10 Common Phrases That Sabotage Your Presentation Success

5 Phrases to Avoid in Your Next Presentation

Public speaking can be a daunting task, but delivering a polished and effective presentation is essential to making a lasting impact on your audience. However, there are certain phrases that can detract from your presentation and undermine your credibility. In this article, we will show you the top five phrases to avoid during your next presentation and offer tips on how to engage your audience and keep them interested.

Know Thy Audience

First and foremost, it’s important to emphasize the importance of catering to your audience. The phrase “Make some noise!” may work for a concert or sporting event, but it can be off-putting in a professional setting. Before your presentation, take the time to research your audience and understand what they are looking for. Are they looking for informative content? Are they seeking inspiration or motivation? Understanding their needs and preferences will help you craft a presentation that resonates with them.

Avoid “Um…”

The next phrase to avoid is the dreaded “um.” This filler word is so common in our everyday speech that we often overlook it. However, when delivering a presentation, too many “ums” can undermine your credibility and suggest that you are unprepared or uncomfortable. To avoid using “um” during your presentation, practice your delivery beforehand. Record yourself speaking and watch it back to identify where you tend to use filler words. Improving your delivery will help you sound confident, engaging, and professional.

Practice Makes Perfect

Another phrase to avoid is “Did that make sense?” This phrase suggests to your audience that you are unsure of your own content and may not have your material well-organized. To avoid this, practice your delivery beforehand in front of a mirror, your family or friends. Give them your presentation and ask for feedback to identify where any confusion arises. Practicing this will not only help you feel more confident, but it will also give you the chance to refine and improve the flow of your presentation.

Tell a Compelling Story

Presentations are essentially stories. They need a clear beginning, middle, and end. The phrase “What else can I show you?” implies that you have not prepared an adequate story or structure for your presentation. To avoid this problem, focus on crafting a compelling narrative. Identify your central message or theme and articulate it clearly throughout your presentation. If possible, try to use real-life examples, stories, or anecdotes to help illustrate your point.

End on a High Note

Lastly, the phrase “I guess that’s it” is a weak way to end your presentation. Instead, aim to end your presentation on a high note. Summing up your message and leaving a lasting impression. This can be done by reiterating your main message, asking your audience to take a specific action, or ending with an inspirational or thought-provoking statement.


In conclusion, while delivering a presentation can be intimidating, avoiding the five phrases above, and focusing on preparation, delivery, and storytelling can help keep you on track and keep your audience engaged. Remember to tailor your presentation to your audience, practice your delivery, and craft a compelling narrative that leaves a lasting impression. With these tips in mind, your next presentation is sure to impress!

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