Recently Chris Anderson, curator of TED, wrote a comprehensive explanation for Harvard Business Review on what makes a presentation successful. Very few people with really compelling stories are naturally good speakers, he says, and many of them have to be coached and trained on how to stand up, bury the nerves, ignore the blinding ballroom lights and deliver truly exceptional presentations. In addition to the advice Anderson gives speakers, he bestows the following handy checklist of 10 things speakers should avoid.
1. Take a really long time to explain what his talk is about.
2. Speak slowly and dramatically.
3. Subtly let everyone know how important he is.
4. Refer to his book repeatedly—or better, quote from it.
5. Cram slides with numerous bullet points and multiple fonts.
6. Use lots of unexplained technical jargon to make himself sound smart.
7. Speak at great length about the history of his organization and its glorious achievements.
8. Fail to rehearse to check how long the talk is running.
9. Sound as if he is reciting the talk from memory.
10. Never make eye contact with anyone in the audience.