Dying to flub your next presentation? Have we got a how-to guide for you, courtesy of Tom Leech, author of How to Prepare, Stage, and Deliver Winning Presentations (American Management Association, $25). Just follow these five steps and you’ll lose the deal (and maybe your job) with style.
Wait until the last minute to write your presentation. Ditto on preparing visuals. Do not, under any circumstances, rehearse repeatedly.
2-Ignore the Audience
Forget what your listeners want and prattle on about your own interests. Have 10 minutes to pitch a venture capitalist? Use nine to blab about your product; don’t even use the words return on investment.
3-Present Visual Ailments
PowerPoint is a great tool for fomenting confusion. Just cram as many words as possible into each frame — preferably in a font hardly distinguishable from the background. Ideally, slides reproduce your remarks exactly. Extra credit: Turn your back on the audience to read them.
Never arrive early to check your tech equipment for compatibility. Fumble with connections until your audience is bored, and then wing it.
5-Let Data Speak
Don’t worry about delivery. Simply speak in a monotone and stand as still as Pinocchio before the Blue Fairy got to him. And please don’t try to connect with one listener at a time! That could undo all your careless planning.