Haris Ahmed of Chicago on Avoiding Bad Public Speaking Habits
Haris Ahmed of Chicago is aware that most of the Americans face Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. If you’re like many professionals, you’ve heard all about the things you need to do to be a better presenter. Know your topic. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Be sure to include strong eye contact. Speak to the audience, and not to the slides. We all know what to do when speaking in public, but what about what we should not do? Here are some public speaking habits that you should avoid:
Forget your debate class lessons.Those oration lessons you learned from the speech teacher? Forget them. You want to focus on having a conversation with your audience. Study how talk show hosts like Oprah Winfrey or Katie Couric lay out a problem and include their audience by telling stories about a problem and then outlining solutions. At the same time, they’re always willing to share a bit about themselves so that the audience feels like they have a relationship with them. Remember that audiences these days expect to be entertained while also being informed.
Depending on technology too much.As a speaker you should be prepared for anything, including your technology crashing. You should be ready to deliver your speech no matter what. Remember, your laptop, Teleprompter, PowerPoint, etc., are tools just meant to assist you, but YOU are the speaker. Be familiar enough with your content that you’re able to convey your message no matter what the circumstances are.
Embracing silence.You’ve been asked to speak, so speak you must. But that doesn’t mean you should try to pack as much information as possible into your allotted time. Don’t be worried about pausing, especially after conveying a significant piece of information. Let the audience digest it, then move onto your next point. If you lose your place for a moment, don’t try to fill it with “ums” or “ahs” or “so.” A pause also can be effective when delivering a humorous message.
Be comfortable with silence.Learning to feel ok with silence will help you take your time when speaking publicly. You don’t want to rush your speech. Silences will always feel longer to you than to those not speaking. Just smile and gather yourself but never take too long. If your message is good enough, the audience will not mind some silence.
Having generic presentations.Not taking the time to tailor your presentation to your audience is a sure-fire way to lose your audience. You run the risk of sounding like you are on auto-pilot, and it’s disrespectful to people who have come to hear you speak. Making your presentation unique to your audience will help you deliver your information in a new way, and will keep your audience engaged.
Pragmatium Consulting Inc. can help you improve your public speaking habits and more! Look up videos about Haris Ahmed, Chicago on Vimeo to find out more.