How to Improvise When Your Presentation Does Not Work

Follow these key tips to salvage yourself from such a situation

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We all have been stuck at one point or the other in our professional lives, when a technical glitch has caused more pain that we could hope for. The most common among them is your PPT file not reading in a different machine, while you set out for that all important pitch. It can be a bummer, but not totally a disaster if you take certain precautions and apply some common improvisation tricks for such situations. 


Here are some key tips to follow to salvage yourself from such a situation:

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Always try and mail your presentation in advance to the presenter is possible, as this will help save time and the meeting time can be reserved for discussions and questions. Incase this is not possible, take print outs of the same and keep it handy for them. This may not be possible for a large audience, but it can be extremely helpful for business pitches.

Know Your Content 

It's always advisable to at least know the key points of your content. This way you can leave the unimportant bits and focus on what matters. For instance, if you are presenting a short brief about what your company does, try to talk about the business and its model and not about yourself. Try to address the main intent of the presentation, rather than beating around the bush.

Add Background

While it's important to be precise, add history. Without a coherent background, your presentation may be seem abrupt. But make sure the background information is factually correct. Do not present false information on any context you are not aware of. 

Ad Lib with Examples

If explaining a complex theoretical point without a presentation, or trying to showcase a business calculation, give examples. Examples can break the complexity and make people understand your point better. Make sure to give relevant and generic examples that people can relate to. 

Be Interactive 

The most important part of a presentation is to engage is your listeners, regardless of whether you have a presentation or not. Speaking monotonously can really bore people, especially senior executives who have a tight packed schedule. In such a situation when your presentation fails, try to bring a witty or engaging tone to the presentation, making it interactive if need be, to keep the attention span of the listeners. 

Be Simple and Crisp

Do not blabber. Not having a visual aspect in your presentation, is already a minus to start with, and ranting for long periods can bore the audience. Be crisp in your delivery. If you are not a great improviser, let someone else present, the goal should be to deliver the best pitch, be it by the head of the team oor the junior most member. 


Agamoni Ghosh

Written By

She was generating stories out of Bengaluru for Entrepreneur India. She has worked with leading national and international business publications, including Newsweek, Business Standard, and CNBC in the past.