So you are new into public speaking? But you don’t know the basics of speaking in front of a huge crowd. Then don’t just go and start speaking, you’ll surely mess up your message. Confidence is the key to speaking in public. However, when you face a huge audience your confidence vanishes. As a matter of fact, your hands will start to shake and sweat, your brain starts getting confused. And all your preparation that you have done for the event gets into a pile of shit. Many people take public speaking as the number one fear even more than death. To have a proper presentation you need to have to be clear in your presentation. Here are the 7 mistakes that should avoid while speaking in public.
You must know that preparation is very crucial for any kind of presentation. Therefore, you should prepare your presentation several times before speaking it out in public. Furthermore, your topics should be clear to all the folks listening to your presentation. Have proper research and write your own thoughts about the topic. As a matter of fact, you should know that the presentation should be written in your own words. However, you might try to take shortcuts and try to use already written text. Don’t be overconfident that you’ll be able to remember all the key points just because you’ve scribbled them on your notebook.
No doubt, your audience will be expecting you to teach them about the topic. But if you are not prepared then you might forget some points of your presentation which will make the presentation hollow. Furthermore, the worst thing you could possibly is to prepare the presentation just before the event. In addition, you should try to engage your audience to your presentation. Dress sharp and a good sleep, remember to give yourself a margin of error. By that I mean, prepare at least two days earlier. This will give you enough time to relax and deliver the presentation without tension.
Not knowing your target audience:
This is very common mistake that a lot of people commit. So, try to do a research before your presentation. You can ask the organizers about the audience you are going to face. Furthermore, knowing their age, culture, and expectations will help you a lot. Try to tailor your presentation according to the audience that you are going to face. As a matter of fact, you can include some jokes and proverbs to keep the audience engaged. You may be well prepared with your topic, but if the topic is irrelevant to your audience, then they will connect with you. Therefore, you need to very careful in studying your target audience.
Not having the clear points:
Today, our attention span has been shortened drastically. Therefore, a presenter must keep up with the audience. Having clear points is a very good idea, they will take less time to understand your concept. You can break your huge presentation into smaller segments, and explain all your points in short and simple words. Using easy words will make it easier to keep up with your presentation. On the other hand, using complex words will make them think again to interpret your statements. You can also repeat your main points if necessary. But don’t repeat them more than once.
Over Dependence on visuals:
Technology is good. But don’t be over-dependent over it. You can use powerpoint presentation for few slides but the main idea should be conveyed by yourself. If power point is your first priority then they can also use it on their own and read about the topic. Therefore, don’t be the guy who is literally reading material off a screen. Eye contact with the audience is the most crucial part of public speaking.
In addition to that, it will also give you the signs of their interest in your presentation. You’ll also get to know when shift to the next topic of your presentation. If a power point presentation is a part of your presentation, then try to make sure that you don’t use more than 10 slides. Keep the words minimum in your every slide, readers will have read less. However, I would highly recommend you to prepare your presentation without any electronic help first. As you don’t want to mess your hard work if there’s a power cut.
Not getting the honest feedback:
Famous fast food chains always try to take a customer satisfaction survey when you leave their outlet. Similarly, you should also take feedback to improve yourself for the next time. However, you should also learn the difference between constructive criticism and haters. As one will help you to improve for future where as the other will only try to tear you down. For the first experience, try to critique yourself. Try to focus where you got stuck or murmured the words. You can also hire a coach for public speaking if you are doing it on a professional basis. However, it is even better to ask others about where you got stuck (umm, ahh) during your presentation. Some people often ramble and run down rabbit trails instead of sticking the main points of the presentation.
Bonus tip 1: Not having your timing right:
Doing your stuff right on time is very important. You will get two benefits if you value time. Firstly, you won’t be needing extra time for preparation than the allotted time. Secondly, timing your points will keep your message interesting for longer. You need to have little breaks between your points, try to fill those gaps with stories, jokes, and interaction with the crowd. It will make your presentation more interesting and intuitive to the audience.
Bonus tip 2: Not preparing a Plan B:
You are well prepared with your presentation with the perfect balance between words and slides. You’ve also practiced a lot and taken your friend’s feedback. But what will you do if something happens like microphone fails or you are constantly interrupted? Therefore, having a back plan is must have an idea.
I will say we all have to present a presentation in our lives. Therefore, we must be prepared and never let our message get muted. Avoid the above mistake and you are ready to rock the stage.