Thursday, September 25, 2008

Public Speaking: 5 Mistakes Public Speakers Make

Have you ever been disappointed by the quality of some speakers at a conference? I think all of us have been in that situation. Here are the top 7 mistakes public speakers make and how you can avoid them.

1. They don't look professional
It really doesn't matter if you just started your public speaking career or if you're the biggest name on the block, the rule still applies: always look your best.

2. They read their speeches
There's nothing worse than watching a speaker read his/her speech. You shouldn't memorize your speech word for word, and there's nothing wrong with referring to notes, but please, don't read from start to finish!

3. They don't speak clearly
Remember to use large facial movements when you speak. Your mouth needs to open to speak clearly. Be careful that you don't speak too quickly and be sure to pause between points so we can digest what you've said and follow what you're saying.

4. They have illegible visual aides
Your PowerPoint slides, flip charts, white board or whatever you might be using should also be nice and clear. Don't clutter your visual aides with lots of writing that is too small for your audience to read.

5. They give examples that don't make sense to the audience
When it comes to connecting with your audience, do your homework. You need to know something about the people you are speaking to in order to use examples and stories that make sense to them. This is especially true when you're speaking to international audiences made up of cultures different than your own.

Do you see yourself in any of these points? Do you best to change your ways. Your audience will thank you.

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