Pitfalls to Avoid in Public Speaking and Presentation

Public Speaking

The pitfalls to avoid in public speaking and presentation include the following;

Wrong Notions of Anxiety in Public Speaking

There is no dispute there are anxieties and discomforts in speaking to an audience. However, there are no mysteries surrounding such concerns. Several people have been misled to believe in wrong notions surrounding fears of speaking to the public. 

Several years ago, a young lecturer had a paper to present at a conference of a large audience in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He traveled to the conference hale and hearty. When it was time for his presentation, he mounted the podium and seconds later, collapsed and passed on. 

This was quite shocking and frightening. Of course, a lot of conclusions were drawn from this incident. Wrong notions filled people‘s heads. 

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Many wrongly and erroneously concluded that the lecturer was killed by fear of standing before the audience. But has he not been teaching his class? Sometimes, he handled very large classes. Some of the wrong notions of speaking anxiety are:

Fear and speaking anxiety arise from being neurotic. It is important to remember that professional speakers and novices experience speaking anxiety. This is a common problem; it is not connected with any form of neuroses (Brothers, 2008).

Memorize your speech word for word to build confidence. This is far from reality except you want to overload your mind with details that result in information overload. 

Memorizing the whole speech might heighten your anxiety. Reciting a script in a public speech has never attracted applause except for children. Besides, when you forget a point during the recitation, you may likely derail from that point. 

When you memorize your materials, your delivery is likely to be poor, dull, and unprofessional. Adequate preparation is the antidote to rote learning before a public presentation.

Mistakes will ruin you. Is there any level in life anyone can get to and mistakes are completely eradicated? Mistakes are common and remain with humans. Schmidtz says you have to make effort to relate to the audience naturally and be willing to accept your mistakes. You should be smart to rewrite your mistakes instead of resigning to a sense of failure.

It is traditional to start your speech with a joke or story. This is not a requirement. Several speakers have delivered powerful earth-shaking speeches without a single story. A lively relevant story smartly presented will embellish and garnish your presentation, but it is not mandatory. 

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Telling a joke effectively and intelligently to connect with your speech can pose a hurdle. Therefore, you must be cautious in telling jokes so that it does not become a tale told by an idiot.

Someone said that nothing is worse than waiting for a laugh that does not come. One person‘s joke is another person‘s slander. It is extremely easy to offend when using humor. 

The same material can play very differently with different audiences. Telling a story or using humor to begin your presentation is recommended when you are sure it is intelligent and connects directly with your presentation.

In summary, presenting a speech or speaking to the public is a necessity in the journey of life. Effective public speaking does come just happen. You have to train and practice to master the art. 

To be a confident speaker, you must be prepared, know your audience, dress appropriately, and use effective delivery tactics. And work hard to avoid the pitfalls that characterize public speaking. In public speaking, you have something to give; speaking is the opportunity to present.

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