Biggest Mistakes Speakers Make – And How To Avoid Them, Part 2

Want to be motivated to give a great presentation when asked to deliver one? Read on, and avoid these common mistakes that even experienced speakers make, and make your presentation dynamite! If you missed Part 1, let me know and i can email it to you.a) WEAK OPENERS AND CLOSERS: When I was much younger, I loved to learn and demonstrate magic tricks. One of the key things about pulling off a great magic show applies to you as well if you are doing a spot of public speaking, and that is: 1) first, grab their attention, 2) add super-attention, 3) leave then wanting more. If your opening is weak, you *will* fail to sustain the audience’s interest. Open with a powerful story, quote or define what you hope to achieve in the presentation. These are less of a cliche than a tired joke. Finish or close with a story, metaphor that honours the content of your presentation, and will be ‘ sticky’ with the audience, and likely to be recounted or remembered for a long time.

b) TOO MANY POINTS: It’s tempting to pack the presentation with lots of content to deliver ‘ value’. The real test of value is what the audience remembers and wants to copy/do to help their condition in the next month or so. As such, focusing on just 3 – 4 points, supported by evidence, stories, case studies – is a much better option than covering too much ground and overwhelm your audience. It also allows you to shorten stories , drop supporting anecdotes if you are running out of time without sacrificing your key points ( see point below on RUSHING )

c) RUSHING: when you are running short of time! If you have rehearsed your presentation, you will realise that some parts of your presentation need to be dropped in order to have quality ( vs. quantity ). You choose which bits need to be left out. The key is pacing annd rehearsing before the big event.

d) FAILING TO STAY IN THE REAL WORLD: Acknowledge noises, e.g a beeper that goes off, a crash of breaking plates – in your auditorium. To rattle on without doing so makes the audience feel uncomfortable , as well as wondering why the speaker didn’t react to that awful noise from the back. With practice, and some presentation coaching, you can also learn how to use such external hiccups or inteference to your advantage and boost your presentation quality

Drop me a line if you need to know more.