The 10 most important lessons for speakers

How do you give the best presentation your audience has ever seen? Toss out your clip art, beware of cheesy slide transitions, and end with a bang, among other things.

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Watching it makes me cringe, because I know these mistakes aren’t a product of PowerPoint or the speaker’s content-some presenters just don’t know the basics of effective presentation design and delivery.

I don’t want you to watch the video just to get a chuckle. I want you to learn from these common mistakes. Here are 10 lessons that will help you become a better presenter:

1. Arrive early to prepare.

You’ve seen the presenter who fumbles with his notes and computer as attendees walk in. You’ve heard him admit he doesn’t know what to do on stage.

My rule of thumb is to show up at least 60 minutes early to allow myself enough time to set up, give my presentation a technical run-through, and make any last minute changes before anyone even shows up. That way, when people start to arrive, I’ve freed myself from the confines of technical preparation and I can greet my audience, get to know them, and even create some allies who can be useful later in the presentation.

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