Presentation smells

In software development, code reviewers sometimes talk about smells – observations about a piece of code that, while not damning, are signs that the code may not be very good. I saw a presentation last week that suggested the idea of smells could be applied more widely. Presentation smells that I can think of include:

  • Apologising for not having enough sleep due to being up all night preparing the talk
  • Not having a narrative for your talk – why are you doing it? – why do you think it might be interesting to your audience?
  • Suggesting that there is too much content to fit into the talk
  • Reading your own (very dense) slides
  • Not following time cues from the facilitator

I’m sure there are more. Any suggestions?

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