This short video pretty much sums up what not to do when you make a presentation. Unfortunately, about 90 percent of the presentations I have witnessed in corporate America make these exact mistakes.

This video stars my friends, Tripp Crosby and Tyler Stanton. It was created as a promo video for Tim Elmore’s visual book on communications.

It might be worth watching this with your team and asking how you can avoid these mistakes and make your presentations more compelling.

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18 thoughts on “How Not to Make a Presentation

  1. So true — but it missed a couple of things:

    The unexpected animation.  This happened at a conference I was at.  I had pulled together all the briefings and noticed that several slides on one had animation.  Since people often take slides from another coworker’s presentation, I sent an email to the presenter asking if he wanted it.  He ignored me, so I forgot about it.  Come the conference, and we hit that animation, and he was so thrown off by it.

    The dirty joke.  This happened when I was in the army.  The trainer — a person who got stuck doing the presentation and had no idea what he was doing — was nervous and told several dirty jokes to the audience. 

    • I think the one that gets me is when they use a clip but you can tell they didn’t try and prep the speech beforehand because the clip doesn’t work or isn’t in the correct format to work with power point. Or using power point at all is a good way to get tuned out. 

    • I’m always surprise when presenters use inappropriate humor. Not a dirty joke necessarily, but something that makes half the room cringe. My rule: if there’s any question, don’t use it! If it doesn’t further the message, it’s a distraction at the least.

  2. Do you think writing a journal as opposed to typing a journal is more beneficial? I personally believe writing is better because it causes you to think slow enough to write things down but wanted to get others

  3. Absolutely brilliant! A business friend and I were just having a conversation about how so many people are dull, lifeless and totally miss the engagement factor in their presentations. It’s the ones that are willing to bring all of who they are to the table that succeed.

  4. Now I have a tangible business reference to explain ‘epic fail’. Thanks Michael, sometimes we learn what to do by observing what not to do. Quality.

  5. Geez…probably one of the most uncomfortable videos I’ve seen in a long time. :/ VERY well produced and written. I love the idea it communicates!

  6. Haha! That was brilliant and sadly dead on for most presentations I’ve suffered through. Thank you for sharing.

    I try to treat presentations like the audience has 2 hours to live and the first 60 minutes are spent with me. Gotta use them wisely.

  7. Of course, one of the gags in the video is the desktop photo.

    So if you use Windows, here’s how to run your slideshow without ever showing your desktop (or even PowerPoint itself) to your audience:

    And here’s a 45-second video that makes a very funny observation about speaking in public:

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