Face 10 Most Common Presentation Mistakes and Avoid Them in Future

Updated: Aug 19, 2019


It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced public speaker who has given hundreds of presentations or a novice who is just taking the first steps on this way, making an efficient presentation is quite challenging. The success of the presentation depends largely on its thorough preparation, as well as your abilities to deliver a talk. Even when you have gained some experience of making presentations, there are certain tricky mistakes that you can make. That’s why you should always keep them in mind. Eliminating 10 most common presentation mistakes will bring you lots of benefits, such as:

  • facilitating the preparation process,

  • strengthening your self-confidence,

  • engaging your audience during the presentation,

  • increasing interest in your goods or services as a result of the competent presentation.

Luckily, with a vast variety of PowerPoint templates available online, this problem can be easily solved. You can browse different collections of presentations templates, directly within powerPoint, to find your perfect template that corresponds to your topic, and apply it easily.

So, what 10 most common mistakes should you avoid?

1. Being Unfamiliar with Your Topic and Presentation


One of the typical mistakes that people make is not getting to know their presentations. It happens, particularly, if you are short of time and charge somebody with creating a presentation instead of you. In this case, a person can create a wonderful presentation based on your text or data. However, if you don’t study the presentation in advance, there will be awkward silent moments in your speech while you’ll be trying to match your speech to the information on the slides.

What is even worse, it can happen that you don’t know the material shown on the presentation really well. In such a situation, any question from the audience will puzzle you, and you may lose credibility.

How can you avoid this?

  • Prepare the text for your presentation.

  • Create (or have someone do this for you) your presentation.

  • Study the slides and associate them with the text in advance.

2. Reading Slides Instead of Presenting


If somebody asks you to read your information on the slides, will you get a text? If your answer is yes, your presentation may be poor, unfortunately. You have to remember that slides are not equal to the presentation itself. It is you who has to breathe in the life into your slides and make the information alive. So, the slides should only serve as the basis for your speech. Your audience has to be listening to you without any difficulty, using the information on the slide just to visualize more easily what you’re speaking about, but not reading simultaneously with you.

How can you avoid this?

  • Use numbered and bulleted lists to organize your text.

  • Insert charts and diagrams.

  • Display key words and expressions rather than sentences.

3. Overloading Your Presentation


Undoubtedly, when you are making a presentation, you wish to share as much information as possible in a short amount of time. Thus, you may end up in having too many data in your presentation, and tiring your audience. If you try to fit in a lot of information in a limited period of time, you might as well start speaking too quickly. This is, in fact, the easiest way to make your audience bored and tired.

How can you avoid this?

  • Make a plan for your presentation.

  • Emphasize the key notions.

  • Choose the most appropriate and engaging information.

4. Choosing Inappropriate Design Template or Theme

The design of your slides is crucial, as it is your main visual tool for providing a powerful presentation. Consequently, your slides design should match the topic of your presentation. If you are speaking about chemical equipment or machinery, you aren’t going to opt for a pink flowery design for your presentation, are you? A badly-chosen design will spoil the audience’s impression, and they will not perceive the given information to the full extent.

How can you avoid this?

  • Think of the style of your presentation.

  • Choose theme-related or neutral templates.

  • Apply well-suited designs and themes.

5. Applying Unsuitable Colors

Using unusual color combination is not the best idea for a successful presentation. It may distract the audience’s attention and make it difficult to perceive the information. Moreover, the text may blend with the background, so the text will become difficult to read. Additionally, although it is not very common, some people have color blindness, so they will not appreciate your red-and-green color combinations at all.

How can you avoid this?

  • Choose light backgrounds and dark contrasting text color.

  • Keep away from patterned backgrounds, as they make texts difficult to read.

  • Refrain from colors that are too bright.

6. Implementing Sophisticated Fonts

Sometimes, wishing to impress your audience, you may be tempted to give your presentation a personal touch and to choose some unusual fonts that remind you of handwriting, for example. These fonts do look impressive, but their legibility can be doubtful. Occasionally, people won’t be able to read such fonts at all. So, instead of capturing your audience’s attention, you will cause strain and uncomfortable feelings.

Furthermore, you may forget to change the size of the font, and your text won’t be seen by all people. This can be especially urgent if there are a lot of people sitting in different parts of the room.

How can you avoid this?

  • Choose the size of the font according to the space of the presentation.

  • Give preference to easy-to-read fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman.

  • Apply one or two font types, but don’t overdo the variety of used fonts.

7. Inserting Unnecessary Images

The presentation that is overloaded with pictures, graphs, and diagrams can be a sign of insufficient research of the topic. If you are using too many pictures, you may get distracted and lose the sense of time. A huge number of graphs and diagrams will be tiring for the audience, as the brain needs time to process the information.

How can you avoid this?

  • Choose the most convenient images related to the topic.

  • Alternate text slides with images, graphs, and diagrams.

  • Refer to the main text of your presentation to make sure your slides match it.

8. Making Endless Presentations

If you don’t want your audience to keep looking at their watches in an irritated manner, waiting for your presentation to finish, don’t create endless presentations. It is quite hard to retain the audience’s attention all the time, so don’t try to include all life or business stories into one presentation.

How can you avoid this?

  • Stick to the main point of your presentation.

  • Create an appropriate number of slides (10 – 12 is best).

  • Adhere to your plan and don’t get distracted.

9. Overusing Animation

Impressing people with animation in your presentation can turn into a disaster. When everything is sliding, moving, appearing and disappearing, the audience will only feel confused. People won’t know what to concentrate their attention on, and what might come next.

How can you avoid this?

  • Animate only the most important elements.

  • Be consistent in choosing the style of animation.

  • Make sure animation doesn’t interfere with the pace of your presentation.

10. Relying on Devices Too Much

The most common situation that can happen is not checking hardware in advance. When you arrive at an unfamiliar conference room, it will take you some time to find the way to project your presentation. The audience may start getting impatient while waiting for the presentation to start. Furthermore, even when you are familiar with the room and the devices, your presentation format may not be supported by other devices, so you may end up speaking without your carefully planned slides.

How can you avoid this?

  • Learn how to operate devices in advance.

  • Make sure your presentation is displayed properly.

  • Rehearse your presentation before the audience arrives and make any necessary notes/corrections.

To sum up, preparing an efficient presentation can be a time-consuming process. Well-organized slides require careful thinking and thorough preparation. Undoubtedly, you should keep in mind the main text of your presentation and use slides only as a visual aid to illustrate your thoughts. An efficient presentation should not be too long, and it should include only the most essential information supported with graphs, diagrams, or images. The good news is that you can find ready-made themes and templates for various kinds of presentations. They take into consideration the needs of different people and businesses, applying appropriate color schemes and images, and saving your time dramatically.


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