Do you have what it takes to be a good corporate public speaker? Public speaking skills are acquired through practice and corporate training and are important to master. This is because people make up their minds about others within just ‘7 seconds’ of meeting them. First impressions are lasting impressions, and it’s necessary to ensure that you make an instant impact.
Even the smartest business-oriented people can fail as speakers. What’s more, glossophobia, or fear of public speaking remains one of the most common phobias among people today. If you decide to consciously avoid making corporate public speaking mistakes, you’ll find yourself becoming a more effective speaker!
Here are 11 of the biggest corporate public speaking mistakes to avoid at all costs:
- Not Personalizing Your Message – If you tend to give generic presentations that aren’t addressing the needs of your particular audience, the response will be disappointing. Ask yourself who your audience is, what issues they have, and how you can help them. Knowing your audience is necessary.
- Low Energy Levels – If you’re not passionate about your topic, how do you expect your audience to be? Your audience will follow your suggestions only if they feel a genuine enthusiasm or desire for something on your end. Crank up your energy levels, speak more expressively, and move naturally!
- No Audience Interaction – If you don’t take out time to mingle with your audience prior to the presentation, that’s a missed opportunity. Doing so will boost your credibility with your listeners. Remember that your audience is interested in meeting you!
- Not Maintaining Eye Contact – Failing to make eye contact can indicate a lack of interest, insecurity and detachment. Make sure that you maintain eye contact for a minimum of 2-3 seconds per person, as this is a significant nonverbal skill.
- Not Rehearsing – The best speakers around the world focus on preparation. Know your topic and organize your content, so that your audience can witness a flawless final performance. It’s recommended you practice your final presentation aloud at least once.
- Lacking Inspiration – Humans are known to make decisions based on emotions first, which is followed by a focus on facts and figures. This indicates that your words and actions should be inspiring first, and later deliver the analysis for justification. Speak to the head and the heart!
- Not Pausing – Do you tend to rush through your speech? If you want your audience to remember important bits of your content, you definitely need to pause. This is also applicable for the opening, main body and closing. This reflects your self-confidence and delivers an impactful message.
- Not Beginning with a BANG – Many speakers waste the first few precious moments talking pointlessly or telling random jokes. This will not capture your audience’s attention or motivate them to listen. Spend enough time to create a memorable beginning with an engaging story or a surprising question.
- Not Using Relaxation Techniques – Make sure you do what it takes to relax, as nervousness can work against you. Listen to calming music, breathe in deeply, start visualizing positive affirmations, and count backwards.
- Making an Excuse/Apology – Are you running late or simply exhausted from a long flight? Making an excuse or apologizing is an indicator of negativity and makes people think of your performance as disappointing. Be enthusiastic and do the best you can!
- Ending with Q&A – Don’t end a beautifully-conducted presentation with an abrupt Q&A session. Work on reinforcing your main points, and convince your audience to take action. Deliver a summary, call-to-action and a power-packed closing statement.
Address these mistakes and communicate in the most efficient way, starting today! You can also fine-tune your corporate public speaking skills by picking from our customized corporate training courses and workshops.