There are a variety of ways to establish your organizational and personal credibility.  One of the most visible and effective ways to demonstrate your credibility is with a presentation.

Unfortunately, out of the gate this year I have seen too may people present in a way that chips away at their credibility.  These are smart, accomplished individuals falling into easy-to-avoid pitfalls. Make this a priority because no one can afford to lose credibility.

Avoid these popular pitfalls and your best self will shine.

AVOID:  “I am going to go through this really quickly,” or “Real quick, this…”

This signals to your audience that this content must not be important – or that you’re not prepared.

AVOID: “I’m sorry.” You do not have to apologize for tripping over your words or having to go back and make a point that you missed. This indicates a lack of confidence. Take a breath and re-focus on your content. Everybody makes mistakes – it’s how you recover from them that counts.

AVOID: Talking really fast.

Rushing through content makes it seem unimportant, or worse, that you’re disorganized or unprepared. Practice and deliver your presentation deliberately.

AVOID: “You know…”

Your audience is thinking, “No, I don’t know – that’s why I am listening to you!”

AVOID: Being too verbose or talking for too long.

The audience wants you to get to the point and give them what they need to know as directly and succinctly as possible. Be sensitive to our (shrinking) attention spans and busy schedules.

AVOID: “I’m just…”

Delete the word “just” from your presentation vocabulary.  Your audience wants you to demonstrate confidence and “just” does the exact opposite.

Avoid the presentation pitfalls above and you’ll be even more credible to your audience.