4 ½ Reasons Your Presentations are Boring!

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Want to stop boring your listeners? Want your audiences to stop looking at their watches and start watching you? 

Then make sure you stop doing the following 4 ½ boring things that ineffective presenters and speakers consistently (and unknowingly) do. 

  1. Stop with the Boring Beginnings!  

“Hello, I am happy to be here today…” or “Ok, I have a few things to cover and I’ll be brief…” These and other boring starts are yawn festivals. When others hear these canned beginnings, their brains go into “here we go again mode” and they shut down or even worse, shut off. 

Instead, start with an intriguing question that requires your audience to think. Stay away from questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.” This will keep everyone listening and engaged. Begin with an activity. Create a quiz. Make activities relatively simple and quick. Break the room up into small groups. This will allow quick networking, build rapport and generate energy. When everyone regroups, they are wired up and ready to listen to you! 

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  1. Stop with the Monotone Voice! 

Now before you say anything bad or good about your voice, remember this, you can always talk faster, slower, louder and softer. No matter how you normally sound, if you only use your normal volume, speed and tone, you will sound boring! 

Instead, vary your volume. Say certain phrases faster to show excitement. Say certain words or phrases slower for serious emphasis. Pause two to three seconds for dramatic effect. Let your voice be an instrument of influence. 

  1.  Stop Saying “Um!” 

In fact, stop saying all of “um’s” cousins, “ah” and “uh.”  I call these fillers. They fill up space between your words. In traditional conversations fillers are common. They are used to indicate to the listener, “I am still talking. I am not finished yet but haven’t thought of which words to use next. I don’t want to lose my place in the conversation and I don’t want you to speak yet. I will use this uh, ah or um to let you know I am close to finding my train of thought. Once I have found my thoughts, I will speak in normal words.”  

This happens in about 0.7 seconds. Within that time, you only say and they only hear, “uh.” To your audience, you sound unsure, nervous and boring. 

Instead, allow air time between statements. This means silence. No fillers! Avoid being this speaker: “Ok, um, today, um, we are going to look at our sales results, and, um, over the last, um, couple of weeks, um….” 

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  1. Stop Reading! 

If you were going to use note cards, PowerPoint or a script, just save everyone time and money, e-mail your speech or presentation and stay at home! Your audience gets bored when they are read to. As children, our parents read us stories when they wanted us to go to sleep. As adults, when we are read to, we get sleepy!   

Instead, practice. Throw away the cards, reduce words on PowerPoint. Tear up the scripts. If your presentation is content heavy, tell your audience they can contact you if they want more detail. Or offer to send details or content heavy slides to them as a bonus. Don’t memorize your presentations, learn it! 

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½ Stop Being the Only One Talking! 

What? Do you mean that as the speaker, I should let others speak! The answer is “YES!”  Welcome feedback. Create opportunities for others to share. When you are talking, they only hear one side. Although you might be speaking for a group, department or as an industry expert, they only hear your voice. 

Instead, ask questions. Don’t say, “Our members love our summer specials.” Instead, ask, “Which of our seasonal specials do you think our members love the most?” If someone answers, “They love our summer specials.” You say, “Yes! That is exactly what I was going to say.  It is great to see we are aware of what our customers like.”      

If they answer, “They love our winter specials.” You say, “Yes. They do love our winter specials.  In fact, the only season they love more than winter, are our summer specials!” 

Whether digging in the ground or giving a speech, if you don’t strike gold after a few minutes of drilling, stop boring!  

Want to Amplify your presentations.  Want to add some spice to your public speaking recipes?  

Contact the Attitude Amplifier! 

Feb_14_2012_3Vincent Phipps is a professional, motivational keynote speaker/presenter. He is President and Founder of the leadership communication training company, CommunicationVIP – Very Important People skills. Vincent has over 17 years experience in both academic and corporate America. 

Vincent has a passion for people improvement.  He is a Professor of Public Speaking at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a Certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (M.B.T.I.), and a DISC behavioral style analyst.  Vincent earned his Bachelor of Science in Speech/Language Communication and is earned his Masters of Science in Executive Leadership and Organizational Management.  

Amplify your event with the V.I.P. of motivational speakers!  Vincent Ivan Phipps is theThe Attitude Amplifier”! Vincent combines high energy, expert knowledge, and humor to amplify messages of professional and personal empowerment!         

Vincent spoke at the World Conference and Club Business Expo on “Amplify Your Attitude - Attitude Rules for Club Managers: Be a Better Club Manager by Being More Stress Resistant” and “Amplify Your Presentations - Improve Professional Presentations & Public Speaking.”