Eliminating weak language in your business presentations and speeches will help you to be a more effective leader and a better public speaker. Unnecessary equivocating phrases such as “kind of,” “sort of” or “just wanted” will chip away at your credibility and sabotage your own effectiveness. Instead, use powerful, straightforward language and seek to be inclusive with your audience.
To be more inclusive, think “influence and include’ rather than “command and control” or “more we and less me.”
Compare these phrases:
“This is sort of my plan to get the ball rolling.” vs. “This is our plan to get the ball rolling.”
“I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.” vs. “Thank you for your hard work and dedication.”
“In my opinion, we should take a different course of action.” vs. “Let’s take a different course of action.”
If you want to be perceived as a leader, speak with confidence, conviction, and inclusiveness in areas where you are certain, committed and need the support of your audience. When you speak like a leader, you’ll have a more powerful presentation and inspire more listeners to take action.
When your audience is laughing at your quip or clapping their approval of your key point, let them conclude before continuing with your presentation. By rejoining your presentation too soon, they won’t be able to hear your first few words and you miss an opportunity to fully engage your audience.
By cutting the audience off too soon, it may even appear that you don’t appreciate their goodwill. Just say “thank you,” if appropriate, smile and continue.
Conclude with Style and Grace
The same goes for your conclusion. When your audience is applauding, stand graciously and accept the applause until they have concluded. You might even want to give a slight bow if it seems appropriate. Hang out for a few minutes to talk to people who approach you after your presentation and graciously accept their compliments. There’s plenty of time later to gather up your notes, disconnect your laptop, etc.
Take your time and enjoy the positive feedback. Public speaking is supposed to be fun and engaging.
My public speaking students at the Art Institute of Phoenix had fun this week learning how to speak using a teleprompter. They read from my famous “4Ps assessment script” that my personal coaching clients use.
I really enjoy working with the students and helping them to become confident and skilled presenters. And teaching helps keep me to stay sharp as well. Some days, I learn as much from my students as they do from me.