Have you ever asked yourself why so many experts are terrible speakers? Using inappropriate humor, projecting the wrong image, failing to prepare properly are some of the most common public speaking mistakes that can ruin your presentation. Inexperienced speakers prepare to deliver information. Successful speakers know that body language and nonverbal communication influence the audience most strongly.
Here are six biggest public speaking mistakes and how to avoid them:
Not Knowing Your Audience
Before making a speech, research your audience. Learn about their interests and hobbies. Try to find out what their needs are. Write your speech with the audience in mind. Speaking to college students is not the same as speaking to seniors. Your speech should fit the target audience that you are addressing. If you want to engage the public, you have to generate a significant level of interest from the beginning.
Reading Your Speech Word by Word
Your audience can read. Listening to you read the obvious will bore them. Write down the main points of your speech and build your story around them. Prepare some note cards and use visual aids. Practice your speech at home. Add vocal variety as you read. Keep the sentences short. Use appropriate body language to engage the audience. Deliver your speech with authenticity and passion.
Not Showing Respect for the Listener
When speaking in public, many people express criticism for some common behavior or thinking. If you disrespect listeners for their lack of knowledge in your area of expertise, you’ll lose them forever.
Speaking without Passion
Many speakers become very nervous and stressed when they get up to the podium. They often display a lack of enthusiasm. If you want to become a successful speaker, do not make this mistake. The more passionate you are about your topic, the higher are your chances to persuade the audience to take action. Proper training and increased passion can help you get people’s attention and keep them engaged.
Not Having a Point
Your speech should have one main point and several sub-points that support your statements. Failure to have at least one point will doom your speech to mediocrity. Try to find out what motivates your audience and what they want to know. Craft your speech based their needs and wants.
Using Inappropriate Humor
Some people are more sensitive than others. All it takes is one questionable joke to turn them off. Next time you incorporate humor in your speech, make sure it relates to the topic that is being discussed.