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How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation: A Speaking Survival Guide for the Rest of Us by T. J. Walker

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Chapter 28. Trust Me on This

Terrible Ideas

Things you will be tempted to do because they seem like they will make your presentation easier but are actually TERRIBLE IDEAS:

  1. Have a glass of booze. Yes, it might appear to make you more relaxed, but it will make it harder to recall information, make you appear sweaty, and people will smell your breath and form a lifelong impression of you being a drunkard.

  2. Wing it because you want to seem fresh and not over rehearsed. Horrible idea. You are likely to go blank, stammer, and then drone on with boring information. Don't do it.

  3. Read your speech word-for-word. Impossible for amateurs, so don't even attempt.

  4. Wait until the night before the presentation to start preparing it. Start as far in advance as possible, preferably by just jotting down notes on ideas, stories, and examples (don't worry about writing full sentences or paragraphs).

  5. Put all your notes on a PowerPoint slide. Instead, put your notes on a piece of paper.

  6. Practice in front of a mirror. Again, you will only get distracted by the shape of your nose and your receding hairline.

  7. Apologize for not having prepared a better presentation. Nobody cares about you; just give them the best you can.

  8. Eliminate stories and examples because you are short on time. Wretched mistake. Keep the stories, and shorten the number of data points.

  9. Speak faster than usual so that you can finish in a hurry and sit down. This only makes you look nervous, foolish, and amateurish. Speak slower than usual.

  10. Search for ...

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