After years of professional speaking, leading seminars, emceeing corporate events and training speakers, I have discovered that most speakers make these 9 dangerous speaking mistakes.
I see these mistakes over and over again. I want to show them to you so you can avoid them.
Not being clear with your message.
It is practically impossible to give a powerful presentation or speech without clarity. You will need to get clear on your message before you create the speech.
You must know the message and become the message.
This means you must be inspired, motivated and passionate about the message for it to inspire your audience.
Lack of clarity brings confusion and it makes your speech monotonous, pointless or too loaded, or boring, bland and weak.
Not structuring the speech.
Step two of creating a speech is creating the structure. This will help your audience to understand, while it gives you confidence.
If your speech is not structured, you will lack coherence in delivering the speech. When your speech lacks structure, you will see yourself dabbling on the stage. It’s an error.
Standard structure – Open, Body, Close.
Or – Past, Present, Future.
Or – Problem, Cause/Origin, Solution.
Or – Story, Relevance, Recommended action.
Not pausing properly.
You may have heard of pausing for “effect.” That is not enough. You should pause to allow your audience to reflect on what you said.
A lot of speakers are just ranting instead of delivering a structured speech with adequate pauses. You should never appear to be babbling on the stage.
Moving without purpose.
Your movement(s) should support what you say…else do not move…simple!
You should move with the intent to allow your audience understand you better. You shouldn’t just be making moves without purpose. Let each move you make on the stage be purposeful.
Stealing other people’s material.
For some reasons, which I don’t know, many speakers think it is acceptable to use other people’s materials from the internet. If you do, you actually lose credibility.
You need to find your own voice, discover your own style, and develop your own contents. Don’t be a copycat. Let your uniqueness shine.
Using insincere gestures.
Many speakers think about “gestures” rather than body language. Rehearsed gestures come across as insincere and get the audience to question you.
Therefore, it’s important you create your own style and finetune your own way of delivering your speech. Don’t just copy and rehearse gestures of notable public speakers without knowing the concept behind the gestures.
Not using personal stories.
Most speakers undervalue their own experiences. They don’t see the power of “relatable” stories in their own lives. Everyone has stories.
You must find your stories and use them in your speeches. When you share your personal stories and experiences, you win the attention and endearment of your audience. They will see you as one of them, and not as a stranger.
How’s that for engagement?
Specificity builds credibility. It also creates a more vivid picture in the mind of your listeners. This helps you tell better stories while connecting with your audience.
Therefore it’s important to gain clarity before taking the stage. Clarity helps you to be specific, and when you are specific and sure of what you are saying, you will build credibility with your audience.
Not speaking up.
Nobody wants to strain to hear a mousy speaker squeak over their words. Be the kind of speaker that everyone can hear clearly, even without a microphone. Don’t confuse yelling with projecting though, or your audience will dread your presentations.
As a speaker, you are expected to stand up and speak up. Don’t mumble words. Deliver your speech with boldness and punch.
If you must, get a voice coach – avoid the trap of saying “That’s just how my voice is”, it can be nurtured to fuller strength.
Now, go and do EXPLOITS with your speech(es).