10 things the best speakers never say

Many speakers have never reflected that they must be considerate to their audiences. If you’re in this boat, this practical list of don’ts will open your eyes and improve your next talk.

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(Editor’s note: This was one of the top viewed stories of 2015. We’re rerunning it as part of a look back at the articles that captivated our readers the most.)

While it’s hard to immediately win over a crowd, it’s easy to lose the room within the first minutes of your presentation.

To make sure you don’t lose your audience I asked Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, accomplished speaker and founder of TwitterCounter and The Next Web, about things you should never say in your presentations.

Here’s what van Zanten thinks you should never say:

1. “I’m jet-lagged/tired/hungover.”

One in five presentations at any conference starts with an excuse: “They only invited me yesterday,” or, “I’m really tired from my trip,” or some other lame excuse the audience doesn’t want to hear.

The audience just wants to see you give it your best. If you feel like crap and can’t give it your best, maybe you should have cancelled. Take a pill, drink an espresso and kill it!

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