Are You Ruining Presentations To Make TED Founder Scream?

TED curator Chris Anderson writes from a deep well of killer knowledge about giving presentations. He coaches speakers for up to 9 months in advance of their 18-minute delivery. When it comes to corporate spiel, here’s a sample gem;

Don’t boast about your company … tell us the problem you’re solving

His experience shared is invaluable – banish these from your pitches for all time as I hope you too will chuckle at his 10 Ways To Ruin A Presentation;

  1. take a really long time to explain what your talk is about
  2. speak slowly and dramatically – why talk when you can orate?
  3. make sure you subtly let everyone know how important you are
  4. refer to your book repeatedly – even better, quote from it yourself
  5. cram your slides with numerous bullet points and multiple fonts
  6. use lots of unexplained technical jargon to make yourself sound smart
  7. speak at great length about the history of your organisation and its glorious achievements
  8. don’t bother rehearsing to check how long your talk is running
  9. sound as if you’re reciting your talk from memory
  10. never, ever make eye contact with anyone in the audience

…As a knowing aside, don’t you like the way these are presented? I love the switch around from the typical Dos to Do Nots. I can see myself creating a playful list too. How about, 10 Ways to Ruin A Product Launch? Along the same lines….

  1. Ignore any urge to test market or pilot, indeed, never let a real-life customer touch your product until well after it leaves the lab
  2. Cram as many new features as you can into your new product and its pitch
  3. Make sure the anchor customer alone gets to re-write all your specs
  4. Speak to every single prospect on your books the once as quickly as possible after launch
  5. Conjure at least three incentive plans for the salesforce around it (& focus on there being a free bar in the hotel after you explain these to them)
  6. Make the claims of riches you enable as bold and brash as possible
  7. Get the product manager to vet every single lead upfront
  8. Impress upon the salesteam that the product sells itself and customers will instantly “get it”, after all you could train a monkey to take the orders
  9. Little things like Delivery and Implementation will take care of themselves
  10. Don’t waste time with a product development roadmap, it’ll only confuse everyone and get ditched straight after launch anyway

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