(1:16) No matter how experienced we are, we all occasionally stumble over the same common speaking mistakes.
Whether it’s those pesky filler words or a case of the jitters, these little blips can trip us up when we’re trying to rock the stage. But fear not! I’ve got your back. Today, I will serve up some quick fixes for these common issues.
But before we get into that, let’s start by covering some of the most common mistakes I see speakers making, irrespective of experience level.
Instant Improvements: 5 Quick Fixes for Common Speaking Mistakes
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode:
Recognizing Common Speaking Mistakes
(2:14) Before we can start fixing, we need to know what we’re dealing with, right?
Well, let’s take a quick tour of some common speaking mistakes that even the pros can slip into:
- Filler Word Overload: You know, um, those little, uh, words that sneak into our speeches when we’re, like, not totally sure what comes next? They’re called filler words, and we all have our favorites.
- Body Language Breakdown: Ever caught yourself pacing like a caged lion during a speech or folding your arms tighter than a pretzel? Your body language speaks volumes before you even open your mouth!
- Speaking Speed Spree: Nervous speakers tend to speed up, trying to sprint through their speeches. But a rapid-fire speech can leave your audience more dazed than dazzled.
- Monotone Meltdown: Speaking in a flat, unvarying tone can turn even the most exciting speech into a snoozefest. Variety is the spice of life, and your voice should reflect that!
- Poor Eye Contact: If you’re scanning the back wall or staring at your shoes, you’re missing a crucial connection with your audience. Eye contact is a powerful tool in a speaker’s arsenal!
Got some of these sneaky issues creeping into your speeches? No worries, we’re all human! Let’s look at some quick and easy ways to iron out these wrinkles and boost your speaking performance.
Eradicating Common Speaking Mistakes – 5 Quick Fixes
Quick Fix #1: Eliminating Filler Words
(4:36) Okay, listen up, everyone – it’s time to give those filler words the boot! No more umms, errs, or likes cluttering up your amazing speeches. But how do you kick these stubborn little habits? Well, it’s a lot easier than you might think!
First, embrace the beauty of silence. Sounds scary, right? But replacing filler words with a pause can actually add drama and emphasis to your speech. So next time you’re tempted to toss in a filler word, hit the pause button instead. You might be surprised at the impact!
Second, become a filler word detective. Record your speeches and play them back. Each time you hear a filler word, mark it down. Seeing them pile up can be a real wake-up call. The more aware you are of your filler words, the easier it’ll be to weed them out.
Remember, practice makes perfect. So keep at it, and you’ll be a filler-free speaker in no time!
Quick Fix #2: Enhancing Body Language
(6:35) Let’s cover body language now, the silent but oh-so-powerful part of our communication toolkit. It can convey confidence, engagement, passion, or something entirely unintended if we’re not careful!
Firstly, let’s talk about eye contact.
It’s not a staring contest, but maintaining eye contact with your audience shows them you’re engaged and invested. Here’s a quick tip: If direct eye contact feels too intense, try looking at the bridge of their nose. They won’t be able to tell the difference, and it might help you feel more comfortable.
Next, let’s discuss those flailing arms. Hand gestures can be a great way to emphasize points, but too much can be distracting. So practice controlled, purposeful gestures. It might feel strange at first, but it’ll feel more natural with practice.
Lastly, let’s not forget posture. Standing tall conveys confidence and also helps with breathing and voice projection. So keep those shoulders back and that head high!
Quick Fix #3: Improving Voice Modulation
(7:55) Alright, it’s time to talk about your voice, the tool that brings your words to life. Modulating your voice – that is, changing the pitch, volume, and speed of your speech – can transform a monotonous talk into a mesmerizing performance.
Firstly, pitch. It’s not all about hitting the high notes. In speech, varying your pitch helps to express different emotions and add emphasis. Think about how your voice rises when you ask a question or drops lower when sharing a serious point. Playing with pitch keeps your audience hooked.
