human resources online

How to start your presentations: Tell a joke or say ‘it won’t take long’

What's the best way to start delivering your presentation at work? The most popular way among employees in the UK (almost a third surveyed) is to simply introduce themselves and their team, while a quarter keep it even simpler by just introducing themselves as the presenter.

Another 10% prefer to tell a joke to lighten the mood, and 10% simply chose to assure their audience that the presentation would not take long. Other approaches included offering sweet treats such as chocolates or biscuits to those watching (6%) or making small talk about the weather (4%).

Finally, 9% of those delivering a presentation felt it best to simply get to the point and began without an introduction, in this survey released by Buffalo 7 and conducted by Censuswide.

The survey quizzed 1,016 UK office workers to find a majority (87%) have had a bad experience while delivering their presentation, while close to one-fifth (18%) found that nerves got the better of them and they were unable to deliver their presentation at all.

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Over a third (35%) mentioned that they had experienced technical difficulties - such as problems with the computer or projector, or trying to transfer or load a file that was too big.

Some of the interesting findings included:

  • 33% found themselves having to make last minute changes
  • 27% spotted a typo on one of their slides while they were presenting
  • 18% discovered that their audience did not understand the information they were trying to deliver
  • 12% experienced an audience member walking out
  • 11% were forced to deliver an incomplete or unfinished presentation
  • 10% ended up delivering an old version of their presentation
  • 15% delivered a presentation they had never seen before because someone else had created it
  • Just 13% had never experienced a single hitch with their presentations.

Richard Barnes at Buffalo 7, commented: "It’s important to be well prepared for your presentation - after all, technology can be notoriously uncooperative if it isn’t set up correctly, and failing to check through the file you’ve set up could result in embarrassing mishaps occurring while you’re trying your best to win over an audience."

Image / Buffalo 7

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