Death by “boring” presentations and how to Eliminate them

“Speech is power. Speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” Ralph Emerson

 When you have a captive audience take advantage of the opportunity, do not bore them to death. Presentations are critical in promoting your ideas and advancing your career. Presentations are a wonderful platform for capturing people’s attention, interest and changing their point of views. It is one of the few mediums that if used properly contain the human interaction  necessary for changing and promoting new ideas and behaviors. Yet with the innovation of PowerPoint and other presentation templates the opportunity to make a ” unique connection” is generally lost or squandered on uninteresting and boring lectures.  

Most presentations today could be finished in five minutes by simply handing out your deck of slides.  Most rules of “adult learning” are violated in boring presentations. For example, some speakers try to influence you by “telling and selling” rather than engaging and connecting with the audience needs and wants. These type of presentations end-up being speaker and content centered rather than audience-centered.

So the question becomes if presentations are so boring and unproductive, why do we continue to have meetings and presentations that are obviously a waste of time and resources?

It could be just a bad habit that goes on unchallenged because we are too lazy to take the time and make the commitment to make them better or maybe most of us are in denial so we think stand-up “talk at” presentations work. I believe the real reason we continue to conduct boring meetings is the common belief that face-to-face  meetings are the best way to connect with others and in the the past some presentations led to powerful outcomes that are better than, e-mailing, white papers or virtual meetings.  Also, many of us hold to this maxim: it is not until someone meets you face-to-face that a true connection or trusted relationship can be forged.

Yet, no matter the reasons for these boring meetings I think they can be changed. It will not be easy to do because it will take hard work, new skills and the courage to stand-up and say “our presentations are boring and unproductive and we need to change them.

How to change “boring and ineffective” meetings:

1. Follow tried and true “adult learning principles” and new design processes.

2. Create a dynamic message that is clear, concise, concrete and compelling . The 4 C’s of effective presentations drive energy into the delivery and bring relevance to the participants.

3. Get to your point early and raise audience curiosity about what is to come next in the presentation. 

4. Learn how to nail the opening with “high energy”

5. Nail the close–Wave the flag, get commitment for action. 

6. Be entertaining and show a great sense of humor 


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