July 8, 2021- I watched a YouTube video once of a veterinarian and was advising on how to care for a dog or check for fleas or something like that; I can’t quite remember; but what I do remember is how many times she said the words umm, uhh, and you know. Twenty-seven times in a five-minute and thirty-three-second video. TWENTY-SEVEN TIMES. Don’t let this happen to you!
Lots of authors stumble over their words during public speaking for several reasons. Maybe it’s nerves? Perhaps it’s being unprepared? Maybe it’s a lack of understanding on the subject being spoken? Whatever the reason is, there’s no place for it in your speech or presentation. Yes, we all make mistakes, but it’s different when it’s being repeated multiple times.
How can you ensure that your next talk is error-free and that you’re not tripping over your words or saying too many of the same in one sentence? Here are three tips:
- Record yourself. Either by video or voice recording, one of the best ways to find out if you’re repetitious, dull, or using filler words like umm and uhh is to record yourself! Play it back and see if you’re engaging your audience, that your tone and pitch are on point, and that your energy and enthusiasm are palpable.
- Audience. Enlist the help of an audience, even if it’s just one person! They’ll let you know where room for improvement lies in your speech and if it was exciting and held their attention. Take their feedback constructively and choose someone who is going to give you an honest opinion.
- Cut the fat. Get rid of the filler words. Filler words are what we use when we panic and are buying our brain time. Some of them include um, uh, you know, like, well, kind of, sort of, like I said and so on. Filler words distract your audience, primarily when used excessively throughout your speech or presentation. The audience now focuses on the filler words rather than the valuable information they came to hear you speak on.
Use these tips to your advantage and continue to join us all month as we talk about Public Speaking for Authors!