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Are Your Presentations Boring?

Posted by on February 21, 2008

baby yawnRecently, I sat in on a mobile technologies presentation from a prospective vendor. They (two gentlemen) seemed smart enough, after all, they were tech savvy Phd’s. I was impressed with their qualifications and was expecting a grade “A” presentation. Instead, what I got was a scene from “B” horror movie.

Apparently the gentlemen were from Finland, they had very heavy accents; I could not understand much of what they said. This immediately killed the presentation from the get-go. If you are an organization attempting to pitch a global mobile solution then you better have someone doing the presenting that can, well, present!

The slides were what I like to call BaB slides (boring and bulleted), I was not about to sit there and read through all of their information. The goal behind a presentation is to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a particular field while educating the audience and pitching your idea. Your audience is not dumb, don’t make them read your bulleted lists, and if you’re the presenter you shouldn’t be reading through your bulleted lists either. You probably don’t want to use a generic Power Point template, we’ve all seen them and we don’t want to see them again, they are dull, boring, uninteresting, and sleep-inducing mechanisms of doomed presentations. Your presentations should reflect your messaging and your product. A presentation is just another marketing tool, BRAND IT and make it your own! If your product/service/technology/etc. is exciting, then your presentation and method of delivery should be more exciting.

To top things off, in the middle of the presentation one of the two gentlemen received a phone call and then proceeded to answer it in the middle of the presentation, mumbling to the person on the other end that “he was in a meeting.” What kind of a message does that send to me? Here I am giving up an hour of my day to listen to these guys pitch me their idea, and the guy pauses to answer his phone. I don’t have the attention span or the time to listen to you on your phone and neither does anybody else.

These guys may have had a great product, but they just couldn’t sell it. Most people think that great technology will market and sell itself, guess what, that’s not true. Great technology doesn’t mean anything if I don’t understand what it does, how to use it, or how it can benefit my organization.

Who is doing your presenting?