(From audience point of view)
Mindset of every person in a gathering will never be the same. Satisfying everyone is challenging. However a speaker can do best when some behaviors are conquered.
1. Don’t act too smart
Ineffective speakers usually use the phrases “I haven’t prepared” or “Am too tired, travelling all the way”. These do never create a positive impact rather forecasts the irresponsible character of the speaker. You are hired to deliver the best you can. Don’t ever try to make such words thinking of being smart. This earns you only a negative impact among the audience.
2. Don’t check the utilities
“Am I audible?” is the phrase usually a speaker uses to make himself comfortable. But this not the job assigned to you. If there are any audio faults, it will be supervised by the audio manager hired for your session.
3. Keep your promises silent never mention it
“Let me make this session interactive”. Please don’t mention it but make your every session interactive unless or otherwise you are at a product launch session. Speakers think asking questions to audience and getting response is interactive. Don’t try to focus on to it. Too many questions on to the audience makes the session ineffective. Audience have gathered to gain knowledge from you. They didn’t want you to test their knowledge.
“I’ll make it short for you”. Make things shorter and crispier and at the same time informative. But it is not necessary to define such phrases.
“I’ll take hardly take 10 more minutes”. It is difficult to forecast your speech timings when there arises any distractions (in the form of questions or other). So better avoid telling these. Just proceed with what you have prepared and complete your session almost within the time limit assigned to you. Pre-preparation is must in order to finish within the stipulated timing.
4. Don’t particularize
Never point a sleeping person. Don’t talk too much about a single person or a single group. Some in the audience may hate or they may consider your speech an exaggerated one.
5. Be Realistic in your examples
When providing examples or insights, don’t try to build stories. There will be an informative person in the audience passing realistic statistics to the nearby creating a distraction for your speech. Don’t exaggerate things. Tell what is true to your knowledge. It is better to avoid even approximate values.
6. Never crowd your display
The usual mistake done by many speakers is misjudging powerpoint presentation with their handnotes. Powerpoint is meant only for powerful points and insights. Don’t fill the slide with contents and don’t say “Let me read aloud for you!”. Unless or otherwise if there are any need to mention quotations, never crowd the slide. In that case just pause a moment for the people to read the content and resume once they return back to you. Don’t have too many slides which makes your session boring.
Use dedicated professional fonts, size and colour which suits your display on to the projector. Use of multi colours reduces the clarity of the content. Avoid random transitions, revolving slides. Just a mild fade-in and fade-out does better than others.
7. Don’t force your audience
Don’t demand your attention by using the phrases “Am I clear?” or “Are you following?”. Make your audience to gain attention by your creative ways. Don’t ask anyone to switch of their electronic devices to make them to listen to you. Let them do what they want to. Instead ask them to keep them in silent mode if it creates problems for you.
Don’t disturb people from taking notes from the display. Don’t say “I’ll circulate it later, just listen to me”. Let them do what they feel comfort for them. Some people get things on to their mind only when they take notes in their language.
Bonus tip: Question session
Question session is much important to make things clear and create a sense of satisfaction for you about the session you delivered. But never force your audience to raise questions or never restrict your audience from raising questions. Try to convert the silly questions in favor of you but never degrade your audience. When your audience is huge, repeat the question raised by the person so that rest of the audience can follow your answer.