Four Public Speaking Pitfalls That Trap Most Presenters

If you want to drastically improve your very next presentation, it is important to understand 4 of the pitfalls that keep most speakers in a ditch out of which they can never seem to climb. If you see where these traps are, you can easily avoid them. As a result, you will clear your pathway to a powerful and persuasive speech.

Here are the 4 costly mistakes:
 
1. They close their speech with the question and answer session. Never close your speech with the Q&A session, because people remember best what they hear first and what they hear last. If you end with the Q&A, you lose control over the last message your audience receives and much of your hard work is undone. It is still a good idea to have a Q&A session, but it is not a good idea to end your presentation with it. Instead, hold the session about 80-90% into your speech and then close the speech in your own powerful way.

2. They open their speech with a whimper. Most speakers open with statements like, “I’m so glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me to speak on this prestigious occasion. First I would like to thank Bob.” What is wrong with that kind of opening? Frankly, it’s boring. Boredom shows up when you do what is expected. Instead, come out in an unexpected way by jumping right into your message. Take the “sitcom approach” and start the show first and then transition back to the opening theme song. One good way to do this is to immediately dive into a story. That will catch your audience off guard and you will have their attention from your very first word.

Another effective way is to ask a question. For example, I start some speeches with the following question: “What do you think is the number one thing that stands in the way of most people living their dreams?” This immediately gets my audience’s attention and prompts them to think and to get involved with the speech. Questions work extremely well because they take your audience members from passive spectators to active participants and that definitely raises the energy. Once you finish your planned opening, it is then fine to go back and thank the people who brought you there. Don’t open with a whimper, open with a bang.

3. They lip-synch. I once had a CFO of a biotech company say, “Craig, we need you to coach us with our presentation. We already have the presentation, but we just need to know what to say.” That might seem confusing but I knew exactly what he meant. He meant that the company already had a slide presentation but they needed to know what to say between those slides. Once I worked with them, they came to realize that they had to look at their major points first and then determine if slides were even needed to reinforce them. Most presenters who use slides simply verbalize the same points that are made on the slide. The key to understand is this; if you say the same thing as your slides, then one of you is not needed! You are doing the equivalent of lip-synching your presentation. The best time to use slides is for real visuals such as charts, graphs, and diagrams that will help clarify what you say verbally.

4. They don’t master the essence of public speaking. Bill Gove, the first President of the National Speakers Association, once said that good public speaking is being able to “tell a story and make a point.” That is the essence of public speaking. If you want to become the kind of speaker others line up and sign up to see, then make an effort to master storytelling. People make decisions with their emotions backed up by logic. Stories reach those emotions and get people in a frame of mind to take action. When you become a master storyteller, you help other people see new stories unfold for their own lives. Like the old saying goes, “Facts tell and stories sell.” The key for effective speaking is to get to your stories early because they are the heart of your speech.

If you avoid the 4 pitfalls that trap most speakers and you work on the suggestions above, you will find yourself far ahead of most of the people who ever stood up to say anything.

Presentation and Customer Attraction Are Essential for the Small Retailer

It’s challenging to make a great thing out of something small and not so attractive, such as a small shop, but it can be done. Management, presentation of wares, and a welcoming environment are a start. During my time in business there were two situations in which such was faced. The first was a baby shop in an out-of-the-way location while the second was a flower and plant shop next to a railway station.

In the first case the shop was housed in an old building, the toilet was around the back requiring the door to be closed for attendance, and it was a fair way from the shopping drag. With practically no finance to start and doing it mostly on credit and with the help of my father the shop opened after some 3 weeks of signing the lease.

There was no money for advertising and the trade was expected to come from the movie theatre opposite and the milk bar next door. Those attending the first would often cross the road to buy things at the second. On the way they had to pass my premises. The bus route also passed the door.

My chance of attracting the attention of passers-by was through the display in the two windows. It meant leaving them illuminated overnight and putting the best of my stock into it. Setting one up as a nursery with a cradle and other furniture was a good start. The other was dressed with babies clothing.

After two years and with a second shop in the main shopping centre of the town both were sold for a profit. It wasn’t a huge gain but the main thing is that they never made a loss.

In my next venture which began when landscape designing gave me an income it was a different story. The premises were in a prime location and my efforts in attracting customers through the landscaping business paid dividends. The shop had a set of stairs up from the street and lining them with flowers made a fabulous display.

The staff numbers of 20 carried out garden maintenance tasks as well as completing the designs from plans and run the shop. The crux of it was presentation. Unlike the first shop’s location this one had everything. The smell of the flowers welcomed people. It was also the passageway to the very popular Chinese Restaurant above. Some famous people who easily opened their wallets were regular buyers.

The bottom line for any business is location while presentation and customer attraction will always see it do better.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioural problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.

Bush Fower Essences to Help Public Presentation

Australian Bush Flower Essences. Just a drop under the tongue, or a thin cover of cream on your skin and you’re up for it! The supportive use of natural flower essences is a great one for creatives in the limelight.

Out and about, protected as you go about your creative endeavours, essential flower essences ‘clear the waters’ and ease the path. Creatives do powerful work in some very mucky places. Don’t go out alone without some extra, natural reinforcement of the body and soul!

There is a beautiful range of flower essences from the Australian bush that I love. There is an essence to help with every fragility and to draw out every type of strength required to live a balanced, calm life and remain centred when in the hotspot of giving a public presentation of any sort.

I recommend Australian Bush Flower Essences way above the more accepted self-medication methods of drugs and alcohol. D and A are fast relieving but the side effects both short and longterm are really painful. There isn’t a creative person alive who doesn’t have a tale of woe of a friend lost to bad behaviour through drugs and alcohol.

The beauty is that, at the very least, Australian Bush Flower Essences can do no harm. Try one for three days. You’ll feel the effects kick in very gently and begin noticing an easing of the symptoms that hold you back from joyful, easeful creativity.

Before going to a public presentation of any sort try placing a few drops of Australian Bush Essence of your choice (depending on what your individual issues are) under your tongue. They’ll help diminish the negative aspect and draw out the positive aspect of your energy.

Just as the build up to a public presentation is important so too is the wind-down. After a big event you might like to try a warm foot bath with the juice of two lemons in it to draw excess energy/over stimulation down away from your head. That way you can unwind, re-center and sleep easily after being so pumped by the adrenal ‘fight or flight’ rush that performance requires.

It’s worth the effort to take care of your own eco-system. Contrary to popular myth, the more solid you are the more creative. Let those whose job it is to destroy themselves in full public view play out their karmic debt. That’s not your job. Your job is to be well and nourish the world with beautiful material that heals.