1. No clear purpose for the presentation. What is the point and focus of the speech?
2. Not starting and stopping on time. Be flexible and be able to cut the talk short if asked. Be in control.
3. Not dressing appropriately. Always be a step above the audience. If it's business casual, be a little dressier than casual.
4. Not knowing the audience. Make sure you know what the audience expects.
5. Not checking out your room. A/V equipment and seating for any potential problems. Give yourself enough time to make the room right for you.
6. Not having good platform skills. Knowing your subject is not enough. You must have the ability to excite the audience and keep their interest.
7. Not having rapport with the audience. Not doing your research to find out what really interests them. You will know that magic moment when the audience is nodding with approval.
8. Not knowing when to stop. Too much information cannot be absorbed by the audience.
9. Not having enough information. The talk should have substance and knowledge of the client's business.
10. Not being sensitive to the audience. Do not use ethnic stories or off color remarks. Politics and religion should be avoided unless you are a member of the clergy.
POINT: The effectiveness of a talk is whether the audience enjoyed it and found it useful. Did the talk influence their behavior positively and productively once they returned to their jobs?
Sandra Schrift is a 13-year speaker bureau owner and career coach to emerging and veteran public speakers who want to "grow" a profitable speaking business. She also works with business professionals and organizations who want to deliver masterful presentations. For her free bi-weekly Monday Morning Mindfulness ezine, visit: www.schrift.com/monday.htm.© 2006 Sandra Schrift
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