Failing to Invest Enough Time: Presentation Mistakes Executives and Managers Make

You’ve opened this article which means you might either be a manager, a team leader, or an executive. So, first, congrats! You search for ways to become better in your work, which we respect, and we love to help people just like you.

But even if you’re not in a leadership position, don’t be shy to share or forward this article to your managers. This could help your whole company.

Now let’s get to the problem we’re here for.

In a series of articles, we are taking a closer look at the three most common presentation mistakes managers and executives make. There are so many missed opportunities because of those mistakes, that the losses for a business can be immeasurable. You just never know how much better your company situation could be if you take the three presentation work elements – training, time, and collaboration – more seriously.

We’re going to look at the second of the three main presentation work mistakes: failing to allocate the right amount of preparation time for your team or employees when they have to work on an important presentation.

You may not agree with everything we say, but consider it — it’s all for your advantage.

Failing to allocate enough time for preparation

What we see very often is professionals lying to themselves that building a truly effective presentation doesn’t take much focus and time. But it does.

Once your teams are armed with enough presentation knowledge as a result of a training, you can ask them to prepare an important presentation more confidently. But do not ask them to do that on top of everything else that they are working on. How do you think the results are going to be great if your people do not have the time to prepare, even if they know how?

Of course, some of the employees will try to work overtime. But even if they do and even if we wave off the concerns of burnouts (which we shouldn’t), is that going to be enough? Numerous people, from the companies we work with, have complained to us that they want to do their presentations in the way that we taught them, but they just do not have the time for that. And more often than not this is because their manager or team leader has not allocated the necessary time for preparation.

So what can you do?

If you are the manager – have an open conversation with the person that you are asking to present. Ask them how much time they need to execute this presentation in the best possible way. And listen. Then try to free up that time for them.

If you are the team member asked to present – speak up, don’t be afraid. Your manager wants you to do great as much as you do! Go to your manager and explain to them why you need more time. Tell them that for you to craft the story, design the slides, and rehearse – you need to have the time to focus properly. It is a must if you want to win that deal, get that investment, or achieve whatever the goal of that presentation is. Make sure that they see that you want to do it right and that you just need that little bit of support in the form of deprioritizing other tasks for example.


In conclusion, regardless if you are the manager or the team member asked to do a presentation, you have to communicate and think more realistically about the time needed and focus the appropriate resources for any presentation. It makes no difference how many presentation trainings your employees attend, if they do not have the time allocated to put in practice what they have learned in theory.

And if you struggle to optimise the productivity of your teams, you can help them with some of our free resources. For example you can download our e-book PowerPoint Tips&Tricks that will show you how you can build presentations faster.

Now you can go read the first article of this series – it’s about Choosing the Right Presentation Training. In the third article of this series we’re going to talk about the power of collaboration. You can also watch the video presentation created by Boris Hristov, founder of our presentation agency, that started this article series in the first place.