These team building exercises can be used as a social activity or during work hours as a break to get the team re-energised.

Project Kickoff

Get your team prepared with a well organised kickoff meeting for your next project. Introduce everyone to the project and get them settled with popular ice-breakers. Use live polls and Q&As to efficiently compile everyone’s ideas and opinions, leading to an effective goal creation strategy. Then, assign all your tasks and get started.

You can also use AhaSlides business to check in periodically to see how everyone is getting on, and if you’re all still on the same page.

Sales Proposal/Pitch Deck

Create unique and bespoke sales proposals with eye catching business presentations. Include your branding and edit to suit your audience. Make sure your pitch gets noticed with memorable features such as polling, Q&A and brainstorming, then complete the captivation with highly visual slides.

Brainstorming Ideas

Use good old fashioned brainstorming, with a modern twist, to get ideas flowing. Start with an icebreaker or game to get your team energised and their brains active. The closer the team feels to each other the more likely they are to share their own ideas.

In Conclusion

Remember, public speaking is a performance. So, to avoid bad presentations at work, you need to prepare and practice many times to make it perfect. Don’t lose confidence in yourself because of a bad presentation for once. Follow AhaSlides articles to learn more about this topic!

Use this reference code when you checkout: AHAXMAS21

Make this Christmas the most fun yet with our new and exciting templates. Coming soon this 12th December 2022