“We should quit using phrases like ‘turning points’ and ‘tipping points.’ There’s been multiple turning points, multiple tipping points.”

– Michael T. Flynn

You’ve seen how pauses enhance your speech and filler words annoy the audience.

Similarly, some phrases have the power to motivate listeners to take action. Then, there are others that have no place in your presentation speech. They can be downright irritating, or worse still, make you look like an amateur.

Bookmark this 2-part list series – ten commandments of phrases to avoid in your presentation speech.

I am a bit Nervous

If your feet feel like lead weights or your stomach churns wildly, your audience should be the last to know it. Remember why they’re the ones who are seated, whereas you’re the one on that podium. You’re the expert, teacher, mentor or guide, and you have to lead the discussion by example.


I bet you can’t read This

This is the surest way to lose interest. It shows lack of preparation, practice and testing. Do you believe the font is too small and the audience will find it difficult to read your text? Use bigger fonts and screen test the slides before you begin.


please Pay attention

Your listeners live in a world that distracts. Their attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. Asking them to focus on your words is not going to help. It’s either a reflection on your presentation or your inability to keep them hooked. Ignore the perpetually distracted and find ways to make your speech interesting for the rest.


Excuse me, but I can’t see your fAce

Room lighting at actual venue differs from your office or rehearsal rooms. Chances are you won’t be able see some audience faces during Q&A sessions. You have two options: Check the venue in advance if you can.  Accept the fact and be content with their participation.


WE don’t have time for this sLide

This could mean three things.

  • You’ve exceeded the time limit
  • You were allotted a shorter time
  • You didn’t prepare for either scenario

Your listeners needn’t know you’re unprepared. Don’t talk about slides you won’t be presenting, unless they are pivotal to the topic.  If you have to, focus on how you’ll deliver the excluded content post-presentation.


Have you been guilty of using these phrases?

Stay tuned for the next set of commandments.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *