If you don’t know who your presentation is really about, you’re missing the point.

When people think of public speaking mistakes, they usually imagine disaster scenarios – their minds go blank in front of the boss, or the A/V equipment stops working, or the client asks a question that stumps them.  And of course, these things CAN happen. I have presented during two blackouts, where not only did the projector not work, neither did the toilets!

Nevertheless, the three most common public speaking mistakes that I see among the leaders I coach have nothing to do with not knowing their content or not being able to project their deck. They aren’t emergencies or catastrophes. And in fact, none of them will even make a speaker sweat (even though they should).

They are ways of approaching a presentation that dramatically limit the speaker’s ability to make it relevant, engage the audience, and build a trusting relationship. And if you’re going to put time, effort and energy into planning a presentation, shouldn’t you do what it takes to maximize your impact?

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