The 12 Worst Excuses for Not Improving Your Presenting Skills

If you want to be a leader in your business, research shows that the level of success and influence you achieve depends on your ability and skill level in presenting and that doesn’t mean the quality of your PowerPoint!

It’s about how you connect and engage with any and every audience and getting really good at it requires effort but although most people realise that it is becoming increasingly important, they make excuses as to why they can’t do it.


Here are the 12 worse excuses – which ones do you use?


Let’s start with the most common one….


  1. I don’t have the time.

Everyone has the same amount of time.

The only difference is how you use it and what you’re willing to do with it.

If you were trapped underground and only had 24 hours worth of oxygen you wouldn’t check your Twitter feed or chat with friends or spend a little “me time” in front of the TV. You’d dig and dig and dig the entire time.

When you apply the same level of importance and urgency to what you want to accomplish your schedule instantly clears.

Because finding the time to do something is always a matter of how badly you want to do it.


  1. I’m too scared.

The fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears there is. It even has a name- it’s called glossophobia.

But you have a choice – you can either let your fear hold you back, or you can find out how to get rid of it.

Work with a presenting specialist to eliminate the fear forever. (It takes about 15 mins for my clients).


  1. I don’t have the money.

Let’s face it you will never, ever have “enough” cash or capital or funding.

There will never be enough money in the training budget unless you ask for it.

It depends on what you’re willing to invest in yourself and the company because with a great training it will pay for itself many, many times over. An investment in your personal development is never wasted.

You can’t always control what you have, but you can control what you choose to do with what you have.

Do whatever it takes to become great at presenting.


  1. I don’t have the skills.

This isn’t a problem because it’s really easy to develop them.

Read a book, read 10 books, read 50 books if you have to.

Find someone who has done what you want to do and go learn from them.

Find a specialist presentation trainer and coach and work with them.

Becoming great at anything takes effort and determination.

So if this seems too hard, or too big of a price to pay, or simply not fair then accept you will never have the skills and will never achieve the high level of success you want.


  1. 5. I don’t know how to get anyone to listen.

There is no such thing as a bad audience, only a boring speaker so if you can’t get anyone to listen, the problem is with you.

Change your message so it means something to the people you want to reach and make it interesting, entertaining, amusing, shocking, informative, controversial, sad, silly, heartfelt…

Then they’ll listen.


  1. I can’t take the risk.

All genuine learning involves positive risk taking. And you have been spending most of your life taking this sort of risk… learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, learning to feed yourself – all happened when you didn’t realise what a risk was- you just did it!

Given time you can overcome almost any setback, stumble, or failure, and emerge stronger and smarter and better equipped to succeed the next time.

Once we stop reaching, stretching, risking we actually stop growing and that means that without learning, today is all you are ever going to be. If you never try, all you will be is regretful and having to look back with regret is one risk you should never take.




  1. I’m better at planning it than doing it.

No you’re not. You’re just too lazy to do the groundwork. Or you think you shouldn’t have to do it. Or you think you’re above it. Or – pick your excuse.

Every successful person I know can and does, when necessary, roll up his or her sleeves and just  work harder than everyone else. That’s one of the reasons they’re so successful.
You don’t need some undefined innate quality to be good presenting- all you need is discipline and the effort to learn the skills.


  1. I can’t stop preparing until it’s perfect.

Yes you can. You just don’t want to. Maybe you lack confidence, or are anxious or fearful, or hate the idea that people will be looking at you but the thing is that there’s no such thing as a perfect presentation.

Do your best then step back and review it. Get honest feedback from someone you trust on how to make it better and then incorporate that.  If doing a little more work will result in a dramatically better outcome, then do it but if doing a little more work will not make a difference that anyone else but you will notice then stop.


  1. I’m not comfortable doing it.

You need to learn to be comfortable doing it.

If you’re not comfortable doing something because it violates your principles or ethics, by all means don’t. But if you’re not comfortable doing something simply because it will take you outside your comfort zone, you’re just rationalizing.

And you’ll never be more than you already are.


  1. They don’t “get” what I’m talking about.

Oh, they get it. They just don’t want it.

Truly great ideas can be described in a just a few words as Martin Luther King Jnr showed-  “ I have a dream!”

When no one seems to “get it,” the only person not getting it is probably you.

Let go of your pride and agenda and “unique point of view” and figure out where you’ve gone wrong.


  1. It’s too hard to do.

Long journeys are hard but individual steps are easy.

If you suddenly decide to run a marathon after being a couch potato for years then you’re right – that’s too hard. But you can go out and run a lap or two. Or you can walk a mile or two.

You can take one small step towards a difficult goal. And then another. And then another.

You can’t accomplish any difficult goal overnight, but you can accomplish one step, however small, towards that goal.

Think about the end of a journey and every single step that will be required along the way and you’ll never start.

Instead, just do one thing that will help get you there. Then build on that one thing.

You can definitely do that.


  1. I’ll be too embarrassed if I fail.

If you go into a  presentation thinking about failing then that is exactly what you will do. Because that’s how the unconscious bran works- it gives us what we focus on! So the first thing is to expect it to be a success.

And there is a saying in NLP that there is no such thing as failure- only feedback. We get the results we want or the results we don’t want. Now you may not get exactly the result you want from your presentation but if you prepare properly and practice then it will be successful.


If you want to get ahead in business it’s never been more important to develop your presenting skills.

So stop making excuses and just do it!


About the Author …..

Cath Daley is a highly successful and sought after Persuasive Communication and Presenting Expert, Speaker, Author and Persuasive Leadership Coach whose clients have 100% presentation success rate.