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Successful Public Speakers Never Say These 7 Things

Successful Public Speakers Never Say These 7 Things

It takes a lot of guts and an unbelievable desire to pursue your passion to be a successful public speaker. You have to be comfortable enough to be in your “zone”; but you also have to be competent enough to illustrate your confidence and expertise on the topic you’re talking about.

As with all things, successful public speakers aren’t born–they’re made from scratch, beaten up verbally, mocked endlessly and criticized harshly until they’re shaped appropriately.

Now, let’s take an innovative approach to public speaking training. Instead of outlining the phrases that you should say, I’m going to tell you the phrases that you should avoid. After all, it’s easier to remember the things that you should avoid, don’t you think so?

Let’s start:

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1. “Oh, I apologize for that.”

If you’ve already moved over to the next slide and a participant tells you to go back because they haven’t really understood it, don’t say, “I’m sorry!” Instead, smile and say, “It’ll be my pleasure to discuss this with you.”

When you’re invited to be a guest speaker, the organizer values you and trusts your authority on the topic. As a result, these attendees believe you’re the expert in the matter. You should exude an aura of confidence. Saying you’re sorry is only acceptable if you’ve offended anyone. Otherwise, don’t say it. It makes you seem apologetic and insecure. Who says they’re sorry when they haven’t really done anything wrong?

2. “My voice is soft today because I’m exhausted.”

You’re human. All of the attendees know that you’re not a robot, so, of course you’re prone to over-fatigue and illness. But remember, all of these participants are also humans who are equally susceptible. They paid with their time and money in order to listen to an expert who is at the top of his game, so you’re still expected to go on with the show.

You’re free to whine and mope around in bed after your speech. But, before that, don’t complain while talking about your topic–it gives off a negative energy that you may pass on to your audience.

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3. “I’m not sure about that.”

If you’re not sure about something, why are you presenting it in the first place? To spread confusion? To make your audience doubt your credibility? When in doubt, don’t mention it anymore. Let’s face it: if you were planning on presenting a certain statement, you should have exerted an effort to confirm its validity.

If someone asks a question about something that you’re not familiar with, don’t give a half-hearted answer and then say that you’re not sure. Instead you should say, “That’s a good question that warrants an even better answer. So, if we could exchange contacts later, I’d love to get back to you on this after I do some extensive research on this matter.”

4. “Let’s not go back anymore.”

Your aim is to make the audience understand the subject matter. If they don’t comprehend and they want to go back, it’s your responsibility to explain it to them. Respect their time, but also respect their willingness to learn.

5. “I’ll make this fast.”

Successful public speakers are known to take their time in encouraging their listeners to ask questions. They are really interested in the process of learning and teaching, and they don’t think of their seminars as marathons. Instead, they are similar to walks in the park or jogging leisurely around the neighborhood.

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Learning is a process that requires patience. If you’re speaking about something, don’t just focus on being heard–focus on being understood

6. “You weren’t listening, were you?”

You’re not a babysitter to a bunch of toddlers. Saying this in public is tantamount to accusing them of misbehaving.

You are a professional public speaker who has been invited to talk to colleagues. You need to give them the same respect that you want to get from them.

7. “I’m a pile of nerves right now.”

We all know that public speaking makes some people nervous, but announcing it to the public is just re-affirming that fact. In fact, if you constantly repeat this, your audience may doubt you and feel like you are not experienced enough. They may not pay attention to you anymore. Don’t say you’re nervous, as it may also freak you out and knock you out of your game. Instead, say, “I’m so excited to be here. We’re all going to learn from each other,” and smile genuinely.

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Which of these have you heard from a speaker before? How did you feel after hearing it?

Featured photo credit: sw_UNForumSeattle_cs8267.jpg/jppi via cdn.morguefile.com

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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