Businesses Are Losing Clients Due To Delivering A Poor Presentation

Businesses Are Losing Clients
  • A quarter admits to having existing customers cut ties with their organisation as a result of delivering a poor presentation
  • Almost half say that this happened on multiple occasions
  • Over a quarter lost a potential customer due to delivering a poor presentation
  • 27% spotted a typo while delivering a presentation
  • 15% delivered a presentation they’ve never seen before
  • Almost half of employees have never received any presentation training

Many advertised positions list presentation skills among the desirable qualities required for an individual to be considered for a role. But how many of our employees are actually receiving the training they need to develop those skills, and what knock-on effect might this have on the success of our businesses?


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A new survey, questioning 1000 office workers, reveals that 77% are required to deliver presentations as part of their job. 26% of that proportion admitted that their employers had previously lost a potential customer as the result of a poor presentation. What’s more, 39% of this group reported that it had happened more than once.

delivering a poor presentation

Further to this, it’s concerning that 25% had seen an existing customer cut ties with their organisation as the result of a sub-par presentation. Within that particular segment, 44% said that this had happened on multiple occasions.

So, what are the common issues with presentations that cause this loss of business, and what is currently being done to guarantee that employees have the proper skills?

delivering a poor presentation

According to the research carried out by Buffalo 7, a specialist presentation design agency, almost a quarter of those surveyed who were responsible for delivering presentations said that they started to prepare their materials less than a week before the date of the presentation. Further to this, 3% admit to starting preparations on the day their presentation was due.

47% of employees said that they always made sure to practice their presentation prior to delivery, with 44% admitting that they only did so sometimes. 9% of respondents never practiced at all.

delivering a poor presentation

Over a third of those who practised their presentation began less than a week before their presentation was due and 4% practice on the day itself.

Poor preparation can lead to embarrassing slip-ups on the day of the presentation itself, and of the sample group surveyed by Buffalo 7:

  •     35% of respondents mentioned that they had experienced technical difficulties  such as problems with the computer or projector, or trying to transfer or load a file that was too big
  •     33% were forced to make last minute changes
  •     27% spotted a typo on one of their slides while they were presenting
  •     18% found that members of their audience did not understand the information they were trying to deliver
  •     Another 18% abandoned their presentation due to nerves
  •     15% admitted delivering a presentation they had NEVER seen before as someone else created it for them.
  •     12% experienced an audience member walking out
  •     11% delivered an incomplete or unfinished presentation
  •     10% delivered an old version of their presentation

delivering a poor presentation

Just 13% of respondents said that they had never experienced any problems at all with their presentations.

Over three-quarters of our workforce are required to deliver presentations to colleagues, customers, and stakeholders, but how well equipped are they for the job?

The truth is that only 23% of respondents had received training on how to create and deliver presentations. 18% of the whole sample group say they’d been training just in presenting and a further 18% just in delivery. 41% of all respondents said that they had never received any training whatsoever.

Businesses Are Losing Clients

Across the country, it appears that different regions offer varying levels of presentation training.

Northern Ireland offered the least, with 57% of respondents from that area reporting that they had never been trained in any presentation skills. The East of England on the other hand saw 32% of individuals trained in both creating and delivering a presentation.

Richard Barnes at Buffalo 7, said: “In order to improve the confidence and abilities of employees who are required to deliver presentations, we must first provide suitable training.

“Such training will acquaint them with the skills and standards we would like to see demonstrated by individuals who are representing our organisations.”

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About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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