Presentation Habits Presenters Don’t Like To Admit

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How many presentations do you experience in a week? The chances are good that, whether you’re up on stage or sitting in the audience, presentations are a large part of your life. From the classroom to the board room, one of the key ways we express ourselves and our ideas is through public speaking. But are presentations getting the job done in today’s workplace?

The answer is yes and no—while the majority of professionals agree that presentations are essential for career success, many of them also find slide-based presentations ineffective, and a surprisingly high number of professionals hate giving presentations. We teamed up with Harris Poll, one of the longest running and most reputable barometers of public opinion in the United States, and best-selling author and executive coach Carmine Gallo to conduct a survey to learn more about the role that presentations play in the life of a professional today. We asked over 2,000 people in the United States how they feel about presentations in the workplace—and some of their answers took us by surprise. Take a look at the prezi below to see the results, or continue reading to learn more.


For many business professionals, public speaking, whether in the form of a sales pitch or an executive update, is an essential skill. Nearly 70% of the people surveyed who present regularly agreed that presentations are critical to their success at work—and 75% of the presenters surveyed indicated that they would like to improve their presentation skills. Clearly, there’s still work to be done.

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Presentations may be critical, but they’re also often falling on deaf ears. Almost two-thirds of the presenters surveyed agreed that slide-based presentations, so common in the modern workplace, can be boring and ineffective. Almost half of the respondents admitted to doing something other than listening during a co-worker’s presentation—popular answers included sending a text message (28%), checking email (27%), and falling asleep (17%).


More than one in five employed adults said they would do something in order to get out of presenting—one in every ten admitted that they would pretend to be sick. And when avoiding the presentation isn’t an option, professionals are willing to go to extreme measures to reduce their anxiety at surprising rates. 5% of the employed adults surveyed said they would take a shot of alcohol, and 7% said they would try medication, in order to alleviate nerves before a big speech.

Clearly, presentations are important; as Carmine Gallo puts it, “In the information age—the knowledge economy—you are only as valuable as the ideas you have to share.” The way we give presentations in the modern workplace, however, is leaving many presenters and audiences cold. It doesn’t have to be this way. At Prezi, we’re committed to helping presenters express themselves more effectively, so they feel more confident and audiences become more engaged. Join us, and become part of the movement to banish boring presentations.

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