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Picture this: You're about to give the most important presentation of your life; if you convince the audience and gain their approval, you could change your business forever.

You take a deep breath and open your PowerPoint file. You've spend nights working on it. You've added tons of slides, and you've squeezed text onto each slide to make sure nothing's missed.

Yet, as soon as you start "reading" from the screen to the audience, their eyes glaze over. You keep going, pretending to be excited about your material. Oh Lord, they seem bored. Deep down, you know you've lost them already.

What gives?

I've sat through many a presentation by presenters who conveniently forgot that a tool (such as PowerPoint) is just a medium to re-enforce what they have to say. Instead, the speaker took a backseat and put the slides center-stage. A classic example of a presentation gone wrong.

Another common mistake is to read the slides word for word. Look, if you have to read them, you're too focused on your tool and not on your message. Congratulations, you're now a reader, not a presenter.

The problem here is you're making things that don't matter, matter. You, the presenter, are more important than your slides.

Let's now look at five rules for avoiding a really bad presentation.

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image of Pooja Lohana

Pooja Lohana simplifies content marketing for her clients so they can get found online, make more sales, and live the Un-9-5 life. She is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. Reach her at Damn Fine Writing.

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