Speaking Tips: 3 Mistakes to Have Fun With

Looking for a way to ruin that perfect speech? How about a tried-and-true method to disengage with your audience? Tired of people asking you to speak again? What if I told you that following just one bad course of action could help you with all of these goals? How much would you pay for that advice? $12.00? $17.94? One Million Dollars?

Well here it is… free of charge (shh!): …wait for it… … … … Give out too much information. <– That’s the ticket. Now you’re probably wondering, “Hey Rob, what are the 3 best ways to do that?” I’m glad you asked!

First … Cram too much material into the time allotted. … Imagine the perfect mutual fund speech: First point, the entire history of mutual funds. Second point, what mutual funds are. Final point, how to invest in mutual funds for your future. Time? not just 5-7 minutes… no… no… you extend this gem out to 6-8 minutes. Sweet!

Serious, boring part: Don’t be afraid to just talk about one fraction of one topic in your presentation. i.e. Pick history, and just talk about how the mutual fund got its start in the ’70s (or whenever they came into being). Now, people will be able to absorb what you’re talking about and understand your points. Bonus! You can talk about the current state of mutual funds in a future speech, and your audience will remember that you were informative last time, so they’ll listen this time too.

Second … Keep talking until you’ve said everything you can think of, no matter how long it takes. This is the best idea, because your audience is trapped! They wouldn’t dare walk out while you are speaking about this topic! You are the King, or Queen, or Jack… whatever. The point is you own the stage Ace, so they need to pay that rent and listen until you’re done, right?

Serious, boring part: Your audience is probably expecting a set time presentation, and a reasonable amount of information to be provided in that time frame. Make your promise, i.e. “You’re going to learn the 2 steps to investing in mutual funds”. Then don’t blabber on about anything that doesn’t meet that promise. Even if it makes you cool. When in doubt… drop it out. No audience ever gets mad at a speaker who finishes early. Ever!

Finally… Look at your watch in the middle of the presentation, and just stop talking! No conclusion. Or better yet, just say “Thank you.” and step off the stage. Victory!

Serious, boring part: You should open your presentation with your second strongest material, and close with your best material. You can’t do that if you just stop before you get to your coclusion. Practice your conclusion, watch your time, and avoid extra content in the middle. Don’t drop it off of the end.

Now! You know my secrets to less communication! Talk more… say less! It’s a winning combination. Take the time to add useless drivel and pointless content to your next speech, and your audience will be sure to ask for me to speak in your place next time! Victory!

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Rob Christeson is currently the Lieutenant Governor Marketing for Toastmasters International in Kansas and Western Missouri, including 105 clubs. He has mentored numerous speakers to increase their success through better presentation skills. He can be reached online at www.TalkToTheHuman.com.

To learn more about Toastmasters, visit www.toastmasters.org.

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