Think of the last five speeches you’ve heard. I’m going to guess that at least one of them started with, “The projector isn’t working,” and another with, “I’m pretty nervous to be up here.”
While there’s nothing wrong with your speakers being honest, there’s something a tad unprofessional about them drawing attention to their lack of preparation. Do you really want to continue listening after someone drones on about how “this slideshow thingy won’t work?”
In addition to those common phrases, there are a few other staples that get blurted out when someone’s on stage that have the same effect. So, the next time you plan to give a talk—whether it’s a company report, an inspirational speech, a startup pitch, or something else completely—leave them out. You’ll thank yourself for not being another speaker who admits she didn’t time herself (a.k.a., the woman who says, “I’m going to skip this point”), or the speaker who lets it slip that he’s a design amateur (a.k.a., the guy who says, “You probably can’t read this slide”).
Photo of speech bubbles courtesy of Shutterstock.
A board member of Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs, Kat is either hosting inspiring founders or trekking across cities (Silicon Valley and London, anyone?) to discover the hottest startups. And, when she’s not putting together large-group gatherings for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Kat is planning food excursions to discover the best Taiwanese beef noodle soup in NYC. The only thing she loves almost as much as crafting content as an Editorial Intern at The Muse is studying content as an English Major at Columbia University. Say hi on Twitter @katxmoon.More from this Author