Being able to communicate well is a skill everybody needs to learn. Public speaking is very much a part of our everyday lives whether we realise it or not – talking to our bosses, giving a presentation, teaching Sunday school, building relationships – therefore, it is important to develop our communication skills. Without it, you’re going to find it difficult to progress as a person.
To help hone your skills, here are three common habits that you need to steer clear of when communicating with an audience.
- Lack of Preparation
It’s evident when a speaker doesn’t know much about the subject matter. Without enough preparation, you won’t be able to explain your points thoroughly and you’ll end up looking unprofessional. To avoid all this, it’s best to start preparing for your speech way ahead of time – at least a week ahead. Cramming everything a day or two before your presentation makes leaves more room for error.
- Reading Everything From The Visual Aid
Visual aids are important since it helps the audience remember and guides the speaker throughout the presentation. However, it can be quite tempting to constantly look back and read the words on your slide. Reading everything that’s written on your visual aid discourages your audience to continue listening to you once they’re through reading the information themselves.
If you’re using a Power Point presentation, ensure that each slide only has a maximum of six bullet points and six words on each bullet. Your audience will be able to read the points and listen to you as you elaborate each one. Also, add a touch of color and pictures on your presentation.
- Too Many Fillers
Saying a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ makes you sound unprofessional and less credible. Fillers are a result of stage fright or when the speaker is unsure of what to say next. Oftentimes, these interjections are said unconsciously. One way to avoid this is by practicing your presentation out loud numerous times. It helps to rehearse in front of a friend or colleague, or even in front of a mirror.
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