You Don’t Have to be Boring

I attend a lot of conferences, meetings, and events.  I see many  presentations.  Most are just okay.  Some are awful.  Once in a blue moon I see spectacular ones.

Here’s a few don’ts from a seasoned observer.


..ever apologize for anything.  We don’t care that you are sorry the projector is not working, or sorry that you got there late, or sorry about anything.  Please thank us for coming and carry on.

..move around so much.  I’m trying to watch you and listen at the same time.  For some of us, multitasking is hard.  Stand in one spot please.

..ramble on and on. Figure out how to say what you want to say in a sentence or two.  Don’t say “this is a good piece of property.  My grandson, who came over last night to watch Star Wars with us and he got sick and it was just awful, likes to play in the park next door. ”  Say “children love the park, I take my grandson there.” in a monotone voice.  I’ll be the one in the corner trying not to nod off.  Add some spice in your voice! about off topic items. If you’re showing me real estate options in Iowa, I do not want to hear about the work you did volunteering at the hospital in Florida.

..put all your information on the slide show. I hate bullet pointed slides, that you just read to me.  Put a picture there that relates to what you are telling me.

..give me a copy of your slide show. Those pictures you showed – I may not remember what you said and have no idea what those pictures are.  I’d rather have your notes on what you said.

Many thanks to Michael Duffy for the picture!


  1. Shelly Caldeira on March 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I love this!!! Especially the speaking in a monotone voice point. When there are very few voice inflections or emphasis on the important stuff, much of the information will not be processed by the attendee! I like arm and hand movements too, a sort of “signing” the info as well as speaking it. This may be from the fact that I lived in Italy for 3 years as a kid! 🙂

    Also I am totally taking your tip about giving people written info after the presentation. Especially if you have a monotone style presenter! Great info… thanks Deb!

  2. Deb on March 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Shelly –
    Nice to see you here! I like my speakers to at least keep me awake, and it sounds like you do too.
    You rock my friend,

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