How To Fix 14 Public Speaking Issues Professionals Commonly Overlook

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How To Fix 14 Public Speaking Issues Professionals Commonly Overlook

Written by: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member

Many people have a fear of public speaking, and anxiety around this can make it challenging for some professionals to confidently deliver presentations at work when they need to. Even if you consider yourself to be a great public speaker, chances are someone has recognized a flaw in your performance at some point that you may not even be aware of. 

Whether you’re trying to get over a fear of speaking in public or are just trying to see yourself more objectively and polish up your skills, the following advice from the members of Forbes Coaches Council outlines 14 effective ways to address some of the most common problems people face when speaking in front of an audience. 

Forbes Coaches Council members share tips for addressing commonly overlooked issues when speaking publicly.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1.  Hook Your Audience Fast

Capturing audience attention within the first 30 seconds is an important step that people don’t often get right. Far too often, speakers dive straight into their presentation, as they are concerned about delivering all of the content in the time available. A great approach is to begin with a short and relevant anecdote that illustrates the idea being presented. At the close, recall the anecdote and link it to a call for action. – Krishna Kumar, Intrad School of Executive Coaching

2. Tell A Compelling Story

Telling a compelling story is something many people fail to do. If you are looking to influence people, your message needs to be believable and they need to be moved. The story is an invitation into a relationship. You might be sharing something about yourself in your story to build connections, but ultimately, the story is about them, not you. It’s a way to draw others to lead, not follow. – Sheila Goldgrab, Goldgrab Leadership Coaching

3. Avoid Rambling On

Anxiety and fear are big issues when it comes to public speaking. To mask these, individuals have a tendency to ramble on. Here are four tips to get over them: First, know your audience and try to ascertain what would be most helpful for them. Second, home in on your three key messages, as the brain absorbs information in threes. Third, consider telling a story as your intro; your audience will see you as human and you’ll be more relatable. Finally, conclude with a question to incite inner reflection. – Mimi Moore, exeCoaching International

4. Begin With The End

Begin with the end and work backward. When the audience leaves, what are the three or four key points you want them to remember? Design your narrative to get to that end goal. Continue to test to make sure all content stays on that path and shed anything that veers off. At the start of the presentation, provide some brief context on the background of whatever problem you’re trying to solve during the time together. – Bonnie Davis, HuWork – Inspiring Humans at Work

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5. Practice Proper Breathing

Remember to practice breathing. When speaking publicly, the proper breathing technique is to inhale in between sentences, then exhale and speak simultaneously. Breathing well is key to reducing nervousness, reducing filler words, controlling the pace and increasing vocal projection. – Monisha Toteja, Dynamic Speaking

6. Gather Early Feedback

So many people who are new to public speaking forget to gather early feedback from trusted, excellent feedback-givers. It’s scary for nearly everyone, so it’s easy to skip this step. Pick out a handful of folks you trust who are practiced at giving helpful feedback and tell them what specific things (pace, design, narrative and so on) you’d like feedback on as you do a run-through. – Lara Hogan, Wherewithall

7. Speak With Authentic Passion

Of the three big methods of rhetorical persuasion—ethos (credibility), pathos (emotions) and logos (logic)—it’s definitely all about pathos when it comes to public speaking. How to speak with authentic passion about your topic, truly gearing it to the audience’s needs, hidden challenges and assumptions, is simply not taught in professional career development programs. – Andrew Deutscher, Regenerate

8. Practice Your Body Language

Body language is key. If your body tells another story than your mouth, you are in trouble. If you want the audience to look confidently into the future and be motivated to jump into upcoming challenges, don’t look and act as if you’re being hunted by a killer zombie. How to fix it? Be honest and mean what you say. Bring yourself into a good state of mind. Stand up straight, smile, open your gestures and mimic. – Denise Adomeit, Denise Adomeit Campus for Limbeck Group

9. Focus On Your Personal Presence

People must become aware of the impacts of their mindset, which drives their tone, the words they choose and how they are perceived by others. Your presence will determine how your message is absorbed. Record your speeches and watch them for misalignment. Are you showing up how you intended to? Watch audience reactions and make adjustments to maximize your presence. – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC

10. Wear Speaker-Friendly Clothing

Most venues use wireless microphones, which must be clipped to clothing. However, I frequently see technicians struggle to appropriately attach one due to the outfit the speaker is wearing. I always recommend speakers wear clothing with lapels and waistbands, which allow easy access to attach the mic and battery holder. – Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership

11. Do Your Research First

A lack of relevant content and research is a problem. You will need to know what the market wants to hear and what questions they want to be answered. They want to walk away from your talk feeling as if they learned something new and valuable that will add to their lives. Watch TED Talk videos to learn how to present like a professional. – Adrian Choo, Career Agility International

12. Don’t Rely Entirely On Slides

So many speakers are overly dependent on slides, and often their slides are of poor quality on top of that. Slides should be visually appealing and have a minimal amount of text. If all of the text is on the slides, they really don’t need you in person; you might as well just email the slides. Slides are best when they contain a memorable visual to reinforce the message, not deliver it. – Kathy Bernhard, KFB Leadership Solutions

13. Stop Pacing

Stop pacing back and forth across the stage. It makes you look nervous. If you watch stand-up comedians, most of them plant their feet, talk for a few minutes, then casually walk to the other side and do the same. A professional doesn’t pace.  – Ryan Stewman, Break Free Academy

14. Bring The ‘So What’ Message Up Front

“So what does this mean for you?” I often find that this part of the message gets lost among the other narratives, nerves and self-doubt that set in when clients undertake public speaking engagements. Bring the “so what” message up front: The value or benefit becomes the star, and everything else is the ensemble that makes it shine. That way, you keep your audience attentive, and you remain confident too. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory

via Forbes – Leadership “”

July 15, 2021 at 05:26AM

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Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman