5 Speaker Fails You Need to Avoid


As the role of thought leadership continues to gain importance in generating new business opportunities, speaking engagements are becoming more essential to building a brand. The problem? The demand for speakers is greater than ever - even with the number of events, webinars, podcasts, etc. on the rise.

In other words, every opportunity is equally as important in establishing your speaking cred. If your audience isn’t engaged, you’re failing them and also limiting your scope for future opportunities.

Here is a list of the top five most common fails that you, as a speaker, need to avoid:

1. Misreading or not recognizing interest - Don’t fret if you only see the tops of people’s heads. “Old school” speakers might tell you to measure interest by the number of people who are making eye contact with you. However, in this digital age, keep in mind that your most engaged audience members are rapidly tweeting out your content as you speak. (So don’t ask people to turn off their phones, and try to create “tweetable” quotes!)

2. Not being involved in conversation on social media - Set yourself apart by taking part in the conversations occurring online and networking with other attendees ahead of time. This can help cultivate interest and drive attendance at your panel or session - especially important for those events that have concurrent sessions.

3. Reading PowerPoint slides or notes verbatim - Don’t do it. As digital storyteller Christina Green states, “If you don’t know the topic well enough to discuss it without reading, you’re probably not the best person to lead the discussion.” #Truth

4. Not knowing your audience - Sure, you can up-cycle parts of your old presentations. Since every audience has different needs and concerns, you should still be personalizing the content for each audience. Make sure what you have to share is actually applicable; otherwise, you’re wasting their (and your) time.

5. Using too much ‘marketing speak’ - As mentioned above, know your audience - but also know how they speak. Most people want to be spoken to in easily digestible terms, save the small percentage of “C-Suite who are are still quoting management books from the ‘80s.”

There you have it! Take these insights into consideration as you plan your next presentation, and become a better, more conscious and more engaging speaker that people will rave about.