Time and time again we see many of these public speaking sins being repeated. The key to most of these is to be well prepared and be aware – so be professional and create a credible presence.
Here is a list of 6 things you shouldn’t say during your presentation:
“I have a lot of things to cover, so let’s get started right away…”
Your audience knows immediately they are going to be bored during this speech. If you have too much information to cover consider cutting down on your material to decide what is important.
“Can you hear me?” and/or “Can you read this?”
These two come down to your preparation. You should have already tailored your fonts to be big enough and your microphone or level of speech to be loud enough to reach those comfortably in the back of the room.
“I’ll get back to that later.”
Two reasons this is a bad idea. First, the audience member that asked the question probably asked it because they want it answered right away. It took a lot of courage for you to speak on stage so you know the courage it took for that individual to speak out loud. Answer it promptly to encourage other audience members to not be afraid to ask you questions – you want your audience involved. Second, you will most likely forget! Don’t kid yourself, you will get so wrapped up in your other content you will completely forget. It’s much easier to jump back into your presentation then remember something else.
“I apologize for the technical difficulties.”
Try your best to avoid this by checking and double checking all of your equipment. But if something does happen be prepared to go along without your technology to not waste any time or lose your audience.
“Are there any questions?”
This is not necessarily a bad question to ask but most presenters usually ask this at the very end when all points have been addressed and there’s not much more to speak on. Ask this earlier in your speech and more frequently to get those to speak up while they remember their question. Also, if an audience member asks a question be sure to repeat it to the listeners in case others didn’t hear.
“Oh no, I am out of time! Let me skim through my last 20 slides.”
Again, proper preparation will prevent this but just in case a question or conversation with the audience takes up a chunk of your time – make it easy to tailor your slides during your presentation. Decide your important points and make sure those are clearly stated. Some of the fluffy stuff can be skipped.
Don’t waste your opportunities to persuade your audience by committing any of these Public Speaking sins.