12 Public Speaking Habits To Avoid At All Costs

Public speaking is hard enough without shooting yourself in the foot with simple mistakes.

Here are 12 bad public speaking habits to avoid.

2. Eye dart.

From beginners to veterans, the majority of speakers fail to maintain meaningful, sustained eye contact with their listeners. 'Unconsciously, their eyes scurry from person to person, darting around the room, without ever pausing to actually see the recipients of their message,' Price says. 'A lack of eye contact implies a list of offenses: insincerity, disinterest, detachment, insecurity, shiftiness, and even arrogance.'

To visually connect, maintain eye contact for at least two to three seconds per person, or long enough to complete a full phrase or sentence. Effective eye communication is the most important nonverbal skill in a speaker's toolbox.

7. Not inspiring.

Even more vital to persuasion than Logos, says Aristotle, is Pathos, which includes the right-brain activities of emotions, images, stories, examples, empathy, humour, imagination, colour, sounds, touch, and rapport, Price says. 'Tomes of studies show human beings typically make decisions based on emotions first (Pathos); then, we look for the facts and figures to justify it (Logos). Audience members do the same. With your words, actions, and visuals, seek first to inspire an emotion in them (joy, surprise, hope, excitement, love, empathy, vulnerability, sadness, fear, envy, guilt). Then, deliver the analysis to justify the emotion.'

An engaging, memorable, and persuasive presentation is balanced with both information and inspiration. 'It speaks to the head and the heart, leveraging both facts and feelings,' she says.

Now learn what you should do in the moments leading up to a big presentation:

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