“A good speech is like a pencil; it has to have a point like a breathless messenger’s report.” – James Atlas
A great speaker understands their audience and taps into their pain points or aspirations. Their ideas and messages affect their listeners in a positive and uplifting way.
Your presentation is a hit when the audience:
- Appreciates your ideas
- Follows your roadmap
- Endorses your expertise
But your speech becomes unengaging when certain habits prevent you from connecting with listeners.
In the first part, I touched upon four deadly speaking sins that cost your audience’s attention and approval. Let’s look at the other three in this concluding blog post.
5. DATA GLUTTONY
This is the number cruncher’s weak point and makes for long-winded and boring speeches. While data, text and statistics have their legitimate place in your presentation, info-dumping can be tough on the audience.
Any time you find yourself going overboard with slide decks and speech notes, ask these basic questions:
- Am I beating around the bush?
- Can I condense key facts or results?
- Is this statistic relevant?
- Can I skip this explanation?
Don’t over-indulge in facts and figures, and your speech will benefit. Your audience is more interested in what you’re saying and how you’re saying it rather than an excess of supplementary information.
6. TALKER LUST
Some speakers are in love with their voice, words, ideas, and pet causes.
The result is often a speech that is high on passion, slightly bombastic, and low on substance. They fail to address their audience’s needs and go off-tangent.
Then there are others that thrive on social approval.
- Prefer certain listeners who hero worship
- Try to upstage or intimidate other speakers
- Exaggerate claims and findings to impress
A smart audience sees through their act and responds with disdain.
Their natural charm saves the day for some speakers. Others could benefit from being equally passionate about their audience and their topic.
7. COVETOUS SPEAKING
Have you come across speakers who tend to:
- Hoard their words
- Skim over information
- Avoid Q& A sessions
You’ve meet the enviers of the presentation world. Some speakers don’t like to share information and some plainly don’t know how.
They come across as lacking in expertise, as they fail to share their best ideas with the world. Their speech seems half-hearted and fails to quench the audience thirst for knowledge, an action plan, or a solution.
Don’t let the fear of someone else stealing your concept stop you from creating a better audience experience.
Have you committed any of these sins in your speeches or presentations? Can you think of other speech habits that qualify?