By Ashish Arora
Without question, public speaking is one the best ways to be seen as an expert in your field. Through public speaking, business owners can get their message in front of large groups of people, encouraging a conversation while supporting their value proposition.
Many people have thought of giving public speaking a try but have let their fear get in the way. But, once you know some of the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them, you can feel confident and relaxed up on stage.
With this in mind, here’s how to avoid common public speaking mistakes:
Choosing the Wrong Topic
Choosing the right information to share with others is absolutely critical to your success. You will obviously want to choose a topic you are an expert on and feel passionate about. But, perhaps even more important, you’ll want to choose a topic your audience is eager to learn about.
This will require you to do some digging to find out as much as you can about the people who will come to hear you speak. What are their pain points? What solutions have they already tried? How can your knowledge impact their life in a significant and positive way?
If you’re new to public speaking, understand that it’s going to take some practice on your part to get comfortable and share your information in a clear, concise and engaging way.
Before the big event, you’ll want to rehearse your presentation, preferably in front of others. Ask friends, family and/or colleagues to listen to you and offer feedback. Don’t take any criticism personally, take it to heart and make the necessary adjustments.
Not Connecting Right Away
Many public speakers spend so much time developing and memorizing their content that they forget to create an initial report with their audience. You only have a few seconds to hook your audience and convince them to give you their full attention.
How can you grab listeners’ attention? Open your presentation with a joke, personal story or shocking bit of data. This will get the listeners to sit forward in their chairs and give you their full attention.
Using a Monotone Voice
Do you remember the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? “Bueller… Buller?” He was so boring the kids were falling asleep in their chairs. The reason he was so boring is because he spoke in an absolutely monotone voice and it put everyone who listened to him asleep.
Don’t let this happen to you. Your voice should have inflections to keep people listening. Practice making your voice go lower and higher to punctuate sections of your presentation.
Movement is to your body what inflection is to your voice. If you stand stiff and never move, your audience will also get bored. Standing stiff is just not natural. Use gestures as you would in normal speech. And, unless you are forced to stand behind a podium for the microphone, move around the stage so everyone can see you.
Reading Your PowerPoint Slides
People came to HEAR you speak, not WATCH you read. Your PowerPoint slides are there …read more
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