Home
 
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login
Learn
Tests

How Do I Avoid Distractions while Delivering Presentations?

From the ZandaX Presentation Skills Blog

Articles to make you more effective in your presentations

Home  >  Blogs Home  >  Business Blog  >  Presentation Skills Articles  > 
How Do I Avoid Distractions while Delivering Presentations?

How Do I Avoid Distractions while Delivering Presentations?

A post from our Presentation Skills blog

      Written by John Boddington
Many years ago, while studying cross-cultural communication, we were taught things that I have remembered to this day. I have never forgotten the statistic that 7% of communication is verbal, and that 93% is non-verbal.

Noise Factors

Similarly, I have never forgotten that included in the section on barriers to communication was something called noise factors. Noise factors were described as anything that distracts the person that you are communicating with. In some cases it hinders them understanding something you are saying, and in really extreme cases, can block all communication.

A very simple example is a man with his zip down. We all know how distracting that is, and I can assure you, if you have ever seen somebody do a presentation on a platform with his zip down, that is all that you will remember. I remember seeing a presentation in 2005, where the speaker, after walking out from behind the podium and standing on the front edge of the stage, realised that this was the case. He immediately started to falter, and walked back behind the podium and never came out from behind there again. To this day, I can remember his name, where he spoke, and even the year 2005, but I cannot remember what he said. I was distracted by the noise factor.

What kind of noise factors are there?



Noise factor
1. Environmental noise factors.

There are many kinds of noise factors. Some are environmental, such as real noise. Perhaps construction is happening nearby to where you are presenting. If it was something unexpected, and truly distracting, perhaps it is better to actually reschedule the presentation, or move it, so that you can distance yourself from the noise.

Cape Town in South Africa enjoys many foreign film makers going there to film television adverts or films because of favourable exchange rates. One presentation I was in the audience for suddenly got disturbed by the filming of an action scene with helicopters overhead. The presenter had the good common sense to check that if everybody was OK with it, to reschedule it to the following week so that everybody could benefit properly.


2. Technical noise factors

Technical noise factors

Linked to environmental noise factors are technical ones. A mobile going off while presenting, and even worse, when it is your own. But mostly this can be about the tools being used. Is there feedback through the PA system? Or have you made your PowerPoint presentation so fancy that people sit wondering how you can do what you just did? The PowerPoint slides are a tool to use, do not allow them to be the distraction. Or even worse, your technology malfunctions. Have you rigorously tested what you plan to use? Do you know how to use it properly?


3. Social noise factors

Some noise factors could be social, such as a culture clash. In the previous article in the series we covered these in detail, but are you using words, gestures, clothing types, etc. that will distract your audience?


4. Distracting habits

Other noise factors could be things that you are doing. For a short while, I had developed the habit of standing twiddling my thumbs in front of me as I spoke, if I had no podium in front of me. Until a colleague pointed it out to me, I had not even realised how distracting it could be for an audience. I immediately worked on removing that habit.

Related to this are "tics" that you can develop in your speech. Do you keep going "umm" before a sentence as you try to remember your next point? When I first did a public speaking course, we used to have to give 10 minutes presentations to the group and then get critiqued. One colleague said "You know" over 100 times in the space of a ten minute talk, and is all that people remembered.

When people pointed it out, he did not believe it and it was only when reviewing the video and counting the occasions he did it that he realised how bad it was. When focusing on your body language, remember that the 93% of non-verbal communication must not negate the 7% that you are conveying through your words.


5. Wording

And those words of yours, they also can be a noise factor. Are you choosing and using appropriate wording for your audience? Are you using wording that your audience might not understand? If you are in IT, your peers might all understand the terminology that you use, but if you are talking to others not in IT, are you using jargon that the audience does not understand?

My brother is a cardiologist. When he presents to his peers, he uses a totally different vocabulary to when he explains to me what he is currently working on. Are you using audience appropriate words, or do you leave your audience wondering, "What was that he said?" or whispering to their neighbour, "Did you get that?" This is probably the single biggest noise factor of all, but the good thing is that you are totally in control of this one. Only you can influence what you say.

Again, it comes down to planning your presentation properly. Have you thought about who your audience is and what their understanding is likely to be before you put your content together?

In summary, one of the keys to ensuring that your audience does "receive" your message properly, is to remove any possible noise factors. Are you doing everything you can to make sure that there is not an impediment to understanding? If you are and you have taken all of these things into account, you should be confident that your audience will receive and understand your message fully.

What do you think? Let us know what you think in the comments below.



Presentation-eBook

Download our Free eBook:
10 Tips for a Perfect Presentation

Back to the Presentation Skills blog

Click the button for more Presentation Skills articles.

The ZandaX Business Skills blog

Click a panel for great articles on business skills

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
 
 
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2021
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
Likeability
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?


Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Assertiveness
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?


Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management


Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback


Close menu element
Learn About:
 
Personal Development
 
Leadership & Management
 
Marketing
 
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio
 

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!   All courses are CPD certified.
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel Introduction
Microsoft Excel Professional
Microsoft Excel Intermediate
Microsoft Excel Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Powerpoint Introduction
Microsoft Powerpoint Advanced
 
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word Introduction
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Access Introduction
Microsoft Access Intermediate
Microsoft Access Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook Essentials
 
 
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting
... there will be more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Take a look at our new Leadership & Management section which we begin with a superb course on Managing Teams
... there's lots more to follow, so keep in touch!
Team Leadership courses
Team Leadership & Line Management
For practical advice on managing teams for results.
Make your team successful and more positive with tons of real-world techniques that work.
  • Team Management for Line Managers & Supervisors
  • Building High Performing Teams (in production)
Watch Out For More!
We have more courses in the pipeline so check back soon to see what's new!
More team leader courses
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this