Monday, November 14, 2011

Top 5 Worst Things Conference Speakers Do

I am at a conference for a few days, and am struck by how many clever, eloquent people fall apart when speaking in front of a group.  Here are my top 5 speaker pet peeves.

5: Oversliding.  Slides can help presentations come to life, but not if  there are hundreds for a one hour presentation.  I want to focus on the presentation, not speed read your slides.

4: Reading.  Again, slides are good, but I don't need to be at the conference if you are just reading your slides to me.  Put notes on a slide, then talk about the notes.  Don't put full explanations and simply read them.

3: Speeding.  This is where the speaker realizes he/she is running out of time and speeds up to catch up.  They go too fast and the attendees can't keep up.  Nobody gets anything out of this exercise.

2: Overtime.  If you screw up your time management, it's your mistake. Don't creep into our lunch time or networking time just because you have 10 more slides to go.  And yes,we all know its not actually going to be 2 more minutes.

1: Tangents.  Focus, asshole.

Check out the most annoying things conference attendees do here.  Have you been to conferences where these things occurred?  Are there more annoying habits of speakers?  Share your stories in the comments below!


  1. Was just at a work conference in the city on Friday. The speaker was chewing gum. Kind of gross seeing a piece of Big Red every time he opened his mouth a little.

  2. Wow, hat's the first theing they tell you not to do if you're a speaker.

  3. um.................... um....................  Seriously, I hate this. Someone needs to tell people that its ok if there's a half a second of silence in between sentences.