I watched a webinar today given by a person who does much of what I do... It was about how to design and deliver persuasive web seminars. These were the things he did that didn't work:
1) He used a cheap webcam in his office. It showed jerky broken motion, he swayed back and forth the entire time, and you could clearly see his cluttered office with papers and folders scattered and stacked all over his desk. This did not contribute to an air of professional presentation. A coworker walked in and sat in view of the camera with his back to the audience in the middle of the webcast!
2) He started with a series of poll questions before ever presenting anything to the audience. During the polls he gave promotional pitches about associated businesses in his organizational umbrella. Don't ask your audience to give to you before you have given something to them. He never used a poll later to break things up during his monologue to recapture attention.
3) He used illustrative examples of good graphics that included an unreadable circular picture with text written upside down, sideways, and too small to show up.
4) He used illustrative examples for presentation preparation including talking about the books of the bible with the Jews' entrance into the promised land and a picture of a pretty model in a slinky black dress. This isn't explicitly wrong, but you have to watch out for the potential to alienate or discomfort a portion of your audience. Feminists or people uncomfortable with their self image might not have liked his model example. Certain religious affiliations might not like the use of that biblical reference. They weren't necessary for his points about presentations and could have been made in a safer way.
5) While talking about using graphics on your slide designs, the majority of his content slides were simple collections of text bullet points.
6) It took 20 minutes of intro before he got to his first tip or guideline to the audience. Give the audience what they expect, quickly! I would venture a guess that he lost some portion of his audience before he really "started" his content.
7) He mis-read his timings. He said he had about a half hour of content to leave plenty of time in the hour for questions. He actually stopped talking at the 52 minute mark, at which time he announced that he had left about 15-20 minutes for questions. Rather confusing.
8) He prefaced his answer to a question with a disingenuous "Good question!" The others weren't good?
9) He answered questions without reading the question out loud to the audience. We had to pick up the question from context. Somebody obviously wrote in about this during the Q&A and he defended himself, saying he had been paraphrasing the questions, and would continue to do so. If your audience thinks something is wrong, it is wrong for them. Don't tell them they are mistaken.
10) He gave a long, rambling response to a question that went into completely different areas. We lost focus on what he was answering.
Am I just sniping? Okay, maybe a little bit. I take this stuff seriously and I think a provider of services for coaching and training others needs to be held to a higher standard where they demonstrate expertise in their own presentations. But I also think it makes an excellent training guide for you, since negative examples are powerful learning aids. If you give presentations, use every presentation you watch as a way to check yourself and watch for bad habits. Even the best of us can fall prey to complacency and overfamiliarity with our own style. You need outsiders to check you every so often.