Presenters. Perhaps the people responsible for the biggest waste of time in business.
Let me set the scene…
It’s Wednesday afternoon. You’ve got a crapload of work to get through and you’re fast running out of time.
You’ve got plans this evening. You’ve been looking forward to catching up with your friends for a few weeks now. It’s starting to look like you might have to cancel so you can get your reports done in time.
To top it all off, you’re now on your way to meeting room number 4, to listen to an impromptu presentation from the company president about “work/life balance”.
Not only are you irritated to have to listen to the president banging on for 40 minutes.
Not only are you frustrated that you would have “work/life balance” if only they would let you get your work done and cut out the useless presentations.
But you’re also annoyed that, like so many other people, the company president has no idea how to do a decent presentation. The next 40 minutes will be a waste of time for everyone in the audience.
If you’re frustrated too, here’s just 10 reasons to hate presenters.
1. They’re dicks
If I were to talk to you whilst staring at the graffiti on the wall behind me, drawing your attention to said graffiti by waggling a laser at it, you could reasonably point out I was a dick.
2. Their arms are like force fields surrounding the Death Star
At least they think they are. Despite wielding no power of value, the presenter’s arms are active. Actively protecting their bodies. Hands clasped in front, arms squeezing the life out of the presenter, all in a futile attempt to be invisible to the audience. Force fields work on Star Wars, not on stage.
3. They insist on proving they’re literate
Imagine your boss handing you a letter from HR and proceeding to read it to you word for word.
Imagine your husband or wife giving you a birthday card and reading the note as you open it, “Dear wifey, happy birthday. Love, Hubby. Kiss, kiss, kiss.”
This is exactly what presenters do everyday!.. Ram a load of text on their slides and treat presentations as reading time.
4. They’re apology factories
There’s only so many times you can say sorry before the apology becomes a way of making yourself feel better.
“Sorry, I didn’t have time to prepare.”
“Sorry, I had to rush my slides.”
“Sorry, I don’t have all the information.”
What the presenter is actually saying here is, “Forgive me, but I don’t actually care about your time.”
5. They’re too intimate with the furniture
Any presentation that ends with an innocent table or chair seeking counseling is not fit for the public.
So focused on themselves, the presenter tries to hide behind whatever furniture happens to be close by.
Unfortunately, they still have to present so their “hiding” looks like they’re making a move on the lectern, table, chair, mic stand.
6. They have problems with priorities
What did today’s presenter spend most of their time on?
Was it making sure the message was clear? No.
Was it making sure the right people were in the audience? No.
Was it making sure they understood their subject matter? No.
Was it making sure they could talk credibly about the subject? Not even close.
Was it slides and bullet points? Got it!
7. They hate whitespace
Why use ten slides when everything will fit on one?
8. They’re thinking about you naked
Apparently this helps relax them.
9. They subconsciously know exactly what you don’t want to hear
That monotone voice with occasional flourishes of fingernails on a chalkboard is not by design, but at least it’s consistent.
10. They don’t care about you
Here we have the number one problem.
The presenter actually doesn’t give two hoots about their audience.
It’s all about them.
It’s all about how nervous they are.
It’s all about how people are going to judge them.
With all this focus inward it’s no wonder the outward presentation is awful.