Volume, too, is an essential tool. Raising your voice can show excitement or urgency, while lowering it can draw your audience in for a more intimate or serious point. The trick here is balance – don’t shout, and don’t whisper, but find the right volume for the right moment.
Finally, let’s talk speed. Rushing through your speech can leave your audience scrambling to keep up, while a slow pace can have them nodding off. Try to vary your speed according to the importance of the points you’re delivering. Slow down for key messages and speed up slightly (only slightly!) during less critical parts.
Quick Fix #4: Fostering Audience Engagement
(9:50) Ever feel like you’re speaking to a room full of zombies? Well, that’s a clear sign your audience isn’t as engaged as they could be. But don’t sweat it. We’ve all been there, and I’ve got your back with some quick fixes.
First up, storytelling. We humans are wired for stories. They stir up emotions, make complex information digestible, and hook our attention. Try weaving personal anecdotes, case studies, or parables into your speech. Not only will this give your content more depth, but it will also make your speech more memorable.
Next on the docket is interactive questions. Asking your audience questions isn’t just a great way to keep them alert; it’s also a fantastic method for ensuring your message lands. You can pose rhetorical questions to make them think or ask for a show of hands to keep them active. Even better, encourage them to ask their own questions – it’s all about two-way communication.
And don’t forget visual aids, people!
Whether it’s slides, props, or videos, visual aids can significantly increase understanding and retention. They also give your audience’s ears a break. Just remember: your aids should support your speech, not overshadow it. Keep them simple, relevant, and engaging.
Quick Fix #5: Handling Nervousness
(11:56) Stepping onto a big stage or presenting to a large audience can turn even the most experienced speakers into a bundle of nerves. If this sounds all too familiar, I’ve got some tried-and-tested tricks to keep those butterflies at bay.
First, don’t be afraid to leverage relaxation techniques. Deep, controlled breathing exercises can do wonders for calming your nerves before you take the stage. Try inhaling for a count of four, holding for seven, and exhaling for eight. Doing this for a few minutes can slow your heart rate and help you feel more centered.
Visualization is another powerful tool. Picture yourself delivering your speech confidently, imagining every detail, from your voice’s tone to your body’s posture. I’ve always found visualizing success helps reduce anxiety and boost your confidence before getting up on that stage.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of positive self-talk. Yes, it may feel a bit silly initially, but reminding yourself that you’re capable and prepared can help combat negative thoughts and calm your nerves. Phrases like “I’ve got this” or “I’m well-prepared and ready” can be real game-changers.
Wrapping Up: Quick Fixes for Your Common Speaking Mistakes
(13:40) Mistakes happen, and it’s all part of the learning curve in the world of speaking.
But remember, it’s not about how many times you stumble but how quickly you stand up and continue your journey. These instant improvements are there to guide you in fixing some of those pesky speaking mistakes we all make.
But don’t stop there! Take these quick fixes and mold them into your speaking style. Just keep practicing; soon enough, you’ll see a notable difference in your confidence and delivery.
Finally, if you’re seeking a supportive community to get more help tackling these common speaking missteps, consider joining our Facebook group, Breakthrough Public Speakers. It’s a hub for passionate speakers just like you, where we exchange tips, discuss hurdles, and celebrate each other’s breakthroughs.
See you over there!
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Recommended Resources & Links
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We cater to diverse interests and expertise, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Moreover, we have developed a comprehensive program known as The Booked Solid Success Path, meticulously designed to complement and enhance your speaking engagements.
Episode 157 – What Should I Be Sending to an Event Planner as a Speaker?
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Get a professional onesheet designed – I have been designing one sheets, also known as a speaker sheet or one-pager, for over 18 years for speakers to use in their marketing mix.
The Breakthrough Public Speakers Community – My team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 7,000+ speakers
I hope you enjoyed this training episode!
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Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi
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