10 Ways You're Ruining Your Speech
You've been giving some presentations here and there... but it just doesn't seem to be working. You envisioned tons of testimonials, endless new clients and a booked out speaking calendar.
Instead... you're hearing crickets.
If you can't figure out why your speaking strategy (or lack there of) isn't working... I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you're probably guilty of one of these ten presentation fails.
(1) the dreaded Introduction
This is number one on the list for a good reason.... it drives me absolutely insane. I cringe every time I see it happen.
I'm begging you--please, do NOT start your presentation by introducing yourself. Stop it! The host JUST introduced you before you stepped on to the stage. There is no need for you to repeat what was just said. The audience already knows who you are.
The first 30 seconds of your talk are essential to grabbing your audience's attention. Don't waste it on repeating your introduction.
(2) Facts & Figures
High value content is content is essential. We certainly want to illustrate our zone of genius during our talk. However, we can do this with more than facts and figures alone. Information without illustration isn't retained well. With every fact and figure you share, pretend the an audience member asked, "How does this impact me?"
Paint the picture for your audience. Share stories and examples that illustrate the importance of your content and how it applies to them.
We're on the stage to serve our audience. It's difficult to do that when we're crying through the entire talk. If you can't deliver a clear message without a meltdown--it's probably not time to share that story just yet.
Take it from our friend MaryAnn who has witnesses this as an audience member:
“I love when speakers tell their story and are full of passion and emotion. But I don’t like when they start crying on stage. It makes the audience feel uncomfortable. I remember wanting to jump on the stage and give her a hug (and some tissues). Practice telling your story enough times in front of a mirror so that you’re not sobbing on stage.” - MaryAnn Skaro, www.tablescapesinstyle.com
Share stories you're READY to share. We can't lift up others if we're barely standing on our own.
(4) Put Yourself on a Pedestal
This crazy thing happens when a speaker steps on to the stage. People automatically put them on a pedestal. Your mission should be to jump right off that pedestal and get on the same level as your audience. No one is going to ask for your help (or hire you) if they're not comfortable approaching you.
Bridge the gap between you and the audience and you'll be ten steps ahead of the rest.
(5) Death by Power Point
Slide decks are going to need their own blog post all together. Boy, oh boy are there multiple ways to ruin your talk with a slide deck. But for this post, let's sum it up into one point: Make sure your slide deck isn't an afterthought.
Our friend, Dannie Lynn Fountain shared how she once witnessed a presentation that lingered on ONE SLIDE for nearly an hour. Yikes! "Make sure the slide deck actually follows the talk you're delivering. Don't just throw together a slide deck if you're not comfortable using one." - Dannie Lynn Fountain www.dannielynnfountain.com
If you're using a slide deck, make sure it's carefully crafted to support your presentation NOT distract from it.
(6) Scripted robot
There's a fine line between being prepared and being a robot.
If you're having difficulty making a meaningful connection with your audience ask yourself, "How much of MYSELF have I infused into this presentation?" It is feels scripted, it probably is.
Practice memorizing your talk in chunks rather than word for word for a more natural flow.
(7) Unprepared AMATEUR HOUR
Remember how I said the first 30 second are super important? Don't waste that valuable time figuring out how to turn on the microphone or advance your slides. We're trying to position you as the authority, not an amateur.
Do a sound check and test equipment BEFORE you step on the stage.
(8) No Clear Message
You don't have to squeeze #allthethings into your talk. When we try to cram all of our genius into one presentation, our message gets lost. Don't overwhelm your audience with more than they can process. If you're not able to sum up the message of your presentation into ONE sentence, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
Get clear on your message and craft your talk to support it.
(9) Leave Them Hangin’
You've delivered this amazing talk and the audience is ready to take action. Don't leave them hanging! Make sure you're considering what the NEXT steps are for your audience. How can they go apply this information to their life or business? What is going to help them take action right away?
Help your audience get a quick win before you even leave the stage.
(10) Audience Disconnect
Presentations are not one size fits all. Just because your talk for a corporate board room was a raving success, doesn't mean it's going to work for a small business networking event. Do your homework and find out how you can best support the audience from the stage.
Tailor your content to best fit your audience's needs.
Feeling like you need to revamp your presentation style?
Don't freak out! The first step is admitting you have a problem. Now, let's get that sucker fixed. Here is a handy-dandy worksheet to help you get started on the RIGHT foot.
BEFORE you write your talk, make sure you snag your worksheet and consider these three things >>
Have you seen (or made) any of these presentation mistakes? Hop on over to our Front + Center Community and let's chat about it >>
JESSICA RASDALL // NATIONAL SPEAKER & PUBLIC SPEAKING STRATEGIST
Jessica Rasdall is your secret weapon to achieving the speaking success you desire. As a professional speaker and coach for female entrepreneurs, she is dedicated to partnering with women business owner to craft stories and presentation that connect with their audience and help them stand out in a saturated market.