It is no surprise that public speaking is not a favorite pastime for most professionals. That said, it is a requirement for many jobs. Therefore, it is important that professionals learn to become confident speakers in order to deliver powerful presentations. Most people will agree that they are searching for ways to better engage their audience. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid some common (but very bad) mistakes. These bad presentation habits can put a barrier between the speaker and the audience. Here are 5 of the most common habits that cause distractions in presentations.
1. Reading Straight From The Notes
Nothing will put your audience to sleep faster than being read to. While it is perfectly acceptable to refer to notes during a presentation, it is not acceptable to read straight from them. Great communicators understand that their presentation immediately loses its authenticity when they are reading directly from a script. Instead, practice your speech multiple times beforehand making sure to hit all key points. With sufficient practice, a good speaker can make their presentation feel more like a conversation.
2. Fidgeting and avoiding eye contact
Good presenters know how distracting even the slightest movements and gestures can be and make sure to avoid them. This includes swaying back and forth, jiggling pockets, fidgeting with hands, and repeatedly using words like “Um.” All of these behaviors reflect nervousness and insecurities and are quick to make the speaker lose credibility with the audience. It is also crucial that the speaker make eye contact throughout the speech. Many people have a habit of looking everywhere but at the audience. Again, all of these behaviors distract the audience from what is being said.
3. Standing In The Same Place Throughout The Presentation
Great speakers understand that standing in the same place appears stiff and boring. It can make the presentation seem exhausting. Instead, the speaker should walk, move around, and use hand gestures in a purposeful manner. This will make the presentation more lively and animated.
4. Talking Too Long
The best way to deliver a powerful presentation is to be clear, passionate, and concise. A great presentation can be given in a short amount of time when the speaker is direct and articulate. Many people think the longer they speak, the smarter they appear. The opposite is actually true. A lengthy drawn out speech is a sure fire way to lose audience attention.
5. Dressing Too Casual
The clothes someone wears can speak volumes when it comes to a professional presentation. This does not mean you have to go out and purchase the most expensive suit, but it is important to look the part when giving a speech. You want to appear professional and well put together.
Great communicators understand that these mistakes must be avoided in order to deliver a meaningful presentation. Avoiding these common behaviors is essential for business professionals. These bad habits can ruin an otherwise good presentation. In order to become a great speaker, take note of these bad habits and practice in order to overcome them.