makes a bad presentation


New Member
What's the difference between:

"...makes a bad presentation."


"makes for a bad presentation."


Thanks in advance.
  • panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm assuming that we are talking about something like a lecture, seminar, formal presentation of a topic to management/customers - that kind of presentation.

    There is very little difference, so little that I'm having trouble thinking of one. Here is a possibility - no more than that, for I feel the two are very similar.

    I suppose "makes a bad presentation" relates to the content of the presentation and the style and manner of the presenter.

    "Makes for a bad presentation," relates to other circumstances surrounding the presentation such as the room, the accoustics ...

    1. Too many words on the visual aids makes a bad presentation.

    2. Arriving too late to check out the room, the technology and the audience makes for a bad presentation.

    When I look at those, I could use "makes for" in (1), but I couldn't get rid of the "for" in (2). So there is some difference. Maybe someone else will explain it better.


    Senior Member
    English, United States
    I agree with Panjandrum's explanation. I use the phrase makes for in cases where it means roughly adds up to or results in or creates.

    Mispronouncing the prospective customer's name makes for a bad presentation.
    Mispronouncing the prospective customer's name results in a bad presentation.

    If I said, "Mispronouncing the prospective customer's name makes a bad presentation" that seems a bit illogical to me because the word mispronouncing--the subject of the sentence--is not the person making the presentation. Rather, it is the circumstance which is making the presentation bad. Does that make sense?


    Senior Member
    American English
    marciana said:
    ..makes a bad presentation.

    I would add that "a bad presentation" is rather imprecise. What in particular is wrong with it? I'd suggest that you choose a more specific adjective.