If you’ve never tuned in yet, this channel is here to help rising leaders increase your personal impact so you can lead the people around you with more excellence. And today we’re talking about communication skills specifically.
If you haven’t had a lot of experience doing stand-up speaking, I’m going to give you some dos and some don’ts that’ll help move you in the right direction. And as we talk about these dos and don’ts, I want you to pick out which ones you think would help you the most and feel free at any point to comment in that section below the video.
So when I said do’s and don’ts, we’re actually going to start with the don’ts and then give you the do version of it, so that’s the way we’ll organize it. So the first pair goes like this. Don’t ramble and get long-winded.
Anytime a speaker is disorganized, and weaves all around, it’s very hard to follow what he or she is talking about and instead what you want to do is give a nice organized and concise message. That means you have to take the time beforehand when you’re preparing to create a nice introduction, body and conclusion, make sure you have clear main points and there’s a transition statement between each main point.
Your audience is really going to appreciate an orderly presentation of your ideas, and it’s much more likely that they’ll remember what you said and really that’s the whole point of speaking to them in the first place.
The next don’t is don’t look with your eyes in the wrong places. You want to not look over people’s heads or not look at the floor, and not stare at the ceiling or scan around like that. What you want to do is look directly into a person’s eye long enough to finish a thought and then move on and look directly into the next person’s eyes long enough to finish a thought.
One public speaking teacher told me one thought, one look. In other words, about a sentence or a half a sentence and then move on to the next person. Now, this is very difficult to do if you’re not used to it.
It can feel very awkward looking right into someone’s eyes but you have to gear up for this because that’s what audiences want. We want people to connect with this. If you’re not looking into our eyes and making us feel like we’re part of this, then you’re not going to have much of an impact.
The next thing you want to do is don’t, rather, this is a don’t, don’t clutter up all your notes with too many details. A lot of times we’re tempted to jam our notes or our powerpoints with everything we want to say.
But the result is when we’re nervous in the moment, we end up just locked in to our notes and looking down the whole time and reading and sounding really stiff, really wooden and you’re not going to again connect with people.
So what you want to do instead is pare down your notes so that you can just have a conversational style with your audience. And again, as you’re practicing, you have to whittle down those notes so that all you have is like talking points like a little grocery list of items that you’re going to talk about.
And it almost forces you or at least frees you to connect with people to look up, and to have a nice, normal conversation with them in your natural personality. The next don’t is you don’t want to load up your slide with all complicated animations and text.
And one of the reasons is you don’t want to stare at it and read from it. The other reason is that it’s very hard to follow what’s going on if your slides are jam-packed with the detail. What you want to do instead is to make sure your slides are nice and clear, and simple and help you make whatever point you’re making in that particular moment.
A rule of thumb that I like to use is if you’re spending more than about two or three minutes on each PowerPoint slide, then you’re probably wasting your time and I don’t recommend using more than a couple of slides for a presentation anyway if you’re a beginner because people tend to over rely on the slides and load up each single slide with way too much.
The next don’t is don’t fidget. Don’t fidget with your hands. Don’t fidget with your feet. Don’t pace back and forth aimlessly because you’re nervous. What you want to do instead is have nice confident posture where you stand in one place for a little while and then if you want to move with a purpose move, stand in another place for a while and then share another part of your message.
Move for the purpose, stand still, share some of your message. Don’t just pace, have nice confident posture. Same thing with your hands. You want to use gestures and emphasize your ideas with your hands.
You don’t want to fidget and put them in your pockets or play with a pen or do anything else weird or distracting like that. That’s a big part of how you come across non-verbally and I recommend to you when you’re practicing, you work on this as well.
And the last don’t undo is how you use your voice. What you don’t want to do is speak too softly, use a lot of fillers like um and ah and so. What you want to do is have a confident voice where you speak loud like to the back of the room with a nice clear volume.
Aim for the back of the room because just think about it, you have to reach those people. The other thing you want to do is emphasize your key words with the sound of your voice and also pause after you share a key idea or a key thought.
Pause for a minute, silently. Don’t fill it up with an um or an oh, the pause is much more effective. So here are some dos and don’ts, some tips for beginners. Again as I mentioned, where do you see yourself in here? Which one you think would help you the most in this list? I would love to hear your comments in that section below.
So thanks, God bless and I will see you in the next video.