Eight Surefire Ways To Ruin a Meeting or Presentation

25 Mar

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1. Show up late and look really stressed out.   Mess up your papers, tussle your hair, dart your eyes around a little.  This will let your audience know right up front that this is just not going to go well and that you’re likely wasting their time.   Nothing says “ruined presentation” like one that just wasted everyone’s time.

2. Dress like you just crawled out from under a rock.  Spill a little coffee on your tie, wrinkle up those dress shirts.  This drives home the message that you don’t really care very much about what they think of you, anyway.

3. Dive right into your presentation.  Don’t even acknowledge your audience and, by all means, do NOT address them as individuals.  Addressing them in any way beforehand will only make them more comfortable and may even make them (gasp!) like you a little.  No, no.  Jump right in.  An angry, uncomfortable audience is a great way to ruin a presentation.

4. Only use bullet slides.  Pack those slides with so much bulleted content that it would take a microscope to read and a genius to decipher meaning.   This way, your audience is sure to be confused.  With any luck, they’ll also miss out on key pieces of information.  Bingo.

5.  Look all around the room but never directly at your audience.  Alternatively, if that doesn’t work for you, you could try looking rapidly at everyone, never settling your eyes on any one individual.  These methods of eye movement let your audience know you really don’t care how they feel about you or your presentation.

6.  Wander around a lot.  Maybe walk back and forth aimlessly a little or wander around in circles.  Turn your back on the audience for long stretches of time.  Just be sure to never stand still because if you aren’t moving it might mean that you are paying attention.  Or, worse, that you are focused.  Acting focused is a terrible way to ruin a presentation.

7.  Ignore a slide now and then.  Heck, they can SEE it, right?  Let them figure it out.

8. Do you know a lot of fancy words that no one really understands?  Use ’em.  A lot.  This is sure to set you apart as unapproachable, arrogant and unlike anyone in the room.   No one likes an arrogant presenter, right?  Right.  Presentation ruined.  You’re welcome.

Now, call us if you’re ready to do it right.

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