Seven Ways to Screw Up a Speech

7. Be introduced poorly – You’re not Elvis, but you are there for a reason. Write down for the person introducing you exactly what you want them to say. Otherwise, they will either give your life story or try out a short speech of their own.

6.  Monkey with the microphone – Arrive early and insist on testing everything. For some reason otherwise intelligent people go brain dead when they are handed a microphone. Familiarize yourself with the equipment.

5. Tell people that you aren’t a good speaker – They will find out soon enough, you needn’t tell them.

4. Start off with a lame or tired joke – It’s great to get people to laugh on the front end, but it must be genuine. Few things make you look like a hack faster than saying something people have heard for years.

3. Fiddle with your PowerPoint or computer – If you don’t have the right equipment and haven’t tested it on site don’t use it. If it doesn’t work exactly right it’s a giant distraction. Prepare ahead for your technology to fail.

2. Give false conclusions – Nobody likes circling the airport. You think you are landing but then you don’t. Land the plane baby!

1. Try to say everything – The essence of great speaking is choosing what to leave out. Try to say it all and you will lose all of them, EVERYTIME.

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