It was 13.55, just 5 minutes until the main presentation. It wasn’t long before the audience started to assemble in the main conference area. They all grabbed a brew and a biscuit and took to their seats just in time to see a dodgy looking ‘Wiganer’ take to the stage.
"Err morning everyone, basically my name is Mike Ode and basically I’m here to talk to you about basically in my opinion, the finest training company, well, basically the world has ever seen.”
Now, I can guarantee that if you were in the audience you would have stopped listening and instead you would have started playing that exciting game of counting the amount of times that the word ‘basically’ was used. There will be an App' for that soon…Remember where you heard it first.
As a presenter, one of your main responsibilities is to make sure the audience are not distracted. Once they are distracted, I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve lost them. Repeating the same word or words over and over again falls into the category of distraction. Always remember, ‘The minute your audience is distracted is the minute you have lost them.’ (Please note, there’s no need to start chanting this out loud.)
But why do we repeat certain words? No one is free from the repeating of words disease, we’ve all done it and if we are honest we still do it at times. There are lots of reasons why it happens. These can range from:-
The uncertainty swirling around in your head makes you lack conviction in what you are saying and as a result you stammer and fill in gaps with random words. A confident speaker who has prepared and practiced and one who is confident and happy with their content won’t repeat as many words and so won’t lose the audience.
So, what can you basically do to reduce, well, basically, repetition?
Lights, camera, action
I’ve no doubt your repetition of words habit has probably already been brought to your attention by a colleague or friend. The question is, do you really say a particular word that much? There’s only one way to find out...FIGHT, sorry, I got a little excited there. Get a video camera and record your presentation from start to finish. Watch it back and count the amount of times you repeat your word(s). You may find that it isn’t really a problem at all or you will realise for yourself, just how bad it is!
Shut the curtains
Write a 5minute presentation and practice it out loud at home. Be conscious of your words. When you say, or feel like you’re about to say your particular word, stop speaking, breathe, then repeat the sentence again without saying the deadly word. Do this exercise 3 or 4 times. Try a different presentation each time to test your progress.
Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth
You can’t beat a bit of feedback. Ask different people to watch your presentation and ask them to feed back on your whole performance including the amount of times you mentioned your little word (s).
Prepare, practice and believe in yourself. Prepare for your presentation and practice as if your life depended on it. You can never do enough practice. Also, tell yourself that this is a great presentation - having a positive mindset will ensure your presentation is delivered smoothly and with conviction.
We are all guilty of repeating the same word when presenting; I say ‘OK’ all the time. Feel free to slap me if you ever hear me saying it again. You know you do it and as a result you are conscious of it which makes you say it even more. But it needn’t be like this - have a go at following my simple steps and watch your presenting skills improve. It really does work…OK?
Add a Comment