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For some people, public speaking can bring about a lot of anxiety. It is a well-known fact that the fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears there is. Studies reflect that 40-70 percent of people rank public speaking to be their greatest fear. To be a successful public speaker, you should do your best to and get rid of that anxiety. It is important to know what problems are common and how you can do what you should to help avoid them. Here are some tips to help you avoid the bad habits some speakers use so that you don’t do them.

  • Avoid using filler words or sounds like: “um,” “uh,” “er,” “like,” etc. in your speech. It is better to take a brief pause and gather your thoughts. Silence doesn’t always need to be filled by some kind of noise. It will make you look more confident and give your speech more validity if you don’t use filler words or sounds. If it’s gotten to be such a habit it’s hard to break, try saying the filler word, whatever it is, in your head if that helps you, but don’t make it audible.
  • Never apologize for lack of preparation at the beginning of your speech. Notifying them in that manner makes them expect a bad speech. You may give a mediocre speech that seems great to some. Telling them you didn’t prepare in advance sets you up for failure. They will either like it or not like it, but at least their minds will be made up at the end of your speech, not before you start.
  • Don’t be distractive to your audience. Many speakers do things that distract the audience so much they can’t focus on what is being said. You shouldn’t fidget, jiggle, or play with objects like keys, coins, or your notes. If playing with things in your pockets is a problem for you, make sure your pockets are empty. If you play with your notes but need them, use note cards instead of paper. They are smaller, and therefore, a little less distracting.
  • Just speaking to your audience is a mistake. You want to communicate with them. Ask them questions and get their feedback. Make sure you know every point of your speech well, so you can have a lot of eye contact and interaction with your audience. If you use notes, only write down key points and know what each key point is about well enough to talk without the aid of notes. There is nothing more boring than someone who just stands and reads notes. Connecting with your audience is important, and you can’t do that if they’re asleep.
  • Don’t “talk shop” without explaining to your audience what the terms mean. Too much technical jargon can confuse your audience. It isn’t impressive. You can cause your audience to feel put off and they will tune you out if you do. If you have to use a big word that is important in your speech, always explain it in a way that is not condescending.

These are just a few of the bad habits speakers use, but they are the main ones. If you avoid them, chances are you’ll do a good job.

 


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