2.9.2013

The Five Fatal Flaws Of Public Speaking

We’ve all seen – and given – poor presentations. It’s inevitable if we are involved in speaking on even a somewhat regular basis. What is avoidable, however, are the five worst mistakes that presenters make that doom their talks to being anxiety-ridden, boring, forgettable time-wasters.
From my years of professional speaking and teaching executives at Merrill Lynch, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Cisco, Charles Schwab and others to present, I have compiled the five fatal flaws of public speaking. Avoid these mistakes, and you’re already ahead of the competition.
Public Speaking Fatal Flaw #1: Overloading on Content
(Remember this) On a good day, your audience will only retain 7% of what you tell them. Despite this, presenters consistently cram too much content into their talks and their listeners check out. As time wwe supercard hack tool ticks away, they move faster through their slides, grow more anxious and struggle to get through every word in their notes.
Before your next talk, ask yourself this question: What do you really want your audience to walk away with? Once this message is clear, black ops 3 hack develop a few – not too many – supporting points to back up your message. Illustrate these with examples, stories, statistics and some good, simple visual aids if you are using them.
Then be finished. Your audience can ask for more detail or clarification if they need it. Nine times out of ten, if you focus on making your points simple, crystal clear and memorable, you will be better off than trying cover too much information in too little time. Best of all, you will stand out from the crowd.
Public Speaking Fatal Flaw #2: Being boring
It doesn’t matter how good your content is if your audience isn’t listening. Your job as a speaker, then, must be part informer and part entertainer. This means using humor, stories, analogies and audience involvement as much as possible.
The more interesting your talk, the better chance that you will connect with your audience personally and that they will pay attention to you. If something interesting or humorous comes to you as you speak, great. But don’t plan on this happening. Compile a list of interesting or funny anecdotes, quotes, headlines and jokes that you can use in your talks. A bit of focus on making your content interesting goes a LONG way.
Public Speaking Fatal Flaw #3: Not speaking to individuals
If there’s one message to take out of this report, it’s this: Treat every presentation as a series of one-on-one conversations. Too many speakers look out at the audience, panning back and forth and never settling on anyone for more than a split second. The result is a nervous speaker, a frantic pace, and no connection.
Instead, slow down and spend an entire thought visit our website or sentence or phrase with one person. Then, at a natural transition in your message, turn to someone else, look him in the eye and talk to that person. Just as if you were having a conversation.
This one piece of advice has transformed more speakers than any other. It allows you to read your audience, connect with them, keep them engaged and relax. And it all comes down to eye contact.
Public Speaking Fatal Flaw #4: Opening & closing poorly
The greatest irony about public speaking is that the two parts of the talk that people remember the best are the ones that nobody spends time preparing. People remember the last thing you say, then the first, and everything else is somewhere in the middle.
I never tell people to memorize an entire presentation. But I do coach them to know exactly how they will open and close their talks. Open with a hook to grab people’s attention. Use a story, a shocking statement or statistic or something that will catch them off guard. Then, not before, introduce yourself and your topic.
Close your talk after you handle the Q&A session. When you close, recall the main message of your talk and whatever action you want your audience to take. Then end strong. Go back to how you opened. End with a quote. Challenge your audience. Whatever you do, be decisive, because whatever you say will be what your audience will have ringing in their heads as they leave the room.
Public Speaking Fatal Flaw #5: Not practicing
The excuses for not practicing a presentation are endless. You can wing it. You do better unprepared. You know this stuff. You don’t have time.
The truth is that nothing will instill in you confidence and poise when standing in front of an audience better than thorough preparation. This means practicing your talk out loud several times. And if you use slides, go through every bullet on every slide and rehearse what you are going to say. Each time you go through it, your talk will get better, tighter and more comfortable leaving your lips.
If the biggest fear for people is public speaking, the biggest antidote for that fear is practice.