As a public speaking coach, I run into people who try to convince me that they don’t need my help. That’s OK, everybody doesn’t need a coach. But some of the reasons they throw at me are myths that can keep you from being a great speaker. The excuses I hear most often are dangerous myths that can kill your speaking performance. So let me give you a dose of reality:
Myth #1: The Slide Geek says, “My PowerPoint deck is my speech!”
Reality: Your PowerPoint is a tool to help you deliver your message. It’s not the main attraction. When your slides are a word-for-word replica of your speech, you’ll lose your audience. Recently, I saw a speaker read her entire presentation to us from slides that had no pictures, just endless lines of text. It was painful! Several audience members were glued to their phones, not the speaker. As a presenter, you need to interact with, inspire and talk directly to your listeners. Use your slides as visual reinforcement of your key points, not as a visual sleeping pill!
Myth #2: The Teacher-turned-Speaker says, “I’m a teacher, I know how to speak.”
Reality: No audience wants to be lectured to. A great speaker is really an edu-tainer, part educator and part entertainer. You’ve got to make your audience laugh, learn and feel differently because of your presentation. Have you ever seen motivational speaker Les Brown? He delivers a message in a way that touches your mind and your emotions. Don’t just pour facts and figures on your audience, engage them in ways that are fun and mentally stimulating. Great speakers take teaching to a higher level—they inform, inspire and entertain!
Myth #3: The Know-It-All says, “I took a speech class in high school!”
Reality: There’s always more to learn. Even great actors and athletes have trainers. One lady told me her high school speech class was so great, she now knows everything there is to know about presenting. Really? That must have been some class! When you are a performer (speaker), you can always find new ways to perfect your craft. Why do you think Olympic athletes, opera singers and well-paid actors have coaches? A coach can help you take your performances to the next level.
If you are looking for new ways to inform, inspire and entertain your next audience, email me at Rosalyn@portercoachyou.com