presentation skills, public speaking


Misdeeds in Public SpeakingBeing a human we are liable to make a mistake. Even in public speaking, many people do commit mistakes such as using foghorns like “aahhh”, “uummmm” etc. These mistakes are such pitty ones that they may be ignored by the audience to some extent. But some people in public speaking commit blunder for which the audience is not able to forgive. And this would make your public speaking go into drains.

There may be instances where a professional, a businessman may end up boring his audience for 20-25min whereas a layman might have the capability to bring rejoice in the audience.  This is all because he has understood the essentials of public speaking well.

The most common misdeeds done by people in public speaking and their solutions:

  1. Beginning your speech with “Thank you for inviting me” will take away the interest of the audience right in the beginning. Start your speech with bang and wake up your audience who is there to enjoy your public speaking skills.
  2. Public speaking, formally or informally, is an activity that requires huge efforts. Every speech needs a lot of practice before it is delivered.  “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave.  The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.  ~Dale Carnegie
    A lazy person would surely fail to prepare and practice his speech. Not many people try to improve themselves in public speaking because of their laziness. But a person who wants to improve may find his way in a public speaking course, public speaking books, hiring a public speaking trainer, joining a public speaking club, reading public speaking blogs and so on.
  3. Some people are of the belief that public speaking skills cannot be acquired. They envy others because they think that others have been born with public speaking skills. Such people try to copy stories or speeches or presentations and thus they lack confidence. The fact is that public speakers learn the public speaking skills in the same way they learn to use other business tools.
  4. Someone said  “A speech is like a woman’s skirt: it needs to be long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to hold the audience’s attention.”  More bullets, words, slides, examples and everything would only go waste. It would be better to focus on your core message, select only the best support material to support like examples, slides etc., and speak at a reasonable pace. Keep the supplementary material for handouts only.
  5. When you exceed the time allotted to you for the speech, you violate the contract you have with your audience, and you get you name in their bad books. You must value the time of the audience. Also remember that nobody will complain if you finish a few minutes early. But if you go beyond time, the audience have negative emotions for you.
  6. Reading a speech word for word in public speaking will put the audience to sleep. You may keep the keywords to prompt your thoughts and then make an eye-contact with the audience, and speak.
  7. Public speaking is always about the audience and the message you want to convey. So do not keep talking about yourself as though public speaking is about you only. Do not place yourself ahead of the audience. Try to recognize what is the interest of the audience. Speak what they want to hear or convey your message in the way they want to listen. If you fail to do so, you may fail to impress the audience with your presentation.

The author Anurag Aggarwal is a public speaker and a trainer on Public Speaking, Presentation Skills and Personality Development at Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking for over 13 years and has conducted over three thousand workshops, trainings and seminars so far.

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