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Speakers: <i>STOP</i> These Eleven Things!

0Read Them – Study Them – STOP Them!

Speakers: STOP These Eleven Things!

If you’re a speaker there are certain things you should do, and should STOP doing. Here are Eleven Definite STOPS!

  1. STOP “Winging  it.”

  2. Your non-effort will show.

  3. You’ll embarrass yourself and waste the time of your audience. They came to learn something from your talk and you are bound to fall short of their expectations.

  4. It is your responsibility they leave the room knowing more about your subject than they did when they entered.

  5. Prepare and practice your presentation as if it were very important – because it is!

  6. STOP thinking the speech is about You. It’s not.

  7. It is, and always should be, about the Audience!

  8. No one came to see and hear you speak. They came to learn something.

  9. Being Audience Centered is one of the Laws of Presentation.

  10. Focusing on the Audience, and not you, will raise the quality of your presentation and lower your anxiety.

  11. STOP giving the same speech to all audiences.

  12. All audiences are not the same.

  13. Do your homework and find out who will be in the audience, what they know about your topic, and what they want to know.

  14. Adjust your speech accordingly and customize it for those who will be seeing and hearing you.

  15. STOP turning your back to the audience and reading text from your slides.

  16. No one comes to hear you read a presentation, nor to read it with you!

  17. Slides are a tool to help the audience GET IT!

  18. Images appeal to the 65% of the population that are visual learners.

  19. You shouldn’t be using much, if any, text.

  20. Use high quality, universally understood images, and you supply the text with your voice.

  21. Use the ‘B Blank’ button to blank the screen and take the attention of the audience from the screen to you, the presenter –  where their attention should be directed.

  22. STOP leaving it up to the emcee to write your Introduction.

  23. It is your responsibility, not the emcee’s, and is an integral part of your presentation.

  24. It is not your bio. The Introduction should answer three questions:

  25. Why this subject?

  26. Why this speaker?

  27. Why now?

  28. You write it because no one knows what should be on it better than you!

  29. STOP telling a joke to be telling a joke.

  30. All presentations don’t need humor. However, if done well, it can be “icing on the cake.”

  31. Humor can be great because it can make an emotional connection to your audience. But it has to be appropriate to the presentation and your audience.

  32. The best humor is self-effacing, but don’t overdo it.

  33. STOP running over your allotted time.

  34. There are scheduled events before and after you present. Respect those events and the audience and contain your talk as scheduled.

  35. Fill the time you are allotted with great content and delivery. Finishing a bit early is OK; too early disrupts the agenda.

  36. STOP assuming the projector, computer, microphone, etc. will be in place and working as you asked.

  37. It is your presentation and your responsibility that everything is in place and working.

  38. You, or someone else, may have delegated those duties, but it’s your ultimate job because it’s your presentation.

  39. STOP – NOT having a Plan B!

  40. Stuff Happens! You must be prepared to carry on if the projector fails, the computer crashes, the emcee forgets to bring your Introduction, etc.

  41. Practice Plan B. It is different delivering a presentation with all your slides showing well vs. giving the same information with one sheet of paper with the light table view of all your slides. (I know this from personal experience. My “No Sweat!” presentation could easily have gone into Big Sweat!)

  42. STOP using buzz words, acronyms, or technical jargon that your audience won’t immediately understand.

  43. You won’t impress them – you’ll lose them!

  44. No one wants to feel “not OK,” and they’ll quickly turn you off.

  45. STOP having Q&A after you close your presentation.

  46. That’s why the Closing is called the Closing!

  47. If you’re going to have a Q&A, place if before your Closing.

  48. The ‘Law of Primacy and Recency’ says the last thing the audience hears is the first thing they will remember. That’s why it’s imperative to have a Strong Closing.

  49. If the Q&A is after your closing, and you are challenged or don’t know the answer, that is what the audience will remember. It’s probably not the take-away you want them to leave with.

Now that you’ve read these STOPS – Study them and STOP!

Follow this advice and my prediction is: Your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


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  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

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