When you learn the lesson the hard way, you stop making the same mistake. Here are nine phrases to drop from your presentation.
1. "Good morning/afternoon/night."
When you say this phrase, you lose the audience immediately. You only have seven seconds to grab the audience's attention. Start with "Have you ever...?" or "Imagine..."
2. "My name is..."
No one cares about your name. They care about your message.
Have someone introduce you with a speaker introduction, including your name, your expertise and what the audience will learn from your presentation. The audience will be excited to hear you speak.
3. "Please forgive me... I'm so nervous."
People know you're nervous only when you tell them. If you don't say you're nervous, chances are people don't notice it.
Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the audience. What do you want the audience think, feel or do differently after your presentation?
4. "Let me tell you a story."
Don't say you're telling a story; just tell it. The faster you get to a story, the faster you can make people listen to you.
5. "Sorry, I forget what to say."
The only person who knows you miss the line is you. Prepare notes in bullet points. If you forget what to say, pause. Refer to your notes. Look up and speak again.
6. "Next slide please."
Successful speakers are in-control. They never let anyone control the flow of their presentations. Use a lazer pointer to switch slides easily.
7. "Do you have any questions?"
This phrase makes people feel like they're challenging your authority. Instead, ask, "What questions do you have?" People will happily ask questions.
8. "That's a good question."
It is annoying to hear speakers calling every question "a good question." If the question isn't good, the audience wouldn't have asked it. Say it's a good question only if you mean it.
Need more time to think? Repeat the question by saying, "So your question is..." Then get to the point.
9. "That's the end of my presentation."
The audience remember your opening and closing the best. Don't waste the most powerful moment of your presentation. Summarize your key points. Repeat your message. Give a specific action step.
Even the most successful speakers make mistakes. What separate these speakers from the average ones is that they learn from mistakes and never make them again.
Avoid saying these nine terrible phrases so you will become a more successful speaker.
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