Today I want to talk to you about five mistakes you may be making when it comes to public speaking that you don’t even realize you’re doing. Now, at some point in our lives, all of us are going to have an opportunity to speak in public. Maybe you’re the founder and CEO of a company or you’re giving a toast at a wedding or you’re giving the findings of your research. Whatever it is, you’re going to stand up in front of a few or many people and talk to them and connect with them and move them in some way. The five mistakes that can get in the way of speaking are as follows.
Reading your speech. I’m going to read everything to you and I’m not going to look up or maybe I’ll look up once in a while. I’m going to read my speech to you. Don’t do that. If we’re going to have you up there on stage or in front of the group, we could just have the PDF be given out. We could just have you stand up there and show the PowerPoint. You’re up there to speak to the audience for a reason. You’re special. It’s your opportunity. You’re the messenger. You want to make sure that you’re talking to the audience, you’re not just hiding behind this material that you’re reading. It really goes to preparation. You’ve got to prepare before you go on stage. It’s so key. The best speakers in the world talk about how they’ve got everything prepared. They’ve practiced, practiced, and practiced some more. You want to be prepared and you don’t want to be stuck in reading this. You’re special. Your message is special. Allow yourself to share that message with your audience.
Number two, shifting weight. I’m shifting weight or I’m pacing back and forth, but I’m shifting weight as I talk. I want to tell everybody, you know, that I’m really happy to be up here and you guys are great. We’re shifting weight. Now, listen, all of us at some point, when we’re on stage have a bit of nerves. Even the speakers who have been up there for years have some nerves. Those nerves, those anxieties, start to come out in physical ways. One of them can be shifting your weight or pacing back and forth. It really detracts and distracts from your message. Plant yourself. What is the answer to nerves? Relaxation, breath. Physically plant yourself so you can be still and you can be connected. As I’ve said, often times, confidence is something that can be felt, that can be physically explored. If you act as if and you physically anchor yourself and you breathe and even though you might be nervous, you plant yourself, you’re going to start to build the self-fulfilling prophecy of confidence.
Number three would be monotone, just saying everything at the exact same level as you talk. I’m not really getting any louder. I’m not getting any softer. I’m not really changing the pace of my speech. I’m certainly not going up or down in my voice. Could you imagine that for two minutes, for 20 minutes, for an hour? We don’t want that. We can think of those times in our lives we’ve had maybe that professor who’s done that. We think, “I just can’t bear to sit in class for that amount of time and listen to that voice.” For you professors out there who feel that you have that voice, what is the answer? The answer is working on your voice. Remember, the voice is your instrument. You are your instrument. You can work on developing your voice, on developing your range, developing your presence. Voice, speech, presence are all improvable skills so work on that. Become a more dynamic speaker. I’m not saying that everybody has to be super dynamic. Perhaps you feel a little bit more like this rather than like this. In doing so, at least find the range that you can allow yourself to give to the audience because you are unique and you are special and it’s time for you to share with your audience yourself.
The fourth mistake is I have only one intention or I have no intention and the intention is just to get through my speech. I just want to be able to get through this because I was asked to be up here. I really don’t want to be up here so I’m just going to get through it. My intention is get me off the stage, get me off the stage, get me off the stage. That’s wrong. Intention. It’s all about intention. Listen, guys, if you have a strong intention, that’s going to feed you through your whole speech. If your intention is, which many of us tend to get when we get up in front of people, is I just want to get through this, that’s going to be the feeling or the tone of your speech. What you want to have is a strong intention. You want to maybe move your audience or you want to enlighten them. You want to educate them. You want to entertain them. Whatever it is, you have to have an intention so that everything else follows through, you actually change the audience’s thinking, feeling. Whatever that is, have a strong intention, which brings me to my fifth mistake.
The fifth big mistake is not connecting or moving the audience. That can really go back to number four, which is what’s my intention. Perhaps my intention is I want to really move the audience, I want to inspire them to give to this cause. I want to inspire them to take action. I want to share with them the findings of my research that I spent the last two months or two years working on. Move your audience. Connect with your audience. If you’re up there and you’re not really having any sort of movement between yourself and the audience, you’re just up there and you’re presenting but you kind of end energetically right here, you’re not doing something you could be doing, which is inspiring these people next to you, inspiring these people in front of you.
Being a public speaker, making a presentation, giving a toast, it’s an opportunity. It’s not something to be feared. It’s an opportunity. You can improve your skills in being the best public speaker ever and you can always get better. Those are five mistakes to avoid. It’s a little checklist you can form when you make your next speech. Look at those five tips. Make sure you do not make any of those major mistakes and you’re going to be on your way to being a great public speaker, giving great toasts, and giving great presentations. If you like this video, please give me a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.