Presenting traps to avoid – Trap no. 1 Looking at your watch

There are a number of traps that inexperienced presenters can fall into when they first begin presenting. Any one of these traps can make your presentation look less professional than it otherwise would. I’ve just presented at a conference where I noticed something interesting. The presenter looked at their watch mid way through their presentation and I wondered whether it mattered or not.

Trap: Looking at your watch

Although you do need to keep track of how you are progressing through your presentation, be careful of how often you look at your watch. It can be helpful to have the watch on the lectern rather than on your arm. The audience likes to believe that you are there for them and you that you are enjoying being there with them. If you constantly look at your watch, it makes it look as though you cannot wait to finish the presentation and get away. It can also cause the audience to start looking at their watches too!

Consider rehearsing the presentation so you know roughly how long each section takes. And be sure to add some group interaction and use those moments to check the time. Consider using a screen view that shows you the time and your slides at the same time. Or you could even use a little travel clock that sits neatly on the lectern.

And of course, be sure to finish on time. It’s the cardinal sin of speakers – going over your allocated time and cutting into someone else’s time – so please don’t do this!

Happy Presenting!