How not to give a presentation

As I alluded to in my last post, I didn’t think my talk at Ignite Cardiff on Thursday was very good. And now that I’ve seen it I’ve realised it’s actually pretty awful.

BUT, I think I’m kind of glad it happened. I’ve got a few big talks to do over coming weeks, including a pitch for some quite serious money. And with that being pretty much the worst talk I’ve given for a long time, it’s made me realise the importance of preparation. Particularly when there’s time constraints. The simple fact was that with organising the event I just didn’t have time to learn or rehearse it. Oh, the irony….!

It’s particularly cringeworthy through the first handful of slides where I completely forgot what I was intending to talk about and I’m pretty incoherent. I make a little bit more sense in the middle, but all in all it’s pretty embarrassing. I just mainly tried to squeeze way too much in, simply because I hadn’t rehearsed it so had no idea how jumbled, rushed and incoherent it would sound.

I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’ve decided to post it. I  think hopefully there’s some useful stuff in there for people to take home with them. And it’s an object lesson in what happens when you don’t prepare and you’re under time pressure. It’s clear from my gesture when I left the stage that I felt it was a garbled effort!

6 responses to “How not to give a presentation”

  1. It was pretty good actually.

    The other lesson is, one is one’s own worst critic. It’s all new to your audience. So chill out.

    You should post the Stevie Wonder vid you once told me about – the one where he picks out bum notes in Songs In The Key Of Life.

  2. I agree with Carl – we’re our own worst critics and I also enjoyed the talk.

    Could it have been smoother, slicker etc – yes, although it certainly wasn’t incoherent and the messages were still there.

    Using the experience as a learning curve it vital though and everytime you get in front of people only sharpens your mind/tongue 🙂

    Well done.

  3. Thanks gents. You’re very kind.

    Just shows what happens when you’re not fully prepared!


    Might have to re-record the talk sometime with a little more coherence, and some of the unnecessary stuff taken out.

  4. It’s a great point and a good presentation.

    Don’t beat yerself up. Do it again in the mirror and try and reduce the amount of words by 20%, and less anecdotal stuff.

    Can I have a copy please? I need it…and so do a lot of my colleagues.

  5. Once did a 30-40 minute presentation on the same afternoon that I need to present it.

    Lesson from that: don’t hold paper. Just wing it!

    Don’t see what’s really wrong with it to be honest! I always feel like as if I haven’t said enough or provided enough answers or should work on the body language or provided more of those inspirational quotes but it’s all good..

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