Things You’re Doing That Make You A Terrible Public Speaker

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Having the best ideas in the world are not worth much if no one is interested in listening to them. Being an effective public speaker is possible for anyone regardless of stage fright or natural ability. However, being a terrible public speaker is just as possible and usually more probable, if you do any of these things.

Making Your Slideshow The Star

A sure-fire way to not leave a lasting impact on your audience is to make what you’re saying play second fiddle to a PowerPoint presentation. While slideshows can be a powerful addition to your speech, they should not be the ultimate focus. Reading word for word from each slide, as though it was a notecard in your hand, is boring. Doing so turns you into a prop-like talking head rather than an interesting speaker.

Over-explaining Everything

Treating your audience as though they are not intelligent enough to understand the point you are trying to make without the help of five or more examples for every topic is a bad move. Insulting your audience’s intelligence by over-explaining every little thing is a good way to both alienate everyone that is listening to you while also making it exceedingly hard for them to stay interested in anything you are saying.

Speaking To Absolutely Anyone

Pulling a generic speech off the shelf and not tailoring it to your specific audience shows that you either don’t care or are ignorant to why this is an ineffective way of public speaking. Either way, not taking the time to customize your speech to the needs and interests of your audience is a perfect way to be an awful public speaker.

Trying To Be Funny/Emotional

It is a great power to be able to move people to emotion with your words. Moving your audience to genuine laughter or empathetic tears is an undeniable sign your message is connecting with them. However, it is a major turnoff if you try to force a certain reaction. Trying to be funny or seeking sympathy in an inorganic way comes off as awkward and disingenuous. If you believe in the topic you are speaking about and the potential effect it can have on your audience, there is no reason to attempt to manufacture.