Scary Presentations – well it’s Hallowe’en!

We have all sat through presentations and meetings where, well, it has been a disaster: not just for the speakers, but the audience experience and outcomes. There are occasions when everything goes wrong – from a powercut, fire alarm or travel delays. People are very forgiving in those situations, and you can win them over by charm and not panicking!


However, on Tuesday over 100 people, and myself experienced a ‘car crash’ of a presentation, caused exclusively by the people presenting. Ironically this was at a vaguely Hallowe’en themed event. The presentation was the ‘icing on the cake’ of a poorly conceived and managed event, but resulted in the company losing all credibility.

I am not going to discuss the event, although I should say that it was already running at least 1 hour late due to the ‘themed’ experience that they’d poorly run. The catering was affected, the guests were propping up the bar drinking alcoholic beverages, and were hungry.


1. They ‘winged’ it. They didn’t prepare or rehearse it in the space beforehand.

2. They randomly added two videos of work they’d done that didn’t show what they’d done but were hard sells. This wasn’t a sales pitch.

3. The two presenters rambled on, adding lots of cringworthy mannerisms.

4. The 10 minute presentation lasted 30 minutes: and the event was already overrunning by over an hour…

5. The presentation was sell, sell, sell. They’d been asked to present an educational talk.

6. They made some ludicrous claims including “Our actors are the best 200 actors in the world”. There were no Oscar winners in the team and I know the actors weren’t paid anything for ‘showcasing’. Some were students and amateur performers wanting to help their friends.

7. The presenters swore when they made mistakes rather than try to move on.

8. They kept insulting each other; oh how we laughed.

9. They name dropped but gave no examples of how they created and delivered any of their work.

10. By acting and presenting in this way, their brand was damaged. People hadn’t come to hear a sales pitch; they hadn’t come to be bored or insulted. The presentation gave the impression this company were incompetent.

Although it was cringeworthy, it was a sober lesson of how NOT to present to an audience of potential buyers and an audience of your industry.

If you would like to discover how to present effectively; engaging your audience – either for an in house workshop or one to one contact us or call 0800 0938 464

The post Scary Presentations – well it’s Hallowe’en! appeared first on The Executive Voice Speaking Coach.

About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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