I have spoken to 5 difference audiences in a week. In that time I have noticed something about my presentation. I am not connecting with the audience or communicating as well as I have in the past. Then it hit me, and it is a problem I see in many accomplished speakers.
You are too comfortable with speaking
In my case, I have become too comfortable with my speaking so I don’t put as much nervous energy into my speeches. I used to get up and hit the audience with a burst of energy and that alone was enough to capture people’s attention. Now, I am able to stand and speak for some length and it bores the heck out of some people that I am not moving around a little.
You rest on your laurels
I have given a lot of speeches the past few years, so I find myself not spending as much time preparing speeches as I once had. Because of that, I will go in front of audiences with only a few notes or even with nothing if it is a free speech. I have usually thought about what I am going to say, but haven’t written anything down. I have rested on my ability to come up with something appropriate and that is not going to allow me to connect with the audience and deliver a speech that motivates and connect with people.
You stop practicing
This is your and my biggest problem. When I first started speaking, I would practice my speeches for hours. This allowed me to see where I had issues, rewrite, and fully integrate my message into my material. Many of us have stopped practicing as much and we have relied on our experience to get us by in our speeches. This does not allow us to connect, to have a well defined message, and to be ready to motivate people who want to be motivated. We need to practice to get better and without it, it falls flat. I have seen many professional speakers get up and “wing it.” The flattening of their development speaks to the results of not practicing.
So are you getting worse as a speaker? I am guessing that if you have stopped practicing as much, been resting on your laurels, and are getting to comfortable then you are getting worse. So get back to practicing, writing new material, and getting nervous about speaking. It will get you back into the swing of things and interested in speaking again.
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Chris Elliott is a professional speaker and blogger. In his presentations and articles on personal success, employee morale, technology selection, and supply chain issues, Chris Elliott brings a unique perspective to help you solve the problems that affects your business. Contact Chris Elliott today so he can deliver the results that you need to be successful.
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