Skip to content

Increase your credibility by avoiding these phrases

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a terrible presentation. Sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on what’s wrong with. Often though, a poor presenter will go as far as to point out why their presentation is sub-par. When you’re making the presentation, how can you avoid these pitfalls? What phrases destroy your credibility regardless of your content?

Here’s our top three culprits:

“Wow, I’m so nervous”

This one is usually followed by an awkward giggle.

Presentations are all about confidence: your confidence that you know your material and the audience’s confidence that you know your material. When you tell the audience you’re nervous, you’ve instantly lost them. They’ll not only doubt you, but also your material.

When we run our Presentation skills Workshops, we ask participants to rate how nervous they feel when they’re up front on a scale of 1–10, with 10 being the most nervous. This usually results in scores of 8+. We then ask the audience to rate how nervous the person looked. This usually comes out at a max of 3. It’s one of the main reasons we think other people don’t feel nervous, we just can’t tell how truly nervous someone is by looking at them, so avoid telling your audience.

“You probably can’t read that slide too well”

We talk a lot about PowerPoint slide design, but by far the biggest problem is cramming too much information into one slide. Saying that a slide is hard to read is just drawing attention to this mistake. Not only does this tell your audience that you are knowingly giving them poor slides, it also detracts from your audience’s attention as they struggle to make out the tiny markings on the screen.

 

There is a simple fix for this: better slide design. If you think your text is too small…increase it. If you can, look at your presentation in the room you’ll be using and stand up the back. Can you read the information? Remember, the slide show is a tool to support your presentation and shouldn’t be a word-for-word recount. If there’s a lot riding on your presentation, then consider getting your slides designed by a professional.

“And that’s me done”

If you ever want people to remember anything from a presentation, you need a strong conclusion. Just finishing abruptly after you’ve gone through your presentation is not that. Take the time to think about what you’ve said and quickly recap. This can be as simple as listing the key points or recommendations that you discussed. It will cement your message in their minds, maximising their retention.

So when you’re preparing for your next presentation, remember to avoid these three phrases: “Wow I’m so nervous”; “You probably can’t read that slide too well”; and “That’s me done”. Remember that people don’t see how nervous you feel. Keep your slides tidy. And always finish with the information you want your audience to remember.

More posts you might like...

83. Chris Huet on Creative Language and Communication

Strap yourself in for episode eighty-three of The Presentation Boss Podcast. Today on the show we have a guest and all round cool dude from Canberra, Chris Huet. If you could imagine a Venn diagram where ‘fighter pilot’, ‘poet’, and ‘communication consultant’ all overlap, then you’ve got a good idea where Chris lives. Kate and…
Read More

82. Speech Breakdown: Steve Jobs: Launch of the iPhone

It’s another big one in episode eighty-two of The Presentation Boss Podcast. Thirteen years ago the late Steve Jobs introduced the world to a revolutionary new product, the iPhone at MacWorld in January 2007. In an 80-minute keynote he presented some of the most iconic techniques and skills in the speaking word, and the product…
Read More

81. What Do I Do With My Hands?

Put your hands together for episode eighty-one of The Presentation Boss Podcast! In this episode we give you the answer to one of our most asked questions; “What do I do with my hands when speaking?” We get it, as you speak and nervousness kicks in, nothing feels comfortable and natural and you become hyper-aware…
Read More

80. David Nihill on Hacking Public Speaking

It’s your lucky day! Episode eighty of The Presentation Boss Podcast. Joining us today is Irish author, speaker trainer and stand-up comic, David Nihill. His philosophy around hacking public speaking, combined with his leverage of using Stand-Up techniques means he has a grounded, sensible but effective approach to what works in presentations. The interview starts…
Read More

79. Speech Breakdown: The Secrets of Food Marketing

Time to sit down and listen in to episode seventy-nine of The Presentation Boss Podcast. In this breakdown, we tackle something a little bit different. This talk was suggested to us by a listener and we’ve hesitated to have this detailed look at it for months. It is an acted marketing piece for a UK…
Read More

78. Where to Start When You Don’t Know Where to Start

Episode seventy-eight of The Presentation Boss Podcast and in this short time together, Kate and Thomas tackle that problem of where do you even start when you need to prepare for a presentation. Whether you have a head full of ideas and content all swimming around untamed and need to implement the Brain Dump method.…
Read More