Your public speaking glitches may seem minor, but they can ruin your image and make you less credible. In order to become a successful speaker, you have to identify and avoid these mistakes. People will form judgments about your personality, education, and intelligence based on the language you use. There are situations when these errors can be easily fixed. You can even use them to your own advantage. But most times, they are just wasteful.
Here are six public speaking mistakes that make you sound dumb:
“Um” and “ah” are the most commonly used fillers. This empty words pad your sentences without adding any additional meaning. A good public speaker should never use these filler sounds in his presentation. People expect those who are giving a speech to use little if any filler. These blank words suggest that the speaker needs a moment to plan what to say next. They may also indicate that you’re not confident about what you’re about to say.
Not Looking Confident
One of the most important things you can do when making a speech is to appear confident. If you look like an expert and sound like one, you’ll already have a huge head start. Try to relax and be less self-conscious. Prepare rigorously before showing up in front of your audience. Practice your speech as much as possible. Do whatever it takes – breathing deeply, doing yoga, meditating – to relieve tension.
Successful people don’t feel the urge to brag about their accomplishments. Bragging has a negative impact on your image. It doesn’t make you look confident. If you have something to prove, let your performance do the talking for you. Emphasize what you know without talking too much about yourself.
Making Grammar Mistakes
Improper use of “myself,” subject/predicate disagreement, and mispronunciations can affect your credibility and make you sound stupid. Check your speech multiple times in order to identify any grammar mistakes. Ask a fried or relative to read your speech.
Offering Weak Evidence
Every time you make a statement, come up with evidence to support your point. You can use pictures, analogies, statistics, historical data, testimonials, and even personal stories.
Speaking Too Quickly
Talking too fast is one of the most common public speaking mistakes. Not only it shows that you lack confidence in yourself, but it can also ruin your speech. This is one way to lose your audience’s attention.