Erase these 15 flaws from your speeches

The key to a great speech is giving the audience what it wants—and avoiding these 15 mistakes.

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All that platform polish comes from many years of hard work and training. That’s how top speakers pull everything off with such seamless ease. They’ve paid their dues many times over.

You probably make some errors in speaking that can be easily fixed—but you don’t know what they are. I want to show you the most common mistakes that people new to public speaking make. Once you eliminate them, your confidence and effectiveness as a speaker will grow dramatically.

Here are the 15 most common gaffes speakers make:

1. Arriving at the last minute. What do you suppose this tells the audience members and organizers who are wondering whether they still have a speaker?

2. Playing fast and loose with the clock. You can’t simply start and stop your talk on your own terms. The organizers have a schedule to keep and your audience wants respect for its valuable time. Stay on schedule and stop early enough to take questions.

3. Jumping into your talk without attempting to build rapport with your audience. All audiences need to be warmed up. Taking the time to do this can help you give a better performance.

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