3 Presentation Mistakes Sabotaging Your Team Meeting & How to Fix Them


Let’s discuss three key mistakes presenters often make and offer solutions to help you and your team communicate more effectively: 

🚫 Mistake #1: Saying “guys” instead of using inclusive language

In a world that’s increasingly aware of diversity and inclusion, using inclusive language is more important than ever. Research shows that using gender-neutral language contributes to a more inclusive work environment, which can increase employee engagement and satisfaction. A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability compared to those in the bottom quartile.


✅ SOLUTION: Use gender-neutral language


To create a more inclusive environment, replace “guys” with terms like “everyone,” “team,” or “colleagues.” I also like to use the term “ya’ll.” While it may be a bit less formal, it is still inclusive. And the conversational language also helps build trust and rapport. Doing so shows respect for all team members and contributes to a more positive work culture.

🚫 Mistake #2: Asking the audience for suggestions as to where to go next

While audience engagement is essential, asking for direction can give the impression that you’re unprepared or lack confidence in your material. A study conducted by Quantified Communications found that a speaker’s perceived confidence has a 12.5% impact on their audience’s perception of them.


✅ SOLUTION: Plan your presentation and guide the discussion


To avoid appearing unprepared, create a clear and logical agenda for your presentation. Be ready to facilitate the discussion and move smoothly from one topic to another. If you want to encourage audience participation, prepare specific questions or discussion prompts rather than asking for general suggestions.

🚫 Mistake #3: Overuse of filler words

Filler words like “um,” “uh,” “like,” and “so” can be distracting and make it difficult for your audience to focus on your message. Research conducted by Michael Erard found that people who use fewer filler words are perceived as more intelligent and competent.


✅ Solution: Practice and be mindful of your speech 


Reducing the use of filler words requires practice and mindfulness. Record yourself giving a presentation and listen for filler words. Make a conscious effort to pause and breathe instead of relying on these verbal crutches. As you become more aware of your speech patterns, you’ll be better equipped to minimize filler words and deliver a more polished presentation.

By addressing these three common presentation mistakes, you can significantly improve the effectiveness of your team meetings. Remember to use inclusive language, plan your presentation, and be mindful of your speech to create an engaging and productive meeting environment.

Check out my Youtube video on this topic:

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