Right, it’s showtime. You’ve got to make a big presentation, and the result is really important. You want to impress your audience, right? Here are three things you should NOT do (plus what you should do).

Top tip #1: Don’t be desperate to impress them. If they think you look like you’re trying too hard, they may infer that:

  • you don’t believe in yourself
  • you’re not an expert
  • you’re not credible

Oops. Instead, have a conversation and have some fun. That’s how experts talk about their subject, remember?

Top tip #2: The second stupid thing you should avoid: trying to look ‘professional’ to the point that you omit your personality. Your ‘game face’ may seem like the right approach in a high-stakes business scenario, but it may be a little soulless and uninteresting. As a species, we want to make a connection with an actual human being; your dry, flat-lining presentation is not giving the audience what they want.

Solution: show some character: those accounts of your personal experience will create a connection by making things relatable. Ka-ching.

Top tip #3: The third daft mistake that will torpedo your pitch or presentation is to keep everything safe and predictable. Now, I know, my saying ‘Hey, be wacky and different’ may seem a little facile, but what those lovely people want is a little positive surprise or two. All kinds of low-risk things can achieve this:

  • photos that you actually took. Stock images are rubbish; prove that you wanted to create something truly original.
  • incorporate something or someone in the room. Wow! Spontaneity. Plus, it can be ‘spontaneity’ that you planned an hour beforehand. It still counts!
  • switch the order up a bit. Everyone else does the usual, expected stuff. Mess about with the order of your material – try leaving your introduction until the third slide, after you’ve hooked them with your brilliant proposition, which was previously at the end. Be different, be memorable. Don’t follow convention just because that’s what everyone else does.


  1. Relax.
  2. Be yourself.
  3. Have some fun.

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