Irritating Oddities to Avoid When Speaking in Public

PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILL BUILDER. When you’re up stage and talking, you often do not realize the personal foibles and oddities you do until someone tells you or you get to watch yourself on video. Well, this Expert Builder article will try to do that for you. A lot of speaking oddities get to be irritating to the audience at a certain point and it’s best to totally get rid of them than merely avoid them. Avoiding them means you control them now but later allow the traits to show up again the next time around. But getting rid of them means discipline to improve yourself by weeding out the bad habits.

Here are samples of irritating speaking oddities:

Frequent Aahhs: I’ve heard guys over the radio always saying “Aahh” each 3 to 4 words they speak. For instance, here is a radio commentator talking about climate change: “It’s about hot gas, aahh, that is trapped in the atmosphere that, aahhh, causes the temperature on earth, aaahh, to rise.” Sometimes, too many Aahhs are all your audience will understand and remember in the end. They’d probably remember you as Mr. Aahh, because that’s all that registered in their minds.

Probably saying this 2 or 3 times in your entire speech is what’s tolerable. More than that can turn into disaster.

You know: They think they sound smart when they say too many you-knows when they talk. Sample: “I can’t say it’s really wrong because–you know–it depends on one’s–you know–morals. It may be wrong to some, but it may be–you know–right to others.” Your audience may soon baptize you with a new name–Mr. You-Know–and that’s all they’d remember from your speech. You know.

Too many digressions: As much as possible, go straight to the point. I’ve seen lots of speakers who talk about a lot of other things first–mostly unrelated to their topic–before they get to the point. I watched one live webinar where the speakers chatted with each other first about what happened last night and laughed a long while before starting the event. They probably felt they were celebrities that fans just loved watching. Don’t do that especially if people paid for the event.

Give a nice, settling, and warm intro and then go straight to the point.

You may do adlibs and laugh and tell jokes with finesse and art and by skillfully and smoothly incorporating them to your topics relevantly. This lightens the lecture and makes everyone comfy. Never do it in a way that wastes the time of your audience. It’s impolite and unprofessional.

Slow and Boring: When you talk too slowly, it can create the impression that you’re not prepared for the talk. And that’s unfair for people who paid for the event–or even if the seminar is given for free. People allot time and time is gold. So, when you talk in front of an audience, make sure you are prepared, energetic, exciting, and informative. Sometimes you need to talk slowly for emphasis, but don’t do it all the time.

How do you get rid of oddities in public speaking? Two words–practice and discipline. There can be no other remedy.


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