Jerry Seinfeld summed up most people’s feelings on public speaking best: “To the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Even so, sometimes you’re forced to do it.
If your presentation suffers from some of the more common public speaking blunders, your message can be lost on the audience. Be aware of these common errors the next time you have to give a presentation:
1. Fidgeting. Many nervous presenters will pull at the side seams of their pants, or shift from side to side.
2. Filler words. It extremely common for people to use filler words or sounds such as, “uh, like, um, but,” etc. — but it’s also very distracting to listeners.
3. Looking away. Some presenters will do everything — from talking to their PowerPoint slides to only looking at their notes and handouts — to avoid eye contact with their audience.