When we prepare presentations and deliver them, we make lots of decisions concerning data, content, conclusions, when and how to present them, and what approach to use.
Even the smartest people make mistakes. In times of economic, social and other turbulence, and when working under time-pressures, it makes sense to try to do everything possible to avoid making them. Some may be reversible – but others are not. Remember, you have only one chance to make a favorable first impression, and there’s only one chance to make a final presentation to a buyer.
Recently, Jeff Hayden noted that there are several categories of decision-making errors. To help you avoid some or all of these seven types of classic strategic mistakes, here they are:
- Thinking you have more information than you actually do
- Thinking you already know enough
- Thinking you know more about what people want or need than you really do
- Solving a problem with a solution that doesn’t work
- Confusing action with results
- Mistaking inaction for patience or wisdom
- Allowing for compound errors: letting one bad decision lead to other bad decisions. (With “cascade iatrogenesis”, erroneously analyzing data can create entirely new problems, including some with irreversible outcomes).
Excellence presentation coaches focus not just on the positive skills you need to acquire to design and present a great presentation, but also how to avoid some of these errors. For instance, if your audience is a member of a team that will make a decision, convincing the “buyer” of the wisdom to buy is only part of the solution; her/his ability to communicate it perfectly to the rest of the team all-too-often- determines whether they buy into it or not.
Which errors do you mostly commit? What can you do to avoid them? We’re here to help!