10 Common Presentation Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

6 min readMay 9, 2024


Presentations can feel like walking on thin ice. So take a deep breath to avoid panicking! All of us have been there, tackling different obstacles, like technical issues or the fear of public speaking. However, the real danger is people’s common mistakes during presentations. These mistakes make you look unprofessional and make your presentation flop. That is exactly why we will discuss: the common presentation mistakes you need to avoid to become a professional podium speaker!

10 Common Presentation Mistakes That You Need To Avoid

As a presenter, you are bound to make mistakes, and it’s completely fine to do so. However, there are some common presentation mistakes that you need to avoid because they will make you look like a complete beginner. Avoiding these mistakes will help you cement your reputation as a good presenter and might even open up new doors in your life. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the common presentation mistakes you must avoid.

1. Not Creating A Plan

a woman making a plan on a piece of paper
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Before you even start creating your slideshow, make a plan. Not having a plan is one of the biggest presentation mistakes anyone can make. The best presenters have a plan before they even start the outline of their presentation. So, understand what your presentation is all about and create a flow in tandem. Figuring out what content needs to be added and how it will be presented are a few action items you need to plan out before creating your slideshow.

2. Lack Of Preparation

Even with a plan, not being prepared is a disaster in the making. Preparing for your presentation goes hand in hand with creating a plan. The thing about preparation is that there can never be too much of it. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be while presenting. This is because you are well-versed in your content, which helps you keep your audience’s attention. (It’s all interconnected.)

3. Ignoring your audience

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during your presentation is to ignore your audience’s needs. So before you start your presentation, address your audience and let them know details like what they can expect, what you’ll be covering, if and when you’ll be stopping for a break, and whether you are taking questions in the middle of the presentation. Addressing your audience at the start helps them concentrate more as they know what to expect.

4. Being boring

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

Another grave presentation mistake that you need to avoid is being boring. If you keep taking data and boring the audience, they will stop paying attention to you. Try adding humor to your presentation. It doesn’t need to be the power behind your presentation, but enough to get a few laughs in intervals. If the meeting is leaning towards a serious tone, engage more with the audience and interact with them to keep their attention on the presentation.

5. Being wordy and using jargon

Being concise and keeping your presentation to the point is going to help you gain brownie points and will also help you keep your audience’s attention. But, if you are being too wordy or use a lot of jargon, you start walking on thin ice where you risk losing your audience’s attention. When planning your presentation, note down everything you need to cover and think about how you can explain your point to the audience. This will help you reduce using jargon or being too wordy when you are actually in front of everyone.

6. Poor slide design

Have you ever noticed how off-putting unnecessary animations, small fonts, and wrong colors tend to be when someone is presenting? Just like that, a dull slide design can spoil your presentation, so paying attention to your slide design is crucial. Additionally, the theme of your slides sets the mood. So, if you are presenting in a darker room, it would be best to use a dark background with light text color and vice versa for bright rooms. Images also play a major role, with low-quality images making your presentation look unprofessional.

One of the best ways to get visually appealing slides is by using templates, and one of the best places to get professional PowerPoint templates is SlideUpLift! You will find a range of professional business templates that are completely customizable, making it easy for you to add your content and change whatever you need.

7. Dressing poorly

Not wearing the correct outfit for your presentation is a mistake that you need to avoid. You need to ensure you pick appropriate attire. Suppose you are leading a very important pitch meeting. You wouldn’t show up wearing a regular T-shirt and jeans for it, right? Your outfit needs to match the seriousness of your presentation, which is why you need to first evaluate the importance of your presentation and where you will be when presenting. To find the perfect outfit for your type of presentation, you can check out our article on how to dress for a presentation.

8. Lack of eye contact

Next time, when presenting in front of a group of people, try to make eye contact with each person present. Doing this will make each one in the room feel connected to you personally. But if you don’t make eye contact and your audience doesn’t feel connected, they are bound to lose interest. That’s why it is so important; even if it is a glance, try to look at everyone just once!

9. Using poor humor

Good humor usually helps make a presentation memorable. In contrast, poor humor tends to leave a sense of discomfort in the air. Again, this comes into play when planning; you need to understand your audience, what jokes are appropriate, and which ones are inappropriate. Many times, try not to joke about serious situations as they can come off as you being unserious and take things lightly. Poking fun at yourself is always a good way to add a bit of humor as it puts people at ease, and seeing them laugh also helps you relax and feel confident.

10. Speaking too fast or too slow

image of a man talking to a group of people
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The last common presentation mistake we would like to highlight is speaking too fast or slow. Learning how to control the pace of your speech is an important skill to learn as it shows that you are confident in your speech, even if you aren’t. People usually speak too fast or slow when they are nervous, and it is an understandable issue as many fear public speaking and tend to get anxious in front of crowds. If you are someone who has public speaking anxiety, our article on tips to overcome your fear of public speaking could guide you to become a confident presenter!

These were some of the common presentation errors that you must avoid. Once you eliminate these mistakes, you will automatically look more like a professional presenter and less like a beginner. Your presentations will also become more informative, engaging, and impactful! Now, steer clear of these mistakes, take a deep breath, be confident, and nail your next presentation!




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