To succeed in your career, you will need to attend business conferences so that you can network with your peers and learn the latest business trends in your industry. Because trade shows play such a vital role in every industry, at a certain point you may be asked to give a business presentation.
Whether we like it or not, public speaking is a needed skill in our lives to further our career. If you truly want to succeed and be respected by your colleagues, then you will need to practice speaking in public so that you can express your ideas in a coherent manner. Here are a few common mistakes public speakers tend to make and how you can avoid them.
Avoid Using Sarcasm
Sarcasm, dry wit, whatever you call it, appeals to some speakers but can get you in trouble. According to KeynoteSpeakers.info, when speaking to a diverse audience, you must remember that you will have someone who does not understand or “get” sarcasm. Think of children. They take everything you say at face value.
When constructing a speech, keep it that simple. In order to get the sarcasm across, most employ facial expressions or body language. This is fine in small groups of friends but when speaking professionally, consider that your audience may not pick up on the visual clues in your body.
Do Not Use Foul Language
The biggest faux pas a speaker can make is to use foul language. Even in our lassies faire society, foul language is not acceptable. Foul language depends on the culture, of course, but generally the language is meant to degrade an action or send someone to hell. It truly is a tool of an uncreative mind.
According to Chris Adams of the Coaching Institute, “It’s the lack of creativity that offends me.” Put your knowledge to good use and expand your language horizons. Besides, if you do employ foul language, be aware that you will have lost at least half your audience and all of your credibility.
Avoid Verbal Clutter
Verbal clutter falls into the category only because it can affect your speech as harshly as using foul language. Ummm, er, like, et cetera are examples of verbal clutter and ticks you need to stop using It is a repeated, fall-back sound/word that one uses to continue in a speech.
When a speaker has a difficult time making a transition, or loses his place in the speech, often he falls into this pattern because of the prevailing notion that you have to keep making sound no matter what happens. That is false. If you get lost, take what we call a “dramatic pause” and collect yourself.
A few seconds of quiet can do wonders to help you and your audience will barely notice. What they do notice, glaringly so, is verbal clutter. I have seen many speakers sound like Valley Girls once they started using “like” in their speech.
Practice Your Speech
A good way to avoid this trap is to practice. Practice your speech out loud and tape it. Listen to yourself. When you are forced to do so, you will be very surprised at how often you use verbal clutter. Practice your speech several times, if possible, and work at using good transitions between points. “Not only, but also” is a great transition and can help you avoid the awkward transitioning due to verbal clutter.
Remember that how you present yourself on stage will play a big factor in how your peers perceive you. The more expertise you demonstrate, the more credibility you will have. If you come off as confident and well-polished, you will be amazed at how quickly your career will advance. More opportunities and doors will open for you because organizations are looking for people they can trust and public speaking is the fastest way to establish this.