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Five public speaking blunders to avoid

As an industry expert, you are a treasure trove of knowledge that your audience is eager to tap into. Communicate your ideas more effectively by avoiding these common mistakes.

#1 Not practicing your speech

No matter how knowledgeable you are, never speak on the fly. Rehearsing your speech in advance will help determine if you have the right structure, emphasis, and flow. It will also help you maintain a good pace, and end on time.

#2 Not having an impactful opening

Your opening sets the tone for the rest of the presentation, so it is critical that you get your audience excited to follow you. Start with an intriguing statistic, or a question that sets them thinking.

#3  Avoiding eye contact

When you look at an audience member in the eye, the person returns your gaze and is more likely to stay with you throughout your presentation.

#4 Data dump

While it is good to back up your points with facts, figures, and research, do not overload your presentation slides with data. Instead, engage your audience with a story that explains key data, and put the rest of the information in a handout.

#5 Let them leave without some key takeaways

A good presentation leaves the audience with a few clear and actionable tasks or tips that can be applied immediately.

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