Simple Speaking Mistakes

Simple Speaking Mistakes

Do you believe that mistakes are bad or a learning experience?  I like to believe that a mistake can show me where I need to improve in some way.

Over the years I have made MANY mistakes while raising my 4 children, while working, and in my relationships. Each time I learned something. Sometimes I learned it on my own and other times I had help.

When coaching beginning public speakers, I notice that they want to include “EVERYTHING” in their speeches.  They pack so much detail that their speech will exceed the time limit and they have a hard time taking out the unimportant details.  This is where coaching comes in.  Helping speakers cut down on content, but ensuring the message is still intact.

Shorter Sentences

Just as in writing, it’s important to use shorter words that are common to the audience you want to connect with. The detail is not as important as the connection.

Some of the mistakes speakers make are talking about something that is important to them, but not necessarily of interest to the audience.  They forget that the purpose of giving a speech is to connect with the audience by sharing something of interest, such as a new way to do something they already do.

Perhaps the speaker might have a way to better organize files or papers or tips on how to pack for a move. The important thing is for the speaker to know the audience and know what they want to accomplish with their speech. The speaker could present their Top 5 Tips or Things to Avoid.  That way the audience would know what is coming.

Stories Create Connections

It is easy for a new speaker to get lost in their story and then it gets overlong and boring. Then their story does not transport their audience or even include them. It definitely doesn’t persuade the audience to take any action.  This sometimes happens when the speaker doesn’t practice their speech enough to know how long it will take.  It’s a good idea to use a timer when practicing.  You should also use the word counter on your word doc – assume 125 words per minute and you can figure out how many words for a 5-7 minute speech.

It has been proven that stories create the best connection, but it takes time to create that story. The great thing is that there are storytellers online that you can read about and listen to.

Speaking Opportunities Should Align With Your Goals

Five Simple Tips

You can improve the quality of your message, and really get your meaning across, with these five simple tips.

1. Always have a purpose in mind for whatever you are communicating.

A good message serves a goal that is clear to the receiver. And it stays on target throughout. It is important not to get sidetracked by something else or try to communicate more than one topic.

2. Make sure your audience has a reason to care about your message.

If it does not interest them or affect them, why should they listen? Consider your audience any time you are communicating. This is something a speaker always needs to be concerned about.  Why me?  Why this message?  Why should you listen?

3. Get to the point.

More words are not necessary. Keep things simple, and you are more likely to make an impact on your audience. Some times in written communication you may want to use points to be clear, however in a presentation or a speech you may want to tell a story that relates to the point.  Pictures often make a lasting impression.

practice until you can't get it wrong
Keep Practicing

4. Learn from the best.

Watch great speakers, read influential writers, and observe expert conversationalists to improve your skills in these areas.  There are many YouTube videos of speech finalists as well as professional speakers.  Tom Antion is someone I have followed for over 15 years.  He has some amazing information on his site.  Click here for more information.

5. Have a plan.

If you have a purpose for your message, make sure you have planned it out before talking or writing. This will help you remember all your points, stay on target, and focus on your audience. See if you can state the purpose or message of your speech in fewer than 10 words.

To your speaking success

Fran

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By Fran Watson

Involved in public speaking since 2000. Joined Toastmasters in 2002 and have served in all Executive roles including serving one year as the District Public Relations Officer. Achieved my DTM in 2014. Develop and facilitate workshops in the area of employment and career development.

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