12 Fallacies about Presentations – Part 1

The most important thing presenters should learn is that the way we communicate has changed over the last 50 years. Organizations & presenters MUST learn to communicate and live in the 21st Century, not the 20th!

Fallacy 1: A Presentation is the place for a long, detailed, information packed communication.
Wrong!:     A presentation is for concepts. A meeting with slides is for details. Each is a different communicative activity with different implicit & explicit rules and expectations.

Fallacy 2: A long presentation means a better presentation.
Wrong!:    If you can’t communicate the message in 20 minutes (max) you can’t do in in two hours!

Fallacy 3:    Lots of written text on the slides helps the audience.
Wrong!:     A presentation is NOT a reading lesson!. If the presentation is mostly text, convert it in to a PDF and send it to the attendees and save everone’s time. People read at their own speed, they listen at the speed of the speaker they are listening to.

Fallacy 4.     The audience must verbally participate in the presentation.
Wrong!:    A presentation is communication in only ONE direction: from presenter to audience. If it is bi-directional, it is a meeting with slides. Presentations are NOT actively “participative”, the attendees should participate mentally – by thinking: hypothis Formulation & Resolution.

Fallacy 5.     Asking questions to the audience stimulates their participation.
Wrong!:     Questions to the audience lead to side-tracking which converts the presentation into a series of dialogues between the Presenter & the questioner which bore everyone except the questioner. The only questions asked should be rhetorical: asked and immediately answered by the presenter.

Fallacy 6.     The verbal / written language is the most important part of the presentation.

Wrong!:     Remember… Body language (Non Verbal communication) carry a great part of the communicative content. Moving around the room, the backward/forward presenter’s dance, etc., provide subconscious information to the audience which influences their decisions about your presentation.

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© Brownlee & Associates, Madrid, Spain, 2011. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, translated or reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of Brownlee & Associates.


About ianbrownlee

Ian Brownlee, the founder of Brownlee & Associates has been actively involved in the field of interpersonal & transcultural communication since 1977. He has worked in universities and companies in the following countries: Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, England, The United States of America & Spain, as a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, researcher & consultant. In addition, his experience in living in these countries, and studying the language & communication and interaction styles of each has aided him in reaching a real understanding of intercultural and transcultural differences and how to resolve them. Ian Brownlee has various masters degrees from British Universities: One in Linguistics & Teaching English Overseas from Manchester University, one in Training & Development with a specialization in the area of Communication and Adult learning awarded by the University of Sheffield. He has also gained professional qualifications in Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy from various professional organizations. During his university career he has also studied elements of Sociology, Organizational psychology, Educational psychology, Psycholinguistics and Kinesics. He is a licensed Practitioner, Master Practitioner, and Master Trainer in NLP. as well as being a trainer in Ericksonian Hypnosis. He is a member of a wide range of professional organizations involved in Training, Applied Psychology, Hypnotherapy & Ericksonian Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Communication & Cross-cultural Communication. He is also recognized by the Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, as a Negotiation Skills Trainer & Mediator and has been a collaborator on various projects with the program, and as such is in great demand as a negotiation consultant for some of the largest multinationals operating worldwide. His wide experience gained in multinational organizations in positions such as Director of Training, Communications Consultant and Negotiator / Mediator has helped many people to learn and apply new methods of negotiating skills and advanced communication techniques both in their private and professional lives. He has published various articles & books related to the field of interpersonal communication and he is the author of all the courses taught by Brownlee & Associates. He has lived and worked in Spain since 1985, initially as a trainer / Special Assistant in a multinational pharmaceutical company and then as the Training Manager for a multinational company involved in Clinical Analysis & Nuclear Medicine. Brownlee & Associates was formed in 1991 and currently has a small, highly-trained staff. While based in Madrid, courses are given world-wide either in English or Spanish. Brownlee & Associates currently work with leading international companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals , Information systems, luxury products, food & beverages, etc.
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