There are not many of us who enjoy speaking in public but most of us will have to do it at some point in our lives, whether it is as part of our coursework at University or to further ourselves in work. There are various public speaking courses which can help assist us on how to perform well with public speaking, so we feel confident and don’t put the audience to sleep! There are numerous obvious pitfalls in public speaking which can really put your audience off and spoil your presentation, no matter how good it may be on paper.
Lack of Preparation
If you have only looked at your notes the night before your presentation, it will be very obvious when you are speaking to your audience. It is important to remember that the audience have taken the time to attend your presentation, so it is only fair if you make a reasonable attempt to prepare for it. It will also affect your confidence if you don’t know your topic well or what you are going to say next so take time out to prepare as much as you possibly can. If you can get someone to listen to it and offer advice it will be even more beneficial or if you attend public speaking courses, they will help teach you how to prepare before the big event.
Back to Audience
It is obviously a nerve wracking experience to do a presentation to a large crowd but turning your back to the audience will really affect the quality of your presentation. It is important to remember that the audience are there to see you and are interested in what you have to say or they wouldn’t have turned up so ensure you make eye contact throughout the presentation. They are more likely to listen to you and relate to what you say if you speak directly to them.
Reading from Notes
There is nothing duller in a presentation than a speaker who has their head down reading from their notes and above all, it looks like they haven’t bothered to take time to prepare. In order to engage with your audience, you should keep your head up and only look at your notes if absolutely necessary. You should have prepared sufficiently before you undertake it so reading from notes should not be a necessity to produce a good quality presentation.
Rushing and Speaking Unclearly
If you have been forced into doing a presentation at University or work, the chances are that you just want to get on and out of the spotlight as soon as possible. It may seem appealing to just mumble your way through the presentation until your ten minutes are up, but where is the fun in that? You have to do the presentation so you may as well make it as good as possible so always speak clearly and take time to produce some good results. Your audience deserve a good show so don’t let them down by rushing. You never know, you may even enjoy it.