delivery MYTH-TAKES   
public speaking mistakes

I'm not a public speaker
reality >
We all speak in public. Public speaking goes beyond standing on a stage in front of 100 people. We present ourselves all the time.

don't talk with your hands
reality >
Hand gestures show what you mean. Speakers who avoid using any hand movement appear stiff. Let your hands speak for themselves. 

look over the heads of the audience
reality >
Look directly at key individuals. We connect with each other through eye contact. Effective speakers look at a few people, one at a time. Eye contact helps to build rapport, when you build rapport you build trust, and when you have trust, your audience believes you.

memorize your speech
reality > 
It's more effective to memorize concepts, not words. If you forget a word, you can make your point another way or go on to a new point. Your audience will not know the difference. When possible, avoid using manuscripts. Notes & outlines help you to stay on track.

stand in one place
reality > Purposeful movement can be dynamic. Work the crowd. Move across the platform. By doing this, you'll increase the energy in the audience. 

always use a lectern
reality > There's only one reason to use a lectern - to hold your notes. Use a lectern only when you have to speak from a manuscript. Otherwise, you risk giving a presentation that's perceived as formal and stiff.

cover all your points in your speech 
reality >
Consider the time frame and modify your talk. Give three major points instead of six. Condense your examples. Tell shorter stories. People will be more likely to remember your speech if you take this approach instead of trying to squeeze too much into too short a time frame.

start with a joke
reality > Don't do it. You don't have to be funny to be effective. Use humor or irony instead of telling a joke. Or, simply start with a story or a quote. Jokes backfire more often than not and you start your presentation looking lame.

turn off the lights to show slides
reality >  In total darkness, your audience members will fall asleep. They'll be startled when you turn the lights back on. Use a dimmer instead. Give people enough light to see the slides, and be sure you can see their faces.

you shouldn't be nervous
reality >
You can control and manage nervousness, but you can't  eliminate it. For most of us, the fear of making a presentation never really goes away. Even the top speakers get nervous. Some nervousness is good for you. It keeps you dynamic. The goal is to channel your nervous energy into a positive performance.

©Patricia (Trish) Green 
Trish Green, Presentation Skills Specialist
email   [email protected]

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