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Before anyone else sees your presentation, take a second look

As I scrolled through the Washington Post on my phone the other day I noticed something odd:

Editing - WaPo

Apparently there’s a template that’s used by the Post to let their writers know where to insert blurbs.

The Washington Post has been around for almost 140 years and gets a lot of views. My guess is that this little oversight won’t impact the readership or reduce the Post’s credibility.

For presenters, however, type-o’s are a sign of carelessness and lack of respect for your audience, and can damage the credibility of your presentation. 

Here’s an example from a conference I attended last summer. I’ve blurred out the names of people involved, but as you can see from the titles, this presentation represents the work of some high ranking, important people.

Editing - EBAA 2

This was the first slide in the entire deck. What does this say to the audience? If you don’t have 140 years of goodwill and credibility established, obvious and high profile mistakes like this can help you lose your audience’s attention very quickly.

Every detail about a presentation matters, from how the room is set up to visual aids that are free from careless mistakes and type-o’s.

Taking a second (or third) look over your materials will only take a few minutes (yes, I know it’s tedious) and it can really help prevent needless distractions for your audience. For those times when it feels like you’ve been looking at the same materials for days on end, grab a colleague who can lend a fresh set of eyes to your materials.

Presentations can take a lot of time and energy and preparation. It would be a shame to lose your audience’s attention as a result of something that was completely preventable.

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