Business Presentations:The Ten Most Irritating Mannerisms?

Posted on Jun 19

Being able to give some sort of presentation is almost a given today, whether in business or not and they come in all shapes and sizes. 

And there are certain mannerisms of the speaker that really irritate people and turn them off.

Why does that matter? Well, if you are irritated or switched off in the audience  are you more or less likely to do business with them or recommend them to some one else? It can have a detrimental effect on the business results.

I’ve been doing some research to find out the top 10 . Interestingly enough many of them refer to PowerPoint. ( Is this because people feel they can’t present without it now?)

They’re shown below, with reasons why they annoy.

 (They’re not in any particular order).

Have a look and see which really irritate you………..

1. Doing a PowerPoint presentation and then walking backwards and forwards in front of the screen.

” I just want to shout Stand still! You can’t see them properly because of the light and you can’t read the screen either. It drives me nuts. ”

2. Reading out the PowerPoint slides

“ I find it insulting  – I can read them for myself”

3. Every slide the same

” It’s really boring, especially when they have so much infomation on that you cannot possibly read them. What’s the point?”

4. Fiddling with coins in their pockets or repeatedly touching  hair, face, fiddling with glasses etc.

” It is so distracting. I’m wondering when they’re going to do it next rather than what they’re talking about.”

5. Turning around and talking to the screen rather than the audience.

” It’s as if they don’t know what they are talking about. If you need to see the slide why not use the laptop as an autocue in front of you instead?”

6.  Turning around and pointing to a something on the screen

” It’s really annoying when the speaker goes up to the screen and actually points to it. It seems unprofessional. Why not use a laser pointer?”

7. Bobbing backwards and forwards to the laptop to change the slide.

” I find it distracting and it seems amateurish somehow. You can get  a remote clicker really cheaply and it would get rid of this.”

8. Speaking in a monotone or the tone going up at the wrong time.

“ I find it really irritating when the tone goes up, like australians do, whether it is really a question or not. I find myself focussing on listening for that rather than what’s being said”

” Just one tone of voice all the way through makes it difficult for me to concentrate. I find myself drifting off every time.”

9. The speaker using their hands and body too much, too many gestures.

” It is really distracting when the speaker is too expressive with  their hands or moves about a lot. I find it difficult to concentrate on what they are saying.”

10. Just giving information that could be on a handout.

” I find it really annoying when I feel that it’s been a waste of my time. The speaker just gives information that I could have read on a website. or a handout. ”

There are lots of others. What winds you up or irritates you most when you’re listening to a business presentation?

Let me know and I’ll post the results soon.

Until next time,

With best wishes for your success,

Cath :)

Cath Daley

Tagged in , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted on Jun 19 in Business Presentations, Communication skills, Presentation Skills
  • Jane Hafren

    You’ll know this Cath, but what really annoys me is presenters not thinking about who’s in their audience and delivering to me as if I know all about (for example) nuclear storage facilities….!!!!

    And then there’s the other one, going on and on about something they are interested in, with nary a mention of the benefits to me of getting involved.
    I love your blogs by the way… Jane :)

  • cath

    Thanks Jane.
    You mean to say you don’t know all about nuclear storage facilities?!!!
    Lts of people agree with you and these were two of the ones that didn’t make it onto the top 10 list.
    The unfortunate thing is that people who do this don’t realise how much they are switching people off…..
    Cath :)

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