4 Perfectionist Mistakes That Are Killing Your Presentations

This post by John Nettles was originally published on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.

Everyone knows that preparation is essential when it comes to effective entrepreneurial pitches or presentations. But are your perfectionistic tendencies actually ruining your chances of success?

Recently at Tech Park Academy, public speaking guru Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentationsshared his wisdom. Not only did Kenny  write a book on presentations, but his work has beenfeatured on Forbes and even commended by Bill Clinton. He also gave a TED Talk about effective communication.

According to Kenny, your A-type personality won’t do you any favors if you make these four presentation mistakes:

Point #1: You Started with a Perfect Outline

Outlines are common blueprinting tools for content creations. However, for presentations, outlines can be lousy.

Here’s why:

  • They obscure the focus from one main idea, turning presentations into “laundry lists” of info
  • They can go on forever, leading to overly long presentations
  • They put distance between the main idea and the supporting points, weakening the argument overall

Action Item: Use the diagram above instead of an outline.

Here’s how the diagram works.

  1. Start by identifying your big idea. What’s the one thing you want the audience to do? Buy a product, make an investment, or see the value proposition? Put this idea in the center circle.
  2. Next, go around the circle and add the three (ONLY THREE ) smaller points that support this main idea. For longer presentations, add more points.
  3. Come up with a killer opener in the first circle.
  4. In the final circle, create a compelling call to action. Examples include visiting a website, calling a number, making an investment, etc. This is the most important point; don’t lead your audience on a journey they can’t finish, Kenny says.

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